Merlin’s News & Updates

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Saturday
Mar062010

Merlin to Keynote at WebVisions 2010 in Portland


Link: WebVisions | Sessions | Now-what?

This should be a fun talk I’ll be premiering at WebVisions on Friday, May 21st. It’s about what we’re creating with all the tools at our disposal, and I’m calling it, “Now What? Bold Ideas and Insane Possibilities.”


What did we do before APIs, jQuery, XML, application frameworks, and open source blogging tools? Well. The truth is we did quite a lot.

But, even as our wrenches and pipes have matured and even transformed, it’s more worthwhile than ever to ask ourselves what we’re producing with all of that massive horsepower.

Has our creative output kept up with our technological innovation? Are we driving a legitimate revolution in how the world sees, thinks, collaborates, and builds together? Or are we mostly iterating a more sophisticated method for telling millions of people about our sandwich?

Who knows. Maybe it’s a little of both.

The answer, of course is as complicated as the people who build, use, and benefit from these tools, but complexity beyond his depth has certainly never stopped Merlin Mann from having a lot of opinions.

In 1994, Merlin edited a text file, pulled it up in the command-line Lynx browser, and his life hasn’t been the same since. This year, he brings his passion for unique creative voices to WebVisions.

Through one of his typically hand-wavey rambles, he’ll help celebrate the anniversary of WebVisions by holding up some metaphorical before and after photos, designed to illuminate the best and worst of a world in which the possibilities for creative and technical expression seem without limit. And also in which sandwich communication technologies have grown to a level of maturity no one could have predicted in 1994.

At the heart of it, Merlin will challenge the audience (as well as THEIR audiences and himself) to raise the bar for both performance and expectation – encouraging us to make more with what we have, and to make better of whatever it is we do.

And, if you ask nicely, he might even show you his Lynx browser.