Southwest Conference on Disability

the presenters page from PDF document

Yesterday Emily Lewis and I gave a presentation on web accessibility at the Southwest Conference on Disability in Albuquerque. We talked about accessibility tests and what to do with the results of your tests.

We don’t have a slide deck to share, but did create a PDF document with a number of links of interest to the people who attended. We also have some pages of code snippets that show correct code to fix the errors we demoed. Go to our presentation materials.

Most Inspiring Web Design Meetups Across the Globe

A big part of being a successful web designer is being innovative, allowing you to set yourself apart from the very large pool of designers available on the web. Whether you draw your inspiration from art, the work of your competitors, everyday objects or any other place, you can bet that your best source will be among the best of your colleagues!

Need a hand getting motivated towards your next beautiful creation of web-friendly art? No matter where in the world you call home, you can join your peers at one of these inspiring web design meetups across the globe:

1. Brooklyn Beta

A relatively small and relaxed event, Brooklyn Beta brings together web designers, developers and web-based entrepreneurs for three days of talks, workshops and social activities that will help you to hone your skills and make valuable new connections; with inspiration ranking as the event’s main goal, you’re also guaranteed to leave Brooklyn Beta with a renewed passion for your creative work!

When and Where: Set to take place from October 10-12, 2012, Brooklyn Beta will be held in New York City, in the borough that is its namesake.

2. HOW Interactive Design Conference

Professional education is the top item on the bill at the HOW Interactive Design Conference, an event that promises to help web designers better at what they do by teaching new techniques and immersing all attendees in fields of design that they’ve not previously experienced.

Lead by industry experts, this meetup of top-notch web designers will consist of three full days of workshops and presentations, each with a unique focus and goal, making for one of the most wide-ranging design conferences you’ve ever attended!

When and Where: Take a trip to the always vibrant city of San Francisco, California from October 29-31, 2012 in order to attend this year’s HOW Interactive Design Conference.

3. Le Web Paris

Focusing on the theme of technology that is just around the corner, this year’s Le Web Paris event aims to encompass the idea of Web 3.0 and its evolution from a buzzword to an identifier for the growing social web.

From consumer technology run via web-based applications to the standards of design and development, the topics covered by Le Web Paris are are vast importance to all designers at every level of the web in their quest to stay on the cutting edge of what it means to produce beautiful, functional web design.

When and Where: Use Le Web Paris as your excuse to visit that European center of culture and history from December 4-6, 2012, saving money while you do by locating budget hotels via

4. An Event Apart San Francisco

Well-known as one of the best professional design events on the American circuit, An Event Apart will spread 12 well-planned speakers and sessions over the course of three days, promising to provide a platform for in-depth learning and inspiration that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

When and Where: Hosted in San Francisco and taking place shortly after the HOW Interactive Design Conference detailed above, this year’s An Event Apart could very well be your second web design conference in two weeks!

5. Web Unleashed 2012

Offering a new look and a tweaked itinerary compared to years past, Web Unleashed 2012 will provide one day of hands-on workshops and presentations and one day of informative sessions, including lectures from some of the most exciting names in the web design and development industry.

Focusing on being both deep and affordable, this event is the perfect option for designers who are rarely able to attend industry conferences.

When and Where: The city of Waltham, Massachusetts will play host to this year’s Web Unleashed conference from November 8-9, placing attendees only 20 minutes from downtown Boston and its shopping and entertainment opportunities!

Guest Writer Jessy Troy is the creativity blogger behind TekSocial.

Useful links: Speaker Tips, Facebook email, your Twitter self

So you’ve been invited to speak is from Lea Verou who has some excellent tips for people who are doing presentations that involve coding. Wish her advice about IDEs was tattooed on the brain of every speaker I’ve every watched.

Facebook just changed your email without your permission. Here’s how to get it back.

Lately, I’m sort of obsessed with the idea of analyzing people based on what they post on Twitter. It seems like there’s a website that’s supposed to do that . . . am I making this up or is there such a website?

The Gaming Revolution and Social Good

What are the people who make games for you and your kids thinking about and talking about? One way to keep an eye on this is by watching The Games for Change Festival. The 9th annual festival took place June 18-20 in New York City.

This year’s festival included big name speakers and announcements of new games as well as the release of tools to enable you to create your own games. Topics ranged from the science behind what’s going on in your brain as you play to the appeal of the graphic interface in a game environment.

You can find some of the talks at Livestream/G4C if you’d like to catch up on events.


Game-o-matic is a new game of interest to bloggers. Here’s the description:

Game-o-matic, a Knight News Challenge-funded collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California at Santa Cruz, is a tool for generating journalistic games (or newsgames) through a simple “concept mapping” of relevant actors and their relationships.

A game called Dojo will help you regulate your own body’s function biofeedback style.

Deepak Chopra introduced Leela:

Leela is a Kinect and Wii retail game with the mission of connecting people to their own internal power to be happy. Extending the potential of gaming as a medium Leela offers and accesible meditative experience based in gameplay and traditional spiritual practices.

Many more games for learning, for health, for social change, and yes, even for marketing (you knew that would be there) were intoduced, discussed and demoed.

There were awards. Check the list of nominated games at 2012 Games for Change Awards nominees to see the type of games considered worthy by this group.

Prior to the event, Michelle Morrow interviewed Games for Change Co-President Michelle Byrd. It’s an interview worth reading. Here’s how Byrd described getting involved with G4C.

I had just stepped down from my position running a non-profit independent film organization. I wanted a change. I wanted to be involved in supporting media that was trying to make a difference in the world. Sometimes “Games for Change” related popped up in my Twitter feed. Whatever they were tweeting about intrigued me so I did some investigating. A couple of weeks later I was in Soho having lunch with one of the founders and learning about something that I had no idea about – the intersection of games and social change. By the time she started telling me that the organization was developing a game based on a book I was obsessed with at the time – Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky – I was hooked. I met Asi Burak, a game developer, and a couple of months later we had an opportunity to team up and put ourselves forward as a new leadership team to run the organization as Co-Presidents. Kind of crazy how organic the whole transition has been.

Later in the interview she was asked what was most exciting about this year’s event. Her answer reflects the reason that all of us should be interested in what game developers are doing.

Convergence.The best and most unique feature is the sheer convergence of ideas, people, causes, passions.It’s a committed crowd coming from numerous disciplines – game designers, developers, publishers, cause owners, academics, non-profits and NGOs. It’s the convergence of worlds which don’t necessarily interact in a daily on-going basis.

Twitter Talk

Since the festival is in progress as I write this, Twitter is the best way to give you a sense of the conversation there. Here’s a sampling of tweets.

Keynote speaker Jane McGonigal made Twitter go crazy when she announced that her company Gameful will being official work with Games for Change.

jane mcgonigal
Jane McGonigal by Official GDC via photo pin cc



McGonigal promised to increase the life of everyone in the room by about 7 minutes, which prompted this tweet to the science behind her statement. For those of you who are skeptical about the value of games, this is the tweet to click through.











The conversation is ongoing through June 20 on Twitter using #G4C12 as the identifier.

More To Explore

Note: Cross-posted at BlogHer.

TeleSummit to Focus on Women in Technology; New Infographic Details Business Benefits of Women Tech Leaders

I signed up for this conference. I’ve participated before and it’s a good conference. You attend from home, so it’s laid back and the snacks are always available. Their press release:

Women dominate technology and social media, and tech companies that recognize this fact are better positioned to innovate, adapt, and succeed. That is one of the themes of the 4th Annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit to be held Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

The daylong summit, held by Internet audio and web from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, will feature more than two dozen high-profile tech experts speaking on subjects as diverse as funding start-ups, open source software, agile development, digital rights, online privacy, social media and social movements, and women in international tech. But one overriding theme will be the challenges women face in turning their powerful position as tech consumers into positions of power at tech companies.

“Like our last three sold-out TeleSummits, this one will be packed with some of the most thought-provoking discussions led by the most passionate and talented women and men in tech,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “But one thing is very clear – the tech sector no longer belongs to pocket-protector toting guys hooked on sci-fi and video games. The companies that recognize that will be the ones that succeed.”

An infographic released through the organization’s website in advance of the TeleSummit shows that women represent 55 percent of Facebook and Twitter users, and the average social gamer on sites like Zynga is a 43-year-old woman. Yet female tech entrepreneurs begin with about one-eighth of the funding of male-owned ventures. “Diverse tech and start-up teams are critical for innovation,” said Kapin. “We need gender-balanced perspectives in order to create technology and products that are innovative, useful, and meaningful to everyone.”

Kapin also pointed out the male/female imbalance is not restricted to start-ups. It extends to the C Suite as well.  Companies like Facebook and software leader Adobe currently have no female board members. Neither do many recent IPOs like Pandora, Zillow, Zynga, and Splunk. And major players like Apple, LinkedIn, and Groupon have only one female board member. “With the majority of their customers being women, let’s hope they listen to her,” said Kapin.

Several Microsoft stores nationwide, including the San Jose store in Silicon Valley and University Village in Washington, among others, will stream the TeleSummit as part of their Microsoft Retail Group program for women. The showings will be held in their theater spaces that each seat 125 people and have large touch screens. The event is also being recognized as an educational opportunity by several colleges in San Jose, which are offering students extra credit for attending and writing essays on the subjects discussed.

Panelists participating in the TeleSummit include:

  • Sarah Allen, Blazing Cloud
  • Cathy Brooks, Moderator
  • Shaherose Charania, Founder Labs and Women 2.0
  • Jen Consalvo, Tech Cocktail
  • Amy Errett, Maveron
  • Jill Foster, Live Your Talk
  • Sarah Granger, Consultant
  • Kaliya Hamlin, She’s Geeky
  • Liz Henry, BlogHer
  • Tara Hunt, Buyosphere
  • Lynne Johnson, Whispr Group, Inc.
  • Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Ph.D, Akili Dada
  • Beth Kanter, Author and Trainer
  • Susan Mernit, Oakland Local
  • Shireen Mitchell, Digital Sistas
  • Sarah Novotny, O’Reilly Media
  • Claire Diaz Ortiz, Twitter
  • Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer
  • April Pedersen, Salsa Labs
  • Jon Pincus, Qweries
  • Heather Ramsey, Women’s Leadership Program, IIE and TechWomen Program
  • Corvida Raven,
  • Adria Richards, SendGrid
  • Arthur Richards, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Laurel Ruma, O’Reily Media
  • Liza Sabater, Culture Kitchen
  • Michael Silberman, Greenpeace International
  • Amanda Steinberg, DailyWorth
  • Pemo Theodore, Startup Coach
  • Amy Sample Ward, NTEN
  • Jane Well, Automattic
  • Joanne Wilson, Investor

The cost to attend the TeleSummit is $20. Sponsorships are available through the Women Who Tech website. “Access is very important to us,” said Kapin. “We don’t like to turn away anyone due to a lack of funds.”

The 4th Annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit is sponsored by Rad Campaign, Blackbaud, NTEN, Salsa Labs, Singlebrook Technology, Women 2.0, and BlogHer. For additional information visit

Here’s the infographic, a gigantic JPEG which I fervently hope has loaded completely while you were reading the press release.
Women Who Tech Infographic
I’ll be there. Hope you will, too.

Useful links: Polyfilitis, Erections, Privacy

Stop solving problems you don’t have is about not starting an HTML5 project with all sorts of polyfils built into your basic template that may never be needed or used. I’m calling it Polyfilitis.

Dear Technology World – Please Stop Trying to Give Me an Erection is by Terence Eden. Terence Eden is my new favorite person. Three cheers to Terence Eden!

The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC’s New Approach to Privacy is at the Atlantic and is something everyone should read. Here’s a quote:

. . . it’s important to understand how what she’s saying is different from other privacy theorists. The standard explanation for privacy freakouts is that people get upset because they’ve “lost control” of data about themselves or there is simply too much data available. Nissenbaum argues that the real problem “is the inapproproriateness of the flow of information due to the mediation of technology.” In her scheme, there are senders and receivers of messages, who communicate different types of information with very specific expectations of how it will be used. Privacy violations occur not when too much data accumulates or people can’t direct it, but when one of the receivers or transmission principles change. The key academic term is “context-relative informational norms.” Bust a norm and people get upset.