South By Southwest (SXSW) – Day 4

My final day at the conference. Still found lots to do and write about. More of a brain dump…

Get Unstuck: Moving From 1.0 to 2.0
Moderator: Liz Danzico Director, experience strategy, Daylife
Liz Danzico Director, experience strategy, Daylife
Kristian Bengtsson Creative Dir, FutureLab
Chris Messina Co-founder, Citizen Agency
Luke Wroblewski Principal Designer, Yahoo!
Jeffrey Zeldman Founder, Happy Cog

This was a great panel. A conversation about organizational cultures and how to change them. Relevant to just about anyone who works in the service industry.

Stuck is about perspective
act or process of:
doing good work
being productive
feeling fulfilled on a team

How are you stuck? too many meetings; micromanage

document design process with wiki, blog, flickr, open up to world
management through conversation – talk before design, listen, create trust and comfort
keep researching – getting data and trends, write things down to think things through
accept constant change – be fearless and have fun
set the terms for the conversation – name it
don’t pitch your process – just add value
articulate simple goals

“hire your clients” – find the opportunity, bring the solution
understanding context – become friendly

The Future of the Online Magazine

Moderator: Rufus Griscom CEO, Nerve Media
Rufus Griscom CEO, Nerve Media
Sean Mills The Onion
Ricky Van Veen Editor,
Laurel Touby CEO & Founder,
Joan Walsh Editor in Chief,

Another hilarious panel with leaders of some of the world’s most compelling online magazines discuss their visions of where this medium is headed. Pretty interesting to see old school editing model versus user-generated editing model. American Idol was used as an example of a user-generated media. Blogs continually came up as a way to increase readership and even recruit talent. The physical side of the business was also considered. Some of the “online” business are still dipping their toes in the physical world. Examples: the Onion – books and t-shirts; CollegeHumor – t-shirts.

How has business changed?
web2.0 has helped – blogosphere disseminates, lightly moderated content from readers
RSS helps, but only geeks are active users – newsletters are more effective (email)
increasing importance of natural web traffic and blog links

Is edited content obsolete?
full-time staff remains
collective editing can work, but we still need editors.

Can premium paid content work?
Advertising revenue can stem the tide
Subscription might be able to work – membership programs these are valuable, loyal users
“Our publications are a community” LT
Merchandise can be another source of revenue

How to maintain consistent voice?
Not really a concern, the web has multiple voices

The Growth and Evolution of Microformats

Moderator: Tantek Çelik Chief Technologist, Technorati
Frances Berriman Volume
Michael Kaply IBM
Glenn Jones Creative Dir, Madgex
Tantek Çelik Chief Technologist, Technorati

Microformats is an extension of structured xhtml and metadata… From the microformats site:

Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

This was a packed house which is cool for at least two reasons.

1. It was competing with Dan Rather’s keynote.
2. It’s really encouraging to see geeks take the idea of metadata and bring it to the masses.

We’ll see if it takes off. At its core, it gives us a way to markup up blogs or web pages with some semantic data. It gives a richer meaning (for machines and people) to sections of a page. Imagine search results with extra standardized markup behind the scenes that let you push pieces of a page to mobile devices, feedreaders or even other web pages.

Favorite Question:

Could microformats be a data transfer layer? Yes, could be a low level API – expose a simple set of data. Could read simple structured data from a web page

Open Content, Remix Culture and the Sharing Economy: Rights, Ownership and Getting Paid
Moderator: Eric Steuer Creative Dir, Creative Commons
Eric Steuer Creative Dir, Creative Commons
Glenn Otis Brown Products Counsel, YouTube
John Buckman Founder and CEO, Magnatune
Laurie Racine Eyespot and DotSub
Max Schorr Publisher & Founding Ed, GOOD

Kind of hit or miss… Some feuding on the panel between Magnatune guy and YouTube guy. Some highlights about copyright and DMCA:

DMCA – it is up to content owners, tacitly they want people to use their content
Let copyright holders make the choice about content use. Direction is toward “openness”

Is it the responsibility of companies to be open?
good for business, good for customers
agreements/licenses could have simple and complicated versions

It was interesting to hear an audience member ask, “why should university license open content?” This could play into how we sell institutional repositories. Make the contributors know that they still own the rights to the content. Note to self: emphasize library role as one of access intermediary.


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