I decided to switch to a look that’s a little less generic. This theme is called “Connections ” and it’s by www.vanillamist.com. I like how it lets you customize the header image. The photo I used is Punchcard taken by Robyn Gallagher and posted to Flickr with a CC-BY license.
I miss Vindigo. The service that ran this mobile application shut down last September. It was the reason that I had a Palm Treo, and it was totally worth the subscription price. It worked like this: You selected your city (mine’s New York). Then you selected the options you want for a number of different categories – Restaurants, Museums, Music, Shopping, Services… The one I used most was Movies.
Under Movies, you could see everything that was playing that week, read reviews, and check local theaters and showtimes. Ok, there are lots of sites and services that let you do those things on a mobile phone or smartphone now. Here’s the part I really miss – I could easily save any of the movies to “My List” and then, when I wanted to go see something, instead of having to search for it, or sort through everything currently playing in theaters, I just looked at My List and asked myself “What do I feel like seeing today?”
Last fall I went to a digital arts conference in Vienna called Paraflows. I gave a talk about my personal history, and how it led to me getting into the kind of work that I do (Content Strategy, metadata, semantic web). It’s part personal history, but also touches on the cultural experience of my generation, and how I think it contributed to a lot of what we’re doing and seeing on the web today.
I was quite proud of this talk – it was visual, funny, personal and conversational. It was a different kind of presenation than I usually give, and it provided me an opportunity to evolve my speaking style. It wasn’t perfect, but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. People had repeatedly suggested that I post the slides on Slideshare, but at the time I could not get speaker notes to disaply, and I didn’t think the talk would make much sense without them.
Well, Slideshare has been working to resolve the mirad issues they were having with that bit of functionality, and yesterday I got notice that it now works for PowerPoint 2007 presentations. So you can now view my talk, A Personal Journey Towards Datameaningfulness, with speaker notes. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s 97 slides. It’s very visual (and you don’t have to read the speaker notes if you don’t want to. You can just flip through and look at the amusing pictures).
NOTE: I just realized that, although the speaker notes are showing up, after the first slides they’re all misaligned (the notes from slide 2 onward are from slides about 8 pages down the line). I have no idea how to fix this. In the meantime, people seem to be enjoying the slideshow anyway.
So, moot (founder of 4chan.org) won Time magazine’s audience poll for most influential person. He got over 16 million votes, with an average rating of 90 out of 100 (the next highest rating anyone got was 47). If you’ve never heard of moot, you’re probably wondering how somoene you’ve never heard of can get such a high ranking and so many votes. If you know who he is, or you’re familiar with 4chan, you know that his community is huge, internet savvy and very, very active when it comes to causes they care about. An internet poll is just the place for them to show up in force and make their opinion known.
I’ve been accused, by a couple people, of becoming a “professaional conference-goer.” I should point out that the people who say this are people that I met at conferences, and I generally only see them when I’m at a conference, so perhaps they have a slightly skewed view of how I spend my time.
But the fact remains that I do go to a lot of conferences. I prefer to think of myself as a conference enthusiast, though, not an aspiring professional. Most of the conferences I go to are in the realm of tech, internet, digital culture, digital arts, or popular arts. I include film festivals too, because, well, I love them. Some are more professionally oriented, and some are more social. In both cases, though, my goal is the same: to meet interesting people and to be inspired.
Here are some the conferences and film festivals that I’ve been to so far in 2009:
- Sundance (January)
- ROFLthing-NYC (January)
- IA Summit & Content Strategy Consortium (March)
- Enterprise Data World (April)
- Notacon (April)
- Tribeca Film Festival (April/May)
And here are several that I’m planning to go to, or thinking about going to later this year:
- Web 3.0 (May)
- Semantic Technology Conference (June)
- Open Video Conference (June)
- Toorcamp (July)
- Defcon (July/August)
- MIMA Summit (October)
- Web 2.0 Expo (November)
I know, you’re probably thinking, “There are whole months in there with no conference plans at all.” But it’s early, yet, and there are a lot of interesting things going on out there.
An event next week that should be interesting. From Karen McGrane:
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the IA Summit. If you didn’t make it to Memphis (or even if you did) come see New York locals give abbreviated versions of their talks. This event is free!
- Cindy Chastain: Experience Themes: An Element of Story Applied to Design
- Anders Ramsay: Agile For The Rest of Us
- Christine Boese: Are Human Beings Becoming Dumb Terminals?
- Karen McGrane: Designing For, With, and Around Advertising
- Elena Melendy + Rachel Lovinger: Content Strategy Consortium Highlights
- Nasir Barday: Professional IA/UX Organizations – How to start and run a successful local group or chapter
- Chris Fahey + Whitney Hess: The Courage to Quit: Starting, Growing and Maintaining Your Own UX Business
- Whitney Hess: Evangelizing Yourself: You can’t change the world if no one knows your name
Tuesday, April 28
6:30 PM Doors Open
7:00 PM Presentations Start
9:30 PM Discussion + Networking
White Rabbit, 145 E Houston Street btw 1st and 2nd Avenues
At the recent IA Summit, I was surprised and delighted to see how many talks there were about the Semantic Web. Before this emerging technology can really catch on, we will need more Information Architects and Interaction Designers who understand the potential and can design elegant solutions to real problems (both user problems and business problems). In some ways, I wish the conversation were further along, but I realize that it has to start somewhere. The fact that the subject exploded onto the scene in such a big way is a good indication that Web 3.0 is on a lot of people’s minds.
These are the talks I saw: Continue reading “Semantic Web takes root at the IA Summit”
Over on scatter/gather I wrote a post summing up my experience of last week’s Content Strategy Consortium at the IA Summit. It was a very inspiring experience and there’s a lot more to say about it. This event is bound to inspire many posts – here, on scatter/gather, and on the blogs of my cohorts. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, here’s some additional coverage of the event:
- IA Summit 09: The Power of Questions – Ian Alexander, Eat Media
- Favorites from the Content Strategy Consortium – Colleen Jones
- Curtain up: Content strategy debuts at IA Summit 2009 – Christopher Collette
- The Definitive Guide to Content Strategy for the Complete Noob – R. Stephen Gracey
- Content strategy in the house – Keri Majala, words are delicious
- The presentations, on Slideshare (more will be added over time)
Jeff Pollock has just released a book called Semantic Web for Dummies. Over at Semantic Universe you can download a free chapter (registration required), order the book, or read Jeff’s blog posts. I haven’t read the book yet, but Jeff is a really smart person with the ability to speak plainly and compellingly. This book is bound to be useful for people who are trying to understand the Semantic Web, or are still struggling with how to explain it to others. I just put my copy on order.
My department at Razorfish launched a blog today called Scatter/Gather. All of the contributors are Content Strategists (or Information Architects with some experience and interest in content strategy), and we’ll be covering a wide range of subjects relating to the use of content and language in the digital realms.
My first post is called “Don’t Shoot the Messager” and it’s about a conversation I had about the discrepency between the words message and messenger. It even features a celebrity appearance! Go check it out, and then read all the posts by my brilliant coworkers.