Blog Action Day

15 08 2008

Yesterday, the topic for this year’s Blog Action Day was announced – Poverty.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, because maybe a lot of people don’t know what Blog Action Day is. The goal of the event is to get bloggers and pod and video casters to post about the same topic to spur both discussion and change. Once the year’s topic is announced, you can sign up to commit your blog to the event, meaning that you “promise” to blog about that topic on the chosen date. This year’s date is October 15th.
B.A.D. has posted a video, both on their website and on Vimeo, announcing this year’s topic. I put it up here just to make it easier for you all. I think it does an excellent job to excite the viewer to get involved.

Are you excited yet? Me too! But what do you write about? Advice that is given on the B.A.D.’s website suggests that you stick with the overall topic of your blog. For example, if your blog’s topic is Politics, then you could write about what the candidates are doing, or plan to do, about this issue.
If you want more information and to register your blog, visit Blog Action Day’s website or follow them on Twitter. Also, be sure to go Digg them, they deserve it!

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SXSW

14 08 2008

I’ve been debating whether to go to SXSW next year. The conference is in Austin, Texas and runs March 13th through 22nd. The 13th-17th is the interactive festival, the 13th-21st is the music festival, and the 18th-22nd is the film festival.

Here is the description for the interactive film festival:

“The SXSW Interactive Festival offers five days of panels, keynote discussions, Trade Show, and exciting evening events. Attendees benefit from hands-on, how-to training as well as long-term, big-picture analysis in an atmosphere that charges creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. More to the point, coming to SXSW Interactive is a great way to recharge your creativity.”

Registration prices are based on the date that you register (badges are cheapest before Sept. 26) and they are also based on what you want to do at the conference. You can choose to attend just one aspect (interactive, film, or music), or a combination of the three.

The interactive badge, if bought before Sept. 26th is $375 which is pretty acceptable! (What do you think are the chances of an employer paying for their employee to go to this are?) This badge alone gives you access to:

  • SXSW Web Awards and Pre-Party (with complimentary food and refreshments)
  • SXSW Interactive Conference & Festival—4 days of keynote speeches, provocative panels, how-to sessions, distinguished speaker series and roundtables
  • SXSW Film/Interactive Trade Show & Exhibition-3 days of exhibits where you can interact with representatives from 80+ companies
  • SXSW Registrants Lounge –- complimentary refreshments and snacks while you schmooze
  • ScreenBurn Gaming Arcade and ScreenBurn panel programming
  • SXSW Interactive Big Bag filled with magazines, software, t-shirts, stickers and other goodies
  • SXSW Program Book/Registrants’ Directory
  • SXSWorld Magazine subscription (4 issues per year – a $20 value)
  • Unlimited opportunities to interact with your industry peers at a non-stop parade of receptions, parties and get-togethers. 

I guess my biggest worry is going alone, I’m definitely not a huge fan of going to conferences by myself, or flying by myself! But I think it would still be so much fun, I would be able to meet different people, and I think it would just be an awesome opportunity overall.

For more information on SXSW, visit their website: www.sxsw.com and let me know if you are going!





Aurora Browser Concept

6 08 2008

Adaptive Path has joined forces with Mozilla Labs to create Aurora. This is actually part of Mozilla’s browser concept series which allows designers to showcase their visions of the future of the web.

Right now, Adaptive Path has two videos showing some of Aurora’s features. They are kind of cheesy, and I don’t understand why the people in the videos aren’t actually shown talking (watch them and you’ll see what I mean.) But they do a good job of showing the browser and the multiple different things that it can do, both at home and on a mobile device. There are several more videos that are “coming soon”. I subscribed the RSS Feed so I can see them once they come out.
If you want to watch these videos for yourself, you can visit Adaptive Path’s Aurora page. The videos are also in HD on Vimeo. I would suggest watching at Vimeo, just because it is HD and you can go into Full Screen so that you can actually see what’s going on.
This is really exciting new technology, and I would love to see it available to consumers. I know that will probably be a while, but I’ll still look forward to it!

Update – 5/7/08
The third concept video was posted today. Follow the same links as above to watch!

Update – 5/8/08
The fourth, and final, concept video was posted today. Again, you can watch it from Adaptive Path’s website or from Vimeo (which I recommend.)

Having watched all of the concept videos now, I have a semi-better idea of the Aurora browser. However, I think that there are many more fine details that should be explained. At least two of the videos touch on the use of RFID. In order for a user to get this data, the object/product/etc. in question would have to have already been tagged, making the technology useless on any product that has been produced previously (without RFID.)
When a user wants to share data, invite others to an event, or contact others, does that person need to be using the Aurora Browser as well? It seems like in order for the proposed collaboration to take place, each user would need to be using this, otherwise there would be no way to accomplish whatever it is that you were trying to do.
Does this take the place of an operating system, or is it a browser like we know today? Does it just deal with your chats, internet, online shopping, and email? I guess that’s what was so confusing to me, because in the “screen shots” it seemed like it was either a full screen application, Aurora was independent of your computer, or it was all that you would ever need. If it was independent, what would be the way that data is shared between the two devices? If it is just an application, does the way that data is organized in Aurora affect how it is organized on your computer?
I know that this all ties in with the semantic web, and I’ve been really interested in the semantic web for a while now. However, it is all kind of confusing in how it would actually work. I think that the ideas and the potential are fascinating, but it’s the specifics behind it all that need to be worked on.