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Portigal Consulting year in review, 2009 December 22nd, 2009

It’s been a busy year and as we head into the home stretch, looking forward to 2010 (supposedly the year we make contact), we wanted to take a look back at the past 12 months and call out some of the highlights.

Previously: Our 2008 review

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ChittahChattah Quickies December 6th, 2009
  • Profile of Hollywood dialect coach Tim Monich – Until the advent of television news, we had little idea about how people spoke in other regions and so there was little expectation (or awareness) among viewers for authentic accents in film.
  • Authenticity in languages for science-fiction films – Among discerning science-fiction movie fans, however, expectations are more sophisticated now when it comes to alien tongues, and for that we have the Berkeley-trained linguist Marc Okrand to thank. Okrand worked as a consultant on the “Star Trek” films, and his crowning glory is the development of Klingon, the most fully realized science-fiction language devised thus far.
  • In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent – Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man’s attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon, which was nothing more than a television show’s attempt to create a tough-sounding language befitting a warrior race with ridged foreheads. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries.
  • Deborah Solomon’s questions for Jeff Bezos – Q: What do you say to Kindle users who like to read in the bathtub?
    A: I’ll tell you what I do. I take a one-gallon Ziploc bag, and I put my Kindle in my one-gallon Ziploc bag, and it works beautifully. It’s much better than a physical book, because obviously if you put your physical book in a Ziploc bag you can’t turn the pages. But with Kindle, you can just push the buttons.
    Q: What if you dropped your Kindle in the bathtub?
    A: If it’s sealed in a one-gallon Ziploc bag? Why don’t you try that experiment and let me know.
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Where I’ll Be Speaking February 23rd, 2008

I’ll be teaching a one-day class on Design Research Methods on March 1, in Sunnyvale, CA. There’s a couple of spots still available, so if you want to contribute to a sell-out, it’s not too late!

You can see a longer version of my talk about improv and ethnography at the IDSA Southern Conference in Savannah, GA, March 6-8. See a previous talk here.

I’ll also be in Atlanta, en route to Savannah, and would love to meet up with people in that area to chat about the work we do and look for ways we might help you.

I’ll be giving a presentation called The Listener’s Journey at the Computer Market Analysis Group meeting at Intuit in Mountain View, CA, on March 13-14.

I will talk about international market research at the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association Morning Forum on March 18, in Burlingame, CA.

I will be giving a workshop on best practices in analysis and synthesis at the Second Annual eBay Visits Event on March 21, in San Jose, CA.

I will be giving a talk and hosting a workshop at a design research symposium at the College of Design at Arizona State University, April 11-13 in Tempe, AZ. I’ll be spending a day in Phoenix beforehand and would love to meet with people there explore ways we might be able to help your business.

Let me know if you’ll be at any of these events!

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Steve at Shift! IDSA Northeastern District at RISD March 12th, 2007

I will be speaking (topic: Seventeen Ways To Not Suck At Research)) at the IDSA Northeast District Conference, held at the Rhode Island School of Design on April 20-22. My presentation will be on Sunday, April 22. I’m hoping to swing through Boston on my way out to Providence.

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About, With, and Fopr September 10th, 2002

I’ll be speaking at the About, With, and For conference at ID in Chicago on October 19.

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