Study up, ye salty sea dogs, for international talk like a pirate day be just around the corner!
this past few weeks has been a networking whirlwind. every place i go, every person i meet, every email i send, is another business connection. and it’s all peaked in the last 24 hours leaving me barely able to sleep (though I’m gonna try again once I’m done with this entry).
A month or two back, right around when I became obsessed with coworking, I discovered that someone was FINALLY going to be holding a barcamp format meetup in Philly. CMAccess, a staffing/marketing firm , organized the event and while I was initially concerned about ulterior motives coming out of a company throwing a barcamp rather than an individual, or team, I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about the organizing team from CMAccss, or the event itself, except that it was too short!
Since it was their first time with the format, they blocked out a smaller, trial run event that took up 3-ish hours on a saturday (yesterday) afternoon. ultimately, 4 presentations took place in those 3 hours, but plenty of open and intelligent discussion took place. Camp organizer MaryHelen Votral spoke about some of the benefits of LinkedIn as both a business networking too, and a job search too. Self proclaimed “blogger, filmmaker, snark addict” David Dylan Thomas put together a wonderful discussion about blogging that not only served as an intro to the process and technology for some people, but focused on the writing styles the format invokes, specifically the idea of “3 dimensional writing” (in other words, using hyperlinks to write THROUGH the page, not just on it), where it’s appropriate, and where it’s not. Another brief discussion held by Eric Moss on the process of podcast production, and what the format means for the information it conveys. Also, a quick demo of some sweet automatic rotoscope tools by creator Stan Schwartz, who is also a BarCamp veteran.
side note: the diversity of this camp may have not been huge from a physical location standpoint..everyone was fairly local. however, the diversity of backgrounds people came from was incredible. I was so pleased to be sharing space with a mix that ranged from state legislator Mark Cohen, who blogs for phillyblog.com to language industry veteran Bernard Falkoff, who blew me away when he was telling stories about writing user manuals for Frogger on Commodore64, as well as annual reports for my sar/favorite/sar soup company to remain unnamed (hint, it ain’t prego.)
And there, in the middle of those sessions, and in front of nearly 3 dozen participants, I made my pitch. I explained coworking to the crowd. I explained the benefits it provides, the self-sufficient community it creates, and shared my overall passion for bringing the idea to Philadelphia. The response was…well…incredible. Watching reactions of people from all different industries, walks of life, interests, backgrounds, etc, all get interested about this idea was amazing. and not just interested, but quickly passionate as well. One participant, Lauren Galanter, even suggested an AWESOME name for the space: independents hall. how beautiful is that. Joe and I offered to help coordinate the next event in any way possible, because it was such a HUGE success and SO much fun. and the rush of public speaking is like nothing else on this planet. i love it. i wanna go on tour.
needless to say, a LOT of business card exchange took place.
Oh yeah. Business cards. So i’ve been freelancing for almost 2 years now and have never had a business card. How crazy is that? well…
the first run came off the press just in time for creativecamp! also, it should be noted that we’ve finally got the beginnings of our own website.
hey, guess what, I’m a good public speaker, but website copywriting is NOT my strong suit. that copy on the home page too FOREVER and a day to come up with, and our team profile is probably gonna take another forever and a day. lets try and not let that slack.
christ, what else…
finally hooked up the coworkingphilly wiki page on the main coworking wiki. interested? contribute! get involved. the more talent we have to kick this thing off, the better the community is going to thrive.
im sure i missed something. im sure ill be writing plenty more in days and weeks to come. i know ill be DOING plenty more, thats for sure.
my only other regret is not getting more pictures. i’m so bad at taking pictures when i go places, having a nice camera is still new to me. 🙁
what an exciting weekend.
tabs are all the rage. i dont really know why, they are a UI convention that has the potential for helping keep things organized but…it also can get confusing and unruly fast (ever run firefox with too many tabs? yeah. no good.)
thanks google, more stuff on my search home to distract me from my work 🙂
interesting news always crops up. My personal choice for news reception is typicall NOT mainstream “news”, but instead blogs or tech news sites.
Not that I was unaware, but this morning’s news of the CEO of Flock stepping down shows the true effects of the blogosphere changing the tone of news, something we should ALL remember and take to heart.
Start here: Private Equity Week, a financial news journal it seems. fairly reputable (?). proffessional tone.
I got there from: Mashable. Notice how quickly the tone goes from “steps down” to “jumps ship”. Other key terms: Failed, lost, unnecessary. Hm…
and then, where i originally saw the news, on Download Squad, where a lighter tone is taken with the product’s, well, stagnation.
all articles convey the same news, in a very different way. Not unlike how US news and european news tell the same stories drastically different…but now, we’re giving the power to the little guy to tell the news however he THINKS he heard it. Seems pretty dangerous, if you ask me.
You guessed it, that stands for Yet Another Social Website. I stumbled across a very promising social website today, http://www.splicemusic.com/. Splice is doing a number of very cool things. First off, it’s providing a nice pile of sounds and samples…next, its providing a pretty slick multi track mixing console, a-la fruity loops (or a severly dumbed-down version of garage band). Then, once you’ve used all of these toys to mix up a sweet track, it ties in a social networking community for sharing and swapping new tracks. What’s the twist?
From their FAQ page:
Most amazing things were built For the sake of creativity, we think it's important to share. This is why Splice encourages and fully supports Creative Commons licensing. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others to build upon and share. All sounds on this site are protected with an Attribution Creative Commons license. This means that other people can use your sounds - but only if they give you credit. If you would like to read more about how this works, we recommend checking out The Creative Commons FAQ.
Sweet! So the guys at Splice know what’s going on. Not only do they give you everything licensed under CC, but they give you all kinds of cool tools for providing your own materials….both audio upload, and a recorder (mic or line in) built into the flash interface. Pretty hot.
Oh did i mention this is all 100% FREE?
Sure, Splice has that snazzy “beta” nomer on it. But what web 2.0 (read “social” website) product wouldnt? This one really deserves it…there’s a solid base of samples to play with, a good pile of users to swap with already…the only real “beta” thing about it is some of the more rich features, which are to come according to their documentation, haven’t been fully tested yet.
This has a ton of potential, and I’ll definately be keeping my eye on it.
maybe it’s just me. maybe it’s just my distaste for world news, and the fact that its never uplifting and always depressing. it definately isnt my love for interesting uses for technology.
but exercise a little taste. today, 5 years after what we ALL KNOW and remember what happened, CNN is dedicating one of their web news feeds to broadcast the day of live coverage in real time through the course of today. As i type this, I see one tower on the ground and one still standing, smoking. I just heard them get the news of capitol hill experiencing an explosion. I don’t need to relive this, no one does.
here’s to another year of avoiding the news (beyond tech news. the only thing depressing in tech news is windows vista).
sweet. i can’t even blame hardware for this one, it was one foul keystroke of my own and before i could cancel my action, ~160 GB of video archive was out the window.
DataRescueII is in the process of restoring whatever it can salvage, which only appears to be ~10% of what was lost.
needless to say, I’m really pretty mad at myself and my irresponsible fingers.
any reliable data recovery packages hanging around for OS X that someone can recommend? that’d be sweet.
follow up (4 hours later): Data Rescue II worked surprisingly well. Of course, it didnt bring back everything, but it did manage to bring back 20 full length movies, and a handful of episodes of “Dinosaurs”.
That said…it brought back some stuff that I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately nothing TOO interesting, albeit, kinda weird.
Check this one out:
That’s right, various “swallows”. Totally work safe, too.
I havent watched all of them, but all told, there’s about 10-15 minutes of THAT, that came off my hard drive. data recovery software couldnt bring back season 1-5 of scrubs though, could it :-(.
it’s no secret, the most popular site on the internet is composed of some of the ugliest code, and even uglier page layouts. Some claim this is by design. Others spend all day whining about it (and anything else they can think of).
And then, there are some, who hook a brotha up. Some coding genious (or boredom) has struck some individuals, inspiring them to hack apart myspace’s rats-nest of tables, and turn their myspace page into something classy. Taking Eston Bond‘s myspace hacks kit, and some of my own time, I’ve turned my myspace page into something a bit less cringe-worthy.
some sweet features also hooked in: an open source flash based mp3 player, so that I can play some of my own awesome tunes (make sure you at least check out the 2nd track).
also, a handy flash-based RSS reader, posting a snip of the latest blog post i’ve made on here, on my myspace page (instead of the stupid myspace blogs that i NEVER used.
And of course, everything is hard coded to MY specs (heh, myspec), putting whomever I want in my top 3/5/8/16/256 (ok i dont have that many friends). Currently my layout is a modification of Eston’s original template, but now that I’ve got a hang of what myspace will let fly, I’m venturing into designing my own from scratch.
Warning: this is NOT for the faint of heart. Even with Eston’s well written walkthrough, you need a VERY solid understanding of CSS (though you can throw standards out the window) to make this work. But yeah. Dont run my page through a validator, cuz it just ain’t happening.
I’ve already posted a thumbs down article for today…perhaps I should try one with a thumbs up?
So some buddies of mine over at Concept64 are doing some great work…and on top of an advocacy for clean, maintainable source presenting a cleverly designed site layout, they do something pretty cool on the back end that I thought should get some recognition. (also, not that it really means a damn thing, but I went to High School with these guys, and its really refreshing to see some people who got out of my high school and are actually doing something with their lives. Only a handful of the people I’m still in contact with, and it’s a pretty small handful, can have the same said about them).
I’ve become a supporter of WordPress as a blogging tool, hands down. It’s got the cleanest user interface of any I’ve used, is simple and widely supported to install (dreamhost includes a quick-installer in their control panel), and overall, is a FUN tool to use. Well, if you look closely at the most recent site that they developed (in conjunction with my team at work), you’ll find what really ends up being a very, very cleverly pieced together WordPress theme, effectively allowing the client to log in and change appropriate content pieces without needing a developer’s intervention. In this case, it’s most appropriate use is the articles in Cyclopedia. If you look closely at them, you should see a familiar comments field at the bottom. yep, its wordpress alright!
I’ve spoken with Ryan, the developer on the project, about his decision to use WP as a content management system of sorts. His words were,
WordPress isn't the best as a content management system, but it's the best lightweight PHP CMS I've seen, especially considering it's open source
And ya know what? He’s exactly right. Sure, there is probably a better tool out there for the job. But odds are, it’s costly, or it’s full of crud.
If you can get good at using wordpress page templates like they have, why not provide a fairly robust content tool to your client that, if you’re lucky, they may already be familiar with! Oh, and definately check out the rest of Concept64’s portfolio, as they’ve got some great creative work going on. And, to top it all off, their own site’s CSS Refresh 2006 layout was featured on WebCreme (one of my favorite daily inspirations). Nice work guys.
Back to my original thumbs up/thumbs down…i noted that the thumbs up tag feed from flickr has a lot of really fun pictures…does anyone have any particular favorite tag feed keywords for flicker that are worth checking out?
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