Dconstruct 2006

I’ve been back from Brighton for almost 24 hours now and I’ve just about caught up on sleep. It was a blast.

Thursday Night

The pre-event part at Heist was good fun, meeting and talking with people I’ve met before at London events and some new ones. Unfortunately I don’t think the planned salsa lessons organized by Adam ever materialized!

After being kicked out around 12:30 a rather large group headed towards Brighton sea front to keep drinking. Only half a dozen made it that far and after Patrick Griffiths tried to convince us to go to the ‘Honey Club’ we ended up going back to the hotel for a relatively early night.

The Event Itself

The next morning registration was very quick and easy, we also got presented with goody bags including BBC backstage t shirts, a copy of .net, Creative Commons badges and the usual array of pens, stickers and such.

I won’t go into details of the presentations (As I plan to (h)review them later), but I particularly enjoyed Jeremy’s Joy and Simon/Paulexplaining how API’s have benefited Yahoo internally.

One thing that struck me throughout the days presentation was the emphasis on the open data APIs and Web Services can provide, licensing and just how open some data should be. A few speakers struck on this briefly, notably Aral Balkan mentioning postcode/geo-coding in the UK, but it really needs more discussion.


Although I’ve not been vocally active around Microformats on my blog I have following the project and quietly adding hCard and XFN data where I can. So It was great to see a big turn out for the Microformats picnic. Jeremy Keith preached to the assembled mass of geeks, plus a small group of confused locals (who I heard told thought it was a scientology meeting).

Friday Evening

After the final presentation everyone slowly migrated towards the after for food, drink and golf. After a quick meal a group of us pottered down to the Geek Golf tournament, although the results aren’t all in I think managed to play a winning round, months of pitch and put practice on Portsmouth seafront might have paid of after all.

Back to the party and I got to chat with a lot of people from all over the country exchanging stories, jokes, drinks and web 2.0-base crime ideas. I especially enjoyed talking to Damien Tanner about a XFN-powered Six Degrees of Separation Jeffery Zeldman, which I hope he still plans to work on.

As people began to leave, catching last trains or driving home, a group of us walked along to Blanch House for cocktails and more banter and drunkenness. A special thanks to Frances for giving me a spare bed to sleep on that night and introducing me to some very interesting/nice people.

About 3am I wandered through the streets of Brighton to the hotel with Patrick and Frances, discussing (amongst other things) atheism, nihilism and existentialism in the lobby until 4 am. A topic that’s sure to be picked up again at the coming Pub Standards.


The morning didn’t start for me until a coffee on Brighton pier at midday, getting quite wet probably help woke me up too. Frances and I met up with those who were left, Andy, Jeremy, Simon, Natalie, Norm, Derek (and others), for lunch and a wander along the beach.

The highlights included watching Simon Willison and Natalie Downe “Try The Thrilling Bungy Trampoline (Only £5!)”” (photos) and finding a cheap second hand copy of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X.


I absolutely loved dconstruct 2006. Well organised, engaging and informative speakers, goodie-bags, booze and of course all of the fun of the sea side.

ClearLeft did an amazing job keeping everything running smoothly and most of all enjoyably. Checkout some of the photos and blog posts by others.