_archive for the ‘Conferences’ category

Facebook at Work

07/23/08 :: by pwang

Like anything with the web these days, news to one person may not be news to another. So my discovery of the new Facebook site may really be old news to the blogosphere. With the f8 convention sold out and happening as this post is written, Fb is really doing some really exciting things, proving itself to be still at least seemingly hip, young, and innovative, in light of its tussles with Google and business negotiations with entrepreneurs and large companies like Microsoft. What impresses me most is how the team interacts with the users.

Like an American driving in another country, on the opposite side of the road with the wheel on the right, users of the new site will have horrible first impressions of the flipped layout. Good thing the negativity is short-lived. In terms of looks, the new look is even more spartan than the original. The wrapper for the site fits snug with the browser window, and its contents are given more room to breathe. There is no more box constricting the site’s content. Before seeing what is possible with this new system, the old one felt fine. The excessive scrolling to the bottom in search of something interesting felt routine and even a little visceral, like going through a real yearbook. The new tabbed profile, coupled with the efficient and more than ever desktop-app-ish controls have made things easier for newbies and initially confusing for veterans. It’s mostly the few main pages with any real redesign. A lot of the content is outputted in the same way, and the pattern of a paginated list for most results pages remains in heavy use. A number of pages don’t even have updated widths for their content column yet, but all have ads on the right column. Given that Facebook is all PHP, maybe these are signs that future battles will be on scalability and flexibility. As a note, a lot of Google is done in Python, which is said to be more scalable. I’m not too worried for Fb, since the company probably has some of the best PHP programmers around. F8 will only increase the line of recruits.

It’s not an easy thing, doing away with something that has a bit of a venerated history, mostly though wide use. It goes to show innovation requires freedom, especially from the constriction of past success. Kudos to Facebook for the vision and the guts. When it appeared, the now worshipped old layout added buttons on the left and made the content container awkwardly boxy. That was probably only a year ago (a time I can still recall, despite having a profile for four years), when a friend shared how he thought Fb was going down the drain because of the then new look. Like when they launched the News Feed a while back, there will be frustration from every corner with the big revamp. Now the same main and mini-feeds are given even more of the limelight. The same with everything that gets more use, like the mini-twitter. All Fb did was ask its user base to develop the app for themselves through their feedback and listen. I think it’ll happen again. And that’s where all the fun is, watching the whole thing grow from just a small camp on the wild frontier of the interwebs. And me? I’m going to use the ‘new’ Facebook, since if I go back I’ll lose my user history with the new features. Also, if anyone from Facebook reads this, why doesn’t your site support pretty urls? It would make your big trove of content more accessible to your relatively non-address-bar-savvy users.

“I was doin’ work on berzerk”

07/21/08 :: by hdunce

Check out our very own Brock Batten and Michael Schneider at Twiistup answering the Mahalo Daily’s question, “what’s your favorite classic arcade game”?

P.S. Here are some pictures of us from Twiistup and here, from Mashable’s party!

Yes, we have ocean views.

05/30/08 :: by hdunce

So we were at a DealMaker event at MTV a couple weeks back and Michael Schneider, our very own CEO, did a quick interview with TechZulu.

Check it out now.

GumGum ready to pop @ Under the Radar

05/07/08 :: by hdunce

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We’re delighted to hear that GumGum will be presenting at Under the Radar on June 3rd. Congrats guys!

This goes out to all you companies

05/04/08 :: by hdunce

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Twitter has been awesome for companies seeking to know what their customers are saying about them. If you’re a company and you’re using tweetscan or summarize, great. Here is what you should do next.

So, Fred Wilson organized Lyrics of the Day (@lotd) on twitter. Twitters can post a short lyric that they think everyone will enjoy and direct it to @lotd. All that are following @lotd will see all lyrics posted to @lotd. This is both entertaining and smart.

You can apply this concept to events, conferences, new album releases, product launches, comments from your blog, whatever. If your audience is on twitter and is talking about your stuff, do your community a favor and streamline the communication by organizing the topic at hand and thus facilitating more talk.

Cognitive Surplus

05/02/08 :: by brocksteady

Here’s a thought-provoking argument made by Clay Shirky about the idea of “cognitive surplus” and the ways we spend (or waste) it. via PSFK.

Open + Collaboration = Market Efficiency

03/12/08 :: by hdunce

The interactive industry is lucky that the “open source” movement happened and succeeded. What this movement has proved, is that if you have something accessible to all, and you let others build on top of it, they will fix it’s problems, improve its capabilities, and thus make it a better product. It is a true testament to the concept that sharing your knowledge and collaborating will grow an industry faster and better at large. Conferences like sxsw are amazing because they create a platform in which we share our experiences from mistakes to successes and help the industry grow wiser, faster.

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So, I am really excited to see SoDA, the new organization sponsored by Adobe (thank you :)), emerge and create standards to streamline business processes within interactive agencies. This means creating standards and guidelines for documents like RFPs, proposals, awards, etc. While this wasn’t discussed at sxsw at the panel, I hope that this organization takes an active roll in making more of our experiences “open”. Specifically, I would like see certain data regarding interactive products (not just developed by agencies) become free, accessible, and lack for a better term, “interactive”. This means share the following online:

1) actual costs and timeline of the web product
2) ability to view the web traffic statistics
3) allow people to read the actual business goals and marketing strategy for the product
3) thoughts on what the challenges were, what techniques were successful vrs unsuccessful
4) allow people to comment and ask questions and your agency responds
5) aggregate and create a visualization for this data so we can easily understand it (this part is probably the hardest, phase 2 maybe?)

The bottom line is that we have way too many great ideas, few talented designers and developers, and still not enough collaboration. I think the above will lead to smart standards, faster innovation, and aid in creating more usable, intuitive products.

I can pretty candidly say that in the last 2 years or so Fluidesign has actively created internal procedures to help share our knowledge within our internal team by encouraging our team to do things like share resources, talk openly about what works and what doesn’t, make a concerted effort to have collaborative meetings between designers and developers to ensure good design and usability, to attend conferences, etc. And this, has greatly contributed to our profitability.

And obviously we are not the only company that is practicing this type of collaboration. So I am putting it out there, aware of the challenges of creating a more open transparent market, but simply saying that the benefits will outweigh the costs for each firm and the industry at large.

SXSW, the interactive track

02/22/08 :: by hdunce

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We will be heading to Austin for SXSW on March 7 and staying til the 11th. The above artwork is from last year. I just like it.
Yea! I am going to attempt to keep all good SXSW resources organized here for us and for our readers. Feel free to post too!
1) The schedule.
2) Mobile access to everything you need to know.
2b) Text 47979 to get mobile updates.
3) Parties, all you really need to know, right?
4) Social network for SXSW, yes it exists.

What else!?

Ok I’m ready! What’s next?

02/08/08 :: by hdunce

Community Next::Next Generation-Media and the Web

Some of us here at fluidesign will be attending the CommunityNext event on March 29th in West Hollywood.

Speakers include: Veronica Belmont (Mahalo Daily), Otis Chandler (Goodreads), Paul Cloutier (8020 Publishing), Mike Ghaffary (Stitcher), Martin Green (Meebo), Lucas Gonze (LAUNCHcast), Smith Forte (Current TV), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Scott Rafer (Lookery), Aza Raskin (Songza), Amy Raymond (Disney-ABC Family), Keith Richman (Break Media), Chip Ross (Playboy U), David Sacks (Geni), Robert Scoble (Scobleizer.com/Fast Company), and Mike Jones (Userplane).

And here’s a tribute to our favorite speaker and a shout out to Songza:

Dealmaker 2008

01/24/08 :: by moquito

Went to Dealmaker 2008 last night at Michael Ovitz’s offices. It was great to see socal and norcal hanging out together, and more importantly L.A. coming into its own in the tech scene. We’ve been under the radar for far too long!

Dealmaker 2008 : Michael Schneider and Michael Ovitz