Every year, San Francisco company Adaptive Path hosts a conference called UX Week, and I sometimes get to go for a day or so. This year, I was at the opening and the closing days of the conference, and they were awesome! Its so great to be gathered with hundreds of user experience designers, information architects, and content strategists (like me) to hear about the cool new stuff that's happening in the world of user experience - not just online, but in real-world applications too. It's always inspriring and fun.
The first speaker on Friday was Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. He spoke for 45 minutes about how the web is creating more human interaction and bringing us closer. Despite the LOLcats, dangerous Craigslist hookups, and anonymous viciousness of YouTube commenters, the Web is helping us forge connections and find meaning and identity in the world. Here is another talk he gave, very similar to the UX Week one.
He created this wonderful thought-provoking movie, which he showed parts of. After his talk, I found the whole thing. I wasn't the only one; I saw many people running this video on their laptops and iPads.
Adaptive Path will have video of the 2010 speakers up soon, (here are the 2009 presentations), and if you just watch one, please watch Michael Wesch's presentation. People - including me - were actually getting teary!