One reason I’ve been overstretched for many months is that I’ve been working since last August as the (unpaid) chief organizer of the second Traveling Geeks expedition to explore cutting-edge technologies in a hotbed of innovation. Last spring it was Israel. This time around: London!
On Sunday we launched the TravelingGeeks.com website using WordPress, and I think it has some cool features, such as a widget that captures real-time conversations.
On Monday most of the Geeks got together over lunch at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco to hear how to use Nokia’s Ovi Maps (see above) on our mobile devices. Nokia is loaning us N79s for the trip while in London and Cambridge July 4-11, and Jorg Malang, Head of Ovi Maps, and Maria Rakusanova, Product Marketing Manager — who are in the area for Where 2.0 — walked us through an hourlong live demo.We have a great lineup of Geeks for TG2: Howard Rheingold, Craig Newmark, Robert Scoble, Sarah Lacy, Meghan Asha, Sarah Austin, Tom Foremski, Sky Schuyler, Susan Bratton, Renee Blodgett, founder Jeff Saperstein and myself.
Here’s our still-developing Agenda — pretty impressive! On tap: a “speed date” with Seed Camp winners, a podcast at the Guardian on the future of news and media, talks and sessions at the 2gether conference, meeting with Accel startups, participating in an Econsultancy Roundtable with tech startup winners, hitting the TechCrunch Europe Summer Party, then participating in a Roundtable on Open Innovation at Cambridge. We’re also trying to arrange an afternoon tea with Tony Blair and hope to spend a little time relaxing — say, punting on the Cambridge.
Oli Barrett, co-founder of Web Mission, talks about the group of 20 small startups from the United Kingdom that recently visited Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, and what the participants took away from the trip.
The 7-minute interview was conducted on the top floor of Moscone West during the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.
I just got off a demo presentation by a company you might not have heard of yet called Sysomos. Nick Koudas, Sysomos’ founder, personally showed me around two of the company’s products, MAP and Heartbeat, and I have to admit that I think I just witnessed 22nd century — maybe even alien — technology.
Sysomos MAP is the sort of research and social media metrics tool that they have on TV and movies, the sort of data forensics tool they tout on CSI or NUMB3RS that looks spiffy on television but doesn’t exist in real life.
Well, it does exist, and in real time and in real life. You really need to check out Sysomos and you really need to know about these tools. Seriously. Alien technology, for real.
It surprises me how many people don’t know about the fabulous work being done by the Aspen Institute, the 59-year-old international nonprofit organization that works on environmental and economic concerns. It’s a sort of constantly evolving think tank perfectly suited for the new economy: The Aspen Institute convenes roundtables — in Aspen, Colo., Washington, DC, India, Israel, all around the globe — and generally gathers 25 to 30 experts and thought leaders to tackle important public policy issues. During my last two trips to Aspen I met and spoke with Al Gore and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
I’ve been lucky enough to participate in three such roundtables and to write the following reports, which the institute turns into print books (available for purchase) and makes available as free ebook downloads in the PDF format:
• The Mobile Generation: Global Transformations at the Cellular Level, 72 pages, February 2007: a look at the profound changes ahead as a result of the convergence of wireless technologies and the Internet, with an emphasis on how youths use mobile technology (download ebook as PDF).
• Civic Engagement on the Move: How Mobile Media Can Serve the Public Good, 110 pages, July 2008: a look at the startling growth in the use of cell phones and other mobile devices and the ways mobile technology can be used to advance the social good (download ebook as PDF).
• And now the just-released Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction (image above), 110 pages, May 2009: a look at the next-generation Internet and how it will impact all facets of society.
Aspen Reports now using Creative Commons licenses
I’m happy to report that Charlie Firestone, executive director of the institute’s Communications and Society Program, took up my suggestion and has agreed to release the new report under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license, the same license I’ve been using for all of my blog posts for years. That means anyone is free to republish excerpts of the report, or the report in its entirely, for noncommercial purposes. (See excerpt below.)
Not only that, but Charlie has agreed:
• to retroactively release my still-timely two earlier reports, Civic Engagement on the Move and The Mobile Generation, under the same CC BY NC license.
• to publish all upcoming Roundtable on Information Technology reports with the CC BY NC license.
• to recommend that all of the institute’s Communications and Society Program publications be published the same way. “I will take it up with the Aspen Director of Communications, and perhaps other reports at the Institute could be published with that license as well,” he tells me.
This, to my mind, is a coup for Creative Commons, given the world-class scholarship and policy proposals that the Aspen Institute is now making freely available for redistribution and remixing.
When the EconSM conference started out in 2006, the conference circuit looked pretty crowded for another entrant. But the folks behind EconSM — Rafat Ali and Staci D. Kramer, and now the new owner, ContentNext — have carved out a nice niche in the social media space (the SM used to stand for Social Media) and connected it with burgeoning developments in mobile.
First, the details of their upcoming event:
EconSM: Social Meets Mobile
When: May 14 (a week from Thursday)
Where: Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco
Cost: $450 — Socialmedia.biz readers get a 15% discount off the price of the conference and report by entering the discount password “SocialMediabiz”
Report: a 46-page report, “The Changing Mobile Industry and What It Means for Media Executives”
Details: Website info and Agenda
Of the gathering, Staci (a longtime friend) tells me: “When we held the first EconSM in 2006, most people were still trying to grasp what it meant much less how to make it a business. For many media companies, it was a gimmick, something to say they offered. Investors wanted to be in on the ground floor, entrepreneurs wanted to be the next MySpace/Facebook/Flickr/Digg/fill in the blank.
“Much has changed as we get ready for our third EconSM — including the name. The acronym is still the same but this year it’s about the intersection of social and mobile. Social media has passed the gimmick stage — although not everyone has figured that out — and is part of the daily fabric for an increasing number of people.