SXSW 2006: Blog Bubble Bursts

I’ve been back from SXSW Interactive for more than two weeks and yet I still haven’t posted my thoughts. The reason? Well, I wrote something that was very negative and I’ve been sitting on it. I’m going to post it now, unchanged, but I will add that my malaise seems to have been shared by a number of people. And it appears to be affecting a number of conferences, not just SXSW. I heard a lot of complaints that ETech wasn’t so great this year, for instance. And tech conferences seem to be sprouting up all over the place like weeds. All part of the new “Web 2.0” bubble, I suppose.

But before I post my depressing screed, I will say that I managed to have a pretty good time nonetheless. It’s just too bad that I only get to see some of these amazing people just once a year. For evidence of my merrymaking, check out my photos on Flickr. I’ve posted my photos from 2001 and 2002 on there as well. Ah, nostalgia!

Read on if you dare…
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The Complete “Insert Favourite Magazine Name Here”

Omni, Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 1978)

Omni, Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 1978)

Brooke and I are buying ourselves The Complete New Yorker for Christmas, and I’m incredibly excited. I know there is a complex labyrinth of legal rights involved, but I’m still happy that I’ll have access to some of the 20th century’s finest magazine writing at my fingertips. And it got me thinking.

There are so many other magazines that would be great to own in this format. Popular Science would be absolutely fascinating, as would Time, Life, and especially, Wired. Of course, Harpers and The Atlantic would have to be included. But the one I keep thinking of is extinct.

Omni was probably my favourite magazine as a teenager, and I owned every issue from #2 (November 1978, above, with a freaky cover by H.R. Giger) until about 1984. They’re actually still stored in a friend’s parents’ basement somewhere, but of course, I have no room for them anymore. Surely, a complete set exists somewhere, and there would certainly be some money to be made. Bob Guccione’s publishing empire will probably produce The Complete Penthouse first, though.

What would be your favourite candidates for the Complete treatment?

Update: Visiting Time’s site above, I was greeted with the news that Time’s magazine subscribers now have access to the entire archive online, back to 1923. I’m not sure what this means, though. Is it similar to the New Yorker’s scanned pages format? Though online access is good, it’s only available as long as you subscribe. I fear that this might be the preferred format for most publishers. They won’t let us own anything.

Life’s site lets you access all the covers from 1936 to 1972, when it was published as a weekly magazine. That’s pretty cool.

The Atlantic has online access to some of their archives (“Articles from January, 1964 – September, 1992, are not available due to copyright restrictions”), but you have to pay on a per-article basis. That sucks.

Update 2: More Omni reminiscing by Michael and Andrew.

iPod: “Security Risk”

The UK Ministry of Defence has declared the iPod a security risk, due to its high storage capacity and ability to transfer data quickly.

The story also states that numerous corporations are considering banning the devices from the workplace due to “security concerns.” Am I the only one who thinks this is completely wrong-headed? What’s next? Removing the photocopiers and scanners? Banning cellphones with built-in cameras?

Security is not about technology. It’s about having a system of trust with your employees. Banning their music players will only erode that trust further, in my opinion.