Armadillo Studios Inc.

SXSW08: Blame Canada

Two years ago, South By Southwest was sparsely attended by only a handful of Canadians. Even worse there was only a mere three attendees from Calgary and the Southern Alberta region. This year there was an encouraging boost in the number of Canadians at the conference. Even more encouraging was the dramatic increase in the number of Calgarians and viable Calgary centric corporations. Companies like “istockphoto”:, “veer”:, “DigitalArts Alberta”:, and “Cambrian House”: had a strong presence at the conference.

One of the most explosive and interesting panels from Monday’s SXSW session was the “Blame Canada Panel”: which explored the 7 reasons Canada is ahead in New Media Development. Containing five, top new media experts in Canada, the panel spoke to the largely Canadian audience about the advantages and disadvantages of startups in Canada. It explored the dynamics of a small population base, spread out over a large landmass. It also explored the many benefits of our strong government supported initiatives. Including the important S.R.E.D fund.

But the real fireworks came at the end of the session, when a challenge regarding Canada’s _actual industry presence_ was brought fourth. Which brought up some valid points on Canada’s percentile representation at SXSW and our representation in the Industry as a success. Many valid points were presented on both sides. By the end of the session a strong sense of accomplishment and _we can do more_ was really explored.

As a company based in Southern Alberta, it was very interesting to connect and see some of the strong activity occurring in Calgary. It was a great opportunity to meet with the people from “Digital Alberta”: and see the strong work they are doing to promote the industry in Southern Alberta.

SXSW08: Guess the Web Site?

One of the most interesting panels from Day Two of SXSW came courtesy of a very unique and oddly compelling web site.

So rather than detail the web site, we thought it would be funnier to play a little guess game. So let’s see if you can guess the web site based on these points.

This site has *9 full time and part-time employees*.
*1.5 Million unique visitors* a day
*2 Terra Bites* of Traffic
*4 Full Time Developers*
Hosted and powered by *WordPress*

Can you guess the web site?

Oddly enough the web site is “”:

icanhasacheezburger specializes in ridiculous and humorous photos of cats. Oddly enough it has created such a strong following that it has one of the vocal and loyal fan bases on the internet. Based solely on one ridiculous photo, the web site is now a full-fledged business.

The lesson to learn from these young entrepreneur is that any idea, no matter who ridiculous can be profitable. If it fills a much needed niche it can be a profitable entity.

SXSW08: Be a Chef

The first day of panels is over and it was a very informative day.

Some of the highlights of the day include:

– A beautiful presentation by “Naz Hamid”: on *design and details*. His portfolio is amazing and just a quick look at his work provides hours of inspiration.

– A showing of the *latest version of the Content Management System* – “Expression Engine 2.0”: In an effort to provide our clients with the simplest and most comfortable tools, we are continuously looking for an easy to use content management system at a lower cost.

Expression Engine 2.0 looks to utilize one of the simplest user interfaces that we have come across. It also appears to be one of the most powerful CMS’ we’ve encountered. After watching the demo, we will be examining EE 2.0 and seeing if it is the right fit for our service.

As web designers we are always looking to balance great design and usability with low costs. So EE 2.0 could be a new feature for our company.

– Last, but not least it was the guru of “37signals”:, Jason Fried’s discussion on “collaboration and business decisions”: As always Fried had brilliant insight. One of the key points from his session was the idea of *Being a Chef*.

The point being; the most famous chef’s in the world _are the ones that reveal their secrets_. Whether it’s through cookbooks, online recipes or cooking shows. These chefs reveal their expertise, to market themselves as the best in the world.

As a web design studios we greatly encourage our clients to use their web sites as a tool to share their expertise; thereby marketing themselves to potential customers as experts in the field. Whether it’s through “monthly cooking tips”:, “oil and gas industry specific articles”: or showcasing your “ice boating expertise”:, your web site can be a valuable tool to showcase your expertise to potential customers.

Day Two begins tomorrow and we promise more pictures, more insight and more interesting web sites for your enjoyment.

SXSW08: SXSW Interactive 2008

2008 marks the first year that *Armadillo Studios Inc.*, will be attending the “SXSW Interactive Festival”: in Austin, Texas.

Primarily known for the later Music portion of the festival, the SXSW Interactive Conference is an important industry wide event. With companies such as Google, Adobe, Threadless, Yahoo!, Veer, IstockPhoto and 37signals attending; this event is the place for the small and the large players in the industry to discuss trends and the future of the internet.

Armadillo is thrilled to be attending this years event. Not only will we represent Southern Alberta; but we also plan on learning a bit, making some contacts and bring back the latest trends for our beloved clients.

Starting *Friday morning* we will be web logging the entire conference. Be sure to check back for some great pictures and even better video to show everyone the latest and greatest from Austin.