Archive for category Web2point2

Web 2point2 Kicking

So tired – great day though – looking forward to tomorrow…

Lots of thanks to go around, but time for bed.  Photos are uploading to Flickr now as I go to sleep, did not edit them at all, but did throw away the really bad ones.

Oh yes, and Sarah Dopp wrote this great post today that made me smile and laugh (but the suit coat, jeans and meditation bells is really just me Sarah – just the eclectic mix of humanity that I am) and Susan Kuchinskas has done a real kick ass job live blogging for the main Web 2point2 site – thank you so much!

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What’s best for the community? Isn’t that the other point?

One of the most important things I have been talking to people about over the last year is how organizations with similar values should support one another but don’t because of their egos or fear of losing mindshare or donor dollars. Instead of really working towards what is best for the community, they work on what is best for their own self-interest, in the name of the community. As I noted in my post on the Importance of Social Media, this is one of the key reasons many of us left the work world – to leave the political BS behind and do the right thing, that is in the best interest of the community.

That sort of political BS is in stark contrast to the wonderful relationships we are building with the Society for New Communications Research and the National Coalition for Deliberation and Dialogue. Where we are constantly looking for ways to expand the conversations, to include more people and to work together towards our common interests. This is one of the core premises of Social Media Club – to support other organizations that are doing good work – not excluding those organizations that are serving similar interests within the community out of fear.

This is why I am excited to see the Portland Social Media Association rise up from the Portland Podcasting Group. Social Media Club will support them, instead of worrying about them competing with us – we will both be the better for it. We need to find people who are doing the right things and support them so that more of that good work is put out into the world and that other people can connect with them. This is very much in line with the work of The Uplift Academy – another organization we want to support in every way possible and with which we share common values.

I guess I should explain where this is coming from – it is a bit about something I have been holding onto for a while and also about the fact that a few ‘community leaders’ have chosen not to support the Web 2point2 unconference we are organizing, and are, according to what some have told me, actively working against it. (This is not, BTW, something between the 2 conferences going on this week – we have nothing against Tim O’Reilly or the Web 2.0 Conference and as far as I know, they are probably just annoyed with us by the contrast and/or laughing about how hard we work for no money.)

The Web 2point2 Unconference is providing an alternative to the expensive Web 2.0 Conference.  Web 2point2 is more accessible and more about the people interested in the Web 2.0 era and working hard to make it real. Chris Pirillo really nailed the difference on the head – there most certainly is value in the networking, and the amenities offered at a big hotel are really very expensive, but a lot of that is superfluous to what really matters. We are doing this event because it is the right thing to do for the community and it is representative of our core values. We are doing this because it helps us build the community we want to belong to. We are investing our time and energy because we are passionate about doing so and hope to make a living doing what we love.

I’m not speaking against any individual, but I am calling for everyone in the community to be supportive of efforts like the Web 2point2 Unconference and/or to call out the effort’s shortcomings publicly and fairly – to participate in the community. It is FOR the people, FOR the community, and FOR improving the dialogue around social media and Web 2.0 for everyone’s benefit. Those who have said negative things about these efforts wihtout engaging us in conversation about how it could be improved are really doing a disservice to the community. But as all bloggers know, nothing stays secret forever. Those people who serve their own interests over that of the community will be found out. Those who support the community with their hearts, minds and deeds will be the ones who shape the dialogue of the future.

Don’t raise the torch for a participatory democracy when you’re only really marketing yourself as the one who should be put in charge of who gets to speak and who can belong. From my perspective, that looks a lot like a Stalinist view of the world dressed up in Kennedy rhetoric. That is beyond hypocritical – it is like the atheists battling each other in the most recent South Park episode. We don’t need to tear down the walls of a communtiy or organization only to erect new ones, we need to build better doors between communities and bridges across them.

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Web 2point2 Site Live – Join Us

I have lots more to post there, but am starting to drag, so wanted to get out a quick post that says the Web 2point2 site is live, though without the main Blog posts I need to write still.  It has been a long day learning the new WordPress theme called Subtle from Glued Ideas (these folks rock – thanks for the great theme).  I was also getting deeper into some plugins and finding errors on other sites I manage that still need to be fixed.

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Web 2point2 – for those of us on the NOO list!

We have been thinking about it for a long time, but it is time to start doing the work and make this real. So this Sunday we are hosting a planning party over at our house with some beers and pizza and unconference strategy to figure out how we can blow the roof off the joint. Please RSVP for the party over on Upcoming if you plan to attend so we can make appropriate plans for beverages and food.

Given that we pulled off Web2point1 last year in less than a week, having 2 months of planning feels like a true luxury – we should all take advantage of the extra time to create a truly extraordinary event. Now that the conference for “that-phase-of-the-web-that-shall-happen-before-web-3.0 (no more, no less etc etc)” is now sold out, you have more reason than ever to join your colleagues for a bit of low cost, high value learning, networking and collaborating – unconference style.

Some of the details we have already worked out:

  • We have the dates! Thursday November 9 and Friday November 10
  • We have a venue! Much thanks to Nima Dilmaghani who has secured the Microsoft Conference Center at One Market in San Francisco (the same location as BarCamp San Francisco back in June)
  • We have a registration fee!  $3.29usd – with all fees and other participant donations going to Creative Commons.
  • We have some sponsors already! Microsoft, Joyent and my friends at Fleishman Hillard have already offered up their support, even though we have not finalized the sponsorship packages yet (that will be done on Sunday)
  • We are thinking about organizing the day in 2 main tracks (because there are 2 main rooms at the conference center and we want to offer an opportunity for newcomers to learn and for old-hands to dig deeper) – but this is why we want to have a party to talk about it some more – Open Space is fine and dandy, but I am thinking of this more along the lines of facilitated conversations and a few World Cafe‘s

So why are we doing this? Because hippy-crites like Tim O’Reilly who talk the big talk on open source, but hold all of these expensive, exclusive, invite only events need to see that there is another way.  Now, I have never had a problem with expensive and exclusive events really – if there is a market that is willing to pay for something that is fine, if you want to have a certain experience at your party, invite the people you think will create that sort of atmosphere.  But if the whole point of what you are doing is about being open and including more people, you need to find another way to do it.  Dave Winer spoke more eloquently about the problem O’Reilly is facing and it made me realize – I don’t need to and I don’t want to work with people who are so closed minded that anyone with a differing opinion is not allowed into the party.  I am an adult and I don’t need to sit at the cool kid’s table any more – I can sit with the good kid’s instead and I want to work with people who can disagree with one another’s ideas without being disagreeable.
You see, I didn’t realize that there was really a NOO list (Not-friends Of O’Reilly) until reading Dave’s post and talking to some other people who are in the know.  So I have not really spoken out about this because I thought there might still be some opportunities to work together with O’Reilly.  But seeing that there is probably no chance of this happening, I might as well write about why.
So last year, the night before Web 2point1, I was heading to the colors of Web 2.0 party with Will Pate when we hooked up with Chris Messina and some other folks for dinner.  It turned out that the other folkls were the people in charge of the Web 2.0 Conference.  We mentioned what we were doing the next day and before we could even order dinner, both of those people took off – suddenly remembering somewhere else they had to be.  Chris has been talking to them about running some BarCamps around OSCON or something, but I don’t know what if anything actually happened with that – I dont think anything really came of it since Chris did not get an invite to FOO Camp this year, but his other half Tara Hunt did (that is really pretty rude FOO folks).  Of course, that in and of itself says nothing and I may be wrongly assuming a connection there, but it just seemed odd.
So after the event I was reading this great Wired article on O’Reilly and I decided to write him an email to see if we might be able to talk – perhaps there was a way that we could work together since we shared so many things in common (other than me being cash poor and him having tons of it).  It seemed from the article that he was my sort of guy.  After all, I had met him and spoken with him on several occasions over the years and there are few people I don’t get along with.  In fact, at the Creative Commons launch during Etech a few years back, we had a long conversation about Open Source’s impact on the rest of society and its potential to influence collaboration in other industry’s.

Of course, he never responded. So I wrote again.  He never responded.  These were personal emails along the lines you would expect from me with all that flowery, spiritually aware goodness.

So I just figured he was busy and wrote it off.  I held out hope that we might be able to have a conversation some day and he could see that what we were doing with Web 2point1 and BrainJams was not anything against him or his companies, but instead it was FOR something. FOR finding another way of bringing people together to connect, learn and collaborate. Reading Dave Winer’s post though, I got the sense that it really did not matter and that I was just on the NOO list and would be relegated to it for life if that is really the way he thinks.

So let’s all of us on the NOO list, and everyone else who cares about the opportunity of this era come together and show them that it isnt all about the money – the point is still people!

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