Went to the Convention Center, picked up my badge. Didn't have too long a wait, things seemed a bit more organized than in the past, but it could have had something to do with the time.
Jumped in the 5pm session entitled Respect! What a great way to start off the week. Panelists were superstar designers Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder, Happy Cog and Douglas Bowman, Visual Design Lead, Google. Others on the panel from Happy Cog were Liz Danzico, Erin Kissane and Jason Santa Maria. They got the ball rolling by discussing the Web designer's various and complex relationships with clients, co-workers, and customers. Zeldman asked the question of the audience regarding where the Web design function was found in their organizations. The answers were wide and varied: IT, Marketing, Design, Communication...one person said they had a Web division, but turns out they were a division of one.
Panelists discussed ways to communicate better with developers, content people, how to involve the client, how to get their buy-in. Zeldman told the story of the corporate exec who was planning to hire Jakob Nielsen for the lofty consulting fee of $25,000. Zeldman asked, but why? when you can read all his stuff on the Web, and buy his books for about $30. The exec replied, if I can get him in here and have him convince my board of directors what we need, it's worth the money. Really, talk about a business model in which "free" supports that kind of revenue...
Already ran into a few past and current students - Kelley Sullivan from UT; Andrew McNeill, a TX State student who is interning at SXSW; Tina Phan, who's in my Web Design class now and volunteering at the Southby registration desk; Fazia Rizvi, student in my Issues in New Media class and member of this blog; and Jordan Viator, TX state grad student alum now working at Convio. I look forward to seeing more familiar faces throughout.
My plan for tomorrow morning is the following, but all is subject to change as I get ready to curl up with my directory:
- 10:00 AM Knowing the Audience: Improving Communication Between Artists and Fans
- 11:30 AM The Suxorz: The Worst Ten Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007