I’ve just returned from a little European tour of Germany, Italy, and Romania, together with Jessica.
More specifically, I was at Smashing Conference in Freiburg, From The Front in Bologna, and SmartWeb in Bucharest. They were all great events, and it was particularly nice to attend events that focussed on their local web community. Oh, and they were all single-track events, which I really appreciate.
Now my brain is full of all the varied things that all the excellent speakers covered. I’ll need some time to digest it all.
I wasn’t just at those events to soak up knowledge; I also gave a talk at From The Front and SmartWeb—banging on about progressive enhancement again. In both cases, I was able to do that first thing and then I could relax and enjoy the rest of the talks.
I didn’t speak at Smashing Conf. Well, I did speak, but I wasn’t speaking …I mean, I was speaking, but I wasn’t speaking …I didn’t give a talk, is what I’m trying to say here.
Instead, I was MCing (and I’ve just realised that “Master of Ceremonies” sounds like a badass job title, so excuse me for a moment while I go and update the Clearleft website again). It sounds like a cushy number but it was actually a fair bit of work.
I’ve never MC’d an event that wasn’t my own before. It wasn’t just a matter of introducing each speaker—there was also a little chat with each speaker after their talk, so I had to make sure I was paying close attention to each and every talk, thinking of potential questions and conversation points. After two days of that, I was a bit knackered. But it was good fun. And I had the pleasure of introducing Dave as the mystery speaker—and it really was a surprise for most people.
It’s always funny to return to Freiburg, the town that Jessica and I called home for about six years back in the nineties. The town where I first started dabbling in this whole “world wide web” thing.
It was also fitting that our Italian sojourn was to Bologna, the city that Jessica and I have visited on many occassions …well, we are both foodies, after all.
But neither of us had ever been to Bucharest, so it was an absolute pleasure to go somewhere new, meet new people, and of course, try new foods and wines.
I’m incredibly lucky that my job allows me to travel like this. I get to go to interesting locations and get paid to geek out about web stuff that I’d be spouting on about anyway. I hope I never come to take that for granted.
My next speaking gig is much closer to home; the Generate conference in London tomorrow. After that, it’s straight off to the States for Artifact in Providence.
I’m going to extend that trip so I can get to Science Hack Day in San Francisco before bouncing back to the east coast for the final Brooklyn Beta. I’m looking forward to all those events, but alas, Jessica won’t be coming with me on this trip, so my enjoyment will be bittersweet—I’ll be missing her the whole time.
Thank goodness for Facetime.