WebVisions day 1

With WebVisions, code camp, and OSCON all around the same time, it’s tough deciding which one to go to. It always comes down to one since getting away from work two weeks in a row would be a challenge and burning a weekend at code camp wouldn’t fly at home.

I’ve never gone to OSCON and last year was my first year at WebVisions. Though slanted mostly towards designers, there’s still enough for developers, marketers, entrepreneurs, etc. and I enjoyed it a lot. Plus, even though I’m a developer primarily, my entrepreneurial leanings lead me to like the web/community/marketing discussions much more than discussions about the details of Ruby or open source software. Though there’s definitely crossover in both conferences.

Anyway, WebVisions was the choice again this year and today was the first day. I attended the “becoming a professional blogger” session in the morning which was pretty good (Jeremiah has some notes, Brian does too). Took the rest of the morning off because NetworthIQ was down and I was trying to get a release out for it at the same time (what do you think of the new look?). Plus, they added more workshops to the conference this year and there was only one set of sessions for the conference-only attendees which meant overcrowded rooms if you could get in at all.  Went to lunch with some fellow pdxwi guys.
For the afternoon, I went to the following sessions:

  • Let Go, Jump In: Community Marketing Strategies for Empowered Customers
    • Good session (notes here). Picked up some good tips for adding community features to sites. Was sad to miss the “Designing for social sharing” session though.
  • Ruby on Rails
    • Disappointing. I think I’m going to finally use rails on my next project, so was hoping to maybe pick some good stuff up. The llor.nu game looks pretty cool, but I didn’t learn anything in this session. The rails screencast teaches more IMO. That’ll teach me to go to a dev/tech session at a designer’s conference.
  • The AJAX Experience
    • (Alexei has notes) I think Dave and eBA (now Nitobi) are some of the strongest AJAX guys out there, their stuff is sweet. This session was focused on where/how to use AJAX as opposed to the technical details, along with the challenges and opportunities with it. Good session. Hope somebody took good notes, my laptop was dead.

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