All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

What Brian Cant Never Taught You About Metadata

Last month I had the pleasure of speaking at the Geek in The Park event up in Leamington Spa, here in the UK. Whilst the weather didn’t quite hold out in the way we’d hoped, the whole day was still good fun. The evening events took place under cover in a pleasant local half pub, half nightclub sort of place. On the bill was Jon talking about icon design, and me talking about Brian Cant.

Growing up in the 1980s, Brian Cant was a familiar figure in my childhood. He was the friendly face presenting Play School on the television, reading a story on the BBC’s Jackanory or narrating the classic stop-frame animated Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley series. On the drive up to Leamington Spa, and admittedly rather too late, it occurred to me that having been working on the web for more than ten years, it’s reasonably likely that a good proportion of the audience would be younger than me and therefore miss the cultural reference. Ah well. Kids these days.

As it happened, the presentation – which was a thinly veiled pitch for microformats – was well received and a good time was had by all. The presentation features thoughts on metadata, HTML, robots, 1970/80s children’s television programming, tofu, truth, honesty, and some made up rules stated as absolutes. The slides are of course on SlideShare, and once I manage to track down the audio and transcript, I’ll link to them here.