Right on the edge of useful

I've got a secret to share

Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:29:01 PM by Jim Babbage

Jim Babbage

TODCon will be here very soon. Yep, I'm counting the days. OK that's not the secret.

It'll be great to hook up with some CMX friends and regular TODCon attendees and speakers. Well, that's no secret either.

I've written the last three CMXtraneous blog posts! That's more of a shock than a surprise, though. 

I'm pretty stoked about the Fireworks public beta. The Fireworks engineering team has done a phenominal job. It's to the point now where I don't like going back to CS3. Yeah, not really a secret there either, the way I've been blabbing all week long about it.

The secret is my second TODCon session. It will be a live demo of the new features in the Fireworks Public beta! We'll look at some of the cool features you've read about in my recent articles as well as Kim Cavanaugh's piece on the Path panel. Based on what you've read and heard this week, I hope you pull up a chair for my session.

Alan Musselman from Adobe will also be presenting a session on Fireworks. He'll no doubt have some very awesome and cool stuff to share as well.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. I'll be the guy with the loud shirt and - new this year - a limp (sprained my ankle and pulled a tendon a couple weeks ago YEOUCH). Feel free to have pity on me and buy me a martini or at least help me to the gift shop for a new fashion statement. ;-)

Category tags: Adobe, Community MX, Designing for the Web, Dreamweaver, Education, Fireworks, Flash, On the Personal Side, Photoshop, Web Business

The Fire has been lit!

Posted Monday, May 26, 2008 11:18:20 AM by Jim Babbage

Jim Babbage

Today is a great day! At 12:01 am this morning, Adobe made available public betas for both Dreamweaver and Fireworks.

Not only that, but we've got brand spanking new content for both Fireworks and Dreamweaver public betas, starting today. 

Walk, run, fly, teleport on over to Adobe labs and get your own beta copies while supplies last. The public beta software will be available for download for the duration of the beta program and will run for 2 days as a demo before requiring unlocking. Unlocking the public beta for the remainder of the beta period requires an active CS3 serial number.

I've been nosing through both applications and the updates are quite impressive. Stay tuned here at CMX for a variety of sneak-peaks into both applications.

And if you are a Fireworks Junkie, you can learn even more in the coming days at the Adobe Dev Center, Peach Pit Press and Yep, I've been a busy boy. ;-)


Category tags: Adobe News, Fireworks

Countdown to TODCon

Posted Friday, May 16, 2008 3:00:18 PM by Jim Babbage

Jim Babbage

In less than one month, geeks will gather in Sunny Florida to catch some rays, share some laughs and learn a whole whack of geek stuff. Yep, TODCon is coming. I can't say enough positive things about this event. It's certainly opened up opportunities for me in my business, and the size of the event means you've got a great chance of hanging with your favorite authors or speakers, or making new connections to help you in your business.

There are some pretty interesting topics on the agenda as well (and I'm sure there will be a few surprises.) I'll be doing two sessions on Fireworks (Ok, that's no surprise).

The Wyndham Resort is a very nice place to spend a few days as well. You walk into the grounds area and forget how close you are to the hustle and bustle of Orlando.

So if you're in the mood for a break, and want to justify it as a business expense, TODCon may be just right for you. You get it all, sun, fun, education and networking in a nice little package.


Category tags: Fireworks, On the Personal Side, This and That, Web Business

The New, Confusing, Online Social World

Posted Monday, May 12, 2008 10:36:14 PM by Stephanie


I'm not one to put a lot of personal information on my blog. I don't have problem with people that do it, it's just not my personal style. When I was first on the web, it took about 3 or 4 years before you could find a picture of me anywhere (as a woman, I needed brain respect first). I was one of the last people I know to join Facebook (never have had a Myspace page). Don't get me wrong, I love the web, but I've just never found the need to expose a lot of personal information there.

Enter our new, confusing age

I've posted here about Twitter. And I do love it for a variety of reasons. I post more information there than I do in other places. Oddly, it feels like I'm talking to my friends--in some giant, controlled IM. Of course, I know that since I don't protect my tweets, anyone that follows me, google, and the world can read them. Still...

Facebook however, has turned out to be another animal entirely. After joining for an orchestrated birthday prank on a friend, I stayed and connected with a lot of folks--from real life friends to web friends I've not yet met in real life (IRL). In the past few months in fact, I've connected with several old friends, from grade school to college. It's fun to see what they're doing now.

Facebook is a Tattler!

What I and others seem to forget though, is that when you change anything on Facebook, it is broadcast to all your friends. Relationship status is a perfect example. When Greg and I got engaged via Twitter in March, most of my online friends knew what was going on. But my real life friends, the ones that I see at volleyball or on the weekends (as if I had weekends) are also connected to me on Facebook. Since I was headed out of town, I didn't have time to let most of them know, but intended to when I returned. Unthinkingly, I changed my Facebook relationship status to engaged instead of, in a relationship. Duh. Instantly, I started getting wall posts and emails -- Why didn't you TELL me!!? Ooops.

I'd say, in fact, that I know more about some of my friends from Facebook than I do from real life. Casual acquaintances, that I connect to there, show things like their new tattoo. They probably wouldn't have displayed it to me if we met on the street. Maybe they post pictures of their wild beer pong bachelor party. Who knew? People obviously feel safer in online social networks than they do in personal interaction.

Tonight I was reminded of just how far reaching this phenomenon is. I went to Facebook to join a group I was invited to by email. Somehow I followed a rabbit path ending at my younger son's girlfriend's page. I noticed she is now listed as single. Not surprisingly, so is he. We live in the same house. We talk a lot. I even knew he had told her we were moving at the end of the summer. But he omitted this one small detail about the outcome. Weird world where you learn of things in your own house through Facebook, eh? Maybe that's why my nineteen year old refuses to be my friend there, eh?

So how do you know WHO to friend?

This question has arisen in my own mind several times recently. I used to have much stricter rules for who I'd friend (though admittedly, not as strict as those that will only friend someone they've met IRL). On Twitter, if someone's witty or relevant, or knows lots of my friends, I'll follow for a while. But I try to keep the numbers I follow within reason so that I can actually pay attention. About 250 is the max I can comprehend. On Facebook, I tend to want to actually know the person somehow. I think it's because Facebook "feels more locked." I actually put my real email address there (though I don't list my phone number like some do).

But now there's BrightKite. BrightKite tells people your exact location (or a close proximity if you don't mark them as a trusted friend). So now I'm rather befuddled as to who to accept as a friend or not. When people ask to be friends, I (probably just me) feel bad to decline their friendship. I mean how do you meet new people if you decline anyone you don't know. But again, as a woman, how do you know if there are any "unsafe" people you're connecting with. This new, online community is a new and different place to navigate--that much is certain. What do you think?

Category tags: Dreamweaver, On the Personal Side, Using the Web

Web Design World

Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 2:55:12 AM by Stephanie


Tomorrow, I get on a plane to Web Design World Chicago. It looks like it's going to be a great conference. If you're in the area, come on over and join in the geek fun. Jeff Veen, Jared Spool, Dan Rubin, Joe Marini, Greg Rewis and more!

Then it's on to HOW Design in Boston followed by Multi-Mania in Brussels, Belgium, TODCon in Orlando and finally Web Down Under in Sydney. The organizers have worked hard, and done a great job on all these conferences so be sure to come to the one closest to you. You will not regret it. Promise! Grab me in the hall if you're there. I love to meet people. :)

Category tags: CSS, Designing for the Web, Dreamweaver