macworld expo

Shuttering Macworld/iWorld

We received news today that IDG has shuttered Macworld/iWorld for 2015. IDG is calling it a hiatus but I can’t really see how, after they’ve shut it down, they will ever get the momentum necessary to start it again.

Like many in the community, I find this information heart wrenching. In our world of Apple geeks, we all are adept at connecting with each other via those screens on our desks and in our pockets. However, none of this digital communication comes close to the value of gathering the tribe once a year and breaking bread together in San Francisco.

In my case, I don’t make my living spending all day being MacSparky. I’ve got a day job. Every year, however, for one glorious week I get to lay down that mantle and just be a geek with the some of the best geeks on the planet. Macworld Expo has, for so many years, been my Mecca.

I don’t hold any hard feelings toward IDG over this. They are a business and someone looked at a spreadsheet and made a tough decision. I’ll be forever thankful to Paul Kent, Kathy Moran, and the rest of the gang at IDG that poured their lives into making the show an annual success. Most of all, I’ll be sad that I can’t go back next year.

At this point, I’m hoping that somebody figures out a way to do something like Macworld in the future. Our community needs an excuse to gather.

Macworld Photo Stream

In the past two days I've given five presentations and attended 4 parties. Other than that, I've not been doing much. Here's my photo stream from the Macworld show floor.

Macworld 2014

As I hit the publish button I’m cruising through the California central valley in the family minivan. I really love going to Macworld every year. I love all the geeky stuff on the show floor. I love the content and the parties. But most of all, I love meeting old friends and making new ones. I recently talked about Macworld with Chuck Joiner on his Mac Voices podcast.

If you are at Macworld this year and see me, please stop me and say hello, whether you are an old friend or a new one. If you are normally introverted, this is the time to put that aside and let your geek flag fly. We’re all family in Moscone at Macworld.

You can definitely find me at the following places:

Thursday, March 27

Drobo Booth, Show Floor, 1PM

Katie Floyd and I will be talking about how we use our Drobos.

Mac Power Users Workflows, 3PM, Room 133

Katie and I will be demonstrating some of our favorite workflows from five years of the Mac Power Users along with a few new ones.

Macworld Rapid Fire, 5:00 - 6:30 PM, Room 103

Imagine a room full of geeks, with each getting only 5 minutes to explain something cool. I’m one of the speakers and hoping to make my few minutes special.

Friday, March 28

Mac Roundtable, 11:30 AM, Show Floor

The Mac Roundtable is a collection of podcasters. We’ll be doing a live show on the show floor with Chuck Joiner riding heard.

Paperless, 2:00 PM, Room 123

Despite the book, I’ve never actually given a Paperless presentation at Macworld. That’ll change this year.

Saturday, March 29

App Camp for Girls, 10:00 AM

Jean MacDonald is running a 2 hour App Camp session starting at 10:00 AM. My family will be there in force with my wife and I helping Jean, my youngest daughter in the camp, and my oldest daughter shooting video.

The Incomparable Live, Computer Draft 12:00AM, Show Floor

The Incomparable podcast is recording a live session on Saturday where we’ll be doing a computer draft. This will be my first time on the Incomparable and have to admit, I’m pretty jacked up about it.

Bring Your Daughter to App Camp for Girls at Macworld/iWorld

App Camp for Girls and Macworld/iWorld are joining forces this year to offer a special App Camp for Girls on March 29 right in Moscone Center during Macworld. They are looking for girls 12 and up to come and learn about app development. If you were already thinking about going to Macworld, why not bring your daughter along so she can join in the geek-fest. That's what I'm doing. Girls planning on attending the App Camp can get a free pass with this link. 

Macworld/iWorld moves to Late March 2014

Next year’s Macworld/iWorld expo, previously scheduled for Superbowl weekend (January 31-February 2), just moved to March 27 through March 29, 2014. has the full story. While I have to admit I'd have no problem giving up the Super Bowl for Macworld, I'm not sure everyone would agree. I think this move is a good one. Moreover, the new date means I don't have to leave town on my wife's birthday.

I've written before that I believe Macworld has found its groove since Apple left. Moving the date further helps draw the distinction between the Macworld of old and the Macworld of now. It's no longer competing with CES. Instead, it takes place months later.

So now we've all got a year's notice and no excuse not to make plans to attend next March. It's just not right how much I enjoy attending Macworld every year.

Macworld Transformation

I'm writing this from my desk back at MacSparky headquarters having returned from another Macworld/iWorld conference and exposition. It seems to me the post-Apple transformation is complete.

When I first attended Macworld, it took up multiple halls and was a frantic, glorious, nerd-zoo. It took several days to walk all of the show floors and finding the gems between the iPod case manufacturers (Yes, I said iPod.) was like a geeky treasure hunt. (That is how I originally found 1Password when they had a very tiny stand hidden behind Apple's omni-presence.)

Then Apple left.

For the first few years after that, the show organizers had their work cut out for them convincing other large companies to stick with the show in light of Apple's departure and getting people to attend against a perception that the show was finished. I think they did a remarkable job in those first few years in just keeping the show going.

Over a period of time, however, Macworld didn't just survive. Macworld/iWorld found its groove.

Rather than focussing on Apple and its latest whizzy announcement, Macworld/iWorld has turned on itself focussing on attendees and users instead. There were numerous exhibits throughout Moscone showing off artwork created using Apple technologies.There was a constant stream of people playing music and creating. People stopped me in the hallway to ask about creating children's books. Users were playing drums and dancing. Macworld became a celebration of creative iFans.

The show is definitely more intimate. The exhibitors fill one hall now instead of two but there is even an upside to that . The exhibitor signal to noise ration has improved. Where you used to have to wade through 7 plastic case manufacturers to find one interesting product, that is no longer (excuse the pun) the case. Moreover, a lot of the case manufacturers that were present had interesting cases. (One included a bottle opener and had an app to keep track of exactly how many Heinekens you'd opened. I was so tempted to buy one of those and mail it off to Jim Dalrymple.) Another benefit of the intimacy of the show floor is that it is even easier for users to get through to decision makers and the programmers that make the products they love. When it comes to expositions, certainly bigger is better. However, as an attendee, I really enjoyed myself on the show floor.

The Macworld/iWorld organizers also lowered the price of the iFan pass making it easier to get into the conferences. It is now much more reasonable to take classes from some really smart people and a few goofy ones. I couldn't believe I filled the room for my iBooks Author session. Moreover, the room had this kumbaya feel that made talking about iBooks Author an absolute joy.

And then there was the social piece. Making friends with complete strangers that share a love of all things Apple and catching up with old friends is an absolute joy. To all my friends (new and old) that I met with at Macworld, thank you for giving me an amazing experience.

I am thrilled with this new Macworld and hope it continues many years into the future. Speaking as someone who has a day job, I find my yearly pilgrimage to Moscone Center absolutely necessary for my sanity. My thanks and gratitude go to Paul Kent, Kathy Moran, and everyone else at IDG for making it happen.

Below are several more pictures from Day 3 at Macworld.

Macworld: Day 2

Yesterday was a lot of fun at Macworld. Katie and I did a live episode on the show floor and I later gave my iBooks Author session, which was well attended by several budding authors. In the evening I attended the Cirque du Mac show and the Macworld AllStars were in great, as always. Too much fun.

Today I'll be at the Transporter booth at 10am, then I'll be talking about self publishing with Serenity Caldwell, Scott Simpson, and Adam Engst at 2pm on the second floor on the Macworld Magazine stage, and at the Smile booth at 3pm to close the show out. If you are at Macworld today, stop by and say hello.

Macworld: Day 1

Yesterday I got to explore some of the exhibit hall. I found several interesting vendors including one who is making a bow attachment for the iPhone. That 's right. A bow. As in nerdy Hunger Games.

I also did a session on workflows with Katie Floyd, Brett Terpstra, and Jeff Taekman that was well attended.

Then I went over to the Cartoon Art Museum where we did the OmniFocus Setup and the Debut. I had so much fun there, meeting some of my favorite bloggers and several very nice people who read or listen the Mac Power Users. It never ceases to amaze me smart our audience is. It is humbling.

OmniFocus 2 is really great. The new version makes a lot of OmniFocus's power features much more accessible on the Mac withouth removing the applications upper end power tools. I know first hand how hard they've been working on this and it shows. The Omni Group is going to post video of the event and a lot more information soon so I'm going to wait for them before linking it but if you are an OmniFocus user you are in for a treat.

Today, Katie and I are doing a live podcast on the show floor and I'm talking about iBooks Author at 5. If you're at Macworld, make sure to stop by and say hello. Here are some pictures from yesterday.

Macworld: Day 0

Yesterday I travelled to San Francisco and got settled in for Macworld. I was really fantastic connecting up with all the friends I only see once a year. Moscone Center looks great and I'm looking forward to speaking and exploring today. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday as preparation were under way.

Macworld 2013

We are just a few days shy of Macworld and I can hardly wait. This year I feel more than ever that I need to get away and be among my MacSparky friends for a few days. I am really looking forward to this trip. I'm also going to be pretty busy. Here's my schedule:

Thursday 12am - Mac Workflows with Macworld Magazine

This is at the Macworld Magazine booth on the second floor with Katie Floyd, Brett Terpstra, and Jeff Taekman. This will be a dense session with lots of great information.

2pm - The OmniFocus Setup

I'll be over at the Cartoon Art Museum talking with a bunch of other smart people about OmniFocus

7pm - The OmniFocus 2 Debut

Join me, Merlin Mann, Ken Case, and some of the people from Omni as we look at the OmniFocus 2.


1pm - Mac Power Users Live Show

Katie and I will be on the main show floor doing a live Mac Power Users show. We'll be doing lots of audience interaction and it will be fun.

5pm - iBooks Author Survival Guide Session

I'm going to give a presentation on how I use iBooks Author and my experience with the iBookstore.


10am - Transporter Booth

I'm going to be at the Transporter booth talking about their great new product.

2pm - Self-Publishing Talk with Macworld Magazine

This is at the Macworld Magazine booth on the second floor with Adam Engst, Serenity Caldwell, and Marco Arment.

3pm - Meet the Podcasters with Smile

Katie and I will be at the Smile booth talking about how we use Smile apps and otherwise just having fun. This will be just a few hours before the show floor closes and I can think of no better place to close the show out.

To learn about the activities of some of my favorite writers and podcasters listen to this week's Mac Roundtable.

If you're at Macworld, please stop by and say hello. I love meeting readers and listeners. That is my primary reason for going to Macworld.

Also, if you're an introvert (I certainly fit in that category), I'm telling you right now that MacWorld is the place for you to burst out of that shell. Make yourself uncomfortable and introduce yourself to people and make some new friends. You're among family at Macworld and you won't regret it. I'll see you in San Francisco.

Macworld 2013: Free Tickets for MacSparky Readers

It's already January and Macworld/iWorld is just a few weeks away. If you are near San Francisco at the end of the month, you should go. Macworld is one of the highlights of my year, every year. It is a place where Mac geeks rein supreme and the guy behind you in the sandwich line just may be able to teach you some AppleScript.

I'll be posting again as the event gets closer about my goings on. For now, I'm certain I'll be at the OmniFocus Setup and Debut on Thursday the 31st, my Macworld session on iBooks author Friday February 1st at 5pm, and at the Smile booth Saturday February 2 at 3pm. I'm doing more and will post it all when schedules get set.

In the meantime I've got access to this magic link that gets a free exhibit hall pass or an iFan pass for just $50. (The iFan pass is the way to go, by the way.)

I know I sound like a broken record on this last point but if you do go, make sure to make new friends and introduce yourself to people. If you see me, I expect a "hello". At Macworld you are among family.

Macworld 2012: Don't Miss Entertainment Workflows with Rob Corddry

Preparations are moving along for next week’s live Mac Power Users episode with actor, writer, and producer Rob Corddry. There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t miss this session if you are in the bay area Friday.

First, Rob is a swell guy and really funny. Adding Merlin Mann to the mix is only going to make it better. This will be one of the most entertaining sessions at Macworld.

Second, Rob has a great story to share. When the writer’s strike hit a few years ago, Rob decided to take his life-long geek tendencies and harness them to make himself more productive. Much of the entertainment industry is a mess when it comes to getting its shit together. Rob is a trail blazer. He is using Apple technologies to kick some serious ass and it’s working. We’re going to talk all about it.

Rob is flying up to San Francisco just for the purpose of sharing his story. We are going to have a full agenda and use all the minutes. Rob, Merlin, Katie, and I are, however, going to stick around afterwards to answer questions. If you are in the building, don’t miss this session.

The Details:
Mac Power Users Entertainment Workflows TT964
Friday January 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Macworld Video

There are video clips from some of my Macworld talks:

MacPowerUsers Live Session Excerpts

Unfortunately, the video of the whole session didn’t happen. Our friend, Steven Sheridan, did post some of his Video to YouTube.

OmniFocus Talk

OmniGraffle Talk

The sessions I did at the Omni Booth felt a bit disjointed. Nevertheless, I’ve received several very kind notes so maybe I’m too critical. On a related note, the OmniFocus Ninja screencast is coming along swimmingly and I should have the first segment (Capture) out soon.

Also, the OmniFocus “Snooze” script is courtesy of Dan Byler and can be found here. Make sure to thank Dan for putting this together.