This was a great way to kick off the week in Boston. The keynote lasted about two hours, and there were three excellent speakersRoger Black, Dave Winer, and Phil Greenspun.
Roger Black was first to speak his mind. Roger has written a couple books about graphic design including Roger Black's Desktop Design Power, and Websites that Work. He also spent time designing great Rolling Stone layouts. His mantra is that good graphic design/branding of product is what sells. If you go to his Web site circle.com, you soon come to the realization that his site is about design first, content second. The page takes forever to load and I don't have the patience to put up with it. Do you think our site should look like his?
Philip Greenspun then took the stage, and he blew me away with his intelligence and wit. Philip is an MIT professor who makes money by helping companies build RDBMS-backed sites with his Arsdigita toolkit. He designed an excellent site for scorecard.org, among others. If you want to learn a ton about the Web, go to photo.net, which is possibly the best Web site on the internet. We implemented the idea of SherpaGuides.com after hearing him speak, going to his Web site, and reading some of the chapters of his book.
Dave Winer was next. Dave is the CEO of userland.com and his company has written software called manilla that:
"allows groups of writers, designers and graphics people to manage full-featured, high performance web sites thru an easy-to-use browser interface." --from the manilla site
We might move towards this type of software in the future so clients of ours and our non-html-enabled employees can update their own site (within the confines of a template) without giving us a call to write a new headline or add a photo, etc.
The discussions were moderated by the CEO from genex.com who thought he knew everything. He seemed to have a big ego as well.
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