At the most recent port80 meet, Myles talked about the lack of cutting edge presentations at WD06 and that while AJAX, APIs and microformats presentations where good, he was already using them on a regular basis and was hoping for something new and exciting.
Which got thinking about what I got from WD06 and was it better to gain knowledge or be inspired about a subject. Easy, inspiration is far more important to me, if I am inspired I usually will go quickly and acquire extra knowledge from where ever I can, even if it means a lot of experimenting on my behalf. Knowledge is good, but being inspired to learn more about a subject is better.
The presentations that inspired me most at WD06, were not on topics I knew and care about, Derek’s workshop on accessibility improved my knowledge, but did not inspire me, unlike his presentation last year. Or even subjects I had limited knowledge and I knew I needed to learn more about, Jeremy’s workshop gave me the confidence to handle DOM scripting and AJAX. The results of Thomas and Donna’s IA presentations, was that I surprised myself with my level of understanding of IA and the knowledge I already had combined with what I learnt gave me the confidence to go to OZIA without the fear of being overwhelmed.
The inspiration came from unlikely sources, topics that I usually only pay lip service to. Kelly’s iterative app presentation really hit home, with a major project I have to manage coming up, everything just made sense, I will be applying what I learnt and chasing up all the links that Kelly gave during her presentation. Andy’s presentation on inspired design just got me thinking, and that is a dangerous thing, expect a serious blog realignment soon and some sort of electronic scrapbook.
As for Myles, Derek’s presentations on accessibility did get him thinking and has sparked his interest in accessibility.
You find inspiration in the most surprising places.