March 2008 archive

Keeping Veronica alive – on the cheap

Ever one to be on the bleeding edge of what’s going on in tv today, I’ve just finished watching Veronica Mars. I’m not gonna go on and on about this, but I have to ask: how on earth did that show suffer viewing figures low enough to cause it to be cancelled? Was it badly promoted? Terrible time slot? Cos I don’t get it – VM was every bit as clever, fun and teen-swoony as Buffy was, so why didn’t it take? (I hope for their sakes that Rob Thomas and the CW think that one over hard while planning the spin-off to 90210.)

But more to the point: if heavies like Stephen King and Joss Whedon loved the show, and fans are devoted enough to keep their fansites alive a year later, shell out a whopping £78.50 plus travel to see Veronica and Logan at a con in the UK (compare with £55 for the WoW Invitational) and $800+ to take a VM-themed cruise… then why has Veronica’s story skidded to a halt? A tv series demands a lot of infrastructure and investment: in crew, locations, promotional stuff – but a story just needs, well, a story, and a way to tell it, right?

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sxswi 2008 podcasts

Back home after an eventful couple of flights on Monday; now entertaining my mother who’s visiting from Virginia.

I’ve got quite a bit to catch up on from days 3 and 4. Happily, sxswi is churning out podcasts now. Video too – click through from here.

Recommended: You Are Here: Gaming and User’s Geolocation in Web 2.0
Queued up: The Suxorz: The Worst Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007; Hi-Tech Craft: Why Sewing and Knitting Still Matter
One for the fellas at work (sorry, no swag :/): Expression Engine 2 Sneak Peak (not my spelling!)

sxsw 2008: day 2 wrap-up

OK, so in the afternoon I went to Stories, Games and Your Brand, another panel featuring Dan and other smart people. Tony’s notes are less rambly than mine. :) As a result of being in that session, I missed Zuckerberg’s trainwreck of an interview, but now all the sour faces I encountered outside Ballroom A afterwards make sense!

Kathy Sierra was next up in A with Tools for Enchantment: 20 Ways to Woo Users. Packed house. Predictably fun talk – my notes don’t capture it well so it’s worth waiting for the video.

Finally, The Supercollider: A Hero of the Social Network, Matt‘s panel. [Edit: there's a summary at dessalles.] His slides were superb. Two people tripped over my charger, but thankfully no-one was hurt (although some hard-disk protector feature on my laptop kicked in, which was worrying until it didn’t actually do anything and went away).

Et voila! Now I head off to some drive-thru to pick up dinner, like a very sad person. For the best really I think, since I’m flying back tomorrow and need to pack, be properly hydrated etc. Have fun, moo party people! ;)

sxswi 2008: day 2, Social Design Strategies

First attempt at liveblogging! Why not? Don’t laugh.

My fingers are tangle-prone, so there’s some paraphrasing.

Daniel Burka Creative Dir, Digg/Pownce
Joshua Porter Founder, Bokardo Design
Chris Messina, Citizen Agency
Todd Sieling, Ma.gnolia

Porter: We’re talking about social design strategies. To give you a bit of background about where we see the space, we’re in a third phase right now. The first phase had static html sites you could just read, one-way communication. In the second phase, sites could save info and started 2-way communication (banking). In the last few years we’ve seen a huge rise in social communication, e.g. Facebook and Myspace social networks, object-based SNs where users upload content of some sort.

What we’re talking about are the design issues that come over time as you see more and more social interaction between your users. These are counterintuitive, and very hard to predict. Today we’re talking about the problems we’ve seen and our solutions to them.

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sxswi 2008: day 1

Was very lucky to even get to the first panel, having left late with no thought for probable queues for the parking garage! (I’m staying at the Hyatt Place, about a 10-minute drive away from the ACC.)

Today I went to:

What Teens Want Online & On Their Phones: No ads, Flash games. High text allowance. Wholesome kids. Dan liveblogged it.

You Are Here: Gaming and User’s Geolocation in Web 2.0: Really, really interesting stuff. Liveblogged at NowPublic (scroll); überthings, socialight

[Laptop battery went flat and I'd left the charger in the hotel. Spent rest of the day scribbling on various surfaces.]

Opening Remarks with Henry Jenkins and Steven Johnson: Funny, hopeful, inspiring. Summary at Geek Gestalt

Cross-Media Cross-Pollination: Mashing Up Video Games and ARGs: Dan’s panel with Tony and Dee, lovely people I met at lunch. Great overview of ARGs and what they can learn from videogames; gears turning. I’m sad that I have to head back home before Jane McGonigal’s keynote.

Social Network Coups: The Users are Revolting!: Turned out to be even more entertaining than I expected. Examples of how CMs at Metafilter, Lifehacker, Second Life and io9 handled community uprisings. I’ll post the podcast when it’s up.

sxswi 2008: day 0.5

The line for badge collection was reeeaally long, but then I did just turn up about an hour before the first panel started so that’s pretty fair. Haven’t picked up swag bag yet but hear it’s absurdly heavy and there ain’t no pens (!!).

Dan sat next to me for the opener, Edit Me! How Gamers are Adopting the Wiki Way featuring NC’s own CuppaJo. I took notes, but Dan’s a better typist and he’s published his transcript already.

Blogging like it’s (shortly after) 1999

Just found a sweet little bit of history lurking on an old disk: my first weblog, made with EditPad (which I still use and recommend for its elegant simplicity). Only two pages’ worth, for Feb and Mar 2000 – after that I got smart and got Dave to build me a publishing tool in php. :)

As of now, more than a third of the links still work as intended (marked with asterisks), which isn’t bad going!