My MIX 08 Recap

-   Mar 09, 2008 -   Development, Web -   ,

Well, I just got back yesterday from my first MIX experience and wanted to write up a recap of the event.  Everyone likely came to MIX from a slightly different place, with slightly different expectations, and left with there own feelings on the event.  For me, it was a good overall event.  It really comes down to 3 things for me.  People, Passion, and Content. I came to MIX knowing almost no one there.  I can honestly say I saw only two people I had met before at MIX.  One of them, Dave Laribee, I had met just the week before at the Philly ALT.NET meeting and the other was a man who had taught a college class I took many years ago.  (I racked my brain trying to figure out who he was and by the time I figured it out, I never saw him again.)  So other than talking with Dave again, everyone else I talked with was someone I was meeting for the first time during the event. While knowing no one was tough, just about everyone I talked with was very nice and I appreciated meeting so many cool people at MIX.  There were a few people I had hoped to meet and I ended up getting to talk with most of them.  I also met a bunch of people I didn't expect to meet and really enjoyed getting to know them a little as well. These outside of session conversations where really the best part of MIX.  One could not help be feel the passion and energy of some people as they talked about software and what they were working on.  It was cool to talk with people who are excited about what they were doing and just really into making great software and experiences.  Sharing ideas, discussing issues, and getting insightful feedback with a bunch of people with varied background was awesome. The Content was good overall.  I went to a bunch of sessions and enjoyed most of them.  I'm sure the keynotes have been covered, so I won't say too much other than they were cool and that Steve Ballmer was great. Scott Hanselman's session was very good.  He had the only session on ASP.NET MVC.  I had hoped to hear more about it at MIX then I did, but this session was just excellent.  Scott is an excellent presenter and I'm glad I was able to catch this talk. I sat in on some of the Astoria (ADO Data Services) sessions and it is a lot cooler than I thought it was coming to the conference.  I'm not sure I'll use this in my work, but it really has given me something to think about. I really enjoyed some of the panel sessions as well.  I attended 2 of them and both were interesting.  I really enjoyed hearing different views on the same questions.  The panelists were well chosen as far as I could see. The best session I missed was the Story of the Ribbon.  You might be wondering how I would know what the best session I missed was, but I'm pretty sure this was it.  If you missed it at the conference, go and watch it.  (It is only 72 minutes if you skip the Q&A.)  I was sitting at lunch with Jon Galloway who I had met earlier and some others when Miguel de Icaza joins the table.  Miguel could not stop telling us how awesome the Ribbon presentation was so I decided I had to see it although I must admit I was still skeptical.  Anyway, I watched it today and it rocks.  It is all about UI research and the process used to in making the new Office UI.  It is very informative and gave me a term to something I often think about when designing UI, Longitudinal Usability.  Anyway, this session was so cool I'll likely take time to go back and watch some of the other User Experience track sessions. If you missed the conference, you should really take the opportunity to watch some of the presentations which are all available over the web. Well, that is my 2 cents on MIX 08.  I'm glad I was able to attend.  (and yes, I got to play around with the Surface, and it rocked as well.)

 Google Reader Shared Links?

-   Nov 30, 2006 -   Web -   ,

I like the idea of Google Reader's Shared Links pages. I think they are a nice way to share interesting posts with friends. So tonight I added the link to my Shared Blog Links page on the navigation to my site. I do wonder how some of the more popular bloggers feel about it. I know that Scott Hanselman puts a disclaimer in at the end of each post in his feed that reads. © 2006 Scott Hanselman. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is likely pure evil and should be stopped. On the other hand, I also read Robert Scoble's blog and he uses Google Reader's Shared Links page to share with others. I think he has gotten some flack, but for the most part it seems very accepted. Anyway, I doubt my links will ever be loaded up like Robert's links and I will try to remember never to share links to Scott or anyone else who I think might be offended, but it is out there for now. One other interesting thought on the subject, I dislike the style of the shared link page from Google. There is a feed available (of my shared feeds) and I thought I could quickly whip up a page to consume that feed and display it in a manner I prefer, but I thought that might be taking it too far. Would it? I want to be clear that I'm not trying to take ownership or rights to the works in the shared links. If I embedded them into my site somehow it would likely seem like I was.

 I'm lovin' Google Reader

-   Oct 15, 2006 -   Web -   ,

For about the past week or so, I've been using Google Reader as my RSS feed reader. I had read that Google upgraded the product and decided to check it out. The good... I was able to import my OPML file to load my feeds from GreatNews. The hotkeys make reading my feeds easy. Since it is web based, it easily manages which feeds I've read from anyway. (No more duplicate feeds read at work and then ready on my main feed list at home.) It has a mobile version so I can read current feeds through my phone. Starred items make it easy for me to mark articles I want to go back and read later (or again.) Shared feeds allow me to mark things to share with others. I look forward to start marking stuff to share with friend and others here. The bad... It is not as fast as I'd like. The email links function forces me to use my gmail account. It obviously can't handle my internal feeds from work. It looks a bit bland. (Not a negative for me, but it is a compliant I've read elsewhere a few times.) So moving forward, I'll be using Google Reader for most of my feed reading. I'll continue to use GreatNews for my internal work feeds, but nothing more.