Thursday, February 24, 2005

Online Social Networks 2005 Conference

I've been very quiet these last two weeks because I've been attending the Online Social Networks 2005 Conference. (And Welcome! to those from the conference, as we check out each other's blogs.) It's not that I've been away...naturally, it's an online conference. But the sheer amount of information has been mindboggling. With lots of presenters and over 400 participants, there has been a lot of talk going on! Just a few of the events are mentioned below. I've linked to presentations and homepages where possible, but the conference itself is restricted.

OSN2005 has been roughly divided into 3 areas, Organizations, Individuals, and Politics, plus the "Main Tent" where the big events take place, and 2 social areas, the Cafe and the Games Corner. All the conference tracks have 3 sections, Scan, Focus, and Act. Scan is the introductory phase, Focus contains the majority of the presentations and discussions, and Act is the wrap-up and "take home" section. Organizations had presentations on Blogs in Education, Flickr, and the experience of arranging an online conference in southern Africa. Individuals covered analysis of librarian weblogs, Hawaiian social networks, the tsunami relief efforts online, and Internet music. Politics covered several online political movements, citizen journalism, and the use of the Internet in fighting terrorism. We also got demonstrations of the TappedIn and Second Life communities.

The presentations in the Main Tent included a keynote talk by Howard Rheingold, Lisa Kimball, and Joi Ito, talks and presentations by Brian Reich, Ze Frank, Nancy White, and Jon Lebkowsky.

Some of the best experiences, as with most conferences, occured in the social areas. Anyone could set up a "table" in the Cafe, so we ended up with 4 dozen conversations on everything from the social aspects of libraries to Finnish civic dialogue, Skype (Internet phone service), silver surfers,, Meetup, and the Dunbar number. In the Games Corner, we played with some Hipbone Games, the Buzzphraser, and Virtual Money Game.

I now have several long lists of Tools to Check Out, Readings, Blogs, Books, and tagged websites. Some of these will end up in this blog.

One great advantage of an online conference is that you don't have to run up your credit card to attend. No hotel bills, no restaurant charges, no site fees. It was certainly one of the best $35 I've spent. I hope that some of my readers will join me at the projected OSN2007!



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