Weeknotes Week 034

Not that I'm going to spend the weekend without working, but it's really a relief to have made it to Friday. After a long week I barely have a voice left.

Marco has been lining up some overseas speaking gigs in the early part of 2010 as well as revamping our one page description of HDL. The dreaded "one-pager" is an essential tool that we are constantly tweaking – sometimes just a word here or there, sometimes renovating entire paragraphs, or adjusting type and layout. When you only have a page to make your pitch every little bit matters. By next September we'll probably have a ream's worth of outdated one-pagers.

We've been on the phone with Singapore, San Francisco, Cambridge, MA, and London this week. Mostly taking care of last minute arrangements for the trip that Justin and I embark on next Tuesday. We'll host a dinner during the ICSID World Congress in Singapore to introduce some folks there to HDL. If you plan to be at the ICSID event let us know.

Today was also a mini-milestone in that we received two tenders for our new website. There was a third team invited, but they decided to back out of the running. Navigating the procurement process has been a new experience for me personally, but one that I am enjoying. We're treating it like a design problem and that small brain trick makes it easier for a couple of trained architects to figure it out.

We finally stopped talking about the long list of people we would like to have join us and actually started putting it in Excel. A little wrangling, a few formulas, and some conditional cell styling later and we have a useful tool which helps us tweak the mix so that all our bases are covered. Are the genders balanced? Do we have enough non-designers (about 60%, for what it's worth)? Where do our guests hail from?

This gets at a bigger question: when curating a mix of people you're really talking about individuals who each bring with them a unique vocabulary, set of perspectives, and inclinations that represent a larger subculture. It's really an assembly of representatives, in a way. Of course the people make are what matters, but our event is as much about a conference of communities as it is about exchanges on the individual level. Or maybe I've been reading too much Peter Sloterdijk.