Category Archives: Blogging

Northern Voice 2009 – Vancouver’s Finest

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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.

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.

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

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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.

Twitter in Plain English

My pals Lee and Sachi LeFever of CommonCraft have done it again, just in time for SXSW. These guys do a really great job of explaining difficult topics in “plain english.” These videos are really great if you are just starting out trying to figure out this strange online world.

At last year’s SXSWi in Austin, TX, Twitter broke for the first time, err, um, was a break through product that helped people quickly figure out where the cool parties were and helped them track down their friends without calling them.

Since then, Twitter has been quickly adopted (and broken) by at least some of the masses (myself included).

I didn’t really get Twitter at first and I thought that it represented all the worst things about blogging (navel gazing, echo chamber). Here is a link to the day I spent talking about my cat in protest of Twitter. I even annoyed myself.

Eventually, I came around…

So, what the heck is Twitter? If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen my rapidly changing status. That’s coming from Twitter. And while I do kid about the Twitter uptime, by and large, they’ve created an incredible service based on something very simple.

Here’s CommonCraft on Twitter in Plain English.

KOMO Blogger Meetup

Free beer, nerds and a new lens to try out, what’s not to like. Chris Pirillo (of Lockergnome, Gnomedex and TechTV fame) helped organize a get together of over 150 Seattle area bloggers for a little sit down with the “old media” types at KOMO 4.

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Great conversation with lots of “aren’t you famous on the internet?” and “stop twittering this.” Oh, will the wacky hijinks never cease?

Seriously, thanks to KOMO for putting on the event and getting me out of the house. Speaking of which, favorite shirt of the night? Clearly the “Stay at Home Blogger” t-shirt Jen Zug was sporting. Now, where is that photo?

More pix on Flickr

Mac blogger toolkit – Northern Voice 2007

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CBC columnist and Mac geek, Tod Maffin ran another great session at Moosecamp around favorite productivity tools. Below are my favorites from the session.

  • ImageWell – Swiss Army knife for images (free)
  • Paparazzi – takes screenshots of full web pages.
  • TextExpander – condenses messages, phrases or code that you might reuse all the time into short keystrokes.
  • VoodooPad – wiki for your Mac. BEST NOTEPAD EVER!
  • Synergy – software for using one keyboard and mouse with two computers (and screens). Kind of like a KVM…
  • Hazel – best maid for cleaning up your Mac.
  • BrowserShots.org – test web designs on 31 different browser platforms.
  • QuickSilver – I’m hoping I’ll get this one day, but for now, I’ll point it out to all all of you

More tools

Audio of the session

image by Flickr user katiew