I decided recently that I should stop traveling entirely and just let Jeremy Keith, author of Bulletproof Ajax, do my traveling for me. His recent live-blogging entries on XTech were almost as good as being there—and with a lot less time and effort expended. But he's on vacation this week (cruising around Alaska, lucky guy) and so I've ventured forth to WebVisions in Portland. I can't say I'm sorry I did.
First of all, there's Portland. In the past six months or so, I've traveled or gone to conferences in Seattle, Austin, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, and Orlando. (Yep, this is why I want someone else to do my traveling for me.) Of all these cities, Portland may be my favorite—even topping San Francisco, which takes a real effort. I'm staying at the Hotel Deluxe, because it was reasonably priced (at Orbitz) and reasonably convenient. It's also lovely—I would happily pack up my whole room and take it home with me if I could. And Portland residents are just crazy nice—is there another city on the planet where the natives ask if they can help when they see you looking at the transit map? Plus, the city is simply beautiful. The last time I was here (the first time), the weather was perfect and I thought the city was stunning, but I also thought I'd gotten lucky. Today the weather is not so nice—and I still think the city holds its own against every other city I know. It's so green. And so clean! It's just a pleasure to be here.
The conference is also a pleasure. One reason to come to a conference is to meet people, and Web Visions is rich with interesting people. Some of them are our authors, including DL Byron, Christopher Schmitt and Kimberly Blessing, Dan Saffer, Gene Smith, and Jeffrey Veen. Another reason is the topics covered, and I'm looking forward to this afternoon's sessions, including "Design Is In The Details" from Byran Veloso and Dan Rubin and "Total Recall: Complementing Information Architecture with Instructional Design for Memorable Web Experiences" with James Keller and Sean Cowne. It's Web geek heaven, even if I did have to get on an airplane to get here.