February 2007 Archives
My brother, Joe, was on a cleaning kick. I have known of the dump in the Irvine Hills since I was a child, but I did not know that Huntington Beach had a dump just off Warner Ave and Gothard, just across the street from a primary school. It was actually a very beautiful place, in an industrial way.
Huntington Beach started out over a hundred years ago as industrial oil fields by the ocean with a few green bean fields here and there. In the last 40 years, Huntington Beach has become the epitome of Orange County suburban big mcmansion stucco'ed track houses by the beach. To see the suburbs lifted up to reveal the old industrial heart was delightful.
@ Bordello in downtown L.A. for Kim V.'s birthday.
All photos of Royal Crown Revue taken with Ms. Jen's Nokia N80 camera phone.
All photos taken on Fri. 2/23/07 whilst on a walk around the neighborhood with Scruffy and Belle with Ms. Jen's Nokia N80 camera phone.
I will sum it up to start: SXSW Interactive is my favorite conference. It is affordable, it has a great and diverse roster of speakers, and it covers a wide variety of topics within the field.
1) As a freelancer, I do not have a corporate budget behind me. I can't afford @ Media, O'Reilly, most of the Flash conferences, An Event Apart, etc. I can afford the $225 for a SXSW Badge, I can afford the $125 for d.Construct, I can afford Carson Workshops. It is not just the $795 - $2000+ price tags that come with the other conferences, one must also add in travel, hotel, food and entertainment. If it comes off of my credit card or bank account, I have to add it all up and consider it even if I can write most of it off on my taxes.
I know quite a few freelancers who would love to attend a conference and can't. In a world economy, where more and more of us are working freelance or as consultants, this matters. Does this mean that conferences are designed and marketed for folks who work at big corporations?
The best speakers at SXSW Interactive 2003 was not any of the A-list web design or development folk, nor any of the fabulous bloggers there that year, but instead was three women (Ana Boa Ventura, and sorry I don't have my notes here for the other two) who spoke on a panel entitled, "Women who kill Tigers". They spoke on how art informs their design and activism practices. One of the speakers, a South American painter and designer, spends half her year in Paris or Montreal working as a designer for opera companies and half her year in Austin. The ideas on how to kill a tiger or design and make art was amazing. ((Hugh Forest, bring these women back!!!))
I find conferences, be they one day or 5 days, to be dull if the speakers are all the same folks speaking about the same things. Who wants to eat a meal entirely of bread? Not me.
To respond to Eric's post on Diverse it Gets, of which I did in the comments, I could care less about whether a person is racially or sexual diverse from the usual white male speaker, but what about a diversity of thought? Of ideas?
3) Ok, so Eric makes a case for limiting speakers to the A-listers who have published and excelled in web design and development. I say, "Eric, it is becoming a circle jerk." Not literally. But in essence, yes. All of the top 15 - 20 guys who speak on web design standards or the intersection of CSS and code, are all the same guys speaking at all the conferences these days, be it SXSW, or Carson, or @ Media, or any of the Web Directions conferences, etc. By and large, other than the emergence of the Philadelphia folk, the Aussies, and the Brit Pack in the last 2.5 years, the above group are the same folk who have been on the conference and book circuit for the last 4-10 years. It is getting stale.
Folks, it sells conferences out when you get the "known" A-listers or at least the perception that these folks are the rock stars. And maybe corporations want to send their folks to conferences and training with known names or at least published names so that one can justify the expense to one's manager.
The web is still young. Do we want to be so conservative so early in the game?
I say no! Let's innovate. Let's invigorate. Let new speakers in. Let new ideas in. Let's increase the scope to include folks like Tom Coates, Liza Sabater, Maggie Mason (moderated the a great panel at BlogHer last summer), Jessica Spengler (very bright, very thoughtful, someone give that woman a microphone), Jason Toney, Lynn D. Johnson, Ana Boa Ventura, and many many many more.
Want to speak? Want to shake it up? Don't have time for unlimited self-promotion? Do as Tantek suggests and get yourself out there, sign up for a Bar Camp, or send a panel or workshop proposal into a conference (SXSWi and BlogHer encourage proposals).
Make great art/design/code and let's speak out.
((p.s. As for the lack of women speakers at the average web conference, the argument that there are no A-list women to speak, is bullshit. I have had it out with two friends who organize conferences on this matter. Due the insularity of vision on who can and should speak a lot of women are going unnoticed or uninvited. If Jason Santa Maria and Rob Weychert have been allowed to join the party, then I nominate Liza Sabater, Rachel Andrew, and Eris Free. There it has been said.))
Update on Fri. 2/23/07 at 12:58pm:Rachel Andrew twittered this link to her post on Women Speakers from last fall. I recommend reading it as she brings up the issue of childcare and the comments are illuminating. I further nominate Rachel.
Sun. 02.18.07 - Today is the second New Moon of 2007, which means it is the first day of the Year of the Pig. May you have a delightful year full of good juicy pork and lots of laughter.
Ha! It is all Hugh Reynolds from last year's game class's fault... I am now official addicted to Katamari! I called a bunch of game stores this morning looking for one that had Katamari Damacy in stock and only found one in Santa Ana. After my purchase, I came to the conclusion that Game Store Clerks are the New Record Store Clerks. Nice, geeky, willing to chat and very knowledgable. I miss Bionic.
After dinner with my mom at 320 Main in Seal Beach, I took the newly acquired Katamari Damacy, plus some wine, over to Lucky and Greg's house. Wine opened, Play Station 2 console pluged in, one call to Greg at work to figure out what channel was needed on the TV, a bowl of fresh popped popcorn, and off we rolled. Our biggest Katamari was 74cm. Wahoo!
Katamari, we love you!
You inform a person you are chatting with, "Forget schools and neighborhood safety, I pick where I live based on who the online cable provider is..."
For various reasons* that I will blog about more when I am not tired, I am currently researching and soon to implement a moblogging solution that will send photos directly from my Nokia N80 to my Movable Type installation. In the meantime, I am reducing my use of Flickr to moblog my photos to this blog and using Lifeblog on my phone to send the photos to my Typepad account and then reblogging them here and adding Lightbox for fun effects.
** The Ms. Jen's 1st Law of the Internet is the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid)
or to quote Coco Chanel - "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."
*** Own Your Own Stuff.
The grand glory of Ryan Callis' MFA painting show was in the details and in the borders / transitions within his paintings. Ryan presented 10 - 12 large mostly non-objective geometric abstraction paintings with a few surprise figures or organic dioramas popping out of or under the geometric and field parts of the paintings. Good stuff from Mr. Callis.
All Photos taken by Jen Hanen with her Nokia N80 on Tue. Feb. 13, 2007.
As we drove out of the CompUSA parking lot, Joe had me open the MacBook Pro Box and plug the computer in to his car inverter. Off we went, me setting up the machine, Joe driving.
(The CompUSA in Long Beach is having a 10 - 20% off closing sale. My brother Joe has a bonus. We went shopping. What fun.)
I have a few hard and fast stomach rules:
1) No wheat/gluten and garbanzo beans/hummus/falafel never ever never. No negotiation.
2) No Thai or Indian food for dinner. No, really, this is bad.
3) No caffeine, esp. diet coke after 4pm. Not just because of wakefulness, but caffeine triggers tummy troubles.
I broke rules #2 and #3 at dinner last night and now at 5:33am I am paying for it. Wide awake with an upset stomach.
In case you missed my blogging about the Around Ireland project this last summer, here is a summary from the About page:
Around Ireland is a mobile documentary project completed as part of the MSc in Multmedia Systems at Trinity College Dublin. We have travelled the 32 counties of Ireland, gathering video and images on mobile phones over the course of the Summer of 2006. The mobile content is sent directly to our site, Aroundireland.net from camera-equipped mobile phones in real time.
Rather than sending an image to just one other individual via MMS, Around Ireland aims to act as a central respository for mobile photographic content, allowing visitors to browse submitted mobile pictures from all over the island, geotagged according to location.
Phil's prediction for 2007:
Phil Says Spring is Right Around the Corner!
Phil's official forecast as read 2/2/07 at 7:28 a.m. at Gobbler's Knob:
El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.
Global warming has caused a great debate.
This mild winter makes it seem just great.
On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?
On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way.
The Northwest and Northern California may have seen a heavy, wet, and cold winter this year, but here in SoCal we have only had one good rain in October and one last week. SoCal has been very dry and quite warm, until the January cold snap. Phil - we need rain. Will you please do a dance for SoCal today?
The bookmark that came in the Amazon box with Andy's new book.