Thought I would quickly give a round up of events I have been attending, speaking etc as well as where to catch me in the next month or so!
Think Visibility is a conference unlike any other its informal style but high calibre speaker list plus low price makes it a real winner doubled with it being in Leeds and not London its no wonder its so popular. This time around I had a slightly larger role over 2 days rather then just the day itself and while I was feeling under the weather it was unrelated to the conference.
I really wish I could have seen all the talks, and hopefully will when the DVD comes out (barring a couple) but the two that I did get to see bits from which really stood out were Fiona from Simple Usability eye tracking talk and Karyn from Tinderbox on Business bloging talk.
Behaviour Modelling Seminar
For Think Visibility attendees on the Friday before, you may well have seen me pushing this on the blog and twitter but the seminar went really well. It was very much an experiment to see if the format and content would work and the feedback was positive. Hopefully the attendees learnt a lot and indeed so did I.
The “Secret Panel”
Image Credit: sk8geek
Originally envisioned as QI meets the house party the lunch time panel was scaled down due to my other commitments and the previous days seminar. Instead I moderated a panel consisting of ChrisG, Al Carlton, Kieron “share my playlist” Donoghue and Dom Hodgson. The original brief was to make it fun but interesting and I think we did so with a range of audience questions.
My main talk of the day was on the value of links, not in terms of link building but actual metric values. Which covered some basic ideas for valuing individual links on various factors including some future where search engines could be working in particular through page segementation. While a few complaints were made that I declared relevancy to be irrelevant (apparently it was sensationalist and contreversial me I thought it was a rather obvious given) the talk did seem to go down well with people asking questions after.
Sadly due to feeling unwell I wasn’t really able to mingle much and went and hid in my room for most of Drink Visibility which from the tales sounds awesome. Overall the event was a success I think with people seeming to be enjoying and learning at the same time and hopefully will see everyone at think Visibility 3 in March 2010!
Charity Hack 09
So this weekend I went along to CharityHack a Hack Day sponsored by Paypal in their headquaters down in London and it was great. Now to be fair I could be saying that because I’m writing this while wearing a black warm fleece provided by them but I think I would be saying it regardless!
Photo by cyberdees – I managed to lose my Netbook Charger but thankfully a replacement was found
Sadly the turn out developers wise was a little underwealming but in many ways that was better because teams inter mingled and the atmosphere was great. The guys from Paypal kept everyone fed and watered, the office has what appears to be a seemingly endless vending machine which never ran out of coke.
While the name gives it away CharityHack was all about coming up with ideas and applications for charities and given Just Giving, Mission Fish and Paypal all released new APIs most hacks submitted were donation based ideas using one of the apis. Our hack which won the overall “grand” prize (a trip to Paypal Innovate) was a First Person Shooter game where users donate to the charity of the person who “frags” them. Run out of money the system kicks you off the server. It was quite addictive so much so that at 4am when the development team went to bed our “beta testers” will still providing valuable data. You can see the complete winning list on Paypals Lets Talk site.
Photo by cyberdees
The team consisted of Tim, Dom, Kevin, Leeky and Tom
The weekend was probably one of the smoothest running hackdays ever and kudos to John for managing to unblock a gazzilion ports on the network even if he did have to wake rather important execs up to do it. Likewise Alison spent the day running around and generally keeping us all fed. I’m looking forward to next years!