Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer
Moderator: Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple
Nick Bradbury, Architect of Client Prods – NewsGator Technologies Inc
John Gruber, Raconteur – Daring Fireball
Shaun Inman, Designer/Dev –
Michael Lopp, Sr Engineering Mgr – Apple

Rough Notes:
The panel ended up being more about how independent designer/developers work, rather than their design aesthetic – interesting, but not really terribly applicable to me…
indie developers are where the bleeding edge happens. What developer means – changied over time – blurring relationship between designers and developers.
The death of the startup – no longer interested in the IPO – not the driving philosophy. Level playing field for mind share and distribution.
It’s a small world – very easy to find what you need –
pxg site – recruiting tool
Defining design –
– great design speaks to you; it has something to say – the ipod giggle.
– hard to do great design – throwing away 80% of ideas
What are the lessons/rules we can learn from indie developers
Indie – what does it mean?
– not necessarily small; people who are designing for the user rather than the company
– building for themselves
Products are a personal obsession
Inman – Results of a conversation either with people who want the product or people using after it’s built.
Gruber design process starts on paper – new notebook.
Inman – starts with research and learning.
Bradbury – build things twice – write some code, throw it away after learning about it, then start from the beginning.
when he gets stuck – he blogs about the project, and gets feedback that helps him work it out.
Gruber – looks at IM buddy list for help.
Inman – group of friends that give him good feedback and aren’t afraid to tell him when something doesn’t work.
Inman & Gruber – no experience working for a big corp. Bradbury – consultant, which made him want to be independent. because of the filter between himself and the user.
Listen to more fans or haters? – the haters.
Example bands that play live – immediate feedback.
lots of discussion of running an independent shop.

Continue ReadingDesign Aesthetic of the Indie Developer Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

SXSW 2007 thoughts

One of the first things I plan to do is take a closer look at Microformats and see where I can mark up my site appropriately. While I was sitting in the panel, I downloaded the firefox operator extension, and I’ve been playing with it.

I also want to get OpenID set up on this site so I can use this as the basis for my authentication elsewhere. There are movable type plug ins I need to install. I want to do some research on some of the other identity websites mentioned in the identity panel.

I need to do some basic layout exercises for this site using Grids – I haven’t quite got that right, and I need to work on it. I also need to set up a grids layout template for sites I’m designing at work.

The second thing I want to do is look more closely at design pattern libraries. We’ve been looking at Yahoo’s Pattern Libraries and using them at work, but I want to understand more about some of the others from that presentation.

I also want to get look more closely at Brendan Dawes work, and start my own version of the book or Dawes’ hard drive. I certainly have projects and ideas like those hanging around, and I hope putting them all in the same place and looking them over will spark some creative ideas.

I want to take a look at some of the techniques that other designers use to get inspired, and see if they help me.

I want to take a close look at some of the sites from the online magazines panel and see if they can inspire me for our redesign of indyscribe.

I want to plan and work on a fictional blogging project, and take a look at some of the sites that panel discussed as part of the planning.

Web Typography Sucks Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

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Open Content, Remix Culture and the Sharing Economy Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Open Content, Remix Culture and the Sharing Economy: Rights, Ownership and Getting Paid
Moderator: Eric Steuer, Creative Dir – Creative Commons
Eric Steuer, Creative Dir – Creative Commons
Glenn Otis Brown, Products Counsel – YouTube
John Buckman, Founder and CEO – Magnatune
Laurie Racine, Eyespot and DotSub
Max Schorr, Publisher & Founding Ed – GOOD magazine
Open Content, Remix Culture and the Sharing Economy Panel

Continue ReadingOpen Content, Remix Culture and the Sharing Economy Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

2:00pm – The Growth and Evolution of Microformats Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

2:00 pm – The Growth and Evolution of Microformats
Moderator: Tantek Çelik Chief Technologist, Technorati
Frances Berriman Volume
Michael Kaply IBM
Glenn Jones Creative Dir, Madgex
Tantek Çelik Chief Technologist, Technorati

Growth and Future of Microformats Panel

Rough Panel Notes:
History of microformats through tshirts – 2003 sxsw
XFN – semantics to blogrolls to mark up
supported immediately by:
2005 microformats for people, events:
done on a wiki on technorati. So made made in 2005
flickr – added microformats to profiles, and geotags
added to technorati
ode began to support for songs, playlists, etc.
2006 – event sites marked up in them
Stanford univesity – base of all their pages for contact information.
Mike – extention for firefox – operator. lets you work with microformats information.
backnetwork – formats work for relationships, reviews, rss feeds. – tear apart his site to code mine with microformats
hcard, xfn, other profiles on other sites. xfn – rel=me
creating new microformats – there’s a process managed by the community environment on – and people are able to present their ideas. – based on the scientific method, doing research on the web into how people are out there marking things up with classes.
does it use existing semantic web efforts and ontologies – yes, they make people look at and do research on what’s existing.
Developing search engines on just formats – – search for microformats, events, reviews, hcards
listings – edgeio will aggregate hcard listings – and you can ping them to get your information entered.
alexa crawls looking of hcards.
dogs that need to be adopted – dogster
Mobile – are mobile browsers finding microformatting.
jeremy keith – demo of microformats
Microformats & accessibility – a couple assesibility experts are pursuing how it can help and avoid becoming a challenge.
Restricted connet – not yet, but they asked her to get involved and develop these things.
Hcard and openID – openID 2.0 are working on all converging this –
searh for hcard creator – dreamweaver has it, so does movable type.

Continue Reading2:00pm – The Growth and Evolution of Microformats Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

1:30AM – The Future of the Online Magazine Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

1:30AM The Future of the Online Magazine (19AB)
Moderator: Rufus Griscom CEO, Nerve Media
Rufus Griscom CEO, Nerve Media
Sean Mills The Onion
Ricky Van Veen Editor,
Laurel Touby CEO & Founder,
Joan Walsh Editor in Chief,
Online magazines panel

Rough Panel Notes
collective average age of their sites – 9.5 years. Online magazines have been around for a long time – are 1.0. How have they changed given user generated content?
web 2.0 has been good for salon – is edited content obsolete? Joan – of course not. Walter Reed hospital – Salong broke story, but blogosphere really exposed it to the mainstream media.
keep in mind that newsletters still reach more people than rss feeds.
Onion started as a newspaper – try to take advantage of all of the 2.0 stuff.
There’s no replacement for talented writers and editing. Something to be said for having a full time staff to cover the dick humor even on the weekends.
media bistro – 27 staff members and 7 bloggers
salon – 28 people in editorial, 60 total
college humor – 40 people, 9 full-time editorial
onion – 13 comedy writers, 18-20 editorial
nerve – 25 people
Premium paid content – open is important because of natural link traffic. Ad revenue is increasing. Paid content is on the way out. But advertising is cyclical, so we have to think about the paid models and be nimble. Membership is a way to form a loyal core – giving stuff away, etc.
Other ways to get revenue – merchandising. – Busted tees. Books are another way – not a huge revenue generator, but enough to be worth it.
Nerve – charge only for racier photography. Insulates advertisers for racier stuff. Babble – mag for urban parents. 10 bloggers all day long, video.
Advertising is biggest revenue – 80%
media bistro – job listings classes & seminars as revenue generators.
Salon – 50,000 subscribers.
college humor – all the offline is addtional, not part of initial model. – books, movie. Shirts helped at the beginning – 1/2 of revenue.
Moderation Policies of user generated content:
college humor – require an edu address, is it more angry than it is funny
salon – very light moderation, requiring an email authenticated address to get consistent handles. Right to pull things down for any reason. Editors choice picks to bump up good letters. user moderation to rate others letters.
nerve – sometimes writers object to comments.
salon – 9/11 angry readers wrote mean things. often the community will moderate things.
does user generated content interfere with consistent voice?
college humor – built on animal house tone from users, so it’s not a problem for them. helps to have 1-3 people to serve as moderators as voice and tone of site.
onion – level of discourse on comments has been shockingly good on a.v. club, so they’ve sometimes reached out to hire commenters. no comments on onion proper – a bit different because it’s satirical.
relationship between blogs and online magazines – do people come to homepage, or from links?
salon – 75 to home page
media bistro – much of traffic to job boards, many go straight to blogs
onion – getting traffic from links is growing and is what they desire – marketing for them.
Nerve – lots of traffic is on their blogs.
whitkey – css online magazines question: why not let user content on home page?
college humor – it will if it’s good
onion – organic process for discovering new writers, so they haven’t had to. editorial model is “you are dumb”
salon – surprisingly more unsolicited stuff gets used than someone would think. They do put user-generated content on the front page if it’s really good.
Nerve – more hybrid model will come in 5 or 10 years. Combination is particularly powerful – american idol example.
larry smith – contracts for content that becomes a book or other stuff –
onion – they have content for those types of projects.
salon – they have contract for that and reward people.
nerve – we have a similar contract
media – we have standard journalist contract.
what have you done that has failed?
onion – paid subscription model didn’t work well. 24 hour news cycle; they backed off of that so much.
salon – most of cuts were based on revenue and expense.
media – haven’t had the boom in LA for classes that they had in NY.
college humor – short form video has been a big experiment and some have been good and others not.
Blogs – how do you deal with bloggers having their own sites, contracts?
media bistro – it is a problem. sometimes with a full-time bloggers. Shouldn’t be producing work on the side.
Nerve – opposite philosophy – encourage them because they generate content from their own blogs.
salon – way too busy to have their own.
Do you have your own design staffs?
onion – yes they have their own staff 3 people – better for content.
nerve – 2 full time and 3 part time – design doesn’t scale, so you need them. also, good designers is hard to find.
college humor – finding a good designer is tough. They have them.
Format question – differences between a magazine and a website, flash, pdf?
Onion – only call them magazines when talking to advertisers. otherwise call them websites.
Salon – don’t agree with the word magazine.
media bistro – trying to ptu the the magazine format online is crazy because it doesn’t take advantage of the features of the web.
Nerve – coherently branded experience is evocative of “magazines.”
Onion has print component, do others have that idea?
Nerve – didn’t work regularly. Maybe quarterly.
Onion – why do we keep it? great way to get local advertising, still works as a business.
party – club deville 6:30-8:30 open bar.

Continue Reading1:30AM – The Future of the Online Magazine Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

10:00AM – Get Unstuck: Moving From 1.0 to 2.0 Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

10:00AM Get Unstuck: Moving From 1.0 to 2.0
Moderator: Liz Danzico Director, experience strategy, Daylife
Liz Danzico Director, experience strategy, Daylife
Kristian Bengtsson Creative Dir, FutureLab
Chris Messina Co-founder, Citizen Agency
Luke Wroblewski Principal Designer, Yahoo!
Jeffrey Zeldman Founder, Happy Cog
get unstuck panel

Continue Reading10:00AM – Get Unstuck: Moving From 1.0 to 2.0 Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Panels I Plan to see today and tomorrow

Some of these overlap, so I’ll have to pick one over the other. But a rough idea.

Monday, 12 March 2007

10:00AM Get Unstuck: Moving From 1.0 to 2.0 (18ABCD)
11:30AM The Future of the Online Magazine (19AB)
02:00PM The Growth and Evolution of Microformats (18ABCD)
03:30PM Bullet Tooth Web Design: Plan Your Web Site like Pulling off a Robbery (19AB)
04:05PM Design Patterns: Defining and Sharing Web Interface Design Languages (19AB)
04:05PM The Invisible Blogosphere (8ABC)
05:00PM Do You Blog on the First Date? (10AB)
05:00PM How to Create A Kickass In-House Design Team (18ABCD)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

10:00AM Web Typography Sucks (18ABCD)
11:30AM Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer (Ballroom F)
02:00PM Will Wright Keynote Speech (Hilton / Grand Ballroom)
03:30PM How to Make Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Usability Work Together (19AB)
03:30PM The Technologist Agenda: Political Activism for Geeks (9AB)

Continue ReadingPanels I Plan to see today and tomorrow