Direct Feedback is a Good Thing:

So, a few weeks back Keith Casey and I were talking about conferences and feedback. One thing we both (and various others that happened to be in the #zendcon IRC channel at the time) agreed on was that paper slips and verbal polls just aren’t the way to go when it comes to providing feedback to speakers on how they’re doing.

Automation is the way to go – bring the attendees directly back to the speakers and let their voices be heard. Obviously, a web site is the medium of choice and so I present to you provides the missing link between the people attending a conference and the ones that presented. The usual method of handing out paper forms is outdated and needs to be replaced. That’s where we come in – attendees can post their comments directly to each of the talks they attended, giving the speaker direct feedback on how they did and what they can do to improve. also has something to offer the speakers – you can track your record across the conferences and see how changes in your talk might have made a difference in your ratings.

Things are still running in beta mode right now as I work out some of the kinks with both the code and with the interface (any designers that want to help out and contribute a few ideas, drop me a line), but I’m hoping that this can become a great asset for the speaking community – and not just the PHP one.

The idea is to make it as open as possible to allow for conference planners from any topic to come in, add their events and talks to get direct feedback from their attendees.

Here’s a list of a few of the stats for the site:

  • It runs on the CodeIgniter framework
  • It allows for “stubs” for conference names (ex. for PHP Appalachia ’08
  • Speakers can “claim” their talks from each event and see how the same talk did at various events
  • The commenting system supports both public (viewed by all) and private (viewed by speakers and conference admins) comments

I am always open to suggestions about the service, so if you have comments either leave them on this post or submit our contact form.



  1. There’s a publicly displayed error on the talks listings: e.g.

    >A PHP Error was encountered
    >Severity: Warning
    >Message: Division by zero
    >Filename: talk/detail.php
    >Line Number: 23

    It seems to happen on them all, rather than, say, being the result of some information that a presenter maybe didn’t enter.

    Good luck with it.


  2. To try something different, to be honest. I’ve worked with the Zend Framework, a bit with CakePHP and the Solar framework so I wanted to see what this one is all about.

    I’ll give it one thing – it does make for fast development. I had the site up pretty quickly. I’m running into some growing pains when wanting to do things that aren’t quite the “CodeIgniter Way” but I’m finding ways around them.


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