Notes

Berlin for Workshops and Brighton for Patterns Day

Leaving for Berlin tomorrow to run Elliot’s Advanced Typography workshop on Wednesday and Erik’s Letterpress workshop on Thursday. Still seats left for both of them, if you want to joy the fun.

Then, on Thursday, I gonna hop over to Brighton to attend Patterns Day and cover the event with making photos for Jeremy.

Would be lovely to meet you either in Berlin or Brighton. Just ping me.

Smashing Conference New York 2017

Smashing Conference in New York.

So, that was another Smashing Conference in New York. I think, having been to all of them, I have to say, that this was maybe the best one so far. Not actually content wise, because that often also is a matter of taste and interest, but the atmosphere was really good. People have been very open and mindful, friendly and chatty. If you ask me what makes me think that it was like this: I can give you no facts. It is this kind of feeling that you maybe develop during the years of running and event and my stomach says “This was a good event”.

If you want to get an idea of how it was, maybe my photos give you an impression.

Oh June, you’re so full of events

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In May I ran my Düsseldorf edition of beyond tellerrand. I was happy to find out, that Typo Berlin had a gap of a week after my event. So I could attend. Next year this is problematic again, as Typo is taking place in the same week as beyond tellerrand again. beyond tellerrand takes place Monday 14th to Wednesday 16th and Typo from 17th to 19th. When speaking to Jürgen Siebert last week he said “Oh, but I announced this really a long time ago already”. And so did I with my dates. It is just, that there is no place, where you can look at and where organisers announce their event dates early enough and or at all. The question is now, how can we avoid overlapping events? I mean, Typo and btconf don’t even overlap in 2018 and from an organisers standpoint, we can even maybe share travel cost for speakers who speak at both events. But often events do overlap and for me, going to many events, this is a pity as often I have to decide for the one or other or the density of events is so big, that I would get into serious trouble with my family, if I attend all of them.

Calendar showing a high amount of events in June

Some month are worse than others and if you see events announcing their end, you see two new events announcing they are coming. Take June this year for example. The green bars show only the events I am interested in and I got notice of. I am sure there are even more. First of all you see a clear trend to run events towards the weekend on Thursday and/or Friday, if not event at the weekend. This, for me at least, having a family, is a problem. Usually weekends belong the family and my kids. More and more events, though, are held on a Saturday and if on the Friday, you might want to leave on the Saturday, not to miss the real juice of most events: the time in the evening with conversations and networking with attendees. But the sheer amount of events in general in month like June or September, to mention another month like this, is crazy:

So the events above take place around the same weekend and I would love to have done all of them. Sadly – in terms of attending events – it is Pfingsten (I think it is Whitsun in English). We always are in a little house over this long weekend with two other families and enjoy the time in a forest. That date is set in stone usually from Friday to Monday.

Right before the next weekend we have got …

So, again, three events taking place at the exact same time. Not an issue for them actually, as topics are different and they are so far apart from each other, that they won’t have a problem concerning attendees or event speakers. I actually would be able to go to one of them, but it is always a fine balance not to make my family sad. On the following Sunday to these events, I’ll leave for New York as part of the Smashing team:

I use my time around an event to meet people I know in this particular city and stay in touch. Sometimes, like last year with awwwards Conference in NYC, it works out, that I am able to attend other events while being in town. But usually, again, I don’t want to over-do the travelling, having an eye on my family.

The week after New York, I’d be able to attend events usually, but having a look at the calendar shows me, that in the last week, I am organising two workshops in Berlin (one with Elliot Jay Stocks, one with Erik Spiekermann) and then jump over to Brighton to take photos at Jeremy’s event, so I better be careful with this week, as one day otherwise my keys don’t fit the door at our house anymore. The events I am likely to miss are:

The two events above would work speaking about time. Kortrijk is even easy to go to by car from my place for one day, which is different for Bristol, where flight and hotel add to the purse. But I have to get some work done for my own events and, as said earlier, have to consider my time with the family as well. And then the week after, I am on the road again.

So, why am I writing these lines, you might wonder. First of all to give you an overview of what is happening in June on the event landscape. Then, to complain that I can’t split into multiple Marcs to be at several events at once. But also to complain, that I have the opportunity to do what I do and attend events as part of my job. I know how fortunate this situation is and how lucky I am and therefore I would never really complain about what I have written above. I burn for attending events, speak to all these different people with all their many opinions, ideas and stories. That is why I am always a bit sad to miss one. But maybe there is an event in this list, which you like to attend, as it is close to you or matches a topic, that you are interested in or want to dive into. Then please do and let mw know how it was.

Take care.

Did I miss an event, I should have heard of? I am sure there are many more interesting events. Please don’t hesitate to let me know (information how, in the footer of this site). Thanks.

Day 3 of Typo Berlin 2017

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I spent the last two days in Berlin at Typo Berlin. I had wonderful conversations with many lovely people so far and met interesting people I did not know before. Enjoying myself and the weather a lot.

photos showing a blue sky and bright sunshine

After Event Blues

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I have written about it a while ago, but maybe it helps, when I do this again. I am sitting at the workshops of beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2017 and read tweets and feedback for the last couple of hours. It is so much stuff that the attendees have written and I had a lovely time during the last two days. It is wonderful to see that so many people had a lot of fun and a good time. Now the sad feelings, that all this is over again, are slowly creeping up. I feel empty, drained and tired. But at the same time I fell happy, proud and warm. I am happy and humbled to have met so many fantastic people during the last 7 years. So many people who joined me on a journey beyond the tellerrand. Thank you all for being to kind and making the event what it is.

I wish Frank would to a Web version of “V for Wiki”

When using wikipedia, I really wish Frank Rausch would also do a web version of his app V for Wikipedia. I love it and use it a lot. When using the Wikipedia website, I am kind of frustrated … Frank? ;)

Interview with Neon Moiré

Photo showing me before an interview with Thomas from Neon Moire

Thomas Dahm from Neon Moiré visited me and we had a nice conversation about all things related to events. We chatted about the beginning, a few specific matters like swag and partnerships or how I try to curate beyond tellerrand.

It was nice having Thomas around. His site, Neon Moiré, is an independent guide for design events and next to interviews, like the one with me, they publish event reviews and a calendar with interesting events.

Photos of CreativeMornings on “beyond”

Photo showing Rainer, Lisa and me at CreativeMornings Düsseldorf
A set of photos from CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf, April 28, 2017. Photos by Celine Al-Mosawi.

Last Friday, Lisa and Rainer invited to speak at the CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf. Theme for April was “beyond” and while we all had been at an event of Wacom in Düsseldorf, they asked me, if I’d like to come and speak. Next to shitting my pants and actually not having the time, because I was/am already knee deep in the preparations for beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf, I very much enjoyed it and had a lovely morning and wonderful feedback and conversations after my talk, which made the whole experience a really good one.

Celine Al-Mosawi took photos and published a nice set on Facebook already. As soon as the video of the talk is online, I am going to post it.

So. thanks to Lisa and Rainer, and keep on your inspiring work with the CreativeMornings in Düsseldorf.

Smashing Conference San Francisco 2017

Photos of flying balloons at Smashing Conference
Ballons!

While sitting at the workshop venue here in San Francisco, I finished uploading my photos of the last four days. Covering both workshop days of the second edition of Smashing Conference in San Francisco as well as the two conference days. I hope you’ll like them.

The new Smashing Magazine website

I am quite late to the game, but these days – during the last 8 or so days, to be precise – many people in the web industry speak about the public beta launch of the new Smashing Magazine website. Some are writing about the new technical features and how they switch from a mix of various platforms like WordPress, Kirby, Shopify and their Job Board software, to a single system called Netlify. Some just point to Vitaly’s excellent article about what they actually worked on and what changed. Sara Soueidan gives a bit of background to what her part of the work was in a nice blog post. But only a few really know about the human side of things.

Next to all the sweat and tears on the design and the technical side, there was a lot of thinking involved before decisions were actually made. And I mean a lot of thinking. It was not just about giving the users a new experience, a brand new design and an even faster and more performant website. A lot of things actually had to do with the people visiting the magazine and the event. The people reading the books and the people who are the community around Smashing Magazine. I myself have only be involved a few times and we had lovely, yet intense discussions while sitting together working. But also during lunch or after the “official” work was done in a cocktail bar in Freiburg. And topics there did not circle around web performance or how to find technical solutions that work best. The questions that came up were more questions like …

What do people, visiting our events and our magazine actually expect?

How could a possible membership for the magazine look like in term of, what should be included in different packages?

How can we give people, no matter where or on which device they visit the magazine, give the best possible experience?

… just to mention a few thoughts like this.

And you can think what you want from the design or from performance or the UX of the actual beta of the website, but I am writing these lines to actually express my highest respect for what and how much work and thoughtfulness Vitaly and Marcus (and the rest involved of course!). That is very cool, in my opinion, and I think we need more people who actually care that much.

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