Fancy Zoom Calls

05 May 2020

AKA, how I set up my Sony DSLR to use as a webcam. Unless you’ve only just woken from a months’ long coma and the first thing you decided to do was read my blog, you’re likely aware of (waves arms around) this quarantine. I’ve been home and isolated for two months now. Fun times. As a result, I’m in a lot of Zoom calls. As a result, I’m envious of the few people with their fan...

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Quiet Time

22 Nov 2017

Unbelievably—at least, to me—I’ve been speaking at conferences for over 11 years now. I’m finding it difficult not to be self-congratulatory in recognizing that I’ve been doing it so long. I still remember my first talk at Webvisions. I had a full slide deck of JavaScript tidbits to cover. I don’t think I looked up from my computer once as I delivered my talk. I was nervous and...

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Like driving a car

31 Mar 2016

I remember when I first started learning to drive. Behind the wheel, there was so much to think about. I’d change my focus from the road, to the street signs, to the lights, to the cars, to the speedometer. It was all so very overwhelming and stressful. Over time, things get easier. Eventually, I could sense how fast the car was going. I didn’t have to look at the speedometer every 30 ...

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Smashingly Smacked

11 Jun 2012

After my workshop in Brighton, I'll be heading to Freiburg, Germany. I was in Germany in March and I'm definitely excited to see more of the beautiful countryside and architecture. What brings me to Germany again? Smashing Conference. That's right. Smashing Magazine now has its own conference. Here's the sad part: it's already sold out. I know, I'm sorry. I really should've told you sooner. On ...

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09 Jun 2012

dConstruct, a lovely conference in Brighton, England, returns for another year on September 7, 2012, and I'm quite excited for it. It's the first year I'll be attending and with James Burke headlining the event, I think we'll all be in for an incredible treat. I'm also looking forward to seeing Jenn Lukas and Seb Lee-Delisle speak as I've heard plenty of good things. The best part for me i...

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Presentation: Fake it 'til you make it

06 Nov 2011

From my presentation at StarTech, here are my slides. Fake it 'til you make it shows some code and examples on how to make a web app look more like a native mobile application. This can provide a way to build quick prototypes or to build using familiar technologies. ...

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Presentation: CSS Takes Over the World

06 Oct 2011

I was at Adobe MAX this week, where we got to see all of the new and exciting things coming from Adobe. I got to present my talk on CSS twice and, as promised, here are my slides from that: ...

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Web Design Master Class

21 Mar 2011

It's been a long time coming but I and the rest of the folks in Sidebar Creative are back this year with a brand new edition: the Web Design Master Class. We've partnered with UIE to put on not one, not two, but three workshops this year. Crazy, I know. Even crazier is that we've actually been rather quiet about the whole affair (well, except for the occasional tweet or two). Allow this venerab...

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Just Try and Shut Me Up

03 Oct 2010

I've been pretty quiet as of late — except the deluge I usually subject my Twitter followers to. Fear not, as I have plenty to say and plenty of places to say it. November is turning out to be a busy month of speaking engagements as I cram four different events into the span of two weeks (with a possible fifth for good measure). One, two, three, four Starting things off is a trip to Malmo,...

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MIX10: The Type We Want

21 Mar 2010

I recently presented a session at MIX10, The Type We Want, in which I covered where we came from with using custom fonts on the web, where we are now and the hurdles we face moving forward. All of the videos and slides are posted at You'll have to sift through the list to find my session, DS15. The slideshow posted on the MIX10 site is the original PowerPoint fi...

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Sidebar Workshops

20 Oct 2008

The Sidebar Creative crew are putting together a workshop! Come join us in Washington D.C. on November 12th as we step through the front-end development of an example project. We'll go from the design process through to implementation with plenty of take-home tricks along the way. This is an intermediate-level workshop targeted to those who already have some experience doing front-end developmen...

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@media 2008 Wrapup

16 Jun 2008

I know it's been a couple weeks since @media but I did want to document my thoughts and, of course, point people to some resources. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. It's certainly on a much smaller scale, probably closer to something like Web Directions North. What I'm finding is that the two track smaller conference seems to be a great size. It gives you plenty of content to ab...

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Live Chat

04 Mar 2008

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00am EST (15:00 GMT), I'll be on to do a live chat, open to answer any questions that you might have. Just hop into the snookca channel. I've wanted to do the live chat thing for some time now and have debated between doing it in Campfire, using UStream and Y!Live. I've been hanging out on Y!Live from time to time but it has some issues to work out before I ...

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WDN08: Working with Ajax Frameworks

02 Feb 2008

As I mentioned in my recap, I was a little under the weather but despite that, I was really pleased with my own presentation. Timing was pretty good, if a little rushed at the end, and I felt like there was plenty of good information included. Lots of people came up to me afterwards said they enjoyed it, which made me feel even better. (If you didn't like it, don't be shy to let me know...or post ...

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Web Directions North 2008 Recap

02 Feb 2008

Web Directions North has wrapped up its second year and I think the lineup this year was even better than the last (and not because I was in it...I'm not that egotistical!). I was impressed by the presentations, especially Indi Young's Mental Models. For her session, I started somewhat disinterested but the more I listened, the more I became engaged. So much so, that now I want to buy her book o...

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Refresh Ottawa, finally

07 Jan 2008

After announcing it 10 months ago, Derek Featherstone and I will finally kick off the first Refresh Ottawa. If you're unfamiliar with Refresh, it's "a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in the Ottawa region." We'll be holding our inaugural event downstairs at the Clock Tower Brew Pub on Bank...

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Mix'n'mash 2007

06 Dec 2007

A couple months ago, I got asked by Microsoft to come out to a little event called Mix'n'mash. The goal of the event is to bring about 10-15 bloggers and "influentials" and see where Microsoft is going with a number of their products. More than that, it's a chance to provide feedback to Microsoft as to whether they're on track or if there's anything in particular they should be working o...

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Web Directions North in two months

03 Dec 2007

Having been to a few different conferences now, I'm getting a sense of what I like and don't like to see. So, with Web Directions North just under two months away, I have to say that I'm getting pretty excited. Meeting people First of all, I enjoy meeting new people which has traditionally been at odds with my personality. I tend to be shy and talk very little, especially in large crowds. Whil...

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Speaking at FOWD

09 Oct 2007

Only four more weeks until the Future of Web Design conference hits New York City. I'll be there speaking on Ajax and Design. I promise not to be all technical... instead, I plan to talk about best practices when it comes to using Ajax to solve design problems. The conference is gearing up to be a lot of fun. While the workshops appear to be all sold out, conference tickets should still be availab...

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Recap of Webmaster Jam Session 2007

25 Sep 2007

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about what a fantastic event WJS2007 was. Simply put, it was a blast. Lots of fun with lots of great people. Everybody was super happy (both speakers and attendees) and there was plenty of great content. All of the sessions I managed to check out were very interesting and I walked away with something new from every one of them. J Cornelius and the folks at Coffe...

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Webmaster Jam Session 2007

20 Jun 2007

Remember when I said that I was going to be more proactive in going after speaking opportunities? The approach has already paid off as I'll be speaking at the Webmaster Jam Session in Dallas, Texas. It's on Septermber 21 and 22 and I hope to see you there. I keep hearing from everybody that was there last year that it's plenty of fun. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting plenty of new peopl...

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So you want to be a speaker?

21 May 2007

The fame. The glory. The joys of galavanting across the planet presenting at conferences around the world. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Let me tell you, it's not as easy as it sounds to break into the speaking circuit. In fact, let me impart my experience and viewpoint on the matter. New Blood Talk to a conference organizer and one of the many things they'll talk about is getting new blood. Tal...

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21 Mar 2007

Just over a week away is the third iteration of BarCamp in Ottawa. I attended the first and thoroughly enjoyed it but had to miss the second. Luckily, I should be able to make it this time and it should be a good event. The last BarCamp I went to attracted a different crowd than what you might see at something like SXSW. It's got more of a business-casual feel to it with people seemingly having a...

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SXSW'07: After the Storm

15 Mar 2007

I thought I'd be diligent and blog each day with vim and vigor. Alas, the lack of free internet access in my hotel and the lack of desire to drag my behemoth of a laptop around meant I didn't do that. Now, I have to summarize it all into one massive post. Uniting the Holy Trinity First off, I have to say kudos to Dustin, Sally and Cameron for the panel. I felt really good about it and think we pu...

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SXSW'07:The Home Version

09 Mar 2007

"That's right! You, too, can play along with the home version!" It's friday morning and I'm sitting here in the hotel room after about five hours of sleep (my usual, these days). I arrived last night around 9:00 and touched base with Anton Peck as planned. We both arrived to our respective hotels within minutes of each other. I walked the two short blocks to his hotel and met his "boss" and co...

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Refresh Ottawa

06 Mar 2007

Derek Featherstone and I have chatted about the events within the Ottawa region and how there didn't really seem to be anything directly targetted to us. BarCamp comes the closest but it doesn't happen very often. To fill that void, we've decided to initiate Refresh Ottawa. In the words of the Refreshing Cities web site: Refresh is a community of designers and developers working to refresh t...

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One week

01 Mar 2007

That's right. Only one week left until SXSW Interactive. I must say, I'm getting excited. I went through and loaded my calendar up with all the stuff I want to see. Of course, you all have to come to Uniting the Holy Trinity of Web Design panel. It looks like they put us in the big room so we need to fill those seats! Besides, with the likes of Cameron Adams, Sally Carson and Dustin Diaz, you can'...

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WDN'07 Recap

14 Feb 2007

Let me just say that it's been quite a week. In fact, right now, I'd be happy if I didn't have to get on another plane for awhile (oh, for about three weeks or so). The week started off with two plane cancellations and getting put up in a hotel in Cincinnati called the Drawbridge Inn. Classy place, I tell you. They had these engraved plaques that look like they've been in place since the place was...

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SXSW 07 Web Awards

05 Feb 2007

This was revealed a few days ago but I'm only just getting around to mentioning it. This very blog,, got nominated for this year's SXSW Web Awards! I'm in the Blog category with: April Zero BuzzFeed Superfluous Banter Twitter I have no clue how they determine a winner (I think they flip a coin...that's how I'd do it) so it's anybody's ball game. Interestingly enou...

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Web Directions North 2007

16 Jan 2007

Only three weeks from now on February 6th, Web Directions hits Vancouver in what should be a fun event. First, it's in Canada, and there doesn't seem to be enough quality web conferences here so seeing Dave Shea and Derek Featherstone along with Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp help organize something like this is very nice. This will be a more intimate affair than something like SXSW and should ...

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SXSW 2007 Interactive Pass Contest

03 Jan 2007

That's right folks, just a little over two months to go until 'south-by' kicks off. The interactive component is, of course, what many of us will be heading down for but I know a few people sticking around for the music. (Incidentally, it's really easy to tell the music attendees from the interactive attendees from the film attendees.) So, I've got an Interactive Pass up for grabs but I'll get t...

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SXSW 2007 Panel Picker Round 2

18 Sep 2006

Round 2 of the South by South West Panel Picker for 2007 is now live. This time, I have my own entry in the queue: Rapid JavaScript Development, where I hope to talk about some of the nitty gritty in the JavaScript libraries du jour and how you can use similar techniques in your own projects. If that doesn't interest you much, there's still plenty of cool stuff lined up so be sure to head on ov...

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SXSW 2006: Lessons Learned

17 Mar 2006

I wanted to take the time to wrap up with what I felt I learned and took away from the five days I spent in Austin. First and foremost, this event is about the people. In retrospect, I feel bad about missing out on a couple of the after parties and things like the Web Awards where 9rules and Avalonstar took home awards. It's during these times where you really get a chance to sit and chat with p...

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SXSW 2006: It's over (Part 2 of 2)

16 Mar 2006

I broke this up into two parts, if you haven't read the first part, feel free to do so. With it being a little late the night before, I slept in and rushed in for the first panel of the day. I jumped into a presentation simply titled 'Dirk Knemeyer' but was pleasantly surprised to find him talking about starting a business. I was enjoying everything out of this. It was interesting to look out int...

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SXSW 2006: It's over (Part 1 of 2)

16 Mar 2006

Wondering what happened to days 3 and 4? Yeah, so am I. On Day 3, I didn't take too many notes. I just sat back and enjoyed the panels. CSS Problem Solving started off the day but I was heavily disappointed. The first panellist was dull and the next two presented essentially the same material. Dave Shea provided the only topical information by actually taking three questions and providing possib...

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SXSW 2006 Day 2

13 Mar 2006

Day two seemed to start off fairly low key. The conference centre didn’t seem to have the buzz it did the previous day. I strolled in, much like the day before, just before the first set of presentations at 10:00am. Sink or Swim: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions I decided to check out Sink or Swim: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions. Michael Lopp (Apple) moderated this pa...

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SXSW 2006 Day 1

12 Mar 2006

Saturday is the first day of panels but I already felt like so much had transpired. Friday was a great day to meet a whole lot of people. Turns out I’d meet just as many, if not more, on Saturday. (I’m writing this Sunday morning, mostly because it’s hard to find time during all the events to write but also because I almost finished this post only to lose it before saving any kin...

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SXSW Day 0

11 Mar 2006

What a whirlwind of a day that was. The Friday was just registration which left plenty of time for socializing. The day started off at noon going to the convention centre and lining up for "the badge". The badge is your ticket in to everything but also a great way for others to know who you are (and to know who others are). After that, I hooked up with Matthew Oliphant, Mike Rundle, Anton Peck and...

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SxSWi 2006

06 Mar 2006

For those of you who plan to make the trip down to Austin this week, I hope to see you there. This is my first time in both Austin and south by southwest and I'm looking forward to what should be a highly sociable event. I haven't set my schedule yet for the presentations but I will be at the south by northwest party on Saturday and at the Bowling Extravaganza on Monday. Is it sad that I'm planni...

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SxSW 2006

26 Aug 2005

The south by southwest festival is back for 2006. Held in Austin, Texas, there is three main components to the festival: music, movies, and interactive. This has been turning into one of the major festivals for the blogging world and while I haven't been before, I hope to make it out this year. Will I see you there? ...

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