where 2.0

Where 2.0 Online Conference


Here’s an interesting idea, the first Where 2.0 Online Conference organised by O’Reilly – a online mini where 2.0 with a focus on LBS and AR developments on the iPhone.

This could be the future of conferences, after all for many the trek to the West Coast is both time consuming and expensive and something you can maybe justify once a year, but a year is a long time in the industry at the moment so there is also the potential for more frequent events.

If you can’t bring the people to a conference, bring the conference to the people…

For us in Europe the time difference could be a problem, but there again we can always sit back with a nice glass of wine or hot chocolate depending upon preference and watch in our pyjamas !

Written and submitted from the Googleplex, California (37.421N, 122.087W)

5 replies on “Where 2.0 Online Conference”

Ah, at last, someone in the GIS world is taking notice of climate change! Of late I’ve been appalled by the way Geographers charge around the planet in aeroplanes for conferences and events (partly ‘cos they don’t invite me but mostly ‘cos these actions further accelerate climate change.)

Some areas of the GIS industry seem to be totally oblivious to 10+ year old technologies like video conferencing and interactive online participation as mentioned here.

Meanwhile the prospect of ‘ol Ed in his JimJams with a mug of Ovaltine in one hand and clutching teddy in the other hand at 16:00 PST whilst preaching the “gospel according to google” would be a must have for my photo album!

Phil, you’re quite right of course. Trouble is, how do you get the ‘feel’ of being there, without actually being there? I reckon that we need to start stepping up the ‘reality’ thing again. Remember when Virtual Reality was the buzzword of the early 90s? Films like Lawnmower Man on the scene.

Personally I think there are opportunities if someone gets the VR thing right in the future. NetMeeting isn’t ‘it’ of course, but it’s a start.

Perhaps something that Google are thinking about…?

The perception is that at best we tend to think of Video conferencing as a single 40″ Plasma screen with twangy audio that’s only marginally better than Skype on one it’s better days.

I saw a demo recently of a boardroom that used 3 x 60″ Plasmas running @720P, face tracking cameras and FM quality audio that was actually in sync with video. It probably cost at least as much as a dozen business class tickets across the pond and back but the fact that meeting atendees got home to see their kids at night and ticked a box on the carbon footprint front made for a convincing case for the company concerned.

Most people’s working environment at this moment in time is a very isolated existence. I like many others have just spent the whole day in a room on my own holding a lump of plastic in one hand whilst tapping away on 80 or so buttons with the the other.

Even when I’m in the office, most of the time I am mentally isolated, blocking out all the noise and interference, breaking only to curse my computer as it crashes (and to make tea!). Luckily I do get out of the office regularly, and maybe this highlights the ‘office experience’ for me. But for many, I imagine the opportunity to get out and meet real people with the same interest is worth the time, effort and cost.

Don’t get me wrong, as you know Stuart, I love technology, and I love trees, but the ‘e-conference’, the ‘e-learning’ and all the other e-things like web meetings still miss something fundamental. I know that technology will overcome this, and things like Google Wave are a step in the right direction, but given the choice, I would much rather see you across a table with 2 pints of Guinness on it

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