Tags: dublin



XTech 2008

I enjoyed being back in Ireland. Jessica and I arrived into Dublin last Saturday but went straight from the airport to the train station so that we could spend the weekend in seeing family and friends. Said town was somewhat overwhelmed by the arrival of .

We were back in Dublin in plenty of time for the start of this year’s XTech conference. A good time was had by the übergeeks gathered in the salubrious surroundings of a newly-opened hotel in the heart of Ireland’s capital. This was my third XTech and it had much the same feel as the previous two I’ve attended: very techy but nice and cosy. In some ways it resembles a BarCamp (but with a heftier price tag). The talks are held in fairly intimate rooms that lend themselves well to participation and discussion.

I didn’t try to attend every talk — an impossible task anyway given the triple-track nature of the schedule — but I did my damndest to liveblog the talks I did attend:

  1. Opening Keynote by David Recordon.
  2. Using socially-authored content to provide new routes through existing content archives by Rob Lee.
  3. Browsers on the Move: The Year in Review, the Year Ahead by Michael Smith.
  4. Building the Real-time Web by Matt Biddulph, Seth Fitzsimmons, Rabble and Ralph Meijer.
  5. AMEE — The World’s Energy Meter by Gavin Starks.
  6. Ni Hao, Monde: Connecting Communities Across Cultural and Linguistic Boundaries by Simon Batistoni.
  7. Data Portability For Whom? by Gavin Bell.
  8. Why You Should Have a Web Site by Steven Pemberton.
  9. Orangutans, Oxen and Ogham Stones by Sean McGrath.

There were a number of emergent themes around social networks and portability. There was plenty of SemWeb stuff which finally seems to be moving from the theoretical to the practical. And once again the importance of XMPP, first impressed upon me at the Social Graph Foo Camp, was once again made clear.

Amongst all these high-level technical talks, I gave a presentation that was ludicrously simple and simplistic: Creating Portable Social Networks with Microformats. To be honest, I could have delivered the talk in 60 seconds: Add rel="me" to these links, add rel="contact" to those links, and that’s it. If you’re interested, you can download a PDF of the presentation including notes.

I made an attempt to record my talk using Audio Hijack. It seems to have worked okay so I’ll set about getting that audio file transcribed. The audio includes an unusual gap at around the four minute mark, just as I was hitting my stride. This was the point when Aral came into the room and very gravely told me that he needed me to come out into the corridor for an important message. I feared the worst. I was almost relieved when I was confronted by a group of geeks who proceeded to break into song. You can guess what the song was.

Ian caught the whole thing on video. Why does this keep happening to me?