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23rd September Weekly Roundup

I’m bumping up against the too-long-away-from-home mark. Can I have a collective sigh? I’ve done it to myself; I’m not complaining. Just a status update. So, here we go:

  • I gave my presentation at the Folio Show this morning. I had no idea what people would be seeking from the session, so I edited my slides pretty much until I loaded them onto the computer at the podium. In the end, I forced myself to remember I’m far better at speaking extemporaneously than I am at preparing notes, so I took a deep breath and winged it. And although I’m not sure my actual presentation covered things deeply enough, the question/answer period was great. I certainly prefer interacting with an audience over speaking at one. If it didn’t require traveling, I’d look to do more speaking gigs.
  • A few people have come up to me to tell me they enjoyed the session. Each made me smile.
  • This speaking gig was so totally different from the one at Threadbear on Saturday. Allow me to list the ways:
    • Costume at Threadbear: Black dress, grey cami, purple tights, boots.
    • Costume at Folio: Pink button-down, black vest, black skirt, black tights, boots.
    • Setup at Threadbear: Lots of crochet that I held up and waved around and handed out.
    • Setup at Folio: Darkened room, projector, microphone, remote control, PowerPoint (I loathe ppt with a simmering, dull ache that doesn’t produce rage but does numb the mind).
    • At Threadbear: Mostly women, puppies.
    • At Folio: Lots of men and women, no puppies.
    • Chats at Threadbear: About yarn and crochet and knitting and projects and fit and creativity.
    • Chats at Folio: For the most part, web people came to chat with me, so there was less talk of formal business than I’d feared. I have managed not to encounter the words leverage or monetize and so am quite relieved.
  • A thought about how I just seemed to contrast web people with formal business people: To oversimplify (or maybe not), it’s like there are three types of people working on the web in publishing: Web folk, print folk, and business folk. Web folk move fast, think fast, are risk takers and community builders, are enriched by their online experience and value said richness, and are comfortable with experimentation. Print folk are apprehensive about the fast pace of the web, they’re wary of the things users might say about their brand or their advertisers, to varying extents they don’t understand what consumers value in web-based content, and some feel threatened by the web (for one or both of two reasons: they fear people will stop buying print and/or they aren’t interested in producing content for the web and so feel a bit personally threatened). Business people speak in tongues I rarely understand; think of the web in terms of visitors, click-throughs, sell-through-rates, and conversions; and baffle me by their keen ability to make lots of money while seeming never to fully get what-all the web is about.
  • The event at Threadbear. I’ll sum up in sentence fragments. Forty people. Awesome chats. Sandi rocks. Matt and Rob: incredible hosts and good friends. Puppies: so cute. Yummy eats. Magic.
  • Knitting Daily TV taping was awesome. By the end of the week, it was like summer camp. In a good way. It’s what happens when people pass a threshold of lots of concentrated time together in a small space. There was a lot of laughing. And some really good television made.
  • I posted a ton of photos and some audio clips from the taping on Tumblr. I still have one more audio clip to edit and post.
  • What do you think of the audio? I’d never produced audio before, and I’m really enjoying it. Should I keep it going, in some better-planned, more creative ways? Lemme know.
  • I’m going to hunker down with the Tumblr API and try to figure out how to automatically pull a daily roundup of my posts over there into this blog. I love using Tumblr, but really want to integrate the content over here. For (shh, don’t tell anyone) I love this blog more.
  • I’ve barely read fiction during this trip. I’m not even halfway through Watchmen. I think it’s partly that, although I love the story, I haven’t gotten sucked into it yet, and partly that I had a hell of a time kicking jet lag and ended up staring at the television way more than usual.
  • Speaking of. WTF is up with Heroes? Gossip Girl was way more entertaining than their weird pre-launch televised party. And then the plot suddenly seemed so… contrived. Is this what television is now, post-writers-strike? So obviously formulaic?
  • One formula I’ll stick with, though: Fringe. Why? Because I find Joshua Jackson, like, totally dreamy.
  • I went to visit Lorna’s Laces yesterday. I loved seeing how they work. Beth walked me through their dyeing process, and she just so happened to be making Amy Singer‘s colour. Special.
  • I rode the elevated train here in Chicago to get to Lorna’s and I only thought it would fall off the track twice. It’s cool to ride, but I prefer a proper buried subway.

A couple more pics for you, and then I’m heading to O’Hare to finally go home. Later, ‘gators.

Float Away Scarves we showed on the show:

Sandi and Bertha:

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Amy J.

Yeahhhh, Heroes totally bored my socks off (and I didn't stick around for the second hour–I need my sleep!). And I'm sticking w/Fringe for now, even though it creeps me out a little and some of the 'real' science is even off (what can I say, I have a thing for JJ Abrams).

marikka

For all of my bitterness on various weird science and health and safety issues, I am sticking with Fringe because all frustration vanishes when Mr. Jackson appears. It's his voice, I don't know why, but I love his voice. Although, Fringe does tend to just remind me that I miss X-Files.

kpwerker

Yes! On all counts. He definitely has one of those voices. And I'm reminded
quite clearly of the X-Files. And a bit of Alias (the early eps, at least; I
stopped watching after a bit).

Eric S.

Totally agree with your take on the Folio show and the three types of people: web, print, and business. I think the best combo are the online-only people who get web and business, or people in traditional media companies who get all three. They know that readers talking with readers is a great thing that helps create a brand. They know a web site has to be worthwhile and contribute to the community … not just take from it. And they're not afraid of experimenting and moving quickly. But they also balance it with the need to make honest money from it as a business. Web sites that have no business model don't last very long and don't add more things for the visitors that give back to the community. Web sites that are all about the business model and exist only to exploit the visitor also don't last very long as people see right through it and stop coming back to them.

And speaking of Heroes, I have it on my DVR but haven't watched it yet … hope I'm not disappointed!

kpwerker

Let me know what you think of Heroes, Eric!

Eric S.

Totally agree with your take on the Folio show and the three types of people: web, print, and business. I think the best combo are the online-only people who get web and business, or people in traditional media companies who get all three. They know that readers talking with readers is a great thing that helps create a brand. They know a web site has to be worthwhile and contribute to the community … not just take from it. And they're not afraid of experimenting and moving quickly. But they also balance it with the need to make honest money from it as a business. Web sites that have no business model don't last very long and don't add more things for the visitors that give back to the community. Web sites that are all about the business model and exist only to exploit the visitor also don't last very long as people see right through it and stop coming back to them.

And speaking of Heroes, I have it on my DVR but haven't watched it yet … hope I'm not disappointed!

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