The @media conference in London was an incredible success. I had an amazing time there, and am really looking forward to next year's conference.

Author: Gez Lemon


Top Speaker

The @media 2005 conference in London was even better than I imagined it would be. Without doubt, the best speaker for me was Joe Clark. If you've never had the good fortune to hear Joe speak, I urge you to do so if you get a chance. The only thing I regret is not having a chance to speak to him. Every time I tried to talk to Joe, he was surrounded by people wanting his attention. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to meet him properly at some time in the future.

Early Registration

There was a chance to register in the afternoon the day before the conference. Having a severe allergy to early mornings, I took the opportunity to secure a lie in on the first day. While I was there, Jeffrey Zeldman came over and stood behind me. I was really tempted to say hello, but having a shy disposition, coupled with not being able to think of anything to start a conversation, I stood silently waiting to register. Considering that Jeffrey was the keynote speaker for the event, I was amazed when one of the organisers came over and asked for his name. His response couldn't have been more proof that Jeffrey is an approachable person. I was expecting him to sound indignant that the person didn't know who he was, but he responded in a gentle, unassuming voice, I'm one of the speakers, after which he was ushered into the lecture theatre.

Great People

On the first day, I met up with Bruce Lawson. Bruce is one of the most amazing people I've ever met, if not the most amazing. He's incredibly bright, unassuming, with one of those unstoppable personalities that's all about getting as much out of life as you can. It was like speaking with someone I'd known all my life, yet we'd only ever exchanged a few emails before the conference.

Another of the highlights for me was speaking with Molly E. Holzschlag. Molly's an absolutely amazing woman. With Molly, you get what it says on the box. All readers here will be familiar with Molly's outgoing style. In real-life, she's exactly the same. I've never seen anyone with so much energy, yet time to speak to everyone. She was the life and soul of the final night's party. Like Bruce, meeting Molly felt like meeting someone I had known all my life: she's very approachable, attentive, passionate about what she does, and an all-round pleasure to speak to. I really hope that I get the chance to see Molly speak again in the future.

I also managed to speak to Mike Davies, also known as Isofarro. Like me, Mike is quite shy, so I'm really pleased I managed to catch up with him, or we could have spent the conference in our own corners. I particularly enjoy Mike's work, because he's incredibly articulate, and thorough with whatever he turns his hand to. I had a good chat with Mike last night, and hope I get to do so again at some time in the future. I was also fortunate to meet Christian Heilmann. There's been a lot of talk about 2005 being the year of the DOM. The main reason for this is because of the interest in Ajax due to web applications such as Google Suggest. I believe that Christian has also played a significant role in the interest of scripting with his brilliant article, unobtrusive JavaScript, which demonstrates perfectly how to use scripting in a responsible, and accessible manner. I met up with Christian several times over the two days, and he's an incredibly interesting person to talk with. He has a great insight into accessibility, web standards, and where the behavioural layer fits in all this.

The prize for the most comical expression from the speakers has to go to Jeremy Keith. Considering he was up against people like Joe Clark and Andy Clarke, both of whom are very witty, he did exceptionally well. His talk was about scripting, and using the most appropriate tool for the job. As an analogy, he mentioned that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. It doesn't seem that funny here, but in the context of his talk, combined with his timing, it really was a hilarious comment.

Too Many People to Mention

There were so many people I admire and managed to meet during the conference, that I'm almost certain to leave several people out. Without exception, everyone I met was pleasant and a joy to talk with. If I've left you out, it's nothing personal. I met so many people that I feel a bit overwhelmed. One of the people I was very glad to have met was Patrick H. Lauke. Patrick helped me with URL rewriting when making the move from ASP to PHP, and we had a good laugh last night with Bruce. I also managed to have a brief chat with Roger Johansson. Like most others, Roger is incredibly down to earth considering he runs such an amazing and influential website. I suspect that's one of the reasons his website is so successful. Roger's obviously interested in promoting best practice, and has a very good style of writing that makes his point succinctly, but with a strong focus on quality. I also met, albeit briefly, Jon Gibbins. I was disappointed that I only managed to have a very brief chat with Derek Featherstone. I've spoken to Derek a few times by email, but would really liked to have had the opportunity to have talked more in person.

JavaScript Meetup

There was a meeting in London today to discuss JavaScript, with Peter Paul Koch (who I was also fortunate to meet, who again is an incredibly nice, approachable guy), Simon Willison, Dean Edwards, Stuart Langridge, Jeremy Keith, and many other leading experts in the field of scripting. Unfortunately, I had a train to catch which meant I wasn't able to attend. Hopefully, they had a very productive meeting, and we'll get to hear about it through their respective blogs.

A Special Thank You

A special thank you has to go to Patrick Griffiths and Vivabit for organising the conference. If Patrick hadn't organised the conference, he would still be amongst the top of my list of people to mention, as he's an incredibly nice guy. HTML Dog has to be the best online reference for markup and CSS, yet here's someone who is not only approachable, but made a massive effort to ensure that everyone was enjoying themselves. Thank you, Patrick - and I'm not just saying that for a free copy of your up and coming book, although I would say more if you did send me a copy :-)

More about @media 2005

Category: General.


  1. [atmedia2005.php#comment1]

    it was an absolutely pleasure to meet you in person, gez. and, to carry on with our conversation from last night with bruce: i hereby deprecate ASP...

    Posted by patrick h. lauke on

  2. [atmedia2005.php#comment2]

    I'd like to write something now, but I am still blushing from all the nice words you wrote about me here. It was very cool to meet you and let's not forget that you got called out by Joe Clark to stand up, as he wanted to see you *smile*
    Ok, back to hacking more afteratmediamessages.

    Posted by Chris Heilmann on

  3. [atmedia2005.php#comment3]

    I was going to leave a comment, but Patrick Lauke has just deprecated it. Bugger!

    See you soon, Gez!

    Posted by Bruce on

  4. [atmedia2005.php#comment4]


    Well what can I say. We go back a long time via email and to finally meet you in person is not only a pleasure but an honor, too. Thank you for all you do, and I'm looking forward to seeing you again and future events!


    Posted by Molly E. Holzschlag on

  5. [atmedia2005.php#comment5]

    Glad you had a good time. Shame you didn't say hi to Jeffrey. He's a loverly guy and I'm sure he would have been delighted to chat to you.

    Posted by Andy Budd on

  6. [atmedia2005.php#comment6]

    Really great meeting you, Gez! I also missed my chance at saying hello to Jeffrey, so that makes two of us.

    Posted by Roger Johansson on

  7. [atmedia2005.php#comment7]

    Hi Gez,

    It was great to see you this week - a shame it was altogether quite brief! We'll have to sort out a geekend of some sort up North.

    Posted by dotjay on

  8. [atmedia2005.php#comment8]

    Your work is admirable. However, it's "speak to", not "speak with". The latter suggests that you wished to be a speaker together with the speaker you referred to, whereas the former, I think, is what you really meant.

    Posted by Patrick Taylor on

  9. [atmedia2005.php#comment9]

    It was a shame I didn't get to meet you Gez. Or did I? Perhaps I /did/ chat to you but didn't do the whole badge check thing? Or maybe I /did/ get properly introduced but it was after that point in time when lager had had its wicked wicked way. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the conference, as did everyone else it seems.

    Posted by Ian Lloyd on

  10. [atmedia2005.php#comment10]

    Hi Gez, I too was like yourself, wanted to say hello to people was a bit backward in coming forward. I did manage to say hello to Derek Featherstone which pleased me but just missed Andy Clarke and not having attended the Thursday night do (was too tired after arriving late night before) I probbaly missed more opportunities.
    Anyway, has already been said, it was cool you got a mention from Joe Clark - btw I agree entirely with your opinion of him, he was worth the entrance fee alone. Seeing as you stood up I know now your face and if there's a next time, I'll be sure to say hello.

    Posted by Darren Taylor (Daz) on

  11. [atmedia2005.php#comment11]

    it's "speak to", not "speak with"

    Thank you, fixed *smile*

    It was a shame I didn't get to meet you Gez. Or did I?

    It would have been great to have met you, Ian. I did see you at one point, but you were surrounded by people. Hopefully, next time *smile*

    Anyway, has already been said, it was cool you got a mention from Joe Clark

    I was very pleased to get a mention from Joe *smile* I think someone told him I was muscle-bound for a joke, so I imagine he was horrified when some balding bloke with a belly stood up *smile*

    I should've got one of the Accessify people to point you out, as it would have been great to have met you, too.

    Posted by Gez on

  12. [atmedia2005.php#comment13]

    Gez - great to meet you, if only very briefly. I too was disappointed we didn't get more opportunity to speak - I was very much looking forward to a chance to actually sit with a few people over a meal and some drinks to chat.

    That's ok, though - I suspect we shall meet again under less hectic conditions...

    'twas a pleasure, sir...

    Posted by Derek Featherstone on

  13. [atmedia2005.php#comment14]

    That's ok, though - I suspect we shall meet again under less hectic conditions...

    That's true, I look forward to next time. I owe you two beers now *smile*

    Posted by Gez on

  14. [atmedia2005.php#comment15]

    Well I met none of you even though I was at the conference due to commitments in the evenings. Nevertheless it was an awesome two days and it was totally invigorating to meet so many like minded people. Just great to realise that I am building in the right way even if I feel I am doing so in isolation sometimes. I really need to make a point of keeping in the loop more!

    Posted by Paul Boag on

  15. [atmedia2005.php#comment16]

    Maybe we'll get the chance to meet next year, Paul.

    I totally agree with your comment about meeting like-minded people. It made a refreshing change from trying to justify web standards and accessibility, and talk to people who understand it, and see the potential.

    Posted by Gez on

  16. [atmedia2005.php#comment17]


    I often read posts on different blogs searching for more infomation and I get kinda confused when people share their impressions about some events. I feel like a lonely spider doing my job apart from the rest of the world. I wish I could visit some public events and meet interesting people in person, but I have no idea where to start from. I believe we make good sites and our team is skillful and knowledgeable. Do we need anything else to be able to take part in conferences or other interesting events? Look forward to your advice!


    Posted by Nat on

  17. [atmedia2005.php#comment18]

    Hi Nat,

    The SXSW Interactive Festival is open for registration, and will take place in Texas USA on the 10th - 14th of March, 2006. I've never been (because it's too far from England to be affordable), but it's a popular event that may be worth your while attending to meet up with like-minded people.

    Posted by Gez on

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