My speaking schedule for early 2008

SES London was really fun last year, but in 2008 I’m mostly staying closer to home. If you’re attending SES London this week, please say hello to Adam Lasnik and Luisella Mazza. It also looks like Maile Ohye, Shuman Ghosemajumder, and several other Googlers will be speaking as well.

Here’s the places I plan on speaking in the first half of 2008:

February 26-28, 2008: Next week I will be doing a couple sessions for SMX West, including a Linking Q&A panel. What sounds even more fun is the trivia-quiz “Search Bowl” that I’m doing with fellow Googler Paul Haahr. It sounds like a fun, casual event to answer search trivia questions. Other search engines will field teams, plus an SEO team will play as well.

April 18-21, 2008: I’m speaking at the Domain Roundtable conference in San Francisco. I couldn’t pass up a chance to attend a conference about domain names when it’s so close to home. 🙂

April 22-25, 2008: I’ll speak or be on a panel in the Web 2.0 Expo, also in San Francisco. Maybe I’ll just stay in San Francisco that week and work from Google’s San Francisco’s office.

June 3-4, 2008: This is more tentative, but I’m hoping to make it to SMX Advanced in Seattle. Considering that until last year I’d never visited Seattle, I’ve enjoyed every time that I’ve gotten a chance to visit the city.

You’ll note that most of these conferences are nearby. The wonderful thing about ramping up new conference speakers in webspam is that if I want to ramp down on travel, newer speakers can more than handle the task. I’m really proud of the speakers that we send from Google.

What to take on your Thanksgiving travels

I won’t be doing many (any?) posts over Thanksgiving — my grandfather’s birthday is this weekend, and I’m spending the time visiting with family. On the bright side, I wrapped up my logistical project today, and I’m looking forward to blogging a little more after Thanksgiving. I also taped three videos when I visited the webmaster console team in Kirkland a few weeks ago, so we might be able to get those up too.

If you’re looking for fun things over the holiday weekend, here are some things I’ve enjoyed recently:

Ratatouille is excellent. It’s family-friendly, but it’s also very clever.

– I played soccer in high school, so I’m a sucker for fun soccer movies (Shaolin Soccer and Bend it Like Beckham come to mind). I really liked Gracie. It’s fascinating to read how the movie is grounded in real life. Gracie is one of the few movies where I’ve watched the movie again with commentary later (provided by Elisabeth Shue and Andrew Shue).

– Non-fiction, I really enjoyed Rule the Web. I’ll talk about this book more when I do my Christmas gift suggestions, but the short summary is that anyone that touches a computer can find some fun things in this book.

– Also for non-fiction, Founders at Work is interesting. If you have an entrepreneurial bent or have ever thought of doing a start-up, I think you’d like this book.

– Fiction? I genuinely haven’t been reading much straight fiction for the last month or two. If you like comic books graphic novels, I’ve enjoyed Powers recently. The Powers series examines what would happen if lots of regular people had superpowers. I also checked out Shooting War. It’s frigging bleak, but you might like it if you liked Transmetropolitan.

The Daily SearchCast has gotten a little sporadic as Danny has been on vacation and doing search conferences. It’s still one of the most enjoyable ways to get your fix of search news though, and it’s much safer to listen to the SearchCast in the car instead of trying to surf web sites on an iPhone as you drive. 🙂 I’ve got a batch of these to listen to while I’m traveling this weekend. But Daron and Danny: you tweaked the MP3 filenames to include some keywords, but you dropped the date. Bring the date back so it’s easy to listen to them in order!

Web. Some stuff that’s in my browser or otherwise interesting:
Eric Enge interviews Eric Engleman, from Bloglines. It’s a fun interview, and I’m glad that Bloglines keeps the Google Reader engineers on their toes.

– Sure, you saw Scoble blow off Android. But though I love Robert, he’s not a hard-core developer. He’s a smart guy who talks to techies and developers and neat people. So I’d trust Scoble’s opinion on how compelling the Android videos and demos were, but you really want a developer who digs into the system to give an in-depth write-up. A better view on Android was this article by Reto Meier. I love that Android supports all sorts of inputs, from GPS to compass to accelerometer to cameras. 🙂

This Linux device driver project needs more unsupported devices so that they can write drivers for them. My three requested devices would be 1) full support for *all* of the keys on the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, 2) the Omron HJ-720ITC pedometer, and 3) the Fretlight guitar.

– Gmail has always been pretty open (e.g. letting you download your email for free via POP or easy exporting of your contacts). It’s nice that Gmail added IMAP support, but I’m just as excited that Google has introduced a Greasemonkey API for Gmail to make hacking on Gmail even easier. I was a little surprised that this didn’t get much coverage in search blogs, other than Google OS covering the API.

That’s it for now — enjoy your Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you in a few days.

Which hotel are people staying in for PubCon?

I’m booking my trip to Vegas for PubCon, which starts in a couple weeks. Does anyone know what hotels will have lots of webmasters hanging out late? Which hotel are you staying in?

Back from Kentucky

I just flew back from Kentucky, and boy are my arms tired. 🙂 My brother is getting married in early September — woohoo!! — so on Friday my wife and I flew to Kentucky for a wedding shower. We flew back today. It was really nice to see lots of family and friends and wear my Ale-8 T-shirt with pride.

The only real downside (other than all that flying time) is that I’m several days behind on email now. Not the situation that I’d like when going into a multi-day search conference tomorrow, but such is life. If you see me at the conference, please say hello! Also be on the lookout for several other Googlers who will be presenting or hanging out at the webmaster tools booth.

Last but not least, here’s a really useful piece of advice. If you’re attending the Google Dance on Tuesday night at Google’s headquarters, don’t just spend your time chilling with Googlers, dancing, and drinking. There will also be a “Meet the Google Engineers” room in building 43 where you can ask lots of different questions. There will be folks from search quality, search infrastructure, Google Reader, AdSense, Feedburner, invalid clicks, mobile search, and many more teams. Save some time to drop by that room and meet some Google engineers. I plan to be there too.

Travel plans for late 2007

Earlier this year I posted my rough plans for the first half of 2007. This is what the schedule is looking like for the second half:

June 4-5: SMX Seattle. Already did this (duh!), but part of the reason for this post is so that down the road I can remember what I did. 🙂

June 22-24: Foo Camp, also a week or so ago.

July 21-22: I’ll be speaking at WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco.

August 20-23: SES San Jose

September: there’s a wedding in early September I plan to attend.

December 4-7: I’ll be at Pubcon Vegas 2007. I plan to send other speakers from my team to SES Chicago so that we can cover both conferences.

I wanted to hit Defcon or SIGGRAPH this year (late July/early August), but I probably won’t get around to it. I’d like to attend TED at some point, and I’d definitely enjoy crashing the World Economic Forum in Davos someday. Does anyone have suggestions for other fun non-search conferences or events?