Molly interviewed for bbc backstage

I shot this video with Molly earlier in the week, which I shared with Backstage but I received a great comment which I thought was good enough to quote here.

Interesting interview, thanks.

It's interesting to hear Molly's views on how it can be technologists versus the business with regards to standards. I think this has been true of everywhere I have worked, and it's understandable. I think the points about businesses understanding the ROI from standards is also valid, they are waking up to this, however the biggest set back seems to be legacy issues and timescales. Often there are old systems that are difficult to replace, but also a great many of the contemporary tools that offer faster creation
do so at a cost to the code quality. Can we please get some good standards compliant .Net components?

Also the mention of uneducated educators. This is so true for a great many areas of IT still it is shocking, even university level courses are behind the times, especially where IT is not the primary focus. I remember how quickly as a class at uni we knew more than the lecturer about Photoshop. The problem is made worse when the teacher is too proud or arrogant to acknowledge their lack of ignorance. Which gets me onto a whole seperate rant about the quality of teaching staff and the under appreciated nature
of the job. It should be a desired occupation (like being a doctor) where the rewards are high, but you are held to account harshly for not being up to the task.

I haven't really seen the use of divs as table cell replacements, but it has been along time since I made the transistion from table based layout to CSS driven layout. I can easily believe it though, they are such different ways of working and require you to think so differently about you build a website. I've been made aware of this transistion again recently when learning Flex and WPF, where although some principles carry across, there are different rules and what you thought was the best way of doing it isn't
necessarily the case.

Thanks for the interview though, I hope Molly can engage the business guys at Microsoft

Elsa from Elsa

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Summary of the BBC Backstage London Christmas Bash

Ian & Matthew @ BBC Backstage

Some of you might notice this is almost a copy of the summary on the backstage blog, but I've added bits which I felt were best left for a personal blog.

Thank you to everyone who turned up and made this our most successful event to date.

We had started very early on Saturday afternoon packing bags thanks all the people who signed up and helped out before the doors opened.

Crazy amount of backstage goodie bags

We did open the doors on time and did turn some people away because they were not on the main guest list, which was a big regret on our part but those were the rules we specified in the emails. After 8pm the venue was open for anyone who wanted to enter.

Nicole only has eyes for one person

Once we said a few welcome and thanks speeches it was back on with the party and a night of endless chatting and djs playing all types of music. There was even some so called dancing…

End of night dancing

Our goodie bags were packed with stuff and enjoyed by the people who came to the bash. Everyone also got one of our new Backstage T-shirts, which went down well.

BBC Backstage Goody bag

There was some interviews at the event, which were done by Chris Vallance of BBC Radio 5 Live's Pods and Blogs. We've put them online for your listening enjoyment

Matthew Cashmore talks about BBC Backstage
Sarah Blow on London Girl Geekdinners and Geek culture
Walid Al Saqqaf talks about Trustedplaces.com
James Cridland talks about Virgin Radio
Ian Forrester talks about London Geekdinners and Geek Media
Matthew Spouce on New Scientist Magazine
Adam Fletcher on Spread Shirt
Nigel Helmeton on Trexy.com

My wife Sarah also wanted to say sorry and explain what happened upstairs which caused her to shout fucking bitch while she headed for the toilet very upset. It would turn out Dedrie from Chinwag had been joking around and took it too far with someone (sarah) who she didn't know.

We have received some fantastic feedback…

And a huge thank you to Ian, Matthew and their team at BBC Backstage for being wonderful hosts. A big thank you as well to our generous sponsors who helped the evening go with a swing by providing us with food, drink and raffle prizes – Admob, Skills Matter, ConnectMeAnywhere, O'Reilly, Trusted Places, Techcrunch UK, and Chinwag.

Helen from Swedish Beers

I just got back from the BBC Backstage Christmas Bash. I went with Adam, who was in London for the night en route to Le Web in Paris. I met some interesting people, some new, some old, drank back some of my licence fee in free beer, and had a pretty good time. We were interviewed by BBC Radio 5 at some point, but Adam thought it would be funnier to wind me up and make me laugh than it would to be on the radio, so I doubt that it'll be aired.

From Matt Sparkes.

Actually the BBC never paid for any of the drink. We only paid for the venue and food. The Sponsors paid for the drinks and although your laughing might not have got on the radio. We may have found a uncut version for the Backstage community.

John Wilison will you admit to seeing a good side to the BBC now?

Some more comments and emails

To an interesting party tonight courtesy of the folks at BBC Backstage, who were kind enough to manage to get me into this party at moderate last-minute. Lots of fascinating people, some even saying that the party reminded them of the last web boom.

James Cridland

I just wanted to say thanks for organising such a delightful event on Saturday – it seemed to flow supafine from what I could see once we got off the front desk – and I had interesting conversations which is all I care about really, thanks again!

Nicole from HP

Well I can happily report that the BBC Backstage London Christmas Bash was a total success! Ian and the rest of the guys behind the event did a cracking job in organising it. One of the key highlights was the cake for the guys at trustedplaces.com kindly provide. The BBC goody bag was also very cool too

Adam Burt

I would like to thank you and your team for organizing such a great party. We had a great time. Thank you.

Josette from O'Reilly

Lots of drinking, Cake and a little dancing from the odd one or two people… As well as speeches and prize giveaways. Oh and not to mention the sear number of people there… There were party bags, t-shirts and we even had santa's little helpers do the party bags. /images/emoticons/happy.gif

Sarah Blow from London Girl Geekdinners

Thank you for letting us participate in the BBC Backstage event as sponsors. The cake has generate a good amount of buzz.

Walid from Trusted Places.com

I wanted to thank you for giving Skills Matter the opportunity to be a part of your great party on Saturday evening

Joanna from Skills Matter

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for all your hard work organising the backstage bash/geeks christmas party. It was great fun, and nice to see everyone all in one place.

Caz from BBC/Siemens

I went along to the BBC Backstage Christmas party last night. I've posted some photos to Flickr. I'm a Graucho-Marxist curmudgeon who'd never belong to a club that would have me as a member, but I can honestly say thanks to Ian Forrester and his colleagues at Backstage, the sponsors, helpers, and the tireless staff at the Cuban it was a great night.

Miles Metcalfe

I did recieve one email (from a sponsor) complaining about the bash.

I write today to express my disappointment to see the information bag sitting in the corner when leaving the BBC party on Saturday…

…On top of this there was only one poster in the whole venue that mentioned us but there where a host of “supported by” posters scattered around…

…I hate to write this negative email but we did hope that as a sponsors we would receive better promotion and because of this we found the evening frustrating.

I have yet to write back because every other sponsor has said thank you very much and they would like to work with us again on the next one.

Finally a selection of our best shots from the bash

trustedplaces.com cakeBBC Backstage London Christmas BashParty on!PosterO'REILLY - BackstageSarah with her lemonadeDSCF8410.jpgIan & Matthew @ BBC BackstageSarah Blow with a cocktailDSCF8444.jpgPeople chilling upstairsMario twitteringRadio 5 live's Pods and BlogsDj Cashmore spins some tunesSarah and ShilaInspire the backstage bashTag your self hereHelen and SarahGet your backstage tshirts hereDot caught taking all the beerMatthew gets interviewed by BBC Radio 5 liveBBC Backstage London Christmas BashBBC Backstage London Christmas BashBBC Backstage London Christmas BashBBC Backstage London Christmas Bash

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On the eve of the BBC Backstage London Christmas Bash

So to everyone out there whos going to the Christmas Bash tomorrow, here's a couple of thoughts on the eve of the bash and before I try and go to bed.

Please enjoy the night, I don't know any event besides conferences which bring together so many new media people. Remember the night is about communities, without the support of our London communities it wouldn't be such a big and grand affair. Likewise the support of our sponsors has been key to making the event totally free and hassle free. The biggest thought goes out to the BBC, who yes I am a member of its staff but is really starting to turn the ship around and move in the correct direction. Its not all there yet, but the fact everyone at work has said how fantastic the bash is and how great a idea it is – speaks volumes. Lets also not forget the fact that the BBC see value in engaging with new media people and had no problem with making this event happen. I'm hoping Tony Ageh will say some words on the BBC's behalf so the peopel can see the true commitment the BBC has for the future of the UK.

Talking about communities our twitter wall was created by nigel crawley whos a backstage member. We'll be doing a review of the event by pointing at other peoples views rather that shouting our own. And finally, remember this is first of its kind event. I know the signup has been a real pain for so many people and people won't stop asking me to squeeze them on to the list. But honestly we're learning and next time who knows… we may hire Abacus which holds 850 people and has multiple rooms and levels. I'm glad we didn't hire the sterling which sits at the bottom of the Gerkin. Its a very nice location but only held 300 people and security would be super tight. We would have had to given a list of names up to 2 weeks before the bash and those names would not be changable. Imagine the nightmare of the guest list tripled and your not even close.

So like I said, enjoy the night and I'll see you all tomorrow (or today).

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On the eve of the BBC Backstage London Christmas Bash

So to everyone out there whos going to the Christmas Bash tomorrow, here's a couple of thoughts on the eve of the bash and before I try and go to bed.

Please enjoy the night, I don't know any event besides conferences which bring together so many new media people. Remember the night is about communities, without the support of our London communities it wouldn't be such a big and grand affair. Likewise the support of our sponsors has been key to making the event totally free and hassle free. The biggest thought goes out to the BBC, who yes I am a member of its staff but is really starting to turn the ship around and move in the correct direction. Its not all there yet, but the fact everyone at work has said how fantastic the bash is and how great a idea it is – speaks volumes. Lets also not forget the fact that the BBC see value in engaging with new media people and had no problem with making this event happen. I'm hoping Tony Ageh will say some words on the BBC's behalf so the peopel can see the true commitment the BBC has for the future of the UK.

Talking about communities our twitter wall was created by nigel crawley whos a backstage member. We'll be doing a review of the event by pointing at other peoples views rather that shouting our own. And finally, remember this is first of its kind event. I know the signup has been a real pain for so many people and people won't stop asking me to squeeze them on to the list. But honestly we're learning and next time who knows… we may hire Abacus which holds 850 people and has multiple rooms and levels. I'm glad we didn't hire the sterling which sits at the bottom of the Gerkin. Its a very nice location but only held 300 people and security would be super tight. We would have had to given a list of names up to 2 weeks before the bash and those names would not be changable. Imagine the nightmare of the guest list tripled and your not even close.

So like I said, enjoy the night and I'll see you all tomorrow (or today).

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London Backstage Christmas Party, Saturday 9th Dec

Smooth water

So its now no real secret. I'm planning a big christmas party for BBC Backstage. The difference is that rather than going it alone and creating a whole lot of havoc with everyone elses plans. I decided that Backstage should actually talk to the rest of the community groups in London and encourage one big party. This is core to the BBC Backstage values, rather than go it alone we're going to see whats already out there and see if we can help out, encourage more take up or parcipitation. Anyway, so after the emails went out, I started getting into conversations with different groups and got a line up to rival all line ups. And on Friday night at the geekdinner I revealed the party plans.

To make things clearer, I posted up the details on the Backstage blog and then with the advice of Rob, hit Upcoming and Eventful

Yes the rumours are true…

There is a BBC Backstage Christmas Party being planned for Saturday 9th December in London.

Rather than host it ourselves and clash with everyone else's parties. We decided that it would be very fitting to backstage if we collaborated together some of the best groups and communities in London. Then got them under one roof to share in the Christmas Party…

Seemed like a crazy idea, but I would like to introduce our fantastic partners for the Christmas Bash,

Swedish Beers
London Girl Geekdinners
Geekdinners
London Perlmongers
London Webstandards Group
London Ruby user group
Open rights group
London 2.0
Momo Monday

We have an excellent Cuban venue (TBC) all to ourselves deep in the area of Moorgate and Citypoint.

So please keep a note in your calendar, as Saturday 9th December looks to be a fantastic night to be in London.

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