At the Future of Web Apps Autumn 07

So, I’m at the Future of Web Apps, and already feeling grumpy. The venue, ExCeL, is in London’s Docklands, miles away from nowhere, and the conference opened registration at 8am, and the talks started at 9am. It took me over an hour and a quarter to get here, and I’m not a morning person.

Yet again, there are nowhere near enough power outlets for the number of laptops here. They have only a few power strips at the back of the room, and they just very cheekily said “don’t hog the power”, but if they had more power strips, then it wouldn’t be a problem. I mean, who’d’ve thunk it – a tech conference with lots of people wanting power. Gah.

ExCeL is a big, big box of a venue, with a lot of sound bleeding through from stage to stage, and from the expo area. There are, after all, only curtains between them. That’s not so bad when you’re sitting at the front, but at the back in the power outlet ghetto, it’s a bit harder to filter out the extraneous noise because you can hardly see them, so you can’t focus on the person and use that to keep your ears trained in the right direction.

The seats are insanely close together, at least in the Entrepreneur stage. Both talks so far here have ended up having people sitting on the floor and standing – just not enough room for everyone. Given the size of the expo floor, I’d say that they haven’t really planned this quite so well as they could have.

I’m still really miffed that all of the schedule information has totally the wrong talk title for my talk. I never even discussed talking about “The Future of Blogging” with anyone, so I have no idea where it came from! It concerns me a bit that people are going to not come, because the future of blogging is a way lame subject, and that people who would have come to hear about adoption in enterprise aren’t going to know that’s what I’m talking about.

It’s a shame. FOWA’s grown a lot, which is great, but I’m not sure that this experience is anywhere near as nice as the first FOWA I went to, which was one day, one track, and just really high-quality talks from people I respected. Now it’s two days, two tracks, lots of short talks, in a hideous venue. At least some of the speakers are still high-quality, and that might just redeem it, but I’ve heard the phrase “jumped the shark” already this morning.

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