Webstock is the biggest thing to hit the Wellington web industry since Trade Me sold for $700m in cash – the difference is that, this time, almost everyone gets to share the riches.

For me the Webstock Experience started last night over a relaxed dinner at the Matterhorn with the Provoke DUX team and  (a slightly jet-lagged) Kelly Goto – and today at lunchtime I’m meeting-up with an even more jet-lagged (and she warns me, “possibly incoherent”) Kathy Sierra.

New Zealand is a long long way from everywhere else… but hey, it’s worth it! (and us Kiwis really appreciate the many miles the Webstock stars are putting in for us).

I look a little bit like this guy - if you're at Webstock bowl on up and say hello!

I look a little bit like this guy - if you're at Webstock bowl on up and say hello!

Kelly is the talented web-girl behind Gotomedia, a San Francisco-based strategic consultancy specializing in user experience, research and interaction design – her book, Web Redesign: Workflow that Works is a best seller in the tech industry.

She has some jaw-dropping clients (Adobe, Apple, Warner Bros…), and leads a frantic and fascinating life (including running her business out of her apartment – which includes a special earthquake-proofed bed – did I hear her right?). Over dinner I also got some small insights to what’s possibly going down with the never-ending Adobe/Macromedia merger, and clues as to why the latest release of GoLive is half-baked…

And today I’m running a special UPA (members-only) event (a bit like a Webstock fringe-festival), consisting of short talks by local user experience experts…

…and should the Gods be in synchronicity – the wickedly smart Kathy Sierra will fly in just on time – she’s coming to the party to inject the local usability community with her passion for users. We can’t wait!

Then, later in the week, at the Webstock 8×5 session (Thursday around 2:15pm) – the one and only Bob will be making a once-off appearance on the Webstock stage – a unique experience not to be missed…

Anyway – if you’re coming to Webstock – please track me down and introduce yourself. I’ll be at the Kelly Goto workshop on Tuesday and the conference on Thursday and Friday. Ask for me at the the Provoke kiosk, and while you’re there grab a free Mojos coffee and enter the prize draw for a cool retro record player…