SXSWi 2007 – Saturday – Day 2

Edit: Sorry, I thought this post was published, but I accidentally set it as a private post.

It was a little hard to get going this morning. I’m not really sure why… One thing I do know, though, the Raddison sucks. At least for breakfast it does. Due to the fact that T.G.I. Fridays is located inside the Raddison, there is no continental breakfast. What the hell is that about?! On the upside, I did have some French toast and some much needed coffee. The ham, however, was rubbery. But I did eat and I did get to the convention center.

On with my thoughts about the panels I attended…

A Decade of Style

There wasn’t a whole lot to learn here, but it was a fun panel nonetheless. The panelists basically talked about how CSS has progressed through the years. To sum up, it’s come a long way.

How to Bluff Your Way in Web 2.0

This was a very fun panel by Andy Budd and Jeremy Keith. They even had the added bonus of a buzzword bingo game; I sadly did not win. The majority of the panel was them two joking about the absurdity of Web 2.0. Near the end they did actually talk about informative things. We’re moving away from Web 2.0, it’s a nearly meaningless buzzword now. Their other point was a very common sense, namely that there is no template for Web 2.0, you shouldn’t add a bunch of superfluous elements just because you can.

Web App Autopsy

The SXSW staff borked this one up. I’m in the ballroom waiting for this panel to start and less than ten minutes before they do – with fifty plus people in the room already waiting – they announce that the panel has moved to pretty much the other side of the damn building. When I finally do get there, it’s, of course, already started. The panel itself is not what I expected it to be, but it was interesting nonetheless. There was a representative from each of four companies – Wufoo, Blinksale, Feedburner, and regonline. They talked numbers about their businesses, namely lines of code, percentage of what their code is for, etc. I’d really like to listen to this panel again via podcast when it gets released. I think I would have caught more of the panel, except that there was a crying baby in the back of the room. But anyways.

Grids Are Good and How to Design with Them

As Jeff put it, this was the best power session of the day. Khoi and Mark put on a great demo of how to create grids. This was great for me because I’ve recently thought about redesigning this site, or should I say actually putting in a design that’s not the default Kubrick theme. I loved the Yeeaahh name, too.

Ruining the User Experience: When JavaScript and Ajax Go Bad

This panel was short like the last one. The premise for this talk was how you should design functional services and then add more on top of it. For example, a regular search function, then override the default search with an ajax’d search for those users who can support it. I would really like to know the panelists thoughts on how this theory works for situations like an intranet. To me, an intranet is a special kind of bird, you have complete control over your users and how they access content. So the question is, would you need to make things accessible for your users given their constrained environment? I’ve thought about this quite a bit for work and I’m sure I’ll continue to do so.

High Class and Low Class Web Design

The description of this panel sounded promising. I find it interesting that ugly sites like myspace are so popular. However, that really isn’t what this panel talked about. Christopher Fahey, the panel moderator, talked about the effects of class in design. Firstly, that concept is a very stretched in and of itself. I think most people would agree that a person’s class doesn’t affect the design of a site. It seems to me that the success of these ugly sites has nothing to do with the design, or not design, of the sites. Their success is based solely off of the service(s) they provide to their users. And, frankly, that’s it. The one interesting panelist of the four up there was Brant Louck who is the Creative Director for World Wrestling Entertainment. Khoi Vinh was also on this panel, but from the looks of it he didn’t want to be there at all. All in all, the panel was a bust. Consequently, I walked out with twenty minutes left. I tried to follow along, but, yeah.

And that was all the panels I went to and my thoughts on them. Then the nightlife came alive.

It all started with a party hosted by Myspace. Yeah, Myspace. I felt lots of internal turmoil about going. But they had free food, free drinks, and it was at Six, the bar I went to last night. Oh, and there was a pretty decent DJ. Also, due to my numerous white Russians that I had the previous night, both the bartender and waitress that I got my drinks from were quite perplexed when I asked for a Negra Modello. I also talked with Sergio Villarreal a bit. I actually went to his web hacks panel last year. I did a little blurb on it and he actually linked my little mini-review, his post is here. Small world.
At 8pm sharp, the party closed and everyone got kicked out. We headed over to the Frog Design party. They supplied the same Miller Light and Foster’s beer as they did last year, which to me, is the weirdest beer combination. They also had a few live bands play. One in particular was pretty good, sounded a lot like Stevie Ray Vaughn. For all I know they were Stevie Ray Vaughn songs. After being there for a while we headed towards the Ze Frank/Speakerboxx party.

En route to this party, I started talking to this bum. No, I don’t know why. After realizing that his story was a little, shall we say extravagant?, I continued on to the Ze Frank party in hopes that I would catch up to everyone. I was wrong. I got to where I thought the party was, but it wasn’t it. It was the only bar anywhere near where I thought it was. I talked to the chick outside who was running that party and she didn’t know where my party was at. But, she said I could come into her party if I wanted. I needed a drink, so of course I accepted her invitation. Eventually I got a hold of Jeff and he said that the party was just much further down the road than I had gone. So then I saunter off down the road. And then…

Holy shit, huge ass line. Damn you Ze Frank for being so popular. And like a lemming, I just get and stay in the long ass line. Eventually I get it, but it just so happens to coincide with Ze Frank’s set ending and everyone leaving the damn bar. I felt I needed something to justify my time in the line – a beer would do nicely. And lo, it did. I find my way to a big couch and sit and grumble to myself about how I was pissed off. I have my one beer and head out.

Warning: Bizarre story ahead…

So I’m walking down the street towards the hotel when I randomly put my right hand in my pocket. As I did so, I notice that my hand hit something in route to my pocket. I look down and there is a fucking pocket knife attached to my belt loop. Holy shit, where the fuck did that come from? If you follow that link, you’ll seeThat’s not a small knifeMy current theory is that due to the large amount of people at the last party, that some how, some way, I bumped someone and it slipped off their belt or some shit and on to mine. Fuck, I don’t know. Another theory is that someone was trying to “pin” the knife on me for whatever reason, presumably to get me in trouble.

And then I went home and passed out.

2 thoughts on “SXSWi 2007 – Saturday – Day 2

  1. Are you sure it was the knife that changed pants and not you? Have you ever worn that brand of pants before?

    Maybe it was the rough sex with the bum and that was a goodbye present from him. Check for repressed memories.

    Naughty boy…

    And hopefully when you say you’re drinking white Russians, you’re not talking about some of Victor’s friends down in Texas. And is Negro Modello Spanish for giving a black man a blowjob?

  2. I would really like to know the panelists thoughts on how this theory works for situations like an intranet. To me, an intranet is a special kind of bird, you have complete control over your users and how they access content. So the question is, would you need to make things accessible for your users given their constrained environment?

    In answer to you question, I agree that an intranet is a special beast. You do not necessarily need to worry about broad browser support, but you may have some employees accessing the intranet via a mobile device, so that’s worth thinking about. The main thing I’d like people to take away from our session is that you need to consider the levels of service necessary for the success of your site. The levels of service we outlined were for that example project specifically, your will likely vary. Consideration for those levels of service (whatever they are) will be key to the success of your project.

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