Blogging from the Connect & Collaborate Conference – Part Two

Some more interesting highlights from the Connect & Collaborate Conference in NYC:

  • The concept of dark blogs — weblogs that reside behind corporate firewalls as part of Intranets. There’s a different set of protocols for these from ‘public’ blogs that we’re just starting to discover.
  • The prediction by several speakers that successful new collaboration applications must be low-cost and lightweight, and just powerful enough to enable direct, unmediated communication and ad hoc community formation. Almost all the vendors exhibiting at this conference are banking on the exact opposite: very sophisticated, expensive, multi-functional, fully-integrated ‘enterprise’ applications. Who’s right?
  • Lots of discussion about several social applications breaking new ground:
    • Myspace: A simple way for non-techies to enter the world of social networking. Ad-laden, not very secure, and just bought, apparently, by the loathsome right-wing News Corp — but hugely popular among the teen-to-20s age group. Fascinating stuff — seems a legitimate place for musicians and others targeting this demo to give stuff away to get known, but also a place of great boasting and ego-salving.
    • Facebook: A social software keyed to your high school or university. Used to make new friends and reacquaint yourself with old friends from junior schools. Serves as the equivalent of a business card for students — “nice to meet you, Facebook me and we’ll keep in touch”.
    • WebHuddle: Open Source webconferencing tool. Cheap, simple, secure. If Robin Good likes it it must be a winner. But we’re still a long way from Simple Virtual Presence.
    • PacketHop: Handheld tool for cops and other emergency and safety workers with collaboration apps, satellite pictures & maps, and proximity detectors that automatically establish “Mesh networks” with other PacketHop handholds nearby.
    • Remote wireless patient sensors that communicate patient info to care providers even from patients’ homes.
  • Some discussion in the hall during breaks about infatuation with sociometrics and specifically ‘social network maps’ — expensive, detailed, complicated, sometimes intrusive visualizations of who is connected with whom in your organization, how and how closely. Men seem to love this stuff, while woman seem to doubt it has enough real value to justify the cost and enthusiasm it is generating.
  • Some discussion on whether existing public social network apps like LinkedIn have been ruined by misuse. “Many users of social network tools are socially autistic”. “The more contacts you add to your network the less the value (social capital) of each contact”. “If everyone is a friend, you have no real friends”. “Good salespeople know better than to put their networks up on LinkedIn”.

Tomorrow’s post will be about my presentation.

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1 Response to Blogging from the Connect & Collaborate Conference – Part Two

  1. kerry says:

    Is my ignorance a dangerous thing?This may not seem directly related to your post, but it does relate to the big picture positivity I once held in these social networks.Some time back (I’m never sure of dates, but it was perhaps in March) I returned from a friend’s wedding in the Drakensburg with a vision. To somehow merge our most advanced technology with the ability to live in a rural environment. It seemed idyllic – to be able to spend a portion of my day contributing to and learning from the global intellectual capital via the internet and a portion of it tending to my small patch of home grown food and perhaps working on a craft that produced something simple and functional that I could exchange for other useful or simply decorative crafts within my peaceful community.It seemed like an ideal opportunity for us to acknowledge the value of these basic skills whilst at the same time not ignoring our intellectual needs and tapping into the vast knowledge base of science to discover how best to live in an ecologically sound way. To offer our learnings to the rural community and also share their space and receive their help.I posted this vision on one of my previous versions of my blog. I’m wondering, now, if this fragmentation would not cause further problems by spreading humans over even more of our planet than they already are? Perhaps this vision, without the requisite knowledge, would be counterproductive?I’m not at all sure. All I can do, right now, is to be grateful for my lack of desire for more “things” and to live happily with what I need rather than an excess of stuff that I don’t. In the meantime, since my basic needs for food and shelter next month is pretty uncertain, I sucumbed to adding my profile to LinkedIn. Was I misguided? Oh, its all too much at the moment!

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