My cat Cosa, who was sort of a star of this blog back when it was an online journal, died. I want to tell you about that and I’ve been writing that inevitable post, but there were some more developments and drama this weekend and I’m going to need a little more time. But a proper eulogy to a great, angry cat is coming very soon.
Instead, I’ll share what I’ve been working on the last few weeks. The first thing is really neat, something I was thrilled to share with people because my mind got blown as I was researching it and I felt like I really learned a thing or three. I did a column about “real” holograms (not the Tupac/Coachella type of holograms that are actually just a mirror and projection trick) produced by and Austin company called Zebra Imaging.
Zebra’s been around so long that one of my long-time coworkers was like, “Oh, THEM? What are they up to? They’ve been around forever!” It seems that the Tupac buzz has been good for them and that they’re coming out a long period of doing military stuff primarily and expanding into a lot of other areas for their truly amazing visual technology. Good for them.
The other new column runs in Monday’s newspaper and it’s about two very unique and fervently followed Austin websites, Spill.com and RoosterTeeth.com, both of which post very popular videos online and lots of other content that have earned this lots of fans. The success has led to real-world conferences that are bringing hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people together to celebrate their mutual love of the enjoyable things they put out into the world.
I’ve known Korey and some of the other Spill.com folks since I moved to Austin in 1997 and although I’ve been so busy parenting and working that I never get to see them anymore, they were my first close friends in Austin. Korey also introduced me to Adrian Villegas and that led to the Latino Comedy Project, so there’s lots of memories and good times I associate with that bunch of very talented people.
When I saw Korey and Martin, they looked at me like they were seeing a ghost (or at least a guy who hadn’t been around much at all for several years). I grew up thinking friends were the most important thing in life and it always makes me feel really guilty when I realize I haven’t tended to friendships like I should.
But apart from that, I was glad I got to write an article about a site that we have really under-covered over the years as it’s gotten really popular. By the same token. the folks at Rooster Teeth are amazing people who have also been doing this online comedy/video thing for ages and have worked incredibly hard to earn the fans they have. It’s always a pleasure to let people know about it.
I also got to see some neat tech at a Freescale event in San Antonio last week. There wasn’t much for me to write about, but I did take some snapshots. I also chatted with the Consumer ELectronics Association’s Jim Barry (really nice, knowledgable guy; I really enjoy speaking with him) for a piece that ended up running in the newspaper last week.
And just yesterday, I attended an all-day conference called MomComAustin. It’s research for a writing project I’ve mentioned here before, as is a trip I’m taking to New York in August for BlogHer. I’m devoting a lot more of my limited free time to these things and what before felt like a very nebulous project is beginning to feel like real work, but in a good way. In a way that feels less like waiting and more like acting. I had great conversations, listened to some really good speakers and even though I was literally the only man registered to attend (a few women asked me what I thought of that or gave me a pat on the back for being there), everyone there was great and super helpful when I asked questions. I have lots of transcribing and organizing to do, but it feels great to have that information in hand instead of just making plans to get that information, you know? Any kind of incremental forward movement I can get I’m thrilled to get.
Last thing I’ll mention for now is that tomorrow night I’m speaking at an ONA (Online News Association) Austin event about online writing with the incredibly talented and gracious Austin Eavesdropper Tolly Moseley. Tolly is someone I always enjoy chatting with when I run into her (I think we both have a bewildered, wide-eyes approach to writing and meeting other people, though I’m probably much crankier) and it was great of Rob Quigley, who is organizing this talk, to pair us up. We have some very entertaining, potentially embarrassing slides and stories to share.