Where do I start?
I could start by saying that dConstruct 2012 was one of the best days of my life. But let me back up a bit…
Here’s what I did last week:
- Sunday, September 2nd: The amazing PixelPyros at Jubilee Square with Seb, followed by The Geekest Link pub quiz at The Caroline of Brunswick.
- Monday, September 3rd to Wednesday, September 5th: non-stop Reasons To Be Creative.
- Thursday, September 6th: Improving Reality with the brilliant Warren Ellis followed by Brighton SF, which exceeded my wildest expectations.
- Friday, September 7th: dConstruct. Indescribably brilliant.
- Saturday, September 8th: Mini Maker Faire, a fantastic collection of hackers and hardware in one place.
- Sunday, September 9th: IndieWebCamp UK round at The Skiff with some of the smartest people I know.
That was just one week in the Brighton Digital Festival! And the weather was perfect the whole time—glorious sunshine.
I was sitting outside with Christopher Priest (I told him how much I liked Inverted World) and Joanne McNeil when the Brighton SF authors showed up, met one another, and started chatting. That’s when I knew everything was going to be fine.
The event was so good. Each of the authors were magnificently charismatic and captivating, the readings were absolutely enthralling, and I end up thoroughly enjoying myself.
Thank you for sending in questions for the authors. On the night, things were going so smoothly and time was flying by so fast, I actually didn’t get a chance to ask them …sorry.
It was a wonderful event and Drew very graciously agreed to record the audio so there’s going to be a podcast and a transcript available very soon. Watch this space.
When the day of dConstruct dawned, I was already in a good mood from Brighton SF. But nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.
I had the great honour and pleasure of introducing an amazing line-up of speakers. Seriously, every single speaker was absolutely superb. It was all killer, no filler.
Ben’s keynote set the scene perfectly. And boy, what a trooper! He really wasn’t a well chap, but with classic English stoicism and moustachioed stiff upper lip, he delivered the perfect opening for a day of playing with the future.
From there, it was just a non-stop delivery of brilliance from each speaker. After each talk, I kept using the words “awesome” and “mind-blowing”, but y’know what? They were awesome and mind-blowing!
And at the end …James Burke.
(this is the point at which I really needed to study the dreams/reality diagram because I was beginning to lose my grip on what was real)
What can I say? I was really hoping it would be as good as an episode of Connections but what I got was like an entire season of Connections condensed into 45 minutes of brain-bending rapid-fire brilliance. It was mind-blowing. It was awesome. It broke my brain in the best possible way.
When James finished and the day was done, I was quite overcome. I was just so …happy! I had the privilege of hosting the smartest, most entertaining people I know. And I’m not just talking about the speakers.
At the after-party—and on Twitter—attendees told me just how much they enjoyed dConstruct 2012. I felt very happy, very proud, and kind of vindicated—it was something of a risky line-up and tickets were selling slower than in previous years, but boy, oh boy, that line-up really delivered the goods on the day.
If you weren’t there …my commiserations. But here’s something that might serve as some consolation:
Thanks to Drew’s tireless work through the weekend, the audio from Friday’s conference is already online! Browse through the talks on the dConstruct archive or subscribe to a podcast of the talks on Huffduffer.
But you really had to be there.