My experience from the CSS Summit 2011

It’s been a few days since this year’s CSS Summit and my talk there. Where most people would assume that public speaking in a “real” conference is more daunting, I was much more nervous about this one, since it was my first talk at an online conference. I wouldn’t be able to see the faces of the audience, so how would I be able to tell if they like it or are bored shitless? Also, the whole idea of me, alone in a room, giving a talk to my laptop sounded kind of awkward, to say the very least.

Contrary to my fears, it was a very pleasant experience. In some ways, it’s much better than real-life conferences, the main one being the number of questions you get. In most real-life conferences you should be lucky to get more than 3 or 4 questions. Also, they’re usually at the end, so most attendees forget the questions they had at the beginning and middle of the talk (it happens to me a lot too, when I attend others’ talks). In the CSS Summit, I answered questions after every section of my talk, and there were quite a lot of them.

The attendees had a group chat in which they talked about the presentation, posted questions and discussed many other stuff. That group chat was the other thing I really liked. It might surprise some people, but even though I’m not afraid of public speaking, I’m quite shy in some ways and I almost never talk to someone first. So, if I didn’t know anyone at a conference and vice versa, I’d probably sit in a corner alone with nobody to talk to during the breaks. The chat makes it much easier for attendees to get to know each other. On the minus side however, “meeting” somebody in a chat is not by any means the same as really meeting someone f2f in a real-life conference.

Regarding my talk, it went surprisingly well. No technical hiccups like some of the other talks, no me going overtime as I was afraid I would (since I had to be slower), no internet connection failing on my part (like it sometimes does lately). I received lots of enthusiastic feedback on both the chat and twitter. I couldn’t even favorite them all, as the tweets were so many! That’s the 3rd good thing about online conferences: People tweet more, since they’re at home with their regular connection and not with a crappy conference wifi or a smartphone on expensive roaming.

Here’s a small sample of the feedback I got:

watching talented @ speak on #CSS3 and gradients all the way from Greece at online #CSSsummit
@teleject
Christopher Schmitt

CSS Summit attendees super-impressed by @’s live demo slides, based on CSSS http://01i.jp/qslkiz
@boblet
Oli Studholme

#csssummit @ is busy blowing people's mind with her gradient mastery.
@chriscoyier
Chris Coyier

@ is showing some fantastic stuff with gradients at #csssummit

My only response to @'s #csssummit gradient demo/presentation: "You can *do* that?" Amazeballs.
@elizabethyalkut
Elizabeth Yalkut

Pretty mind blowing what @ has done with #css3 gradients. http://t.co/Ihwrwe6 #CSSsummit
@wloescher
Wolf Loescher

Was great to see my tartan pattern at @'s presentation at #CSSsummit. Look ma, I'm on the internetz! :)
@martuishere
Marta Armada

if you never heard of @, I'm telling you, you've been missing out! #justsayin #csssummit
@PetraGregorova
Petra Gregorová

Lea is great to give us a lot of info in a limited time span. Who knew gradients could go so far?#csssummit
@caffeinerush
Stacey Plant

So much to absorb from @! This live demo is completely packed with awesomeness! #csssummit

@ is blowing my mind with CSS gradients #csssummit
@matthewcarleton
matthewcarleton

The #CSS3 gradient session by @ is definitely one I'm going to re-watch on video. Twice. #csssummit #amazing
@redcrew
DeborahEdwards-Onoro

Wow, so much about CSS3 Gradients I didn't know. There's a lot more than linear fades out there. #CSSsummit
@brandongcarroll
Brandon Carroll

@ just rocked #csssummit with her css-gradients-demo. That was really interesting. Who would've thought gradients can do all this?
@digitalCULT
Matthias

@ awesome presentation! Totally mind-blowing!
@candiRSX
Candi Ligutan

Mind blowing presentation from @ on CSS3 gradients - very cool stuff! #CSSsummit
@jewlofthelotus
Julie Cameron

just saw a kickass presentation by @- secretly making a plan for getting her to #drupalfrontend next year
@mortendk
mortendk


@ That was an amazing presentation! Thank you so much! #CSSSummit
@megcarpen
Megan Carpenter

Amazing presentation on CSS3 gradients by Lea Verou at #csssummit 2011. Can't wait for her workshop at #fronteers 2011!
@V_v_V
Vivienne

The session on CSS gradients was awesome #csssummit
@iScreem
iScreem

@ absolutely rocks. Who knew CSS gradients could be this amazing? #csssummit
@pixelfuture
Rodrigo Munoz

@ badass speech at #CSSsummit! In depth but not boring at all. Green snake rocks btw!

@ @ definitely gain at least one big fan today... ME! ;)
@PetraGregorova
Petra Gregorová

Deborah Edwards-Onoro also put together a write-up for some parts of my presentation.

Thank you all!!