I’ve more or less resigned myself that I have little interest in doing intensive (or any) blog note-taking at conferences. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of recording it for yourself and others, but it ends up feeling a bit like being one of the transcribing monks (the one with bad fingers).

Besides, in these days, any presentation worth a shout ought to have the bulk of their important content posted somewhere.

And being late, and since dealing with an abnormally long time to upload photos to flickr, this is an abbreviated feedback on the EDUCAUSE ELI conference.

Again, the “ultimate” (right adjective, Brian?) highlights have been spent with fellow bloggers Bryan Alexander, Brian Lamb, Gardner Campbell, and more. The face to face grand dicussions, be that inside the conference lunch, or riding the trolley to Old Town, are priceless. Bryan’s wry observations are gems, like noting a correlation that the more expensive hotels have the slowest broadband internet (at the opposite end in his experience is the very fats net at a Motel-8 in rural Pennsylvania).

Brian (Lamb) went all out to fetch the prop hats and foil for our morning session on Beyond The Blog where we had a packed room, and many of them experienced bloggers or folks with more experience than us. It was great session time, and as we hoped, more conversational along the lines of the questions we asked, and less of a click and pony show. There are some fantastic comments “posted” during the session, people who contributed ideas and responses to our questions.

Thanks to Gardner also for getting some pictures up in his blog (remember to tag them in flickr as “fishtacos“).

I did a very quick fade-in fade-out edit of the session recorded in my iRiver, and posted the 13.5 Mb MP3 of the session:

Please do some commenting in the site.

Enough about us.

Next up was a demo and session on the Croquet Project, the peer to peer 3D information navigating /application sharing space. And its open source. It is just plain cool, and I’d like to pry free time to explore it more than just fawning over it at conferences. I’d sure like to dive in more and learn about the real uses beyond the functionality shown in the demo. I guess we could have had an all afternoon demo if the schedule allowed.

The lunch time talk by Alan Kay was just mind blowing- I could feel waves of his genius wafting back, and he talked of the disconnect between the way kids learn things by experience and what is drummed into them in the school system (and played a bit of the Private Universe video along with some details of his efforts to ask some key follow-up questions to the Harvard Grads who held onto private (wrong) theories of how the seasons happened. Midway through, his presentation that had masquerading as powerpoint, revealed itself as an application (in Squeak??) and demonstrated some interesting manipulatives for examining motion. And it ended up some insight into the whys and the direction for the $100 laptop project (I was half expecting him to pick up one at the end and tell us he was using it all long).

Next up was the Experience It session on Alternate Reality Games by Bryan Alexander. This was pure creative ideas and some insight into ARGS I had read surfacially about but I learned much more about how the puzzles work. I may never look at a web site again as just what it appears iin face value. You can find al of the links and examples shared at http://infocult.typepad.com/presentations/

I’d sure like to think more about how to use this concept, that really boils down to some intense problem solving in an environment of no direct clues/instructions. It’s rich (and strange) terrain.

There was an afternoon general session of not much significance. Maybe I was tired, but it sounded like a string of internet buzzwords. At 5:30, I had a practice session for tomorrow’s session for the New Media Consortium’s 5 Minutes of Fame, that is being used to discuss the topics in the just released NMC Horizon Report 2006. I was asked to talk about the section on mobile technologies or “Phone in the Pocket”.

It will be interesting.

For the evening adventures, it was an excursion to an In-N-Out miles away; the reasons for which are too much to blog, but a fun way to decompress with 10 other colleagues. And now I know more about the secret menu. And I found a strange connection to the number 43. But it was not over, as more needed to be fleshed out over liquids at the Dobson Bar.

It’s been a ggggggreat day, but must end.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. 10 other colleagues? I count ten in total. (You, me, Gardner, Bryan, Steve, Ernie, Liz, Dean, Andy, Rachel) — who am I forgetting?

  2. Thanks so much for blogging all this, Alan. I’m so exhausted right now, and frankly mourning the end of the conference today, that I couldn’t possible do any justice to the smallest part of yesterday’s day-long feast. I need more time with you guys. The distributed conversation is wonderful itself, of course, but I feel a critical mass building and then stopping all of a sudden … life, gotta get back, I know, but still….

    A few hours left.

  3. I can’t spell, I can’t count, don;t put me in front of an audience.

    Yes, Gardner, I agree. The firehouse is still on and we need to pull back? Crazy.

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