Impressions from @media 2005

Well, it’s over. There will be plenty of posts similar to this one from people who were fortunate enough to go to @media 2005 in London this week. Still, I really want to sum up my impressions while it’s still fresh in my head.

I think the conference was an incredible success. Yes, there were a couple of things that could have been better. The venue needs like 100 more toilets than it currently has in order to accomodate such a large number of people. And lunch, well it could be that lunching habits differ in the UK and Sweden, but over here we normally use knives and forks when we eat. And can anyone tell me if you can get real coffee anywhere in London? Oh, more water next time. Water water water.

The presentations were all great. Really, really great. If I had to pick one of them (I don’t, but I will) it would be Andy Clarke’s “Anatomy of a Mouse”. It didn’t have a lot to do with mice, but it was incredibly entertaining. Of course, Jeffrey Zeldman and Joe Clark also made me laugh. As did Jeremy Keith. And most of the other presenters.

And entertaining is just the word to describe most of the presentations. More so than educational. Don’t get me wrong! The presentations were excellent and very educational. It’s just that I think the bar could have been raised quite a bit, considering the audience. I can’t really say I learned a whole lot of new things. Some interesting thoughts on accessibility were brought up though, and I’ll try to expand a bit on those later.

At the beginning of day two I was taken completely by surprise when Douglas Bowman started his “Tactical Manoeuvres” presentation by naming a few “Stars among us”, and I saw my name and screenshot of this site on the screen. Wow! Thanks Doug – that meant a lot to me.

What I enjoyed most was the people. There’s got to be something in the web standards and accessibility juice that makes people friendly and easy-going. What an excellent bunch of nice people I was lucky enough to meet and party with. I’m really sorry if I’m forgetting someone – my memory tends to get a bit messed up after a few beers:

Patrick Griffiths, Douglas Bowman, Jeremy Keith, Richard Rutter, Simon Collison (thanks for the beer), Andy Budd, Andy Clarke, Molly E. Holzschlag, Veerle Pieters (thanks a lot for lending me some money), Gez Lemon, Joe Clark, Derek Featherstone (thanks for the beer), Jon Hicks (thanks for the beer), Peter-Paul Koch, Patrick H. Lauke, Denis Radenkovic, Christian Heilmann, Faruk Ateş, Andy Hume, Ian Fenn, Mark Boulton, Mike Davies, Paul Haine and a whole lot of other people whose names I can’t remember. Please forgive me, and remind me if we said hello and I did not include you here! Guess I finally have a reason to start using XFN. I also need to make room for a longer blogroll.

Huge thanks to Patrick Griffiths for organising the whole thing. I’m really looking forward to @media 2006.

The speakers’ notes are beginning to come online, and I’ll post links to them here as they show up (or I find them by myself):

I wrote in the comments here that I was going to upload some photos. I still may do that, but I’ll need to get some kind of photo gallery set up first. If you’re looking for photos now, many of the people I’ve linked to here have posted theirs. Happy hunting. A tip: search Flickr for atmedia2005 or atmedia.

Update: My @media photos are now online. I had never used Flickr before, so I decided to take this opportunity to set up an account.

Posted on June 11, 2005 in Accessibility, Web Standards


  1. It was great! Great to meet you, great conference, and so funny that I walked into the hotel exactly when you guys were at the reception! All three of us had Going to @media-posts in our blogs, we were in the same hotel and we meet like that. Awesome :)

    Imagine my surprise when Douglas first picked out my site that morning! I felt so very, very honored, to be listed along with PPK, Veerle and yourself!

  2. Seems to have been a nice event.. You lucky man! :-)

  3. I’ve finally met the man who is on a role lately ;-) I really enjoyed talking to you and your girlfriend. I was surprised that we have so much in common. About the toilets, that was indeed funny for a woman to see the long queue on the men’s side for a change :-) Glad I could help you out with the money, my pleasure. See you at SXSW 2006 … as a speaker … (too) ? :-D Anyway you got my vote :-)

  4. Hi Roger - really great to have finally met you. You’re very welcome for the beer - it’s the least I could do. Looking forward to talking with you again…

  5. Really nice to meet you mate. Shame there wasn’t more time to chat.

  6. Alright!, here a south american guy envious of not having the monetary possibility to go to these events.

    Roger: us, your fans wants to see photos please!

  7. Ahh man, sounds like I missed one hell of an event. Maybe next year there’ll be price reductions for juniors :) Ahwell, I’ll just have to check out all the photos which’ll work there way onto flickr.

  8. June 11, 2005 by Arnold Bocklin

    can anyone tell me if you can get real coffee anywhere in London

    Oh course. Highest density of Starbucks on the planet…

  9. Yeah, just go into any Starbucks - there’s bound to be someone there who knows where you can get real coffee. I suggest a Pret a Manager, or a Costa. Starbucks is fine if you like your coffee tasting of burnt rubber.

    Aaanyway, I think you’re right in saying that the bar could have been raised, but as this was the first event of this kind in the UK it may have been hard to guage what level people were actually at. Something I’d like to see next time around is some sort of parallel session, where ‘advanced’ sessions are running alongside ‘basic’ sessions, to allow people to pick and choose better. Or something like that, anyway.

  10. Yeah… really nice to have met you Roger, and glad you enjoyed your time in London. See you again some day I hope, mate. - and we can actually talk for more than 2 minutes. ;)

  11. Roger - glad I finally got to meet you, even if it was by throwing a screenshot of your site up on the screen to get you to stand up in the audience.

    Wish we had a little more time to talk, but so it goes at a short conference. Hopefully our paths will cross again sometime soon.

  12. June 12, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Faruk: Yeah I was sitting in the lobby having a “beer” (Stella Artois isn’t what I call beer but it was all they had) when I saw Veerle talking to the guy in the reception for a long time, and it looked like there was some kind of problem (which there was). I thought maybe I could help, so I went and introduced myself. And then you showed up. So it was quite random ;-)

    Veerle: We’ll see what happens. Getting more Europeans to SXSW would be great I think :-)

    Derek, Andy B, Andy H, Doug: Yep, there was definitely not enough time to talk to people properly. Guess I should have stayed for another day or two.

    Arnold: My impression of Starbucks is that their coffee is wishy-washy junk.

    paul: Ah. Good to know that all is not lost. I was really grumpy this afternoon before I got home and could make myself a cup of proper coffee.

    I realise that judging the level of the discussions at @media was very difficult, and I don’t really have a problem with that. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was. But next year… ;-)

    Doug: Hehe, great trick though - it worked pretty well. Nice dancing in the Novotel bar btw ;-)

    juque, garrett: I’ll be posting some photos here, probably tomorrow.

  13. Great to finally meet. Here’s to all this happening again…soon. Oh, and the beer - any time (although naturally you now owe me a pint).

  14. Roger, Starbucks coffee is indeed junk. They have an excellent alternative though: mocha frappuccino. Get one with extra whipped cream.

    Best. Invention. Ever!

  15. it was great to meet you in person, although i do have to apologise for not really knowing what to talk to you about other than bore you to sleep with my rant about analogue canon SLRs ;)

  16. Roger, it was fantastic to meet you and connect your blog to a live human. Thanks for all you do and here’s to future fun and events.

    Always, M

  17. It was good to meet you/bump into you in lifts etc. I was the one who asked for your autograph, apparently being the first one to do so!

    Hopefully next year you will be a speaker.

  18. Coffee - Borough market, which is just behind London Bridge station. The best coffee in London, bar none.

    And you don’t have to give money to Starbucks then either.

  19. Roger, it was so good to meet you in person. It’s always great to put a face to a blog.

    I only wish we had had more time. Two days seems too short, especially when they’re packed full of so many events.

    I’m already looking forward to @media 2006.

  20. June 13, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Colly: Hope I get a chance to buy you a beer real soon then.

    Faruk: Eew. That doesn’t sound like my idea of good coffee. I prefer a strong caffè maracchino (a.k.a. half-and-half or mezzo): approximately 60% espresso and 40% hot milk.

    Patrick: Hah. You definitely had the coolest camera. Talk about old-skool ;-)

    Molly: Likewise!

    Emma: Ah. I thought I’d seen you around, and now I remember bumping into you in the lift! And yes, nobody has ever asked for my autograph before. Wonder if it will ever happen again ;-) Me speaking next year? Why not. It would be great fun (and an honour).

    Ben: Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind when I visit London again!

    Jeremy: Yeah, faces (and voices) are important, and two days was not enough.

  21. Roger, it’s not coffee! It’s a completely new thing, it’s got caffeine but it’s so not coffee. It’s cold! :)

    Basically, a frappuccino is whipped cream, ice cream, flavor, caffeine, chocolate chips, and all of that mixed together.

    It’s cold, it’s tasty, and again, it’s not coffee!

  22. I agree with Ben - Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market does the best coffee I have ever tasted. (with the possible exception of a cup I once had in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island). So now you’ll know for next time. :D

  23. Hi Roger,

    I met you very briefly sitting down at lunch on day two. I think I was stuffing my face with frozen-banana-cake-thing at the time, though. It’s nice to put another face & voice to a blog, though.

    I think some proper coffee-excursion time will have to go on the schedule for next year.

  24. I managed to scare you with “Is the hotel comfier than my floor” at the bar on day 2. I thought you handled it quite well, most people would have got up and run away.

    Happens quite a lot actually….

  25. I enjoyed the event too, but no-one has mentioned the lack of internet connection (at least not one people could connect to).

  26. June 14, 2005 by Nick

    can anyone tell me if you can get real coffee anywhere in London”

    love the site, thought I may finally be able to offer help to someone thats often helped me

    drop along there, go downstairs and its like being treated to coffee in an Englishmans kitchen. Plus don’t forget the quaint free biscuits.

  27. Hi Roger

    I didn’t get to bump into you at the event (although I may quite literally have bumped into you at the pub!) which is a shame.

    I wanted to respond to one of your comments about the level of the presentations, about them being too low. I realised that this was the case as the day progressed, but unfortunately everyone had already prepared their presentations some time before. Some minor changes were made on the day, but it was difficult to change too much, because of time and also because people attending had paid to see the advertised programme. Or so we thought! ;-)

    I definitely felt like I was telling a lot of people things they already knew, but not necessarily everyone. Difficult. Anyway, maybe we’ll meet up at some other conference, Roger?

  28. June 16, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Ian: Yeah I never got the chance to say hi to you. So many people, so little time.

    I realise that the presentations were prepared well before the conference and that it’s difficult to make quick changes. Like I said, the presentations were still very good, and for me the social part of the conference was more important anyway.

    And yep, we’ll have to meet up at the next event. Web Essentials maybe? Just kidding - it’s too far away for me ;-)

  29. June 23, 2005 by Tomas Caspers

    Too bad we didn’t get to talk, you were always sitting at the other end of the table when we had dinner together. Well, there’s always a next year.

  30. June 23, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Tomas: We did meet very briefly, didn’t we? I didn’t realise who you are ;-)

  31. Roger, I was the one who fell on his knees to thank Hicks for his BBEdit-Icons :-)

Comments are disabled for this post (read why), but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact me.