Webstock: Day Four

Webstock: Day Four


Work in progress, peeps - page under construction :) the videos are what they are.

Mike Brown welcoming us to Webstock 2011 conference


Webstock's video of Mike opening Webstock

Frank Chimero

Going from 'robot' to 'more human'. Frank's opening keynote was titled: The Digital Campfire - how to stay warm in here when baby, it's cold out there.

He said the word 'content' was a cold word - you wouldn't say The Catcher in the Rye is 200 pages of content, or that your girl friend is 80% water. Cold is about the head; warm is about the heart. We use stories to make sense of the world. Tell more stories - they teaches us to empathise - they resonate with us. You'll always have a good conversation sitting around a campfire with your friends.

Ask people to tell stories online by offering better questions. A bad question to ask is "About Me" it triggers an "I do this..." answer. A better question would be "When was the last time you changed your mind about something?"

"Forms are stories. Ask better questions."

Webstock's video of Frank's presentation

Michael Koziarski

Was Michael the only New Zealand presenter on the main stage at Webstock? He mentioned that while most of the speakers had taken international flights to come to the conference, all he had to do was board the Number One bus that morning to get there.

Apparently Michael has been a Ruby on Rails evangelist for many years pushing the barrow of coding beauty, programmer happiness and sustainable productivity. He said, whilst zooming through his usual presentation slide deck, that he no longer needs to talk about such things because they'd won - such things were now part of our thinking.

His talk turned to comparing IRL (in real life - cube farms, low budgets, expected failure, soul crushing bean counting Powerpointing management, bloated confused products) and Planet Webstock (Google, funky, puppies in the office, jeans and tshirt dress codes, innovating great ideas etc)

Asking if we could live there, 'What would Planet Webstock do?'

  • small teams - spending more time on things rather than communicating
  • hire the top talent - taking recruitment seriously
    • conducting multiple interviews
    • leave a job unfilled rather than hire a sub-optimal candidate
  • work with the best and most suitable technologies
  • iterate - ship something small, simple then make it better

"We won!"

Webstock's video of Micheal's presentation

Christine Perfetti

Ms Perfetti introduced a series of quick usability tests - explaining we can garner plenty of data by just watching our users without the costs and bulk of large testing environments.

She said we could start testing today by testing anywhere, suggesting using people at Webstock, in our local coffee shop, at tradeshows: crank up the website and watch how people use it.

"Communicate the main purpose of a page."

Webstock's video of Christine's presentation

Mark Pilgrim

The future of the web: where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?

Think about what the "thing" will be in five years from now.

"If you want to be the guy who does the thing, pick a thing and do that thing - then you're that guy."

history of html by mark pilgrim

Webstock's video of Mark's presentation

Jason Webley

Part of the musical flavour of this years Webstock, Jason talked about how he uses technology to be an independent musician - being his own booking agent, publicist, designer, videographer - using tools such as Twitter to connect with his audience.

He says the 'net points back to the real world and changes it. He's very focused on a personal, one-to-one contact with his audience and says there is no way he could do that without our current technologies and online apps.

"In the future everyone will be famous for 15 people."

Webstock's video of Jason's presentation

Steve Sounders

Wow - speed matters and there are stats to prove it. Web performance optimisation drives traffic, improves user experience, increases revenue and decreases cost. One second difference in loading content into a webpage really does matter - Mozilla's IE landing page sped up by 2.2 seconds increased downloads by 15%.

steve sounders presenting


"Lack of progressive rendering makes a site feel slow."

Webstock's video of Steve's presentation

Kristina Halvorson

OMG - I needed this talk so badly. After having undirected desires to corral the content on work's website, this presentation girded me to action. I bought her book and I'm now on a mission - everything is content and especially the text-based content needs to be introduced to the project cycle early, and then be regularly maintained FOREVER. It needs to be someone's responsibility - the idea of chucking it up online and forgetting about it is wrong. If there are words on your website that do not directly contributing to your site's goal, it should not be there.

Yes.. it put a rocket up my jumper and a weapon (Kristina's book) in my pocket. Absolute gold!

"Launch and leave it mentality has to go, content is a life cycle."

Webstock's' video of Kristina's presentation

John Gruber

Design is how it works (functional consistency) while Style is how it looks.

Uniformity versus individuality - even though something looks different, it's okay because people can still use it without being confused.

"Fashion never ends - brace your users 'things will change'."

Webstock's video of John's presentation

Doug Bowman

Mr Bowman urged us to add delight. He said we should be building moments of joy and satisfaction for our audience. These experiences are memorable and positive - delivering delight does three things: captures attention, increases engagement and creates a desire for more. People have a strong desire to return to a delightful place.

Six suggestions for bringing delight to our customers:

  1. exceed expectations
  2. deliver value early
  3. sweat the small details
  4. embrace serendipity
  5. package it nicely
  6. listen, respond and act

Be aware when we're not delighting. Monitor the airwaves to hear what customers are saying about what you're doing, what they want - and listen, respond and act.

"People have a strong desire to return to a delightful place."

Webstock's video of Doug's presentation

Amanda Palmer

"Free content breeds success which might not be immediately visible or measurable."

Webstock's video of Amanda's presentation