Sunday, October 29, 2006

An effective community/technology event

Yesterday I attended the ACM West conference in San Jose. Most of the attendees were from the Public Access community. One session I attended was on the topic of Youth Media, mainly with regard to camps, outreach programs and intern training through public access TV stations. i was struck by the community element, something I feel is missing in most of the competitive, fund-seeking world of Silicon Valley startups. But there are some really great programs out there, and some great volunteers and production professionals looking to share learning about video broadcasting. As example, the Youth Media session began with no moderation or leadership -- they actually didn't show up. So the group looked around, quickly and without question nominated a moderator and turned the session into a very productive roundtable discussion. I'm not sure that would happen as readily at a technology conference.

Later in the evening I met with a couple of people at a Halloween party thrown by my friend Brian Solis who is one of the organizers pulling together PodCamp West. They asked me to program the sessions and conference and to find sponsors. I guess I finally get to pull one together instead of critiquing other's events.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boyd on Office 2.0

Stowe Boyd is someone who attends a lot of conferences on technology, all around the world. He is widely regarded as an expert in social and business applications. I caught him for a few minutes to discuss his thoughts about the first annual Office 2.0 Conference (pictures here), it's relative success to similar conferences and the building and selling of enterprise software.

He raised a good question that wasn't covered at the conference and that was in essence "If we're talking about Office 2.0 software and that it's the future, what elements of Office 1.0 are not going to survive in the future enterprise?".

I was less enticed by the OpenID presentation and it's potential for adoption and more interested in the ideas IBM presented about longer-term document management and protection. Early adopters like Stowe and me, might be picking up one-off feature applications like signature managers or even 30boxes.com, but we agreed that those will fold into larger solutions for the work place. I'd be interested in reader's thoughts - please comment.

Here's the interview: Stowe Boyd on Office 2.0.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Must it be "live"?

Live Billbaord projectOn Saturday night this week I witnessed something interesting. It was the Live Billboard Project in San Francisco. It wasn't interesting because it was effective. It seemed to sell nothing more than the concept alone. What was interesting was that it arrested the attention of hundreds of people on Mission Street. When I came upon them, they were standing completely silent, staring up at the building. I wondered at first if there were a band performing on the roof, but I found that not to be the case. I'm all for performace art (not really) and for experimental advertising (if it sells). Calvin Klein did a live billboard about a year ago, and models danced around above their store in the clothes. That probably sold a few more clothes. But on Mission Street, the cafe scene meets gymnast act meets lack of purpose, seemed to mesmerize a group of people, again, to complete silence. The only sound beside the cars passing by was a man on the opposite corner telling everyone that the U.S. had too many ships in Iraq and we were headed for a nuclear war. A strange conversation in light of the billboard over his head claiming to sell a story of love and desire.