Responding to the Remote Audience

During my amplified talk on “What Can We Learn From Amplified Events?” I invited the remote audience, who were watching the live video stream and participating in discussions using the #udgamp10 event tag on Twitter, to announce, with a #eureka tag, if they suddenly understood a concept or idea and wer willing to share this moment with others. I also invited the audience to ask questions using the #qq tag as this would help me, and the event amplifiers who were providing support for the remote audience, to identify questions in the Twitter stream.

A Eureka Moment

There was on #eureka moment, when @hle, a  IT Developer at the Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow, announced:

#eureka #udgamp10 maximise learning rather than maximise pocket

This tweet was published at 11:10:48 on Friday 3 September. I have to admit that I´m not quite sure of the context, but once the Twitter stream has been synchronised with the video I´ll be interested to see what I said just before the remark was posted.

There were no tweets tagged with #qq, which could mean that my talk was clear and unambiguous 🙂 In reality I know that tagging questions hasn´t taken off (too much complex metadata, some would argue).  However I did look through the Twitter stream and noticed two questions in particular which I feel I should respond to.

How Would You Define An Amplified Event?

@dsegarraCAT, who, it seems, joined Twitter on the day of the seminar, asked for clarification of what an amplified event is:

The basics of amplified event = Videostreaming + tweet. Isn’it it? #udgamp10

This was interesting. In a talk on amplified events I had described how the term had originated and the key characteristics which I had summarised in my entry on Wikipedia. But, in retrospective, I realised that I hadn´t provided a brief definition. So let me see if I can provide a definition which can be summarised in a tweet (or a headline as such pithy summarises used to be referred to).

An amplified event = videostreaming+Twitter.

I think this is a good description of the typical amplified event, in which the speakers´talks are made available to a remote audience, often by video streaming, though this could also include audio streaming.   Use of Twitter is also prevalent, providing the opportunity for discussion by the audience,  engagement with remote participants and the viral effect whereby followers of those tweeting at an event can be drawn into discussions which they may otherwise have been unaware off.

However although this if a good description of a typical amplified event there is a danger of a definition where to buy topamax being associated with a particular technology, such as Twitter.  One might also argue that event amplification does not necessarily require IT – event amplification for Harry Potter might involve gazing into a crystal ball or uttering a magic spell. So let´s try to decouple the notion of an amplified event from specific IT application areas.  Another view of an amplified event may be:

At an amplified event the speaker is open for their ideas to be made freely available.

And building on this notion of openness we might go on to add that:

At an amplified event participants will openly discuss ideas with others, whether physically present or not.

How do those attempts at a definition sound?

The Ethical Issues

In addition to her #eureka moment @hle also asked a very pertinent question:
What about ethics? If someone is unlikely to sue you, does it mean it’s right to do it and infringe somone’s privacy? #udgamp10

The context to this question was my suggestion that one needed to take a pragmatic approach to various potential legal concerns. Should one seek permission before reusing or quoting a tweet, for example (as I have done in this post)? I suggested that implementing a rigid policy (“all resources deposited in the institutional repository must be cleared for copyright“) might be counter productive if, for example, it was felt useful to archive conference-related tweets (which, incidentally, was a suggestion felt worthy of considering on the Twitter channel during the seminar). Instead I suggested the need for a risk assessment approach and cited the Oppenheim copyright formula which Professor Charles Oppenheim and myself had published in a paper on “Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web” presented in Florence last December.

My discussions on legal concerns moved on to privacy issues, and I described how event organisers needed to be sensitive to individual concerns.  I mentioned the use of the Quiet Zone which we introduced at the IWMW 2009 event and was also adopted at the Eduserv Symposium earlier this year.  But the complexities of resolving the tensions between openness and privacy are not easily resolved, as I described in a post on OMG! Is That Me On The Screen?

As it is a Saturday night and I am in Girona I´ll not attempt to address this complex issue tonight, but I will try and revisit this issue in a future blog post.

Many thanks for these two fascinating questions during my seminar.  I´d, of course, welcome further comments on this blog.