…when it comes to creative work of any kind, particularly in the age of the internet, you don’t really to ask for anyone’s permission. Pay your dues, cultivate your voice, chase excellence, and the money will eventually find you.
“The fact is that the music industry’s revenues have been artificially inflated for decades because of limited consumer options. The last 15 years of innovation have lifted those limitations, effectively leaving the music industry with an obsolete, defective business model of monopolized production technology, forced album bundling, and almost nonexistent competition in the realm of home entertainment. What is happening now - the decline of music profits and the piracy witch hunt by the music industry - is merely the panicked struggle of a dying business model, a complacent industry’s refusal to accept its diminishing role in a digital world. The pirates are not the reason, and the decline is the not the disease. It is the cure.”—
“When most people buy a car, they don’t expect to have to learn how an engine works and how to change spark plugs. They buy a car so they can drive it to get from point A to point B. If the car makes a funny noise, they will ignore it as long as possible. Eventually, it may bother them to the point of taking it to a mechanic who will ask incredulously, “How long has it been doing this?” And the answer will be something like, “Oh, about a year.” The same goes for computers. People don’t want to learn about gigabytes and baud and security zones. They just want to send email to their friends and surf the web. I myself have thrown out a recall notice because I thought it was junk mail. And computers are so filled with pop-up messages that any new pop-up message is treated as just another piece of junk mail to be thrown away. Automobile manufacturers have learned to consolidate all their error messages into one message called “Check engine”. People are conditioned to take the car in to a mechanic when the “Check engine” light goes on, and let the mechanic figure out what is wrong. Can we have a “Check engine” light for computers? Would it be feasible?”—[ The default answer to every dialog box is “Cancel”, via The Old New Thing ]
De Carlo was deeply in debt and was also in jeopardy, as she had a rocky 1964 year. After several odd jobs, she worked over the last 30 years, while her film career came to a short end, she was in depression. Her life had changed when she signed a contract with Universal Studios, after receiving a phone call to perform the female lead role in the cult sitcom, The Munsters, opposite Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster…When she co-starred in that series, her feelings were very complicated.
…Overall, the entire cast got along real well with De Carlo, esp. Patrick, both on-screen and off. After she was casted in The Munsters, according to both Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, they thought they might have heard of her so much that she came to the set barging in, however, they’re wrong.
Although conferences are fabulous for many reasons—the afterparties, the hobnobbing, the glorious hotel sheets— my favorite reason to go is to learn new and exciting things. But I always have a hard time deciding on sessions: I find it almost impossible to figure out which are worth going to, whether or not they’ll be a disappointment, and sometimes, frankly, what they’re about. Here’s a few tips to make your session my favorite session of the conference.
Make sure your title and description match your content
All too often I’ve sat impatiently in a session, wondering if I was in the wrong room or read the wrong description. Help a girl out and give me a real sense of what your session will be about. Here’s some simple guidelines:
If your session is a general introduction to a topic, say “introduction” somewhere in your title. It can be difficult to differentiate the complexity of a talk by the description, and it’s frustrating to waste an entire session slot hearing things I already know.
If your title has the words “applying” or “examples,” include detailed, practical applications or examples. I’m continually surprised by the lack of concrete examples and anecdotes during sessions. Don’t be vague: I’ll likely find a million products that use the principals you’re talking about when the conference is over. Your session is my chance to hear how things happened.
Make sure your title and description are accurate. I just sat through a talk whose title included the words “[adjective noun]” and whose session did not include a single [adjective noun]. When somebody politely inquired, during the q&a, about an example [adjective noun], the speaker admitted that the field wasn’t so far advanced as he thought, and he hadn’t been able to find a single [adjective noun]. If this happens to you, contact the conference organizers and ask them to change your session information.
If your talk is broad and conceptual, not practical, make that very clear. Concepts are generally widely discussed, taught in schools, and disseminated over the internet, and if you’re just recapping for those out of the loop, make this clear in your title and description. Use words like “overview” or “general thoughts,” and avoid words like “applying,” or “examples”.
Assume I’ve done my homework
Unless you’re introducing something very new, it’s doubtful that you’ll be covering any subject so obscure that I need more than a quick refresher, especially at conferences designed for my profession. If worst comes to worst, I’ll scan a few intro articles online while you’re talking. I’m here to find out things that I can’t learn anywhere else, so please don’t spend more than a few minutes on the basics.
This isn’t to say that I don’t like hearing small product-specific trivia. Today I found out that there’s only eleven inches of comfortable viewing space if you’re standing arm-length from a very large touch screen, and that equates to only about 220px. Fascinating, right? Even better, the speaker didn’t force us to sit through a ten-minute overview of the history of touchscreen interfaces first.
Assume I don’t care about industry politics
Discussions about industry politics should not be included as part of my paid conference content unless it’s something that effects me on a practical level. In most cases, we’ve got very active listservs, blogs, and status updates for that kind of discussion, and that’s where it should stay. Conferences are pricey, and industry politics are fluff.
Give me something I can take back to my company
I’m here to learn about new things that I can apply to my work—in my case, specifically so that I can improve Scribd. At worst, I’ll hope for a single story, anecdote or idea I can use in my work, but hopefully the entire session is chock-full of useful content.
And I think that sums it up. I know you’re smart, capable and great at your job—that’s why I’ve come to hear you speak. Help me out.