Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

A New Identity Costs $20 (at iStockPhoto, at least)

Sun, 11/02/2008 - 05:53 -- rprice

Given my new employment situation, I need to have a new identity. After a couple of hours of cruising a stock illustration library, a couple of clicks in an open-source image editor, and an edit from a friend, we have a product:


I may yet try to work in the statement "Drupal? Easy.", but this was the version I saved out for the web. I'm sure you'll all get to see the paper copy one of these days.

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Smart Mailbox Formula: Flagged Messages

Wed, 10/29/2008 - 09:34 -- rprice

One very simple way to keep your email organized is by using flags in Apple's Mail program. Starred If you're like me, you are pulling in most, if not all, of your messages from a GMail or a Google Apps account. This means that your "starred" items in your Google Mail will also be "flagged" once they get to your Mac.

Flagging messages in Mail.app can be done via the menu Message > Mark > As Flagged, or by simply pressing Command-Shift-L when you have selected the message(s) you would like to flag.

New Smart MailboxCreating a Smart Mailbox is very simple. Just choose the menu item Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox...

At this point, you be presented with a popup box asking you for a Smart Mailbox Name, and several options. The first line of options reads:
Contains messages that match all of the following conditions:
You can also match TODO items, or ANY of the following conditions. For this example, we will leave this line alone.

The first condition by default matches the "From" email address of any messages. This is what we want to change:
Flagged Filter
Click on the select box for "From", and choose Message is Flagged from the list. The other options in this condition will disappear.

Add a FilterThis Smart Mailbox is already pretty useful, but our Flagged messages from several months ago probably aren't too useful any more, so we'll add another rule. Click on the plus to the right of the popup box to add a new condition.

When you are finished creating this new rule, the second line should read:
Date Recieved is in the last 60 Days
Before you press OK, take a seecond to admire your work. You're being smart with your email.
Date Received Filter

After you OK the creation of the new Smart Mailbox, a new "Flagged" item appears in the left sidebar of your Mail window with a little purple icon. If you don't see it, click the words SMART MAILBOXES until the arrow to the left of the words is pointing down, and your Smart Mailbox should appear.

Flagged Folder All of your flagged messages from the last 60 days are in this smart mailbox, but they have not been moved from their home in your other mailboxes either. If you remove the flag from a message with Command-Shift-L, the message will no longer appear here.

While this is all great, I did notice one annoying thing: Since all my mail is coming in from a GMail server, several of the messages in this folder were duplicates, because they also appear in GMail's "Starred" folder. In order to fix this problem. I selected my Smart Mailbox, and then chose the menu item Mailbox > Edit Smart Mailbox...

Once you're editing again, just add a rule that reads as follows:
Message is in Mailbox: Inbox
After you OK this change all your duplicate GMail messages should disappear.

If you've got a Smart Mailbox Formula that helps you wade through the ocean of information we all seem to be swimming in these days, please share it in the comments below. I'm sure we could all use a little bit of help.

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Larry Halff and Tara Hunt - Ma.gnolia 2

Tue, 10/28/2008 - 09:06 -- rprice

Video introducing Ma.gnolia 2 from this year's Gnomedex conference:

Larry Halff and Tara Hunt [...] discussing how Ma.gnolia has implemented many of the tools of the open web such as OpenID, OAuth and Microformats and [...] unveiling Ma.gnolia 2, the next evolution of Ma.gnolia and a building block of the open web.

The real Web 2.0 entrepreneurs like Larry will realise when they've got something great -- and how they can get that something into the hands of the most people possible might be by giving it away, opening the data for unknown uses, letting you import (and export) as much as you want, giving you tools that don't just raise their bottom line, but instead make you love the service so much that you need to invite everyone you know to use it.

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Use Smart Mailboxes to Organize Your Email

Sun, 10/26/2008 - 12:07 -- rprice

If you're anything like me, you tend to hold on to your email for months, years, or pretty much all of eternity. All Mailboxes Now that I have things like Google Apps for Your Domain and IMAP, I can literally keep as much of my email as I want, and always get access to my full message history. On top of this, I have 7 inboxes to check.

There are several advantages to this system as far as I can see - I never have to worry that someone has the wrong email address, or one I no longer use, because I always know the message will arrive on my desktop, but at the same time live somewhere on dark and dank hard drive deep in the Google infrastructure, wherever that may be.

Messages Today: 20 Here is my big problem: I get dozens of messages a day. On the day I wrote this tutorial I had received 20 messages by noon! How on earth am I supposed to keep track of the messages I want to keep, without abandoning my pack rat nature?

My solution for now: Smart Mailboxes. You've at least seen Smart Playlists in iTunes - the program ships with a few of them baked in. The Finder also features a few pre-selected searches under "search for" on Leopard. Apple's Mail.app has had Smart Mailboxes for some time now, and it's about time you got a little more insight into what is going on with your mail.

Saved Search The very simplest way to create a Smart Mailbox is to use the little search box in the top right of your Mail window and push the Save button. That's really all there is to it. You can choose a few simple options from the popup box - the application has already chosen a sensible folder name for you, based on what you searched. You could try searching for something related to a big project you're working on, or all the messages from a particular friend, or a group of friends. The possibilities are endless.

What are some of your favorite Smart Mailbox formulas? I'd love to see them in a comment.

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Doterati Doesn't Get It

Fri, 10/24/2008 - 07:37 -- rprice

Doterati is holding elections for their advisory board. The current leadership has decided that they will not be allowed to govern next year, in an attempt at humility, or checks and balances. In theory, this is a good idea.

However, what if the best people to steer the organization are already in the right place?

Edit: Only one member of the current board is allowed to sit on the elections committee. They are looking for some volunteers to round out the electorate.

However, and this is the big one for me, in order to nominate anyone, you must be a paying ($150) member.

This community is synthetic - if one really wants to support all of Central Florida, why not invite all of Central Florida to participate?

Take down the pay wall. I won't vote if voting comes with a price tag.

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Letting go the Strings of Servitude

Thu, 10/23/2008 - 13:32 -- rprice

Pandos

That's right, folks, I quit my job at Bonnier. No more PopSci, no more corporate life.

Somehow I thought our friend Jonathan (above) working his VCRs and television sets helped get that message across. As Pandos, instead of fighting against modern technology, just letting a couple of simple magnetic tapes play serves as a more entertaining picture than a single curated stream.

My life working at Bonnier had become a lifestyle - long days (and nights), spending all day in the same place doing the same thing. I couldn't even take 7 months of that.

So now what?

I've got a couple of freelance things lined up that should bring in the next month's income alright, but I don't want another hourly job. Here are some ways I plan on keeping myself distracted:

  • Drupal Easy - this is the home for some (free) Drupal advice, and hopefully some (paid) screencasts, eBooks and tutorials. I will be doing a Drupal conference circuit in the next few months to connect with folks who are looking for training more than straight-up work. I hope I am a good provider.
  • Orlando Scene TV - I still have yet to see a project emerge that achieves the goals of this videoblog. The more I think about it, the more it needs to be a one-on-one account of some fun stuff. We were trying to bring more of a TV correspondent feel to the show, but that takes work, and this is supposed to be about fun! Maintaining this channel gives a place for the Blogging Fringe videos and Orlando Puppet Festival content to go, and video is so engaging, measurable and portable -- I really love doing this.
  • Florida Creatives Podcast - I have been meeting some great people who need to get pulled in to this community, and one of the best ways to get them to care about you is by doing the completely selfless thing and asking them about themselves for half an hour, and sharing the conversation with the world on a well-trafficked web site. The happy hours will certainly continue.
  • Florida Creative Summit - the idea here is to do something like BarCamp, but that covers more than just geekery - I am talking to some folks about how to pull this off right now, most of that goes down at Florida Creatives Happy Hour. This is the whole point of Florida Creatives coming to be in the first place.
  • Coworking Orlando and our first coworking space in Orlando, CoLab - Coworking Teusdays are still going strong after some 8 months -- also, I have already paid my $49 for use of a desk at CoLab in November -- I'm not sure whether I will be full-time or part-time there in the future, but I know I want to be present for the birth of the formal coworking movement in Orlando. This is something I've been talking about for years, and now it's downtown and affordable. Couple that with all the communities looking for useful consistent space, and the need for something like this is even greater. This probably deserves a separate blog post...
  • Oh so many more things... like getting other Florida Creatives chapters going in other cities, like Brevard, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Tampa, South Florida -- helping Petentials get to a happy place -- doing a joint event with Doterati -- creating a DIY community, a graphics hackers community, a podcasting community, a blogging community, an independent microblogging site, and lots of things I can't think of just now.

To all my Bonnier peoples, I will keep in touch. Let's do lunch! Blackwater BBQ?

To everyone else, it's good to be back!

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BarCamp Tampa and BarCamp Chaos 08

Tue, 10/14/2008 - 17:55 -- rprice

the first BarCamp Tampa was lots of fun - there are some posts and freshly edited wiki pages over at the Tampa group on Florida Creatives.

We had a great event last night. Some fun talks and some serendipitous moments. We even had one guy from Orlando, never heard of BarCamp, came up and started talking to us and then did his own talk.

Presentations

Mike Anello has a recap of all the sessions on his blog.

I am hoping to have some slides from my Drupal Portfolio talk, but that should come later. It will likely show up over at Drupal Easy.

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BarCamp Chaos 08: Monday

Tue, 10/07/2008 - 04:14 -- rprice
Create Chaos 08 at Marriott World Center
8701 World Center Dr, Grand Ballroom 7B
Orlando, FL, 32821

See map: Google Maps

Register at the BarCamp Wiki

The best conversations happen in the hallway

BarCamp Chaos 08

On Oct 13, 2008 members of the BarCampOrlando community will be organizing an ad-hoc BarCamp session as a part of the Create Chaos conference. Create Chaos 2008 is a five-day creative industry destination event produced to inform, inspire, educate, and connect creative professionals across industries through an all-inclusive event. This ad-hoc session invites participants to control the programming by preparing a 20 minute talk on any creative topic and presenting it to other conference attendees (so, bring your laptop). The fun starts at 6pm.

BarCamp Chaos is free to attend, of course, and all registered Campers will receive free access to the Create Chaos Expo Hall on Oct 13, 2008. You can use the discount code: BARCAMP to get $200 off your tickets, if you're interested in attending the whole conference.

More about Create Chaos

Create Chaos features several unique industry conferences under one roof, at one time, and takes place Oct 13-17, 2008 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, FL. Create Chaos serves as a spark to ignite a new renaissance by bringing together creative professionals across industry boundaries including: graphic design, advertising, film and video production, animation, photography, printing, Web, and publishing professionals. Produced by Brahn Awards & Events and partners, the Create Chaos experience features the following conferences and events: The Creative Suite Conference, Printing+Paper+Packaging Design Conference, The Vector Conference, Stash Theatre, CreativeHeads Job Fair, The Web Design Conference, MGFest, The Pixel Conference, and more.

Grab and print (or link to) a BarCamp Chaos 08 Flyer

Blog Badge:

Bar Camp Chaos 08

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Tons of Notes, BlogOrlando Aftermath 3

Wed, 10/01/2008 - 19:18 -- rprice


Party, originally uploaded by funkeemunkeeland.

Folks, I've got things to tell you, and things I want your input on. First of all, huge thanks to Tim Welch for his excellent BlogOrlando3 "Best of" post.

Next, I want you to stop reading this post. STOP! Go to the Florida Creatives forum and contribute to this discussion, or start a new discussion about something for which you are passionate.

If you're still reading, I'll remind you we have TWO BarCamps coming up. Count them.

BarCamp Tampa Bay is going down in less than two weeks. If you were at the Orlando BarCamp in April, this will seem familiar to you - Tech Day, Media Day. Held at USF's Business school, Saturday and Sunday, October 11th and 12th. I believe there is a party-bus or a caravan of some kind headed down that way. Check the Twittersphere (92 followers, natch!) or Doterati? for more details.

BarCampChaos held on Monday October 13th, the first night of CreateChaos08 at the Mariott down by Disney World. It's 10 conferences in one, and one unconference, and bunches of parties, like a certain Internet Marketing and Tech association I know of, and an Advertising and Design Alliance I know of, and a Create Awards, and a Job Fair, and an Expo, and lots more, including $200 off registration if you register for BarCampChaos.

The Florida Creatives website now has 4 feeds for you to pay attention to:

  1. Podcast Feed (original)
  2. Site-Wide Feed (includes groups, events, blogs, forums)
  3. Event Feed (mashed up from all over town)
  4. Comments Feed (in case you don't prefer emails)

Those of you already subscribed in iTunes will continue to receive podcasts.

Those of you who used feedburner email subscription should keep getting your emails (of the site-wide feed).

The events feed is pulled from the Florida Creatives group on Upcoming.Y!, the Calendar feeds of The Daily City blog, Doterati and the newly-formed Advertising and Design Alliance (I don't even know where to link for it yet).

The old Florida Creatives Google Groups is going away. I have already closed out new people from joining. With a forum, email subscriptions for feeds and all the other stuff, it should be easy to stay informed.

If you haven't checked out the Florida Drupal Group yet, please do. Classes are third Saturdays at 1PM in Maitland, and completely worth it. We are talking about putting together a DrupalCamp early next year, so get involved now.

Did you realize that Café Scientifique was today? I sure didn't, but I've been an extremely busy man of late. Chad is organizing some awesome talks down at Stardust, these are not to be missed.

The 2nd Annual ELLA Music Fest is this weekend. Crazy that a year has gone by already. Orlando Scene TV has some vids from last year if you want to know what you're missing out on.

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