29. October 2007 · Comments Off on What I learned from Podcamp · Categories: Events, Issues, My personal learning journey, podcampperth07

spike @ podcampThere’s a whole grab bag of things I learned/heard that resonated with me/observed/gave me food for a hungry brain at camp over the weekend. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Podcasting is like early television – mimicking an earlier form of communication. As a medium, it hasn’t yet found its unique range of expression.
  • Niche programming, tailored not only to a specific target audience but to a specific interest of a specific target audience is an amazingly intimate offering.
  • Trust is an essential element in any form of communication. Never violate it.
  • Bloggers are NOT journalists as in investigative journalists. They are, however, observers with a voice who can stir up other ways of looking at the world outside that provided for our consumption by mainstream media.
  • Maybe it IS okay if grown people want to play in Second Life for hours at a time. It may be a virtual experience, but if the alternative is a mediated one (as in watching TV), SL ain’t so bad. As an education tool, it has possibilities but until the barriers of bandwidth and hardware are overcome, it isn’t practical for most teachers.
  • There is a tension for educators between wanting to protect kids and wanting to teach them how to cope in the big bad world of the internet. While a compromise isn’t readily available, systems that filter out useful web sites and make it difficult to unblock those sites are frustrating the hell out of people. Perhaps we need a national body that could rate web sites based on a set of objective criteria – sort of like movie ratings? Or would that add another layer of unwanted red tape and bureaucracy? At least school administrators should make public the reasons they block sites so we could know where their heads were at?
  • When you put a conference together for people who play in the new media space, they don’t sit quietly with their hands folded listening to presentations – they jump in and challenge as soon as a presenter makes a point with which they don’t agree.
  • How people use technologies like mobile phones is based on any number of characteristics – including age, gender, type of job, mode of transport (public vs. private and length of journey) used daily, service availability, culture, socioeconomic standing. Perhaps niche programming, like niche communications, is going to be the trend — thus familiarity with a specific target is going to be vital to success in providing content, products and services for mobile devices?
  • I already knew that a corporate blogging policy made sense. I really like the idea that peer review and peer punishment are potent ingredients to keeping corporate bloggers on the straight and narrow. I also think Microsoft made a good choice in appointing a professional Geek who isn’t defensive and doesn’t wear a suit and doesn’t blindly support everything they do.
  • I still haven’t heard a convincing argument as to why I should try a Mac OS. I think I’d be more likely to try Linux first.
  • There are some amazing people who have been playing on the internet a lot longer than I who are nurturing the use of it and who live in a state of constant learning. I like them.
  • When trying to observe, don’t forget to learn.
  • People in Perth appreciate it when people from the other states come to their events.
  • My next laptop will be smaller — or it will be a keyboard to use with my mobile phone/media recorder/camera/word processor. I couldn’t use my company laptop in economy class because there wasn’t enough room and it was too bulky for live blogging/twittering (okay, I succumbed)/flickring.
27. October 2007 · Comments Off on Last post from podcamp · Categories: My personal learning journey, podcampperth07

Nick Hodge is just wrapping up – a refreshingly honest, positive man who is a “professional geek”. Blogging dos and don’ts.

27. October 2007 · Comments Off on Social network in your pocket – Nick Cowie · Categories: podcampperth07, Technologies

nick cowieNew ways of using mobile phones – for entertainment, business, social networking, various forms of communications, — cities with long commutes, different uses.

Disadvantages: Screen Size, input methods, different OSs and browsers, Javascript and RIA, data cost and speed, context.

Advantags: always there, immediate, personal.

Apps on phones: RSS, podcasts, blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, mobile specific web sites – wow!

Bret talked about how a teacher used SL with Middle School students regarding what beauty is. Day 1, they created avatars that looked as much like themselves as possible. Day two, they were told to make their avatars as beautiful as possible – the guys all had big pecs, the girls hourglass figures as you’d expect. Day three, roles were reverse. The girls had to create the most handsome guys they could, the guys the most beautiful girls. The male avatars that the girls created were not all huge pecs and muscles. The female avatars created by the 13 year old boys were not all breasts and bums (a few of the boys said they thought big breasts would be uncomfortable and awkward). Day four, the teacher told them they could create their avatar to look like anything they like. Just about all of them went back to the avatars that looked the most like them.

Also, Bret showed us Skribe’s video of the new CSI NY Second Life experience. Wow!

listening 2 duncanThe morning started with Cameron Reilly of The Podcamp Network disputing a claim that podcasting is dead. He surprised me with the level of passion he had for podcasting in general – he sees it as having the potential to change the world! He made the excellent point that it is still in its infancy. Just as early television used to consist of stage plays recorded by cameras until it found the best way to use the medium, so too will podcasting mimic traditional radio until it matures.

I led a session on producing podcasts and enjoyed hearing from people who are using it in their classroom and workspaces and sharing what we’ve done at education.au. A good discussion about whether walled gardens are the way to go and risk management ensued.

I had the good luck of meeting Still – a former ABC journo and Crikey contributor, great guy! Then we went in to listen to Duncan Riley talk about branding. He stirred things up by saying that Aussies need to do more to encourage blogging and spreading the love. Cameron Reilly brought up an excellent point about bloggers NOT being journalists – at least, not INVESTIGATIVE journalists. I was glad he made that point and don’t think it detracts from the importance of bloggers and points back to the need for information literacy and learning discernment.

I’m disappointed that the Flickr email to blog isn’t working as I’ve been sending up photos to Flickr all morning (sigh). Oh well,