WebJam 8: Smells Like Geek Spirits (and Beer)

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Webjam8 So, what do you do to relax after a long but engrossing day of conference presentations at Web Directions South?

Why, you listen to more geekspeakers at a pub, of course, only this time with more booze and less attention span – Webjam8 at Bar Broadway with Lachlan Hardy doing a mighty job as ringmaster.

If you’re not yet familiar with the Webjam format, it goes something like this:

  • 15-20 speakers
  • 3 minutes each to spruik, explain and/or demo your cool new thang
  • An SMS voting system to allow the punters to choose best presentation

In short, it’s frenetic, free form and funny. Some of the cooler stuff included:


Tweetbeer is a twitter interface for keeping track of who owes your beer (and who you owe beer to). Unfortunately there’s no ability just yet to clear your beer debts.


Mapanui is a maps application that has two sides to it. Firstly, you can use a Mapanui bookmarklet to generate a floating map over any address on any site (just drag the link to your browser’s bookmark bar).

Secondly, Mapanui gives you a simple, seamless method to add maps to your own sites through the creation of virtual address cards.

So simple and seamless, in fact, that I embedded one into this page in about 25 seconds.

Still in beta, but very nice.


Dmitry Baranovskiy delivered a great day one presentation on Web vector graphics, and Webjam was his chance to showcase his new web vector library — RaphaelJS.

RaphaelJS is a JavaScript library include that uses a combination of canvas, SVG and VML — depending on the browser — to render vector shapes to screen.

While RaphaelJS is still new and quite beta, it already seems to have significant advantages over current equivalents (in particular ExCanvas .

And the winner by geekular demand…


This was great fun. Mr Speaker and Henry Tapia showed off a really cool little web app that allows you to cue up YouTube music vids playlists, play two at a time and crossfade effortlessly between them — a musicvid mixup mashup, if you will.

The crowd was memerized as the guys skated between Rick Astley ‘Never gonna give you up’ in one window and Europe’s seminal ‘The Final Countdown’ in the other!


The only problem with TurnTubeList is it’s entirely client-side and AFAIK is not available to download for your personal mixing pleasure. Hopefully they’ll make it available soon for us the play with.

It’s been over 12 months since the last Webjam, but if the success of Thursday night is any guide, it won’t be nearly as long till the next one.

Alex WalkerAlex Walker
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Alex has been doing cruel and unusual things to CSS since 2001. He is the lead front-end design and dev for SitePoint and one-time SitePoint's Design and UX editor with over 150+ newsletter written. Co-author of The Principles of Beautiful Web Design. Now Alex is involved in the planning, development, production, and marketing of a huge range of printed and online products and references. He has designed over 60+ of SitePoint's book covers.

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