Meeting the makers

I just returned home from Meet The Makers, a one-day gig here in San Francisco for (in the words of the organizers) creative people in a technical world. The small crowd included creative/design directors, web/interaction designers, IAs, founders, CTOs, Principals, and CEOs. Lots of people who make the Web happen.

I was honored to be on a panel discussing “Web Standards and the Future of the Web” with Tantek Çelik of IE/Mac and CSS Box Model Hack fame, and Arun Ranganathan of Netscape. The panel flew by way too fast. Our host, Brian, didn’t even get to half of the questions he showed us ahead of time. Many people came up afterwards to offer congrats and to ask questions specific to their own challenges. Later in the afternoon, several people mentioned they would have liked our panel to go for another hour or two. I found it very natural to talk about the standards I’ve been living and breathing for the last six months. It was encouraging to be in a room full of people who think the Wired News redesign is trailblazing for future standards-based design.

The day concluded with two interviews. The first was with a good friend and former colleague, Jeff Veen. The other with Paul Whitmore from E*Trade. Ironically, after so many years of working with Jeff, I had never heard or seen him speak before today. He and I joked ahead of time that I was sitting too close to the front for his own comfort, and that he’d make fun of me if I didn’t move. That didn’t happen, but I did enjoy hearing him speak for the first time — even if it was mostly in response to interview-type questions posed by the hosts and the audience. Thanks to our hosts and organizers, Brian Alvey and Jason McCabe Calacanis, for pulling this event together.

Note: MTM returns to it’s original NYC home in two weeks, where the Web Standards panel will include Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer. Wish I could be there. The VIP guest list appears to be full already, but interested web developers can still get names added to a waiting list in case of openings.