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[NMC Regional] The Br[yI]an Double Header

Too much time is slipping following last week’s NMC Regional Conference in San Antonio, and BackBloggiing is slipping dangerously into “Fuggeddaaboudit”… but I would be seriously remiss without mentioning the dynamic back to back sessions by two of my all time favorite presenters- Bryan Alexander, followed by Brian Lamb- the Br[yi]an Double Header.

The Blur of Bryan Alexander
Bryan is talking so fast, he is a blur.

First up was Bryan’s firehose on Web 2.0: The Next Wave of Collaboration, Publication, and Storytelling, which, in 2.0 fashion, he posted on slideshare (wow, there were 108 slides, and we may have seen most of them!?):

After setting a context from 18th century encyclopedias, he made a curious, now meaningful comparison between Web 2.0 and gaming, not in their characteristics, but how we react to them:

Awareness is difficult…
* Huge, financially and quantitatively successful worlds
* Global and rapidly developing
* Bad anxieties, policies, and media coverage

But then turning to the brighter comparisons in that they both offer “intersections” in that they thak advantage of preexisting projects, offer open-ness to mod/warp/hack, engender a DIY environment, and potentially can raise the IF( Information Literacy) of the audiences.

We then set out on Bryan’s tour of the landscape, wikis, blogs, games, mashups, flickr, del,icio,us, tagging, lastfm, …. Favorite “Alexanderism” was in reference to how old a technology wikis are:

“I have children younger than wikis”

And Bryan made one of the more useful distinctions between blogs and discussion boards (that question still pops up a lot), in the sense of microcontent- every item (post) in a blog is URL addressable, as a direct reference link. There were also some not so subtle slaps at the Closed Walls of Course Management Systems, where none of the content is URL addressable as a resource.

And we saw a lot of examples of Browser Gaming, links available from Bryan’s wiki.

And he moved into Digital Storytelling, referencing one of my favorites, the “I Found a Digital Camera in the Woods” as well as the flickr group 5 frame story of “Gender Miscommunication”

The first Bryan was a steller show and the second Brian, I believe, may have an audio recording posted soon at his blog.

So it was the second Brian (Lamb), who took the stage for…“Are We Ready to Mash it Up?”. And for something completely different. as an interlude, he played some mashup video examples (Jason Forrest, I believe??) of the outrageous cutting edge stuff he manages to dig up from the corners of the web few of us venture into.

He than began his session, behind shades, mixing/mashing up a collection of music, sounds, and recordings of people who Brian and recorded during the conference… using some Mac OSX software from Ken Axis

DJ Lamb
Mashup DJ Master Lamb

It was over the top and right on the mark. the audience was mesmerized, or bewildered, or at least paying attention at the end of a long conference day.

So even in a mashup like way, he talked while spinning web sites from his tag cloud generated set of resources, and invited the audience to tag more things into this cloud via his designated account (which people did, you could see them populate the sidebat of the mashup tag cloud). And he invited participation in an open wiki for more input.

Brian will be low key about this presentation and its success, but I for one appreciated the novel approach, the exposure to new and unusual resources, and something a bit over the edge.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at 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. Hm, interesting distinction between blogs and forums. These days, many forums have unique URLs for each post. Some of them have had this for a long time. So I’m not sure that distinction is as useful as it seems on first blush.

    That said, I think any forum system SHOULD have unique URLs because pointing to a post is a critical piece of online discourse. Or conversation. or whatever da heck you call it.

    Sounds like y’all had fun down there. Slightly jealous, but greatful you are sharing your links and impressions.

  2. Thanks, Alan! Thanks, Bryan!

    Arnaud Leene, Nancy, has been recommending that microcontent pieces be addressable for a while (he has a cool blog, and is an awesome chap).
    Addressable discussion fora… hm. It might be useful to see a table listing the top dozen (in usage) platforms, then see how this plays out.
    -silos (linking into Blackboard ain’t useful)
    -searching (how to find forum content, if not exposed to the world?)
    -legacy software
    It would be great if the forum world has advanced in response to, or as joining, web 2.0.

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