Results tagged “events”
June 23, 2010
Been busy running around doing a bunch of fun stuff lately; Here's some videos with highlights!
The Personal Democracy Forum invited me to talk about what we've been learning at Expert labs, which I summarized in a talk called "Startup.gov" which talks about bringing startup-style principles to government.
Ignite NYC asked me to take five minutes to show twenty slides on any topic as part of Internet Week here in New York. I decided to try to defend the indefensible:
Finally, yesterday we finally announced our first public project at Activate, the work we've been doing to help Condé Nast launch Gourmet Live. Though we've just started to explain the concept to everyone, the fundamentals of an awesome new business and some truly impressive new technology are all laid out in the introductory video:
Phew! More on all of these projects as soon as I get a little bit of time to blog about them, but thanks also to everyone who came out to the internet Week interview and all the great folks I met at Blogging While Brown last weekend. Nothing's more inspiring than the talented people I'm lucky enough to meet at all of the various events I get to attend.
(And yes, as the videos make clear, I really do have a whole closet full of dark suits and pinkish-purple shirts.)
April 5, 2010
Just a few weeks ago I made a list of some places that I'm speaking or appearing in the coming weeks and months, and here's an update on a few of those. I hope folks will come up and say hi, or find time for a conversation, if you plan on being at any of these events. (And a special thanks to Clay Shirky; having a chance to speak with his ITP class on Friday night was inspiring and invigorating, making all these other presentations something I'm really looking forward to.)
- Tonight! The NY Tech Meetup. After six years, I'm finally doing my first-ever presentation of an app at the Tech Meetup, unveiling ThinkTank as an introduction to the mission of Expert Labs. If you can't make it, this TechPresident interview I did with Nancy Scola should give you an idea of why I'm so excited.
- Twitter's "Chirp" developer conference on April 14 in San Francisco. We'll be talking about how to use platforms like Twitter as a power for social good, and I couldn't be more delighted to be a voice for that concept. (Psst... I might be doing some improvisational presentationizing at Chirp as well.)
- Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, April 21 in NYC. Finally, you get to see me and Ashton at the same event. Magical and revolutionary!
- I'll be speaking at the USA India Business Summit in Atlanta on May 10-11. This one's really a change of pace for me, but I'm really optimistic about this new event providing a much-needed forum for a truly fascinating new era of business between my parents' home country and my own.
- A keynote at Gov 2.0 Expo, on May 26 in Washington, D.C. I'm thrilled to be talking about how we can bring startup-style innovation to the service of public good, and there's no better place to have that conversation than the Gov 2.0 event.
There are a few other events that I know will pop up on the calendar; I'm looking forward to Blogging While Brown and to catching up with a bunch of folks at Foo East, though I guess it's bad form to mention that? I dunno. I also don't think I'm going to the 140 Conference, Google I/O or Facebook F8, unless somebody lets me know that I should be there. Regardless, I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of you in person! As always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, send me an @anildash message or DM on Twitter, or leave me a message at +1 646 833-8659 if you'd like to get hold of me when at an event.
February 16, 2010
I'm doing a number of presentations and public appearances over the next several weeks, here's a quick chronological overview if you'd like to meet up.
- The AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego, this week from Feb 18-20. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the parent organization for my new project Expert Labs, so I'm extraordinarily excited to get to attend and participate in this event for the first time. Even if you're not a scientist, you can check out Family Science Days for some very cool events that are open to the public.
- Sweets and Treats on March 10 in Washington, DC. Debbie Weil's great event for bringing together DC's tech and government communities looks really promising, and that was even before I knew there was gonna be free cupcakes.
- South by Southwest in Austin, TX on March 12-16. I'm really looking forward to this — Break Bread for Brad in memory of Brad Graham on the night of the 12th, the KICK kickball game is coming back on the morning of Saturday the 13th (more about that soon!), I'll be returning to Battledecks (this time as a judge), and of course all the usual Austin festivities.
- Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, April 21. I'd be excited just to attend this one — it's even more thrilling to get to present. Take a look at the lineup of speakers and I bet you'll agree.
- Gov 2.0 Expo, May 25-27. I can already tell there's been a huge shift in the conversation about how government and technology relate, and if last fall's Gov 2.0 Summit was a watershed moment, this might be even more of a milestone.
And, if you can't make it to any of those events, I'll be doing a few things online, such as this career event about looking at your job skills in the context of Last Year's Model. I'll likely be adding in a few additional events, including Chicago in early March, which I'm hoping will let me meet even more of you. Oh, and of course I'll be blogging here as well, if you really don't feel like going anywhere.
September 15, 2008
Right now I am here, but soon I may be somewhere near you! Let's see where I've been lately, and where I'm going to be:
Across the internets, Choire asked a ridiculous question of mine to Wendy and Lisa when he interviewed them for the LA Times. Michaelangelo picked this up on Idolator, and I think my work is done here.
Absurdly, an offhand comment about Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City who likes to mock people for being "too cosmopolitan", got quoted on the Playboy blog. Did you know Playboy has a blog?
I'm also looking forward to a bunch of upcoming events.
- I'm proud to have helped out a little bit with Web 2.0 Expo New York. Frankly, we have an amazing tech scene here in NYC (Six Apart is hiring!) and we haven't done enough to get recognition for it from the tech world at large. That's why I'm quoted on the Expo site saying, "Well, it's about
- Next weekend in Las Vegas, I'll be joining Chris Alden, our CEO at Six Apart, in a keynote presentation at Blog World Expo. If you'll be there Saturday morning, come see us, or find me at the event before or after.
- Finally, next month, I'll be in Greensboro, North Carolina for ConvergeSouth. I am sure there will be many interesting things to do and see there, but my first priority is to get some barbeque. I'm sure y'all understand.
November 27, 2007
From lolcats to goatse to the Zidane headbutt, I've been at least tenuously linked to some of the web's most notable and notorious memes. Naturally, when I heard about ROFLCon, a conference being organized at Harvard to celebrate online memes and celebrities, I knew I had to be there.
The thing is, every time one of these little memes pop up and I get involved, people always ask me "Why are you wasting your time on this kind of trivial crap?" And the truth is, any one of these memes by itself is a relatively meaningless distraction. (Although you'd be surprised how many people have said "Oh, I saw your name mentioned in The Long Tail!", where I'm quoted because of the Goatse T-shirt thing.)
But taken together, the propagation of memes through the Internet is a new channel for creating culture. I think that's a phenomenally important development, and one well worth taking seriously. If that can happen and we're having fun laughing at silly cat pictures at the same time, even better. Because prior to the ascendancy of television as the creator of popular mass culture half a decade ago, the primary method of passing along and popularizing new aspects of culture was through existing social ties. We're returning to that sort of transmission, to culture being mediated by our social networks, though obviously the existence of the Internet has radically changed the way those networks communicate today.
This intersection of silly internet memes and the reinvention of pop culture has taken a lot of interesting forms over the years. Efforts like (the late, lamented) Blogdex and The Contagious Media Project and eventually Buzzfeed were based on the importance of this kind of cultural transmission. Some of the very best blogs, like Waxy and Fimoculous are, appropriately, both propagators and consumers of these memes.
And, frankly, none of this social media stuff so many of us have been working on will have amounted to a hill of beans unless we can change the course of popular culture. The verdict is still out: We've never made a rock star -- if MySpace counted, those bands wouldn't consider getting signed to a major label with a traditional media company as a milestone of success. Snakes on a Plane tanked. Howard Dean is not the President. A funny YouTube video can get a couple minutes of play on a clip show on basic cable. But I think there's a future where we really can do a lot more than just contribute 10 minutes worth of ha-ha to your workday.
So, come join me at ROFLCon. I'll be the one taking everything a little bit too seriously. But don't worry, given the rest of the formidable guest list, you'll still have fun. And in perhaps the only fitting way to end this post, please see "Lolcat r full of win", one of a package of feature-length articles in the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal, which has a bunch of quotes from me. I'm not positive the quotes from me are 100% accurate. Nor, for that matter, am I sure that the cat grammars described there are really accurate, either. But at least it's a fun read, and lookit silly memes, making their way into good, old-fashioned newspapers!
July 27, 2007
If you're in NYC, you should join me, and my friends from Serious Eats, A Hamburger Today, and Gothamist for the Burger Bash at Water Taxi Beach tomorrow. It's going to be a pile of delicious burgers, accompanied by some good beer (first keg is free, courtesy of my employers) and then later on, holy crap, Grandmaster Flash is spinning! What's not to love?
The only tricky part is that you have to buy tickets in advance. Go buy them now, it's only $13.50 and they're even going to have Butter Burgers. Mmm, butter.
April 6, 2007
Are you in New York for the PodCamp NYC conference? Well, I'll be there representing Six Apart and if you're podcasting with Movable Type, TypePad, LiveJournal or Vox, then we should meet up. There are an astounding twelve simultaneous sessions taking place, so it'll be impossible to get in touch with everyone in our community, but if you keep your eyes open in sessions like the 2:00PM "Blogging for Business" panel in the Kips Bay room, it should be easy to get in touch. You can also text me at 646-541-5843.
February 23, 2007
Do you want to learn about the future of web applications? If so, when choosing an event, you might want to make sure it's one that cares about including speakers based on merit, instead of based on arbitrary gender qualifications. I judge merit to be those who meet these criteria:
1. They've already been successful
2. They have done something innovative and unique
3. They are well-known names who will draw an audience and make the event compelling
4. Their work impacts a large audience, or has great influence on the space
Caveats: This list took about 15 minutes for me to make, and I had a little bit of help from Caterina. It's also skewed towards women whom I know well or whom I have already seen speak. But in 15 minutes, I was able to construct a set of theoretical sessions that you won't see at events that specifically exclude women, or that make sure not to reach out to them.
- danah boyd: The younger generation of web users have different definitions of "public" and "private" than you do.
- Mitchell Baker: How to take something from being an interesting technology to being a mainstream tool
- Caterina Fake: How to get things done even within the constraints of a big company
- Mena Trott: How to design an application that delights its users, instead of confounding them
- Liza Sabater: Your project won't succeed unless you reach people who are different from you
- Amy Jo Kim: How best practices from game design can make your web applications like crack
- Linda Stone:What we will be paying attention to in the future
- Kathy Sierra: How to design products that make your users smarter, sexier and hungry for more
- Heather Armstrong, Meg Frost, and Gina Trapani: One person can be a successful media outlet
- Lynne Johnson: How to credibly bring new media to an old-media company
- Jane Pinckard: Anybody with half a brain could have seen that the Wii was going to win, but you were busy bickering about the Cell processor
- Meg Hourihan: A real mashup: How to combine technology with something you love
- Heather Champ: How to manage a web community shitstorm with grace and tact
- Susannah Fox: You talk about "accessibility", but what do you know about people who are sick, old, or disabled?
- LeeAnn Prescott: Everybody talks about traffic and stats -- what about someone with actual data?
- Charlene Li: What are the criteria by which real-world analysts create their make-or-break analyses?
I could go on and on, but I know the obvious question: Where are the men? Well, don't worry -- the door is open to them. As soon as one of you has done something with the impact of Flickr, something that has the number of users of Firefox, made something that's used by the elderly or the young or by someone different than you, you can participate. Hell, if you make something that makes half as many people smile as Heather, Meg, and Gina's work does, you can send along a proposal to our imaginary event.
To conference organizers: If you haven't heard of these people or their work, or you think that Yet Another Bookmarking To-Do List Guy is more important, perhaps you owe some refunds. At this event, nobody would even notice if the wifi went out.
- See also: The Old Boys' Club is for Losers
February 23, 2007
A few months ago, I spent a lot of time trying to show the tech community I belong to that diversity is essential to our survival. Not just to the Web 2.0 world being healthy and thriving, but as a matter of life and death.
Unfortunately, my diatribe on the topic was boring and thus unpersuasive. Jason Kottke kicked off another conversation about the paucity of female participants in some of the higher-profile technology conferences. I agree with Jason's point, but am disappointed that his preference for rationality and logic led to him using numbers and statistics to justify the idea: The responses quickly devolved into the expected defensive numbers game.
One bright spot is that at least some of the people on the defense are smart guys whom I respect and like. Because, while they're wrong, at least I can debate them in good conscience without feeling bad. I would have felt bad if I only linked to defensive rationales foisted by those who I think are malicious and idiotic.
So, the good guys on the wrong side of this debate include, first Eric Meyer:
In my personal view, diversity is not of itself important, and I don't feel that I have anything to address next time around. What's important is technical expertise, speaking skills, professional stature, brand appropriateness, and marketability. That's it. That's always been the alpha and omega of my thinking, and it will continue to be so the next time, and time after that, and the time after that.
You'll note that nowhere in that list do you find gender, race, creed, or any other such parameter. Those things are completely unimportant to me when organizing a conference. (Or, really, when I'm doing almost anything.)
In a similar vein, John Gruber:
It's not because of a lack of opportunity or aptitude; it's a lack of interest.
So the issue here isn't why there aren't more women speaking at web conferences, but why there aren't more women interested in web nerdery.
Eric and John are both good guys who mean well, but that two people who are smart, forward-thinking, and open minded are still unaware of the limits and constraints imposed by their own shortsightedness is disappointing. Eric: Are you saying that it's your explicit desire to only make a conference that's marketable to the audience you already have? Because that seems so boring and unambitious that it feels like you're saying "we're only in it for the money".
Unless I'm going strictly out of obligation, I go to events to learn things, to have my mindset challenged. Being presented with familiar, unchallenging ideas just so someone can make a buck is the equivalent of junk food. Don't get me wrong -- I'm a fan of pop music, so junk food has its place. But I expect better of those who are seen as leaders.
And John, to fall into the laziest, least persuasive argument of all leads me to believe you're being almost willfully naive. "Women aren't in these disciplines because they aren't interested?" Really? There's a simpler explanation, which falls under the heading of "I know where I'm not welcome." This kind of bias isn't new; Guys are almost always unable to see the barriers they construct.
Let me put this into terms your respective audiences can better understand:
- Limiting the speaker list of an event to those that appeal to your existing audience will yield diminishing returns as your attendees tire of seeing the same voices over and over. And in the meantime you will make less and less money.
- Saying that you want to design an event to appeal to the audience that you already reach is like making a web page to work with only the browsers that can already see your site. Do you believe in open standards and accessibility when it matters, and when it's not easy, and when it's not merely a technological problem?
- It's foolish to think that the feedback loop of a strong network effect doesn't act as an enormous barrier to new audiences. If you are an Apple fan, do you think that merely touting one's own technological superiority is sufficient? Or does it make sense to accommodate those who aren't yet part of the community by being able to run their applications, get the same economies of scale from processors and peripherals, and improving distribution and retailing? If you do, then you're saying it takes more than opening up the door -- it requires welcoming the audience you haven't yet reached.
And in passing, I am not surprised that those who advocate yelling at their customers tend to get very defensive about their lack of ambition. It is a fitting punishment that the web of some people's "future" only includes more boys like themselves, progressing further and further into a rounded-corner of irrelevance.
That brings me to my final point, which I'll explain more in my next post: Those of you who are defending this status quo are defending a culture of failure.
And that's the most important thing to remember: Those who are reaching out to include all members of their community, who are seeking out new ideas and voices, are not only winning, they're the only ones who will continue to win. You may succeed in defending the boys-only nature of your treehouse. But you'll be dooming yourselves to irrelevance.
- For more reading: The Essentials of Web 2.0 Your Event Doesn't Cover
November 29, 2006
One of the most common questions I get from people who know about Six Apart is "What the hell do you actually do there?" These days, that question's easier than ever to answer, but it involves explaining one of the goofiest parts of my job: My title.
You see, these days my business cards describe me as "Chief Evangelist". On the plus side, it's the first time in the history of the company that I've basically only had one job (though I still help out with as much stuff as I can), but on the downside, the title is fucking ridiculous. I hate the word "evangelist" as a description for people who advocate technology not merely because of its religious connotations, but also because it implies a degree of proselytization that I'd like to think I don't participate in. Most of the time, my job is really just simple education.
Unfortunately, there's no better title to describe this kind of work. So, evangelist it is, and the title has stuck. The last time I saw Guy Kawasaki, I made sure to mention that it's his fault I have a title that makes no sense outside of Silicon Valley. Fortunately, it should be a lot more fun the next time I see Guy, which is at the Global Network of Technology Evangelists event next week.
GNoTE is an interesting organization that is just getting started. At its core, it seems to be a group of people who recognize that technology can have a great impact on people's lives, but only if some of us are dedicated to explaining technologies and in helping make them accessible to a wider range of audiences.
If that sounds interesting to you, and you can get to Santa Clara, join us on Monday for GNoTE's inaugural event. (More event details are on Upcoming,) I'm very flattered to be in the company of counterparts from Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft, and Sun, among others. As a bonus drinking game, you can take a swig every time the word "evangelist" or some variation thereof is mentioned, and walk out of the place blind stinking drunk!
November 20, 2006
- I've been ruminating about radio a lot lately (more on that later), but one of the most pleasant radio discoveries of late has been XM Radio's 80s and 90s stations, as well as their "20 on 20" pop hits station. Imagine my delight when I found that AOL Radio is streaming them for free.
- Let's see: Free Jay-Z concert, cute pictures of Shiba Inus, and gratuitous Prince references. Andrea Harner's blog is apparently what I would get if I commissioned a blogger to make a site for me. For the rest of you, BuzzFeed will be more to your taste.
- How to share your event on Google Calendar. Shouldn't the microformats çrew be automating this stuff for all of us?
- Michael Arrington's taking some time off from TechCrunch. One of my main criticisms of the site has always been that he's just a youngster in blogging years. Take it from those of us who've been around for half a decade or so -- this whole "I'm quitting!" thing is only the first step in a bigger cycle. After you quit once or twice, you have to get in a big flame war, post an embarrassingly personal item to your site, have a grandiose Third Anniversary blog post, coin a catch phrase, and have your last name turned into a verb before you can even consider yourself a serious blogger. On the other hand, "TechCrunch is a new kind of publication" so maybe I know nothing.
- I like the Wired cover story on LonelyGirl15, especially because they embed a number of relevant YouTube videos into the story. But how come the it's-not-porn-we're-journalists photo shoot video isn't on YouTube, too? It'd be a great promo for the story!
- "Feature" has many definitions. It can describe a full-length movie or a particularly prominent or compelling article in a magazine or newspaper. Alternately, a feature is an individual bit of functionality in a software program or application. What do I think of Jeffrey McManus' blog post? It feels like a feature.
August 28, 2006
As part of all-Office day, I should mention that I'll be speaking at the Office 2.0 Conference on October 11-12 here in San Francisco. If you know me, you'll probably not be surprised that I'd like to talk about how Office 2.0 connects to, say, Office 2000.
March 10, 2006
In the same week I missed Etech for the first time in years, I should also mention that I'm not going to be in Austin for South by Southwest for the first time this millennium. My apologies to everyone who I'd hoped to see, but the combination of having been fighting off a persistent cold and being pretty busy at work means that I can't make it to Texas this year. And yeah, that means no KICK!
Sorry to everyone who's disappointed, and have fun at the panels and parties. Make sure to enjoy the Boiling Pot on my behalf.