Things I heard and learnt at Webstock

Webstock. It's where your inner geek goes to lean how to make your outer geek shine. It's a conference to celebrate the wonders of the internet, design and creativity. It's a chance to reflect on and hone some of your l33t skills.

My fabulous employer kindly sent me to broaden my horizons but instead I found myself contemplating fruit salads, pelicans, the ethics of telling stories about apartheid and laughing at terrible sheep jokes from The Oatmeal himself.

You know how if you're at the movies or a speech given by the Prime Minister and you whip out your ipad to tweet about what you had at lunch and it's considered rude? At Webstock, the reverse is true.

I think it's considered rude if you are not on twitter heaping praise or spitting on the speaker via the internet! Check out Twitter's #webstock hashtag for what I mean.

As a first time Webstock attendee, I was very impressed with how well the conference has been run which is made so so by the obvious enthusiasm and commitment these good people have to making the NZ interwebs a happier place to surf.

Day One

Things I heard:
  • "Those that cannot imagine the future are doomed to fuck it up." Lauren Buekes (buy her book, Zoo City)
  • "People are slugs" Amy Hoy
  • "Google Analytics is a great tool, so listen while I teach you to suck eggs. Hey do you 850 experts in the tech industry who paid $1400 bucks to attend Webstock know what a KPI is?" Google Analytics dude who may have slightly misread his audience.
  • "The dinosaurs died out because they didn't have a space program." Jeremy Keith
Things I learnt:
  • Pelicans can see magnets or something. 
  • Think about the flow.
  • Iterative Design can lead to success. 
  • The internet loves cats. Incorporate them into your HTML coding. 
  • Web coding requires standards or we're fucked.
  • As good carpenters make good tools, good websites should make good artifacts
  • While you can always cash in now with an IPO, a well thought out deliberate growth strategy may personally reward you more. 
  • You'll hate yourself if you over sell the advertising on your site
  • You've probably made it if you can afford to no longer need to use an alarm clock.
  • You can channel The People's fear into money.
Day Two

Things I heard:

"I couldn't find a picture of him masterbating in public" - Gabriella Coleman
"Quality is the best business plan - make something that you love and think is beautiful and it will pay off"
"Chase the vision not the money" Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Things I learnt:
  • Do it
  • Drop it
  • Delegate it
  • Defer it
  • Don't put energy into things you don't want more of
  • Pixar makes awesome movies
  • If you can’t measure it - you can’t manage it
  • The dude from Slashdot wishes he was Mark Zuckerberg
  • You get a little 'jitter' when you use great design.
  • Quality is the best business plan, make something that you love and think is beautiful and it will pay off
  • Don't hire unless they will fit your company culture
Of course, I have a tendency to deliberately mishear people, overlook obvious points and reject legitmate concerns so the above notes may not be exactly a true indication of events. Here's the full notes of what Webstock punters heard or thought they heard has been collaboratively written as a Google Doc or twenty.

Enjoy with my sincere compliments. Not complements. I wouldn't want Oatmeal to correct me by way of merciless mockery.

2012 Wellington Sevens Costumes, Cosplay and Outfits


Sevens Costumes, Cosplay and Outfits 2012

The Wellington Sevens. Every year, rugby players turn up from around the world to play the shortened version of the game. Wellington sees it as an opportunity to dress up in costume and go crazier than the Famous Five or Secret Seven ever could. Here’s some photos from the 2012 event and you can see they are just as good as last year’s costumed capers. 

A Taste of Asia


Brides to be looking for handsome players?

That's gotta hurt

Oh dear.
Pusssssayyyyy Patrol

Pash and Dash!

Tasty Pavlova Girls

She's going to kill you, Dick: Poison Ivy Cosplay

Pop Corn girls about to pop out

Where's um... Wally?


Toy Soldiers on the lookout

What do I want in a video game?

the halo masterchief

What do I want in a video game?

I want to be let into the mystery.

I want heroes with a heart and I want heartless villains.

I want the ghost and the shells to scare the shit out of me.

I want time to let things settle in. I don’t want significant plot points to be rushed.

I want character vocals to be audible and clearly enunciated. I don’t what characters to be drowned out by musical effects.

I want DLC that doesn't suck. I don't want to have to download a million new maps a million times.

If I'm flying an X-Wing and I want to feel like I'm Luke Skywalker.

I want details. I want the facts. I want the easter eggs and those eggs to make sense. I don’t want to have to wrestle an alligator and then fly it to the moon to find that egg though.

I want to be in on the joke but I don’t want the joke to be a lame reference to some dude’s girlfriend who once worked at Hooters.

I want game play to be intuitive. I want multiple options for solving problems. I suck at maths, I don’t want to have to place 5 litres of water using a random selection of clay pots to advance.

I want to have a big fucking shinny gun. In fact guns, lots of guns.

I want to be able to move my character with a fluid grace but if I jump 10 feet down, I want to feel that thud in my boots as I hit the turf.

I want beer.

I want it all and I want it now.

I want my car to have red racing stripes down the side because everybody knows red racing strips makes cars go faster and look cooler.

I want my heroines to have realistic breast sizes. Hulking giant orbs that defiantly object to the laws of physics belong in the comics shouldn't be in my video games.

I want backstory and backbeat.

I want the payoff after playing a campaign for 15 hours.

I want clues to solve it.

I want my character's nightmare to be so real I'm afraid to play with the lights off. 

I’m a worldly person. It’s OK to reference real world history. It’s OK to twist history with fiction.

I want video games to challenge my mind. It’s brilliant when they substitute Andrew Ryan with Ayn Rand and leave me to figure out where I should draw the line.

I want Issac, Arthur, Frank Herbert and Dick all rolled into one.

What do you want?