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Posts Tagged ‘Liz Danzico’

Blog O’Fear: The Rules and Etiquette of Blogging (Featuring Us!)

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Bless that Liz Danzico for live-blogging this blogging panel while we were talking about blogging.

The panel, moderated and concepted by Steve Heller, no stranger to blogs as editor of AIGA Voice, writer for a daily design column in PRINT online, writer for Design Observer and A Brief Message and countless others, was to talk about blogs–their journalism aspect, their memoir form, and other forms they might take.

The all-star panel are luminaries in the design blog world:

  • Khoi Vinh, design director of NYTimes.com, and editor of Subtraction.com, which is seven years old, and A Brief Message, founded this year.
  • Bill Drenttel, co-founder of Design Observer, which just turned four years old.
  • Allan Chochinov, editor of Core 77 the industrial design supersite (not a portal), and also runs Coroflot.com, and Design Directory.com (“a blog negative”), for an amazing 13 years.
  • Alissa Walker, editor of UnBeige and, freelance writer. Her goal on UnBeige is to post “every 20 minutes or so.” She is proud that UnBeige is called the People of design blogs.
  • Tina Roth Eisenberg, author behind Swiss Miss, and responsible for too many “major credit card purchases.”

    If A Blog Falls in the Woods
    The panel started out on a pretty philosophical note, dissecting what having a “blog” really means. According to Eisenberg blogs are really just “sites with a content management system.” Vinh jumped in and immediately disagreed, pointing out that he thinks blogs are really a conversation between writer and audience in any more. Writers engaging with an audience; commenters engaging with other commenters; and traditional journalists with commeters. Walker, like Chochinov, uses the blog as a traffic driver. “The blog is just one ingredient,” he put out there.

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    Life Is Short, Read A Brief Message

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    Well, well, well, would you looky here. It seems there’s a new blog in town. A Brief Message is design criticism that you’re able to bite off, chew up, swallow and digest before you finish plowing through the intro paragraph of some other sites. It’s shorter, it’s faster, and it’s published by two very good friends of the Un, Khoi Vinh and Liz Danzico.

    Vinh and Danzico both explain the concept and strategy in-depth on their own blogs, but boiled down (appropriately), here’s the deal:

    A Brief Message features design opinions expressed in short form. Somewhere between critiques and manifestos, between wordy and skimpy, Brief Messages are viewpoints on design in the real world. They’re pithy, provocative and short–200 words or less.

    The pieces will also be illustrated, a nice touch for looping in some new and established designers and illustrators. Plus we’ll venture to give some advice to anyone wanting to launch a design blog: Leading with Steven Heller is a pretty darn good way to get started.

    Print’s Party Was Packed, But Ours Had Craig Newmark

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    Although we were nearly deterred by the swamplike streets of Little Italy (don’t tell us to get over it, we’re from Los Angeles), many braved the overflowing gutters to check out Print’s New Visual Artists last Thursday night in NY. The roster of 20 very international artists–all under 30–and hundreds of their new best friends packed into the superskinny Groupe space on Elizabeth Street and toasted each other with two flavors of vodka–huckleberry (pretty good) or peach caffeinated (dangerous).

    Among the wet and well-dressed were Print editor Joyce Rutter Kaye looking glamorous in a blue silky top, Leif Parsons, looking tall, and bespectacled Debbie Millman (heading home to prep for her show with Barbara Kruger the next day). Print staffers Emily Gordon and Lindsay Ballant were both busy playing hostess. We congratulated 2007 inductee Kevin Smith and past honoree Rob Giampietro, who informed us that Rudy VanderLans was in town for a photo show at Park Avenue Armory.

    Print contributors Alice Twemlow and David Womack nodded their heads to the strains of almost-too-old school hip hop, although, really, how can you go wrong with “Cool It Now“? We gazed at Jane art director Jeff Glendenning‘s t-shirt but couldn’t quite place it until he told us he used to work at the NYT Magazine…oh yeah, that one. Afterwards we ducked around the corner for fresh-n-fruity drinks at Cafe Habana with Khoi Vinh, Aviva Michaelov and Brian Rea, and we were later joined by the delightfully-bookish Rodrigo Corral.

    It was much drier the next evening when we gathered around the koi ponds and cocaine-fabulous decor of Chinatown Brasserie (Seriously, mirrored club chairs? No.) for the mediabistro.com party, where more than a few mai tais were tossed back by familiar faces that included Adam Greenfield, Liz Danzico, Rachel Abrams, Sam Potts and Louise Ma (later we collected Allan Chochinov and Emma Presler). Man-of-the-hour was a toss up between a jovial Craig Newmark (of List fame) or Jesse Kirshbaum, who is now the proud owner of the first-ever UnBeige shirt. Even though he had absolutely no idea what we wrote about.

    Unstuck Yourself, Already

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    Web guru Kelly Goto is putting together a process to help web designers get “unstuck,” both creatively and in their workflow. But since she couldn’t be here at SXSW to present it, Liz Danzico pinch hit for her at a star-studded panel including Kristian Bengtsson of FutureLab, Chris Messina of Citizen Agency, Luke Wroblewski (“Luke W”) of Yahoo!, and Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of Happy Cog.

    The panel was interesting both in content and in format. The tips from the experts seemed to translate well into other mediums (seriously, an investment banker could still stand to learn a few things from Zeldman). After each panelist got a few minutes to chat about their unstuck ideas, audience-contributed questions each received one minute answers in the “lightning round.” Tons of issues got addressed this way. We jotted a few choice highlights.

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    Getting Soaked At SXSW

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    After our Frank moment, we splashed across the street to carouse with our interactive cohorts in a reunion of sorts. We slugged Stellas and watched drenched co-eds come in from the rain with Khoi Vinh (Mr. Subtraction) and Jim Coudal (aka Steve’s Day Job Daddy), who had just dined with Helvetica director Gary Hustwit. Metropolis/Wired editor Andrew Blum and Daylife’s Liz Danzico bailed early after their panel-participating duties. John Gruber gave wistful advice for Microsoft and extolled the wonders of emollients. Media Temple‘s Chris Leu and Apple‘s Michael Lopp bought the drinks (thanks…and, we’ll see you guys again tonight, right?).

    Chris Fahey showed up later with an extra-long umbrella which we stared at enviously as the gutters began to overflow. After waiting 30-plus minutes for the rain to let up so we could walk the three blocks home, we gave up and hailed a cab. Best $2.00 we’ve ever spent.