Hugh Forrest and his tireless team over at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival are soliciting community feedback on programming for their next annual conference (09-13 March 2007, for early planners out there). There are one-hundred and seventy-three panel proposals in twenty-three categories up for consideration, and tons of them look fantastic. The challenge is to pick just ten of the proposals that appeal to you most, and submit them to the main pool — all of this is done through their Web-based Panel Proposal Picker .
Of course, I hope that four of your top choices happen to be the ones that I proposed. For quick reference, here’s a quick rundown of those ideas.
2006, The Year in Web Design
Description: “How does the recent history of Web design fit into the larger history of the craft, and where is it going? This panel will try to sum up the design zeitgeist by looking at 2006’s developments in creativity, technology and the world around us. We’ll look at the past twelve months in new launches and redesigns, and spot the innovations, trends and cliches that have defined the year. ”
I’m really excited about this one, as I think it can really fill a gap in how we talk about creativity on the Web. I’ve been capturing screen shots and taking notes all year long about what’s happening in design online, and plan to spend the session deciphering some high-level trends from all of activity.
Grids Are Good, and How to Design with Them
Description: As online information gets more complex and Web design gets more powerful, we’re increasingly turning to the rules of traditional design to help shape our online experiences. This is a how-to panel on how to apply grid-based logic to Web layouts for maximum impact.
It’s no surprise that my good friend and arch-rival in grid evangelism, Mark Boulton has proposed a similar panel concept; I hope we haven’t inadvertently splintered the vote for this subject matter, because I think either one would make for a great panel. Anyway, Mark is welcome in mine, and I bet he’d have me as water boy, at least, for his.
Users vs. Editors: Future Trends in Online News
Description: “As the major news aggregators continue the battle to become the most ‘meta,’ a more subtle blurring between original and aggregated news is taking place among the major news sites. Organizations like The New York Times, producers of staple news content, are increasingly seen making forays into aggregation — while aggregators like Netscape are seen making forays into editorial control. Can the two types of news content live harmoniously together under one roof?”
Description: “Is the concept of community contradictory to paid content? Or can the creation of paid membership communities create more stimulating dialogs amongst these self-selecting participants? Using the high profile “bet” of TimesSelect as a jumping off point, this panel will explore the conversations between the Times and its readers, and amongst its subscribers.”
These last two are based on ideas from some of my colleagues at the Times, and they’re designed as opportunities to engage in dialogue on the continually shifting climate for online news and news consumption. I’ve encouraged a lot of folks at NYTimes.com to try and attend South by Southwest this year, because I think there’s a much to be gained for us through exposure to the people and ideas that only South by Southwest can bring together. And, hopefully, we’ll be able to give something back, too.
Now go vote!