Tuesday, May 01, 2007

more MIX sessions available online

If you're a web designer or developer and you're not following MIX 07 online, you should. There are some incredible discussions taking place in the keynotes and everybody seems to have a demo application built with Silverlight (such as today's BBC Radio One). It is clear from the energy and momentum at this year's event that a new era of interactive applications is upon us.

Not everyone is convinced that the technology being showcased at MIX is going to change the world, though. Andrew Rashbass, Producer and Editor for the Economist, participated in a panel discussion at the end of today's Robby Bach keynote where he delivered some much needed contrast to all of the rabid excitement being generated at MIX. In the panel, he reminded the group of marketing execs that technology does not create engagement. Rather, it is the content delivered by the technology that creates the engagement. And while Robby Bach made the point in his keynote that the tools (or technology) are becoming an integral part of the message (or content), Rashbass's point is undeniably true. New technologies like Silverlight and WPF still need good content to be effective.

This may seem like an obvious point, but I think many developers get caught up in the excitement of shows like MIX and forget some of the basics. Silverlight will be a great technology for creating new engaging web experiences, but Silverlight alone won't make your project successful. Nor can you take an exisiting application and "silverlight it" and expect an engaging experience. The tools being introduced at MIX need to be carefully combined with compelling content to truly deliver the next generation experiences everyone is talking about. This is not like the evolutionary step of adding Ajax to your applications. This is a revolutionary change.

But don't take my word for it. Get it straight from the source. Due to its sold out status, MIX is making all sessions (that's right, breakouts too) available online 24 hours after the session (at the latest). Visit the official sessions page to browse the available videos or subscribe to the RSS to get the latest updates. To get started, I recommend Scott Guthrie's keynote from Monday and Robby Bach's keynote today. Enjoy.