Reading Time: 3 minutes

Conferences always inspire me. I attended Aral Balkan’s one day [Update Conference 2011]( in a very blustery Brighton this week and came away with lots of ideas buzzing around my head. Ideas ranging wildly from music to video to game programming on iOS.

As well as a diverse range of interesting short and punchy presentations, I loved the creative mixture of music; including an excellent [live video]( mix by Ithaca Audio, a very inventive live Xbox Connect music performance and 100-Robots performing with musical iOS app-based audience participation.

The rest of the sessions left me thinking about the following:

Matt Gemmell

Left me with an understanding of just how many things designers and developers can do badly to piss off their users.  Most of it seems so obvious, but it still happens.

Jeremy Keith

Left me with whimsical memories of Encarta on CDRom, wondering WHY we put stuff on the web and wondering if I have ever done anything to contribute to humanity.  I’m not convinced I have.  Not yet, anyway, although I’m not entirely sure I care.  He left me wondering about the reasons that apps have been jumped on by so many companies and developers, and what the driving force is behind it all.

Seb Lee-Delisle

Left me feeling very inspired to look at Corona for creating iOS/Android games and apps, and reminisce on programming in Basic.  He left me wondering about the possibilities of tools such as Corona and looking at [his website]( since has inspired me to look into lots more ideas.

Sarah Parmenter

Left me with renewed determination to never use Lorem Ipsum again,

Relly Annette-Baker

Left me wondering why CERN has 18,000 different websites,  and that I should break everything down ‘bird by bird’.   But mostly that lots of apps are made the wrong way round;  1)  lets make an app!!   2) Hmmmm   3) Profit!!   We should be focusing on content first, the idea is key and not the delivery method or potential reward.

Anna Debenham

Left me worrying a little about what goes on in my own children’s schools, what they are taught about the web, how they are monitored, what they are allowed to see, and what their understanding of the internet is.  I have a suspicion they think the Internet is mainly YouTube (as they’re too young for Facebook!)

Joachim Bondo

Left me wondering who and why anyone would spend 300,000 Euros on a watch (investment??) that the beauty can be on the inside, in the code – the mechanism you never get to see, and that someone who spends all day filing a single cog to atomic perfection would probably rather enjoy the relative immediacy of debugging CSS.

Cenydd Bowles

Left me wondering why we tolerate the insulting way most advertising deals with us and a sudden realisation that I really, really need a toaster with a ‘little bit more’ button on it.   He made me wonder about humanising technology, putting the humanity back into design, and putting design first.  The possibility of an mp3 player that suggests we ‘LISTEN TO SOMETHING NEW!’ or technology that ‘knows’ us and tries to understand, empathise and push us is very intriguing.  He left me wondering about intangibles such as love for Twitter, and that when everyone else is Zigging, it’s probably a good idea to start Zagging.

Geek Ninja Battles

Left me thinking again about the Native vs Web debate with some new food for thought. If I could only have a single app, I can’t deny that it would have to be the browser. But only If I always had a fast, reliable and free connection, home and especially abroad.

Aral Balkan

Left me convinced that he really wants to be on stage more than he wants to sit in cafes coding –  I think he could probably have done the whole thing himself if he’d wanted.  With his charm and enthusiasm he’s like the John Barrowman of the web world, only with less bouncy hair. He produced an excellent conference day, and it was very clear he has shed blood, sweat and tears putting it all together. I just hope he hasn’t set a precedent for anyone else to sing show tunes at the start of their conference.

Best moments of the day

Ronald Wayne being given an iPad 2 after all the talk of him never owning an Apple product.  He was a great guy and really interesting to hear his story.  Was quite touching to see him presented with this (although a small dark part of myself did wonder if he had a tiny inner voice screaming in tortured, regretful agony).

The speakers and helpers being lined up across the stage at the end was very theatrical – disappointed they didn’t take a bow, but rather glad they didn’t burst into a rousing chorus.

A party in a museum was a great idea.

Museum + wine + live ‘chill-out’ music = winning formula.