Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Going to ConvergeSouth in Greensboro, NC, how about you?

It's already turning out to be a busy fall, and here is just one cool thing going on. I'm heading out to tech-mecca and grassroots haven Greensboro, NC to keynote/speak at ConvergeSouth next month.

Greensboro has the reputation of being one of the most lively and engaged blogging communities out there, and ConvergeSouth is the place where all those highly active bloggers come together. Similar to SXSW, ConvergeSouth features a film festival and a music element as well. You gotta check out the entire slate of activities at their site.

Here's the Saturday schedule when both my keynote discussion and panel (with uber-cool Anil Dash) takes place.

And here's where you go to register.

I've heard tell of this very creative and energizing conference for a few years now, so I'm thrilled they invited me to come sample that energy in person! I hope some of you might join me.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Some very practical advice on public speaking

From BlogHer buddy Lisa Williams.

She has salient words of wisdom for before, during and after your speaking engagement.

I would only add one thing (and really it's just expanding on one of her points.)

It seems quite fashionable now for conference organizers to leave speakers to their own devices, in the name of interactivity or spontaneity or something. But I always push to have an organizer tell me what they expect, what they hope for, and most importantly: what do they know about their attendees.

It's possible they won't know much, but I always ask, and i always try to understand why the session I'm participating in was included on the schedule. There's usually a reason, and I'd like to know it.

But anyway, go read Lisa's post, it's very smart :)


Lessons in bad practices

I've been trying to figure out a way to let invitees to my impending wedding RSVP via our wedding web site. I actually assumed that someone must have come up with an RSVP widget, but apparently not.

Today I was browsing the widget galleries on both Typepad and at Widgetbox and came across a series of widgets by a company that seems to have almost what I needed, FormLogix.

Here's my issue: When I'm "previewing" your widget at WidgetBox, and when I am still far from clicking the button "Get Widget" I really don't appreciate you asking for my email address to use in the preview, and then automatically signing me up for an account with you and sending me an email with a temporary password.

I don't like that practice at all.

It makes me feel I was duped.

But, let's say I'm willing to forgive you and go visit your site and check out your offerings, because your contact form widgets don't seem to be customizable to what I want, but your site promises a "free form builder". Let's say I try to log in with the info you created without my asking for it.

I think it compounds your corporate annoyance factor by saying that account I didn't ask for isn't activated, causing me to click another link which tells me I should have gotten an activation email, but if I didn't I could enter my info again to get one.


I feel like I must be missing some obvious answer to how to gather RSVPs on my blog. I've gotten everything from "set up an evite" to "Create a MySQL database that talks to a PHP form via PERL scripts."

I just want a widget, is that so wrong?


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