Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A tribute to mesh

Mesh Conference

Mesh is a mere six three two one hour 5 minutes away (yes, I'm late. Grr last-minute client calls), and I'm really excited to see what new and exciting things I'll get to experience and what people I'll get to meet.

However, before I go on about the razzle and dazzle of what is to come over the next couple days, I'd like to take a step back and reflect what has happened over the past year.

Let's start at the beginning. Or rather, before the beginning. I first came across Rob Hyndman's blog via his Digg article that had gained a good deal of notoriety and controversy that day. Whilst browsing his site, I had found a little announcement about an up-and-coming Toronto "Web 2.0" conference, and being web "2.0" junkie that I am, I immediately subscribed to his blog so that I could get more details on the matter when they became available.

Because of mesh, I got a chance to meet with a whole bunch of people who I otherwise would not have met, and I'm quite glad I did, as many of these people have come to be my friends who I see on a regular basis at Torcamp events.

One of them was Sacha Chua, the most exuberant and enthusiastic person I've ever met. We kept running into each other at the conference, and it was a good thing we did. She graciously introduced me to the wonderful world of Moleskines. I think I might've got a bit carried a way with my conversation note-taking (à la Sacha) though, as some people might've found it a bit odd (and perhaps uncomfortable) to be documented as they were speaking in conversation, but I was Moleskine-happy that day and wasn't really paying too much attention to that.

I met Joey deVilla, the infamous "Accordion Guy", during Amber's How and Why To Podcast workshop (check out Amber's slides , mixed in with some videocast). Coincidentally, I caught his appearance on MTV the previous week. It was an amazing to meet a local celebrity like Joey for the first time. I was quite excited to get to meet him, and he's a really great guy. He even stopped to pose for a photo-op for me!

Many thanks as well to Pete Mosely, for organizing mush: among the people there were Stowe, Brent, Joey, Wendy, Leigh, and some more people who I can't seem to remember at this moment (my apologies) [I took some mush-y photos, too]. This year, it seems mush seems to be taking the form of a Facebook group.

There are countless others whom I can barely begin to name, so I apologize if I didn't mention you explicitly, but you know who you are, are I thank you all the same.

One really important person who I owe an enormous debt of gratitude is David Crow. Thanks to David, from whom I learned about BarCamps and DemoCamps (I originally wanted to attend BarCampTdot that took place the weekend before mesh, but I was already booked that weekend. If only I had found out earlier). I attended my first DemoCamp two weeks following mesh (kudos to Matthew Burpee for his kindness to me that day), and had a great time.

I would love to go on about these things, but it's already 6 7 9AM the day of, so I've got to try and cram in at least an hour of sleep (on the bus) before the conference. More to come in the future (and the update will be coming, too). To those of you who are coming out, see you at mesh [A quick sidenote: As I noted before, I'm quite glad to see that the "2.0" has been dropped from the conference's name this year (be it for legal reasons or otherwise). The web was never meant to be a versioned medium.].

So thanks again to Mathew, Mark, Mike, Stuart, and Rob for putting this all together and making this all possible! Without them I wouldn't have been privileged to know half the people I know today. See you there!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

No More Starburst

I've finally gotten rid of that retched-looking orange starburst that used to be on the top-left corner of this blog. I hated its look from the beginning, but at time I thought I could live with it as it was only supposed to be temporary, but because of certain delays and restrictions (*ahem*) I wasn't able to get my new site up (that, aside from me continuing to procrastinate on this. But I've recently signed up for a new hosting plan with a great web host, and I've resumed working on a new site interface (at second glance, the once I previously designed wasn't really what I wanted it to be like), so we should be starting to see some gradually improvements over the coming weeks (I've still got client work as well to deal with during this time period, so it's not like I've got nothing else to work on).

gabriel mansour's newmediarts logo

I've also been thinking about reworking my logo. Right now, this is my current logo, which originally spawned off from the title of this blog, .newmediarts | ::, which I truncated to .n|::, and then I played around a bit and attempted to abstract its shape & form (which gives the current result).

But the more I focus on the site, the more I notice how my logo doesn't quite represent what I want it to. It's not necessarily a bad-looking logo, but I can't help but feel there's something about it that's missing / lacking in it. Perhaps a human factor (as I pondered on twitter earlier)? After all, HCI & usability are among my many skills/interests that I'm really passionate about. (Sidenote: For those of you who don't know, Don Norman's coming to Toronto June 11—I highly recommend you go if you can make it.) Anyways, I'll see what becomes of this when I do some more work on it this weekend. Right now I need some sleep.

No, I'm not dead

Despite my blog inactivity for the past couple months, I am still alive and kicking. These past couple weeks have been hectic, but I promise to provide a more detailed report in the next couple days when things get easier to manage.

If you're impatient, you can always follow me on the Twitter (I've grown quite proficient at it. so proficient, in fact, that David Crow went so far as to call me a "twitter whore"—now Scoble's requesting it be on a t-shirt) or, if you prefer things of a more (or equally) random nature, there's this tumblog thing I started a few days ago. Enjoy!

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