Saturday and Sunday proved to be just as much of a blast as the first couple of days. I actually managed to make a couple of sessions on Sunday.
Jon Gruber and Michael Lopp - Blood, Sweat and Fear; Good Design Hurts.
This was a fantastic presentation; Michael Lopp indulged in lots of swearing, but lots of good commentary on design, and fear of blue and ponies, and how Apple do things. Jon Gruber then took over, talking about design, and how great design has got to be risky, and sometimes maligned...you need these things to evolve, and innovate.
Andy Olio - Worst. Website. ever.
This was one of the funniest talks I've ever seen. A web designer and a VC introducing various speakers to come up on stage to talk about their web site ideas - the worst, most inane/amoral/derivative ideas they could come up with.
Andy first listed some of the biggest web site failures in history.
* kozmo.com - $280 million burned through in 3 years
* pets.com $130 million
* boo.com 188 million in 6 months
He then listed the categories the sites would be judged by, and gave examples:
* inane ideas
- digiscents - savor the world - web pages that send you smells
- 3D mailbox - makes your inbox look like miami beach. ludicrous.
* derivative ideas
- look at techcrunch for a week, eg facebook for senior citizens
* just plain evil
- goto.com - let people bid for top search results, text ad links
- Jigsaw - buy and trade business cards
Some of my favorite ideas presented:
* babiesandpuppiesforrent.com - the only people that wanted to rent the children are people who should never be allowed access to children, and puppies think children are delicious
* thinkwidow.com - dating site for newly widowed people
* Image search for the blind - providing voice overs to describe images on the web...for the blind people.
* Mommerce. The future of the future of commerce. MMOs. Take world of warcraft and add e-commerce shops to it, to ensure that players never have to stop playing. Ever. Turn bricks and mortar into clicks and mordor
In the evening, I popped over to Ms Jen's wine and cheese party, talked to Rob Weychert, Jon Hicks, saw the new generation of flathicks, and then went over to the Austin Barcamp with my Opera cohorts Phillip, David and Lawrence, to present a talk on Opera technologies and future standards, which went down pretty well. Phillip then did the first ever presentation ever in the USA, of the upcoming Opera 9.5 release. Stay tuned! The talks were made infinitely more fun by free beer, and a senior W3C guy playing blues guitar while we spoke.
After speaking, we watched the live band at the Barcamp for a while, drank more free beer, and then met up with the rest of the Opera possee. After driving around for ages trying to find a party, I got bored and led us over to a different bar. I had a "couple more light ales", and remember talking to a whole load of lovely people, including John Resig, Glenn Jones, Tristan Turpin, and PPK...after that, it got a bit hazy... ;-)
Sunday was hard work.
I got up, manned the Opera booth for a while, talking to some really nice people, then I had lunch with Phillip and David in a sleazy dive bar with blacked out windows and Van Halen on the stereo. The food was beautiful!
I then headed over to the booth again for a while, then went over to the Fire Eagle party. It was nice to talk to Tom Coates and the other guys about how Opera can do cool things with Fire Eagle...I then started to feel very tired, and went back to the hotel for a 39 minute power nap, before bowling started.
Our bowling team sucked, but hey, it was fun! Norm, Alun Rowe, Ben Ward, Lloydi, Aslan and Myself didn't win. We didn't get close to winning ;-)
We did have fun though. My team mates managed to enrage me enough to do better by plastering me with IE7 and Silverlight stickers ;-)
I also had some wonderful conversations with people about my web standards curriculum, including WaSP EduTF folk like Steph, Gareth and Aaron. We're taking web standards education to the masses! If anyone knows a university, or any other institution or company that needs some web standards education material, get in touch! I'm creating the definitive web standards training course, and it's getting some backing from big hitters! Mail us if you want more info, and keep checking http://dev.opera.com
for more updates.
After the bowling fun was over, I went to bed for 9 hours. Hot damn I needed that!