WebVisions Day 2 review

You want irony? On the day I drive 90 minutes to the convention center and nearly 2 hours to get home, I do a brief interview with an Oregonian reporter about my 25 minute daily work commute. Doesn’t seem so bad now :-). Let’s recap day 2:

Let Go! 8 Steps to Succeeding in a Post-2.0 World

Lane Becker and Thor Muller, Satisfaction (slides)
I didn’t write down the 8 specific things, perhaps they’ll show up here, but this talk wasn’t really about presenting the 8 things, it was more a conversation about their message, “Be Like the Internet.” What does this mean? It means giving up control, opening up more, looking outside for solutions, embracing chaos, being more agile. Again, look to the wiki they setup, hopefully they’ll build it out a bit.


Social Media Strategies for your Organization? Connecting the Dots

Jeremiah Owyang (presentation) (slides)
Jeremiah discussed ways to present and implement social media strategies in organizations. The slides should sum it up well or watch the presentation. I need to try some of this stuff with my company. The Air Traffic Controller idea is a good start, though hardly anything is ever said about my company in the blogosphere (perhaps that’s as good a reason to start doing this).


Web Visions: Presentation Page Hierarchy

web application hierarchy, after lunch


Apparently neither Jacob nor Cliff have experienced a Burgerville milkshake, unbelievable. Fortunately we survived the throng of pre-teens and made it back to the conference.

Web Application Page Hierarchy

Luke Wroblewski (slides)
Luke W. is my new design hero, I just hope to never have to pronouce his last name. Not only does he work for Yahoo!, but has his own design business, writes books/articles, and is a prodigous speaker (not always covering the same topic). His slides on Best Practices for Web Form Design are the most useful, actionable advice I have ever seen in a presentation (i.e. you can put the stuff to use immediatley). I didn’t even see that presentation, just read the slides.

So, the talk was great with some sound and straightforward advice on how to focus your pages on the things that matter. Good point about the importance of a good presentation layer, it’s not just making it pretty.


English: Web 2.0’s Universal Language

Kevin Smokler
I left the content square-table discussion for reasons similar to Adam’s and ended up in this one. It was ok. Kevin’s a smart, energetic guy, but the topic wasn’t the most exciting to me, or maybe I was just ready to go home. The discussion was on being clear in our language and making product descriptions easier to understand (passing the mother-in-law test). RSS was a common topic; it’s so great, but a lot of people still don’t really get what it is after all these years.


I had to jet and missed the Friday keynote, sounds like it was pretty funny. Instead I spent the next two hours in the parking lot know as I-5.

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WebVisions Day 1 review

WebVisions turned out all-in-all to be a good time. The sessions were great and I came out of it plenty inspired and am trying to review notes and reviews this morning so that I don’t lose track of the important bits.

AJAX Inside Out (Workshop)

Jack Herringon
Slides: http://muttmansion.com/webvisions.pdf
Code Samples: http://muttmansion.com/webvisions.tgz

Waste of time. They should give refunds for this. Not sure if it was a horrible mis-communication between WV staff and Mr. Herrington, or between WV marketing and attendees. This was a demonstration of AJAX, that’s all.


Paul Ingram (slides)
Very inspiring talk on ideas; where to get them, and how to bring them to life. I’ve recently begun trying some of Paul’s ideas myself in regards “private virtual parnerships,” utilizing informal collectives of people to build projects so am glad to hear others are comfortable doing this as well (as opposed to creating formal organzations/agreements and hiring employees and contractors). I loved the Segway video (a hypothetical discussion of the importance of the Segway as if all of the initial hype came true) and will have to try to find that.


Social Architecture: Modeling the Next Generation

Sean Madden (slides)
Emergence, ubiquitous computing, calm technology, genetic algrorithms. Wow, this is heady stuff, and apparently this guy grew up in Tualatin, which is a stone’s throw from where I currently live. The driving point is about making systems more flexible and easier to change/evolve from the community’s use. I encourage you read the summaries below, this was one of my favorite sessions and I need to let this sink in a bit more.


Sensory Trasformation: How to Sip from the Information Firehose (Keynote)

David Pescovitz (BoingBoing blogger among many other pursuits)
Interesting stuff on information overload, ubiquitous computing, predicting the future. I enjoyed it. I’ll have to dump all my RSS feeds one of these days and start over, one of things David does to manage overload and find new and interesting stuff.


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Is Like.com going to make it?

Remember when they launched in November after their strategic shift from Riya to Like? I don’t quite understand why they were so quick to change, but people make decisions I don’t understand all the time. It appears the decision has not paid off. I read that they raised enough to last through 2009 and go through 3 iterations. If the Riya was #1 and Like is #2, I’d bet they’re thinking about that 3rd iteration by now, especially considering how silent the CEO blog has been since the beginning of the year.

I have a hard time buying this explanation:

Today Riya is using the organic traffic to see how changes improve monetization, repeat usage, etc. The business is in “fine-tune” mode. Every change improves the lifetime value of every user and the marginal profit contribution of every dollar to be spent on marketing. We haven’t poured gasoline in the engine to accelerate the traffic. We are tuning the user experience as measured by the economics of the business.

Did Google, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the recent viral growth success stories have to “pour gasoline” by spending money on marketing? But, who knows, and at least I learned something useful about measuring. It’s not to say it won’t succeed, but given the money and hype put into it, it seems rather shaky.

New features on OregonStartups.com

The OregonStartups site is beginning to come into the modern age. Up until now, the biggest value of the site is their weekly email newsletter, which includes the most extensive local business event calendar that I’ve come across. They now publish the calendar to Google Calendar which can be subscribed to, making it super easy to know what’s going on around town.

There are also a couple of blogs now (main and news), which for me anyway, is a much easier way to get information these days.

Both new features are welcome additions to the site and turns it into a must have resource for local entrepreneurs.

Web APIs shifting

Dare has a good summary of the recent events surrounding web APIs, namely the Google and Del.icio.us moves away from server-side APIs to more Widget based functionality.

We talked about APIs back at the September PDX Web Innovators meeting, and much of that was focused around building mashups off of these services. I think it will be a real bummer if this trend continues, and less mashup-friendly services are offered. I agree with Dare that a site would be stupid to restrict ways to add stuff to your site. But it also strikes me that controlling the data extraction type of API would be a first step towards limiting a site’s viral uptake (though I’m sure Google’s not too concerned with that at this point in their existence).

Personally, I really like the Yahoo set of services, that give you a choice among different output formats (XML, JSON, and PHP), thereby making it easy to use on the server and client (kind of anyway, I can test easily by typing urls in the browser, but the cross-domain AJAX issue in most cases prevents direct use on the client-side).

Portland version of Bare Naked App

Zack Jenks, a portland web developer, is chronicling his experience building a web business. Much like the Carsons’ Bare Naked App, Zach shares his status and frustrations as the site comes together. Being in a similar situation, I always appreciate getting a window into another devrepreneur’s mind, so this should be interesting to keep an eye on.

We’ll have to get Zack out ot the PDX Web Innovators next month.

Another idea bites the dust

Last month I mentioned Cambrian House as a place to share business ideas and possibly have them devloped by a crowdsourced team. The idea I submitted there was a social network for health type thing and it got shot down pretty good unfortunately. The idea was in the middle of my idea list, and it was more an experiment with Cambrian House, but I still thought it wasn’t that bad.

Well what do you know, today I discovered OrganizedWisdom, which is a social network for health information (via Mashable). Time will tell I suppose, but maybe my idea wasn’t that bad after all, and what does that say about Cambrian House? Goes to show there’s probably always somebody out there thinking about the same thing. This also reminds of when Minti came out.

Web 2.0 Job/Gig/Matchmaking Board Roundup

We all got a good laugh (at least I got a good laugh) out of Richard MacManus’s job board announcement, but reality is stranger than fiction sometimes, as they still just keep coming. So, I thought I’d take a moment to recap. It’s been a while since I’ve actually looked for work, but if I ever need to again, I’m honestly glad there are so many resources available now. Down with Monster.com and HotJobs!

Why search so many places, when these guys bring everything to you? And by everything, I mean everything. Of course it depends on how focused your search is, but be prepared to mine though a lot of listings.

Social networking
What you get when you combine social networking with a job site.

Niche job boards
Sure, they all have their own audience right? Wrong. But, hey it’s easy money so who can blame them. Seriously though, if you’re looking for full-time work in a specific industry/field, these are much more focused than the big job sites.

You’re a contract/freelance web professional and you want to get paid for your work? Check these out. You think TechCrunch is going to add a gig board now?

These don’t necessarily pay, but if you’re looking for help on that hot startup idea or looking for the next Sergey & Larry to hook up with, they’re worth checking out.

Crowd sourcing
Have some time and want to tackle some tasks that may earn you some cash? Then crowdsourcing may be for you.

Green Jobs
This category isn’t really tech/web2.0 specific, but if you’re as concerned about the environment as Al Gore is, then this could be your ticket to doing something about it.

Managing your search
We wouldn’t be truly Web 2.0 without something to manage all of this, what with the todo managers, time trackers, etc. growing like weeds.

What did I miss? Add other job sites/board that you like?

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