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SXSW 2010: Evan Williams Twitter keynote

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Internet,

Evan Williams sxsw 2010Three years after the Twitter 2007 launch at South by Southwest, Evan Williams announced @anywhere pages at .  This service allows web publishers to enable OAth Twitter logins, much like the Facebook Connect strategy.  They are not the first web service with hundreds of millions of users to attempt this tactic.  Hotmail users were able to use that log on on other sites via the Microsoft Passport service, after the software giant bought the first web mail provider in 1997. This account was used across all Microsoft platforms like Expedia and even shopping sites like Buy.com until it was ultimately removed from service in 2009.  Today, Facebook Connect allows their 300+ million users to log on and make comments on thousands of sites and blogs. Twitters user base is much lower and they are a bit late to this strategy so it will be interesting to see how many sites will employ the service.

With a 10’s wide and thousands deep line to get in, the SXSW day three keynote of Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter was off to a rocky start.  He started with an awkward announcement their latest service offering via a video demo and audio problems with the mic of the moderator Umar Haque.

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SXSW 2010: Playing with Place - Location-aware games

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, GPS, Video Games,

SXSW svngr playing with place

Katheryn started off the session giving us geo location coordinates that only a machine would love.  Her followup to this was the context matters; our location around a place and who is around that space with us.  There is also excitement around discovery with geo.  An example could be geocache games which created back in the old old black and white LCD “latitude and longitude” GPS units and have worked their way into the App stores of the and handsets.

Although location is in its infancy, Foursquare has opened their APIs and sites like gatsby.com are using location data + user preferences to send SMS messages to those who are in proximity with one another and could potentially benefit in meeting up in real life.  While this leads to privacy issues, it is opt-in and could let “regular strangers” connect and communicate in ways that they might night work up the courage to in the physical world.

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SXSW 2010: We F*cked Up: Happy Cog and Friends Exploring Failures Together

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Social Media,

Happy Cog SXSW Failure

This cleverly named, yet light hearted panel of Greg Storey, Will Reynolds, Greg Hoy, Tracey Halvosen and was narrated by Kevin Hoffman. Panelists told stories that technology consultants must deal with every day through interactions with their clients.  Most of the stories told were a bit sensationalized around a client’s unrealistic
expectations, mostly in regard to time to complete a project or disagreements of which technology to base a project on.  It seems that clients always want it faster, and typically more complex that it needs to be - something that is typically mutually exclusive.

Consultants are not perfect, and testing new features or methods on a client may prove to be disastrous when you work outside of your scope of expertise.  For example, one consultant on the panel said that they could help a client deliver an email message to their customer, and took on the project of developing the mailing system in house.  Rather than send a unique email to each user, or blind copy the customers, every email address in the client database was sent within the “To” field, something that one of my companies has been guilty of, albeit during the early Web 1.0 days.  This made all of the other client email addresses viewable from any one of the customers who received the message.  For this example, the client re-issued an apology offer, along with a discounted offer and the consultant ultimately paid a professional email marketer to re-send this message using their technology and expertise to avoid the snafu of sharing private email addresses.  As an aside, I received some marketing emails from SXSW film presenters who too left email addresses visible in the “To” field.  That is unacceptable in 2010.

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SXSW 2010: Fun with HTML5 video

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Internet,

RealAudio and ultimately Real Video was the original, old school audio and video compression used on the Internet during the early Web 1.0 days.  No doubt that Web 2.0’s rise in popularity was caused in part by YouTube and the ability for its users to easily send video up to a server and have it transcoded and streamed on the fly - without the need for expensive programs like the RealMedia server set.

YouTube leveraged the Adobe Flash technology, which in its infancy, would show only cartoon like video, then incorporated codec, or software decoding support for television like motion video.  This has been the standard for video distribution on the Internet, but requires support for software, and only lately has incorporated decoding within hardware.  Notably the iPad and iPhone are two such media devices that do not have flash media decoding support due to a long feud between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Adobe.  Jobs calls flash a CPU hog, and a claims it would cut battery life on his devices from 10’s of hours to just an hour if it was supported. Instead, he and many others hope to see HTML5 take a rise to prominence.

In this session, Christopher Blizzard, director of developer relations with Mozilla, and Michael Dale, lead developer of the MetaVid project and WikiMedia foundation, go in depth on what HTML5 has to offer as it pertains to video on the web.

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SXSW 2010: Media Armageddon: What happens when the New York Times dies?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Internet,

This is a session wrap-up from SXSW 2010. To start the session, a question was asked by the moderators to the audience “If the times ceased to exist, how would you feel?”  Only a few hands in an audience of 500 said that would be disappointed.  Only several more were indifferent, but a vast majority would be upset if the media giant no longer created their content in print or online.

Those on the panel were:

  • David Carr, a writer from the NY Times.
  • Amy Langfield, travel and events site New Yorkology a blog on what is going on in New York.
  • Marcus Moulitsas of the Daily Kos a blog site with thousands of writers.
  • Greg Beato writer for a magazine called Reason
  • Henry Copeland the moderator who is with BlogAds

Gawker is believed to be marching towards the Times in regard to a quality of content creation by adding reporters.  With Nick Denton running it, a former reporter himself, it is believed by the panel to be pushing towards a spin as a quality web newspaper.  Gawker Media has been pushing content out quicker than traditional media outlets. Blogs typically do not spend the time fact checking, do not create a back story, and create quick and concise content with few details, with the benefit of these being published in an extremely timely manner.

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SxSW 2010: Austin is now the Thunderdome

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial,

Thunderdome

The rumor at is that attendance for Interactive badges is up by 40% from last year, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the 2009 attendance was 10,741. So the amount of people decending on Austin, TX to see the next Twitter or Foursquare make an appearance is around 15,000. It’s crazy to think that Foursquare just debuted last year and now it is the most talked about product so far at this year’s event (granted, things are just getting started.) Speaking of Foursquare, we’ll be covering their SXSW news, as well as that of what we consider to be their main competitor, Gowalla, in the next few days.

SXSW 2010 badges

It also looks like some of the big names we’ve seen in the past are back in 2010 to take part in the festivities. I saw that Pepsi, Microsoft and Aol were still building their booths this morning.

Braden Young is covering SxSW 2010 for Gear Live. You can follow him on Twitter at @bradeny. Hit him with a tweet if there are any events or sessions you’d like him to hit up and cover!


Bleeding Edge TV 261: ExpressionEngine 2.0 sneak preview

At Gear Live, we use ExpressionEngine to manage our vast array of sites, authors, and blog posts. Things like MovableType, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal just don’t cut it for us.

During SXSW, we got the opportunity to get an early looks at ExpressionEngine 2.0. If you have a blog, or want to blog in the future, you need to watch this video to see what is coming soon from the crew over at EllisLab. Seriously, we can’t praise these guys enough for what they do. If you’ve never heard of the product and want to give it a shot, you can download the free Core version over at the ExpressionEngine website. If you go for the full version, you have access to all sorts of upgrades.

Of course, ExpressionEngine 2.0 isn’t available just yet, but something tells us we will be seeing it sooner rather than later.

A big thank you goes out to HP and Verizon FiOS for sponsoring this episode.

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ExpressionEngine product page


ExpressionEngine 2.0 preview video

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Internet, Software, Videos,

UPDATE: Here are the high-resolution versions of the ExpressionEngine 2.0 sneak preview - we recommend disregarding the above video.

 

At Gear Live, we use ExpressionEngine to manage our vast array of sites, authors, and blog posts. Things like MovableType, WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal just don’t cut it for us.

During SXSW, we got the opportunity to get an early looks at ExpressionEngine 2.0. If you have a blog, or want to blog in the future, you need to watch this video to see what is coming soon from the crew over at EllisLab. We have a higher quality video coming soon for you high resolution types.

 


Windows Live working on video search

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Internet, Microsoft,

Stubb's AustinJust a quick mobile update from SXSW here in Austin, TX. We just bumped into a few people from the Windows Live team in the street while walking back from lunch at Stubb’s (which, if you are in town, you have to try), and it turns out they are working on some sort of new, cool, innovative video search features. We are getting our of here to head back to Seattle, but we will be hooking up with them at their Redmond offices. We will get it into an episode of Bleeding Edge TV so you can see what all the fuss is about.


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