Hope your conference is going well - wish I was there etc. etc.
It is a lovely sunrise here in Adelaide, South Australia - as you enjoy your afternoon tea break on day 1 of the conference. The purpose of this post is to give you all some feedback on how it feels 'attending' your conference remotely.
My 'flickrfox' images of photos tagged 'net2' are clearly picking up conference action, including a really interesting shot 'greg proves he is awake' - a man looking at a clock.
Some of the brief / rough liveblog notes from sessions (e.g. Marnie's)
The "latest and greatest" in open source devleopment for non-profits session was excellent, but I won't try to summarize. Way too much discussed, most of which I understood, some of which I simply missed. (And notes are of no help. I can't listen and write. I don't have the enthusiasm anymore. I keep imagining Alan Bennett at one of these things. Or better, trying to explain this stuff to him over lunch at a monastery ruin.)
One great line that stood out from the opening of the session: "Go forth and deploy!" I.e, dive in. Funny thing is that is EXACTLY what we've done with Manila since 2000 at <a xhref="http://www.bayareawritingproject.org">BAWP</a>. Looking back from the perspective of some of the deployment challenges mentioned in this workshop, we haven't done badly at all. Big question is, where do we go next? Open Source solution like Drupal makes sense based on what the presenters said here. OS communities of active developers, downloads and forums. A chance to avoid duplication of efforts (nice example of VolunteerMatch and HandsOn Network - 80% of the same stuff needed for both organizations yet 5 years ago each was alone in its development efforts, granting that such a challenge might have been an impossible challenge for open source at that point). Lots said about the need for the intermediary agencies (what Kern County Superintendent of Schools web team has played for us, an Application Service Provider). The fact is that to engineer something you need money. And it helps to no end if you have a fundamental need and some sort of notion of how the software might work to accomplish what it is you want to accomplish. Loved this comment (paraphrased): "Hey if it works for social change and it's Microsoft, so what? That's what differentiates this Open Source conversation from a commerical vendor conversation. Bravo for MS! Next topic?"
This is Mike Lawrence, of Computer Using Educators, live blogging from netsquared. This session is being led by Erik Collier of Ask.com, Chris Heuer of BrainJams, Beth Kanter of beth.typepad.com, and Marshall Kirkpatrick of netsquared (immoderator).
The topic of this session is tagging and aggregators and their use in the non-profit world.
Interesting tidbit - 5%-10% of adults read RSS feeds.
I'm Sarah Pullman and I'm blogging live from the session on distributed grassroots marketing. The speakers are Elisa Camahort, Tara Hunt, Chris Messina, and it's being moderated by Marnie Webb. I'm definitely not catching everything and it won't all be totally correct but I hope you'll forgive me and find it useful anyway. :)
Elisa Camahort of BlogHer Conference
Speaks about how they made the website badge for BlogHer, and people totally took them and ran with them. Made up all kinds of spin-offs.
Best conversations happen in the hallways at these things. Grabbed a hallway lunch with Roland Tanglao who I think I met for the first time at the Harvard bloggerCon thing in 2003. I caught him up-to-date on my continuing use of Manila / Frontier for Galileo, BAWP and NWP. We agreed that it's a great CMS. But for my part, I was asking "Where's it going?" When I get a bunch of users at BAWP or NWP, how do I offer it as a solution avialble beyond our KCSOS ASP? Turns out he's working with Bryght on developing Drupal as a CMS for clients. Hmmm.
There has always been knowledge available in our communities. The challenge is to give people a tool to make that knowledge available to the rest of the world...promote those tools and teach people how to use them. Another challenge for countries like Macedonia is to get teachers/professors use wiki-like tools in their everyday work and also foster the usage of wiki-tools by students. Again how to promote wiki as an educational tool in a society where the internet and ICT are considered very"difficult, complex and sophisticated" remains the biggest problem. The way knowledge is accessed has changed, tools for learning and accessing knowledge have changed, everything has changed, but in developing countries we use the same tools, same methods as we used them 50 years ago...
Passion, purpose and need - don't start a wiki without these qualities. Adam points out that a wiki + work does not automatically = productivity. He also empasized that it needs to be simple. So simple tht it won't be a barrier to its own use. It can, but it must be something for which a wiki is well suited. Everything that they might use a whiteboard for would be a good use of a wiki.
I can't tell you how many potentially great technology tools have been abandoned because they were started by those who are excited by the technology, but do not have a stustainable topic to keep the inertia going. This relates to the conecpt that educators MUST make sure that teaching and learning are first in any implementation of the technology tool in the classroom.