Flash from FlashForward in NYC
Part 2 - The King of Flash, there is no higher!
Daily report - 7/25/00
Day two, FlashForward2000, New York City, Adobe finds a way to make legions of Flash designers happy. No, they didn't announce Photoshop 6, and nor did they make any amends about their digs on Flash in yesterdays Keynote. Instead they threw a party. But that was the end of the day, let's take a look at the beginning instead.
With out a keynote to start the day, FF2K had five sessions today, and they offered something for all the Flash addicts in attendance. I, along with Pat from FlashAddict.com took in the sessions with our usual gusto. First off we went to the Flash Optimization session. Speaker David Baldeschwieler took the tip hungry audience through a series of smart and insightful techniques to making Flash files smaller. As Flash designers we all need to remember that less than 10% of the Internet has high speed access. Making small, smart Flash files is an important part of our jobs.
Next we stopped in to New Flash tools to see what was cooking in the ever growing field of Flash tools. Let me tell you that I was impressed. Folks at Macromedia, RealNetworks, Swish, SwiftTools, Vecta3D, KillerSound.com and Apple had the crowd in the main ballroom floored as they showed off their wares. One developer received a chorus of boos though, when they announced that they did not plan a Mac version of their tool. You would think that companies would notice that top Flash designers prefer the Mac for development. I hope that this does not become a trend, ignoring the Mac in the design business is not the way to run a business. Pat and I also stopped in to see Jason Coleman show off an amazing sample of an eCommerce system. Very impressive.
After a poorly planned lunch, where some attendees never saw the 'waiters' and left to find food elsewhere, the afternoon sessions began. We stopped into the 3D Flash session and again were blown away by the samples on the big screen. Then Pat and I stopped into the main sponsor room, where we enjoyed a chat with the folks from ElectricRain, makers of Swift3D. These guys had a great promotion at the show, asking attendees to make a wireframe sculpture out of 36 inches of copper wire. impressive newcomer FlashCards.com was at the show demoing their new online card site. Their cards just blew us away, great animation that will make hallmark look like a thing of the past. FlashCards.com was also looking for Flash developers, and they have the right attitude to get them.
The final session for the day was Advanced Flash Production with Colin Moock and Amit Pitaru. Anyone looking for excellent insight into Flash and everything that goes with producing Flash content online should have attended. Just fantastic. Pat and I also had the chance to talk to Lynda Weinman about the conference, and about her wonderful training that she offers (see Lynda.com). If you want to get up to speed on Flash, check out her site for info on their training options.
Macromedia showed great insight into the needs of Flash with their rogue session 'A Conversation on Usability.' This session was announce only in the Keynote, and Pat and I had a bitch of a time finding it. Even the FF2K staff didn't know where it was. It was well worth the hunt as serious discussion among a small group was a welcome change from the one to many style of most of the sessions. Macromedia's director of Flash Community, Matt Wobensmith, showed class and foresight leading this session. The development team for Flash also was there, showing their interest too. A in depth report will be posted to the Flazoom.com news page in the next few days.
Adobe won back the appreciation of Flash designers by throwing a shin-dig that blew the roof away. Headlining the night in the Roxy were the Kings of Rap, the first Rap group to get the cover of Rolling Stone, Run DMC. I have been a fan of Run DMC for years, and being next to the stage for the show was a mind-blowing high. As their reputation suggests, Run DMC had the whole place on their feet bouncing and cheering. My personal highlight of the evening was meeting Jam Master Jay and having him sign my Flazoom.com postcard. That beat the excitement of the Flash 5 announce hands down, for me.