Today is the first day of BlogTalk Reloaded. I hosted the first key note by Danah Boyd, and the first panel, which included short presentations by Adolfo Estallela and Jan Schmidt. All presentations are captured on video and available on the web. The programme on the BlogTalk website contains the links to all video’s and transcripts etc.
We experimented with the format of the first panel. We changed the usual Q&A into a more open format.
Each presentation ended with 2 or 3 questions to the audience, which were put on flipover sheets.
After the three presentations, people split up in groups to have conversations around the questions that were put forward. Ideas, thoughts, answers and more questions were written down on sticky notes and added to the flipover sheets. At the end we gathered all those post-its and transcribed them into the BlogTalk website.

Those of you who have been at BlogTalk 2 in Vienna in 2004, have glimpsed some of the work Anjo Anjewierden (University of Amsterdam) has been doing on tracking communities, conversations and topics through blognetworks.
Original aim was to see if knowledge is indeed spread through these text-based virtual communities. You might e.g. expect that something that has been discussed should afterwards pop up in people’s writings where it didn’t before: propagation of ideas and insights. Anjo worked with a dataset of all 2004 postings of a group of blogs, but now is ready to expand.
On a study day of the METIS project yesterday, I was pleased to hear that turning the tools Anjo build into something that can be used by the community at large is now a planned deliverable.
Now it is up to us to feed Anjo’s dataset. For those that use Movable Type or can export in the same format, it has now become as easy as clicking the Export button to help feed Anjo’s tools.
Head on over to Anjo’s call to arms, read what he is looking for, and contribute if you can!
Rumours are flying that BlogTalk Reloaded may be a good point in time to present results.

While I drove Marc Smith, his son Eli, and Andrea Ben Lassoued back from the G.O.R. conference in Bielefeld to Enschede to meet up with Lilia Efimova, it was Marc that started the thoughts for this blogpost rolling.

At some point, after discussing opinions on the EU, and how living in a border town felt and feels, he concluded "then you are part of the international class".

True I guess. But what does that mean? Over the past 5 years the mycelium of my social network has indeed come to encircle the globe. It means my empathy now flows to a much wider range of people on almost all continents. Their local news becomes my local news too, and from it I build patterns and notions of what is going on in the world. That is a good thing: having a sense of world events build on my empathy for the emotions and experiences of distinct individuals. It brings it all home in a way the main stream media never can hope to achieve.

We do build a class I think, as Marc called it. We spend money, time and effort to meet eachother in different European capitals, we invite people we never met face to face before into our homes to stay. Going to a conference like Reboot or BlogTalk brings multiple days of very intense conversations, and exchange of ideas, while we recognize ourselves in the other. It is a heady mix and it’s addictive.

But is it as diverse as it is international?

I and others say it often: Europe’s true innovative potential lies in it’s diversity.
Not in emulating other parts of the world, best practices make you runner up at most, but in what defines us most: the patchwork of local cultures, languages and traditions that is this continent. That diversity worked against us in numerous wars and feuds across the centuries. Over the past 50 years we are increasingly finding ourselves under the roof of the EU, establishing common ground. It is a remarkable political experiment: a supranational construct that does not lay claim to any specific geographical area. Now that we start to see our common ground better and better, how to learn to build on our wonderful diversity?

What can I do, what can I take as an action list to start celebrating diversity. And what about you?
What on the agenda of an event like Reboot 8, would help us do that?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

I just sent in two proposals for BlogTalk Reloaded, the conference that will take place in Vienna in Octobre.

The first is building on my entry for the G.O.R. conference in Bielefeld last month. I plan to do interviews with people to see how their information strategies have changed when dealing with information overload. Looking at communicative goals and the need to support relationships at different social distances will provide clues to avenues for the further development of social software tools so that they are useful for supporting information strategies in complex settings.

The second proposal is a co-production of Elmine and me. We want to share the story of the co-evolution between the emergent community/network of the IFCCC and the PatchworkPortal we use for our on-line interactions. To share the story of how it developed in the past 18 months, the lessons learned, and demonstrate the current use of the PatchworkPortal.

Now, we have to wait until June to hear how the conference programme will take shape.