Inspiration on Tap at SxSW

I’ve been back from Austin for a few days now and I’m still floating from a week of inspiration and fun. Not even a weekend of taxes has broken the spirit of SxSW.

Things kicked off at Buffalo Billiards on Friday night as I reunited with some of the great friends I made last year. It was like no time had passed at all. For me and so many others, SxSW is more about real human interaction than anything else.

This year was bigger than ever. With between eight and nine different tracks, there were way too many good things going on at the same time, all the time. It was frustrating to choose between things like “Field Guide to Design Inspiration” and “The Influence of Art and Design“. All I can do is await the podcasts of the panels I missed.

Twitter became suddenly very useful because you never had to wonder what everyone was doing at any given time. Speaking of twitter, I believe I may have coined a new term:

twitterlanche
What happens when turning on your mobile device after it has been turned off for an extended period of time during a major social event.

When I turned on my phone after landing in Austin, I had to dig out from the twitterlanche.

SxSW Take Two

I’m sitting here at Gate A9 in SJC waiting for the nonstop to AUS. My two week whirlwind tour of the southwest continues as I make my way to SxSW Interactive 2007. Waiting with me are Kent Brewster and the Pipes guys from Yahoo! and Jeremy Gillick from PayPal. I am sure more than half the plane will be filled with conference attendees. Even though we have yet to board the plane, it feels like SxSW has already begun.

Southwest Migration

It’s that time of year again. The annual migration to the desert and beyond. First stop is Scottsdale, AZ. The 2007 PDGA National Tour kicks off with one of the year’s greatest events, The Memorial. The tournament runs Friday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 4th.

I’m heading down tonight to get some practice in on the two outstanding courses. If you’re in the area, you should really check it out. The very best that disc golf has to offer will be there. Sadly, I can’t count myself as one of them; I’m just a lowly amateur. But you can still follow my progress online with live round-by-round scoring.

This is such a great time to be in Arizona. With spring training kicking into high gear, and the rest of the country digging themselves out of the white stuff, there is no place on earth that I’d rather be.

Once the tournament is over I’ll be back in San Jose, CA just long enough to do some laundry and pack my bags for Austin, TX and the 2007 SxSW Interactive conference. I’ll post my schedule next week and talk a little bit about what panel discussions and presentations that I’m particularly interested in and highlight some of the can’t miss extracurriculars as well. Stay tuned!

LinkedIn Launches hResume

It is with great pleasure that I announce LinkedIn has republished all Public Profiles marked up in the hResume microformat.

LinkedIn has approximately 9 million registered users. By default, a user’s Public Profile is set to Basic View. The Basic View consists of the following information (the relevant hResume fields are emphasized):

  • name
  • current job title
  • geographic region
  • number of recommendations
  • number of connections
  • industry

While the user has the ability to turn off Public Profile publishing altogether, only a small percentage have chosen to do so and with just the information listed above, the minimum requirement for hResume is met. In essence, we just launched ~9 million hResumes.

Admittedly, the information in Basic View amounts to little more than a glorified hCard. It’s when you choose to activate Full View that hResume really gets a workout. In Full View we are able to implement just about everything available to us in the hResume schema:

  • summary
  • contact info
  • experience
  • education
  • affiliations

If you’re familiar with the hResume draft schema, you will notice that the missing fields are skills and publications.

Unfortunately, in this first pass, we were unable to mark up skills according to the hResume specification. This is because we’ve always allowed free-form text for what we call “specialties” and while all of our examples show a comma delimited list of of keywords, it’s not enforced and a lot of users use this area for prose. Also, because hResume skills use rel-tag, we may end up needing to create our own tag space which isn’t trivial and will require significant work on our end. So in lieu of that, I’ve decided to mark up LinkedIn “specialties” with:

<p class="skills">HTML, XHTML, CSS, DOM, JavaScript, W3C, web standards, front-end engineering, user interface development, user-centered design, usability, accessibility, semantic markup, microformats, unobtrusive JavaScript, DOM scripting</p>

As for publications, we currently don’t have a field for that, but that’s something we could easily add in the future.

Another thing to note is the way we’re handling an experience without an end-date. In other words, how do we communicate “present”? In a discussion with Brian Suda, we thought that using a time/date stamp might be a novel way to handle the problem. So for a current experience, without an end date, we use the class of dtstamp and the current date for the value. The markup looks like this:

<p class="period"> <abbr class="dtstart" title="2006-11-01">November 2006</abbr> — <abbr class="dtstamp" title="2007-01-26">Present</abbr> <abbr class="duration" title="P3M">(3 months)</abbr> </p>

Something else worth mentioning is affiliations. LinkedIn has two ways of handling this natively. First, we allow free-form text entry for general Groups and Associations on a users profile. Second, we have the formal LinkedIn for Groups feature. In this first pass it is only the latter that gets marked up as an hResume affiliation. I hope to expand this in the future so that both entry methods get marked up as affiliations.

So it’s a pretty big day for hResume! My hope is that this is a significant step towards elevating hResume from a draft into formal specification.

I guess you could say the nucleus of this event was born back on September 21st, 2006 when lead Web Developer and one of LinkedIn’s founding team members, Chris Saccheri, sent me a LinkedIn Introduction asking if I would be interested in exploring an opportunity to join the LinkedIn team. Indeed I was, and one of the driving factors in my decision was the fact that Chris had already embraced microformats and was publishing LinkedIn data in hCard, XFN and hReview. I’d be hard-pressed to find another opportunity that would allow me to work not just on microformats in general, but specifically hResume, which I’ve had a love affair with since its inception. It’s a testament to what a great place it is to work that I’ve been given the chance to accomplish this in my first couple of months here. I’m thrilled to be playing a part in the ongoing evolution of helping you build and manage your trusted professional network and promote your career online.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Brian Suda for taking the time to work with me on this over the holidays. He is a pillar of the microformats community and his involvement has been both invaluable and inspirational. Thanks also to Chris Messina who has been a cheerleader for the adoption of microformats at LinkedIn over the past several months. And finally, thank you to Ryan King, Tantek Çelik, James Levine of SimplyHired and Kevin Marks for planting the seeds.

I’m sure there are some things I’m forgetting, so if you have questions, please let me know. Any and all feedback is appreciated!

P.S. To turn on Full View in your LinkedIn Public Profile, just log in and go to My Profile > Public Profile and select Full View and Save Changes.

P.P.S. The Public Profile is delivered as XHTML 1.0 transitional. It doesn’t validate at the present time because of various legacy systems that contribute to the overall output. There are plans to correct this, but it’s nothing that HTML Tidy can’t handle in the interim.

Change of Place

In case you haven’t heard, last week I left PayPal to join LinkedIn.

Leaving PayPal was the single most difficult decision I’ve had to make in my career. I am really going to miss the incredible people and the endless opportunities that I’ve been blessed with over the last 15 months. It’s been one great experience after another and I am truly sorry I had to leave. The good news is that Kimberly Blessing of WaSP is taking over the Web Development Platform helm at PayPal and there are few people better than Kimberly at evangelizing Web standards in large corporate environments. It’s comforting to know that the work I started at PayPal will be taken to all new heights under her watch.

And now on to the next adventure. The team at LinkedIn has welcomed me with open arms. It’s so nice to be back in a startup environment and I’m excited to jump into social networking with both feet. When I started building a structured resume almost a year ago, I never imagined it would lead to this. I can’t tell you how stoked I am to have the opportunity to work on hResume and other microformats. I hope to have a little more time to write about my work in that area so stay tuned!

IE7 Bug: min-width input

I’ve searched and have yet to find any mention of this, so excuse me if this is already public knowledge.

It appears as though IE7 applies the min-width value as width on input elements with type attribute values of button, reset, and submit.

Example: http://steve.ganz.name/examples/Forms/min-width-input.html

According to the CSS 2.1 specification, min-width can be applied to all elements but non-replaced inline elements, table rows, and row groups. As far as I can tell, the input element is a replaced element so min-width should apply.