The Event

On Wednesday 5 September 2007 I attended a JISC Skills Update day on Exploiting Communication Channels which was held at Said Business School, Oxford. The event was very successful, as was clearly shown form the evaluation form for the event: the venue was particularly well-appreciated (over 75% of those who completed the online evaluation form thought that Said College was an excellent venue) and over 95% felt that the similar events should be held in the future.

Other comments which were made included “This event was excellent and has provided us with lots of ideas for the future“, “I found the day excellent – especially from the pov of networking face to face so another event like this would be useful! Really interesting to find the different models of use of web2.0 tools emerging” and “I found the day very informative and came back with many practical ideas for further investigation and discussion for implementation within our service“.

The main focus of the event was on the potential role of Web 2.0 technologies (and Second Life) to support the communications infrastructure provided by JISC Service organisations – although the role of more well-established approaches (including email and both print and online newsletters) were also covered.

It was pleasing that there seemed to be such a high level of interest in making greater use of technologies such as blogs and wikis within this particular community. Indeed several Web 2.0 technologies were used on the day itself, with live blogging of the talks and a scalable tag provided for the event (skillsday2007) which enabled resources related to the event to be easily found via Technorati.

The issues that were raised during the questions seemed to be on “how?” (the best practices) rather than “why?” and there were some interesting questions raised about the different approaches to blogging taken by CETIS (blogs provided by individual CETIS SIG coordinators) and OSS Watch (individuals posting on a team blog).

These are areas of interest to be (i.e. the broad question of deployment strategies for Web 2.0 technologies for national services) and will be something I will revisit in the near future.

My Talk

I was pleased that my talk on “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting and All That” was highlighted in the comments (“I thought Brian’s presentation was excellent!“) and appeared to be the most highly rated of the plenary talks with over 80% either agreeing or strongly agreeing. Note that, unfortunately the survey form was poorly designed and it wasn’t stated what they were agreeing with! But as one person commented “I hope that choosing “Strongly Agree” is interpreted as meaning I found the presentation strongly relevant and interesting (as I’m not sure from the wording of the questionnaire)” This is the interpretation I’ve taken too!

In my talk I described my personal experiences in using blogs, wikis, multimedia and social networks. The slides are available on Slideshare and are embedded in this post (in suitably configured browsers).

In addition I created a brief (2 minute) video clip which is available on YouTube explaining why I use blogs, wikis and social networks. Again the video clip is embedded in this post.

The video clip represents the initial experiment in use of my mobile phone for taking videos. I’m aware of some technical limitations (e.g. the lighting) – but I thought it would be useful to document the initial attempt.

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