Category Archives: tech

General technology issues

pre-SXSWi meetup Thurs March 12th, 5-7pm at The Cedar Door

As we’ve done in the past, let’s all get together for a pre-SXSW meetup Thurs March 12th, 5-7pm at The Cedar Door, 201 Brazos St. (2 blocks from the Austin Convention Center).

If you’re getting to Austin for SXSW Interactive just a little early, come on by and get your SXSW started with some others in town a day early too, not to mention meet some of us lucky enough to live in Austin. Feel free to forward this to others you know coming to Austin for SXSWi too.

Those of you in Austin, tell your Web/IA/Designer/Startup/SWSXi-like friends to meet us there. (Look for the geekiest crowd at the Cedar Door, trust me, that’ll be us. Probably on the East patio.)

Here’s an upcoming link for the event, if you’re into that kind of RSVPing.

Note that now you can pick your SXSW interactive badge on at the Austin Convention Center the same evening, come to the meetup, then pick up your badge!

Indie Fever – a report on Macintosh independent developers

This report, titled: Indie Fever The genesis, culture and economy of a community of independent software developers on the Macintosh OS X platform by Michiel van Meeteren looks pretty interesting.

‘Indie Fever’ is the first result of a multi-year human geography research program to investigate the social and economical world of so-called ‘Indie’ developers on the Macintosh platform. ‘Indie’ is the self-chosen nickname of software developers that serve worldwide markets from the Internet, hold their artistic values in high esteem and celebrate their ability to make high quality software as small companies. Indies form a major part of the pool of developers of third party software for the iPhone that is currently available in Apple’s App Store.

It is a Bachelor’s thesis (108 pp) and covers a lot of ground, some obvious to Mac users or Mac decvlopers, but worth looking through.

Science 2.0: Globalized Innovation in Electronics talk at UTexas

Next Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:30 pm -7:30 pm at the University of Texas LBJ Library Brown Room, 10th Floor there looks to be an interesting talk:

Strauss Center :: Science 2.0: Globalized Innovation in Electronics by Dan Hutcheson, CEO, VLSI Research

Dan Hutcheson, of VLSI Research, Inc., is a recognized authority and well-known visionary for the semiconductor industry. He advises companies in strategic and tactical marketing, business management and manufacturing trends, productivity and strategy. Mr. Hutcheson developed the industry’s first cost-of-ownership model and the first factory cost-optimization model in the 1980s.

This presentation is part of the Strauss Center’s Technology, Innovation and Global Security Speaker Series, which brings world-renowned experts to campus to discuss how to sustain innovation and better utilize modern technology to benefit an increasingly global economic and social system.

Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search: an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level

I will be giving a research talk (added recently, thus not on the conference Web page yet) titled: Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search:  an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level on October 28 at the American Society of Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08) in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the abstract for the talk:

This talk reviews an exploratory study of sponsored search advertising for a major US university’s academic department. The ad campaign used Google’s AdWord service with the goal of increasing awareness – not eCommerce – as part of the search process.  A behavioral model of information seeking is suggested that could be applied for selecting appropriate types of online advertising for awareness and other advertising goals. Insights into the study methodology will also be discussed including the use of increased integration with server logs, targeted site query terms and alternative awareness strategies. 

The talk is part of the panel AM08 2008 – The Google Online Marketing Challenge: A Multi-disciplinary Global Teaching and Learning Initiative Using Sponsored Search with Bernard Jansen, Mark A. Rosso, Dan Russell, Brian Detlor and Don Turnbull.

This is a summary of the panel:

Sponsored search is an innovative information searching paradigm. This panel will discuss a vehicle to explore this unique medium as an educational opportunity for students and professors. From February to May 2008, Google will run its first ever student competition in sponsored search, The Google Online Marketing Challenge http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/. Similar to other Google initiatives, the extent seems huge. Based on pre-registrations, more than two hundred professors and nearly nine thousand students from approximately 50 countries will compete. This may be the largest, worldwide educational course ever done. It is certainly on a large scale.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a real-life, problem-based, and multidisciplinary educational endeavor of the kind that many educators say is needed to relate teaching to outside the classroom. However, such endeavors are not without risks. The session should appeal to professors that competed in the 2008 Challenge, any professors considering the 2009 Challenge, as well as other educators who might consider the inclusion of Google AdWords as a pedagogical tool in their curricula. The panel will also be of great interest to those information professionals and educators as a possible model for use in other domains besides sponsored search.

Semantic Web Technologies

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Semantic Web Technologies

This course approaches understanding Semantic Web technologies from three perspectives:

  • Top-down, theoretical approaches to organizing semantic information including ontologies, taxonomies, knowledge representation and software agents.
  • Bottom-up approaches, sometimes called “emergent semantics” or “the lower case ‘S’ semantic web”, for understanding and creating networked information including XML-based solutions including RDF, XPath and RSS. Also included are smaller, informal systems for organizing Web information including tagging (social bookmarking), microformats and other specific markup and distribution systems.
  • Application approaches focusing on Web Services or “Web 2.0” functionality including distributed (client and server) application design, syndication, Application Programming Interfaces, remote databases and “mash-ups”.

Of course, we have a class blog too: Semantic Web Technologies Blog.

Get ready for the 2008 Information Architecture Summit

On another IA note (can you tell I’m working through my inbox?) it’s time again to start thinking about the 2008 Information Architecture Summit in Miami, Florida on April 10-14 2008.

The Information Architecture Summit is the premier gathering place for those interested in information architecture. The 2007 IA Summit attracted over 570 attendees, including beginners, experienced IAs, and people from a range of related fields.

The 2008 theme of “Experiencing Information” shifts the focus back to users. A user experience exists only to allow people to “do things” (in the broadest sense … buying books, sharing photos with friends, looking something up on wikipedia, etc).

Call for Proposals

The summit is a great opportunity to share your experience and thoughts on a topic you feel passionate about – and for the first time – presenters will receive complimentary registration! (to keep costs manageable one complimentary registration will be given to each regular session slot and panel moderator/organizer).

Proposals for the following are due October 31, 2007:

  • Presentations
  • Panels
  • Posters
  • Management Track
  • Pre-conference workshops

Submissions of peer-reviewed Research Papers are due November 30, 2007.

(Note that I’m a member of the IAI Advisory Board and will be a reviewer for Proposal and Research Papers. If you have any questions about the proposal process, the IA Summit or the Information Architecture Institute just ask.)

Information Architecture Institute Progress Grants

I’m pleased to announce (or remind) that the Information Architecture Institute is accepting applications for the Information Architecture 2007 Progress Grants

The Information Architecture Institute (IAI) will award two USD $1,000 Progress Grants for 2007. The purpose of the program is twofold:

  • to encourage researchers and practitioners to investigate IA-specific issues
  • to publicize useful work that furthers the information architecture body of knowledge

Applications should propose work that will forward the theory and practice of information architecture. This can include original research, a synthesis of important existing research, or the development of an innovative new technique.

The IAI Progress Grant Committee will review the proposals and select those with the highest potential to benefit the information architecture field. Half of the grant amount will be awarded when the grant recipients are announced and half when the work is completed. Progress grants will only be awarded to proposals of sufficient quality, clarity, and originality.

Work supported through this program will be published on the iainstitute.org website, but it should have relevance beyond the Tools and Library collections. For instance, the work could inform future IAI workshop curricula, tie in with potential Institute publishing projects, be responsive to issues raised by members in the email discussion list, or support other Institute activities, such as Local Groups and International initiatives.

The application deadline for applying is October 15, 2007

Applications should be 2,000 words or fewer and must contain:

  • Description of the problem or hypothesis
  • Methodology to be used
  • Explanation of how the resulting work will forward the theory or practice of IA
  • Conditions under which others can use the results (e.g. Creative Commons license)

(Note that I’m on the Awards Jury Committee for this grant.)

Learn more about the Information Architecture 2007 Progress Grants now.

Creating Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint

Maureen Kelly over at Boxes and Arrows has a nice article about building Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint.

PowerPoint prototypes are a great way to show someone how the flow of an interaction might work and even better, you can send them the .ppt file to view before or after your demo, not to mention ensuring that almost everyone you work with could (if you want them to) contribute to the PowerPoint deck since the application is nearly ubiquitous.

As an aside, I’m always a bit impressed with the ingenuity of people who live in one application for everything, and PP certainly can let you do that. I’ve known many people that use PP for note taking, article reviewing (guilty!) and of course outlining (it’s better than Microsoft Word). However, this is nothing compared to the people who used to live in Lotus 123 including writing memos and even formatting floppies. (Ah, floppy disks.)