Today was pretty much a total frickin’ waste at the NAGW convention. I actually got “shushed” (seriously) by an uptight woman at breakfast when I was in the middle of a conversation with someone else, I went to three sessions which featured:
- “CuttingEdge.gov” presented by a CMS vendor who, in the first paragraph of his presentation, mentioned how his showcase site “has dropdown menus.” Pardon me while I pick my jaw off the ground…
- “An Introduction to Adobe Flex” which featured the presenter giving us a blow-by-blow account of application development. As he did it on the screen. For an hour. Ugh.
- And finally, just to make me wonder what planet the hotel elevator took me to today, there was the old lady from Texas who (sort of) gave a presentation about how to build a website for free because “I spent $39 on my site in the last three years.” Boy howdy, did you ever. My favorite quote from her presentation, though, was definitely, “My city ain’t gonna give me money to piss away on something just ’cause I don’t wanna do the work.” That would have been right before she regaled us about how she spent all this last summer picking up and dropping off some poor high school kid who volunteered to be her “intern.”
I had so frickin’ after that session that I went cross country, through some parking lots and through a stream of pissed-off Chicago rush-hour traffic to get me some Chipotle lovin’. And then I had a beer. And then I skipped the NAGW award banquet because, quite frankly, I don’t think I’d be good company tonight.
The part that really gets me, though, is that the previous two days were so damn good. I’ve had a really useful session on prototyping, a pretty damn hard-core four hours of css presented by a genuine guru, a really inspirational keynote address by Joe Rotella, and some awesome conversations about where government websites are headed and how they’re going to get there. I’ve been out for pizza and beer with some new friends, and had more beer around a (gas fed; for shame) fire ring.
Maybe those first two days just set the bar too high…