May '08

Taming the Web on Adobe TV

Wow, how time flies! As I was preparing for my upcoming trip (see my previous post), I decided to fire up my Adobe Media Player to grab some shows to watch in case the movie(s) on the flights tomorrow are “less than desirable”. And in so doing, I was notified that a new episode of my show “Taming the Web” is now available.

For those who have yet to experience Adobe TV, let me explain the premise. About a year ago (see my comment about time flying by), a group of us at Adobe began discussing ways in which we could more effectively share our knowledge with our customers. Of course the Design Center and Developer Center are great venues for learning, but many of us sort of miss the “connection” to the person delivering the training. It’s kinda nice to be able to hear someone speak, and actually see them talking. Of course there are numerous “training sites” on the web, but these are mostly paid sites, and as such, it’s hard to know beforehand if the training is at a high enough or low enough level for you specifically. We thought, “wait a second, we’re always hearing after in-person seminars that the attendees want to go back and hear the information again”. Or, even worse, “I missed your seminar in my city, is there somewhere that I can go to get the information”. Thus was born the Adobe TV initiative.

As luck would have it, we were also ramping up our new Adobe Media Player at the time. And it was a perfect fit to offer Adobe TV’s content as a channel in the Adobe Media Player.  So, you can watch online in your browser, or inside of the Adobe Media Player – it’s your choice.

Anyway, my entire evangelism team stepped up to the plate and we each volunteered to host a show focusing on our individual areas of expertise. And for me, this was a tough choice. You see, I work with most of our creative tools, from Photoshop to Flash to After Effects to Illustrator. But my favorite tool, given my long history in the web, is still Dreamweaver. So in my show “Taming the Web” I talk specifically about Dreamweaver, CSS, HTML, Spry and a wide range of related topics. This month’s episode is all the basics of CSS. So if you’re just trying to make heads or tales of CSS, or need a quick refresher, take a look.

Now, I’ve really got to get back to packing for this next trip – cheers!


May '08

9 Weeks On The Road – OMG!

Yes, you read that correctly. In the words of an old John Denver song, “all my bags are packed and I’m ready to go”. It’s really hard to believe that I’m about to embark on this marathon trip. Even for a hardened road warrior like myself (I did 257 days on the road last year), this seems to be an incredible undertaking. I’ve been chuckling at recent questions from friends and associates as they hear about it and ask “so, where are you going?” I simply respond, the easier question is where am I NOT going…?!

For those who care, this trip will begin with a gawd-awful 5am wake-up and 6:30am pickup to head for the always lovely [sic] Sky Harbor airport here in Phoenix. Should all go as planned, the first stop on the mega-tour will be in the Netherlands, where Jason Levine and I will be holding court at the annual AVManifestation in Hilversheim. We’ll be demoing Adobe’s web/video solutions to this year’s visitors. From there, it’s a mad dash (I’ll be driving, so fasten your seatbelts) with Jason and Stephanie Sullivan down to Kortrijk, Belgium for another year’s appearance at MultiMania ’08. (The site for 2M08 is definitely worth a look – nice, all flash site.) Sadly, we won’t be hanging around for long, as it’s immediately off to Paris for the Flash Festival where I’ll be bringing folks up to speed on what’s happening in the world of Flash. Thankfully, Stephanie and I will get to spend a day enjoying Paris (sunshine, please).

Germany is next on the list with an initial stop in Karlsruhe for Webinale ’08, and then onwards to Zurich, Stuttgart, Berlin and Graz, Austria for the encore of our Adobe Masters’ Tour, featuring Jason, Rufus Deuchler and myself.

A brief stop in the US is next up – Orlando and ToDCon. I’ll be giving the keynote along with a session on Progressive Enhancement with the Spry Framework for AJAX. ToDCon is one of those really fun, small conferences where you really get to hang out and visit with both fellow speakers and attendees. I love doing this conference.

But my time on terra firma will be short-lived, as Stephanie and I will then embark on a 22 hour journey down-under, arriving just in time for WebDU. This is my other “favorite” conference – not the least of which is due to the fact that it’s held in beautiful Sydney. If the weather gods allow, we’ll be doing the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb on Sunday. I’ve already done it once, and it is truly spectacular. I just wish they allowed you to take your own camera up with you.

After a bit of a rest (it was supposed to be a 14 day vacation on the Great Barrier Reef, but alas, work calls…), I’ll be putting Stephanie back on the plane, and for me, it’s off to Seoul, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the Asian leg of the Adobe Masters’ Tour.

I can assure you that when I finally see my house again on July 12th, it will be a sight for some very weary and tired eyes! But, if you’re in any of the areas I’ll be visiting along the way, please feel free to drop a comment here – especially if you know where the good beer is! And, of course, I’ll see you back right here for reports, pics and stories from the road. Cheers!


May '08

Am I Famous Now…?!

CMX SuiteIt’s truly funny how life on the web can twist and turn, bringing surprises at every click. And with each new social networking app, life on the web can quickly become as busy as the “real one”. But on occasion, an app really does stick and change the way that you experience life – both on and off the grid. For me, that app would have to be Twitter.

After initially laughing at the idea of answering the question “what are you doing right now”, Stephanie Sullivan, my co-author on Mastering CSS With Dreamweaver CS3, finally convinced me to give it a try. (She’s even written a blog post for Twitter noobs!) And I don’t mind telling you, I was definitely skeptical at first, but quickly warmed to the idea of sharing mundane and trivial details about my life, spent mostly on planes, in hotels or on a stage somewhere, with (sometimes) complete strangers. In return, my Twitter friends offer me a glimpse into their equally mundane and trivial doings.

Today, most of my colleagues that I travel with, and friends both old and new that I meet at conferences, seminars and trade shows can be seen pausing every so often, phone in hand, to text message the fact that they’ve just gotten in a cab, ordered a sandwich, or simply are still breathing, to the world at large. Laugh if you want, but the “Twitter check” has become as much a routine as the “email check” performed on a regular basis throughout the day and into the night.

And then, on a rare occasion, something truly extraordinary happens in the Twittersphere… and the rest becomes a part of internet history. I’m somehow tickled to be a part of it. Cheers!

P.S. A special thanks to Chris Flick for his amazing work and finally making me famous! :-) Chris, you are a truly gifted cartoonist – keep it up!