Good evening and welcome to the official launch party for Intertwingled. I’d like to thank my friends at Q LTD and The Understanding Group (TUG) for organizing and hosting this special event. I’d also like to thank my daughter for working the book booth. Claudia is an aspiring author herself, and I think it’s good for her to experience the dark underbelly of the publishing industry firsthand. And, thanks to all of you for being here this evening. It’s great to catch up with old friends and to make new ones.
Speaking of old, I turned 45 last week, and I realized that I’ve lived in Ann Arbor for 22 years, nearly half my life. Things were different when I arrived in 1992. I didn’t have a wife or kids or a dog. But I did have hair. And, back then, nobody was on the Internet. Except for Ed Vielmetti and some of his friends. In fact, it was so lonely that Lou and I had to build a company, Argus Associates, just so we’d have someone to talk to.
But that’s all changed. Ann Arbor has grown into a rich, vibrant community for user experience designers and information architecture geeks. I realized this during the first World IA Day in 2012 (organized by the folks at TUG). And my impression was reinforced at several UX Happy Hours this summer (organized by Megan Schwarz). We don’t need to travel to Silicon Valley. We can have great conversations right here.
I enjoyed one such conversation at a UX Happy Hour in June. Dan Cooney asked what my book is about. When I told him it’s a book about everything, he chortled. He didn’t believe me. But a while later, in the midst of a spirited discussion about classification, Buddhism, synesthesia, volleyball, and quantum entanglement, Dan paused and said:
Wow! Your book really is about everything!
The best part of this story is that the final chapter of my book was inspired by a brave talk Dan gave at World IA Day about how to make the world a better place. And that’s really what my book’s about. Our actions and beliefs have consequences. We change each other more than we know. We are all deeply intertwingled. That’s all I have to say. Thanks for your attention. Please enjoy this evening’s intertwingling.