Brian Shaler

Occasionally Interesting

Gravity is for chumps

Posts Tagged ‘technology’

CloudCamp is coming to Phoenix!

CloudCamp Phoenix is coming up this Saturday, October 24th! It’s going to feature talks from Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and local start-up Jumpbox. A portion of the event is set up to be an unconference, where the sessions are determined by the attendees!

There aren’t very many seats left, so you’d better hurry up and register!

University of Phoenix Hohokam Campus (map)
4605 E Elwood St
Phoenix, AZ

CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.

Via Eventification, the Phoenix tech event site

Bubble Talk

As the dot-com bubble had just begun to burst, one could hear a faint whisper that the next bubble forming.

A booming industry experiencing rapid growth usually appears to be on the verge of a major collapse. With an industry that is constantly growing at a wild pace, bubble talk follows you where ever you go.

A few years later, Myspace sells for half a billion dollars. After that, YouTube sells for $1.65 billion. Each new astronomical valuation breathes life and vitality into the bubble talkers.

Talking about bubble talk can get pretty boring. Luckily, we now have bubble videos!

This reminds me of “The Internet Stars Are Viral

via brand flakesRSS feed

Collective Creativity

Technology changes the way we do things. The fact that it does is not an astounding revelation. However, it is always fascinating to see how it does.

When we think about “creativity” from a classical perspective, we might picture a person creating a piece of artwork, whether it is a painting, a piece of music, a novel, etc. In the past, creative collaboration occurred on a very small scale, if at all. Today, the creativity landscape is shifting, thanks to the tools we have at our disposal with modern technology. One of the key ways technology has changed the world is communication. This opens the door for a type of collaboration that was not possible before.

How does this impact our view of “creativity”?

Unlike the past, where a creative, highly-skilled individual — or a small group of highly-skilled individuals — would develop a work of art, we can now develop tools that allow millions of people to contribute to a single project.

One example of this is Drawball, which launched in late 2005, allows anyone to pick up a virtual airbrush and paint graffiti on one giant digital wall. While the majority of users contribute little more than a mess of scribbles, there is a “hall of fame” area that showcases some of the best drawings spotted on the wall.

Another example, though on a much smaller scale, is‘s Caption Contest Fridays (with spin-off site Caption Fridays). Every week, there is a new photo that begs the question “What’s going on here?” and visitors are encouraged to make up a caption to explain what is going on in the photo. It is great to go through the comments at the end of the day to see what the blog’s readers had written.

This concept is fascinating and motivated me to start small, for-fun projects like Crappy Graphs (where visitors can draw their own ‘crappy graphs’) and TwitLibs (where visitors choose words or phrases to fill in the blanks in my sentences). I am constantly surprised by how great (or how terrible) the visitor submissions are.

Crappy Graphs started out as a blog where I drew and posted my own graphs. After releasing the user submission tool that allows users to draw graphs in my design/template, the best visitor-submitted graphs found their own way out onto the internet and now draw in more traffic than the main blog itself. That means collectively, Crappy Graphs’ visitors are funny than the original Crappy Grapher, me.

It is clear to me that none of us are as creative as all of us.