- Raed Jarrar’s Story – An outrageous incident at JFK – “I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the US was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt.” – Via Kevin. Outrageous.
- Universcale – “These measurements stimulate in us awe for the longer, larger, higher and faster existence, as well as feelings of sympathy and tenderness towards the small and the ephemeral.” – From Mike.
- Jean-Pierre Houdin: 3D Technology Solves the Mystery of the Great Pyramid – “This is the story of an encounter. An encounter of the past and the future. Of history and high technology. Above all, an encounter of men not expecting to embark on such an adventure. One of them was seeking to solve an age-old enigma; the others, glued to their computer screens, were striving to link the future with the present“
- Jan Kneschke: MySQL Proxy – “Over the last weeks I wrote a mysql-proxy which can operate in several modes.“
- Chris DiBona: In Which I Speak Out of School, and Likely Sound Quite Smug Doing So – “I’m picturing the meetings. The posturing. The bandwidth provisioning. The advertising meetings. The legal reviews. The pr reviews. The plans. The emails. The cross-functional , inter corporate steering committees. Who pays for what with what? Who is in charge? Who picks the content? Does anyone pick the content? Who can upload? What can they upload? When can they upload? How long will it take to transcode? Can a video be downloaded to iPod? Archos? Zune? Who will monitor the uploads?” – via Jeremy.
- VisiBone MySQL Cheat Sheet – “MySQL cheatsheets — work like you know it all.“
Now that my son Stephen is living near the UW campus, we don’t get to see him every day. He’s running Second Life on his Linux desktop, and it works really well. My wife Carmen is just getting up to speed in Second Life.
Earlier tonight we had our first-ever family reunion in Second Life. We got together for a few minutes, Stephen told us that he needed shoes and a haircut (both real and virtual), and had a pleasant conversation. Here’s a picture:
Carmen and I also posed together:
Aren’t we cute?
- Craig Reynolds: Boids- Background and Update – “In 1986 I made a computer model of coordinated animal motion such as bird flocks and fish schools. It was based on three dimensional computational geometry of the sort normally used in computer animation or computer aided design. I called the generic simulated flocking creatures boids. “
- Conrad Parker: Boids Pseudocode – “This is an explanation of the boids algorithm explained with the use of pseudocode. It is mostly the standard algorithm as described by Reynolds , with a few of my own tweaks thrown in. It should be enough to get you started with programming your own boids simulation and making up your own extra routines.“
- Bowling Ball Stunt Gone Perfectly Wrong – “So you’re sitting at home one day and you think, “I’m going to speed in my car and send a bowling ball off of a ramp, LOL!” And then this happens, which actually makes it well worth watching.“
Earlier this week I was at the SD Forum Platforms 2.0 conference, which was also in Santa Clara.
After attending, speaking at, and observing dozens of conferences every year for many, many years, I’ve noticed that some speakers see the conference as an opportunity to deliver their message, and nothing more. I think that’s a bit short-sighted and that the speakers are missing out on some amazing opportunities to interact and to learn.
Stereotyping wildly, I tend to see two very distinct types of corporate speakers at these conferences.
The first type of speaker does what we could call a “hit and run” presentation. They show up minutes before their session, hastily don a microphone and set up their laptop, deliver their message and then beat a hasty retreat to what is apparently their real job. They contribute some content to the conference but don’t really participate. Their presentations are given in isolation, without references to what other speakers have said and without paying attention to the overall theme or spirit of the day. Taken to the extreme this behavior can actually be seen as disrespectful to the audience — speakers who haven’t taken the time to sync themselves with the context and flow of the conference can end up repeating what other people have said, and they miss opportunities to compare and contrast their offering in light of what’s already been said.
The second type of speaker tries to spend the entire day at the conference. They arrive early and the stay late. They deliver their message, and then stick around in order to be part of the conference and of any sidebar or hallway conversation that might be inspired by their talk. They can refer back to earlier speakers for context. They can be part of the underground running jokes that can make a conference a whole lot more fun and personal. At an Applied XML conference a few years ago, one of the first speakers built his presentation around submarines (he was from a defense contractor). The second speaker quickly modified his presentation to add a few subtle submarine references. By the end of the conference, including a submarine reference in your presentation was more or less mandatory. I referenced all sorts of submarine-related products in the Amazon catalog, including the Beatles Yellow Submarine. Yes it was silly, but it was fun, and each speaker showed that they were clued in to the informal conference theme by adapting on the fly. Hit and run speakers don’t do this.
I’m way too polite to name names, but I will say that large corporations seem to be especially good at sending hit and run speakers. They fly in like pigeons, leave their offerings, and depart. It is their loss — they are missng out on golden opportunities to hear from current and future customers.
What I have come to realize is that the speaker’s talk itself is merely a fire or conversation starter. A good talk will create all sorts of immediate opportunities for followup. While reading this provocative entry, which I found in a comment thread on Newspapergrl’s blog, I realized that a good conference talk is like a good blog post — it starts the conversation and draws people in to leave worthwhile comments. Ultimately the volume of the comments overwhelms the original post.
I like the second mode of operation a whole lot better. Broadcasting your message is certainly useful, but the speakers who routinely operate in this way are really missing out on a lot. I tell people that my job is supposedly to go out and to deliver our message (and I do that all the time), but that it really is all about getting conversations started. And that’s a good thing.
- MSFT Extreme Makeover: For Want of a Shoe, or Time for a New Rider? – “Put “partnering” back in Platform. Windows and Office (to a lesser extent) have been successful historically not just because they were decent products, but because they provided a platform for others to develop on. Today, MSFT is increasingly competing against many of its former partners.“
- Kevin Burton: Spinn3r Launches Today – “Spinn3r is a web service that companies can use to index the blogosphere instead of having to write their own spider. Instead of spending months designing a scalable backend infrastructure and fighting spam you can just start using our spider tomorrow.“
- ComputerWorld: Web Anonymity Can Sink Your Job Search – “If someone came looking for a senior-level job and had left no mark on the Internet, I’d see that as a big negative…“
- Center for Citizen Media: Principles of Citizen Journalism – “We’re not saying that bloggers must follow these guidelines. We are saying that if you’re committed to practicing journalism online, these principles deserve your attention.” – Via Doc.
- Mike Demers: Tweetbar – “Tweetbar is a wicked cool Twitter sidebar for Firefox and Flock.“
- Croquet Consortium: Croquet SDK 1.0 Released – “The kit provides developers with a flexible tool to create virtual spaces with built-in networked telephony and a “late-binding object-oriented” programming language that allows multiple users to jointly create, animate or modify 3-D objects and dynamic simulations.“
- Tara Hunt: The Unsinkable Kathy Sierra – “When we see personal attacks, we need to speak out. We need to tell the commentors and the people in the chat rooms that these statements are NOT okay. We can disagree with ideas, but attacking people personally is NOT okay. If you have a ‘friend’ who is engaging in this type of activity, you have to tell that person it is NOT okay. What is not okay in ‘real life’ is not okay in virtual life.“
- Creating Passionate Users: User Community and ROI – “Today, this post will offer a few more tips on how to use your marketing budget (tiny as it may be) to build, support, and grow a user community from the beginning.“
- Hugh MacLeod: Edelman Talk – “Blogs allow you to cheaply and quickly begin a smarter conversation. And once you get it going, that conversation starts bleeding out into all other areas of your business- including advertising, PR and corporate communications.“
- Mike Arrington: Print Media Demise, Cont. – “Newspapers need to get over the mentality that they and they alone are qualified to gather, analyze and write news“
- IBM’s Employee Blogging Guidelines – “Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.” – Via Debbie.
- Virginia Hines: InfoWorld Brand Moves Online – “The real story here is that over the last year the energy, enthusiasm, creativity, growth, and forward momentum at InfoWorld have increasingly coalesced around the online platform and events. “
- Ryan Carson: Web Apps 101: Your Three-Point Success Plan – “In this new series of articles, I will share valuable strategies and tips for building successful web apps. I’ll be covering everything from powerful marketing strategies, how to build a quality team, tips for great customer support and finally, exit strategies.“
- Alex Barnett: Thank you Microsoft, Hello Bungee Labs – “I can tell you this today – Bungee Labs is cool, the oh-my-that’s-the-coolest-thing-I’ve-seen-and-I-want-to-be-a-part-of-it-kind-of-cool-thing that gets me very excited. Hey, it had to be to take me away from a job, the people, the company and a city I love!“
- SlideShare.net: World’s Best Presentation Contest – “Enter your PowerPoint today – you could win a cool prize!“
- Mark Wallace: Three Second Life-to-Web Services Updated – “…three instances of one of my favorite things: they’re real 3pointD apps that make the 3D world of SL interoperable (to a small extent) with the 2D world of the Web, and in a social, Web 2.0 way.“
- Tara Hunt: How To: Receiving Customer Feedback – “3. Respond to every feedback suggestion, even if you respond to tell them you won’t be integrating it. Customers should know that the time they’ve put into thinking about your product and their experience of it is highly valuable. If you answer even crazy suggestions with a well thought-out response as to why you won’t implement it, you will be sending the message that they have been heard. “
- TwitterFeed – “Feed Your Blog to Twitter.“
- Dave Schappel: Amazon Hack – “Hit ‘tt’ on any Product Page to add tags on the fly.“