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South by Southwest 2008

17 March 2008
Monday, 6:06 PM

My fourth year at Austin’s juggernaut of an interactive conference was more of a mixed bag than years past, as both I and SXSW adapted to its growing pains.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Technology, Travel, Web

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Flying Southwest Airlines Southwest to South by Southwest

03 March 2008
Monday, 2:59 AM

March has arrived, and since college basketball doesn’t interest me any more than a zombified messiah figure selling chocolate or an ophidiophobic Irish folk hero selling Budweiser, March means just one thing: South by Southwest. In just a few days, I will descend on Austin for nearly a week’s worth of quality time with good friends and good ideas. If you see me there, I hope you won’t hesitate to say hello. Here are some easy opportunities to do so.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Travel, Web

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Here and Now

09 September 2007
Sunday, 3:48 AM

I killed my own summer. I took on more work than I should have, and hopefully I suffered the consequences more than my clients did. The summer is drawing to a close, though, and with its end, my schedule is finally becoming kind of manageable again. Today was the first day in ages that I was able to leave the house for something that didn’t resemble work.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Film, Personal, Philadelphia, Web

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South by Southwest 2007

16 March 2007
Friday, 2:56 PM

Whoever “they” are, they say you never forget your first time. And in 2005, my first SXSW was definitely unforgettable. They also say twice is nice, and as such, my second SXSW was all sugar and spice. As we all know, though, the third time is the charm, and this year’s SXSW charmed the hell out of me.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Film, Travel, Video Games, Web

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The Hunt Is on at SXSW

26 February 2007
Monday, 1:09 PM

I’ve done a bad thing. And I didn’t act alone.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Books, Travel, Web

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First Born

31 July 2006
Monday, 3:05 AM

Through an act of either charity or desperation, Born Magazine allowed me to contribute to its Summer 2006 issue, which launched recently. Having been a great admirer of Born for several years, I was honored to participate.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Web

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13 June 2006
Tuesday, 11:59 PM

It was the beginning of a new millennium. School was in my past, a magazine production job in Manhattan was in my future, and limbo consisted of waiting tables in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It may as well have been Mars. I knew no one, and my ghetto neighborhood, animosity for hostile Jersey traffic, and underdeveloped sense of direction prevented me from venturing out much (to say nothing of the dearth of places worth visiting). In social and cultural isolation, I turned to the World Wide Web for aesthetic guidance and discovered Epitonic, a champion of independent music whose calculated mix of information, editorial content, and free, legal MP3 downloads would help shape my listening habits for years to come. Hundreds of musicians from the worlds of rock, folk, pop, electronic, hip hop, jazz, experimental, and modern classical music were there, catalogued, cross-referenced, and waiting to be heard. The site’s design was not especially inventive or breathtaking, but it was attractive, functional, and easy to use. All in all, Epitonic was nothing less than a godsend.

As so many great sites do, Epitonic fizzled out almost two years ago. It remained online, but updates ceased completely and without explanation. And so I was delighted to find a brand new Epitonic newsletter in my inbox yesterday, heralding its rebirth and redesign. I raced to the hyperlink at the bottom of the e-mail, giddily anticipating a tearful reunion with an old friend. Imagine my horror when I found my friend covered in sores, barely able to stand.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Music, Web

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South by Southwest 2006

20 March 2006
Monday, 10:39 PM

Although most people are completely unaware that it encompasses anything other than music, South by Southwest is one of the world’s largest interactive conferences. 2006 was the biggest SXSW Interactive ever, or so assumes this second-timer, for whom the scope of “ever” begins in 2005. There were more panels, more parties, and most importantly, more people, many of whom were old friends, and many of whom are now new friends.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Travel, Web

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Leaving on a Jet Plane

02 March 2006
Thursday, 11:37 AM

If anyone is still reading, I’ll be leaving for Austin in a little over a week for South by Southwest, where I will be immersed in symposiums, cinema, and suds-soaked socialization for five glorious days. Last year’s SXSW was a big part of what made 2005 the best year I have had in a long time; it was a steel-toed inspirational kick in the pants, and a networking free-for-all whose participants generally inhabited more warmth and sincerity than I even imagined was possible at an industry event. If the How-to-Make-a-Zillion-Dollar-Web-2.0-Application frenzy doesn’t transform everyone into a slobbering horde of cash-crazed zombies, I fully expect this year to be just as exhilarating. I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends and meeting just as many new ones. So if you see a badge that says “Rob Weychert” attached to a big red beard with some pale limbs jutting out of it, please don’t hesitate to come say hello, or at least wonder aloud if I’ve ever stood in direct sunlight.

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Filed under: Art/Design, Film, Personal, Travel, Web

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Mint: A Stats Odyssey

03 September 2005
Saturday, 8:48 PM

I have owned a few web sites in my day, and like anyone who makes their work available to the public, I like to know the whos, how manys, from wheres, and so on, of the people checking out my stuff. Luckily for me and my fellow narcissistic publishers, there are plenty of stats packages out there that can inform us how many hits our sites have gotten, where our visitors are coming from, what browsers they use, and much more. Unluckily, most of those stats packages suffer from shortcomings that undermine their usefulness. Every one I tried either focused on one narrow statistic or presented me with more information than I knew what to do with.

I threw my arms to the sky in despair. Could no one offer me comprehensive site statistics in a stylish, customizable interface that struck the perfect balance between convolution and overt simplicity? One hundred miles away, somewhere in the seedy underbelly of Baltimore, my anguished cry was detected and filed away with its siblings, uttered by countless bereft souls of like minds. Having heard enough, Shaun Inman descended into his laboratory and initiated Project: Mint.

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Filed under: Web

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27 January 2004
Tuesday, 12:11 PM

Philadelphia is in the eye of a winter storm today; the snow and ice already coating the ground will soon be joined by reinforcements. During this temporary absence of airborn aggravation, my inbox is relentlessly pounded by dozens of MyDoom/Novarg messages. I delete them to the tune of Talkie Walkie, Air’s triumphant return to the magical realm of Very Good... more »

Filed under: Music, Web

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Bearskinrug, Rock Shows Can’t Bring Back the Man in Black

14 September 2003
Sunday, 8:58 PM

Kevin Cornell recently launched Bearskinrug version 4; it is as delicious as might be expected. Lots of shows lately: The Raveonettes, Luna, Stinking Lizaveta, Mogwai, Andrew W.K. Some scattered moments: Meathead Group A on the TLA floor uses cell phones to call Meathead Group B in the balcony to alert Group B to being given the finger by Group A.... more »

Filed under: Music, Web

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11 July 2003
Friday, 1:35 AM

I was going to begin this long-overdue post with a verbose description of the difficulties of keeping a weblog like this: the busier a person is, the less time he has to write, and the larger the pile of experiences to write about becomes. I have opted instead for the succinct description you have just read, which still has not... more »

Filed under: Art/Design, Music, Personal, Philadelphia, Web

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Moving Pictures

21 April 2003
Monday, 1:43 PM

So a bunch of stuff happened in the last week. Puppetmania on Monday turned out to be the best of the animated shorts program at this year’s Philadelphia Film Festival, offering such gems as Jesse Rosensweet’s The Stone of Folly and Patrick Bouchard’s Brainwashers, both of which I missed at Ottawa last fall. On Friday night, the ultra-low budget kung-fu... more »

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Buzz Bands

05 March 2003
Wednesday, 7:36 PM

Interpol and The Raveonettes played the Troc last night. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the feedback-drenched Raveonettes, who sounded kind of like a garage-y Jesus & Mary Chain. I think I shall purchase their record. Interpol turned in another stoic performance devoid of spectacle, which is not to say I did not enjoy it. I admit my attention wandered... more »

Filed under: Music, Web

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The Return of BREDSTIK, the Birth of Quadruped

06 February 2003
Thursday, 9:30 AM

Busy, busy week. We have updated the BREDSTIK site for the first time in almost a year, with Flash goodies and more from Pete Dalkner, Matt Sutter, and the mysterious Stet Villchicko. If that weren’t enough, the collaborative site I have been referring to cryptically for the last few months is finally live. Since we couldn’t agree on what the... more »

Filed under: Film, Web

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ActionScript Gone Wild

11 January 2003
Saturday, 12:09 PM

I had a dream that Sebastian Bach (of Skid Row fame) moved in with my next door neighbors. In the dream, I was really excited to tell the world about it here on my web site, so out of respect for the “dream me,” I’ve decided to tell the world (or at least whoever reads this site) about it anyway.... more »

Filed under: Music, Random, Web

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Sonata for the Unaware

07 January 2003
Tuesday, 12:47 PM

Sonata for the Unaware, the new k10k issue by carbonatedjazz, is the best issue I’ve seen in a long time. There are three simultaneous video clips of public places in Philadelphia; the candid movements of the random people who appear in the clips generate varying bass notes, percussion, and tone frequencies. The 4MB download might scare off the dialup crowd,... more »

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One-Hour NoiseRover

01 October 2002
Tuesday, 10:50 PM

I’ll be in Ontario for the next five days at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Some brief scattered comments before I leave: One Hour Photo was a stale and boring waste of 95 minutes. I went to see it based on the strength of some decent reviews and the fact that it looked subtly creepy, and while I’ll concede that... more »

Filed under: Film, Web

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The 5K

14 June 2002
Friday, 1:58 PM

This is a really neat idea: The 5K is a contest that challenges web designers to create a site with a combined filesize of no more than 5K. Oddly enough, it’s not the brainchild of Jakob Nielsen. I just wish I’d found out about it sooner, since the deadline for entries for this year’s contest is in two days…... more »

Filed under: Web

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Three Wishes

30 May 2002
Thursday, 11:48 AM

I’d swear it used to be possible to provide a direct link to a wish list on CDNOW… Whether or not that’s true, it doesn’t seem to be possible now, and Insound doesn’t have a wish list feature, so I’ve moved the whole thing over to Amazon. Anyway, my birthday is next week, so go buy me stuff.... more »

Filed under: Personal, Web

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Jim Horwat

02 May 2002
Thursday, 5:59 PM

A quick link before I’m off: my illustrator friend Jim Horwat launched his site today. He has a slick style all his own; go check it out.... more »

Filed under: Art/Design, Web

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2002 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema

15 April 2002
Monday, 10:56 AM

Should I go see Trouble Every Day on Thursday or should I go see The Locust? I don’t think I’ll have another chance to see Trouble Every Day in theaters in Philly, whereas The Locust will likely be coming around again within a year. Hmm. Tonight is A Chronicle of Corpses, which I’ve been looking forward to seeing for awhile... more »

Filed under: Art/Design, Film, Philadelphia, Video Games, Web

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The Ubiquitous Bearskinrug

06 April 2002
Saturday, 2:50 AM

My friend and Grand Theft Auto 3 provider Kevin Cornell is currently the featured artist on Media Inspiration, where his true southwestern yearnings are revealed. He also squared off against Karen Ingram this afternoon in a rousing match of Photoshop Tennis.... more »

Filed under: Art/Design, Video Games, Web

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