The inaugural Australian Web Week kicks off tomorrow with an exhibition starring the Australian designer of Twitter’s Fail Whale.
The idea to launch Web Week – which runs from October 2-9 – is the brainchild of Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp, who also run WebDirections, an event for the domestic Web industry that coincides with the Week’s activities.
“WebDirections started as a grass roots conference here in Sydney a few years ago focusing on Web standards and open web technologies along with the area of best practice in Web design,” Allsop said.
Now the event expects 700 visitors over four days (October 6-9) at the Sydney convention centre. The event has four tracks: Design, development, business and in conjunction with the WC3 office at CSIRO there is a standards track.
“A couple of years back we added an expo which features some local companies very much in the Web space,” Allsop added. “This year we have added another part to the expo, which is focusing on start-ups in Australia. Atlassian, who are probably our most famous start up are supporting that.”
During past conferences, Allsop and Sherrin noted there were many other events taking place at the same time. Additionally inspired by the New York event the Webby Awards the couple chose to try to bring everyone together by kicking off Web Week.
“What we thought is why don’t we take the reality that there is all this stuff going on, and put them under an umbrella.”
Web Week includes interactive art displays by the Australian artist who designed Twitter’s Fail Whale image Yiying Lu, information architecture conferences, indoor rock climbing and the WebDirections event.
“We want to raise the profile of the industry as a whole and we have some fantastic people here,” Allsop said. “For the size of the population a lot of people say what is in the water down there in Australia. That’s because a lot of the leading experts, authors and bloggers in the technology space are coming out of here. We want to show case that.”
Allsop hopes to take the concept globally, similar to the success of Earth Hour which started in Sydney and has now captured the imagination and attention of cities worldwide.
“It is certainly an idea we would love to have up and running," Allsop said. "It is not so much to own it and control it, but rather to have it as a platform that other people can participate in.”