Vote for me on the SXSW Panel Picker

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I can’t be self-promotional all alone here, people. I need your help! Vote for meeeee!

My proposal is up for voting right now on the South By Southwest Interactive Panel Picker. It’s a geek frenzy over there. Vote early and often.

VOTE HERE (login required)

Panel Proposal:

Video Game Research: Failing Our Way to Victory

Users are weird. They tell you one thing and do another. They click everywhere and read nothing. Erica Firment, a User Experience designer for Linden Lab/Second Life, chronicles fast and effective ways to make your software suck less by spending a few hours watching users fail.

  1. How can video games win by watching their players fail?
  2. What is video game user research?
  3. What do you mean by “watch users fail?”
  4. Can’t I just send out a survey? (NO!)
  5. Why are 3D world interfaces hard to design?
  6. What are some things in Second Life that got better by watching users fail?
  7. How does Second Life collect information?
  8. Why should developers and product managers invest in user research?
  9. What are some easy ways for me to do user research?
  10. What are some cheap ways for me to do user research?

Discussing geek speak with The Austin Chronicle

A lovely fellow from The Austin Chronicle wrote to my fellow South by Southwest panelists asking for a definition of our enigmatically titled presentation. He wanted to know what a “Funologist” was, and rather than sadden him with the news that our moderator made it up, we all took a shot at defining it for him.

The full article is available here: How to Speak Geek – SXSW Interactive has landed. Can you talk the talk?

I’m quoted about halfway down. Fame!

SXSW Interactive 2009 – Funologists live and in person: Guerilla Game Research

Happy news! I was invited to be a panelist at the South by Southwest Interactive conference next month, as part of their ScreenBurn track. bendoverbackwards.jpgI’m on a panel called “Funologists live and in person: Guerilla Game Research.”

I’ll share my experience starting some low-budget user research cycles for Second Life, and my work translating those frustrating observations into shippable engineering requirements.

There will be pretty pictures, and possibly cake.

The cake is a lie, but you should stop by anyway. There could be cake.

There certainly won’t be cake and not cake. Not at the same time, I can assure you.

Overheard at SXSW

Guy at mike: In the words of Walt Whitman, do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Guy next to me (stage whispers): Gay.

Edit: I’m annotating this one for the non-literature/human-sexuality majors.

It’s deconstruct-jokes-day here at Librarian Avengers.

Walt Whitman’s status as an historical gay icon is key to this comment. His poetry is universal, but a Whitman reference in a different context is sometimes used to covertly signal homosexuality, a la “are you a friend of Dorothy?” The humor comes from the incongruity of the unfortunate speaker quoting Whitman in the context of a professional discussion, and having his comment sarcastically interpreted as a self-referential proclamation of his sexuality.

A similar situation occurred during the 2006 New York gubernatorial debates at Cornell University. Republican candidate John Faso inadvertently caused laughs among the student-aged crowd when he declared that he did not want to “force gay marriage down the throats” of New Yorkers.

SXSW Interactive – Sunday

Guess who drank too much last night? Everyone!

It’s hangover day here at South by Southwest. The panels are slow and attendance is low.

This morning I went to a panel debating the merits of ignoring users. It matched my mood nicely.

User profiles are taking a beating this year.

Guess who was the only woman in the gaming room playing Guitar Hero and shooting bunnies with the Wii? You may call me Token.

Reverend Billy and the Church of No Shopping are here. They’re staying at our hotel, which was kind of startling when I crawled out of the elevator this morning.

I’m going to try and find someone from the Creative Commons who wants to come speak at Cornell about using the CC in scientific publications. If you know anyone, give me a holler.

SXSW Interactive – Saturday

Lists. Lists are the secret to blogging during a panel while still paying attention. Watch.

Best things about SXSW Interactive so far:

  • The BlogHer meetup is described during the opening panel as “the biggest taco-fest in Austin”
  • Vendetta, 1999 – a more modern version of the humanist Jenson typeface
  • Consumating.com
  • Seeing people from last year and feeling like they are old friends
  • Analog Tagging
  • Carrie Bickner at the NYPL gets it. Librarians don’t own metadata. Metadata, like all information, belongs to the people.
  • NYPL Labs
  • Breakfast tacos

Librarian meetup in Austin this weekend

Good morning, all. I’ve been death-on-a-stick for a week, thanks to accidentally ingesting some sort of peanut bi-product last weekend. The Epipen plays hell with my immune system. The good news is, I’ve gotten a lot of very important America’s Next Top Model watched. So, that’s done.

I am heading to Austin, Texas tomorrow for the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Jenny’s putting together a Libraryworker meetup in Austin on Sunday if you are in town.

I love the word “libraryworker”. It’s like sexworker, but you know, wholesome.