Zuckerberg Train Wreck

Just witnessed the most disastrous keynote event — Sarah Lacy of BusinessWeek interviewing Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Wasn’t that interested to begin with, but Lacy was an embarrassment to herself. Flirting with Zuckerberg. Cutting him off left and right, then insulting him when he looked puzzled. Repeatedly turning the conversation back to herself. Bringing up semi-private moments from the past. Getting facts about his life wrong. Teasing him about his age. At one point she compared herself to Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes (“I feel you, Leslie!”)

Zuckerberg has become an artful dodger, dancing around many of her transgressions politely (rendering everything he said pretty banal). Between the two of them, it felt like a high school TV journalism class gone horribly wrong. Except that it happened in front of thousands of people.

I walked out halfway through. Outside, in the halls, everyone was talking about the debacle, re-hashing the worst moments.

Update: The interview was such a disaster that c|net has an article about it. Wired has another. Whoa – Lacy’s video response. She seems oblivious to just how bad she really was, tries to blame the crowd and the “mismatch.” So it’s confirmed – Lacy is on another planet.

Here are the notes I had taken up to the point I walked out anyway (not juicy).
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Responsible Web Design

Loose notes from SXSW 2008 panel Responsible Web Design with:

Greg Rewis Adobe Systems Inc
Stephanie Sullivan Principle, W3Conversions

This session was a bit elementary, focused on basic standards-compliant development practices, but stayed with it to hoover up a few teaching tips. It’s always a dilemma at these things… by the time you realize you wish you were at a different discussion, it’s halfway over, and the one you wish you were at is two blocks away. Sometimes better just to ride it out.
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Loose notes from SXSW 2008 panel on geolocation. Focus was on geo-gaming but other geo-topics also involved.

Great to see Jeremy Irish on the panel – Jeremy is the mastermind behind geocaching.com – the most sophisticated and original database-backed web site I know of – despite it being built in ASP (forgive us, Lord). Jeremy opened the session by showing the placard for the original geocache, and the OCB (Original Can of Beans) (food is no longer allowed in geocaches; ammunition and drugs are also barred).
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Expression Engine 2.0

Loose notes from SXSW 2008. Panel session on upcoming massive update to CMS Expression Engine 2.o:

Now powered by code igniter — fully objeect-oriented OSS PHP framework. The ingredients of EE left uncooked. So now EE is built on a framework. This is a big deal. Code has merged, communities are merging. Faster, easier development for Ellis Lab and for 3rd party devs. Instant increase in capabilities of both systems.
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Twitter: I Succumb

A year ago at SXSW2007, I made a conscious decision not to do the Twitter thing. Can’t take another distraction/interruption, no matter how fun it sounds. This year I succumbed and decided to go for it. Couldn’t get shacker (thanks to always being about a year late to any given party), so I’m waxwing (a backup login I’ve left underutilized for long enough).

There’s something perniciously sticky about Twitter… what is it? Hard to stop looking. Like blogging without the pressure to write anything truly substantial. Blogging mashed up with IM. Feels like it should be its own internet protocol or something — a new form of communication altogether. People using Twitter at SXSW as part notepad on panels, part, “Where y’at?” Still finding my way with it.

Follow me. I’ll follow you.