George Budabin passes, receives, and goes long

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/21

My friend Andru Edwards’ dad died this week. For those that don’t know, Andru is a primary instigator for Seattle Mind Camp — a gathering near and dear to me.

In this post about George Budabin, Andru recounts how George and his wife adopted him when he was a NYC 16 year old — and how George’s unflappable intentionality of love and male leadership toward Andru changed everything.

I didn’t know Andru was adopted until I read that — and must say that I was moved by the simple story of how George invested the ‘venture capital’ at his disposal.

This is one of the reasons I love the professional and human sides of blogging so much — you never know the things you’ll learn and how many interesting stories are sitting right under your nose.

On the day you and I expire, may we leave a legacy that passes, receives, and goes as long as that of George Budabin.



Udell on ‘Video Knowledge’ and my riff on the death of the specialist

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/20

Father of screencasting, Jon Udell has great post on the move toward video as a knowledge/rapid-documentation repository. After a few technical points, he hits this gem that completely jives with my experience on getting into the flow of screencasting —

…you have to overcome the same natural reticence that makes dictation such an awkward process for those of us who haven’t formerly incorporated it into our work style. You also have to overcome the notion, which we unconsciously absorb from our entertainment-oriented culture, that video is a form of entertainment. It can be. Depending on the producer, a screencast documenting a disaster recovery scenario could be side-splittingly funny. And if the humor didn’t compromise the message, a funny version would be much more effective than a dry recitation. But even a dry recitation is way, way better than what’s typically available: nothing.

Just another step toward the seamlessness of media where real headway means that this will be less and less of a specialist skill — who is a ‘word processing’ specialist these days?

No one — every one.

There is a point in the future (near? mid? far?) Jon alludes to here where things like screencasting will be a natural repository for business/education/whatever knowledge — a time when this stuff will not be a specialized skillset.


Last night with the wife and kids, I brought YouTube up on the family TV and searched for my wife’s username and my daughter’s name. We all sat mesmerized for 30 minutes while we played the various clips Jen has uploaded over the past 6-8 months.

It’s content that I, as a professional multimedia producer, had little to do with — All video my wife produced on her own through mostly self developed knowledge and a digital camera (not a miniDV camcorder).

What does TV look like to my daughter and my wife? Something much less specialized than I could ever imagine — and I’ve got a good imagination.

On with the flattening of the universe…



Ignite Seattle videos now ablaze

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/14

Had another great opportunity to shoot some rapid turn around video last week. This time it was for Ignite Seattle. All I have to say is what a night.

Thanks to Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis for putting on a fantastic event — as Scott Beale said, it really gave you a sense of what’s going on in Seattle.

I’d call it a snapshot of this grand moment we are experiencing in the Seattle geek entrepreneurial community. Lots of fun from my end to help the momentum along.

Where to start? So many highlights — you can see all 25 of the five minute sessions over on the Ignite Seattle Blip.tv page. One’s that stood out were —

  • Scott Ruthfield (embedded above) from Amazon talked about doing re-design in a “Megacorp”. Scott was at our Mind Camp 3.0 Discovery Slam and is a great presence on stage — very funny and engaging. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Brian Aker was great as he told the story of ripping up his new house to install his own computer based phone system — it’s as much a tutorial as it is an essays on geek relationships with your wife. Very funny. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Scott Berkun did a session on ideas and innovation and, as always, did a great job. Very cool visuals. Blip.tv video is here.

So many others were great — go take a look at the other sessions when you get a chance.



Crittendon on ‘Why your kids should play more video games’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/27

Very interesting post by Danielle Crittendon on “Why Your Kids Should Play More Video Games” over at the Huffington Post. Thanks to Ian on the Second Life Educators Distribution list (SLED) for the link.

Love the anecdotes about how real world learning (english lit, economics, team leadership) skillz are making it into the new Xbox sports games — very interesting.

“I thought you were up here killing space aliens.”

“No.” He sighs with the exasperation of the chronically misunderstood. “I’m building a new franchise.”

I sink into the sofa to watch, interested. The game is MLB Baseball and, as my son explains, very little of the fun comes from playing simulated major league games.

In “franchise mode, ” he explains (all the while pulling up menus and pressing buttons), you have to acquire a team and a stadium, “set parking lot prices, ticket prices, concession stands and how much it costs for a stuffed animal or jersey. You have give-aways which cost you money but brings up attendance. You can lose your franchise if you do badly. I lost my team because I drove it into bankruptcy.”

On a tech note, this is my first post from Flock — question — where are the categories? — Oh, they come up as an option after you hit publish — wierd.



Seattle Podcasting Meetup Links

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/05

I’m leading a discussion at the Seattle Podcasting Meetup tonight about podcasting inside the firewall. Will be remoting in via SightSpeed.

Here are some links I’ve jotted down for the session —

1) An introduction to informal learning by Marcia L. Conner

  • Informal learning accounts for over 75% of the learning taking place in organizations today.
  • In 1996, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people learn 70% of what they know about their jobs informally.

2) Jay Cross’s Informal Learning Blog

From The business environment of informal learning

J.P. Rangaswami, former global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort in London, (says, …) as I’ve been pointing out, “The graduates of tomorrow are more used to the tools I was looking at than the enterprise was. So training cost, which used to be a huge barrier to entry for the people who were weaned on the mother’s milk of Microsoft, just wasn’t there.”

Harvard B-School prof Andrew McAfee chimes in, “The opposite of an imposed structure is not chaos. With these tools, the opposite of an imposed structure is an emergent structure, one that forms over time based on the interactions of a lot of people.”

– – – – –

From LMS, we hardly knew ye

LMS create a walled garden in an era when walls are falling down. Why not use the real internet and real internet technology rather than some hokey oversimplification? Furthermore, how can you manage serendipitous learning that is inherently unmanageable?

3) Elliot Masie webinar on ‘Is Instructional Design Relevant to RSS, Mobile Learning, Blogs, PodCasts, Wikis and New Tech?

  • Masie says podcasts under 10 minutes offer a more optimized learning experience
  • IIRC this references and example of McDonald’s documentation in Turkey done via a wiki.

4) Reflections on the difference of creators vs consumers Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks. An excerpt from From the anniversary edition, pages 7-8 —

Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his reward?

First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctiveness of each leaf and each snowflake.

Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child’s first clay pencil holder “for Daddy’s office.”

Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.

Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.

Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (As we shall see later, this tractability has its own problems.)

Yet the program construct, unlike the poet’s words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.

Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.

5) Screencasting Tools —



Medicine is magical and magical is art…

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/01

Our friend Zoe goes home today from her heart transplant. Wow. All I can think of are those words of St. Simon

These are the days of miracle and wonder…
Medicine is magical and magical is art…



Article: ‘e-learning 2.0 – How Web technologies are shaping education’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/09

Great article this AM from the folks over at Read/Write Web on emerging Web 2.0 (yeah, I know, but we gotta call it something) trends in eLearning.

Article is titled ‘e-learning 2.0 – how Web technologies are shaping education’. Here’s an excerpt –– 

The traditional approach to e-learning has been to employ the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), software that is often cumbersome and expensive – and which tends to be structured around courses, timetables, and testing. That is an approach that is too often driven by the needs of the institution rather than the individual learner.

In contrast, e-learning 2.0 (as coined by Stephen Downes) takes a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach that combines the use of discrete but complementary tools and web services – such as blogs, wikis, and other social software – to support the creation of ad-hoc learning communities.

This is the heart of what I will be going into detail on in ‘Blogs and Screencasts in the Quest for Training Attention’ for my Cerner Health Conference 2006 presentation in Orlando this October.



Creating Passionate Users: Organic creativity: the Roomba process

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/07/31

Kathy Sierra does it once again in Organic creativity: the Roomba process, this time summing up the importance of agile development methodology in a tight metaphor –– “the Roomba approach to organic design” ––

While this don’t-plan-every-damn-thing-in-advance model has started to gain popularity in the software development world, most, um, old-style programmers like me had an almost opposite model beat into us from the beginning. The well-intentioned concern for future extensibility, flexibility, scalability led us down the design garden path… skipping along assuming that WE were the smart ones who’d be ready when the dreaded yet inevitable Requirements/Specification Changes came in. With enough upfront design and extra coding, we could make our life down the road much easier. What we lost in time-to-release now would be more than made up for later. So we said.

But then the Extreme Programming and Agile Manifesto began to challenge that idea. While not everyone has drunk the XP koolaid (and oh how I hate forced pair-programming), most modern software development teams have been heavily influenced by at least some of the XP/Agile once-edgy, now more mainstream practices.

 



Shall We Roll Our Own YouTube for BarCamp Vancouver?

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/07/28

UPDATE: We’re starting a planning discussion of this via the comments below. You can track it via this RSS Feed for this post.

Was chatting yesterday with Roland Tanglao of Bryght. He’s one of the organisers of BarCamp Vancouver. Talked about me going up there to work on a video web cast of the event.

After the initial live video feed idea (which is cool in itself — there may be an internet 2 feed we can access), things got very interesting.

I pointed to this ‘roll your own open source YouTube’ post from Flash Insider (a summary of this original concept from Daniel’s Random Mutterings).

“Why don’t we roll our own YouTube” says I… “That would get the geeks excited!”

Wheels turn — “What about storage costs?”

S3” we nearly chattered simultaneously (Amazon is looking cool to devs these days).

So now Roland and I are hot on the idea — what about you?

Calling geeks (esp. Amazon’s Jeff Barr), can you help us make this happen? What a viral proof of concept that would be, eh?



Amnesty International: “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now”

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/06/13

Posting this here because it is such a great combination of design that provokes me beyond complacency. Caught this reference on 37 signals the other day to a new ad campaign Amnesty International is running in Switzerland.

Amnesty International it's not happening here but it's happening now example

Series is titled “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now”

wow.

Images are close-ups of currently occurring tortures and violence with transparent backgrounds that are inserted into bus/strain stop shelters.

Effect brings the given event right there to your doorstep so to speak — very engaging.



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