Back from SXSW. What an incredible week!

March 17, 2012 | 1 comment

It’s been an amazing week, both for me and for latakoo. I’ve only just flopped back into my apartment in Berkeley, but here are some links:

On the official Box blog, Box and latakoo make video uploads faster than ever:

What does scale is anything that improves your productivity by saving time, especially when it comes to uploading videos. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new integration with video management provider latakoo. latakoo employs a one-click utility to shrink and convey large HD and SD video files in minutes instead of hours. Available today, latakoo subscribers can push their videos to Box faster than ever.

Then, CBS Radio News featured us in this week’s Reporters Notebook (MP3 link).

Steve Kline had an HD camera on our stand at SXSW, so we recorded lots of video of passers-by and uploaded it to our SXSW How I Fly video portal. How I Fly is a beta service that allows anyone to run their own collaborative video portal. (Like running your own YouTube or Vimeo.)

Speaking of which, here’s one of my SXSW contributions, sent using latakoo’s integration with YouTube (uploading to YouTube with latakoo is up to 37 times faster than uploading straight from YouTube’s own website):

The lesson I’m trying to drive home? latakoo makes video simple, no matter what you’re trying to do with it. And people are taking notice.

Let’s meet at SXSW

March 5, 2012 | Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again: I’ll be at the SXSW Interactive festival next week. From March 12th through the 15th, latakoo will be on stand #308, talking about what we’re doing – and for much of the time, so will I. Come say hi!

Of course, there’s far more to SXSW than the trade show and the talks, and I’ll be attending as many events as I can. If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet. If you’d like to talk latakoo, online video, the open, social web or open source, I’m using Ohours to meet up with people on Sunday the 11th.

Notes from SXSW

March 19, 2011 | Leave a comment

SXSW 2011SXSW 2011 was among the best events I’ve ever attended. It was vital, fun-packed, and hugely educational – I have no doubts about coming back next year.

The Interactive Festival is exactly what I want to see from technology: it was optimistic, sociable, diverse and full of really interesting discussion, which ran the gamut from the highly technical to liberal arts. My two panels were well-received (thanks to Blaine Cook and Jim Moore for inviting me to The How & Why Of Decentralized Web Identity and Wikileaks, the Web & the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism respectively), and the quality of debate from the audience totally blew me away.

What I find really exciting is that technology has definitively grown out of its geeks-in-bedrooms phase (as much as it was ever there). Geek is fully reclaimed as a term of respect: someone who is smart, focused, and changing the world. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of people who are changing the world this week. I feel privileged to have had a modest impact through my work on Elgg; with latakoo, I’m enjoying once again working on a project with a global reach, and the conversations I had at the conference were inspiring.

It was striking to see so many companies move into the real-life space – it seemed like everyone was peddling apps designed for mass-market non-technical users to interact with on the go. People don’t seem to be focusing on early adopters any more, and rightly so. It’s no longer good enough to build something cool, or scratch your own itch. Now, finally, you’ve got to build something that makes peoples’ lives better.

If you can, find your way to Austin next March. For the conversation, the perspective and the sheer fun of it all, it can’t be beat. My one regret: I didn’t take a single photo, or a minute of video. I was simply too engrossed.

Photo: SXSW 2011 by Betsy Weber. Shared under a Creative Commons license.

Where to find me at SXSW

February 27, 2011 | Leave a comment

I’m stoked to be at this year’s South By Southwest Interactive festival in Austin.

As well as enjoying the talks, attending events and enjoying wandering around one of my favorite cities in the world, I’m appearing as part of two panels:

The Why & How Of Decentralized Web Identity with Blaine Cook and Christian Sandvig (March 12, 11am in the TX Ballroom 2-4 at the Hyatt)

Wikileaks, the Web, and the Long, Strange Journey of Journalism with James Moore and Scott Braddock (March 15, 9:30am in the Town Lake Ballroom at the Radisson)

Power!In both cases, these are part of a stream. If you’re interested in decentralized identity, you’re probably going to want to start with Federating the Social Web, a panel with’s Evan Promodou, TummelVision’s Kevin Marks and Socialcast’s Monica Wilkinson, which starts at 9:30am in the same room. Meanwhile, if you want to hear more about Wikileaks, you may want to stick around for Wikileaks: The Website That Changed the World?, with Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sarah Ellison, and ProPublica managing editor Stephen Engelberg, which takes place in the Town Lake Ballroom at 12:30pm.

I’m very excited about working with the participants at both events. I’m pleased to say that James Moore, my co-panelist for the Wikileaks event, is a colleague at Latakoo, and it’s a pleasure to have found another way to work with him. You may know him best for his book Bush’s Brain, about George W. Bush and Karl Rove’s role in his presidency; he’s made a name for himself as an incisive political commentator in print, on television and in documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11. Here are his not inconsiderable contributions to the Huffington Post. For his Wikileaks panel, he’s brought Edward R Murrow award-winning investigative journalist Scott Braddock on board, and I’ll be there to provide technical and web culture context.

Blaine Cook, meanwhile, was the primary author of both OAuth and Webfinger, which are two of the most important building blocks for the decentralized social web; they’ve been influential in how web applications have been designed and built over the past few years. Formerly lead developer at Twitter, he’s now part of Osmosoft, a part of British Telecom that works on open source, web-based collaboration tools. As well as kindly asking me to join him on his panel on decentralized identity, he’s secured the wisdom of Christian Sandvig, who is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Finally, although I won’t be speaking at this one, my colleague at the Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab Rohan Gunatillake will be speaking with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s CEO Kath Maitland about Edinburgh, Austin and the Future of Festivals on March 14th. If you’re interested in digital and the arts, or my work as Geek in Residence at the festivalslab, this will be worth your time.

If you’re in Austin this March, I’d love to see you at either of these events, or anywhere else. I’ll be heavily using Twitter during the festival, so you can always message me there, or drop me a note here in the comments. It should be a lot of fun.

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