Tuesday 25 March 2008

Bright ideas - TED - Wellington Webstock

Don't be surprised, but the truth is I love this blogging business - however, sometimes the wire leading out from the last jump point becomes so stretched you start to wonder how you will ever catch up with what has been going on.

When that has happened before, the temptation is to freeze out and then beat yourself up for being lazy and idle, when the truth is the opposite - life is so busy, and the episodes coming at you so interesting and persuasive, you give it another day. and then you end up here - two weeks latter and not a blogging dish washed. So enough!
First up, and still to be downloaded onto the ipod thingie are two separate seminar sets. The last Wellington Web Stock, and the latest TED series.

Wellington Web Stock
I didn't get to this - many others did - including three from mcgovern online, all of whom testified that it was the business. My consolation was to be offered a conference bag. This was a real gift. As others have pointed out, it is a very cool bag. Trouble is I feel a bit weird using it. It's as if I don't have the rights, cos I wasn't there. Perhaps that will change when I have gone though some of the presentations online, here.

Also worth checking out is the latest offerings from TED, including their three TED prize winners. I especially enjoyed listening to author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with their local public schools.

He talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open their own volunteer-driven, wildly creative writing labs. He also gives a call to action - ask a teacher "How can I help?" There is also a web site - Once Upon a School.

By the by, since I first blogged on TED I have had a couple of conversations on starting a TED NZ? Any suggestions?

For the record the conversations seem to polarise people - would TED NZ be a democratic forum where people can talk about their projects, a bit like Wellingtons 7x7 - or, my own preference - are we talking about inviting inspirational experts in their field to give a 20 minute speech of their life.

I know- sounds expensive - but a kind and friendly sponsor could solve all that?

Monday 10 March 2008

Local Government Broadband Forum

Thanks to Simon Riley for posting these references. But also a big acknowledgment to Richard Naylor of r2.co.nz who are doing some brilliant work in bringing these kinds of conference sessions to the web. And on that note, I am still hanging out for the 2008 Webstock session?

Mr Riley is keen to point out that the Open Access Fibre Network workshop is worth a listen. Being Auckland based, I am interested in when the City of Sales will be getting some traction around fibre, so the Ross Peat session caught my eye.

The webcasts are best viewed in Windows Media Player, Real Player. or Mplayer under Linux or Os-X. Totem and VideoLan also work well. Apple users can use Flip-4-Mac available from Microsoft for free.


Main Session page.

Welcome and Opening
Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Local Government
Hon David Cunliffe, Minister for Communications and Information Technology
Dr Paul Reynolds, Chief Executive, Telecom
Partnering with Industry - Ralph Chivers - Telecomm Cariers Forum
Championing Municipal Broadband Leadership - Panel Session
Barriers for Municipal Broadband - Open Forum
Case Study - Douglas Birt, Gisbourne District Council
Beyond Broadband - Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
NZ Intelligent Communities Case Studies
NZ Intelligent Communities Case Studies - Questions and Answers
Enabling Transformation in the Auckland Region
Ross Peat, Vice Chairman, Auckland Regional Broadband Advisory
Digital Communities
Digital Cities Network - Wellington


Workshop on Broadband Friendly Protocol and KnowHow Guide
Workshop - Rural Broadband

Workshop - Open Access Fiber Network
Workshop - Leveraging Community Owned Assets
Next Steps - Christine Makumbe
Wrap Up - Dr Murray Milner

Monday 3 March 2008

Collaboration - sharing the soft learnings

For the last few weeks I have been looking at sources, potential platforms and tools which let project teams, or even wider groupings , collaborate around what I'm starting to call the 'soft stuff'.

A comment I made on the NZ LibraryTech is part of this thinking. They had, rightly, posted on that lovely feeling of satisfaction that comes when you get a project to come out almost like you had envisaged . In this case their newly launched Publications New Zealand - a beta website of the publicly accessible record of New Zealand publications.

I in turn replied that I had enjoyed their account of the development process, and asking for more detail on their process - e.g. did they use persona' and scenarios - how did they document these - through formal use case, or activity wire frames etc

I had a triple interest in asking or engaging with them. First, I really rate the new voices that are emerging out of the NZ National Library, and this blog is one of their forums,

Second, I love watching/ listening to reflective learning in action. It works, and sometimes we need to be reminded that the primary ingredient is honest open engagement. I think their account is a really great example of both.

Thirdly, and to our joint purpose here, because I am seeing more and more projects in the heritage/knowledge sector starting to deliver solid assets into the digital commons, I'm equally interested in talking about how we unpack these assets and identify and share the common learning, especially around the development process.

Defining the soft stuff
As part of this I want to start a discussion on what tools and ideas do we need to share these learnings - not just around process - but also in terms of what could best be called the 'soft stuff" - the unexpected outcomes - the bit of the project that changed peoples thinking - the way the project picked up on other areas of collaboration - how it started to fit with the wider ecology of new web tools and methodologies - how the project was received, and what are customers or collaborators doing with the tool on offer.

The response from the National Library Publications NZ project was encouraging - in a word, they are up for some kind of communal thinking.

My question this morning, is, who else is up for this - and/or what other projects in the knowledge and heritage world would like to put there hand up?

The next step would be how to organise the conversation. I'm hoping to post on some tools latter in the week - but in the first instance, I'm keen to test the water as to who else is up for this - whether in New Zealand, or further afield.