Vlog Everyday October 2014 | Day 22

“Three Bullet Points”

1] Be human was kind of today’s theme. The Best of Track and the Best of Conference was won by David Cameron (Ithaca College) for his presentation, “Human at Work or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Better at My Job”

2] As predicted the rain came at noon, right when I was headed to the airport. Now they’re predicting good rain chances until 10-31.

3] We made it from PDX to the hotel – through the middle of Portland, on the Interstate, in pouring rain – in one piece. I’m in aww of Google maps & directions.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 21

“Three Bullet Points”

1] Man, I thought Texas’ political ads are bad, but Oregon has a crazy numbers of ads. I’ve seen more “Measures” commercials in Portland than I’ve ever seen in Texas.

2] HighEdWeb sessions wrapped up today. I’m surprised I was able to think of Three Bullets while writing notes, tweeting, and going to sessions and events from 7am to 11pm. It was a good conference. I have a few takeaways that I’ll blog about when I get back home.

3] The good weather finally gave up the ghost tonight – tomorrow we will be back to the cold, wet blanket covering the state. It’ll be here the rest of the week and so will I.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 20

“Three Bullet Points”

1] The conference is going well, but the elevators are slow as hell. They only have 4 elevators and when a group of 750 people want to go back and forth to their rooms and the lobby it’s grid lock.

2] It started raining today at 5 just as the last session was wrapping up. I wouldn’t have minded but I had to pick up dry cleaning before they closed at 6. I was soaked by the time I got back. I was trying to rush to get back before 5:30 when the Hannon Hill beer tour bus left. I didn’t make it.

3] Maybe it was for the best. The rain is supposed to continue off and on until Wednesday, and I don’t have an umbrella.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 19

“Three Bullet Points”

1] Today was hurry up and wait day. This is typical of pre-conference time: everyone coming in to the nesting grounds like a flock of penguins. Regular (no workshop) attendees couldn’t register until 11AM – which I did after a great breakfast at the Original Dinerant. Then we had to wait until 5 PM to receive the blessing of the conference committee. But, from about 1 to 5 we (a group of about 20) went off the reservation to a couple of brew houses and had samples and meat and cheese tastings. The walk was long and hot, but it was all good in the end.

2] Tonight, after the blessing, was the “little social event” at Punch Bowl Social. It was O.K., but it lack a certain je ne sais quoi. It reminded me of being back in college – trying to get a drink at a crowded bar – nothing left for anyone else to do. So, me and a former employee of CIS went a couple blocks away for a couple beers. That was good.

3] Tomorrow is when the learning happens. I’m back in the hotel at a respectable hour writing this post and thinking of bed. Here’s to tomorrow and next day and the next (half) day. Already, I can’t wait for the wife to get here.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 18

“Three Bullet Points”

1] I’m in Portland staying vigilant not to let the “weird” rub off on me. To that end, on the train ride from the airport a guy got on that reeked of skunky weed. He looked to be about 250lbs, but he did a nice pirouette to get out of the door.

2] I met up with fellow Texas A&M web developers Tim and Don St. Martin. They got here too late for my dinner, otherwise I would be eating at Fogo de Chão with them right now. I had subway – I can’t spend too much cause I left my corporate card at the office. Hopefully I can correct that Monday.

3] It’s already been a really long day. I woke up at 4:30AM CDT, and I probably won’t go to bed until 2AM CDT.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Looking Forward to HighEdWeb 2014 #heweb14

heweb-2014-badgeI almost forgot this blog post. It’s a tradition of mine to write a pre-conference blog about what I expect to see, and a post-conference blog about what I took away.

This year’s conference is in Portland, Oregon, which is one of my favorite cities. I couldn’t miss an opportunity to visit her again. After I went to OSCON in 2008, I was hooked.

First off, I put a lot of time into planning a few months ago – lessons learned from conferences past – and I made a mobile friendly site to take with me when I go. It has the sessions I want to attend. I also made a Google map of spots I want to see while I’m in Oregon.

The HighEdWeb conference committee sent out links to an “improved” interactive schedule – choose your own sessions. The email also had a link to a Google map they started. Hmmm, seems we think alike. I think mine are better.

This year I’m also doing a vlog everyday in October. So, I’ll be making videos everyday while attending sessions, while taking notes, while writing blogs…. Here’s tonight’s vlog – pre-conference, getting ready, trying to remember everything I need:

A Lot Has Changed

It’s been three years since I’ve been to a HighEdWeb conference – a lot has changed – but several things are now mature technologies. Mobile, responsive, CSS3, and HTML5, just to name a few, are technologies we’ve cultivated and used since 2011. Social media is a house-hold name – no longer reserved for l33t speak on high priced phones. More and more devices are everywhere you look. Many college freshman only have/had a phone to get on the Internet. These trends will only continue.

Phone form factors keep changing. Just this year Apple release iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The 6 is 5.44 inches high. The 6 Plus is 6.22 inches. Even the same brand can’t use just one.

Still Hot

Semantic code, accessibility, and responsiveness are still hot topics. Melding these ideas into content management systems (CMS) is hot – probably because we all have to do more with less (still) and so we went with fewer employees adding websites via a CMS. I know I’ll be looking for the poster about web services into Cascade (a CMS) for form data.

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 17

“Three Bullet Points”

1] It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Portland. I’m sure it’s pretty much the same – kinda like Austin.

2] Technology has changed (a little) since High Ed Web 2011, which was in Austin. Responsive design and HTML5 are norms not l33t speak for a cool new project you are starting.

3] Confession: I’ve never driven a minivan. We sat in a few, but never drove one 100+ miles on roads I’ve only been on a couple times in my life. This should be fun.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 16

“Three Bullet Points”

1] With less than 1 week from early voting an appeals judge struck down the block on voter ID law earilier this month. This is not done.

2] (I could burn some bridges with this one.) To make a website sometimes you have to throw out design, structure, and existing biases and prejudices. Start with nothing pre-conceived. Build from there.

3] I made some last minute changes to my HighEdWeb schedule website. I basically did what the .org did, but sooner and more l33t.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 15

“One Bullet Point”

1] I told you yesterday, coming up with material is hard. I had a few thoughts and I lost them. I settled on one from the past. When I was about 12 years old my uncle John took me and his friend hunting. They left me behind in a tree stand and went on ahead. I didn’t have a gun – not even a pellet gun. I saw squirrels and rabbits and even a deer, but I could only look. When I was 42 years old I bought my first guns – one being a rifle – but I’ve never used it for what it’s intended for. I have yet to kill an animal. It’s like when friends and family know you want to hunt they’re like “I’m busy” or “You don’t want this.” And if you try to seek our professional outfitters, you have to pay an arm and a leg (and a tip). I need a friend’s land and time, or I need to win the lottery to pay for a hunt.

#vedo14 or #vlogtober

Vlog Every Day October 2014 | Day 14

“Three Bullet Points”

1] So far I have literally not started thinking about the three bullets before I get home from work. I’m amazed I can think of 3 things to talk about off the top of my head.

2] The folks on the morning radio show I listen to were talking about superstitions today. I have a Rubix Cube that I mess up when I start a project at work. Then I solve it before the project is finished; I have help. I’m not superstitious, more like it’s tradition now.

3] Politics entered our lunch conversation today. We talked about everything from China owning us to the high price of Obamacare. I love my wife. She has a brain, and she’s not afraid to use it.

Solved Rubix Cube

#vedo14 or #vlogtober