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Our 10 Favorite Videos of 2011

on December 19, 2011

The year is wrapping up and while I posted Our 10 Funniest Videos of 2011, I also wanted to post our favorite non-funny yet really interesting, videos. Here they are.

1. A tour of an IndyCar steering wheel

This year Spark Media Solutions began covering IndyCar Racing. While we loved interviewing all the drivers, the geek in me wanted to learn more about the technology. Here’s a very simple explanation of all the buttons and readouts on an IndyCar steering wheel as explained by an engineer on Simona de Silvestro’s racing team.

2. The Best of the SocialDevCamp Hackathon

By putting a severe time limit on an open-ended project it forces the participant to rise to their fullest potential or completely give up and fail. That is the architecture of a hackathon and it always makes a great story. For 36 hours at SocialDevCamp in Chicago I followed all the participants as they struggled to come up with an idea, work with their team, parse out responsibilities, execute, and present their project without failing. Oh yes, and do all that with little sleep and very little bathing. This nine-minute video tells the whole story.

3. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you about development?

At the same conference with the SocialDevCamp hackathon, I asked the throngs of developers about tips they learned that inspired them to become developers. Some really great tips here, even if you’re not a developer.

4. What do you wish you knew about web development two years ago that you know today?

At the Future of Web Apps conference in Las Vegas I got the developers to admit to past development failures that make a lot more sense today. Had they only known, development would have been a lot easier.

5. My interviews with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS

Here are my interviews with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley after they broke the record for the most global online conversation using Ortsbo, a real-time chat translation tool. Both incredibly nice guys, and I learned that Gene Simmons has never uttered the phrase, “No comment.” He’s literally got an opinion on everything.

6. How do you energize word of mouth?

Word of mouth is arguably the best form of advertising. At an event Spark Media Solutions produced for Zuberance, the brand advocacy champions, I asked attendees what techniques they use to get people to talk about their product.

7. What game inspired you to be a game developer?

Game developers were gamers before they became game developers. For most, it took the inspiration of a certain game to become a game developer. At the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco I asked attendees, “What game inspired you to be a game developer?”

8. Andy Ihnatko’s take on Apple’s iPad 2 launch

Andy Ihnatko is a well known tech journalist and author, specifically about Macs and Apple. The two of us went to junior high together. While we knew each other when we were 13, we didn’t reconnect until both of us entered the world of tech journalism. Now, once a year, at MacWorld, Andy and I reconnect at the conference and I often get him on camera to talk about whatever the hot issue is in the world of Macs. This year, it was the introduction of the iPad2.

9. RSA Conference 2011: End of show report

The RSA Conference is the biggest conference every year about IT security. Everyone and everything in the industry is discussed at this event. Here’s my 5-minute summary of the event.

10. How to make your product go viral

A little known conference in the tech world is ICIS. It’s held every year in December, a poor time for conferences, but a great time for educators who are on winter break. This conference is for people who research and teach technology to young people entering the IT workforce. One of the people I spoke to was a doctoral student at NYU who had done some interesting research on online contagion.

Stock photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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