Wooden spoons need not be awarded: not just because their recipients know precisely who they are, but because even they managed to stud their steaming piles with nuggets and gems that were worth picking out. The most fun at the conference, though, was to be had in socializing and playing with the web, real-time, through hall-wide wifi. A wiki, sadly neglected until the day itself, provided an easy way of meeting up with people. Indeed, this was the first conference I’d been to where the social networking was more fun than the talks. Given I hate networking—I’m reasonably mediocre at it, but it takes tremendous effort and I was glad to run off to the bus for some loner-time—that’s surprising in itself.
#futureofwebapps, the IRC channel for the day, was like the dark underbelly of the conference before. I’ve not witnessed such stark, acerbic honesty since leaving academia.