@media Europe 2007 report

Two busy days of intensive schedule. A few very inspirational talks to fill your creative batteries and some encouraging sessions that simply confirm you’re on the right track. Rivers of nearly 700 people crawling inside the Business Design Centre in Islington, London – in for the presentations and out to breathe some fresh air, grab a bite or light a cigarette – that’s in short what to expect from the largest web conference in Europe.

Conference detail


Sessions were held in two tracks, so unfortunately one couldn’t catch up on everything.

I went to see more of the design-oriented talks, while Tomaš, our lead developer, was more interested in technical topics. Vanja (web.burza CEO) and Daniel (our personal paparazzo) visited a little bit of both.

The most inspiring presentation was Jon Hicks’ How to be a creative sponge, after which I couldn’t resist to photographing every single street sign and shop display on the way back to our appartment.

All other sessions were quite interesting, although not revolutionary. We were happy to get the confirmation that we were already following advices given as “best practice”, with one little exception – the eye-opening session High Performance Web Pages by Nate Koechley. At the conference, Nate offered 12 rules for speeding up your pages, but added two missing rules later on in his slides, which can be downloaded from his site.

Special thanks goes to Malarkey for mentioning Croatian design a few times in his presentation Royale with Cheese (slides can be found at his pages, under the events, right-hand column).

People met

Quite oddish, we mostly mingled with Croatian people while we were in London!

We met Danijela Nađ, the head of design at Croatian T-Portal. T-Portal is one of the top five most visited web sites in Croatia, and despite the fact that it’s under the roof of the local T-Com branch (the site is made with frames!), it’s nice to see that the guys behind it care about the standards and are trying to make it better. Baby steps, I guess…

The social aspect of the conference (soundly named @media Europe) was a little bit disappointing. There was a number of “closed” groups (for instance, The Brit Pack) that we did not approach because interrupting “internal” conversations is considered rude back from where I come from. Funny or sad, we had to introduce ourselves to a certain group of individuals for the second time now, but I guess that’s the way it goes when someone is a celebrity and you’re not…

Back in Februray at FOWA, the conference host Ryan Carson and his team made an extra effort it this area, which resulted in boosting a number of everyone’s industry connections. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that the crew behind @media did everything to make the conference as successful as possible. After all – 700 attendees is not easy to handle. (Note to self: visit smaller conferences.)

Despite my ramblings not everything was so dark – we had a few nice little chats with Mr. Joe Clark (he is Canadian, so no wonder), whom we hopefully taught a few lessons about Croatian recent history, even though the man is a walking encyclopedia and you can hardly impress him… Joe briefly introduced me to Richard Ishida, the Internationalization Activity Lead at the W3C, who was quite a pleasant company, too.

The highlight of the trip was finally meeting Rade Brujiæ (a.k.a. Medo), a long time online friend who was born and lives in London. Medo works for Kingston University London as a web designer/developer in a small, but dedicated web team which is behind some of the great Kingston University subdomains, like the recent International Conference: Excellence in Concrete Construction – through Innovation

Anyway, Medo was our guide most of the time and thanks to him we spent three nice days hanging out in London’s restaurants and pubs. Hope to see you soon in Zagreb, buddy!

Off conference activities

Conference detail

We had a chance to take a walk around the central London, do some stunts at Traffalgar square and to visit the (unmarked) Abercrombie & Fitch store (where we almost left our life savings). All the cutest chicks work there, so if you are a tourist from Croatia wondering about the lack of cute British ladies on the streets of UK’s capital – the answer is: cuties have to work, too!


Podcasts and presenatations from @media 2007. are available for download.

Marko Dugonjić is a designer specialized in user experience design, web typography and web standards. He runs a nanoscale user interface studio Creative Nights and organizes FFWD.PRO, a micro-conference and workshops for web professionals.

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