MIX Online Brings Holiday Gifts EarlyDec 15, 2009 In News By Thomas Lewis
How it all began
MIX Online started as a companion to our yearly, Vegas-based MIX conference for designers and developers. A little over a year ago, we decided to expand from a video and text blog to a community site with a voice. Instead of having a traditional Microsoft site (product-driven, editorial, visual, etc.), we built a site that we would want to visit.
First, we added articles from influential, interesting web professionals speaking in their own voice about relevant, current scenarios. For the most part, we focused these articles on scenarios or stories, rather than technology.
Second,we went beyond talking about the web,to actually building stuff. We started to create freely downloadable, open source, and immediately useable prototypes based on scenarios like Microformats, data visualization, and web standards. These are now tools, services, and clients you can use in your own projects.
Third, we began writing Opinions on everything from Twitter and Facebook to HTML5. These are fun to write and give us a chance to hear your thoughts. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong, but the interaction with you is what we really like.
Enough with the history, bring on the gifts
Today we are announcing three new things:
- MIX Online Redesign – In typical designer fashion, we have redesigned the site—but it wasn’t just designer folly. We took feedback from you on readability, updated the IA to reflect our commitment to writings, made our event interactions more prominent, and finally said goodbye to our weird uncle, IE6. Nishant has written up a very eloquent summary of all the changes. I highly recommend you check it out.
- Incarnate Lab – Our new lab is called Incarnate, a service that lets you choose your avatar (e.g. the picture you use when you add a comment to a blog, etc.) from a variety of publically available social sources such as XBOX, YouTube, Twitter, and others by simply typing in your e-mail or handle.
- MIX10K Contest – As most web developers and designers know, projects are full of constraints. So we came up with a contest to see how creative folks could get with a 10-kilobyte Silverlight application. We’re now kicking off the MIX10K contest for this year’s conference. But this time, we’re including Web Standards-based and Gestalt-based apps in addition to Silverlight-based apps. We’re also planning to make the contest year-round and based on new technologies—from Microsoft, outside Microsoft (like jQuery), and MIX Online labs.
The last 3 months have been very busy for us, as we’ve worked to bring you a community you think is brutally awesome. We encourage you to write articles or work on our open-sourced labs. Drop us a line if you’re interested. And if you like, follow our Twitter account. More importantly, leave us a comment below. We hope to see you at the MIX conference.