Derek Featherstone's Box of Chocolates: You never know what you're going to get

Box of Chocolates

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 - 12:05am

Way Down South

I consider myself especially fortunate to be headed to Sydney, Australia, for the third time. I’ll be speaking at Web Directions South 08 next week.

There has always been something special about that place for me — when I met Maxine and John at SXSW in 2005, I found two people with whom I immediately connected and provided me speaking opportunities on the world stage. Now, they have become great friends, and even business partners — Dave Shea and I brought Web Directions North to Canada with John’s and Maxine’s support and guidance.

My schedule is pretty open while in Sydney — a full-day workshop on Tuesday, and then a session in the main conference on Thursday. This is good — I get my speaking out of the way early and have time to enjoy the rest of the conference rather than my usual routine of scrambling to add slides to my presentation after seeing all the other sessions on the first day. Yes, I obsess over my presentations and sweat right up until the last minute.

I’ll also be at WebJam — this sounds ├╝ber-cool — 18 presenters with 3 minutes each to show off their hottest web work.

Add to all of this the chance to reconnect with old friends and to meet new ones, and I can’t help but think this trip will be anything but special. Please come up and say “hi!” I’d love to chat with you about your work or play. If you want to talk WaSP, rugby, triathlon or anything else, count me in — it is all about the conversations!


Given your strength in so many areas, it’s funny to think of you sweating up to the last minute. When I was in my previous life, so to speak, I did a lot of public speaking, including a national-level keynote speech. No matter how much I prepared, I spent the last 10 minutes in the restroom, pacing around and sort of coughing and gagging. I was nervous for the first few minutes, and then some other part of my brain would take over and by the end I was on some kind of high and hardly wanted to leave the platform. Probably similar to people who skydive. LOL.

Looking forward to seeing you down here for WDS08 Derek – for both the presentation and the conversation. I’ll be more than happy to share a drink over a rugby conversation anyday. Bring your running shoes as it is perfect spring (almost summer) weather and Sydney is looking its best. Have a good trip.

Woo-hoo! Web Directions + WebJam = heaven on a Sydney stick.

Looking forward to buying you a giant foaming radio crooner of sparkling lemonade, Derek.