There was lots of material from a range of speakers who can count some cutting edge web apps (sites that do more than just deliver a series of pages) among their credentials. If pushed to pick a favourite, I’d probably go for Tom Coates and his passion for beautiful URLs (probably helped because his sense of humour seemed most akin to my own) but it was a close run thing and I’ve picked up ideas from all the sessions.
One of the things I’ve appreciated about this conference was the fact that they’re not just talking but also embodying the ideas and concepts – people with a passion for their subject are always much more engaging! For example, the whole conference room was covered by free wi-fi access (although I haven’t got the tools to use that). Also, one of the web apps under discussion was put to good use – if you visit the semantically clear URL http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/futureofwebapps you can see a whole bunch of photos, many uploaded while the conference was still going on.
All of that may sound incredibly geeky but these kind of people are going to have an incredible influence on the world. Many of the projects being developed are “cool” but they’re also useful. The result is a web that is more and more about allowing people to move, share and connect information. It’s as complex as ever to build the applications but they’re making it easier and easier to interact on the web, strengthening existing social networks and spawning new ones.