Stepping down as BayCHI program chair

For more than five years now, I have been co-Program Chair for BayCHI hosting a variety of speakers from Peter Norvig, Bill Scott, Tara Hunt, Tim Brown, Jakob Neilsen, Jared Spool and Jesse James Garrett. When I started I was a researcher at UC Berkeley. In between, I ran a consulting company that morphed into a product company (MindCanvas) that planted the seeds of SlideShare.

I have really enjoyed this tenure. So why am I leaving? Because SlideShare is growing and I don’t have time anymore. Running a startup takes everything you have and more. I am also focused on startup issues rather than HCI issues. Finally, six years is a long time to do anything and its time to give someone else a chance.

We are looking for a replacement for me who will be co-program chair along with Paul Sas (he is a great co-chair to work with!). I have also loved working with Stacie Hibino, Steve Williams, Nancy Frishberg and everyone else at BayCHI. Get in touch if you have past experience at organizing such events and want to get involved.

This was a long time in the coming. Several times I wanted to tell my BayCHI colleagues, but was not able to actually say I was leaving. This is one of several threads that I am closing now that SlideShare takes 120% of my time.

December 9th is my last program. I am still putting it together. Come by if you are in the area…

Guy Kawasaki at BayCHI

The next BayCHI will feature Guy Kawasaki talking about Truemors.

Title: By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09

Abstract: In this talk Guy will explain why and how he launched using open-source software, contractors, favors, and cajoling. He will also cover the current entrepreneurial and venture-capital funding conditions.

Whether you like or don’t like Trumors (I do!), this will be an interesting, fun talk by one of the legends of Silicon Valley. Guy is a very entertaining speaker. And this talk will have something for everyone whether you are an entrepreneur, designer, developer, vc or marketer. RSVP on upcoming if you are planning to be there.

BayCHI panel on Designing systems with emergent behavior

baychi logoThere is an exciting panel at BayCHI tomorrow (Tues, Oct 10th) with a discussion about the design of sites with emergent behavior. How does the process of design/design research change (or does not change) in the case of sites like Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo Answers where you are designing not just the interaction of the system with the individual users, but also how users will interact with each other, the group at large. Such social systems display behavior which is not something that was “designed” in the traditional sense of the word. What role does the designer play for such systems? How can you anticipate what consequences a relatively minor change on the individual level will have on the group as a whole? For example, Facebook’s recent decision to offer a feed of all your friend’s actions on your front page. And other related issues…

Panelists are Tim Brown from Ideo; Peter Merholz from Adaptive Path and Larry Cornett from Yahoo.

I will be moderating the panel and will make sure there is plenty of time for questions. So come by to PARC, Palo Alto at 7.30 PM. If you want to let the world know that you will be there (and find out who else will be there), then go to Upcoming. Note, BayCHI events are free to open to the public.

Missing DCamp already?

Well some people were. So there is a reunion dinner tonight in the city. I have too much to do before leaving for Edinburgh for the World Wide Web conference on Friday, so cannot make it. But its rather touching to see a reunion two days after Dcamp. If you could not make it, but want to keep in touch with folks you met at DCamp, join the DCamp mailing list. We had started it to help organize the event, but its now going to serve as an informal way for people to keep in touch, organize reunions, other events, or for anyone else looking to organize a DCamp in their city.

I have a lot more to write about DCamp and organizing unconferences, but need to catch up with some work. So that will have to wait. Enjoy some pictures in the meantime.

Dcamp is happening. Are you going to be there?

DCamp, the unconference devoted to design and user experience is this Friday and Saturday. So far 160 people have signed up on the wiki to indicate they will come by. There are several interesting presentations lined up. Topics range from “Cinematic User Experience” (Sarah Allen), to Ajax spreadsheet demos (Andre Charland) to Redesigning eBay Selling Process (Micah Alpern) to Prototyping with Junk (Nancy Frishberg). Go here for the complete list.

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