Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The daytime on Sunday seemed a little less hectic. I think this is because I didn’t go to a panel at every offered session. One of my few criticisms of the SXSWi panels is that there are some sessions that are loaded with about 3 panels that I want to go to them all, but then on other days, I simply don’t go to any panels for that session because not a single one sounds all that interesting to me. Despite this criticism, I believe all of the panels are being podcast (available… somewhere?), though I’ve heard some or all of them will be just audio.

But now, on to the summary list of panels I went to that no one will read! Perhaps that last sentece could use some hyphenation… oh well.

What’s Hot in Web Applications
This panel was alright, I suppose. Coming into it, I had the impression that it would be about what it was titled. I was wrong. What this panel actually consisted of was three guys talking about their particular web app. The three companies that I’m referring to are YackPack which does a sort of social networking/voicemail thing, Meebo which is an online instant message client for the four major IM systems, and finally Zimbra which is a very AJAX-infused mail web client. At no point did they talk about any other web applications, which was really a let down. The only positive that I found was that I learned more about Zimbra which was nice because of my interest in Zimbra and more specifically their involvement in the Open AJAX Initiative.
Nothing at 11:30
Demystifying the Mobile Web
This panel reminded me of a advanced web technology class I took my senior year at Kansas State. We talked at great length about things like 3G and WiMax. So, because of that class, I felt I had a good understanding when panelist Kelly Goto talked about the more technical side of mobile technology. It was interesting to hear some numbers regarding the different types of mobile devices. All in all, I’d say this was an interesting talk, but at the same time didn’t really apply to any work I’m currently doing, or for that matter, planning on doing. I jsut don’t feel as though I create any content, be it for my work or for my own stuff, that necessitates specific alterations for mobile web. Things like XHTML-MP (mobile profile) or WAP-CSS just seem like overkill. I guess we’ll just wait and see what the future brings, you never know.
Web 2.1: Making Web 2.0 Accessible
Talk about a wasted panel. This was the most unorganized panel of the entire trip. There was much discussion of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and related recomendations. When someone says Don’t read the WCAG, read the Understanding the WCAG document, there is something flawed with the WCAG in the first place. Does that not seem obvious to anyone else? Accessibility, to me, is just like any other thing in web development, it all depends on your audience. If your goal is to publish your content such that the most amount of people can have access to it, then accessibility becomes a very significant issue. However, if you have a controled environment, say an intranet, then certain parts of the accessibility argument become moot points. But I digress, accessibility is great, but you have to know when it’s not worth it to deal with certain parts. This panel could have been much better if that would have been their message as opposed to “make it comply with the WCAG 2.0 or it’s not even worth doing” kind of attitude.
Holistic Web Design: Finding the Creative Balance in Multi-Disciplined Teams
Here was a fun panel, one I really enjoyed. The purpose of this panel was to demonstrate the usefulness of applying a holistic approach to your design process. The panel embarked on redesigning a site called Plazes. If I could find a link to their examples online, then I would link them but I can’t seem to find it. Because of this unattainable link, this paragraph about the panel just doesn’t do it justice. Basically, I’ll just sum up by saying they did a great job of redisigning and focusing the site. If I get a chance to find the online example, I’ll edit this post.Ah ha, the slides and actual pages are linked here.

Sorry for this being a late post, I… had stuff come up.

Update: I updated the post to reflect the link to the plazes information for the Holistic Web Design panel.

Despite the trials and tribulations of yesterday, things are going well. I woke up, got breakfast, showered, and took my nine dollar cab ride downtown.

The MondaySaturday panels were alright. Many were geared towards going into business for yourself, which I don’t really have any desire to do at this point in my life. Despite all that, I’ll detail the panels I went to.

Traditional Design and New Technology
This talk was was geared towards towards discussing the effects traditional design, read print design, has had on new design, read the web. This was a fairly interesting panel discussion, but didn’t really apply to me as I’ve never done any print design, nor do I really care to for that matter. It was interesting, though, prior to the start of the panel discussion the moderator said the opinionated one of the group would be Jason Santa Maria, however, the opinionated one ended up being Mark Boulton. We thought it was interesting at least.
How to Be A Web Design Superhero
I suppose I sort of went to this panel by mistake. I had originally listed Ajax: What Do I Need to Know? as my 11:30 choice, but I was under the impression that it was at a different time. C’est la vie. Despite that, this was still a fairly entertaining panel. I won’t say that it was the most interesting, but certainly entertaining. I will also say that they had the nicest slides I’ve seen so far.
The reason this panel wasn’t all that interesting was that they didn’t actually tell me anything I didn’t already know. It’s was basically just a bunch of analogies between web designers and super heroes.
Jim Coudal / Jason Fried Opening Remarks
This was an interesting session that I went to. Jim Coudal is the big cheese at Coudal Partiners and Jason Fried is the president of 37 Signals. It seemed more like it was about Jason’s opinions on everything, though. Jim mainly just sat in his chair and chimed in every once and a while.
The interesting part of this session was Jason’s opinions on development. Basically, he has the mindset that the faster you get to doing stuff, the better off you are. This contrasts many peoples’ idea that you should plan things out before hand. He believes you shouldn’t worry about things like functional specs and anything over a basic featureset for your product. I can’t say that I agreed with much of what he said. To a certain degree, he has a point. A lot of projects, particularly in larger companies or say the education sector, take a lot of time – too much time – to get off the ground and actually provide a product. So, on that wave of thinking, I do agree, but he just took the idea a little further than I would say is a practical idea.
How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting
This was an interesting panel, though a bit lower level than I would have liked. More or less it was a DOM Scripting 101 kind of panel. I don’t consider myself a JavaScript writer by any means, but to me, JavaScript is just another programming language. I know how to program, so it doesn’t seem all that hard to me. They did mention some things that I wasn’t directly aware of, such as using cloneNode() to create one basic node and use that cloned node as opposed to creating many of the same node. Despite the presentation being for more of an introduction to JavaScript, it was still good to go and get a sort of refresher on it.
Starting Small: Web Business for the Rest of Us
None of the 5pm set of panels seemed all that interesting to me, so I just went to the one that Jeff and Wilson went to. The panel was interesting enough, I suppose, but like I said initially, it was geared towards stuff, in this case starting your own business, that I wasn’t interested in. Furthermore, it seemed like it was just stuff you should already know before taking that huge leap of quitting your day job.

That was the quick rundown of the panels I attended. Afterwards we went to the Frog Design party located somewhere in the warehouse district. It was cool enough, I suppose, open bar, though all they had for beer was Foster’s and Miller Light. Also, they had no hard alcohol. Just wine and beer. Free is free though. We all left that party after a while and went to the South By Northwest party at the Iron Cactus bar. A quick tangent: we seem to always end up at the Iron Cactus for meals. That party was really packed, probably not all that many people, really, but mainly that it was such a small space.

I suppose that’s all for now, tomorrow I will update everything that happened on Sunday.

Friday was such a hellish day, let me tell you. Getting to Austin apparently is a huge task. Let’s quickly review what sucked about Friday:

  • I missed my flight out of KC. I had a voice message Thursday night from American Airlines stating that my flight had been delayed two hours. Upon arrival at the airport, I was told that my flight was just leaving. Great. I then got put on standby and had to wait for the next no-show on a different flight. Thankfully that was a fairly short wait.
  • Once I arrived in Dallas, my connecting city en route to Austin, and boarded the airplane, I was greeted with a 20 minute crying spree by a toddler, whose mother did nto seem to car one bit about the crying.
  • Also, while awaiting take off, I was alerted by the flight attendents and pilot that there was a minor mechanical failure on the plane and we would be delayed. Great way to quelch flying anxiety.
  • Once I arrived, I picked up my luggage and grabbed a taxi to my hotel. $27 dollars later, I realized I don’t like taxi’s.
  • After checking in and relaxing for a bit, I called another taxi to take me downtown to Jeff/Wilson’s hotel, which is about two blocks from the Convention Center. After a 30+ minute wait in my hotel lobby, I again recalled my disdain for taxi services.
  • The meet-n-greet we were going to a little later on required the SXSW badges to enter the bar, so I had to go over to the Convention Center to pick up my badge. After a good 10 minute hike around the Convention Center, I finally found the line. After 10 minutes, I realized I was in the wrong line. The real line was just a little further and I was out with my badge within 10 minutes.
  • Jeff and Wilson headed off to the bar district, all of 6th street aparently, while I headed to the Convention Center. After I picked up my badge, I walked the few blocks over to 6th Street. I called Jeff on his cell to help me with directions to the bar they were at. Apparently, Jeff is not Magellan. Far from it in fact. So far from it, he could justifiably be called Magellan’s antithesis. 20 minutes later, I found the place.

After that bit of fun, the night was really spent meeting people at the bars. I met a lot of people, people who most likely won’t remember me. :-)

Tomorrow I’ll post about the panels and such that I attended on Saturday.

My flight leaves at 7:13am CST early on Friday morning; I’ll be heading down to Austin, TX for the South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi). For those who don’t already know, SXSWi is basically THE web developer/designer conference to go to. Woo, nerdfest!

I’ll be there from Friday until Wednesday of next week. That’s a whole lot ‘o nerdin’. I couldn’t be more excited. Panels start at 10am and last an hour or two. The last panel of the day is 5pm. I’m not sure I’ll be able to stand being in panels the whole day, every day, but I’ll do my best.

Here is a quick run down of the panels I plan, or loosely plan, to attend:

  • Friday, March 10
    • 6:00 PM: Friday Night Mix
  • Saturday, March 11
    • 10:00 AM: Traditional Design and New Technology
    • 11:30 AM: Ajax: What Do I Need to Know?
    • 2:00 PM: Jim Coudal / Jason Fried Opening Remarks
    • 3:30 PM: How to Bluff Your Way in DOM Scripting
    • 5:00 PM: Tantek Celik Presentation: Creating Building Blocks for Independents
  • Sunday, March 12
    • 10:00 AM: What’s Hot in Web Applications
    • 11:30 AM: Nothing
    • 2:00 PM: Demystifying the Mobile Web
    • 3:30 PM: Web 2.1: Making Web 2.0 Accessible
    • 5:00 PM: Flickr/ Party
    • 9:00 PM: Pluck Web Awards after party
  • Monday, March 13
    • 10:00 AM: CSS Problem Solving
    • 11:30 PM: Standard Deviation: Hacks and Dirty Tricks for the Web
    • 2:00 PM: Craig Newmark Keynote Interview
    • 3:30 PM: WTF: WaSP Task Force Panel
    • 5:00 PM: Design Eye for the List Guy
    • 6:30 PM: Blogger Party
    • 8:00 PM: Avalonstar Bowling Tournament
  • Tuesday, March 14
    • 10:00 AM: Behind the Scenes: Developing OS X and Longhorn
    • 11:30 AM: Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps
    • 2:00 PM: Nothing
    • 3:30 PM: RSS: Not Just for Blogs Anymore
    • 5:00 PM: Nothing

So I’m avoiding work – work at 9:42pm, but I digress – and I log into MySpace. Perhaps I’ll have a new friend invite or read a funny bulletin or, what’s this… A new message! And so I click on it, my excitement rising – as I don’t get many messages on MySpace. The page has loaded and what do I see? A message from a large, black man from La Jolla, California named Dino. My excitement wans, but I click on the email anyways. I read this colorful message:

hey, whats up bro. Im actually contacting you and a few others about doing some adult films and adult photography here in In the San Diego, Ca area. Im going to be in the kansas city area to do interviews. THIS WILL ONLY BE A ONE DAY CHANCE IN KANSAS FOR YOU TO COME AND GET YOURSELF NOTICED!!

almost all work is you will have to be comfortable with that. Even so, the work is very professional and classy!

Im a recruiter for phenome productions!!

here our are rates that you can be paid if your look is approved.

photography-$110 per hour or more possibly
video-$1,000 dollars per video or more possibly.

You don not have to pay any fees at all!

not everyone recieves this e-mail..only qualifying looks do!!

all your flight and hotel expenses are paid by the company!

give me a call soon if interested!

619-276-8000 Ext-110

Ohhhh Dino, you heartwarming soul, you.