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by Ed Fries
Where does beauty come from? In the art world, beauty and constraint are often found hand in hand. In Origami, beautiful shapes are created from a single folded sheet of paper. In poetry the constraints are meter and rhyme. What is the equivalent in the video game business and why do I keep seeing incredibly beautiful things while working on the 33 year old Atari 2600?
by Jeff Barr
Did cloud computing spring forth, fully formed, from the white boards of a few visionaries? Definitely not. Like many technologies, it was the result of years of hard work by multiple generations of technologists. In this session we’ll take a look at cloud computing from a technical and historical point of view, traveling back in time and then forward again in an attempt to better understand what’s happening right now. With that information as a base, we’ll take a look at the latest cloud services to see what the future might hold.
by James Conard
Come and hear from James Conard – Senior Director at Microsoft – as he explains the Windows Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) app philosophy and how it differs from that of traditional server apps. Then, demonstrating key concepts with a real Windows Azure service built and deployed to the cloud, James will show some of the latest enhancements to the Windows Azure Platform.
by Stefan Weitz
We live in a social world full of check-ins, tweets and status updates, which fuel an obsession with what those around us are doing. Whether it’s our coworker’s favorite Sunday coffee spot, a friend’s epic vacation in Thailand, we want to know about it.
How can search engines take all this (at times overwhelming amount of) information and create more accurate, personalized and relevant search results? What type of new user experience could that create? Imagine you search for an Italian restaurant – the search engine recommends 10 nearby spots that folks from your social network recently visited, shows feedback from them on Yelp tailored to your social graph, pops up deals from FourSquare, lets you book a table through OpenTable directly within the search window, etc.
Stefan Weitz from Bing will share his vision for how search technology is evolving to this new social standard including:
While some businesses take a tactical approach to social, plotting their next viral video or racing to get a million fans on Facebook, others take a more strategic approach. These companies are ahead of the curve, recognizing that social engagement is a journey that can transform their relationships with customers and drive long-lasting business results. The journey goes beyond the practice of building a “social media strategy.” Instead, the journey is a series of stages where the approach companies take when engaging with customers determines their social maturity. Highly engaged enterprises build impact by consistently driving business results through their customers. But a successful journey requires practitioner experience, pragmatism, and perseverance. In this session, you’ll learn how social engagement can be more than a bolt on. You will hear about the steps organizations can take to evolve into being a fully engaged enterprise that fosters deep customer relationships through connected experiences. But most importantly, you’ll receive tips and tricks from practitioners who have overcome the challenges of moving their companies along the journey.
by Steve Marx
Learn how you can leverage the power of the cloud with Windows Azure to build your next application. See how Windows Azure can be used to easily build and deploy web sites and web services. We will discuss the various data storage techniques available in Windows Azure as well as some of the cloud services such as Access Control Services, Caching, and Traffic Manager. You will leave this talk with a high level understanding of Windows Azure and how you can use it for your next project.
by Vanessa Fox
More and more these days, user interaction with web sites begins with the search box on Google. Learn how building searcher personas that focus on task-based analysis of search behavior can increase web site usability, customer engagement, and overall visitors. Find out how to use free search data to augment market research, customer surveys, and focus groups. Vanessa Fox, creator of Google’s Webmaster Central and author of the book Marketing in the Age of Google, will show you why our evolution into a searching culture requires a fundamental shift in how we think about the user experience, well beyond simply accommodating search engine optimization.
Calling customer service can be dreadful. Technologies have facilitated the standardization of endless hold times, frustrating phone trees, and repetitive prompts to “please stay on the line”—all of which can seem more mocking than helpful. Fear not! Technology *can* be used for an emotional good.
In fact, customers today never have to wait on hold again (really!) and, instead, a customer service rep can call them. Further, companies can learn how a customer feels /before a call even happens/ and immediately after it concludes.
“What’s the ROI?” is a common question for brands in thinking about social media. In regards to e-commerce, social media can have a true impact on sales leads and results. We’ll take a look at how Parallels, Amazon and T-Mobile have found success in tying social media engagement with e-commerce initiatives. Hear how these brands have worked with consumers in social commerce, from user-generated content, product information to word-of-mouth and shared reviews to influence product and service offerings. We’ll also hear how Facebook is working with brands and agencies to elevate e-commerce on the world’s largest social network.
by Scott Lipsky
In today’s cloud computing and SaaS-centric world, expectations from consumers and investors are growing exponentially. When it once took two years and 2 million dollars to build a world-class online service (including your own data center), now the playing field - and the world - is flattened. With $100 to turn on a virtual platform and two man months of coding, the next Twitter can be born in a dorm room with zero capital. Now the challenge is innovating, and innovation is born from rich, functional, creative, differentiating user experiences. Without UX innovation, is business innovation possible? We’ll take a look at the connection between the two most important factors in building a successful business in the new world order.
The rise and increasing influence of startups has made the value of two things abundantly clear: that products can be designed and developed faster than we thought, and that good user experience makes them effective and desirable. Larger more established companies in the digital and communications space have taken notice, and are pursuing a range of strategies to realize these kinds of gains internally.
So what works? How does a large company get faster, smarter and more sensitive to the experience of the user? This panel will cover several approaches and the issues they raise, including:
• Establishing smaller “skunkworks” teams with high levels of consumer focus.
• Placing an emphasis on prototyping and rapid revision, both internally and with design consultancies.
• Increasing the ratio of designers to developers, and seeking developers with greater design sensitivity.
• Tightening the relationship with consultants, to help internalize rapid design and development processes and eliminate the waterfall effect.
• Fostering cultural change within the corporation to raise the perceived value of design and good user experience at the executive level.
by Mary Jesse
Join Mary Jesse, a pioneer in the wireless industry, for her unique perspective on the history and future of wireless. In this discussion, Mary will provide a landscape overview of the industry, offering insight on why you should be tracking today’s wireless developments and evolutions and how they can advance your business potential. Audience members will leave with a better understanding of what future areas have the most value potential by discussing the following:
What major factors have influenced the industry to date?
• What is driving wireless today?
• Why should you care?
The ease and speed with which miscommunication can develop and exponentially grow should lead brands to more serious consideration of whom they allow to direct and shape social conversations. Despite recent backlash by popular bloggers and social media pundits, ideas and opinions expressed casually invite scrutiny from outsiders who may not be privy to the context they were formulated in. More than ever, brands and their agents must craft astute conversational grids and ensure brand integrity without dulling the dynamic atmosphere that social media thrives in.
by Nick Harris
So, you’re building apps that span multiple devices and you’re curious about what the cloud can offer. Is it possible to deploy scalable Web apps and services on Windows Azure? How about storing data in the cloud? Is it possible to use the cloud for push notifications to the device? In this session, you’ll learn how to build Windows Phone, Android and even iOS apps that are backed by scalable cloud services with the Windows Azure platform.
by Olly Downs
Online Display Advertising can be the natural progression from Search Advertising for Small and Medium Businesses looking to drive lead generation and direct customer conversion online. But relatively high CPCs and low direct conversion rates can lead advertisers to the conclusion that Display Advertising “just doesn’t work” for them. We explore how using principles that explore and optimize indirect pathways to conversion can result in different conclusions about Display Advertising.
by Dan Gebler
As much as we all love a good set of wireframes, interaction design is about more than boxes and arrows. Designing anexperience challenges interaction designers to understand and even create the strategic and creative framework behind a digital solution. This talk will explore the expanding responsibilities of interaction designers in today’s market, and how the foundational work of “setting up camp” for a project can have a positive impact on the end design.
by Shayan Zadeh
Countless businesses have transformed themselves to keep pace with the social media revolution. But how does business go beyond adding Facebook Like buttons and Twitter chiclets to truly integrate social into the very core of their business strategies? Shayan Zadeh, co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk, the world’s most successful social dating community, has been at the center of the new generation of companies that have been built around social. By combining traditional online dating with the new design vocabulary of social media, Zoosk has successfully reached younger audiences than traditional dating ‘sites’ and offered a user experience that the new, social audience has come to expect from all their online activities. In this talk, Shayan explains the difference between ‘bolting-on’ social media to existing businesses and rethinking traditional models to target a new audience.
by Jason Karas
The desire to share ideas is core to the human psyche. New social-local-mobile services are taking this sharing to new heights, and are producing a dizzying array of photos, tweets, check-ins, and updates from every street corner.
But can the revelers in this big local party help us the morning after…. when we need to find the perfect spot to relax, buy a birthday present or meet a colleague? In this session we’ll look at some big opportunities and tactical steps to make the Social-Local-Mobile web more useful and valuable, while still remaining incredibly fun.
Hey, Alphabet Soup! Are you coming between me and my audience? The companies that compose the online advertising ecosystem and the language they use to describe their technologies and measurement/cost methods, has created this chaotic and confusing “Alphabet Soup:” DMPs, ATPs, MTPs, DSPs, SSPs, RTBs, ad networks, exchanges, agency trading desks, yield optimizers…with more flavors entering the mix daily. Trying to figure out how to do business in such a broth has left many advertisers and publishers scratching their heads. What do we really need to reach our target audience? Who should we be working with and how will it be measured? Learn from the leaders in audience-based marketing as they have an open discussion about best practices to drive successful marketing programs through finding, engaging, and understanding consumers for optimal ROI.
To use language effectively for branding in an interactive environment, it’s essential to combine creativity with a technical or analytical perspective to formulate sound verbal strategy. The competitive verbal landscape makes it harder than ever to get and keep people’s attention with language. The diversity of channels and contexts of verbal communication makes the task enormously complicated. Each context imposes its own constraints. In some contexts, such as naming, verbal resources are scarce. To think of verbal branding in all of its aspects simply as “writing,” or an exercise in free-flowing creativity, is a luxury that belongs to a simpler time.
This talk discusses some fundamental issues in verbal strategy, including the following: (1) Showing the way to meaning vs. delivering meaning in a package. (2) Distinguishing what you say from how you say it. (3) Context determining the message vs. the message determining context.
Strategy can’t make you creative, but it can help your creativity hit its target.
Interactive technology has clearly had a profound impact on the news media business and its billions of consumers worldwide, but what’s in store for the future? In addition to affecting how and when news is gathered and reported, technology has had a major hand in shuttering or consolidating ‘traditional’ newsrooms while entirely new online news operations have emerged to become powerful sources of information. What’s next? Join a powerful panel of journalists and technology providers representing the perspectives of online, newspaper and TV news to get a hint of what just might be yet to come.
Learn about building “Fandom” for your brand through social media, creative campaigns and viral marketing. Three Seattle sports brands will discuss some of the uniquely successful campaigns and tactics that have helped build their super fan communities in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. They’ll also discuss how to help grow and foster fan bases through combinations of trust and engagement, both offline and online.
by Jason Toon
With the wealth of information now available to any consumer within seconds, it’s getting harder to fool any of the people any of the time. The old paradigm of iron-fisted control of your story just won’t work, and worse, will make your audience feel like you’ve got something to hide. Telling a convincing story today involves winning your audience’s trust by anticipating and acknowledging their reactions - and maybe even agreeing with them.
What lessons have we learned from Booze and Sex Still Sell. Don Draper that we can apply in today’s hyper-analytical advertising world? Do the same attributes of leadership apply? What about the stereotypical roles of men and women? Join our panel of outspoken and experienced marketing veterans in this inclusive and interactive discussion.
by Rob Tiffany
Each device platform has its own unique characteristics, and in this session we’ll explore the specifics surrounding applications built for Windows Phone powered by services in Windows Azure.
What happens when you hand an idea over to the community to help solve? Today’s communication landscape with social media channels and “evangelists” on nearly every topic makes it easier than ever before to listen to your community and build their ideas into the product life cycle. It can go beyond soliciting their feedback to empowering them to problem solve and build. But why aren’t we doing more of this? What’s holding us back? Shauna will take a look at the pros and cons of community based product and project modeling and cover examples of how this is happening in the Seattle community.
What are Fortune 500 brands and enterprises like FedEx, Eli Lilly, and Proctor & Gamble doing to leverage the exploding ‘social business’ trend? Isn’t it really just all about building a Facebook-like experience for your employees? Hear how a little bit of technology and social networking can drive technology adoption, communication, and improved collaboration within corporate workforces, regardless of employee location; Get candid front-line perspectives on mistakes others have made, as well as tips and strategies that can drive social business success within all organizations.
Stories have always been the heartbeat through which communities are bound and the footsteps by which organizations bridge their mission to the outside world. With the advent of digital media and social technology, an organization’s ability to create, disseminate, and thus challenge dominant modes of mass media has arrived. Community centric storytelling puts the role of the storyteller in the hands of the communities we serve and places active participants in the realm of social communities through the practice of transparency and authenticity. This presentation will explore specific digital storytelling examples that convene community and give it voice—as well as align with your organizational mission(s).
As the social and mobile Webs have enabled new experiences of being together online in real time, television audiences have responded by gathering enthusiastically around the shows and personalities they care about. So what do you do when you have thousands of people in one place who share similar interests? How do you augment their viewing experience in a new and meaningful way? Big Brother fans have been coming together through Real Networks’ SuperPass subscription service for the past 12 seasons, watching an average of 12 hours of live video a week from the house at CBS studios. It’s a highly social experience for the most passionate 1% of the audience that just can’t get enough. Real has extended their offering to include coverage of more reality shows, and they’ve enlisted popular contestants and knowledgeable fans as authors and video creators. These reality stars and bloggers have used their authentic engagement with the fans to drive awareness through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to acquire the target audience more effectively than broadcast television promotions.
It’s a debate that’s as old as the Interwebs. Which is better: pencils or pixels? Is a sketchpad more creatively freeing, or is a computer more creatively empowering? Who’s faster? What skills are more highly prized in the industry and why?
Drory Ben-Menachem, Filter’s Creative Director, seeks to explore that debate - not with the same old presentation, or panel-of-experts, but rather by pitting two teams of design experts against each other. These two teams will be presented with a design challenge they must try to accomplish in a given amount of time using their weapons of choice: pencils and pixels. When the dust settles, we’ll open things up to a freeform discussion and explore how our craft as evolved along with (or in spite of) changes in the industry, where our skillset values have changed and why, etc.
We encourage you to bring your own questions and come ready to discuss and debate. Who knows? We may even invite you on stage to participate!
2nd–3rd November 2011