Highland Fling Flung

Yesterday I attended the eagerly anticipated Highland Fling (external link), the first Scottish web standards conference evar. Alan White (external link) did a great job of attracting top speakers, and they didn't disappoint on the day. Even Mark Norman Francis (external link) struggled manfully on despite obvious discomfort from what sounded like a savage throat infection - what a pro. I'm sure his description of Flickr as "criminally inadequate" can be blamed on medication.

All of the sessions featured high quality content expertly delivered, but my personal pick was brothercake's (external link) session, "What has Ajax done for us anyway", telling it like it is where Ajax is concerned. Jeremy Keith (external link) gets the intellectual award, for his historical allegory, and the explanation of memetics, the origin of the (apparently misnamed) concept of web "memes". And he mentioned Revish, which was nice.

The audience seemed to take a little while to warm-up - if it had been a comedy gig at least one of the acts would have uttered the words "tough crowd tonight" under their breath. That said I heard nothing but positive comments from the other delegates, which bodes well for the future of the web standards community (or industry) in Scotland, and the prospects for Highland Fling II next year. A fine evening of drink and food followed, although I have to confess to missing the last pints of the night (morning?) as I retired to my hotel to prepare for this afternoon's Refresh Edinburgh (external link).

Some slides:

Comments

Nice summary, Dan. I agree with the crowd taking a while to warm up. I expect it may have been the 1st event of its kind that many of us. Personally, I had no idea what to do, so just sat back and took notes.

Roll on HfII!

Excellent presentation at the Refresh today too, Dan. Thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're gonna implement openID into revish, I'll hold off and sign in then. For now, just reference.

Posted by: bgw at April 6, 2007 10:53 PM

Great to meet your acquaintance and sorry if I scared you with the "I work for a government agency"-type introduction ;)

Posted by: Cole at April 6, 2007 10:57 PM

@bgw: Yeah, having spoken to a few more folk tonight we reached the same conclusion - the quiet crowd was due to attentiveness and a reflection of how new it all was to a lot of people. The sessions were all pretty intense and demanded attention.

@Cole: Ha, I was thrown for a moment but in retrospect you don't look like a government agent (then again that might just be a front!). Good to meet you too, hope that cockerel's met his demise. ;-)

Posted by: Dan at April 7, 2007 2:26 AM

Agreed, was also at the Highland Fling - great conference. Not sure the quiet crowd was down to the "newness" of subject matter -i.e. I think the converted were already in attendance, but rather down to the strength of line up that demanded some respectful attention! :)

Posted by: Gavski at April 10, 2007 10:21 AM

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