JD posted about a grassroots media social gathering on Friday May 13th at CNet in San Francisco. There’s an invitation only citizens media strategy session on the Saturday after, and a bunch of the folks attending that session are going to be at the gathering the night before. It’s going to be a pretty crazy week for me, but I’m going to try to make it out for Friday. What is citizens/grassroots media? Check out some of the articles from this search. It’s an evolving concept, so it’s hard to give a simple static definition. When I think of grassroots media I think of Jonas Luster, Dan Gillmor, and JD Lasica. And they do have different takes on what the whole movement means. So drop by on that Friday and find out what all the hubub is about straight from the source, there’s sure to be some interesting discussion and arguments.
There’s a conversation going on about advertising in RSS. Dave Winer doesn’t think that advertising belongs in RSS at all, and apparently there are a bunch of people who feel the same way. That certainly makes some sense, I felt the same way about the Internet as a whole opening up to commercial influence when I was back in college. I figured that once commercial influences showed up online the value of the information available would go down. There would be so much advertising and selling that none of the useful information would be findable. It was possible I guess, but relatively myopic. Not that mediums can’t be ruined by transformations of content or audience. I think Usenet is effectively a ruined medium, unable to bear the influx of a large number of belligerent and uninformed participants. But I don’t think the web was ruined by the introduction of commercial concerns, and advertising in particular. The web actually got a whole lot more interesting after businesses showed up. I spent a bunch of time thinking about why that is, cause I felt like an idiot after spouting off again and again about “the death of the web” that would occur if businesses were allowed to influence the future direction of the Internet.
Russ and I are most likely going to heading out to the Mobile Monday Global Summit. Some of the folks from the old skool original Helsinki Mobile Monday have been looking to get together people involved in the other Mobile Monday gatherings and try to get some collaboration going. It’s exactly my scene. About 5400 miles away from my normal stomping ground, but the ideas are completely in line. The Mobile Monday gathering is part of the Mobile Enterprise 2005 event. And the events are open and free to all! It looks like it’s going to be a big event with great speakers and they’re putting it on for free. That’s really impressive. I’m hoping to be able to do the same thing when we put on our event here in the Bay Area. Besides BloggerCon I don’t know of large events that have managed to be free to participants. It might be hard, but I think it’s possible.
Here’s some info about FeedsterMedia, from me, the person who put it together. Cause everyone thinks that they hacked out some kinda super secret info when they realize that directory listings are allowed. That’s just sad folks. Buffer overflows in protocol handlers, escaping past URL filters, even good old SQL injection. These things might be hacking.. maybe. But directory listings, please. There’s another reason that directory listings might be allowed: I want people to know what’s out there. What a freakin’ newsflash, stop the presses! Yep, that’s right. It’s not a secret that we were planning to do Slashdot and Sourceforge and Freshmeat feeds. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to blog about it before we did it. My bad on that one.
The info for the May Mobile Monday is up on the blog. The topic is going to be identity, which is one of those hot topics that no one outside of the field can easily define. Thanks to John Kern we have an excellent set of resources to start out with. For those with an audio bent, there’s a series of talks and interviews up on ITConversations as well. I harp on the whole “mobile services and internet services need to be able to interact seemlessly” issue quite a bit, and I think this is one area where it’ll really stand out. For an increasing number of people out there, their mobile is their primary access device. Most services (in the US at least) are still stuck in the mode of the PC being the primary driver of the interface and the mobile being a tiny window into information configured elsewhere. We were able to look past a number of “inconveniences” when the interface was driven on a PC with a relatively high bandwidth user-to-device interface. Those same inconveniences are killers on handsets. Federated services on mobile devices are going to require something better than the current default if they’re to expand to serve audiences outside of niche markets, and identity is one of the key enablers. And federated services are what we really need. I know I don’t want a walled garden on my handset. Vive la resistance!
The first Mobile Monday down in LA happened last night! Looks like a great turnout, better than we did for our first event up in San Francisco! Marc Brown has some images in his moblog as well. Congratulations to Tomo Software and Buzznet on a job well done! If you’re interested in the events it looks like there’s another one coming up on May 16th. Keep an eye on their site. It needs a feed guys!
The discussion this morning at the PMM in an Always-On World wandered over some interesting topics. A few of the people there were from the promotional products area, and they were talking in particular about trade shows for a while. Apparently there’s been a lot of buzz in that industry over one organization trying to buy out the other, and when unsuccessful then attempting to launch a competing trade show at right about the same time. So there was some general discussion about trade shows and how they fit into the overall scheme of marketing and communications. One idea that we talked about, and the one I think I agree with the most, is that trade shows are one of the few places where you can get into a conversation with a company. It might certainly be true that the people with real purchasing decision power aren’t at the shows, but it’s a chance for your customers (and potential partners, and press, and resellers or licensees, etc.) to come and talk to your people. And it’s also a chance for your people to gather information from the people out walking around on the floor. I don’t see them as a chance really to meet all that many new leads, but to maintain relationships, exchange information, and discuss.
Niall, Elle, and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown in San Francisco yesterday. I have some images to upload, but I’ll have to do it later. We made it there in time to catch the Taiko drummers, and they were letting people up on stage to try out the drums. They had a few displays with info set out, but the only one we really spent time at was the display of weapons. I don’t have any pictures of that, there were signs all over saying not to take pictures. Of course, this being a public street I don’t think there’s anything they could have done. But I didn’t want the pictures enough to be willing to piss off the guy with swords. The food was good too, although I suspect the fact that the firemens “blazing hot” ribs not actually being spicy at all caused a bit of disappointment. They were good, just not spicy. And I don’t mean that in the sense of “I’m a manly man! I can feel my tongue! These are NOT spicy!” I’m a wuss, I can’t deal with spicy food. The ribs just were not imbued with spice in the least. Perhaps some communications misfire.
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