#WxSW Unconference – SXSW for the rest of us

So you didn’t make it to SXSW this year. Instead of lamenting and/or complaining about the people tweeting non-stop about whomever they’re next to or what sponsored party they’re at, join us for an unconference designed to share ideas, get shit done, have fun and spend some quality time.

This Saturday, March 12, #WxSW Unconference (not to be confused with the awesome WXSW Tucson music festival next week and weekend) will convene from 5pm to midnight (feel free to show up and leave anytime between then) right here at Gangplank. We ask that you bring a dish of some kind to share, a project you may need help with, a hankering to play NFL Blitz or NBA Jam and a desire to learn something new.

Maybe we’ll have music. Maybe we’ll have a live VoiceMuze editing session. Maybe HeatSyncLabs will show up and let us cut things with lasers. Maybe we’ll live stream with someone at SXSW. Anything could happen.

Starting at 7pm, we’ll have presentations by attendees. Exact times are not yet confirmed, but the lineup thus far will be:

Kathy Jacobs – How Social Media Changed Peer to Peer Support
Tyler Hurst – How To Make Blogging Your Bitch

If you’d like to give a short preso, please let me know via tyler@gangplankhq.com. RSVP to the same address.

Kids are welcome.

Kudos to Krystofer Van Slyke for the idea.

Thanks to Drew Manusharow for the logo.

Domino Project and a Writers Conf/Camp/Event

The number one communicative and business skill anyone can learn is how to write. From email to Twitter and blogs to press releases, we are all writers.

And we’re in the business of telling stories. Inspired by the Domino Project, and because I’ve always wanted to learn from other writers, Jeff Moriarty and I decided it’s time for our very own event/camp/con focusing on all kinds of storytellers.

And we’d like your help. If you’re a writer, podcaster, storyteller, video blogger or anything in between, come to Gangplank on March 1 from 7:30-9pm and help us figure out what you need, what we all have to offer and what we can do to make all of us a little better.

Tell your friends, bring your colleagues and get yourself down here. We’ll be giving away one copy of Seth Godin’s Poke the Box
, AND a copy of the Now Revolution by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund.

We’ll do our best to live stream/blog the meeting, but can’t guarantee that it will actually work.

TED simulcast available for free in Phoenix

TED is awesome. It’s a collection of great minds presenting projects they’re proud of and sharing their passion with an engaged audience. It is very expensive to attend, it’s tough to get an invite and it’s always held in California.

Until now, the only access we mortals had was to videos published weeks or months after the event. Fantastic, yes, but not quite the same as seeing it live. Bob Diehl, organizer of TEDxScottsdale, has been licensed to produce a simulcast in downtown Phoenix of this year’s TED. No more waiting, as the TED Talks will be available to those that attend as quickly as they do on site in California.

And here’s the letter he’s asked me to share with you:

For the first time in its history, the TED conference is available for one day to be experienced as it happens FREE OF CHARGE. The day is broken down into 90 minute speakers’ segments from 9:30AM until 7:45PM, so you can attend any segment that has special interest for you. Please consider attending at least one of them. Please also consider inviting anyone/everyone you know to take advantage of this historic opportunity.

The venue is in downtown Phoenix at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Roosevelt Road and Central Avenue [RoRo]. The simulcast is available under the TEDxScottsdale license [x=independently organized TED event], and is called TEDxScottsdaleLive.

Details, including the speakers schedule, and registration can be accessed via this link: guestlistapp.com/events/44742

More information on TED, the TED 2011 conference and TEDx can be accessed via this link: TED.com

I hope to see you there!

Bob Diehl, TEDxScottsdale Organizer

It’s going to be tough not to attend all the sessions, but I think I’ll manage. Getting there is easy, just take the Rapid Transit from Gangplank to the end of the light rail, then hope on the light rail to Roosevelt and Central.

I can’t say enough good things about TED. I recommend you check it out.

ChandlerCamp on February 10

Seems the City of Chandler and Gangplankers can’t get enough events. Fresh off the success of WordCamp Phoenix, Gangplank will be producing ChandlerCamp, a free workshop designed to help small businesses succeed in the new economy.

Location: Chandler Public Library/Community Center
Time: 8am-noon
Bring: Laptop. Notepad. Questions.
Cost: FREE
Registration Link: ChandlerCamp.com/Registration

ChandlerCamp will feature Gangplank co-founder Derek Neighbors as the keynote speaker, along with area small business leaders Stephanie Quilao, Jeff Weninger, Glynis Legrand, Chris Lee, Susan Baier, Charlene Kingston, Chuck Reynolds, Calie Waterhouse and James Archer, all on hand to run hour-long workshops on topics like Keeping Track Of Your Customers, What Should My Business Talk About Online and a Local SEO Q&A session.

This event is free, but seating is limited to the first 50 people that sign up.

We’ll kick off the event at the downtown Chandler Public Library (22 S. Delaware St.) from 8-9am and then move across the courtyard to the Chandler Community Center (125 East Commonwealth Avenue) from 9am-noon.

We’ll have multiple sessions every hour. Please see http://chandlercamp.com/agenda/ for the full agenda.

To register or to sign up for more information, please visit http://chandlercamp.com/registration/.

Gangplank Thanksgiving

No one likes spending the holidays alone, but not everyone wants to spend all day with someone else’s family. Thanks to Gangplank, us holiday orphans were able to share favorite eats, laugh at each other while playing Dance Central and pig out on desserts.

Francine and Ed brought their dogs, Mike and Sarah brought their kids, Kathy Jacobs and her hubby brought a fancy crock pot full of goodness that was “chicken kinda blu” (amazing, by the way). Jacob Rosenthal and Maya Kessler made the best kind of stuffing there is – with no onions or celery =) Jeremy Leung encouraged guests to create their own delicious desserts, bringing along all the makings for an apple crumble pie. Greg Taylor and his ladyfriend Kristina Landrum brought cherry pie while Debbie Walker showed up with some dump cake (I think that’s what she called it) which was flaky crust and fruit filling. Yum.

Oh, Katie Charland cooked her first turkey and homemade mac and cheese. My contribution consisted of covering the turkey with chicken stock and then falling asleep while she did all the work. I DID plug in the Xbox 360, though.

I even whupped Greg and Mike in Fight Night 3. Good times, great people and yet another good example of a common place bringing people together.

EventDay has big night

EventDay hasn’t launched yet. In fact, it won’t be introduced the world until early next year.

But Gangplank anchor Scott Cate doesn’t much care. Called upon nearly two months by Microsoft to write a web-based registration app for their UndergroundPDC party in L.A. on November 9, Cate immediately went to work, using code from his eventual EventDay product to construct what was really a beta version. Deadlines were met and then just over a week ago, Microsoft called again. They wanted Cate to handle the entire registration process, including staffing and running the registration tables at the event, to be held at Club Nokia in L.A. Live.

Cate knew his app was ready. He had the equipment. He now needed about 12 people to staff an event six hours away and he couldn’t hire just anyone. He need people on short notice with enough tech skills to quickly process people, presentable enough to impress the top brass and sociable enough to do additional tasks the event might require.

Katie Charland overheard Cate talking about this and told me. Having more spare time than I’m used to, I offered to go and figured I could round up some helpers in L.A. Three texts to my music producer friend Kyle Townsend later, we had seven people, including me, ready to go. Cate found a few more helpers and we took off to L.A. on Monday morning to prep the equipment, scout the location and plan out the Tuesday night event.

Prep went well, all the workers showed up on time and Microsoft was extremely happy. How many other places would have helped EventDay pull something like this off on such short notice? Not many.

Good work, Gangplank.