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Future Of Web Apps London 2010

Future Of Web Apps London 2010

If you follow us on Twitter you may have seen our tweet stream go a little crazy last week. I was at Future of Web Apps - a 2 day conference for web developers (that’s me) featuring talks from the people behind some of the biggest companies on the web (Google, Opera, Mozilla, Flickr & TweetMeMe to name a few).

As the title implies, it’s all about web apps - web sites that deliver a product or service online and where the technologies behind them are going.

Here are a few highlights of the day.

The Future of HTML5, SVG and CSS3 (Brad Neuberg)

This talk was all about of future technologies of the web. I’ll try not to go all techie on this one, but basically the core technologies used to build websites are evolving. These progressions are allowing developers to build sites than run faster, look better and are more accessible. More features can be handled be your web browser without having to relay on third-party plugins (like flash). These features can include watching online video, easier to understand web pages for people using assistive technologies and amazing interactive animations in your web pages.

The 37signals way: A look into the design process of 37signals (Ryan Singer)

My favourite talk of the day, Ryan Singer is a product manager at 37 signals (the people behind Basecamp). This talk challenged the traditional wireframe, photoshop, code approach to the design process by almost turning whole thing on it’s head! The key points to take away were to focus on the business logic at the center first and get something running in the browser. Team members spend less time waiting on each other and your end design fits the content (rather than the other way round).

Location, Location, Location (Joe Stump)

There’s no doubt the future of web is mobile. The iPhone started the smart-phone revolution in 2007 and in the next couple of years mobile web browsing is expected to surpass browsing from the desktop. Whereas with the desktop web content was king, with the mobile web context is the new king. This is because the amount of data we’re producing is growing exponentially (side note: Joe claimed that every two days 2.6 million terabytes of data - which is the same amount we produced up until 2003). Without providing context to all the data we’re producing it’s useless.

Future of JavaScript and jQuery (John Resig)

The title is a little cryptic, but this talk introduced a very powerful tool for developing the latest generation of mobile web apps. The jQueryMobile project aims to provide a set of tools for creating great looking user interfaces across a plethora of mobile devices. The idea being developers can spend more time focused on implementing great features and less time debugging different devices. The ‘alpha’ release is due next week with the finished ‘1.0’ release in January.

Created on Monday October 18 2010 10:00 AM


Tags: technology web-development networking browser conference training fowa 2010


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Helping to shape Bristol City Council's website strategy

Helping to shape Bristol City Council's website strategy

I attended an event this morning, organised by Bristol Media in partnership with Bristol City Council, to discuss the plans for the complete redevelopment of the Bristol City Council website and content management system.

Primarily the event was organised as an informal discussion surrounding the future of the website and the council’s wider digital offer.

The need to consult with the local digital community on their plans at an early stage was highlighted by Peter Holt (BCC’s Service Director of Communications) who recited a story about the disaster that Birmingham City Council faced when they unveiled their new website to a group of external web developers who proceeded to pull it to pieces and then create something better in the space of 48 hours!

After an overview of some of the issues with the existing platform, the vision for the new site and the plans for some data portals for public access to information, we were split into three separate discussion groups.

The sessions were set up to discuss “What ideas do we have for quick wins, and how best can we create an open environment where the local digital community can contribute to the site’s longer-term utilisation and exploitation?”.

Although in the introduction BCC highlighted that they required feedback on things such as the navigation for the site; social media and an enhanced user experience. The feeling within our group was generally that we needed more information from BCC, about who the site is for; the objectives for the site; the results from their usability audits and their findings from Google Analytics, so that we can begin to discuss and define how things such as blogs and widgets will be beneficial.

There were also many questions raised about the ‘open environment’ and how this will work if the platform BCC decide to use isn’t Open Source?

Obviously for us, we want to continue working on sites such as Go Places Do Things and 1 Big Database, where members of the council can be creative and have (almost) free reign over the content on the site, but with far more integration and information sharing between other BCC digital projects, including the new website.

I feel that the event was a step in the right direction for the council and by bringing the digital community together for a common cause they will have access not only to the best digital agencies in Bristol but access to a wealth of ideas and experience. The key now is how they use this information to move forward!




Future of Web Design Tour 2009

We're back from the Future of Web Design (FOWD) 1 day conference in Bristol

Paul & Simon had an inspiring day learning about the latest web design trends and topics as well as meeting lots of other designers and developers in the Bristol area.

The conference covered topics including: the new features of HTML5 - the next generation of web design technology, how to improve the design process with your clients, how to create the perfect portfolio and 5 ways to introduce more fun into the work place.

The hosts even provided free beer after the event as well!

Created on Thursday September 10 2009 10:13 AM


Tags: networking bristol browser communication fowd conference


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King Bladud's pigs cause controversy in Bath


A hilarious plan to bring a herd of painted swine into Bath's city centre in the name of art has caused consternation among council officials.  Apparently it is felt by some that the pigs would be "inappropriate" and "damaging to the city's character".

The brightly coloured models have been designed to interest summer tourists, engage people with the history of Bath, and raise large sums of money for charity.  Over £20,000 has already been raised in sponsorship fees, which will have to be returned if the conservative elements of the council have their way.

I was lucky enough to see one of the pigs close-up at a BBWA networking event last week.  Beautifully decorated by one of the members, it will certainly stand out against the backdrop of Bath stone-clad town houses.  Joined by a herd of similarly decorated brethren, the sight may turn out to be in turns comical, bizarre and possibly pointless.  The idea gets my thumbs up though!

Source: Bath Chronicle

Picture Source: EcoSherpa

Read more about King Bladud

Created on Monday April 28 2008 12:17 PM


Tags: charity investment networking


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Social networks will receive 2008 biggest budget spend


A new report published this week by Forrester estimates that over $5 billion will be spent on social networks by 2013 in North America and Europe alone.

Coming above six other Web 2.0 categories - mashups, widgets, wikis, blogs, podcasting and RSS - social networks have been clearly identified as this years' must-have inclusion in any large companies' online budget.

Although this research hardly comes as a surprise, it will be interesting to see what will supersede the current trend.  Attendees of this week's "Geek Conference" in San Francisco will most likely get a taste for what's ahead on the new technology event horizon.

Source:  BBC Technology

Created on Friday April 25 2008 02:28 PM


Tags: networking technology web-development


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Web development and the NHS


Does the NHS deal with SMEs?
  How would you go about reaching the key decision makers within each Trust?  How does the overarching hierarchy work?  

These were some of the many questions buzzing around my head before attending last night's BEN event entitled:  Selling to the NHS.  With the Chief Exec of North Bristol NHS Trust heading up the panel of speakers, this was an opportunity too good to pass up.

Joining Sonia Mills were three entrepreneurial clinicians, who spoke about their personal experiences in selling their own products to the NHS, along with Maria Hassard, who currently heads up NHS Innovations South West.

The key points discussed were relevant to cracking any market:  do your research,  be aware of all vested interests and - above all - sell the solution to their problems instead of emphasising potentially irrelevant features of the product.

What was interesting to hear about was the change in NHS culture and practises.  Innovation and data protection are current buzz words used in an organisation historically known for its backward approach to technology and change.  The regional innovation hubs have appeared as a result of this, while more open relationships are being sought with private industry. 

Although the amount of red tape has not abated, nor the lines of communication become any easier to charter, the health service seems to be sending out a welcome message to SMEs.  Whether this invitation will stretch to independent web developers was a question I came away with last night.  That, and some chocolate cake from the buffet!

Created on Wednesday February 13 2008 01:53 PM


Tags: networking nhs technology web-development


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Schmoozing with the luvvies


While Lisa dined out on croissants and hearty English fare yesterday, I quaffed a few glasses of complimentary red with the cream of Bristol media society... dahling! 

It seemed that everyone had turned over the same leaf, with a collective decision made to be sociable and 'get out there'. 

Goldbrick House's champagne bar was heaving with an eclectic mixture of folk representing the entire spectrum of media.  I met cameramen, post production crews, an artistic dance director and a lovely illustrator amongst others, whose lengthy job titles prevent me from mentioning them here.  What they all had in common, however, was an open, friendly approach - cooperation rather than competition seemed to be the order of play here.

Bristol Media are doing a great job of providing a link between disparate arms of the well established media body here in the South West - I'm looking forward to the next event in February.

Created on Wednesday January 30 2008 03:42 PM


Tags: media networking new-year technology


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Networking and full English breakfast!

 

It's been a while since there was a post about what we've been up to, so I thought it was about time I added one.

Yesterday I went along to a Business West breakfast networking event, where I not only got to meet lots of interesting people and hear a talk about the new Bristol Heart Institute at the BRI, but I also had a scrummy full English breakfast washed down with a cup of tea.

However it all seemed slightly ironic, that there we were tucking into a big plate of cholesterol, not to mention the plate full of croissants available and a free complimentary chocolate bar, all while listening to a talk by the Heart of Bristol appeal on how to avoid a heart attack!!

My next venture out will be on the 6th February to a networking event with guest speaker Julia Hartley-Brewer, Assistant Editor and columnist for The Sunday Express.

It's women only though lads!

Created on Wednesday January 30 2008 01:11 PM


Tags: networking


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