Kiwi Foo Camp

17 Feb 2008

My sunburned feet have healed, so that means it's time to recap my trip to New Zealand for the second annual Kiwi Foo Camp.

Kiwi Foo Campers

My trip started in Auckland Friday morning, where I met David Slack (a fellow Foo), who was kind enough to give me a ride to Warkworth. We got ourselves registered and started mingling with the others. Following tradition, we all introduced ourselves and then began creating the schedule.

User experience was a popular topic this year, which suited me just fine. (The intersection of user experience and security is a new passion of mine.) I was glad to note several enthusiasts, particularly Ross Howard, Tash Hall (you need a blog!), and Nigel Parker. I managed to convince the three of them to host a talk about user experience, and because Ross wasn't actually present for this discussion, Tash listed him as the host. (If you've ever volunteered someone else for karaoke, you understand.) I wound up hosting the talk, but I had a good topic, so it worked out. The ensuing discussion was one of my favorites of the weekend. I might turn some of my notes into another blog post on the subject.

Robert O'Callahan, Ross Howard, and Nigel Parker

One of the most interesting talks was scheduled by Ross but hosted by Robert O'Callahan and Nigel. (I guess we're all sneaky like that.) The topic was the IE 8 meta tag. (Robert works for Mozilla; Nigel works for Microsoft.) This was interesting, although I wasn't familiar with the controversy. You can read Robert's perspective for the full recap.

Justine Sanderson gave a talk about cognitive psychology, which was my favorite talk of the weekend. (I added her blog to my planet, and I plan to keep an eye on her bookmarks as well.) Last year, she spoke about faceted navigation, which I unfortunately missed, so I made sure not to miss her this time. Change blindness was the primary phenomenon she discussed, and she demonstrated it with some videos, including one from Derren Brown. (I love Mind Control.) She gave some additional links for further exploration:

Thomas Fuchs and Amy Hoy

Other interesting people from this year include:

I'm probably forgetting some people and conversations. Maybe I can blame sleep deprivation.

James McGlinn's Card

A huge thanks to James McGlinn for giving Allison and I a ride to the airport in his flashy BMW. (PHP developers might remember James from his PHP Advent Calendar post.) Check out his license plate.

Thanks especially to Nat and Jenine for giving me a place to stay and letting me spend a few extra days in New Zealand. Oh, and for hosting Kiwi Foo!

Several people stayed in New Zealand for Webstock, which sounds like it was an amazing conference. You might be interested in some of the notes and discussions surrounding that as well.