It’s been another great time here at SXSW and like last year I’ve been able to attend some pretty amazing sessions. Gaming and Storytelling have still be the big hitters for the tracks I’ve attended.
So far the most jaw-dropping of sessions was Stephen Wolfram’s talk on Computation and It’s Impact on the Future.
UPDATE: I had a chance to see some excellent, big-hitting sessions today. I attended talks from Dean Kamen (F.I.R.S.T.), Ray Kurzwell, Biz Stone, Sean Parker and Al Gore.
This is a concept sketch that I created a few months ago. This concept is related to an earlier sketch that I posted back in October. A lot of different drawing were created for this project. The first thing we did was work up the “screen play” for the upcoming site. Afterwards I sat down with our 3D artist and Interactive Design Director to work up a solid flow through the site.
Since we are setting this up to work more like a first-person shoot perspective it was essential to get the visual cues in that display on the screen just right. I’m myself am a big gamer so I was pretty excited that we were working on such a unique project like this.
Working on interactive projects that move more like a story and less like a page design is personally so much more rewarding.
Just getting back to my hotel room after another full day. All the sessions that I went to today were great, and I was able to walk away with so much information and inspiration across the board.
I probably also couldn’t say enough of Felicia Day’s keynote and panel today. I’ve been a fan since she created “The Guild.” Being a gamer, myself, (console and MMO) I connected with the show right away. Hearing her thoughts on connecting with her audience and the experience of creating the show and other projects also hit a lot of things home.
To cap it all of for me though – Felicia was kind enough to take a couple minutes of her time after the panel to sign the notes that I took during her sessions (bottom of the last page – second picture). So yeah, I’m feeling pretty lucky now. :)
Today I attended:
- Barry Diller Shares Insights on all Things Media
- Enabling New Experiences and Creating Serendipity Through Check-Ins
- Keynote: Felicia Day
- New Worlds: Creating Online Sci-Fi and Fantasy Experiences
Finished my third day of sessions here at SXSWi. I went to four sessions in a row… you can get overwhelmed with the overload of information that you can take in in a single day.
It was great to sit in on the Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman) inteview. As he talked about the things he did throughout his successful career I could pick out a lot of the underlying similarities that bred success for others regardless of discipline or industry.
Here are my notes from Day 3 for the Paul Reuben interview and others for Day 3.
Today I attended:
- Radical Openness: Growing TED by Giving it Away
- Transmedia Storytelling: Constructing Compelling Characters and Narrative Threads
- A Conversation with Paul Reubens
- Keynote: Christopher Poole (Founder of 4chan)
Day two was a another great day. There were some hits and misses, but overall there were still some really great takeaways. My favorite session today was “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better,” presented by Jane McGonigal.
Here are all my notes from Day 2.
Today I attended:
- Brave New World: Debating Brands’ Roles as Publishers
- Believe Me or Your Own Eyes: Eye-Tracking Entertainment
- Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better
- Brand Consistency is Killing Digital Advertising
Just finished a packed day of great talks, panels and meeting a ton of interesting and intelligent people here at SXSW Interactive 2011.
When a couple of people saw my notebook from last years SXSW, they told me that I should’ve posted it online. I hadn’t really thought of it at the time, but thought I’d give it a go this year. So here are my notes from Day 1.
Today I attended:
- Fireside Chat: Tim O’Reilly Interviewed by Jason Calacanis
- The New Frontier of Social Gaming
- Shine Light on Others to Build Your Build
Last week I started working on some sketches for a new project that we are working on for one of our clients over at A Brand New Way. The project is going to involve a lot of 3D work so it’s important that we start off with some initial concept art to help tie the site’s look and story together.
This is one sketch in a series. I will upload the others as we begin to get further along in the project.
We’re half way through SXSW 2010 and, outside of a couple of flops, it’s been an excellent line-up. There have been so many solid topics on the schedule that it’s made it difficult to choose how I wanted to split my time.
One topic that really stood out for me has been Content Strategy. Interactive has grown significantly over the last 10 years, but let’s face it – somehow content strategy (and content as a result) continues to take a back seat. The fact that this is being brought to the front of a lot of discussion is an important step for raising the interactive bar. This isn’t simply about copywriting. It’s about building a relevant messaging architecture that connects with the people you want to reach.
Back in art school, our projects were about reading an article or studying a topic, and then creating work that visually interpreted what we read. Somewhere along the line there’s been a disconnect when it comes to carrying that into the interactive space.
I think one of the biggest problems has been our inability to articulate the value of content strategy to our clients from a business perspective. It just so happens, though, that there were solid takeaways that anyone can and should bring to the table. Below are some of the points that make the case for starting your interactive projects with content strategy:
Messaging becomes focused on your visitor’s needs.
Business tend to write a lot of content about themselves. By focusing on content strategy, you can evaluate existing content and focus on delivering a message focused around the needs of your audience.
You add authenticity to your brand.
Not only with design decisions compliment the message, but content strategy can them been given to SEO strategists to extend the messaging outward. Having SEO, content, messaging, and design follow the same thread builds a seamless and consistent experience for your audience.
And your clincher – a project can be less expensive if you implement content strategy up front.
The design/creative process is a very iterative one. It is significantly faster and easier to rework words than it is to rework a design comp.
If you’d like to learn more about content strategy Check out Margot Bloomstein’s SXSW presentation as well as Kristina Halvorson’s book, Content Strategy for the Web. I’m hoping that Kristina also posts her presentation on Slideshare. In the meantime you can read the backchannel discussion here. It has been one of the best presentations I’ve seen here so far!
I’ve been running a couple of tests with a new installation of Expression Engine 2.0 Public Beta. Everything has been running pretty smoothly, but I did run into an error when I tried to edit existing pages added during the installation (if you selected to have Agile Records added).
When trying to edit an entry would get:
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 311296 bytes) in...
A quick workaround for this is to add the following line of code at the top of your admin index.php page.
I’m only running a local version on my MacBook Pro MAMP PRO setup for my own testing purposes so this is going to be pretty isolated, but I thought I’d post this in case somebody else runs into the same snag.
This morning I woke up to a downed site. I could log into the administration section of the site, but none of the public-facing pages worked. Looks like this might be specific to ExpressionEngine on Dreamhost, but I’m not completely sure about this.
Since we hadn’t made any changes to the site in a long while I was a little confused about what could be causing the issue. Turns out it ended up being a small change that was needed in the .htaccess file.
Here is a copy of line 3 in the .htaccess code before the change:
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]
Turns out that I just needed to add a ‘?’ right after the ‘php’ like this:
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php?/$1 [L]
Once I made this little change everything was back up and running.
Again, this change looks like it was specific to Dreamhost. I checked out a few other sites that use ExpressionEngine on other hosts where I know the .htaccess file hasn’t been changed, and they are still up and running.
If somebody else knows what might have caused the change in functionality please feel free to weigh in.