Geek Fun Internet Culture Twitter

Jon Stewart on Twitter

My wife got a kick out of this. Perhaps I should be paying more attention to what she says rather than telling all of you on Twitter.

So, does this officially make Twitter mainstream?

Blogging Conferences Northern Voice Social Media

Northern Voice 2009 – Vancouver’s Finest


I went to my first Northern Voice 2 years ago after meeting up with some of the organizers at the previous year’s Gnomedex and thinking, “hey, these guys are all right.” Northern Voice is one of my favorite conferences to go to because despite it’s small size, it attracts a wealth of interesting, insightful people who want to share their experiences.

This year I got a chance to catch up with old friends and make a bunch of new ones.

A few thank you’s.

Jim DeLaHunt took Jim DeLaHunt - Northern Voice 2009me up on my ride share offer and I ended up invited to his lovely downtown apartment to for dinner with his wife, Ducky and friend. Thanks for the great company, conversation and for lovely time (and letting me photograph your spectacular view).

Jeremy Latham is my new best friend. Northern Voice 2009-90Not only did we share several interests (well, besides the normal nerdy conference stuff), he fixed a CSS problem on my blog that I had puzzled over off and on for 6 months. Thanks to him, I’ll actually have a home on my blog for my photos soon!

Thanks to the organizers, volunteers and sponsors of Northern Voice. Every year seems to be better and better. Darren Barefoot put it best,

It’s a sausage party no longer. I have no proof of this, but it also feels more diverse in terms of the age and ethnicity of attendees.

I couldn’t agree more.

Some Northern Voice Highlights

Rob Cottingham Northern Voice 2009-88 seriously killed on stage with his send up of the blogging world. Particularly funny was his proposed meme of “3 people you’ve cheated on your spouse with.” I’ve got some video lying around somewhere that I’ll post soon.

PhotoCamp Tim Bray - Northern Voice 2009with Tim Bray as emcee was a departure from the past with less “prepared” material and more discussion. I actually felt like I had something to contribute this year and was a lot of fun.

Dave Olson‘s interview Bev Davies - Northern Voice 2009with Kris Krug and Bev Davies about rock and roll photography was fantastic. I had met Bev the day before after an intro by Peter Andersen and I had a lovely conversation, but had no idea she was so punk rock. Her pictures speak volumes.

There is too much to mention about what I liked about Northern Voice this year, so I’ll leave it at that. Can’t wait until next’s conference.

Check out my pictures of Northern Voice on Flickr.


Photo “ownership”

Vanessa Fox pic on CNN.comHey everybody, look at me, look at me (or rather look at Vanessa). A pic of mine appeared on CNN yesterday.

While it was uncredited (and unlinked), my personal photography policy dictates that the subject of the photo can do with it what they like. Only fair, I suppose, as it brings up all sorts of issues of “ownership” when it comes to photos.

Here’s my policy:

(CC) Randy Stewart, Feel free to use this picture. Please credit as shown.

If you are a person that I have taken a photo of, it’s yours (but I’d still be curious as to where it is).

Sounds fancy and complicated, right :-) ? I also allow for commercial use of my images with accreditation.

Legally speaking

We had a great conversation last year at Mind Camp around the legalities of taking photos and who owns them. I spoke with someone (sorry… forgot his name) who used to work for Getty Images about this topic in particular. The long and short of it is that if I were doing this professionally (read:for money), I’d have to get Vanessa to sign a waiver saying it was ok for me to publish the photo and relinquish all rights to her image.

So, who owns your picture?

So, that’s the legal side of things (and I’ve really oversimplified it), what about the philosophical side? My feeling is, if I take and publish an photo of YOU, you can print, publish, distribute that image however you like.

You can even tell me to take it down and I’d do it, it’s a picture of you. Beyond any legalities that I don’t completely grok, generally I think of photo ownership as 51% you and 49% me. Meaning, you get final say.

I’m ok with it, but it could be better

I take photos for fun and I love taking pictures of people. It’s also a bit of fun to see my pictures in use, whether it be on other blogs or on news sites. Part of that fun is seeing how many people have viewed an image of mine.

That’s the bummer about CNN not linking (or having a counter as Espressobuzz suggested), I like to know how many people have seen a picture I’ve taken. Given the low cost of links, it seems like very little to pay.

[Editor’s note: CNN didn’t link to Vanessa either, which given her Googly background, bums her out too. Hopefully, just being mentioned will throw some links from other folks her way.]

Gnomedex Ignite Seattle

Gnomedex 2008 Aftermath

Dancing with Where the Hell is Matt? - Gnomedex 2008

Actually, other than being tired from having a four week old child at home and shooting 1000 pictures (thankfully, I didn’t post all of them), this year’s Gnomedex was distinctively lacking in an aftermath.

No controversy (I think) and lots of great speakers, ideas and attendees wrapped this year’s meetup into the best Gnomedex yet. I met a lot of really nice folks who wanted to share their ideas, projects, tattoos and good will.

My top moments at Gnomedex this year

What happened at Gnomedex?

There are lots of great summaries of the show out there, so I won’t give you mine. Here are some of the best.

Thank you

A huge thanks to Chris, Ponzi and the Gnomedex crew for all their hard work again this year. You guys put on the best show and attract the best folks time and time again. I’ve mentioned before that despite all my years in the Internet biz, Gnomedex 2006 was my first “Internet” conference. It’s now the only one I can’t miss every year.

Finally, Beth Kanter via Dave Delaney summed up Gnomedex 2008 in eleven words:

Use technology for good and it will make you feel good.

Conferences Gnomedex Pictures

Gnomedex 2008 Pictures

My pix are below, but I certainly wasn’t alone in taking pix for the conference. There are lots more here and here.

Blogging Conferences Wordcamp

Wordcamp SF 2008 Follow Up

San Francisco, Aug 16, 2008

Had a great time at this year’s Wordcamp in San Francisco. I met a lot of great people and had a lot of great conversations and I think, got some pretty decent photographs of the event.

I did have some mixed feelings about the event, but I recognize that creating a low cost, high quality confernce a is a series of trade-offs and I think the Wordcamp organizers made a lot of good decisions.

  • Two tracks, one for users and one for devs.
    This was smart as it got everyone together in the same facility on the same day, and I’m not a dev, so there were no decisions to make :-).
  • The UCSF facility is awesome.
    Plenty of space to run the two track event and let people spread out, take notes, Twitter, blog, process photos etc. The only problem with this place is, it’s out in the middle of nowhere. I suspect those that drove were pretty happy with parking.
  • The WiFi was great!
    (But I still used my EVDO card to let other folks use the bandwidth). This is a pretty common complaint at events and the UCSF folks clearly had some bandwidth and a well managed network.
  • It felt big.
    This is both a point for and against the conference. I miss the intimacy of the Swedish American Hall, but I’m excited for WordPress’ explosive growth. I didn’t get to talk to everyone I wanted to, but there is always the Internets.

I didn’t take many notes, but I did take a lot of pictures. Here are some links to folks who did blog.

Finally, a huge thanks to Matt and all the folks who helped with the conference.

Blogging Conferences Pictures Wordcamp

Wordcamp SF 2008 Pictures

Here are my pix from this year’s Wordcamp.

.Gadgets Apple iphone

iPhone issues in San Francisco?

So, I’ve had my iPhone for about a month now and by and large, it works well enough here in Seattle. The thing that I was most concerned about switching from my trusty but aged Treo 755p (my year old phone was aged, trust me) was going back to the AT&T network.

I switched from AT&T in 2001 to Sprint, and I really had not looked back. I had AT&T ever since they bought Cellular One and their Frankenstein analog/digital network was great when I was using my Nokia 6120. That network (or networks) was ubiquitous as I called people from every inch of California backcountry and rarely, if ever, had problems.

Then, they switched to GSM….

Which worked…


Sprint to the rescue

I dropped AT&T just after going on a cross country road trip where my phone worked very few places and my girlfriend’s (now wife) phone worked everywhere. Sprint’s service had been really great for me. I even have an EVDO card from Sprint that works beautifully. Sadly, they didn’t get the iPhone and I knew that it was a matter of time before I switched back to AT&T’s service.

Surely, AT&T’s network is better now, right?

That said, switching to AT&T had been largely uneventful (the phone doesn’t work as well as Sprint in my house, but it does work). I spent the last four days in San Francisco and had a completely different experience.


My iPhone worked somewhat at the office downtown, but I dropped about five calls during the day. The phone was completely unusable at night, at my cousin’s in the Castro or my friend Becky’s house. When I was on the network rarely did I ever see 3G and thus left it off to not consume battery power.

Too many people or bad chipset?

So, I’m not completely oblivious to the problems the iPhone has been having since launch. Most recently, there have been hopes that the problems can be solved by a simple firmware update or worse a hardware recall.

“What I was told was that 90% of the disconnects are initiated inside the phone, which would exonerate AT&T. Most of the disconnects are being generated by crashes in the driver code for the 3G chip, which comes from the chip vendor, not something Apple written and outside of Apple’s direct control.”

Now, I’m not a network engineer, but I don’t really buy that it’s a software problem. Maybe it’s my past experiences with AT&T (and lots of others with a similar experience with the Edge iPhone), but the differences between Seattle and San Francisco’s networks are fairly stunning and so far, I’ve only had problems in SF.

SF – How has your iPhone experience been?

This sucker would be going back if I lived in the city. To be generous, my experience has been pretty sub-par. How about you?

.Gadgets .Phones iphone Off Topic

What’s on Stephen Colbert’s iPhone? [updated]

Stephen Colbert was waving around his iPhone last night in a tirade against Jobs’ “kill switch.” I thought it might be interesting to see what apps he has on his iPhone.

Beyond the standard apps, AIM, Facebook are the most obvious, but I can’t figure out what the last one on the right is.

Anyone have any ideas?

UPDATE August 18, 2008

I love the Internets! I posted this picture on Flickr with the same question and thanks to my new pal and fellow Flickr user, Jose D. Lopez, we’ve got an answer!
Apparently, the mystery app on the Colbert’s iPhone is
truphone, a VOIP app for the iPhone. I haven’t tried the app yet, but I do have to wonder, why would a guy like Colbert need a VOIP app? Maybe being a cable news anchor doesn’t pay all that well?

I kinda doubt it :-)

Blogging Conferences Gnomedex Social Media Wordcamp

Out and about August 2008 Edition

After a brief shut down in the extra curricular activities, I’ll be out and about in the real world (errr…. echo chamber) real soon now.

Here are a couple of events you can spot me at in the next couple of weeks.

Wordcamp 2008

matt mullenweg
While I haven’t blogged as much in the last year as I would have like to, the crowd that Wordcamp attracts is a great one. Great presentations of the past have included Jeremy Wright, Rashmi Sinha, Om Malik and John C. Dvorak.

This year’s lineup looks to be just as promising.

Wordcamp SF 2008 takes place this Saturday, August 16, 2008 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in in San Francisco, CA.

Here are some of my pictures from last year’s Wordcamp.

Gnomedex 2008

chris pirilloIt’s kind of funny, for all the years I’ve spent in tech, Gnomedex 2006 was really my first tech conference. Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex conference always has good presentations up front and even better conversations in the hallway.

Hell, if nothing else, I like going to see who is going to get obliterated by Dave Winer (last year was Jason Calacanis).

Gnomedex 2008 takes place August 21st through 23rd, 2008 at Bell Harbor Conference Center here in Seattle, WA.

Here are some pictures I took at Gnomedex 2007.

Meet up?

Drop me a line if you’re planning on attending and would like to meet up.

Funny Politics Video

Paris Hilton for President

Normally, politics and pop culture are two things I rarely talk about on this blog, but this is too funny not to share.

If you live under an advertising rock like I do, you rarely see political ads but I do frequently watch the Daily Show, so I catch the particularly interesting ones.

A recent McCain attack ad against Obama likened the Democratic candidate to a vapid celebrity that wasn’t ready to lead. Paris Hilton (one of the celebrities) created a response to the video presented below.

Hilarious stuff from Ms. Hilton and the good folks over at Funny or Die.

(via Laughing Squid)

Cool Tools Google the Cloud

Google Calendar supports CalDAV

Ok, maybe not the most glamorous headline, but if you are looking for a way to integrate into the “cloud” with minimal effort and not paying $99 a year to Mobile Me (and praying that it works), this is a pretty good solution from our friends at Google.

I share a group calendar with my coworkers at Boxbe and I don’t always remember to update my “cloud” calendar to be inline with iCal. This pretty much solves that problem.

What’s CalDAV?

CalDAV is an open standard for sharing calendar information from a desktop computer with a server. In this case, I’m sharing iCal calendar information with Google Calendar and my co-workers can see my schedule.

Previously, I could publish my calendar to Google Calendar, but I couldn’t make any changes to it on Google’s servers. Supporting CalDAV makes this works in both directions.

Setting up

It’s pretty easy to set this up. Here are instructions for setting up iCal and Google Calendar.


The only real trick is getting the URL correct for your calendar which is a URL that contains your Gmail address [ your Google Calendar email address ] /user.

There are some known issues, but nothing there was a show stopper for me.

I just started using this today, so I’ll let you know if I have any issues with it.

[via Daring Fireball]


Heading to Maker Faire 2008

makerfaire.com_ Maker Faire.jpg

About to get on a plane and head down to the San Francisco Bay Area for the annual Maker Faire this weekend.

This is the first Maker Faire I’ve attended and I’ll be bringing Heather and Olivia in tow for the event. We’re all pretty excited for some hard core nerdery this weekend.

What is the Maker Faire?

From the site:

Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things.

The event takes place Saturday and Sunday at the San Mateo Fairgrounds.

If you are unfamiliar with the Maker Faire, here’s a little video.

If you’re going and want to meet up, call me at 415.297.4215. Alternatively, I’ll be on Twitter with status updates all weekend, so follow me here. Hope to see you there.

Events Social Media Social Media Club Twitter

Seattle Social Media Club Meeting Tonight

social_media_club_logo.gifI’m doing a talk tonight at the Seattle Social Media Club Meeting tonight about using Twitter for business purposes.

Here’s the skinny:

Seattle Social Media Club
A Published Stream of Consciousness: Do Business and Micro-blogging Mix?
Thursday, May 1, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Text 100 Office

Micro-blogging services such as Twitter are continually growing in popularity, but many business people are asking how this fits into their professional life. Announcing to friends that you’re “exhausted from a late Saturday night” or “going to buy tickets to the TP concert…anyone interested?” seems far removed from anything co-workers (much less your boss!) wants to know.

While Twitter is great for personal use, many companies are using micro-blogging to enhance their business communications as well.

Join the Seattle Social Media Club to discover how you can use micro-blogging services to enhance your personal brand, grow and strengthen your business network, notify customers, promote your blog and more.

Randy Stewart, social media strategist and Senior Product Manager of Boxbe will be presenting short introduction to Twitter and microblogging followed by an interactive forum designed to help you get the most out of your micro-blogging feed

Let us know you are coming by signing up here.

Pictures Video

Flickr has video

Long rumored and shrouded in secrecy, Flickr launched video today. Video is restricted to 90 seconds and dubbed ““long photos,” of capturing slices of life to share.”

I think it’s a great addition to the site and like the idea of short clips rather than long form amateur video. This will be a great way to capture the moment to share with friends, family and co-workers that are often so far away.

Video up above is from my friend Josh Ellingson, a talented San Francisco artist.

Click through for a completely ridiculous video of Olivia.

Events Geek Fun Pictures SXSW SXSW 2008

SXSWi 2008 in pictures

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I’ve been taking pictures of events for almost a year now and SXSWi was clearly the biggest event that I had undertaken. South by Southwest is both rewarding and grueling in the sense that meeting great folks, learning new things, trying to upload photos in somewhat real time while trying to get sleep is pretty difficult. You can sleep when you’re dead…

I’m not taking pictures for anything other than fun and personal enrichment (and to give something back to the folks who give so much of themselves to putting on these events). I really enjoy the work that Kris Krug [kk+] and Scott Beale [Laughing Squid] have been doing for years and hope to be as good as they are some day. I’m really thankful for all the tips and tricks that they have shared with me in the last year.

Not all the photos are gems, but I cut this group of pictures down from 700 pictures that I took down to about 160. If you want to see with folks on Flickr like best, go here for my 12 most “interesting” photos from South by Southwest Interactive 2008.

FYI – I’m shooting on a Canon Rebel XTi with mainly a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens.

You can view the rest of my Flickr stream here.