SHiFT ended

SHiFT has ended. Despite the small technical problems that happened, and the hard work to put SHiFT running, it was 2 amazing days. I only have the opportunity to see a few presentations, but as far as I know, by the reactions, we had a very good lot of speakers, with very rich presentations. From the presentations that I saw, I really liked the presentations from Laurent, Stowe Boyd, Lilia Efimova, and the final (excellent) presentation of David Galipeau, and the demos of Goplan and weSpendMoney. Unfortunelly I couldn’t saw others presentations, as I wish like the ones from Thomas, Suw, Euan or Peter Merholz. But it’s not a problem, we have all the presentations on video, I just have to get some time free to see all the videos from the conference.

SHiFT gathering
Photo author: kev/null

Away from the conference, it was really nice to meet some really interesting people, at the dinners and at the close-up party, like Fred Oliveira, Peter Merholz, Lilia Efimova, Stowe Boyd, Euan Semple, Luke W, Martin Roell, Jean Francois and Suw Charman and so many others. At some time it was very good to see Laurent (from LIFT) again. He gave me some really good tips, about presenting the speakers, one of my biggest concerns regarding SHiFT days.

Thanks for everyone that was present at SHiFT, specially the speakers and thanks all the sponsors and their precious contribution without the one, SHiFT couldn’t be possible.

On the next weeks, we expect to have all the presentations and all the videos available online.

Finally and like we wrote on the conference wiki, “SHiFT has ended, but the conversation will continue, join us the discussion at shift@lists.shift.pt and send us in your suggestion on what you’ve liked and disliked about the conference thru suggestion@shift.pt”.

Next: LIFT – 8 & 9 February 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland.

BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner

This week bloggerview is with Beverly Trayner, the author of “Phronesis – Towards a practical wisdom” (available at http://phronesis.typepad.com/), previously, until the beginning of this month, the author of “Em duas línguas” (available at http://btrayner.blogspot.com/), and one of the speakers at SHiFT06 where she will speak about “Designing for Learning: Communities of practice and Web2.0 technologies”. Enjoy her answers.

1.When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Beverly Trayner (BT): Well, it’s an interesting question because I when I first created blogs, they were just tools to suit my communication needs. I didn’t have a notion of what they were for. In January 2003, I created a blog because it was an easy way to make a web page and I wanted a page with links to communities of practice (http://communitiesofpractice.blogspot.com/)

Then in February 2004 when I was designing a course module with a friend in Tomar, we thought we would use a blog as a way of talking to each other and keeping a record of what we said. We thought it would be interesting for course participants to see some of the process that went into designing a module. It was a great idea, but we didn’t do much of it (http://topicoption.blogspot.com/).

(doesn’t blogspot look so dated?)

I also used it as a way of communicating with my daughter. We talked to each other via a blog, which has left a memory of our conversations. I love that blog. And whenever I had a project, like writing a paper with someone, I kept a blog as a diary so that I would have a record of the process. I have eighteen blogs on my blogger dashboard!

Only in August 2004 did I start “proper” blogging (http://btrayner.blogspot.com/2004/08/getting-started.html) with Em duas línguas (http://btrayner.blogspot.com). More recently I changed blog home to Phronesis (http://phronesis.typepad.com).

2.Why did you choose to give your name to the blog’s name?
BT: I gave the name of “Em duas línguas”, not because it was to be written in two languages, but because it was part of trying to express myself as someone who had an identity in two languages.

Phronesis, my new blog, means “practical wisdom”. Aristotle distinguished between two types of intellectual virtues: sophia and phronesis. Sophia – or wisdom – is the ability to think about the nature of the world; we use it to discover why the world is as it is and to come up with universal truths. Phronesis is thinking about how and why we should act in order to change things, and especially to change our lives for the better. It’s also the ability to reflect on how we achieve that. Phronesis is very much the kind of wisdom that I identify with and aspire to, which is why I chose the name.

3.Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
BT: Well my goal is to help develop my phronesis!

4.In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
BT: That seems like such a big question that I don’t know how to answer it. Among many other things it depends on the objective(s) of the company or school. I think as people catch onto the idea of communities, then blogging becomes a way of stimulating and capturing some of the wisdom of communities.

5.What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
BT: I think we will see a big development in the idea of blogging communities. And we’ll see a further development of systems for mapping out and aggregating the social interactions of people in blogging communities and networks.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
BT: Since I had a big clear out a couple of weeks ago I’ve now reduced my feeds to 500!! I use NetNewsWire. It’s so neat and easy to use, that’s why. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I can’t have a changing blogroll, like I could with bloglines. Or maybe I just haven’t worked out how to do it.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
BT: I think RSS feeds are amazing! Like magic. It’s just such a great way of bringing things together. We live in such dispersed times that anything that helps bring things together has to be good. When groups can harness information and social processes – like you can with RSS feeds – then that has to be a good thing.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
BT: I think that systems made for multi-channelling, like Swarm-it for example (http://home.swarmteams.com/) are the most important thing happening. Multi-Channelling and the integration of mobile phone and the web is where I think we’ll be going. Also, anything that helps in the process of multilingual communication. Machine translation is still rather primitive, but systems increasingly have the option for different language interfaces, multilingual tagging systems etc. I think that’s very important.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Diigo, LinkedIn, or any other?
BT: Well, as soon as I hear of something new I sign up for it and try it out. But the ones that have become an integrated part of my repertoire are Del.icio.us and Flickr. They bring me so much joy!

10. What are your expectations for “SHiFT – Social and Human Ideas For Technology”, next September, 28,29?
BT: My expectations are that I will meet and talk to some interesting people. I’m also keen to see who else in Portugal is working on Social and Human ideas For Technology. Such a lot of hard work and love has gone into the organizing of this conference that I expect it will be a great event for the people who attend.

Microsoft Zune

Microsoft Zune

Meus senhores e minhas senhoras apresento-vos o Microsoft Zune (alegadamente produzido pela Toshiba). Para mais informações aconselho a leitura do Press Release em http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/sep06/09-14ZuneUnveilingPR.mspx, ou sugiro que consultem o CrunchGear, em http://crunchgear.com/2006/09/14/zune-is-coming/ ou o engadget em http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/14/microsoft-launches-the-zune/. Para os mais curiosos também existem mais fotografias do Zune, na página da Microsoft em http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune/default.mspx.

Parece uma alternativa a considerar, sobretudo pelo tamanho do ecrãn e algumas funcionalidades interessantes, no entanto eu mantenho-me fiel ao iPod.

BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho

Like I promised last week, here is BloggerView n.º 7, with André Ribeirinho, author of blog.delaranja.com, and, on his own words, “an entrepreneur who has a passion for the Web (and for wine) he has been playing with Adegga.” I hope you enjoy his bloggerview.

1.When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
André Ribeirinho (AR): I began blogging in 1999 using my Linux area at the university. At the time, I didn’t call it a blog but a homepage.
It was a place where I regularly posted things I thought were relevant and organized them in reverse chronological order. I started blogging because I wanted to organize some links I came across and at the same time share them with some people who might be interested.

At the time I edited the html of that page each time I wanted to “post” something new. Later, in December 2002 I used a blogging tool (blogger.com) for the first time. It was also the first time that I thought about having a blog to share some subject with a specific audience. I knew that IKEA was thinking of opening a store in Portugal and that many people where interested in this, so I setup a blog about it – ikealisboa blog. It included IKEA news and some pictures from the construction site. But IKEA didn’t like it that much and sent me a Cease and Desist letter. I ended the blog but posted about this in my blog which continued to be visited by people who wanted to know about IKEA in Portugal. Some people sent me their CVs although I clearly stated that I was not working for IKEA.

It was a very valuable experience for me because for the first time I had contact with the inability of a corporation the size of IKEA to deal with its online communication. If you googled “Ikea lisboa” when I first created the blog, only one link was getting relevant information about ikea in lisboa and that was the ikealisboa blog. With this I got to know the fear that a corporation full-of-money but without an online strategy got from seeing a one-man run simple blog get more attention than their regular messaging channel.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blog as you did?
AR: Delaranja has a meaning in Portuguese because laranja means orange in Portuguese and “de” means “of”. So one could say “blog of orange” like a section of an orange. The idea behind delaranja.com was to serve as a place where several of my Web projects (sections) are gathered. Besides blog another subdomain is also used (cor.delaranja.com – my girlfriends blog) which basically means “orange color”. Curiously because I didn’t exactly named the blog (just used blog.delaranja.com) people linking there usually use blog.delaranja.com as the name of the link which helps me differentiate in the middle of other links to blogs.

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
AR: Just as when I started, the blog is still a place to organize things I find interesting and share them with people who might be interested. However, nowadays it has more added value to me. It has since become a professional tool that I use to connect to other people who share the same professional interests as me. I connect to all of them through posts, comments and trackbacks and I use links to contribute to make other people’s content relevant.

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
AR: As people we have been naturally sharing information for ages with other people. The internet has provided a new media to let people have that behavior even if their not physically together. Blogs have brought people closer to that new media by making it extremely easy for people to write and publish content on the Internet. Since the Internet is a place where every site is just a click away and is easily found on Google, everyone can leverage their opinion and in some cases can have a real impact in a kind of reach that previously only tv and radio could have.

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
AR: I agree with the idea that blogs are on the edge of content. This happens because instead of just being readers of some centralized news source (like CNN) where every one goes to read the same news, people are now also being authors and publishing their own content. This has led them to rely more on less established news sources that instead provide them with the news the way people want then and when people want them. But finding those sources can be a hard time and understanding how relevant is a certain source is trick thing to do. So I think that a lot of services and tools will be available for people to customize the way they interact with this new media and navigate their way through the kind of content that they are much more interested in and thus much more likely to like to contribute too. This means that we will have more blogs and more content but at the same time better tools to help people make a choice better choice.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
AR: Bloglines was my first feed aggregator. I used it for 1 year and I really liked the fact that I was able to change computers and still be able to at what was going on. A few months ago I changed to NetNewsWire (Mac feed reader) because it makes much more easy to control and manage the lists of feeds. As I added more feeds to the list I also slowly stopped reading other feeds that were on the feedreader but I never opened. On my vacation I spent a lot of time without feed reading and I came back with the idea that I can reduce my feed list by 1/3 and still be able to get much of what I’m really interested in. So I have a lot of feeds I subscribe too but I’ll be cleaning that list soon.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
AR: RSS is double-sided sword. Technologically it makes it easier to build simple cross-website communication tools and services. As an interface for users to get access to content it sucks. In theory people could build their own view of the information (like I do on Netvibes) but reality is harder and very few people have the time or the knowledge to do that. When I explain people that RSS is just a subscription alert system that they can use to receive an alert each time their favorite newspaper published a news item I get this reply: Oh good! How can I use that? and suddenly become interested in what RSS can do for them.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
AR: The Social Revolution. A few years ago I used to spend at least 30 to 60 minutes each day uploading photos and making comments to other users photos on a portuguese photosharing website called foto.pt. It was a simple (yet addictive) website to which I was very emotionally connected. When the owner said that it would no longer be able to keep the site running I was shocked and sad. I then realized that for the first time I was going to miss some of the virtual relationships I had been making online because of that service. So while foto.pt was a photosharing website it’s main interest was the interaction with other people, or it’s social network.

What more general Social Networks (like hi5 or MySpace) have shown is that more than anything people want to be connected to each other and interact in every possible way. By integrating this social aspect into a Web product one can adds another dimension that was not previously present.

I have been playing with this subject for a while in a project called Adegga (www.adegga.com). Adegga is a service where people can manage their wine cellars and share their love for wine with other people they trust. Moreover, Adegga helps people in buying wine by providing
a social context to their decision process. Giving an example: imagine a person is browsing a list of Portuguese red wines because he’s looking to buy a bottle of good wine for a special occasion. What if that list of wines included additional social information as which of that person’s friends own some of those wines or have tasted and rated some of them. This would clearly help that person make a better choice. Not just by providing more product information but by giving the person an implicit recommendation from the people that the person trusts. This is social relevance and people like that.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Diigo, LinkedIn, or any other?
AR: Due to professionally related tasks I try some of these applications at least once. On a more regularly basis I use hi5 (andrerib.hi5.com), LinkedIn, Flickr (http://flickr.com/photos/andrerib/), SAPO Fotos (http://fotos.sapo.pt/andre) and sometimes Del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/andrerib) and SAPO Tags (http://tags.sapo.pt/user/acrib).

10. Do you think it would be important to have an event like LIFT or Reboot in Portugal? Why?
AR: Every event that plans to make people get together and discuss such relevant subjects as innovation and technology and their relation to society is very welcome. Diversity and choice are both good things and whether people choose to go to Reboot (http://www.reboot.dk), LIFT (liftconference.org) or upcoming SHiFT (shift.pt) what matters is that people are creating their own projects and making their contribution in some way to the society we all live in. If by having an event like that, Portugal can benefit from the exchange of ideas then the time spent organizing such a meeting is certainly justified and we all win.

Next week, don’t miss Beverly Trayner, author of Phronesis, and one of the speakers of SHiFT.

Notas soltas

  1. SHiFT: relembro os interessados (e os potenciais interessados) que:
    • faltam apenas 15 dias para conferência SHiFT,
    • as inscrições continuam abertas, com um desconto de 30% até dia 15;
    • existem descontos para estudantes, parceiros e ONGs;
    • existe um passatempo para divulgar a conferência que se traduz na passagem de um bilhete normal para um Golden Ticket, com entrada em todos os Workshops e todos os eventos associados à conferência, incluindo os que só contemplam os oradores;
    • existem 4 workshops nos dias anteriores (“Designing the Next Generation of Web Applications” com Peter Merholz, “Web Accessibility: From 0 to 100 in a single day” com with Joe Clark, “Application Development with Ruby on Rails” com Nathaniel Brown e “Creativity” com Dannie Jost & Henriette Weber Andersen)
    • Precisamos de 4 voluntários para ajudar na conferência, os quais terão entrada gratuita na conferência;

    Mais informações sobre a SHiFT no website oficial em http://shift.pt.

  2. Jardins Digitais: Tal como tinha referido neste blog, há algumas semanas, confirma-se que, num projecto-piloto que irá decorrer até Junho de 2007, irão existir em Lisboa cerca de 20 espaços, entre miradouros, jardins e parques, com acesso à Internet wireless, livre e gratuito. Esperemos que as pessoas aproveitem esta iniciativa.
  3. MIT: Segundo alguns órgãos de comunicação social portugueses (http://www.rtp.pt/index.php?article=254362&visual=16), parece que o acordo de parceria entre o MIT e o Governo Português irá ser assinado no próximo dia 11 de Outubro. Não existindo para já (que eu tenha conhecimento) uma confirmação por parte do MIT, resta-nos esperar por dia 11 para a concretização deste tão aguardado acordo.
  4. 11 de Setembro: Infelizmente não consegui ver a totalidade do documentário “Loose change” sobre a suposta conspiração do 11 de Setembro. Pelo que pude ler, sei que existem muitos críticos a este documentário. Pessoalmente prefiro uma lógica, nem 8 nem 80, ou seja, não temos que acreditar cegamente no que nos querem “vender”, quer no caso da suposta verdade da Administração dos EUA e dos principais media americanos, quer na teoria da conspiração do “Loose change”. A verdade é que existem alguns pormenores passíveis de serem questionados na versão oficial, e para todos os efeitos não seria a 1.ª vez que a Administração dos EUA mentiria ao mundo. Ainda se lembram dos motivos evocados para invadir o Iraque?
  5. Apple: Existem algumas novidades importantes na Apple, como novas cores do iPod Nano, um novo iPod Suffle ou mesmo um novíssimo iTV. Para um relato completo sobre as novidades da Apple aconselho o relato do Crunchgear, disponível em http://crunchgear.com/2006/09/12/its-showtime/.
  6. Sporting 1 – Inter 0: Porque é que a minha equipa não joga assim? Porque é que a minha equipa não tem na equipa titular 8 portugueses, metade com menos de 20 anos? Parabéns Sporting.