July 23, 2007

it's a good thing she's cute...

first time in the boat!
first time in the boat!, originally uploaded by hillary h.

it all started with me losing my bday ski goggles. then i left my northface liner gloves on the top of the wood burning stove. oops.

last month, i left my favorite, amazing, wonderful, blue cloudveil windbreaker in seattle. no idea where, and the hotels have never gotten back to me. then my oakley sunglasses fell out of my shirt pocket and into the grass at the park. i found them... but they are mangled up something awful. i'm hoping a skilled glasses guru might be able to fix them.

and now, with the help of my hyper dog who's been cooped up all day missing her moms, i drop my new nikon digital slr. the dog jumps up, it starts to fall from my hand, i watch it in slow motion, and yell her name much louder than anticipated.

i think it's just the autofocus... "just." no idea how much it will cost to fix it. what the hell?? it sounds weird to namedrop all those brands, but i feel the need to commemorate what a craptastic few months it's been for me and gear.

video killed the blogstar

Colin Devroe from Viddler took some video at WordCamp Day 2. Between some Digg traffic and the fact that Download.com started using Viddler for the streaming video, Viddler has had a bumpy day today. But as Colin said, these are good problems to have.

A client once told me that a product was a wonderful failure (not sure that's the exact quote, it was pretty poetic at the time... perhaps a "successful failure"? Ack, can't remember...). We did our jobs too well and couldn't keep up with the traffic. That one still stings, but he was right. It was a success, just not exactly when it needed to be... November 2, 2004. Election Day.

I Was There -- WordCamp 2007

I went to WordCamp 2007.Post WordCamp resolutions:

  1. possibly start using my wordpress.com account instead of my blogger account
  2. finally fill out 3to5.com
  3. blog more often - more than one blog?

WordCamp was great. Thanks to everyone at WP and Automattic for making it such a great (and cheap!) event.

Day One

Even though I thought day one dragged a bit, it was still absolutely worth my time and money to attend. I would've liked a little more "meat" from a few presentations; but truly enjoyed hearing more about podPress (trackback), Robert Hoekman, Jr.'s thoughts on designing the obvious (trackback), and Matt Cutt's tips for Google keyword optimization (trackback). Om Malik and John C. Dvorak were also very insightful and entertaining. They basically sat and had a conversation about blogging vs. journalism -- though the consensus seemed to be that there is no "versus," it is journalism (trackback).

Stephanie Booth live-blogged several of the sessions if you're curious.

Day Two

Since they extended the conference to a full weekend this year, they decided to break up the schedule a bit:

We’ve tried to mix it up a little this year, with the first day focusing primarily on user topics and the second day primarily on developer topics, but we also think there’s a lot of overlap.

I'm not a developer, even if I can create WP themes, but I enjoyed the overall content of day two a bit more. The presentations were simply a bit more up my alley -- I'm not a hard-core blogger, nor do I aspire to be.

The highlights of day two:

Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare.net on designing "massively multi-player social networks" -- i.e. how to balance the design concerns of the individual and the crowd when building a social app like flickr, slideshare, youtube, etc. Her background is in social psychology, and I really enjoyed her approach to and thought process about designing these massive systems (trackback).

Liz Danzico of Happy Cog NY presented some of their findings from a recent usability analysis of the WordPress admin pages (trackback). I love this stuff! And let's just say that a lot of excellent changes are coming to WordPress in version 2.4. Since WP has grown organically, some elements have taken on lives of their own. So glad that Matt and his team engaged Happy Cog -- it can only make their product better.

And last but not least, it was a real treat to see Dave Winer speak (trackback). He got really jazzed about the idea of an identity system -- possibly leveraging what he called "the beauty in" twitter's API. I was hoping he'd talk a little about OpenID, but instead the conversation revolved around whether facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, or whether it sucks. Dave thinks it sucks (my words, not an actual quote) because it's too restrictive. He wants "the whole toolbox," not just a few tools to build some cool stuff. Personally, I think Facebook is about to blow up. Those guys are smart -- Harvard grads, afterall -- and I think they'll realize it's in their interest to open up "the whole toolbox."

Thanks again to the WP and Automattic folks for organizing. Howdy to all the folks I met over the past two days. Give a shout! Hope to connect with you all in meatspace again soon. Until then, I'll be twittering. :)

July 18, 2007

OMG. The Polyphonic Spree.

The Polyphonic Spree @ the Great American Music Hall
Tuesday July 17

i don't have the setlist yet, but they played for more than two hours and did a six- (or seven- ?) song encore. tim told the crowd -- after the best live Nirvana cover EVER (Lithium) -- he wasn't "ready to bring it home just yet," and asked the crowed if they should play Soldier Girl, Hold Me Now, or Light & Day. the crowd screamed loudly for each one and he pondered a moment and then said, "let's do all three!"

i didn't think anyone would top The Arcade Fire this summer, but The Spree did just that. an amazing night i will not forget. this is a band now firmly planted in my "see them anywhere, anytime" list. fun, fun, fun!

for anyone interested, their recent show at the 9:30 Club in D.C. was recorded by Bob Boilen for NPR's All Songs Considered. get a little taste of the live spree experience: @ NPR, @ iTunes

i just found a great recap of their recent show in Brooklyn -- sounds very much like last night's show. tim was very emotional and thankful to the sold out SF crowd, saying over and over, "Thank you so much. We needed this." as patrick says in his review, i can't wait to see them again.

more glowing reviews (with photos): minneapolis, seattle (two nights ago)

July 6, 2007

today's LOLtwitter

You could be a lesbian...

priceless. (hat tip to Lisa McMillan)