Archive for August, 2007
It’s Sunday afternoon and a very busy summer is coming to an end. In this episode, I am proud to say I’ve put my iRiver back into the CrapMonkey Mix. I upgraded to the M-Audio microtrack a long time back, and my ability to capture spontaneous moments has suffered ever since. Having the iRiver back on board is already starting to pay off. On Saturday night, outside of a bar in lower Queen Anne, I caught a great rendition of the Big Mac drive through rap (performed by some of the Seattle Pyramid Alehouse crew). Not sure where this rap came from? Check it out on YouTube.
This episode also boasts a guest restroom review of the Heritage Hall in Vancouver B.C., brought to us by Cosmo G. Spacely of the Clubside Breakfast Time Podcast (aka – Jacob Stewart). The urinal in this review is truly unique, so check out the images here.
Beer lovers, we are on our way to brewfest bliss. Here are a few to think about over the next couple of months:
The song of the day is Here with You, by Tracy Hoyt and Jeff Fielder, the website of the day is NoonHat. Today’s program closes with “Seahawk’s, Give It All You’ve Got” by Keith Sexton.
Want to chime in? Send an email to Travis@crapmonkey.com. Audio comments are welcome.
Not to say that yesterday was a bad day at Gnomedex, but the content today was truly outstanding. Though a bit complicated to grasp right away, the open money presentation given by Michael Linton was compelling. Following that presentation was a series of very interesting short presentations delivered by Ignite Seattle MVPs focusing on topics ranging from Internet Art to not being bored.
After Lunch, Gregg Spiridellis (the Jib in JibJab) gave an informative presentation about monetizing the long tail of media in the “post-hit” era. It was truly awesome to learn the lessons that the JibJab brothers learned the hard way over the last decade. JibJab makes an excellent case study in how to run a flexible business, how to operate on little capitol, how to invent and reinvent business plans, how to identify and capitalize on opportunity, and more.
In the early afternoon, Derek Miller joined us from Canada via videoconference. Derek is a regular Gnomedex attendee also known for crafting the Gnomedex theme song each year. Derek was diagnosed with Cancer since last Gnomedex and has been blogging his experiences. He popped in to share those experiences and was very humorous and upbeat. His story and is attitude are inspiring and I look forward to his presence again, in person, at a future Gnomedex.
This post is long overdue. Two weeks back, a group of us hopped a train and headed down to Portland for the weekend. Portland was a great town, but the highlight of the weekend was definitely the Oregon Brewfest. The amount of beer pouring was incredible and the people there were great. Overall, the event could use a little more organization in order to deal with the huge amount of foot traffic that was lining up for pogs and beer. The lines were so long that it became impracticle to get “tastes” of beer. After the long wait to get to the pouring station, filling the glass to the top became an imperitive. Hopefully they will be able to correct this problem for future events because everything else about the festival runs smoothly and the event will definitely hold a reoccuring place on my summer schedule. Images of the event (and the trip to Portand) are available on Flickr and media is available for downlaod below in Windows Media format.
Day one of the Gnomedex conference has come to a close. As I write this, it is 6:20pm, I am offline and have just ordered a Maritime IPA and a cup of clam chowder to enjoy here on the patio of the Fishermans Restaurant and Bar on Seattle’s waterfront. There’s not a cloud in the sky and the sun has just begun to consider falling toward the horizon. This restaurant is an ideal choice as it sits one peer south of the Seattle aquarium where tonight’s Gnomedex reception will begin in less than an hour. The reception should be cool, and I understand that they feed the critters at 8:30, so I’ll plan to be on hand for that spectacle.
The conference today was interesting. It had a bit of controversy, but mostly it focused on conversation about where technology is leading us instead of, perhaps, where we should be leading it. As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not drawn to this conference for political reasons, and thus, was not overly enthused by the first keynote (Robert Steele). The speaker was great and his presentation very well delivered; I’m just not the audience for it. I loved the focus in a later session, on how technology is missing the boat when it comes to aging members of our society ( but I spoke enough about that in a previous post). Another topic I found interesting was lead by Jason Calacanis and focused on how littered the Internet has become. Spam, ads, junk comments, etc are facets of the web now, annoyances that we all must endure. The Internet has become the Litternet. Mahalo, a search engine that is actually scrubbed by humans to get around the garbage that bubbles to the top of the usual search engine, was discussed as one approach to the problem. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too far down the path of other approaches to the issue.
Almost by accident (but partially because Justin from Justin.tv was in the line up), we spent some time talking about privacy in this new age. Specifically, about being recorded and/or streamed to the Internet with or without ones consent. The topic is an interesting one, but I feel that the result is the same regardless of how much the topic is discussed. Privacy in public spaces is dead. The world is too wired (and wireless) and recording technology is too pervasive to believe otherwise. We can talk about how we’d like it to be until we are blue in the face, but as we do; Smile, because you are on camera!
With that, it is nearly 7pm and I am going to wrap this post up. I’ve eaten my chowder, I’m nearly done with my IPA, and the reception is about to begin.
The first official day of Gnomedex is nearing its end and it has been a worth while day. The opening keynote was interesting, but too political for my tastes. The theme was “open government,” presented by Robert Steele, but it was very heavy handed and spent a lot of time picking apart political and corporate leaders. Yes, they probably deserve it; No, that’s not what I paid to participate in at Gnomedex. The day got better after that. Guy Kawasaki discussed product/company evangelism and was entertaining and informative as usual. A very interesing presentation was given by Ronni Bennett about the need for technology to address the needs of the aging members of our society. The baby boomers are growing up and there are many uses for technology in that age group that are not manifesting themselves currently. Specifically, creating the ability for monitoring health over the Internet is not out of reach and would be a huge benefit to those that are aging.
A key theme was that the form factors and user interfaces of technology products and software do not cater to the elderly in the way that they should. To demonstrate this, volunteers from the audience were given glasses to better simulate the reduced light that the eyes of the elderly are able to absorb, and gloves to simulate reduced motor skills and touch sensitivity. The volunteers had a very difficult time just navigating and reading websites using standard laptops.
It was a well thought out presentation that definitely pointed to a gap in the tech industry (and an opportunity for geeks who can fill those gaps). My favorite quote of the presentation: “In your life, you will be old for much longer than you are young.”