About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: web craftsman, community leader, husband, father, and partner at Fictive Kin.


All posts for Apr 2011

Brooklyn Beta

The inaugural Brooklyn Beta was the first collaboration between Analog and Fictive Kin. We're both groups of friends making things we love, and we love working together. We even have a portmanteau picked out for what to call ourselves when we join together as one. Anakin. (As Cameron likes to point out, it's better than Fictive Log.)

Since we love working together so much, we're doing it again. On the 12th, 13th, and 14th of October, Brooklyn Beta will return to a place we now call home, the Invisible Dog in Cobble Hill.

If you have no idea what Brooklyn Beta is and want to learn more, last year's about page is a good place to start. (It's a conference.)

Last year's Brooklyn Beta was a happy accident. We compensated for our lack of experience with hard work, and we had no idea whether it would pay off. In fact, just a few weeks before the conference, things weren't looking especially great. Cameron provides some of the story of our narrow escape from failure.

We're happy with how things turned out, so we don't want to change too much this year. We're still aiming for a small, intimate, friendly conference. Small is good, but it has a downside. Lots of people have told us they want to come. People we admire. People we respect. People we call friends. People we really want to come. For as grateful as we are that so many people want to come to Brooklyn Beta this year, we're equally terrified.

We sold out in less than half an hour last year. It might sound fun to sell out so quickly, but it's really not. We felt pretty bad that so many people missed the chance to register. Many people let us know how disappointed they were.

Because we're keeping it small, this year might be worse. We hope to avoid any unpleasant surprises, but the truth is we don't know what to expect. Please take it easy on us if you don't get a ticket. We're going to do our best to make this fair.

Tickets will be sold on two separate days, next Thursday and Friday. Here are the important facts, so you can be ready:

  • Tickets will go on sale at noon Brooklyn time on Thursday, April 28, and again at the same time on Friday, April 29. Mark your calendars.
  • Wednesday Whatnot is taking place on Wednesday, October 12. Tickets are $100. This day will be more practical than inspirational.
  • General Admission is for Thursday, October 13, and Friday, October 14. Tickets are $100. These days will be more inspirational than practical.
  • If you want to attend all three days, you need to register for both Wednesday Whatnot and General Admission. This is recommended.
  • Tickets are being sold on Eventbrite. Bookmark this page. When it's time, we'll remove the password.
  • To improve your chances, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list and follow @brooklynbeta on Twitter.
  • Tickets are inexpensive and scarce. I can't emphasize this enough.

Brooklyn Beta is all about the people. The overwhelming positivity and enthusiasm from the people who attended Brooklyn Beta last year made it great. (Thank you!) Please only register if you're ready to take on the responsibility of making this Brooklyn Beta just as good.

Have any questions? Please ask.

April What?

I really like the way Trent describes blogs:

There's something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else's site. It's like visiting a friend's house for a quick meal 'round the breakfast table. It's personal — you're in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.

My blog is my personal space, free from all the things I don't like about the rest of the Web. It's my home. When you read what I write, it's like you're joining me for breakfast. Blogs and comments provide the means for us to have a conversation, and our good manners provide the grease. If you want to lead the next topic, you post to your own blog. Thanks to the fantastic response to my plea for a blog revival, conversation seems to be alive and well again. For now.

I've never advertised on my blog. More often than not, advertisements are garish and intrusive. They scream for your attention. Advertising on your blog would transform your quiet breakfast table into a truck stop with a flashing billboard just outside the window. It would change the atmosphere. No longer would your blog be yours; it would be just another public place, devoid of any sense of community and camaraderie.

Over time, I learned to ignore advertising altogether. Like someone trying too hard to be noticed, it was easier to ignore it than to pretend to care.

Then came Google AdWords. For the first time, advertising was relevant. A lot of my friends began advertising on their blogs, and to my surprise, I didn't mind. We could still have a quiet conversation. As the antithesis of loud, animated advertisements, AdWords were a welcome relief.

Now, with The Deck, Fusion, Carbon, and others, advertising has evolved to the point that I'm reconsidering my tightly-held opinions. These networks do something advertisers never did before. They care. They care about who advertises, they care about what the advertisements look like, they care about who sees them, and they care about who shows them.

Starting today, as announced on the Carbon blog, I'm joining their Code & Dev Circle. Consider this an experiment. If you visit my blog, look for the advertisement. Refresh a few times. Click on a few. Who knows, maybe you'll discover something you like.