Second Life – A Second Chance at Authenticity

This week I attended my first conference held entirely in Second Life. The event was a Symposium on the Evolution of Communication sponsored by the New Media Consortium (NMC). I’ll admit, I was quite skeptical about the value of attending a two day conference in a virtual world, but I was willing to give it a whirl.

A little background on my so called Second Life: Spring 2007, I had zero desire to stick even my little toe in SL. I’m not a gamer and this “world” seemed so pointless. The graphics looked like something out of the 80’s. What could I possibly learn there?

Categorized as inspire

Blue Beanie Day: Raise Awareness of Web Standards

my teddy bear wearing a blue beanie

Do you remember when you first became a web standards believer? Whether it was last week, last year or last decade, it forever changed the way you create for the web. But, when was the last time you helped someone else understand the value of web standards? Until web standards have completely permeated our industry, it is important for us to continue to spread the word while producing content that illustrates the point.

If you haven’t heard, Monday, November 26th is “Blue Beanie Day”. What in the world is “Blue Beanie Day”? It is a great idea dreamed up by Douglas Vort of Detroit, Michigan to show support for web standards and accessibility. Here is an excerpt from the Blue Beanie Day Event Page in Facebook:

Stingled: When Art Played a Trick on Me

It was my first time in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The atrium was overflowing with an elegant cocktail party. I love when a museum is transformed into a vibrant gathering. Suddenly I turned and found myself at the edge of an empty room. Behind me was a party packed with people. In front of me was a large room with orange carpet and blank white walls. I took a sharp intake of breath, the empty room had hit me full force. “Art!” my creative side exclaimed. Then I shook my head and my logical side said, “Silly girl, it is just an empty room, not art. Don’t be ridiculous.” And I turned and walked away.

Do You Love Your Job?

I believe that to reach our full potential we need to find work that is challenging and satisfying, work that you can’t imagine not doing it. I know, I know…that is a lot to ask for. Or is it? I mean, look at the amount of time you spend at work. For me, I can’t stand the thought of wasting that much of my life doing something I don’t love.

And while I’m not advocating that everyone should immediately quit a job they don’t love, I do council friends to ask yourself if you can find your bliss in your current work. If not, I urge you to begin designing your perfect job in your mind. Once you can clearly envision your dream job; you can begin to map out a realistic plan to make it happen. The first step is always seeing and believing.

Categorized as inspire

Barrier Free IT – Accessibility Internet Rally

An awesome group of technology professionals gathered today at the Texas School for the Blind to kick off the 10th year of the Accessibility Internet Rally in Austin… people like Sharron Rush (executive director of Knowbility), Hugh Forrest (SXSW-interactive event directory and 2006 AIR Austin Chair) , Teenya Franklin (AIR program manager) Jim Thatcher and Jim Allen (judge brothers). The room was pulsating with a passion for making the web available to everyone. And surprises awaited discovery. You’d think after 10 years that it would just be “the same ole thing”, but let me assure you, it was anything but that. Here are just three things that everyone was buzzing about:

Best Second 1st Birthday Ever!

Today I had lunch with a dear friend, John Slatin. Little did I know that today was his 1st Birthday.

About half-way through lunch our conversation went like this:

Categorized as inspire

Sterenfall (Falling Stars)

i’ve found a new way to explore art museums. with ipod in hand, i head to my favorite muse. my plan is to experience one work of art…deeply. i listen for the work of art that is calling my name as i wander freely through the galleries. i know when i’m in the right place…it is as though time has stopped.

Play-doh as Interface?

One of my designers handed me a mind altering book the other day, Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design. This boy is a twisted, brilliant, genius, my favorite kind ;) He uses the most amazing things as input devices for his systems. Can you imagine:

  • Using Play-Doh as a user interface to control the speed of a video
  • Creating sonic paintings based on the sound-frequence of jazz music
  • Transforming the movement of people walking on a crowded street into visual creations