Webbys Evening – ICA London

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UK Webbys ambassador Nic Roope and the guys at Poke London (and Deirdre and Jonathan) once again managed to curate an entertaining and interesting evening. The purpose of the evening is to remind the digital community that they have until December 19 to enter for this years Webby Awards. I have a complete set of pictures on flickr from the presentations.

This blog post is just to call out a few things that stuck in my mind or caught my eye.


Alfie Dennen talked about his work on digeoglyphs (a combination of leaving your mark on the landscape, mobile technology and geographic information systems) which dovetailed quite nicely into Matt Biddulph‘s presentation which advocated the combination of location and web data. Biddulph’s presentation echoed the standpoint that I used to hear from Tom Coates, Dan Catt and Simon Willison when they all worked in a small office a few floors down from me at Yahoo! on Shaftesbury Avenue. I particularly liked Matt’s comparison of Google Maps to ‘looking at a blue whale through a letter box’.

Sam Ball of leanmeanfightingmachine gave the audience a timely reminder that they should move their focus away from the change that the online environment brings and focus on the constant things that never change with a killer quote from advertising pioneer Bill Bernbach that I didn’t manage to note down.

Nik Roope’s introduction of Matt Smith (Viral Factory) that ‘Viral had become a by-word for a little bit shit’. I am keeping that one to use on client presentations.

Charles Arthur of The Guardian intentionally (I hope) demonstrated how not to use PowerPoint (in a display that would have provided ideal material for an Edward Tufte diatribe) whilst explaining The Guardian’s ‘Free Our Data‘ initiative which aims to provide free access to useful government data like Ordinance Survey maps so that UK entrepreneurs can do cool things: encouraging innovation and still leave the country financially better off than it would have been previously. He even has the figures to prove it.