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Refresh Ottawa Kickoff

January 5, 2008
Refresh Ottawa

Last year, just before SXSW, Jonathan Snook and I announced the formation of Refresh Ottawa. We (read: Jonathan) knocked out a quick site: Refresh Ottawa. We collected email addresses from interested parties.

And now, some 10 months later, we are holding our first get-together. A great way to start the New Year—we’ll be kicking off with a free event downstairs at the Clock Tower on Bank next Thursday, January 10th, 2008 from 7-9pm.

At each Refresh Ottawa event, we’ll have one or two presentations followed by networking/social time. On Thursday we’ll have Derek Featherstone (me) present “Accessible mapping with Google Maps” and Jonathan Snook will present on JavaScript Frameworks. Each session will be about a half hour leaving plenty of time to chat and get to know each other.

The social hour will be sponsored by Web Directions North, one of the world’s top conferences for web geeks. (Full disclosure: I am part of the organizing team for Web Directions North and both Jonathan Snook and I will be speaking at WDN in Vancouver later this month)

We’ve added the event to upcoming: Inaugural Refresh Ottawa event. Please RSVP there if you’re attending so we can plan for numbers – we need to let the Clock Tower know how many people to expect.

Refresh Ottawa is a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in the Ottawa region. Promoting design, technology, usability, and standards, Refresh Ottawa is a part of Refresh and the associated Refreshing Cities.

Web Directions North, 2nd edition

October 16, 2007

One evening in 2006 during a group iChat, Dave Shea, Maxine Sherrin, John Allsopp and I threw caution to the wind and decided that we were all on board. We were going to bring the stand-out web conference from Australia—Web Directions—across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver.

Here we are close to a year and a half later, and we’re excited to announce that we’re doing it again. Following on the success of Web Directions North from February 2007, we’ve just launched:

web directions north: Vancouver, BC, Canada; Jan 28 - Feb 2, 2008

We’re really happy with the line up of speakers and the entire week’s schedule – it is going to be an amazing conference and we hope you’re as excited as we are.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead over to the site, check out the WDN 08 schedule overview and the stellar lineup of speakers. We’d love to see you there!

Innovations in Accessibility

February 23, 2007

I’m continually impressed by the ways in which both hardware and software technology serve to enable basic access to computing for all people – including those with disabilities.

Case in point – a new hardware setup, designed for people with spinal cord injuries that allows them to control their computer with their tongue (via engadget, with hat tip to James Craig).

Continue reading Innovations in Accessibility

Affiliate Program for Web Directions North

November 28, 2006
Web Directions North: Feb 6-10, 2007; Vancouver, Canada

We’ve added a new feature to the Web Directions North conference (Vancouver, Canada, Feb 6-10, 2007). Affiliates.

Yes, affiliates.

Quite simply: you sign up to become an affiliate and we set you up with your own link. Anyone that signs up via that link works in your favour: if you get 4 to sign up via your link, your registration is free. And we’ll keep adding on for you if you keep getting people to sign up.

Have clients that might be interested in the conference? Send them the link. Or, if you prefer, get a group of 5 together, and split the costs 4 ways for a tidy savings. Sound enticing? We think it does – join us in Vancouver for a world-class conference.

Web Directions North Ticket Contest

November 24, 2006

If you haven’t already seen this, Digital Web Magazine is running a contest to win a ticket to Web Directions North– design a snowboard or take a photo of yourself with an improvised snowboard, and you could win some fabulous prizes.

First prize is a free ticket to Web Directions North in Vancouver, including a ski pass.

Even though I’m not eligible for the contest, I thought I’d put one together anyway, just for kicks.

Here it is – I call it “The Motherboard” (sorry, I know its cheesy):

Thumbnail of snowboard showing Web Directions North logo and computer mother boards
View the large version

Just keep in mind that I make no claim to being a designer. :)

Solving problems with social networking

November 21, 2006

I’m tired of re-stating my intentions with the same person on every social networking site I join. For example: I have met Jeremy Keith. He is my friend. He is a colleague and co-worker based on our conference and WaSP involvement.

This is always the same – whether I’m using LinkedIn, the d.construct backnetwork, Web Connections, defining my flickr contacts, or the new craze – Twitter.

Continue reading Solving problems with social networking

Announcing: Web Directions North

September 25, 2006

Web Directions North: Vancouver, BC, February 6-10, 2007

It is here – a top-notch line-up of speakers for an international conference in Vancouver, Canada. We bring you Web Directions North.

Registrations aren’t open yet, and we’re still tweaking the site but we couldn’t wait to show you what is happening, and who we’ve got speaking. For the past 5 months Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp of Westciv, Dave Shea from Bright Creative and myself have been working quietly behind the scenes to bring this idea to fruition. I am ecstatic to be working with such a great team, and hope you’ll be as excited to come to the conference as we are to be putting it on!

Starting with your choice of full-day workshops, two days of conference goodness and finishing with two days of skiing/snowboarding with all your friends at Whistler, Web Directions North is not to be missed.