Note takers with art supplies

I noticed a few folks with sketch books and watercolors rather than computers at SXSW’s Interactive Conference this year. Just recently I discovered a sketch one such conference goer made at the panel Stephanie Troeth and I gave.

sketch of Virginia and Steph

The sketch is from ngenworks photostream on Flickr, where there are bunches of other SXSW sketches, too. The artist made Steph look fabulous, as she should. He even did a good job on me, except for the George Bush ears. I wouldn’t mind, except I hate being likened to George Bush in any way.

Live Bloggers in the Media Room

At last night’s PBS All-American Presidential Forums at Howard University, there were bloggers seated in the media room. Live blogging right beside the “real” journalists. This represents a major change in business as usual in my opinion.

I haven’t spoken about the merits of the different candiates web sites in a while, although I’ve maintained an interest in how each candidate is using the web to his or her advantage (or disadvantage). In a recent post, Birdie Jaworski offered up an opinion as to the effectiveness of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s efforts in the Web 2.0 world.

Source order and mobile users

One of the most important and least noticed facts about CSS layouts for sites meant for mobile users relates to source order. The elements of a web page—header, main content, sidebar, footer, and other such divisions—can be written in the the HTML in any order and laid out anywhere on the page using CSS. This means the main content div can be first in the HTML source in many layouts.

For mobile users who may be viewing a page without the help of CSS, seeing the main content first can save considerable time and many clicks to get to the relevant part of a page. If you look at this page with CSS turned off, you will note that the links at the top of the page are first in the source order. One of my goals in adapting this page for mobile users would be to either 1) use CSS to put the links last in the source order while still displaying them on the page under the title graphic, or 2) put a skip navigation link at the beginning of the list of links that would let a mobile user jump right to the first blog entry.

Is BlogHer’s Second Life conference the start of something big?

The organization of women bloggers BlogHer is hosting a conference in Chicago in July. This is not BlogHer’s first conference, so it isn’t big news.

No, the news is that BlogHer will be holding a virtual conference in Second Life (SL) that will run concurrently with the real physical conference. The announcement from Queen Tureaud, a SL avatar for real-life blogger Erin Kotecki Vest, says that the virtual conference will be complete with general sessions, audio feeds, and even a virtual cocktail party.

I see great conferences in far flung locations such as London, Australia and New Zealand that I would dearly love to attend, but will never be able to because of cost. It would be wonderful to participate in real time in SL’s virtual world instead of waiting weeks or months to hear podcasts or get access to speaker’s notes. I hope other conference organizers will follow BlogHer’s lead.

I'm speaking at BlogHerDisclaimer: I’m speaking at BlogHer in the technical track in Chicago in the real-world conference. I’ll be talking about adapting blogs for mobile users and about microformats. Love to see you there, in a real or a virtual way.