Saturday, January 29, 2005

Old News: A Decade of Webdesign

Old news in several ways.

It was last weekend that I attended the conference A Decade of Webdesign in my home-town Amsterdam. I experienced some great flashbacks!

I've been online since 1994, when I got my first email address from my university. I spent some time on internal discussion groups, then Usenet (now better known as Google Groups) and soon discovered hierarchy-based browsing systems like Veronica for Gopher sites. Shortly after that the world wide web became accessible through Mosaic on a black & white monitor. I started creating my first webpage and quickly adapted it when I realized it looked horrible on a color monitor. I also started with the first version of Boersma's Beer Page, a growing list of links to beer-related websites on the web. For a long time that page generated more hits than all other pages together at my first employer's website...

The conference covered, in theory, my full history with the web: 1994 - 2004. It quickly became apparent that some of the speakers had other definitions of the decade, but that suited their presentations best and nobody cried. The presenters covered all kinds of subjects, from technolgies such as (X)HTML, CSS and Flash, through modelling end users and their work, to how historic websites could be captured and stored in museums.

John Chris Jones reads aloud
Oh, and one of my heroes was there: John Chris Jones (author of the book Design Methods, a classic from 1970!) read from his digital diary. During the rest of the conference he was usually the first to comment on the latest presentation, always with humor, always with a smart comment.

Anyway, the conference blog has a good report of what happened.


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