Tag Archives: SxSW

SxSW Pool Team

There’s going to be a pool (billiards) competition at SxSW this year in Austin benefiting charity and I’m thinking about putting together a WordPress team for it. Are you a world-class pool player, WordPress user, and going to be in Austin the night of Sunday March 15th? Leave a comment saying why you should carry the WordPress banner and I’ll pick the two best to represent the WordPress community at the event.

At SxSW

I’m at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas now. This is my fifth year at the conference, and I’m excited as ever to see what this year holds. I’m on two panels this year. If you’re a WordPress user and you spot me at the conference please introduce yourself! I’ll try to keep some WP stickers on me, so ask for one if you don’t have one on your laptop yet.

Panels Tomorrow

Just a reminder, I have two panels tomorrow, one at 10 AM in room 17AB (Blog Software Showdown) and one at 5 PM in room 15 (Open Source Infrastructure). I’ll try to record them for blogging later, but the quality will be about the same as the keynote recording.

Texas Food

I’ve got a “Vote for Pedro” shirt on my chest and baby back ribs and Blue Bell ice cream in my stomach—life is good. I can’t believe how much I missed BBQ!

SxSW Blogging Begins

Time to break out the old SxSW (South by Southwest) category again, as I depart in just a few short hours on my journey back to my home state of Texas and to Austin, a town which I love. This year is going to be very different for me than the last two because where before I was a naïve young boy sitting in the audience starstruck at all the amazing people there, and now I’m a naïve young boy sitting on a panel starstruck at all the amazing people there. So the seating arrangement has changed a little bit, but not much else. The only other difference is last year WordPress had maybe 2,000 users (tops) and now we have about 40x that.

I just got a new memory card for my camera and I’m all charged up to photoblog the entire event as I have years past, but I don’t know if this year if I can do 0-day photos as I did before, but I’ll try to catch up when I can. Even though all the cool kids will be using Flickr this year I’m going to put mine on my photolog because I don’t want to duplicate effort and use up my limited Flickr bandwidth. The tags should be fun to watch though.

Quick public service announcement: tunnel your traffic or use SSL, far too many people sniff the networks at these things.

I’m going to be on three panels this year, I’ve linked each from the sidebar and I’ll post more about each as they approach.

If you’re a Photo Matt reader or a Ping-O-Matic or WordPress evangelist and you see my please introduce yourself or say hi, I’d love to meet everyone there.

Lockergnome Happy Ending

Chris Pirillo has floated another Lockergnome redesign that embraces web standards and looks good to boot. I couldn’t be happier. Here’s Chris’ post on the matter:

Boo-yah! I’m going to keep nagging Jason until he applies this weekend’s test code site-wide. No legacy tags, beyotch! Oh, and… “This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!” I’m not sure if I wanna play with a fixed-width or stick with the variable. Doesn’t look great on anything less than 1024×768, but those folks are in the minority. Hey, I got it to look fantastic in all the major browsers on all the major platforms – that’s gotta count for something. Props to glish for the guidance. So, what did I use for my editor? Notepad, baby. Metapad, actually (the best clone around). Thanks to everyone else for the virtual ass-kicking; you accelerated the inevitable.

Most of you will be happy that it looks like a page from this century, but I know some of you are wondering about the markup. It’s decent. Eric Meyer actually covered the Lockergnome debacle and their redesign in his part of the panel on CSS and said it suffers from “classitis” — using too many class declarations. Example:

<ul class="menulist">
<li class="menuitem">
<a href="http://www.emtec.com/mailbell/index.html?lgnm" title="POP3/Hotmail and IMAP Email notification and mail preview">Mailbell - be notified about new email</a>
</li>
<li class="menuitem">
<a href="http://www.vypress.com/" title="Instant messaging and conferencing for LAN">Vypress Chat</a>
</li>
<li class="menuitem">
<a href="http://www.emtec.com/pyrobatchftp/index.html?lgnm" title="Perform automated and unattended ftp file transfers via scripts.">PyroBatchFTP - Scripted FTP v2.08</a>
</li>

Instead of explicitly addressing the menuitem class you could just use the CSS selector .menulist li which would apply to all list items under an element with the class of menulist. I forget the name for this type of selector, but it’s the most useful technique I use daily in CSS.

What’s great is now we are discussing what Lockergnome is doing well and how they could tweak it to make it better rather than wondering how the hell they went wrong. I commend the group at Lockergnome for doing the right thing.

Previous articles on the same subject:

Have We Met?

Having a blast here at SxSW. I’m trying to keep a SxSW blogroll of people I’m meeting but after just a day I’m far, far behind. If we’ve run into each other use this entry to leave a comment with your name, URI, and where we met, if I haven’t already listed you.

The panels today were pretty decent, though I’m sorry I missed Jeff Veen’s panel, which I heard was excellent. Monday is going to have some great presentations. So far there have been many memorable moments, some of which I’m sure I’ll be hearing about from others for a while. I’m going to do a few more pictures and then it’s to bed for me. They put some really good panels early in the morning and I still have to grab some sleep.

Mix CDs

The drive up to Austin was made all the more enjoyable by the mix CDs Kymberlie gave me last night at the H-Town Bloggers pre-SxSW party. Kymberlie runs a thing called Burn It which is like a giant secret-santa type mix CD exchange. If her CDs are indication of the quality, I’d love to participate next time.

Mix CDs are so fun because they provide vignettes of someone else’s tastes, the best and most interesting. Mix CDs are like linklogs of music.

Protect Your Wireless Traffic

On my giant todo list for SxSW this year was double-checking that all communication I would be doing over the wireless network would be secured against possible sniffing. Most of my traffic isn’t a problem: I use SFTP with CuteFTP Pro and Dreamweaver MX 2004 to update sites, terminals are (of course) SSH, and all my incoming and outgoing email is over SSL. I’m worried about the errant website login, and maybe AIM. Better safe than sorry, right?

Well Mr. Haughey is going to be using VPN through an inexpensive third-party provider. Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? I thought about setting one up on my server at home (or maybe the colo) but then I remembered that I have a VPN account through UH that is very fast. They require using the VPN software to connect to any of the Cisco access points they have all over the campus, in fact I’m on it right now. Problem solved. I would still like to bring back the secure Photo Matt though.

Last Pictures

I just added the last of my SxSW pictures. As many of you know Monday was my last day, so I don’t have any from Tuesday. Also for those that asked it actually turned out the Ethics mid-term wasn’t today, but is on Thursday, which was actually a big relief. Coming back I was utterly exhausted—physically, emontionally, and intellectually—and I crashed for about 6 hours in a very satisfying nap. There’s no bed like home.

What If

What if there was a gathering of the leaders, speakers, visionaries, teachers, mentors, and founders of the web? What if there was non-stop, extensive discussion of the pressing issues of web development and practice? What if this meeting of peers had the nicest people you will ever meet, every one of them so friendly and accessible that it makes you appreciate humankind? What if you were given the opportunity to meet with the very people who shaped your education and development in your most formative years? What if this magical event ended too soon?

I wanted to say goodbye, at least for now, to all of the wonderful people I met at South by Southwest Interactive this year. I feel really privileged.

Update: Doug Bowman has some similar thoughts.

Notes: The Future: User-Centered Design Goes Mainstream

These are a day late and a little short but I thought I should put them up anyway.

Parrish: Strong claims: power, justice, and change. Aim to strengthen and not quash these principles. Limiting concerns to blogs. Many questions regarding accessibility. Blog tool developers have made many efforts to keep their tools flexible. Celebrate those efforts and use it as a starting point. Other barriers to access: technical, socio-economic, political. If all barriers were gone, would anyone publish anything. Continue reading Notes: The Future: User-Centered Design Goes Mainstream