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FITC Hollywood / Day 2 / Sessions

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mashup World" - David Lowe-Rogstad, Shaun Tinney (Substance)
"Reducing Complexity: The Making of Saffron" - Samuel Agesilas
"Branding Experiences: An Architecture of Play" - Tali Krakowsky
"Adaptable Interfaces" - John Ruppel
"Deploying Video - FLVPlayback Component" - Robert Reinhardt
"GMUNKICKDOWN07" - GMUNK (Bradley Grosh)

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"It's a Mad, Mad, Mashup World" - David Lowe-Rogstad, Shaun Tinney (Substance)

Mashups! This term gets thrown around a lot these days, with companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all putting together tools that make creating simple mashups a five minute affair. If David and Shaun had one clear message, it was that a provocative mashup certainly takes a lot more thought than five minutes can provide.

Topics covered included pirates (and why it is good to be one), how a mashup should segment a market (speak to a small group), why map mashups are overplayed (20:1 versus all other mashups), how mashups can actually make money, and where to promote your mashup. Oh yes, and start with a solution then work backwards on how to make it happen. Chances are that there are services you can use that will handle bits and pieces of the major functionality.

Overall, a great session from some fellow PDX'ers.

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"Reducing Complexity: The Making of Saffron" - Samuel Agesilas

I had missed this session at 360|Flex a few months back, so I was glad to see Sam was going to be presenting it again at FITC. I'm glad I made it a priority -- Sam has done some amazing work on one of the best AIR apps I have seen in awhile. If you haven't heard of Saffron before, it is an UML modeling application for AS3 and other programming languages.

Sam's attention to detail in Saffron in terms of design and functionality are astounding. But even better is what Sam has done for the greater community: created Elemental, an AIR application framework. Sam kept the description fairly high level, but this is the first AIR framework I have heard of and by the code samples he shared, it looks to have made his life much better while programming Saffron.

Some features of Saffron include AS3 modeling, translating, a plugin model, stub-code generation, round-trip editing, and progressive saving using SQLite (non-destructive editing).

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"Branding Experiences: An Architecture of Play" - Tali Krakowsky

I attended this session because I had seen some work from Imaginary Forces before, but never spent the time taking a deep dive. I'm glad I did -- it was a great inspirational session that helped set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

Tali spent the hour walking us through the work of Imaginary Forces and providing some details on their inspiration. She broke the work down into three categories: prescribed (always the same), responsive (responds to environment), and interactive (real-time, user input/interaction).

The work was impressive, but I have to say that how they get their clients to allow the projects they dream up is even more impressive.

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"Adaptable Interfaces" - John Ruppel

About a year ago I had come across John's work just randomly browsing the interwebs, and going into the session I had no clue who John was (I was more intrigued by the session title and description). I was pleasantly surprised with an amazing session on one of my favorite topics by someone whose, as it turns out, work I have seen all over the place and enjoy.

John covered several topics centered around the renaissance of interface design, and while he couldn't show any of his work from Schematic, he did show us some generic interfaces he had created.

Be sure to check out http://www.artmusheen.com for one of his more recent projects: an image creation application built in AIR.

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"Deploying Video - FLVPlayback Component" - Robert Reinhardt

Robert is another PDX'er, but besides attending his session to show my support, I am also working on a site that is using Flash video extensively and was hoping to pick up some tips. Robert walked us through an overview of Flash video use cases, and how he works with his clients to ensure the best deployment method and user experience.

Robert also shared a bit-rate calculator for FLV files he created for his new book:
http://www.flashsupport.com/books/fvst/files/tools/flv_bitrate.html

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"GMUNKICKDOWN07" - GMUNK (Bradley Grosh)

This was the last session I was able to attend since I had to catch a flight at LAX on the other side of Los Angeles (in rush hour nonetheless), but it was tons of fun. If you ever get the chance to see GMUNK speak, I highly suggest you attend.

Bradley comes across as slightly crazy, tons of fun, and extremely talented. His session consisted of a show-and-tell of his work over the past few years, ranging from Hummer TV commercials to a video of wind-up toys in sexual positions for MTV (I believe). Bradley kept it humorous the entire time, engaging the audience -- this was probably one of the more packed sessions I attended.

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Overall, this was a great conference. I would also suggest checking out Lee Brimelow's video recap, as he attended a few different sessions than I chose.

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