I’ve proposed a talk for SXSW Interactive next March called “Stop Talking, Start Making,” and I would love it you could visit the SXSW PanelPicker and vote for my presentation (along with all the other sessions that interest you). SXSW is unique from other conferences in that the popular vote heavily influences their selection, so your voice definitely counts!
“Stop Talking, Start Making” is about the importance of rolling up your sleeves very early in the creative process, and spending 24 hours getting your hands dirty building something. You can’t just sketch something out or put together a few slides in a PowerPoint presentation, you’ve got to build and demonstrate a working product.
In the tech world, this approach isn’t new. For years, it’s happened at BarCamps and hackathons, and the ethos is a central part in many hacker labs, co-working spaces, and publications.
But this presentation isn’t for developers — it’s for creative types, marketers and brand owners. You’ll learn ways you can incorporate the hackathon model into your creative development process—to rethink a brand, quickly build ideas from scratch, and to incorporate new and emerging technologies into an existing brand.
You’ll also learn how the hackathon can be an invaluable tool for evaluating and nurturing internal talent, as well as for recruiting new talent.
Most importantly, it will be fun and entertaining. I promise.
MobileCampNYC3 is happening on November 15th here in NYC. It’s going to be a good time, but space is limited, so if you’re interested in attending, check out the signup page for more information:
If you’ve never been to a BarCamp before, they’re lots of fun — check out some pics from MobileCampNYC and MobileCampNYC2.
If you happen to be in the SF area on Saturday June 14th, be sure and check out MobileCampSF at the Swedish American Hall. If you’ve never been to a BarCamp before they’re lots of fun. It’s completely free, and as of this post, it’s already around 70% full so RSVP now if you’re going to come. I’m hoping to talk some about this simple little project I’ve been working on lately. If you want a sneak peek at it, just scan the QR code below. Otherwise, wait until after BarCamp when I’ll post a full writeup of the project.
There was a nice comment posted tonight from the software engineer at Google who’s helping put together ZXing for Android. The good news is that the project has officially launched and you can read about it and download the 0.1 version here:
Also, note that they’ve set up a Google Group for ZXing, so that seems like the best place to continue the discussion….
At today’s MobileCampNYC, the whole group got a sneak peek at ZXing (Zebra Crossing), the barcode reader Google is planning to include in the Android SDK being released on Monday. There wasn’t much real information presented about Android itself, only about the bar code reader that will be included with the platform. Highlights include:
- ZXing is an open source project, and will also be available as a standalone J2ME application for use on existing phones.
- This is an early version of the reader, so don’t expect it to completely blow away some of the proprietary readers out here. As he put it, the goal is to set the minimum standard for open source bar code readers.
- As it is an open source project, they’re actively looking for programmers to contribute
In general, there’s nothing here that really struck me as being any different than any other open source bar code reader. The most important thing I pulled out of the presentation is that Google is going to trial QR codes with print advertisers. This shows that Google is going to start actively pushing bar codes, but more importantly, it shows that they’re moving more into the print area, even if it is just to link people to online services.
Here are a few slides from the presentation. Though sparse, they might answer a few basic questions. For more details, you’ll just have to wait until Monday when the SDK and emulator are released.
I’m a big fan of Yelp.com because of the richness of information plus the fact that they do a pretty good job of keeping it real and not getting bogged down with shills. Yelp also has a great mobile site that allows you to search through their listings and find something directly from your mobile phone. This service is particularly useful when you’re out and about in an unfamiliar area and need to find a good place nearby.
So I made this mashup. You can play with it here. Here’s a pic.
The idea is that you can drag around the Google Map, and then when you click on a location, it will generate a QR code for Yelp’s website which allows you to see what kind of restaurants and nightlife are around that exact point on the map. Pretty cool, right?
In order to make this happen, there’s a lot of web services going on in the background. First, there’s the Google Map. Pretty basic and well documented. Once you click an overlay though, Google only gives you latitude and longitude of the point, but not an address. So I found this great Google Reverse Geocoder online and am using that to convert the lat/lon into a street address.
From there, you can build the URL for mobile.yelp.com, but it ends up being a VERY long URL and consequently, the bar code gets to be gigantic. So once I have the long URL then I’m sending it off to tinyurl.com to shrink it down. Finally, you take the tinyurl and generate the bar code using Kaywa.com.