Great Handwriting, Lousy Narrative
To draw an analogy, what if this had been a conference on how to write a novel? How would it have compared? Well, they would have taught me how to come up with a good story outline (content). They would have taught me how to use ballpoint pens, felt-tip pens, pencils, and various word-processing programs (tools). They would have taught me some grammar (programming languages).
But they wouldn't have taught me anything about plot development, character development, the difference between short-story writing and novel writing, the difference between poetry and prose, ways to engage the reader, ways to heighten suspense by modifying sentence structure, ways to slow down pace by modifying sentence structure, ways to represent surrealistic action using stream-of-consciousness narrative, ways to represent the passage of time with subchapters and paragraph structures, realistic character dialogue, use of setting to enhance the mood, use of underlying themes to support overall theme, and so on.
In other words, they really wouldn't have taught me much about novel writing at all. But my handwriting would be impeccable.
The reason for this lack of industry focus on narrative is that we still think of the Web as a set of technologies. We are still primarily tech geeks. Which is why corporations still don't trust Web designers to make marketing and branding decisions, even though we should understand this medium better than anyone. Instead, these old-school marketers bring their inapplicable print design narrative voices into our new medium, and they fail miserably. But a lame transplanted voice is still better than no voice at all.