More from Vienna

Turns out I was probably wrong about my recognition skills. The first speaker, Mark Bernstein mentioned that he wished Ben & Mena were here…d’oh.

Some highlights so far:
Mark Bernstein talked about the cost of running weblogs: at least €1000/year he reckons. Some could be as much as €50,000. He also talked about the risks of flame wars starting on weblog comments and trackbacks, and asked whether, since both Slashdot and USENET had been ‘lost’ to flamers, would weblogs be next? Mark also talked about the differences between weblogs and mainstream journalism. In the latter environment “today’s news wraps tomorrow’s fish”, whereas in weblogs the archives are cherished, and there is an apparant trend towards categorising old posts.

Stephan Schmidt of SnipSnap tells us that knowledge management does not work and why. In most KM situations the tools, processes and organisation is specified at the management level, which leads to over-complicated and unpopular systems that the users will most likely shun. In his talk Stephan suggested that weblogs and wikis be used as the foundation for a bottom-up approach. Each team member is encouraged to start their own blog, with the tools of their own choice. These blogs are then combined, by overlapping communities, to form meta-communities. At the same time wikis can also be used to retain structured information. Fascinating stuff, and of course SnipSnap is an ideal platform for this – but let’s not be cynical. I think he has a very good point!

Daniel Doegl showed us a fascinating demonstration of Zoomblox, a website designed for young children and teenagers with lots of nice colours and Flash animations. Keep an eye out for in Autumn 2004 if you’re interested.

Notes from Vienna Part Two

05/07/2004 07:44 — I think I’ve ended up in a conference room with a load of press. At least I have coffee… I also recognise a few people; think I walked in the building with Ben & Mena Trott, the proprietors of the fine establishment Six Apart (Typepad, Moveable Type). Took about five minutes’ walk through the city centre to get here. What a lovely walk that was. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city later this afternoon.

Still no wifi in sight, so I’m writing this with the hope I’ll find a net connection later this afternoon.

Footnote:  The fact this now exists on the web means I found a wifi connection 😀

Notes from Vienna Part One

05/07/2004 00:00 — Well, I’m here. First time in a foreign country and I have to say “I like it here”. The language barrier is a slight problem – I gave up trying to get on the underground when I couldn’t figure out where to buy a ticket. But I am the foreigner and it’s my responsibility to learn German. Unfortunately I’m not learning as well or as quickly as I’d like. Communications with the taxi driver was quite difficult. “Der Hotel Karntnerhof bitte” got a bemused look and an ‘eh’? Fortunately we both spoke a little French, so the trip wasn’t completely silent. It was also 5€ …. try getting that sort of price in central London!

Congratulations to Greece (Griechenland here) by the way. The pilot of the plane kept us up-to-date on the score. Amazing stuff.

Right more tomorrow – it’s time for bed! Up at 6am and hopefully I can find an open wifi connection to post this stuff.