I helped organize a local tech conference called boco last week. Held at the Boulder Public Library with an attendance cap of 175, it wasn't as large as other tech conferences to be sure. However, I think our focus on tech, music and food set us apart from the rest and ensured a variety of subject matter that gave boco a distinctive flava. (Big ups to my towering comrade Andrew Hyde for dreaming it all up and to Ryan Cook for simply existing.)
Here are a few observations that I, um, observed:
Technically, boco stands for "Beyond Our Creative Origins"
From my experience, a similarly good representation would be "Befriending Others Creates Opportunity." I'm a big fan of online social networking. I'll give any network a try (see my foray into Coathangr, which I have been sadly absent from lately). I love seeing people with disparate interests connect over something that had been unknown before - especially in real life. I saw that all over the place at boco, and it warmed all four chambers of my cold, wintry heart.
People love free t-shirts
The lovely lads over at VC Wear provided free apparel (of the t-shirt variety) for all attendees. Furthermore, official boco shirts were handed out at the conclusion of the conference. I have seldom seen so many smiles. It was like that "The Candyman can!" scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - except far less creepy.
Everything can be improved, fortified and strengthened
I'd be the silliest of geese to think that boco was absolutely perfect. I learned barrels of stuff about how conferences are put together, the expectations of attendees, scheduling dynamics and how a bulleted list of offerings equates to ticket price.
We will host boco again next year, and it will be just as amazing as its inaugural outing. If it runs better, if we are slightly more organized, if my hair is a little shinier, if you notice these things at all - then it's a testament to all the great feedback I received.
If you attended, thanks for being there. If you didn't, I hope to see you next year. I'll be the one doing "the electric slide" next to the check-in table.
I'm in love, y'all. The spring in my step's got me bouncing around like a Latino Inspector Gadget.
I bought a new MacBook Pro. Her name is Molly:
I've never felt this way before. She makes everything possible. She empowers my mind and makes my digital dreams come true. If you see us together at a coffeeshop, please ignore our public displays of affection. We can't help it.
It's not puppy love.
It's Leopard love.
Snow Leopard love.
I've always enjoyed hashbrowns at McDonald's. I know it's the last place in Boulder I should be eating, but once in a while, I'll walk over on a Sunday morning and grab a hashbrown because I think they're tasty.
I did that this weekend, and I noticed something fascinating at the drink station.
The nozzle that dispenses water is the least attractive thing I have ever seen. It's a white square with blunt black lettering that says WATER. No art, no color, nothing appealing. Compare it to the other drink offerings - it's surrounded by the colorful promise of thirst-quenching majesty!
Is this done deliberately to discourage people from drinking water? By associating it with staid, boring typefaces and design choices? Are we so easily repelled?
A guerrilla dietician should wage a campaign whereby flashy, attactive WATER stickers are placed over the boring ones in an effort to get peeps to drink more water. That would be refreshing. Ha?
Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? I'd love to see pics.
If I had a baby, I would name it Ignite Boulder.
I would nurture it, sing to it, cradle it in my arms - all the while knowing that it will someday turn on me as a teenager.
Ah, the perils and pitfalls of love.
(P.S. - If you haven't bought your ticket for tomorrow's show, go here. Guaranteed to float your boat and charge your barge.)
(P.S. 2.0 - Want to know more? I'm quoted in an awesome article about Ignite Boulder in today's Colorado Daily. Oh, baby!)
I bought some shoes over the weekend - a green suede pair of Puma Ligas. I'm not sure about the laces, though.
I think the yellow laces might be a little much. People might expect me to be way more jubilant than I actually am. I might swap them out with some black laces that I can pull off an old pair.
What do you think?
I recently joined Coathangr, a social network for fashion. Not elitist fashion, as far as I can tell - I would kick that mess to the curb. It's very laid back and a lot like Twitter, except that instead of asking you what you're up to, it asks what you're wearing. It's a local startup, so I'm happy to be a fashionable guinea pig as they refine the site.
To quote the site itself, users are encouraged to "stream the contents of your closet and fitting room to your friends." That means brief status updates about style, both personal and aspirational. People upload pics of what they're wearing or thinking of buying and their followers reply.
I like it so far, though I confess I haven't updated as much as I should. I'm not as sartorially adventurous as some of the other users - if you've met me, you've probably noticed that I tend to favor a handful of outfits in varying shades of black, grey or olive green.
I think one of the biggest pluses of the site is the willingness of its users to dispense advice and constructive critiques of people's ensembles. I prefer to turn to my friends for clothing queries - not an overpriced glossy mag. Coathangr makes that pretty easy to do.
Give it a shot. You can check out my scant profile under pugofwar. If you join, perhaps you can help me dress better. Or at least have a few laughs at my expense.
In just one week, I have achieved the following:
- Made the front page of the Daily Camera.
- Made the front page of the Colorado Daily.
- Performed live at the Boulder Theater.
The cause? Ignite Boulder, a local event that blends slideshow presentations with humor, social value and geek power. I had the honor of being on the planning committee for our 5th outing and pushed myself to make it our finest effort yet. That included amazing local media coverage, a concerted social media push and enough good ideas to make it work.
In all, 741 people packed into the Boulder Theater last night to hear presentations about corn, bacon, and magic. My contribution was a soaring musical opener that set the tone for the rest of the evening: energy, creativity and luck.
I still haven't come down from the high caused by performing for 741 people. I love Boulder and every single person that made it down to the theater for Ignite. I have seldom been in such a good mood.
Now here's a pic of me dressed as an "Igknight of the Round Table," taken only hours ago from the stage:
(Photo credit: Yann Ropars)
I'm currently taking part in Startup Weekend, a three-day community event where you "get together with local developers, marketers, designers, enthusiasts and do what you do best. Start projects, start companies. No talk, all action."
In our case, that means about 40 people eating pizza, riffing on startup ideas, forming small groups and working toward a goal of having something developed by Sunday night. Maybe a plan, maybe a working demo, maybe something else entirely.
It's my first time, so I'm trying to absorb as much of the energy as possible.
The event's founder, the luminous Andrew Hyde, has stressed the importance of community from the start. Consider this quote: "This is about meeting people, this is about community. If you're not into making friends, you're not going to have a good time here."
I've met some really smart folks so far - developers and programmers, which is quite a change from the PR/mktg folks I normally hang out with. I confess to being intimidated by their ability to actually build the things we are brainstorming, but PR/social media will also play a role - so I'm eager to contribute.
But at the same time, I wish I had their app-building skillz. It's something that I've toyed with but never committed to - learning the languages necessary to build stuff. My career focus thus far has been describing and communicating - it'd be a thrill to construct something from scratch for a change. I'm hoping to pick up some great perspective this weekend.
I'm returning to the fray for Day 2 shortly...
Every Cinco de Mayo, sales of Corona spike. Sales of Tecate spike. Everyone hits the liquor store to stock up on Mexican beer and limes. Little do they know that they have been misled.
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo doesn't revolve around drinking Mexican beer.
Real Latinos drink Yoo-Hoo on Cinco de Mayo.
Don't believe me? Check it:
- I'm Latino.
- It's Cinco de Mayo.
- I'm sippin' the 'Hoo.
For realzies. For as long as I can remember, Yoo-Hoo has been a central part of my culture's celebration of the Battle of Puebla. We raised our voices as we raised our glasses [of Yoo-Hoo].
Spread the word to all your socially networked contacts or whatever. We've got to set the record straight.
Cinco de Mayo = Cinco de Yoo-Hoo.
Yes we can. Honest.
I spent Easter Sunday creating a new holiday with a pack of Boulder peeps. It's called Beerster and it will change the way you look at bunnies, beer and holidays.
Here is a pic of me snagging a Peep with my mouth. The point of the game was to do so with only one point of contact on the ground. I totally failed. Click the pic to see others from Beerster taken by @mattgist.
This is the Beerster Beer Hunt in full swing. I found two beers. I am not good at Beerster, apparently.