ALT Top 10
Ok, yes it’s been almost three weeks since the Altitude Design Summit. And it’s taken me that long to get over the fact that I’m the worst skier in America. Maybe even North America.
Way overdue is a wrap-up post on the wonderfulness (that’s absolutely a word) that was the first annual Altitude Design Summit. There are many, many, many, many, many more timely, great wrap-up posts. Instead of recreating those, I decided to pick my top 10 best memories from ALT. The things (and people) that 3 weeks later, I’m still thinking about.
I was completely honored to be a part of this amazing gathering of creativity, technology, and community. I know where I’ll be in Jan of 2011 (not on the slopes).
1. The SLC Welcome Wagon: Steve Urquhart + Alan Dayton
By far my favorite part of Salt Lake City was meeting and hanging out with these two. Who would have thought that two Utah politicians could be such a hoot? Not me. But that they were. Taking us far and wide from the streets of SLC to Sundance in Park City, Steve and Alan graciously volunteered to spend time away from their rad families to serve as our official tour guides. I have a feeling that when the Olympic Host Committee visited SLC, these two had something to do with the win. I’m eternally grateful to their hospitality and look forward returning the favor in Texas one day.
2. Those Stunning Stanley Girls
I love hanging around families that are close. And even better, families that are close AND are all creative geniuses. Take the Stanley family, of St. George, UT. I first met Gabby Blair (Design Mom) 2 years ago and was instantly in love with her wit, brain, and heart. Next, I met the hilarious, talented Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day) at last year’s Mom 2.0 Summit. At this year’s Alt Summit I had the pleasure of meeting yet another Stanley sister, Sara Urquhart (wife to Steve) who was one of the main organizers of Alt. As an event planner, I can say that the 48-hours leading up to the event resemble something of a war zone on speed, and you would never tell by Sara’s fun and calm demeanor. She truly did a bang up job of organizing this vast undertaking. Also in attendance, Liz Stanley (Say Yes to Hoboken) who married into the Stanley clan, and if you know my freakish obsession with Hoboken, NJ, you can imagine my thrill. I’m so lucky to have gotten to know this family over the last few years. And they cease to amaze me with all of their talents. (Also FINALLY got to me the infamous Ben Blair! woo!)
3. My Conference Partner in Crime: David All
David All sat on the Politicopia pre-ALT panel that I also sat on Wednesday. He and I, along with Colin Delany, Laura Mayes, and Ric Cantrell taught a half-day social media workshop to local Utah politicians. David runs a grassroots communications company in D.C., The David All Group. I was instantly impressed with his presentation and work with recent clients such as Congressman Joe Wilson, and results his firm was able to achieve using social media (or as David will argue, Direct Media, tactics.) I got to know David over the next few days, and found that we had lots of common, outside of our political affiliations. ;-) (I think I confused him when I mentioned Halliburton. “Wait, you’re a Democrat?”) David also showed off his stellar snowboarding skills at Solitude, as I was rolling down the mountain trying to keep my skis in tact. We packed a lot of fun in 3 days and look forward staying in touch with David, and working on future projects together.
4. Meeting Joslyn Taylor of Simple Lovely. She’s simply that. Lovely.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of Joslyn’s blog, Simple Lovely for a long time. Always incredibly beautiful content. And, she’s a Texas gal! Joslyn was the host of the Dallas Kirsty Book party last Fall, and I was so happy to finally meet her in person. Joslyn moderated a panel on creating a community online, and I was excited to hear some of the ways she chooses content and manages her blog. Hope to see more of Joslyn in the future!
5. Jyl Johnson Pattee showing me the Mormon gang sign.
Man are mormons fun. Yes, fun. as. hell. Which I’m sure was entirely judgmental of me to assume that weren’t. But Jyl topped them all. She was the life of the party at the Thursday night Opening Social. I haven’t thought it was possible for someone to be so fun sober since I was 16. Ok, 15. Jyl showed me the Mormon gang sign. Ok, so yes just an upside down #3, but I was highly amused. Her intoxicating laughter put a smile on everyone’s face. Damn, Mormons are fun.
I love Kirsty events, because it means I get to spend time with some of my favorite gals in the world. This trip was no different, and I finally got to meet Kirtsy guy, and Laurie Smithwick‘s other half, Bob. I sat in on Laurie and Bob’s session on Friday (along with Bryan Mason of Typekit and StruckAxiom) where the panel discussed the intersection of design and programming. A particular interest of mine. Later in the week, I had a blast with Laurie and Bob at Solitude Ski Resort (they are expert skiers!). However, my favorite thing about this Leap Design duo is their exquisite taste in music. Always get new, great recs from these two. Excited to be seeing them at their home in Charlotte this March as Andrew and I travel there during his solo tour. Get the East Coast ready for us, Laurie and Bob!
7. Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy
I’ve been a fan of Joy and of her blog, Oh Joy, for a long time. This Christmas, I found out that Joy has recently been designing a line of products for Chronicle Books (also at Alt), when my assistant Kara gave me a super cute notebook designed by Joy. I was ecstatic to find out that she would be a speaker at Alt. Laura and I joked on the plane that I would stalkerishly reveal my notebook to her casually at Alt. I was thrilled when she walked into the session I was leading on Friday on Twitter for Designers. Until we discovered that, yes, Twitter was DOWN. For an hour during the session Laura and I taught Twitter, without access to Twitter. I will tell you, this is not easy. The attendees were super great about it and seemed to get at least something out of it. I snapped this pic of my notebook, and Joy. I know. Geek. It was pretty rad.
8. Erik Natzke + DJ Earworm = BEST CONFERENCE SESSION EVER.
Seriously. This session blew me away. Blew us all away. I was sitting in between Amber and David and we keep looking at each other like, is this for real? Erik is an artist, designer, and programmer, who creates and gives material substance to his ideas through immaterial computer code. Natzke’s work focuses on aesthetics and methodology, in which code and numbers generate beauty. When Natzke wants to draw something, he doesn’t pick up a pencil. He opens his Flash software editor and starts writing code. After Erik’s amazing presentation, DJ Earworm gave an amazing demonstration of how he creates a mashup. It was amazing to watch him find similar elements of entirely unrelated songs, and make it work. Check out a mashup he played for us of Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” or as DJ Earworm has dubbed it, “If I Were A Free Fallin’ Boy.” This was seriously the most entertaining session I have EVER seen at any conference. EVER.
9. The Goodie Bags. Dude, Seriously. Awesome.
Here is a great post from Not Martha on the goodness that was THE goodie bag.
10. My Roll Dawgs: Laura + Amber
Last but certainly not least, my Texas girls Laura and Amber, who made this trip unforgettable. With out them, I’d never have had as much fun, or ever made it down the mountain for that matter. I’ve had so much fun with these girls over the past few years. So many adventures, and so many more to come. Love you, guys!
header image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/harpy
images 5, 6: gabby blair’s flickr stream
images 2, 8, 10 alt summit flickr stream
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