This is the archive of version one, made in 2006, launched in 2007, and active until 2012. It’s archived to preserve the original design and its content that was referenced in multiple posts, books and galleries. There’s a holding page before the new site arrives.

/ log / 26th Sep, 2007 /

A Day and a Night of Bristol Geekery

The Watershed, Bristol

You might be surprised how much is going on in Bristol. Last night it was SkillSwap Relaunched and today I spent the morning at the UWE Web Developer Conference.

SkillSwap Relaunched

I landed at SkillSwap after playing Lego Mars Mission with the kids, giving Xen a bath and seeing them both to bed. So I was late arriving at the new and swanky Goldbrick House on Park Street (Note: Whoever stole the <h1> from their web site, please hand it in at the bar.) Many thanks to Siftware for the bottle of Gem to welcome me in the middle of the “musical chairs” session (as I named it,) where anyone can get involved in the discussion by taking one of the five seats. People come, people go, the discussion moves on swimmingly. It’s relaxed but dynamic. I liked, very much.

After that came Matt Jones’s talk. The only man I’ve seen yet to say something negative about the iPhone, have people laugh and feel obliged to join him in a drink at the same time. Hey, it’s all in the experience stack… somewhere. Nice work, Matt.

It was great to catch up (briefly) with future Borg member, Ian, meet Ed in the flesh as well as Gisela, and share a pint of cider after with Steve. So a good night was had by all. SkillSwap was fun. Come to the next one with me.

UWE Web Dev Conference

Today at The Watershed, the UWE Web Developer Conference saw Andy Budd give a sterling talk about UX. He hit all the right spots and gave us some great future reference material to rationalise UX for clients.

Dave Raggett’s opening talk on The Web of All Things was particularly fascinating. Some of it I got, some passed me by like a designer staring at UNIX (which I felt like.) The concept of ubiquitous computing leading to a paradigm shift in design from the desktop / laptop to multi–modal presentation seemed to fit somehow with Matt’s take on interfaces demanding too much attention, and the need to make tasks almost effortless (from the night before.) Not sure how yet, but it demands further research.

It was good to see Sam again and grab a chat on the most slouching sofa in Bristol with Alex. I’m only sorry I couldn’t stay around for the rest of the afternoon, especially to see our own Chris Garrett take part in a panel on working in the South West. Nevertheless, congratulations to Dan Dixon and everyone at UWE for putting on such a great event.

Regarding Parapets and Geek Togethers

It’s always amazing to me how events happening in other cities always seem to be on my radar, but big ’ol Bristol with its masses of technical and creative talent floats somewhere in the background.

For a long time I kept my head below the parapet in the Grow bubble. It was like a little island inside Bristol populated with a few old colleagues and techies. From the inside looking out (as it were) Bristol seemed fairly silent—not many social events around Web design, and pretty quiet all ’round.

About a month ago, I grabbed a coffee with Richard Caddick of CXPartners to talk about his company doing some UCD work as part of the design consulting I’d been asked to do on behalf of a client in the states. We got into a discussion about people, co–ops, events and Bristol. It adjourned to another day where I also met Joe Leech—both “diamond geezers ”—and started to be enthused by the idea of trying to lend my weight (physically vast, influentially small) to promote Bristol, fellow geeks and any of the events happening in the city. So that’s what I’ll try and do which this post is starting. If you have any ideas throw them my way and perhaps we can put old Brizzle on the map a little more, and along the way maybe make some new friends. Cool, eh?

P.S. In the spirit of Geek Togetherness, next Tuesday evening we’re hosting a few drinks and a bit of food for Chris on his first visit to Bristol before his workshop on web app security at FOWA. If you’d like to pop down and say hi, give me a shout.

Note to self: Marking up lots of vCards in posts needs a shortcut. Call in the Gibbins.


Browse More Articles


  1. 1. By Chris on 27th Sep ’07 at 07:00am

    'twas a shame you had to head off, you missed out on a great panel Jon. I was really looking forward to your question aswell! Spent all morning planning my answer and never got asked the question… ;)

  2. 2. By Laura Francis on 27th Sep ’07 at 14:12pm

    Glad you enjoyed what you saw of Bristol SkillSwap I expect there to be much more skillswapping goodness to come – monthly in fact – and lets not forget BarCampBristol coming up on 12th October.

  3. 3. By Elliot Jay Stocks on 30th Sep ’07 at 23:44pm

    Hey Jon, I came across your site via the link on Vitamin. Very nice indeed! I’m glad you enjoyed SkillSwap – it’s a shame we didn’t get to chat.

  4. Jon 陳’s profile 4. By Jon 陳 on 1st Oct ’07 at 00:18am

    Thanks Elliot! Much appreciated. There are more events in the pipeline—hopefully we'll get chance to say hi at one of them.

  5. 5. By dotjay on 8th Oct ’07 at 09:11am

    I hope to make it up to a few more Bristol events – it’s about the nearest place to me where things are actually happening, and that’s over an hour away!

    hCard template button has been added to your entry editor, as requested, m'lord! :)

Comments for this entry are closed.

Lately in the Log

  1. Anakin Tue, 26th Jun 2012 {4}

    I’m pleased to be able to say that Analog is joining forces with…

  2. We, Who Are Web Designers Mon, 19th Sep 2011 {66}

    In 2003, my wife Lowri and I went to a christening party. We were friends…

  3. Ampersand, the Aftermath Wed, 22nd Jun 2011 {3}

    The first Ampersand web typography conference took place in Brighton last…

  4. Design Festival, The Setup, and Upcoming Posts Mon, 20th Jun 2011 {0}

    Wow, this has been a busy period. I’m just back from the Ampersand…

  5. Web Design as Narrative Architecture Wed, 30th Mar 2011 {12}

    Stories are everywhere. When they don’t exist we make up the…

  6. Ides of March Tue, 15th Mar 2011 {4}

    My friend and colleague, Chris, has shared a spiffing idea, the Ideas of…

Remarks from the log

  1. By pixelangry in We, Who Are Web Designers:

    Unfortunately, here in Italy, the figure of the web designer is seen as a figure who plays a nerd on the computer,…

  2. By George in Copywriting, Experience Design, Daleks & Julio:


  3. By Martins in Typeface != Font:

    Great post Jon, I stumbled across it by chance on Google..!!

  4. By DarkStar in Smoothing out the Creases in Web Fonts:

    I agree with Leicester that table is great!

  5. By Martin Varesio in Ampersand, the Aftermath:

    His dry, droll, richly-flavoured delivery was a humorous counterpoint to some controversial asides…

  6. By Steve Blakeborough in Display Type & the Raster Wars:

    Hi Jon, In Elliot’s recent and informative article he suggested you might be bullied…

Live the questions and one day grow into the answers.