Posts Tagged ‘SXSW’|
Friday, March 19th, 2010
No, this is not the title of a geek gay porn movie. “One laptop, two guys, six days of SXSW” is the best way to condense an awesome experience I had at SXSW. Everything started at the Fort Lauderdale International airport, when, because of a delay, a generous friend decided to buy the first round of beers to kick start the conference in the best of ways. We all know that SXSW means a lot of bar hopping and parties, and this is when the idea sparked: why don’t we build an application to keep track of who owes you drinks?
Lately I’ve been trying to learn Ruby on Rails, so I thought this could be the perfect project to flex my new Rails skill set, so I asked Emmanuel (@jewgonewild) to assist me. We decided that it would be cool to build the entire application on the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin so that we could use it during the conference. To be honest, Emmanuel did a little more than assist me. Ok, aside from the design, he built the whole thing. I just set up the basic structure and created a couple of controllers under his vigilance. So far so good, right? There was one small problem: I was the only one with a laptop we could work on. We ended up building the basic functions on the plane but the work continued throughout the conference. And while we had a working alpha version to use between us friends since day 3, the actual version was completed literally on the flight back to Fort Lauderdale (on St. Patrick’s day, how appropriate). It was a great experience, mostly because it shows once again how to build cool stuff (at least cool in my opinion). There really is no need for huge budgets and months of planning. You just need to execute.
So what did we come up with? I’m proud to present to the whole world Tab It Up Alpha (it took us two dinners and nine people to decide on the name). The concept of the application is actually really simple. The user just needs to login using their Twitter credentials (we use oauth to do so), and the app is ready to go. Simply add the twitter handles of the people you are buying drinks for and what type (for now we have “beer,” “wine” and “drink”) and tab it up. On the user page you’ll be able to see your recent activity.
What this really is going to evolve to is a way to find relationships and interesting data through drinks you buy and those that are bought for you. Soon enough we’ll display things like your best friend (who bought you the most drinks) and the people you should avoid (freeloaders). We are planning to add a few more nifty features, and we’ll introduce them in the upcoming weeks.
For now, I hope you will try and enjoy Tab It Up. Please let us know what you think about it.
Monday, August 17th, 2009
Last year, I attended SXSW Interactive for the first time, and it was a great experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet great people from all over the country, but I also felt I had the chance to bond with friends and people I already knew from South Florida.
Of course, besides the social aspect of SXSW, I also attended awesome presentations and panels, and I promised myself I would try to give a presentation or participate on a panel at SXSW 2010. And here I am. This year I submitted one presentation, “From the Idea to the App Store: Getting Apps Done” and one panel, “The Truth About Launching a Web Service.” The first one is a presentation about how to get into the iPhone applications market without being an iPhone developer, with real expectations and a clear idea of what’s going on. The second one is a panel where we are going to share our experience in launching web services and about successes and failures.
I should also be a part of another panel submitted by Brian Breslin, “Coconut Valley – Building a Tech Community on the Beach“, a panel about building a tech community in a non-tech friendly place like South Florida.
But, we are not the only two people from South Florida submitting a panel for SXSW.
Please vote for these panels to support our growing tech scene.
- Coconut Valley – Building a Tech Community on the Beach – Brian Breslin (Panel)
Starting from a mere handful of people and growing into the thousands, come learn how we grew our tech community out of the sand in South Florida. Learn tips and tricks for growing your own tech community even in the most unfriendly/untechy areas of the world.
- From the Idea to the App Store: Getting Apps Done – Davide Di Cillo (Solo)
How individuals, even non-developers, can enter into the mobile application marketplace. Also highlights realistic visions one should have about the market and probability of success. Tips and tricks on how even small businesses can be profitable on the overcrowded iTunes Store.
- The Truth About Launching a Web Service – Davide Di Cillo (Panel)
Many people want to start a web app/service, but few understand what it really takes to make it successful. We’ll go beyond the code and the design and explore what’s really involved in launching a successful service.
- What To Do If Your Design Is Stolen – Chris Jennings (Solo)
Getting your site ripped off is a pain. Find out what you can do to protect your work and to avenge your stolen design!
- How to Be an Emergency Response Technician (ERT) – Chris Fullman (Solo)
For many small businesses, the need for an IT person (aka “Emergency Response Technician” or “ERT”) often falls on one employee who primarily has non-IT responsibilities. This humorous presentation will offer valuable tips and philosophies to improve the productivity, prioritization and sanity of that often-overwhelmed individual.
- How to Get Rocked at SXSW! – Denise Jacobs (Panel)
Interactive professionals and newbies alike come to the mecca of SXSW to deepen knowledge and network with other professionals. But it isn’t called “geek spring break” for nothing! For 6 days, there is the opportunity to make connections that go beyond business. Why not rock SXSW *and* get rocked too?
- The Best.Problem.Ever: More Clients, Better Clients. – Denise Jacobs (Panel)
You’ve decided to take the big leap and venture out to launch your own business. But the clients you want aren’t beating down your door. How can you not only stay afloat, but also end up having the best problem ever: more great clients than you know what to do with?
- Domestication of Outsourcing – Craig Agranoff (Panel)
The word outsource brings such a negative connotation when in fact you can outsource to the guy down the block. All outsourcing means is doing things out of your office in hopes of saving money. There are many ways to outsource domestically and support our own economy.
- My Three-Year Old Is My Usability Expert – Dave Stanton (Panel)
Children are perfect testers for the innate usability of visual structures. Learn how neuroscience and cognitive psychology research can make your designs and interfaces more intuitive.
If are part of the South Florida tech community and you would like to share your SXSW panel, please let me know and I’ll add it to this page.