XOXO notes

Andy Baio:

I was having so much fun last night I forgot to eat, so I ended up making ramen noodles in Plaid Pantry at 3am

Ben Purdy, @purdybot, made all our projected visualisations - hire him to do things for you

@stewart Butterfield from @slackhq bought a lot of fans from chinatown - grab one to cool yourself

Erin McKean is a lexicographer, former editor of the Oxford American Dictionary and founded wordnik

Erin McKean:

I am the female founder of a Silicon Valley VC-backed startup that has nothing to do with fashion

become an expert in a mundane object that is made in an arcane way

give a talk at conference you haven't heard of and use the word synecdoche in it

Independence is a myth - we valorize it, but in the vacuum of space no-one can help you make

unless you're independently wealthy and incredibly reclusive, you're dependent on somobody

when I started wordnik I knew a lot of things, but those things were mostly about dictionaries

I wanted every word, with meaning shown by usage and yes, EVERY word

wordnik's business model 1. Collect words 2. ? 3. Profit

I didn't think there would be a thousand twitter bots like @metaphorminute

we built reverb which finds things you are interested in based on word knowledge

when you fall in love with someone you need to look at them and say "this is the problem I want to have"

investors want you to get big. I want to build a map of the English language at a scale of 1:1 so that fits

I had a bias that I liked people with strong opinions, but it took a while to realize that assholes have them too

when you have a little kid you are "I control your universe" but as they get older they get more indpendent

it can be hard to realise that something that can't have a life without you is a parasite

I dream of running away to Portland where I can write artisanal javascript and work on my 2nd novel…

If I've learned something in a day, the day is not a total waste. Even if it is Baconadoes

Feeling incompetent is exhausting. Occasionally indulge in meaningless competence

There's no words involved in Sudoku - what's the actual point?

my meaningless competence is making dresses - I don't want them to become a job

People like to tell me "you're too nice" -so I attempted to have a bitch face for a while

I reached back into my ancestral knowledge and realised you can weaponize nice

if you weaponize nice you can tell someone to go to hell and they'll enjoy the trip

it's entirely possible to be empathetic to someone but not put their needs above your own

Justin Hall:

20 years ago you could surf the whole web in a couple of weekends, so I decided to join in

Links from the underground led to me having visitors to my website, so I started to tell the story of my life

I had 27000 daily readers in 1995

By a series of hard work over 20 years, I've been able to take the 27,000 daily readers and get those today to 250 daily

In 3rd grade my father died. When you're 8 years old, that disconnects you from your peers

I wrestled a lot with that "Why did my father kill himself?" question on my website

Talking about this online meant I got responses from other people who had lost their fathers too, and eased their pain

I shared my bad grades from school, my Lsd trips and my sexually transmitted disease

People kept sending me stories in response to mine, so I decided to teach people to make their own websites #indieweb

I toured the us by greyhound bus and taught people how to make websites

I hoped that Strangers+honesty = empathy - that's been a mixed bag

When we got search engines, it went from looking for weird shut to searching for something else and finding weird shit

I assumed that knowing me was consent to be written about in public online

I had to learn to stop using people's names, and details when writing on the web

A commenter explained that I was incapable of being in a relationship, with citations to my writings

I chose my relationship over personal media production. That relationship ended in divorce.

I took time to digest and then made a video talking about my divorce without identifying my ex

When my startup gamelayers failed I wrote up what went wrong links.net/vita/gamelayers

I started out believing in honesty play and participation online, but what I was missing was relationship

Andy Baio:

I've slowly realised that xoxo is a scam to get all of you to give me money to bring people I want to meet to my city

Joseph Fink:

I don't have the kind of talk that has slides, so I have some random photos instead

I want to talk about sudden success. My friends and I made a podcast, and we still do.

I used to stand in the street trying to convince people to switch electric companies

We made welcome to night Vale - a podcast set in a fictional village in the desert with angels and ghosts

At the 1 year mark we had 150,000 downloads, the next month we had 2.5 million downloads

I got an email from an agent wanting me to work on television while at my table in the street

What I'm saying is that I went from a a bad job to a good job and I'm happy about it

Success turned my friends into my co workers. The relationship I had with them before is gone

There are now thousands and thousands of people who are waiting for our work and that is rereidying

By being white and male, Jeffrey and I have avoided most of the horrible things that come with sudden success

There are over 4000 works of welcome to night Vale fan fiction. I won't read any of them but I'm glad they are there

Our characters are drawn in sound, we don't describe them, and fans make their own pictures on tumblr

The fans still want us to settle their debates over what the characters look like, even though we don't know

There was an amazing lag between the fans appearing and our making anything from it

Success can only come if you throw yourself into it recklessly, if you make the things you talk about making

The success of Night Vale was good for us because we were making something that we wanted to with people we wanted to

Make things you like, with people you like, treat them with respect, and if you make any money from it, pay them

Andy Baio:

there is a Gamergate truther guy handing out his Jack Chick pamphlets over by the goats

I have a metric for a healthy community - how quickly do they self-organise and meet offline?

Parody Cult Expert:

I will tell you the story of how meatspace started

I work on a lot of chat experiments, and my friend was doing WebRTC stuff, so we got animated gifs of users faces

so you have a chat with a looping animated gif of your face underneath the text

we got 3000 users in 1 day, it was a single channel, it was a mess and everyone was saying they were addicted

we were expecting a lot of genitalia, yet I've only seen 3 penises on there, which isn't bad

I didn't want to build an irc clone with channels, and I didn't want authentication

your face being on there is your identification

I forced everybody to be in a single room so everyone has to deal with it

human relationships don't scale, you can't have 5000 close friends

to get rid of the trolly people who taped over their cams and abuse you, so we added muting

the users hung out together and got to know one another and met up in SF and NY

there was an article in a French womens magazine so it filled up with French college girls and worried the Americans

so I made a separate space for the French women, and an international one

there was then a Paris-based meet up too

I started paying attention to the communities and working on how to deal with trolly people by muting them

we had some problems with regular trolls who came back and abuse people, so we added a temporary hellban

trusted admins can ban them for 1 hour - no-one sees them but themselves

we make it an hour so people can get a second chance, because sometimes they're just scared and acting up. I used to.

Its an open source system, so if you ran your own copy I don't know if you would get the same community - try it

the messages last 10 minutes, so it is ephemeral like conversation, though anyone could copy it

people made games with the gifs where they completed each others bodies

I'm doing a new project that applies glitch filters to images, and we all got ourselves glitched up twitter avatars

things can grow from something that you didn't expect. Once you get that growth it's about maintaining the community

having pods of communities and sub-communities and letting do their own thing is important

if you want to check it out its meatspac.es - if you're shy you don't have to show your face

Andy Baio:

the next speaker has done a lot of clever hacks and twitter bots - Darius Kazemi

Darius Kazemi:

ever since I was a child, I wanted to win the lottery.

At my grandma's we watched the news for the pennsylvania lottery and watched the ball be revealed. She never one

the lottery became a way for processing what happened every day

I got into a fender bender, and used the number of the other guys car

If I got a girls number in a bar, I would play her phone number

I started to share my lottery numbers with my daily lottery blog

by being a content creator like this I built up a community of fans

at the time none of us could get a gig - we weren't well-known lottery players

I worked at The Lottery Collective for a few years. It wasa 1 in a million experience

a lot of people in the creative world don't like to talk numbers

here are my numbers 03 09 19 23 29 39 - you'll see a lot of 9s and a surprising number of 3s

I'm not saying you should play 9s and 3s. They worked for me, but they might not work for you. Try something wild

I wrote this talk on the flight home from XOXO last year

beyond a certain threshold of work you put in, success is entirely out of your hands

creative work and putting it online is buying the lottery ticket

I made @MiraculousPics which si a parody of those annoying picture accounts

It grabs captions from those scummy photo sites and does a google image search and posts it

@AU_prompts creates crossover alternate universe fanfic prompts by taking 2 characters and an aspiration

@4myrealfriends uses @wordnik - thanks Erin - to get bigrams to get tuernabout quotes

@twoheadlines mixes 2 headlines from 2 google news categories "China to remain an American company"

I buy a lot of lottery tickets - I make a lot of these bots 112 recently, and got about 9 well-known ones

creative recognition is largely a matter of luck. Marketing, PR is just buying more lottery tickets

the most successful kickstarter ever raised $13M for the coolest cooler.

this may seem like fatalism, and in a sense it is.

2 kinds of creative advice: how to buy more lottery tickets, and how to win the lottery. The 1st is useful the 2nd is nonsense

Andy Baio:

we flew Leigh Alexander in from London because we love her - she writes about games but draws on other genres

Leigh Alexander:

my work focuses on the way technology interacts with storytelling and play and fantasy

I have an acting degree, I ended up an office assistant, and writing was a way out of that

the market for games writing is very challenging, as many people want to write about video games all day

I feel lucky as an exception to many rules - I make a living from being freelance; as a women in gaming

most writing about gaming is technology products reviews - buyers guides

around the turn of the millennium writing about games as culture started happening

if you look at what you commonly hear and read about video games, it doesn't represent all the games I love

my first blog sexyvideogameland.blogspot.com - I wrote every day covering games with a broader perspective

it became important to me to always maintain a blog and have my own voice as well as a corporate byline

I want everyone to see games the way I see them as beautiful and wonderful

I want people to stop thinking of writing about gaming as being an arrested child

I knew that games were not going to have a healthy community until we solved the diversity and inclusivity problems

I write about the things I'm interested in the games I care about and what I think should succeed. That's the agenda

my approach puts me at extreme odds with the gamer fan-type figure - despite this I find an audience fro my work

I'm facing the same economic constraints as anyone else who writes for a living

after a abad experience with Thought Catalog with Breathing Machines, I decided to publish my own books

I published my own book Clipping Through https://gumroad.com/l/aisCU and have made more from that already than tha last

I have my book up at $5 or pay what you want and most people are paying more than $5 for it

games are just starting to reach their full potential now - reaching the mainstream

Hank Green:

I make internet video. We started about 8 years ago, when there wasn't a way to monetize or many people to watch it

our videos have been viewed about 800,000 times, at 5 mins each that is four billion minutes

I have killed four billion minutes of human lifetimes, which is about 85 lives.

Have I done 85 human lifetimes of good? that's that keeps me up.

if you want to get a popular youtube channel, go back in time 8 years and start one then

I have a 2 step process: 1. get a community of 200,000 fans who agree with you 2. use them for everything else

I want to talk about your dreams. [slide with giant text FUCK YOUR DREAMS]

when I was in 8th grade I somehow decided that I wanted to be an oceanographer

they got us to write haikus in school and I wrote "Oceanographer/that's what I want to be/Oceanographer"

it was 5 years into the process of making video blogs I realised I loved editing video

i do a lot of science video stuff, and I recently got the chance of a TV show explaining science, which 4 years ago Hank

there is one person objectively I can say that I am smarter than, and that is me 4 years ago

I wanted to be the guy who solved death. Being that guy would be a kind of immortality. Along with the real immortality.

moments of extreme success are depression triggers for me. 3 days later I can't get out of bed. WHAT THE FUCK?

dreams decrease the total number of potential paths - you miss other directions

you don't really want an Oscar, you want recognition from your peers

you don't want to be bought by Google, you want a big fucking pile of money

Dreams shouldl fuel you, not define you

Andy Baio:

Paul, like, writes stuff and knows computers pretty good.

Paul Ford:

I'm going to talk about 5 websites that I have built of the last 18 years

This talk is called "building your personal platform." I'm sorry.

the first site I built was ftrain.com: from 1997 to today it has been hanging out. I haven't updated it in a year

you put a bunch of stuff up on line and give it away for free and people scream at you

I got an email one day asking if I would like to make a website for Harpers magazine

the thing Harpers didn't tell me is the publisher hates the internet

Harpers softball shirts have "fuck the internet" on the back - and I was the web guy

the best rule of editing I learned at Harpers is "keep like with like"

I scanned the archives of Harpers and tagged the keywords in the stories so we could compile timelines

I realised I was having a major depressive episode when I looked at the train and thought I should be in front of it

I built another site ohlih.com and made a diary and enabled me to track calories

another secret website - anxietybox.com - you put in your name, your email and your anxiety, and it emails you mean notes

then you can email back and discipline your anxiety,.

your worst anxieties make great bots because they are shrieking monsters saying the same thing over and over

Poetry break: http://www.gratefulness.org/poetry/guest_house.htm by Rumi

I looked back at these sites and wondered what they have in common, and it is change over time

I did that thing you should never do - I thought "i'll just make a note taking app"

this unscroll.com is a timeline and it shows me things I searcg for over time egold radio shows

my friend Leslie Harpold died. I imported her blog into unscroll.com so I an take notes on her posts

The goal of this site is to work on it for 20 years

Andy Baio:

I had described this as a consensual hallucination

Andy McMillan:

I'mm announcing the xoxo diet plan - it's two days over a weekend and you lose 2 inches off your waistband

Andy Baio:

the question we always get is "will there be another on next year?" we don't know yet

we'd like to dedicate this festival to someone that we lost this year, to Chloe Weil.

independence is hard and independence is lonely.

we just want you to know that you are not alone. Everyone of you needs to know that.

when you are being pummeled by morons out there, the lone commenter, push on and keep doing your work

Andy McMillan:

someone asked me how I know @waxpancake - we met properly to work on XOXO

Andy Baio:

this is the first time we've had a real security team and they have been great

Andy McMillan:

my family is here - my mum and my dad are here and my brother

Andy Baio:

thank you to every single one of you - lets get out and go have drinks somewhere else