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Sessions at Web Directions South 2010 on Thursday 14th October

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  • Designing Obama

    by Scott Thomas

    Join Scott Thomas, a lead web designer on President Obama’s electoral campaign, as he explains how to design online communities that resonate and motivate. All too often, discussions of analytics, click­through rates, and search engine optimization cloud the important truth that online campaigns and communities are for human beings. Come discover how to use superior design, authentic messaging, and valuable content to deliver resonant messages that connect with your audience through the noise of the Internet.

    At 9:10am to 10:15am, Thursday 14th October

  • Active web development

    by Divya Manian

    Web technologies are evolving at such a frenetic pace that it becomes almost mandatory to learn on your own. A lot of us still depend on other people to do this learning for us, and we tend to use their answers to solve our everyday problems. Inconsistent implementations, rapidly evolving specs, questionable performance impacts and maintenance implications mean we cannot always depend on others for answers but must involve ourselves actively in the process of developing specifications for new Web technologies. But how do we go about it? There are some simple rituals we can all do, which can have us be better-​​informed and also better inform the people and groups who are most directly involved in the development of new Web technologies.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Thursday 14th October

  • Active Web Development

    by Divya Manian

    Web tech­nologies are evolving at such a frenetic pace that it becomes almost mandatory to learn on your own. A lot of us still depend on other people to do this learning for us, and we tend to use their answers to solve our everyday problems. Incon­sistent imple­men­ta­tions, rapidly evolving specs, ques­tionable perfor­mance impacts and main­te­nance impli­ca­tions mean we cannot always depend on others for answers but must involve ourselves actively in the process of devel­oping spec­i­fi­ca­tions for new Web tech­nologies. But how do we go about it? There are some simple rituals we can all do, which can have us be better-​​informed and also better inform the people and groups who are most directly involved in the devel­opment of new Web tech­nologies.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Thursday 14th October

  • How digital affects books and publishing

    by Craig Mod

    We need to decouple the idea of ‘book’ from the mental image we carry around of ‘book.’ The innovation and benefit that digital brings to books and publishing lies less in how digital affects final artifacts, and more in how digital affects the systems leading up to and extending beyond those artifacts.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Thursday 14th October

  • Building a better web with HTML5

    by Ben Schwarz

    Devices have caught up; That is, our technology dreams from the mid 90’s have finally been realised. However since this time, HTML has lay dormant. We’ve been through a decade of tech wasteland. It’s time to change the status quo and take back the web.

    During my session we’ll look at where the future of HTML lies, including new structural elements. You’ll also grasp an introduction to associated technologies that have come into popularity with the steam of HTML5: SVG, Web Sockets, Web Workers, Geo-​​location and making applications useful offline.

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Design Thinking & Doing

    by David Gravina

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Thursday 14th October

    Coverage slide deck

  • RDFa everywhere

    by Knud Möller

    RDFa is a W3C standard for embedding semantic metadata directly into HTML web pages. While early work on RDFa dates back to 2004, it recently gathered a lot of uptake and traction through the adoption by big players such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. This has put the Semantic Web into the attention of a much wider public, setting RDFa out the be the technology to finally bring the Semantic Web into the mainstream. The language gained the status of a W3C recommendation in late 2009 as RDFa 1.0. Since then, the RDFa working group has been established to improve and extend the standard. Eventually, this work will result in a new version of the language, which is set to be released as RDFa 1.1 in 2011. In this talk, an overview will be given of the RDFa technology in general, followed by an outline of its latest developments, such as the RDFa API, or the definition of RDFa Core, which prepares the standard to extend its scope beyond the context of web pages, by allowing it to be included into any other markup language than just HTML.

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Doing Horrible Things to DNS (in the name of science)

    by Tom Hughes-Croucher

    At 1:10pm to 1:25pm, Thursday 14th October

    Coverage slide deck

  • Creating platforms for social innovation

    by Grant Young

    In this presentation Grant Young will examine how innovative organisations are using social technologies and design methods to create multi-​​dimensional value — both for the organisational and community — and will explore the themes that underpin the examples with a view to applying them in your context.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Creativity, design and interaction with HTML5 and CSS3

    by Dan Rubin

    HTML5 and CSS3 are the newest stars of the web: the cornerstones of progressive enhancement, the future of online video, the easiest way to build web applications for desktop and mobile devices, and a brilliant foundation upon which we can add complex interaction and animation layers with javascript and Canvas; happily — thanks to much-​​improved browser support — we can now use them. In this session, Dan Rubin will show you who’s already taking advantage of these latest additions to our toolbox, what this means for interface designers, and how you can bring the same techniques to your projects.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Enriching large data sets

    by Paul Hagon

    Libraries contain masses of beautifully structured data collected over many years. But these records may have their flaws and might now want to be used in ways, such as location based services, that weren’t imagined 30 years ago. How can we use existing API’s and web services to enrich this data to enable it to be used in a variety of ways. This data also needs to be exposed for others to use and build upon. With the recent release of the Government response to the Web 2.0 taskforce, how can institutions comply with these recommendations by providing their data in usable forms for the public. What’s involved in building an API into our resources and how can our data be given more meaning through semantic linkages like RDFa?

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Thursday 14th October

    Coverage audio clip

  • Widgets: Why should I care?

    by Daniel Davis

    When I was a young lad, I had the use of a computer for the Christmas holidays so I typed out my thank you letters and felt super cool. Unfortunately there was no printer. I wrote out by hand what was on the screen and got laughed at by my dad. Despite this, I felt I was ahead of the crowd and at the start of something new and exciting. Thirty years later, I feel we’re at the same stage with widgets – at the start of something new and exciting.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Thursday 14th October

    Coverage audio clip

  • Even Faster Web Sites

    by Steve Souders

    Web 2.0 is adding more and more content to our pages, especially features that are implemented in Ajax. But our web applications are evolving faster than the browsers that they run in. We don’t have to rely on or wait for the release of new browsers to make our web applications faster. In this session, Steve Souders discusses web performance best practices from his second book, Even Faster Web Sites. These time-​​saving techniques are used by the world’s most popular web sites to create a faster user experience, increase revenue, and reduce operating costs. Steve provides technical details about reducing the pain of JavaScript, as well as secrets for making your page load faster in emerging markets where network connectivity is a challenge.

    At 2:40pm to 3:35pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Keeping your content alive from cradle to grave

    by Donna Spencer

    By now we all know that the web is not a publication — that it’s a living, evolving thing. But a lot of content I see still appears to be ‘published’ once and then left alone.

    This talk is about what happens after content is published. We’ll talk about how to:

    • decide what to create in the first place (and what the best format is)
    • identify which content types need to be left alone, and which need to be looked after
    • revive existing content and give it a second wind
    • check your content is still working for its readers
    • put it to sleep when it is time
    • put a process in place so you can do this yourself and with distributed content creators

    We’ll also discuss how this varies depending on your industry, size of site and type of content.

    At 2:40pm to 3:35pm, Thursday 14th October

  • Keynote: Where are we going?

    Today’s web is being defined more than ever by buzzwords, catchphrases, fads and trends. Startups are being created for startups sake, standards are being hijacked by so-​​called “social media gurus,” and investors are piling on one after another looking to hop on the next big wave. And we, the designers, developers and innovators actually building the web, are left to wonder if we’re still in the drivers seat.

    During this brisk discussion we’ll separate fads from the future, debate native apps versus the mobile web, take an honest look at the hype behind geo-​​location, then take a step back to ask ourselves where the web—and we ourselves—are going. Hold on, it’s going to be a wild ride!

    At 4:15pm to 5:05pm, Thursday 14th October