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Thanks to everyone that attended today’s 1 o’clock meeting.

Here’s the presentation:

Go here for direct download or you can visit the Slide Share page.

Side note: Slide Share is a very resourceful website for other presentations. You can find presentations on everything from global warming, advertising concepts to pictures of landscapes.

One presentation I stumbled upon is Zappo’s presentation from SXSW, Top 10 Lessons Learned in E-Commerce. Check it out.


April 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

See Ya Next Time, Austin.

Bye Austin…

I surprisingly loved Austin. I would definitely go back to visit. My first perception of Austin was a hot, humid place with nothing to do. Wrong.

I didn’t know what to expect at SXSW. I couldn’t have imagined a better conference to attend. With all the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained…

It’s been an amazing trip and I can’t wait until next year. :)

Here are my favorite things off the top of my head:
1. All three keynotes. Each memorable in their own way.
2. Hearing all sorts of bands in different venues while walking on 6th street.
3. Going where the locals go. Each store having a very distinctive style.
4. Meeting people from everywhere.
5. Cornflake chicken salad. Need I say more?

I was planning on posting pictures from #3, but here are just way too many. I’ll upload it to my Flickr site and post when they’re all uploaded…

Thanks for reading! I should have a recap presentation in a day or two.

April 7, 2008 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Random Photos from the Conference

I got this on the first day…giving money out as a marketing tool!


I was pretty much the only person in the convention without an iPhone!

Extreme multi-tasking. Chatting with others in the room, taking notes, listening to the keynote and taking pictures. :)

Billy Bob Thorton performing at the Dell Lounge

At the tradeshow…

Some sort of gadget…

Antonia’s willing to try it.

I don’t believe it (whatever she’s suppose to be seeing through those glasses). :P


Funny book I saw at the tradeshow.

Some guy promoting his CD outside of the convention center.

Information overload.

April 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Happiness, Virtual Reality + Soulja Boy

After an extremely satisfying meal at Moonshine’s, Antonia and I headed back to the convention to see the final keynote by Jane McGonigal, a game designer’s perspective on the future of happiness.

Waiting for the keynote to start…

Photo Source

The presentation started with a video highlighting “The Lost Ring,” the most recent game McGonigal developed.

McGonigal is a researcher at Institute for the Future (yes! It’s for real! :)). It is a think tank where they look at interesting things that are happening today and what will happen in the future. A new field they are focusing on is called, “positive psychology.” Positive psychology is looking at our brains and finding what makes us happy. Usually, psychology focuses on order, disorder, why we feel bad and how do we fix it. But this new field is to understand the brain and body so we can live a higher quality of life. It is about trying to capture the BEST human experience 0 to make the people’s life worth living.

Happiness is the new capital. If you want someone to value your service, you must explicit the value of happiness.

The four key principles of happiness from scientific research:
1. Satisfying work to do.
2. The experience of being good at something.
3. Time spent with people we like.
4. The chance to be a part of something bigger.

According to McGonigal, GAMES are a good example of all of these principles. Especially, multi-player games. They are the ultimate happiness engine. They also enable us to be really good at things that in reality, we are not good at. For example, in the game, World of Warcraft, you are thrown all this data and you are able to consume all the data feedback. But, in reality, when you have a million things thrown at you, while trying to multi-task, you can not do it.

McGonigal questions why are we making the games only in the computer? We should be using games to understand the world and learn about each other. She wants to see games in the real world rather than just on the computer screen, just like words are used all over the place, rather than just in books. McGonigal lists some examples such as Zyked, a Scandinavian game that gives you points and increases your skills while you work out. Another is a virtual currency game called Serios. If you want x employee to do something, you have to give them y amount. “I’m willing to give you 50k serios if you do this presentation for me.” You play with each other and do tasks to make more money.

All these are skills we develop as gamers..the 10 superpowers:
1. Mobbability – Ability to collaborate and coordinate really large skills in real-time.
2. Influency – Ability to adapt to persuasive mediums.
3. Ping quotient – Measures your responsiveness to other people’s requests for engagement. Are you easy to engage? If you are high, you are responsive to others, low – not open for others.
4. Multi-capitalism – Understanding that people are trading in different value systems (natural, intellectual, social and financial). Everyone wants something different in return, so how can you combine all these together?
5. Cooperation radar – Ability to sense, almost intuitively, who would make the best collaborators on a particular task.
6. Open authorship – Creating content for public consumption and modification.
7. Emergensight – Ability to prepare for and handle surprising results and complexity.
8. Longbroading – thinking in terms of higher level systems, cycles and the big picture.
9. Protovation – Rapid, fearless innovation. You fail quickly, but get back up and do it all over again.
10. Signal/Noise management – Filtering meaningful info, patterns, and commonalities from massively multiple streams of data.

Lastly, McGonigal mentions, if there’s anything we need to learn from this presentation, it’s these three things:
1. Soon enough, most of us will be in the happiness business.
2. Game designers have a huge head start.
3. Alternate realities signal the desire, need and opportunity for all of us to redesign reality for real quality of life.

The best part of the keynote happened during Q&A. I forgot what the question was, but McGonigal started talking about how this one time, she was in her car at a red light with her husband. They jumped out and started dancing to Soulja Boy on the street with the people in the car next to them. Someone from the audience yelled out, “Do it!” and she did! Look at the great video below. It was hilarious and I couldn’t believe she was actually dancing Soulja Boy. A grown woman, dancing on stage and being very serious about it. It was awesome.

Another great experience is seeing Twitter in action. After she said she’d dance Soulja Boy, a sea of people quickly trickled into the ballroom. People were twittering..telling each other what was going on. Twitter is an excellent tool to give information quickly to a large amount of people. More of that later…

People trickling in to see McGonigal dance Soulja Boy!

The last visual information design of the conference…

April 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm 2 comments

The Best Salad Ever.

Antonia and I heard great things about Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, which is near the convention. We tried going there on a previous day, but it was super packed. The day we went was also pretty full, but we were determined to try it. I’m so glad we did…it was the best meal I’ve had in Austin!

Side of HAVE to go!

Miss Antonia

The ambiance was rustic, ranch-style but not cheesy. Water came in mason jars, really cute! I was instantly in love with the place. They pay close attention to detail! Instead of a basket of chips or bread, we got a pail of buttered popcorn. Super adorable. OK. So it sounds like I fall for anything gimmicky. :X

Popcorn in a pail!

To start off, Antonia and I shared shrimp corn dogs. Yes, you heard that right, SHRIMP corn dogs. Instead of a hot dog, you get a big piece of shrimp dipped in cornmeal batter with a side of mustard blueberry sauce. There wasn’t really a lot of blueberry in the sauce, just a small drizzle of it. It was delicious. Never had such a thing….and loved it.

Shrimp corn dogs with mustard blueberry sauce

I ordered cornflake chicken salad. I am drooling just thinking about it. It was soooo good and huge enough to feed both of us. The chicken was moist and tender. The coating a perfect texture of cornflake and seasoning – not too thick, just right. There were about 5 pieces of chicken sitting on a bed of mixed greens..all drizzled with a thousand island-like dressing. I was turned off by the cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, but I didn’t care. My mouth was accepting it and loving every bite of the salad. Sooooo good.

Cornflake chicken salad

I barely finished the salad, but was so tempted by every single dessert on the menu. Skillet apple pie with maple ice cream (quoted “It’s big!” I’m not doubting it at all), peanut butter mousse pie, buttermilk coconut pie…….. We saw a table next to us with a party of 4 sharing a red velvet cake. They were sharing one slice and they each STILL had a huge piece! Antonia and I knew instantly, we wouldn’t have enough room for any of the desserts.

The list of desserts we said no to…

And with our tummies filled, we went to the last keynote of the festival, Jane McGonigal’s…..

April 6, 2008 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

Picture Time

Hi everyone! Giving y’all a break from the discussions with picture time! :)

Antonia and I were living baller status on the 20th floor (highest level of occupancy) on the first night. But, the smell of paint and our well being was over ruled so we had to change rooms. We got downgraded to the 6th floor. The view changed from over looking downtown Austin to this…

Looking out into another building…into someone’s office.

More glass.

Looking down into the waiting area.

My badge. “The?!” Gap Inc.

Tote full of nothing good (ton of brochures/magazines/flyers, 3d glasses, fortune cookie, etc….)

Entrance to the convention…

Lego Land!

Cool little Lego building.

Excuse the reflection, but it was a cool line up of Legos.

Miss Antonia is ready to start taking notes on her laptop – so tech savvy.


Random people in the convention.

Austin Convention Center
Side stairs of the convention.

This building looked like a painting…

Never found out what this building is called. But, it was beautiful.

Wu Tang

Don’t Mess With Texas
Don’t mess with Texas!

March 18, 2008 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

Applications, Widgets, Media That Sort of Thing

Peas in a Pod: Advertising, Monetization and Social Media
Tim Kendall, Product Manager, Facebook
Ellen McGirt, Sr Writer, Fast Company
Kent Nichols, Ask a Ninja
Seth Goldstein, CEO, Social Media Networks

This panel was in one of the larger ballrooms, but I still had to sit on the floor in the very back. I had no idea who was talking since my view was obstructed by many chairs. Sitting on a hard floor was uncomfortable within 10 minutes, but I still managed to get some interesting thoughts from the panelists…

Facebook expresses one’s identity and lets you share it with your friends. Applications that can express this identity are successful. Widgets are bling for your blog (ie, sports scores). The minute they turn interactive or social, it becomes an application.

The key to applications is to always provide a social context. An easy way to let the user invite friends (without spamming) will also help sustain a successful application.

The virtual world enables social relationships that you can not do in reality. For example, the food fight application, everyone wants to do this in real life, but they can’t. By having this fun, quick and easy to use application, you’re able to throw a pie at someone’s face without getting in trouble.

A social dynamic offline can also be transitioned to online. The happy hour application lets you have a virtual happy hour with all your friends with a click of a button.

Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, McDonald’s…all these big corporations want to reach the FB user. But they do not succeed because it is a communicating problem. Also, FB users do not care about the brand. Who wants to have a Crest application on their profile page?

These companies want to embrace the new technology. But, they have been in the traditional advertising medium for so long that it becomes a very slow transition to the interactive world. They are scared to take the lead and it will take a long time to change the culture of norm.

Advertising on FB has become an extremely attainable and profitable convention. It only costs 50 cents compared to $20-30 for digital. “Peerfluence” – how do you come up with an ad that will influence you and your peers? That’s the challenge. Another challenge is how do we weave advertising into the platform. You don’t want it to be intrusive (in my opinion, MySpace’s homepage – ads fill the entire screen).

Social ads are very targeted and can produce great results. If you want to buy a camera, you will get an ad for a camera on FB. We understand more and more of what you don’t like and like.

March 13, 2008 at 1:02 am Leave a comment

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