Tuesday, October 20, 2009

(sxswi) chicks, man

the first speaker that caught my eye was casey lewis of teenfashionista.com, who participated in sxswi in 2006 at the around age 18. she writes a blog that discusses all things fashion, from what's new in trends and styles, to commentary on designers and new lines, to her own personal fashion choices (complete with photos of her daily wardrobe). casey is a journalism student at the university of missouri, and is originally from a town of about 3,000 people. she began blogging at the age of 13, as an outlet to communicate from her "fashion-deprived" hometown. since creating teenfashionista.com, she has interned for teen vogue, and worked as an assistant editor for ypulse and editor for about.com's prom site. this speaker was interesting to me because it shows the power and opportunity of social media for everyone. a 13-year-old girl from a small midwest town has turned an interest in fashion into a successful blog, the chance to work for respected magazines and popular websites, and a coveted spot as a speaker at sxswi. not a bad life so far for a 22-year-old missouri college student.

the second speaker i researched was marcy hoen, founder of austinartstart.com. she spoke at sxswi in 2008 and 2009. the website features contemporary artists who live and work in austin and sell their art both nationally and internationally. along with running the website, she has worked as a platform artist, principle wig stylist for empty space theatre, assistant to the wig master at fifth avenue theater in seattle, and network educator for bumble and bumble (which might i add is only the best hair product line ever in the entire world. i swear by it). she currently works as a stylist at salon sovay in austin. hoen and austinartstart.com recently teamed with fusebox festival for an event that featured art, architecture and video. below is a graphic from the event.

i may seem like a feminist because i chose two women to highlight for this assignment...but it just worked out that way :) i searched the list for fashion and art, and voila! it was also neat that one of the topics i was interested in ended up coming out of austin.

it's too bad i am graduating in december. i desperately want to participate in sxtxste. maybe i'll just take cindy's class in the spring anyway...

on another note, my next website is going to highlight my travel to europe through the college where i received my bachelor's degree. it is a website for the international field study program in journalism through the mass comm department of texas a&m university - texarkana. i will have content about the history of the program, its founders, info on upcoming trips, contact info (how to apply, etc.), pictures, and pdf files of research papers written for the program.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hi all, Jess here.

I must admit I never heard of the South By South West conference before this class. After touring the website, the event seems fascinating. At first I thought it delt only with on-line media but there are conferences on film and music as well. The site seems overwhelming to me. It is content heavy and I don’t know where to turn. I suppose it reflects the conference itself in that it’s a big bang in a short amount of time.

My first pick for interesting people who have spoken before at SXSW is: Fayandria Foley-McDunnough. She chairs a fund raising event called Second Life’s Relay For Life for the virtual reality website Second Life and spoke at SXSW in 2008. The money raised for the relay is used for cancer survivors and there is a Cancer Survivors Group in Second Life. I think it’s fascinating how this group on a site like Second Life bucks the perception that only people who spend all their time in front of a computer pretending to be their avatar instead of truly interacting with people face-to-face use this site. Instead, enterprising people like Ms. McDunnough are using the site to raise awareness and provide a space for cancer survivors to meet and interact.

The next person on my list is also related to Second Life. His name is Douglas Gayeton and he created an entire documentary in Second Life. Gayeton’s avatar, Molotov Alva, guides you through the documentary that aired on Cinemax. It’s so interesting how we can create an entirely different self that improves on are conception or desire of who we want to be. What’s next? Cosmetic surgery and avatars are manipulated versions of who we are so what then becomes “real”?

Past SXSW Speakers and Project 3

I chose to find out more about the following SXSW speakers:

1. Charlotte Selles: As the Global Brand Manager for Beam Global, Mrs. Selles knows a thing or two about one of my favorite vices/hobbies - whiskey. After marketing her family's line of wines for twelve years, Charlotte took her current position with Beam Global, where she uses "engagement and enthusiasm marketing" to build loyalty for the Beam brand, customer by customer. She is an intriguing figure to me because I have had thoughts about dropping everything, moving to Kentucky, and trying to find a job with one of the many bourbon producers there, and apparently, that's essentially what she did, although her credentials are certainly superior to mine.

2. Lawrence Lessig: When I saw this name on the past speakers list, it rang a bell, but I didn't know why. So I Googled him, and that cleared things up. Lessig is currently at Harvard, and as an activist for reduced legal restrictions on intellectual property, he is one of the founding board members of Creative Commons, a non-profit organization which facilitates the sharing of ideas between artists of all types. We've spent weeks discussing issues such as copyright and Creative Commons in Dr. Sindy Chapa's Music Marketing class, and my subconscience assures me that that's where I heard Lessig's name a few times. He is a leading activist in the push to increase legal intellectual property sharing.

My third project will be a fan-page for the television show that has, I'm pretty sure, actually had more influence on my brain cells than the aforementioned whiskey: South Park. Yeah, it definitely won't be the only SP fan page out there, but I think I have some interesting things to say about the show. And what a perfect time to start such a page, in the middle of a new run of shows! My plan is to have a home page which will contain my general thoughts on the show, a page for character analyses, a blog page for thoughts on episodes and any kind of news relating to SP, and finally, a haters page dedicated to all those out there whose australopithecine brains just can't handle the awesomeness of South Park.
The past SXSW speakers I chose were:

1. Heidi Adams, founder of Plant Cancer. Survivor of sarcoma cancer, Adams travels nationally speaking about the needs of young cancer survivors. Adams provides weekend retreats for young cancer survivors offering support and inspiration. Through her innovation Adams was able to create a community that is extremely important to cancer survivors. Heidi Adams stood out to me because I lost my aunt to hodgkin's lymphoma eight years ago. She was only 29 years old.

2. Jacinta Brondgeest is a songwriter, performer, producer and owner of her own record label chunky music. Originally from Sydney Australia, Jacinta now runs her business from the United States. Here she has hit the top of the dance music charts and continues to have tons of success. As a women in the music industry I find her success to be very inspiring.

For Project 3 I have decided to put together an Austin Concierge website. My site will include everything from music, food, shopping and news about things happening in Austin. I chose this topic because its something that I do everyday at my job and I enjoy doing it.

My SXSW Speakers

For my SXSW speakers I chose:

1.Laurie Racine, Public Knowledge.org. Ms. Racine is President, dotSub
and Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development, Eyespot.

Public Knowledge is a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to defend citizens' rights in the emerging digital culture.
Protecting consumers of digital technology from market practices designed to erode competition, choice and fairness.

I really like the fact that they emphasize protecting consumers of digital technology from market practices designed to erode competition, choice and fairness.

2. Bianca Ramos, Center for 21st Century Skills

The Center for 21st Century Skills is an organizational unit of EDUCATION CONNECTION. Its purpose is to enhance and expand the efforts of the EDUCATION CONNECTION staff and their work in the area of twenty-first century careers and technical education.

The Center has developed the Connecticut Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Daniel Pink's take on the Academy reads:
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people—artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” ~Daniel Pink, Author “A Whole New Mind”

Project Three

Between a respiratory infection, grading papers for Dr. Laird, working in the TV studio lab class, and being a husband and father, I have squeezed in building a new site for project three. 'Twas nothin'.

I completed a film which I copyrighted in 2006 on life without parole prison sentencing called, Lifers - a prison documentary. I used to have a simple website that I used for selling DVD copies of the film. The domain ran out and I didn't renew it (it was lifers.us).

For project three I have constructed an entirely new site. The fourth page on the site includes an embedded PayPal purchase button that visitors can utilize to purchase a DVD copy of the film.

I built the logo for the site from the file that I have for the DVD box cover insert that was created for me professionally by Mint Designs.

SWSX & my topic...

For my hobby / organization site I'll be covering the San Marcos Lion's Club. They are the service organization that operates the tube rental facility by Strahan. Their biggest fundraiser is the tube rentals and they give that money to non-profits and social service agencies all over Hays County. I'm a new member to the organization (because the non-profit I work for Southside Community Center (www.southsidecommunitycenter.org) is one of the agencies that receives support from the Lions. My site for them will be for the organization and its members, not for tourists and the tube rental customers. Their site as it stands now is www.tubesanmarcos.com.

I learned alot about SWSX perusing the site and researching old speakers. I found these two to be the most interesting...

Socialalchemy.com was peculiar...I'd be interested to see what Nancy Rhine of Socialalchemy.com had to say at SWSX. The actual site looked like a textbook example of the bad sites we've talked about in class. The content grappled with the meaning of human life, and asked questions like "what is the meaning of knowledge" and "what is human personality?" I feel like I'm missing something here. The site references ancient philosophers, and spells Aristotle wrong...

I was interested in Pamela Ribbon of pamie.com. It sounds like she's the perfect example of somebody who spent years building up their personal brand. She admits on her site that her content evolved over the years and her site was originally full of diary entries of how much she loved her boyfriend. She says now she pays the bills with it, and I'd be interested to hear what got her from A to B.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SXSW Interactive

I’ve only been hearing how great SXSW is since I started here in January 09. I’ve never been, so I’m glad that I’m going to get to experience it with the class next semester. I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of speakers that are on the past list so I decided to do some research on some of the websites. Here are some of the ones I thought were interesting…

TechSoup.com (speaker listed was Erin Denny) offers services for non-profit organizations so that they can get discounted technology products. The website says they have reach over individuals in 190 countries and have collaborated with 35 major technology providers such as Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco Systems, Symantec and Intuit.

Smartypig.com (speaker - Michael Ferrari) helps you create a saving account that’s social. It is a bit different from a regular savings account service in that it is a way to tell others about your saving goals using widgets, automatic emails and through your social network. Your family and friends can actually donate to help you reach your goal.

Strands.com (speaker - Trevor Legwinski) is the ultimate social network for athletes who want to log their workouts and connect with other athletes that might be training for the same event or others. The website allows athletes to trade routes, tips, their progress, etc. This site really looks at exercise positively and gives athletes the ultimate (and instantly portable) support system.

Project 3

I have traveling on the brain, so I'm going to do an Austin-themed travel site. I'll break things down into categories (food, music, shopping, etc...) but my goal is not to be boring. I'm thinking "not-so-obvious" landmarks that travelers haven't already heard about. We'll see how it turns out.

SXSW - Shoes and Canadians

I've done the music. I've done the films. I've never done interactive. I've heard the buzz, however, and think this is an important convergence of ideas indeed. Here are a couple of intriguing speakers from the past that I chose to take a look at:

Tony Hsieh – CEO, Zappos.com - 2008 SXSW panelist
As the head of an online company that’s been named one of Fortune’s 100 best to work for, it’s hard not to take note of Tony Hsieh’s words of wisdom. Zappos is known for turning out satisfying products (shoes!), excellent customer service and treating their employees well by including them in the decision-making process, among other things. As a company Zappos has kept up with all the social media developments (blogs, twitter, etc…) and maintained a dedication to old-school values that make the customer happy. It seems this kind of combo is what success in 21st century business is all about.

Lauren Bacon – raisedeyebrows.com – 2007 SXSW panelist
Her site name intrigued me so I looked her up – it turns out that’s the goal of Lauren Bacon’s work. She is the co-founder of a web design service for nonprofit, government and progressive business sectors. She and her partner have built their business to include several designers and web experts. They advertise their services to include online strategies and long-term communications planning, which seems to include everything from visual design to more subtle content decisions and general business plans. A women-powered, Canadian web service who seems to be tearing it up online? Of course they showed up at South by.


I was a volunteer for SXSW for years in the late 90's and early 2000's, but never for the interactive part. I'm excited to hopefully be a part of the conference in 2010 via Cindy's class.

Since I'm a huge BBC fan, Roo Reynolds jumped-out at me. Reynolds was a panelists in 2009 with the BBC and previously on a panel in 2008 while with IBM. He has been an advocate of virtual platforms for many years. While with IBM, Reynolds worked to promote and design virtual worlds on their intranet and public space. Currently with BBC Vision, he is Portfolio Executive of Social Media. In this role he brings BBC's message to social mediums like, gaming, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and various blogs.

I would've loved to have heard Larry Harvey speak about all that is Burning Man. I've never been to the festival (and I don't think I could handle it), but it fascinates me. I recently watched the documentary on Burning Man and Harvey is truly a visionary when it comes to art and music events that depend heavily on social media. Very cool panelist.

SXSW Interactive

I've worked in the service industry in Austin for 11 years and SXSW is one of those weeks where you will make a lot of money, hate a lot of people and make more money. I've never really "attended" even though I've worked at a dozen venues and met several participants. At one of the bars I worked at we had this annual party for a group from SXSW Interactive. The party was called the "Red versus Blue" and for four hours one hundred tech junkies filled our bar the Tuesday of SXSW. Overheard in almost every conversation were words like platform, interface, venture capital and so on. I enjoyed it, even if it was from afar. This year will be different, I hope as I plan to enroll in the advanced new media class.
One of the speakers for 2009 was Raven Zachary. Mr. Zachary is an "iPhone strategist" who helps people develop iPhone apps. On many occasions, while I am playing with some cool new app, I've wondered how these nifty little operations come about. I have the feeling that the sophistication, usefulness and profitability of the iPhone apps will continue to rise and evolve in the coming years and Mr. Zachary figures to be in the middle of it all.
Jamie Voris was a speaker in 2008. Mr. Voris is chief technology officer for the National Football League. A few years ago, while working at the aforementioned bar, I met several members of the NFL's new media group. I made such good friends with all of them that they invited me to join them the three next nights as we went bar hopping and such. The funny thing was I hoped to pick their brains about the NFL environment yet they also wanted to pick my brain on several football related topics. They asked me which team website I liked/hated most and even left me with some homework every night. I remember thinking to myself "I want their job." One HUGE limitation I had at that time was I knew as much about HTML as I did the laws of relativity. This year will be different.

Third Project

While trying to figure out what type of website I'd create, I learned that the Pittsburgh Steelers' (a team I've followed since 1985) starting running back was missing two weeks. Still having no clue on the website I started reading up on the team, killing time while I though out my website, then it hit me. Why not have a site on the Steelers? There is probably nothing I know more about (except maybe the Pirates) so why not? So I have decided. The details still have to be worked out but it will contain a stats page (with nerdy tidbits), schedule page, home page, and an analysis page. The work will be in the analysis page where I will complain and talk about anything remotely Steelers. The topics will be on silly things like Troy's hair, Mike "Epps" Tomlin, and Jeff Reed's affinity for getting naked in public. There will also be some technical game analysis (as much as a Madden expert can provide) and even serious stuff like Ben's legal issues.
I am excited and a bit nervous about such a venture but I know it'll be interesting and worthwhile.

Project 3

Our third project is the perfect opportunity for me to make a website for the venture my mom and I started. We've always wanted to have an antique booth in a shop and we've finally done it. Eventually, we would love to have our own stand-alone store, but this is a great start. We're in Rockdale, Texas in a store called Antique Queens and all the major antique vendors in Austin shop them. Antique Queens does not have a website, so hopefully by having a site for our booth we'll bring even more traffic to the store. Time to get busy building!

Monday, October 12, 2009

SXSW Interactive

So there is no better week in my year than SXSW. I have been going since I was in high school. I am excited about next year's project with SXSW interactive and after looking over past speakers and panels, there were two names I was bummed to have missed out on.

Paul Miller spoke in 2001. Some may know him better as DJ Spooky. Besides being a world class dj and composer, Miller considers himself a multi-media artist combining music and video in his live sets and in his projects. He just recently released a audio/video remix of Birth of a Nation. He is someone who is definitely pushing the limits as a musician and artist and using technology to do so.

Matt Hulett was the president of Atom Films and Entertainment back in 2000 when he spoke. It was acquired by Viacom for 200 Million dollars. He recently was the CEO of MPire, which has helped move advertising forward on the internet. It seems everything this guy becomes involved with does extremely well and he keeps pressing ahead.

Project #3

So it has taken some time to figure out what to do for Project #3. As much as I wanted to make a website about my dislike for the Dave Matthews Band or Incubus, I have decided to make a tribute page for the album Kind of Blue. This is the 50th anniversary of the Miles Davis' Columbia release.

Project 3

For this project, I am going to introduce South Korea about good tour place, food and some events for tourists. I love to travel any new place. When we travel new places, we need information. So if anyone wants to visit South Korea, I hope this web page can help you.

SXSW interactive

First, I recognize John Adams. He works in Operations at Twitter. He focuses on media distribution, security, scalability and infrastructures to social networking. He was the Director of Engineering at IFILM, and worked in the security groups at both Apple and Inktomi. He spoke about “Using GPS & Location to Enhance Social Networking” in 2009.

Second, I would like to see Mark Zuckerberg. He is Facebook’s founder and CEO. Facebook has grown from a social networking tool to a global phenomenon. Now Facebook is used by people of all ages with over 50% of users returning daily. Facebook tries to continue to launch new innovations and expand functionality.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SXSW interactive

Personally, I'd like to see Chris Allbritton come back to SXSW Interactive. I want to know how his new project, www.insurgencywatc.com, is doing. His about section on the blog says that his former project, www.back-to-iraq.com, was completely supported by readers' donations.
It's sad that war correspondents have to pass the hat to get paid...


I've never been.

When I think of Austin I think of the different kinds of festivals and conferences that take place there and SXSW is one of the first conferences that comes to mind. Although I have never attended SXSW I would love to go. It sounds like a hot bed of music, technology and some really fabulous, innovative people. One day very soon I hope to have the opportunity to experience SXSW for myself.

Henny Swan was a speaker at SXSW in 2008. At the time, she was the Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at the Royal National Institute for the Blind. This charity helps support blind and partially sighted people in the UK. In September 2008, Swan took a job with Opera Software as a Web Evangelist. At Opera, Swan helps promote web standards and the open web. In the late 90s, she focused on accessibility and usability for a search engine in China.

In 2003, Meredith Butler spoke at SXSW. She was employed by a company called Milkshake Media. Milkshake is a stragetic branding and creative agency. According to their web site, they specialize in building brands that build community. Some of their clients include the Seton Family of Hospitals, Marfa Public Radio and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Milkshake created the Livestrong Brand and the yellow Livestrong bands that are worn by over 65 million people worldwide.

It will be interesting to see what great people SXSW will bring together this year.

Project #3

For the project #3, I have decided to do a new web site dedicated to fashion. I love shopping and I love everything about fashion. I want to include what I like to wear, favorite brands, favorite stores to shop at locally and what the new fashion trends for winter are.

Project #3

For the next project, I've decided to do a Web site dedicated to shoes. I think almost every girl can agree that shoes are very important to the wardrobe...I have a tone of shoes in the closet, some that I don't even wear. Having a closet full of shoes, however, does not deter me from buying more....I haven't decided what my four pages are going to be yet, but I do know that one will have links to websites where you can get good deals on shoes. What I'm thinking about doing is separating the pages into different shoe topics like - essentials, where to buy, shoes you wish you could afford, etc. Either way I'm still in the thought process about it.

Website redesign

Okay, so I tore a page out of Mark Mederson's playbook and stayed up until 2 a.m. working on Assignment 3--and it occurred to me that I haven't even posted my intentions for the assignment.

I'm making a proposed redesign of the Austin Friends of Traditional Music website. I'm going for kind of a funky, folky sort of feel. Let's see how that turns out...


Saturday, October 10, 2009


I gotta come clean. I've never been to SXSW. I've lived in this area for 15 years and have never gone. Tried to go a couple of times. Never made it. So this will be a completely new experience for me and it's kind of overwhelming. The first thing I did was watch the "First Timers' Guide to SXSW" and read the tips and pointers and FAQ. I'm really excited to network (something I'm not very good at) and learn about brand building, etc. Very excited. Austin is one of the few places (if not the only place) that could pull something like this off.

As for past speakers, I instantly recognized Diana Eng's name. She was a contestant on season two of Project Runway, but I haven't heard anything about her recently. Turns out, she's got a lot going on. She just launched a PBS program called "Fairytale Fashions." According to her blog, she makes girls pretend like they're fashion designers in a fairy tale - and they have to use new technologies to make everything happen. She's documenting the whole process over five months Pretty cool. Eng also has a jewelry line, wrote a series of articles about HAM radio and wrote a book called Fashion Geek, which is all about combining clothes and tech gadgets.

The second name I recognized was Ben Huh. He's the CEO of Pet Holdings. Doesn't ring a bell? You may know him better from this..

Yes, Ben Huh is the guy in charge of all the lolcats. His company runs I Can Has Cheezburger and I Has a Hot Dog and Fail Blog and all other kinds of internet meme sites. Huh didn't start the lolcat site, though. According to a cnet article, he hated his job and sent an IM to a friend that he thought the Cheezburger site was funny. His friend replied back, "why don't you buy it?" So he did. His sites pull in four million hits a day, 80 million video plays a month and make up 10% of WordPress' traffic a day. And strangely - he's allergic to cats.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New web site.

Hello all...my new web site will be focused on Las Vegas. Besides my incredibly exciting life as a Project Runway and Top Chef fan, I am the senior travel writer for The Hotel Guide, which is distributed to two million people a year. Luckily, no one has written in to complain that I gave them bad advice. Anyway, I will focus on some of my blurbs about hotels, clubs and pools in Las Vegas and will actually move this over to be my main page when this class is over. I think it helps the magazine in some way to show their writers have a different forum to express themselves, if that makes sense.


Aliza Sherman has done it all.  In the infancy of the WWW, Aliza was the first woman to start up an full service Internet company (Cybergrrrl.com).  Aliza is thought to be the one who paved the way for women in the Internet and new media world.  Nowadays she consults companies on how to migrate their business to the new media and social media industries.  Aliza has also produced a documentary ("Wyoming Families First"), worked in radio, worked as a freelance writer and written a book, “Streetwise Ecommerce.”  Aliza spoke at SXSWi in 1999.  For more information about Aliza, visit http://mediaegg.com/index.php.

Warren Wilansky, founded Plank Design with one specific goal in mind:  creating web sites that are creative and innovative.  Warren uses research, diplomacy and creative skills to create successful sites for Plank Design's clients.  One of Plank's biggest clients is Michael Moore http://www.michaelmoore.com/).  Warren has also worked in radio, magazine and as a musician. Warren was a speaker at SXSWi in 2003.  For more information about Warren and Plank Design's innovative and creative designs, check out http://www.plankdesign.com/en/. 

The SXSWi site promises that SXSWi 2010 won't disappoint, and I believe that.  If this year is anything like the past years, geared up for an awesome five days full of technology, networking and fun.

A little fall inspiration...

I decided to do my new site on something fun and relevant to the time...fall!  I will have things such as fun fall activities (camping, fall festivals, eating so much turkey you think you're going to explode) and fall projects (scary pumpkin carvings, pumpkin cupcakes...see a pattern?).

I wanted to make a site where fellow fall lovers could go to get great ideas for the season.  I hope my site will inspire others to throw on a scarf, grab a pumpkin latte and go play in the crunchy leaves.