I’m removing FOWA content


I have removed almost all of the Future of webapps footage I shot last week. I was nicely asked to consider what kind of impact this could have on future conferences. I thought about it and agreed to take down the footage which was also fitting with the terms and conditions for the conference. If you have copied the footage off Blip.tv, I hope you will also do the right thing and delete the footage too.

I have however, chosen to keep the video of Mike Arrington up under the interest of public debate and fair use. But all the rest are now gone. I hope you can all understand and will enjoy the next Future of Webapps, as much as I enjoyed the last one. Oh and can you believe the Future of Webdesign is already sold out… Crazy!

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Time to get semantic

get semantic.com

Something which I didn't mention but others have is the fight between the large S semantic web guys and the small s semantic web guys. Aka Microformats vs RDF. You can see the video here. What us RDF-ish guys were suggesting was using eRDF instead of Microformats for extended semantic markup. We proposed to give RDF in XHTML a new name, Macroformats. Tom Morris, after a chat with some of the microformats guys like Tantek and Kevin Marks, changing the name. Tom Morris has now setup getsemantic.com, which is a place where everyone writing semantic markup can get together and promote more semantic markup.

Wow, it's been an absolute mad panic of announcements. Firstly, “macroformats” is dead. It lasted all of a few days, but realism set in – assisted by some pissed off microformateers – and we ditched the name.
We've still got the domain names, but they will redirect and we aren't going to advertise them.
I'm just waiting for the Internet to catch up – specifically, DNS. Once the DNS machine has figured out what it's doing, then we can proceed to building the site.
I actually bought the licence for Snapz Pro X ($69!) because I feel that screencasts are going to be very important in what we are doing. Screencasts certainly helped with things like the Ruby on Rails project.
The plan is to help people understand the process of coming up with their own formats – which can be as simple as writing up a bunch of class names or as complex as coming up with a 3,000 item ontology. Of course, if they only want to do the first one, there'll be people who know how to do all the other steps and will do it for them.
I've sent out a sort of 'vision' statement to the people on the list, but I won't bore you with it here – my blog isn't the best place for it, after all. Once the site launches, something very much like it will be up there.
The first GetSemantic project I'm going to be pushing for is Embedded BibTeX. I use BibTeX a lot. The “citation” work at microformats.org is suffering because there's no clear cowpath to be paved. But we have a BibTeX ontology written in DAML+OIL and it wouldn't be too hard to use eRDF to turn that in to HTML. I'm already writing academic essays in XHTML with CSS and having the tools to embed and extract those citations would rule.
The other thing that I might do is “hRSS”. hAtom is a great format, but not all web sites can be turned in to Atom – RSS 2.0 serves sites like mine better. I'll follow hAtom as closely as possible, but then move away when the RSS 2.0 specification differs from the Atom specification. Before I get flames, there are good reasons to choose RSS 2.0 if you have untitled blog entries. And, yes, there are good reasons for that too. You may not like the reasons, but they exist.
One of the key differences between GetSemantic and the more formalised microformats is that we're going to say “yes” more often. Think of them as science experiments – have fun, build something, see whether it works. We'll start herding cows down new paths and then if that works, then it might become a microformat. If it doesn't work, then we will learn why it doesn't work and try not to make that mistake in the future.

Anyway, I've graphed out where we're coming from, because its easy to think we're suggesting Microformats are crap. Well thats not what we're saying. We all love Microformats but sometimes we find them a little limiting. The example I always use is XFN vs FOAF. XFN has a limited amount of relationships, while FOAF has tons. Because you can put FOAF in eRDF, this means eRDF is more extensible. But on the other side, this all adds to the complexity and the amount of people who actually want to do this drops a lot.

Semantic markup graph

Thanks to Sheila who forced me to draw this out a while ago, when trying to explain how eRDF, RDF, XML, etc all fit in the grander scope of things. I'm considering updating it with one including XHTML 2.0 and RDF/A. Oh great work Tom.

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Calendaring sharing joy with Outlook 2007, Amazon S3 and Jungledisk

Calendaring sharing joy with outlook 2007

Its finally working… Calendaring sharing with Sarah now works. I got fed up trying to do it with my own WebDav and CalDav servers, and downloaded Jungle Disk. Jungle disk is simply a local server which interfaces with Amazon's S3 storage and provides a webdav wrapper. So when Outlook 2007 asks for a Webdav server, me and Sarah just point it at localhost and Jungledisk takes care of syncing with Amazon S3.

Yep its not free but its certainly worth the bandwidth and storage space for a tiny calendar file, if it means I can see Sarahs Calendar and she can see mine.

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London Werewolf Cards?

This was one of those what the f*ck moments. Found on Kid666

There was a lot of Werewolf playing at BarCampLondon2 as one would expect. There was also some talk of starting a Flickr group with CC licences. These could then be printed to Moo cards.
While I know some people want to do illustrated or CGI graphics I dont have any of those skills. I do however have a lot of imagination. In that spirit I decided some of our favourite British web-tech celebrities should be turned into Werewolf cards. My suggestions are:

  • Werewolves
  • Jeremy Keith
  • Andy Budd
  • Tom Coates
  • Seer
  • Mark Norm Francis
  • Villagers
  • Simon Willison
  • Ian Forrestor

Who else should be on there where? And does anyone have the photoshop skills to make this happen? Write me!

I would do it this way.

  • Werewolves
  • Jeremy Keith
  • Andy Budd
  • Tom Coates
  • Mark Norm Francis
  • Seer
  • Ian Forrestor
  • Healer
  • Natalie
  • Villagers
  • Sheila Thomson
  • Steve Marshal
  • Simon Willison
  • Kapowaz
  • Tom Morris

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London Geek Dinner with Citizen Agency

Tara takes a picture

I was reading the London Girl GeekDinner 10 roundup by Sarah Blow and thought how simlar our nights sounded.

Wednesday night was a mad night. I was late again, because I had to scoot from Kensington to Clerkenwell in rush hour traffic. I forgot my camera batteries and charger, so had to scoot back from Victoria. I also completely forgot about the stickers and pens earlier in the day. So when I finally got to the bear bar, I had to go to Sarahs work place in Holborn and get a load of stickers. I was honestly very suprised how quickly people got from High street Kensington to Farringdon. By the time I got back, it was filling up nicely.

Tara and Chris had arrived and were enjoying chatting to people. After making an announcement on the PA system and sorting out stickers (big thanks to Sarah Forrester and Sheila for going around and collecting money instead of me by myself). Before you know it the food came out and like Sarah Blow we need to make it clear that a dinner isn't really a dinner. More a finger buffet. Quoting from Sarah Blow,

As you have probably gathered to do a proper sit down meal for 80 people at £15.00 per head which is about the minimum you could do it for in London would come to around £1500 plus wine… there aren't all that many companies that would be willing to do that which is why we try to keep the cost down to something sensible to make it accessible to companies and people. That way everyone benefits from it. Apologies to those people who thought that they were going to get a complete full blown meal for nothing! We really can't afford to do that! I'll remember to put up the proviso on the details about the event regarding food etc.

The reason beind the name London Girl Geek Dinners was all because it started off as sit down meals and people paid their own way for dinner, but as the events have got larger it's virtually impossible to do that without mammoth organisation!

I think the problem we had this time around was that we had lots of new people from the Future of webapps. So a lot of people expected a full meal or something for 5 pounds! Like Sarah said, not in London you don't. On the other hand some people commented to Sarah (my wife) that if they knew it was like this aka pub meetup with social geeks. They would have come ages ago. So yes, some about information about geekdinners is certainly needed, along with some eventwax intergreation?

Once we got to actual talk which agreed was later that expected due to myself trying to sort out the food. Tara was great, I did record it (part 1 and 2) using my Sanyo (Kosso recorded it with his own special equipment) but its so dark and I really should find a open/free video editor to clean it up a little. Although, we did have a full Dj rig complete with Microphone, the levels were messed up and it came out a little distorted. What didn't help was the chatter in the background from people who didnt realise they should be quiet while Tara and Chris talked. Sarah once again was very good at telling people to be quiet but in the end as the questions started, we were really fighting to hear Tara. Its a shame because Taras talk was very interesting specially in the light of the whole Mike Arrington outburst earlier in the day. I also wanted to ask Chris and Tara if they would ever move to Europe? But it wasn't to be.

The rest of the night flew by and I was actually very impressed with the new venue. I'm sure Geekdinners will be back there again. Yes the toilets could be better and we could do with some more chairs or sofas but with a capacity of 120+ its not bad at all. They serve all types of beer and even let us stay quite late without pushing us out the door. Its not wheelchair accessible I'm sorry to say Sarah Blow, otherwise I would have recommended it. Once your upstairs its all flat, so with some help you could carry someone upstairs first.

Huge thanks to Chris Messina and Tara Hunt for talking and making the night ever-so enjoyable. I'm also very pleased to have met you guys and I look forward to spending some more time with you guys in San Francisco in early April.

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MT? you might as well be dead to me

From Fowa, do you trust these people?

I've heard about the problems but have not publiclly said much. But I'm sorry as far as I'm concerned, I stopped recommending Movable Type a long time ago and can't understand why people still use it. Suw's post on strange attractor is simply awesome and well worth reading if you also recieved the email from Sixapart. But generally it doesn't scale effectively, and I'm not saying many blogging servers do. But I wonder why everyone seems to think there are only 2 blogging application servers out there?

What about Blojsom, Community Server, Dasblog, B2, Roller, etc. Theres much more to blogging servers that MT and WordPress. Go Explorer, don't be constrained by whats the norm. Thom Shannon recommended http://asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm

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Conference 1.0 vs Conference 2.0?

Saturdays Schedule

During the Future of Webapps, quite a few people said to me how weird it was being at a conference where you had to sit and listen. They prefered the idea of BarCamp, where you could move around and directly effect a presentation with a question or idea. So in short they were comparing conferences with unconferences. One of the people, Raj Anand who came up to me promised to blog it and suggested they send me a link. Well Raj did – BarCampLondon2 V/S FowaLondon07?

I want to point out some of the things which were missed in the verses comparison.

  1. The likes of Kevin Rose, Michael Arrington, etc. Are not going to fly half the way around the world for a BarCamp. This is good or bad depending on what your after.
  2. BarCamp's are run by the community, if things don't quite work out. The community is much more forgiving. While a conference where people are paying, the audience are much less forgiving.

  3. Putting on a conference is very expensive and requires a lot of time and effort. Setting up a BarCamp requires a lot of time but its possible for a gorup or small community to club together to make it happen.
  4. Networking at BarCamp is easier because of the overnight plus the people who tend to go are very motovated. The same is not true of conferences because you have so many people and the barrier for entry is down to money.
  5. A lot of people can not afford (timewise) to take a weekend off for BarCamp. While conferences can be justified during the working week. Also very few companies will send there employees to a BarCamp.
  6. The comparison on links is a little unfair because BarCamps are all over the world, however the Flickr and slideshare comparisons are interesting.
  7. I know BarCampLondon2 made it into the Technorati Top 10 tags, Flickr's top tags and a few other places. But I'm sure FOWAlondon2007 did too.
  8. Do not under estimate the amount of work required on your behalf, to go to BarCamp. Participtation is needed at a lot of levels, while at a conference you can pretty much turn and just listen all day.
  9. BarCamps are not great about following up, so theres no official recordings or all the presentations in one place. This can be arranged but not certain like a conference.
  10. Believe it or not, the two can co-exist. FOWA and BarCampLondon2 were very close together and with events like Geekdinner. Its possible to make a great week for a city like London. I mean, where else would you have rather have been last week?

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The BBC should be dissolved says Mike TechCrunch Arrington

mike arrington at fowa

Video: Mike Arrington thinks the BBC should be dissolved

Taken from the Backstage Blog,

Yesterday (21st Feb) at the future of webapps there was a Panel Debate about what Europe could learn from American in regards to the startup culture. We captured the whole debate on a small camcorder. Including the part where one of the most prolific voices of the valley, Michael Arrington from TechCrunch.com. Showed his true feelings for the BBC's efforts online. He added…

The BBC should be dissolved

And then started to make a joke about the office, which showed his lack of knowledge of what the BBC really is about. He then wax lyrical about CBBC World and how we were distorting the industry. Daniel Morris a developer at BBC Manchester finally debunks most of Mike Arrington's rant about the BBC by pointing out that everything the BBC does has to pass the Public Value Test.

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Future of Webapps London 2007

Myself and Kevin Rose

So here's my live blogging during FOWA London 2007.

Mike Arrington

I'm late for the first session but I find a space near the back and listen to Mike Arrington. Geez I feel like asking a question about TechCrunch UK. Specially with him going on about the fact he was born here or something. Mike Arrington also talks a lot about Adobe Apollo and mentions his own conference. Suggests that there big differences in culture between UK and America . Considers the fact that Asia might be the place to go for in the future. On removing friction, he considers the difference between Yahoo! and Gmail. Someone hits Mike about his love for Apollo, thank goodness I was about to puke.

Edwin Aoki brings it back to communities, starting off with Tim Berners Lee's vision for the internet. Considers the community features in the leading applications like ebay, amazon, etc. Are Webring and Dmoz the mashups of Web 1.0? Edwin certainly thinks so. Proposes some of the trends to be Disaggreagation and Syndication. Mentions community going mobile through helio phone for example. Secondlife blur the virtual and online worlds. Thinks about our responsibility as technologies not only with security/privicy, spam, social effects but also decentralisation and trust models. AOL now supports OpenID. Applications need to be accessible otherwise we won't ever bridge the digital divide. Then talks about Balance.Power but ease of use, social benefits and commercial interests, Offline and online interactions.

Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt just gave a fantastic presentation with tons of information which shes going to stick on Slideshare.net soon. The best part was her analysis of Flickr, Threadless, Twitter, BarCamp and another. Well worth looking through.


Simon Wardley gave a good fun presentation about ducks and Zimki which is going open source soon. I love Last.fm, but their presentation certainly sound a little dull for my liking. Next time guys, a little spark would be cool.

Werner Vogels

Werner Vogels, although very hard to understand because of his accent but made a fantatstic case for Amazon S3 storage. Showing pictures of a datacentre failure and the percentage of hard drive failures after a few years was scary enough. However he made solid points about scaling and uptime. Then they showed off a few figures pre-S3 and post-S3. Elastic compute cloud also recieved simular treatment with Powerset.com and a couple others. Mechanical Turk also came up but only at the end. And Steve from Openstreetmap.org, rightly pointed out that the Turk doesn't work in the UK. Vogels points out that its down to labor laws here. Which I think speaks volumes about the States.

Brandley Horowitz

Brandley Horowitz brought the afternoon back into reality with a talk about users. He showed the good and bad sides of user-generated content and then talked about the organic process of interestingness – or turning users into editors. He pointed out it was retroactive and less susceptible to gaming or agendas. Turning users into taggers, highlighted the fact that its quick and brings the level of entry right down. He also pointed out the machine tags (or RDF triples) then quickly moved on to zone tagging which came from yahoo? In the same vein about lower the barrier to entry, he pointed at flickr clustering. Turning his head to the concept of neighboring he also mentioned mybloglog.com. At long last he talks about Yahoo Pipes. RSS is mashup for the masses? Horowitz, makes a good comparison about pipelines as sampling vs synthesizing.

Then we were into the sponsored talks which included QuotationsBook.com, Soocial.com and BT. Soocial.com, left me thinking whats the difference between it and Plaxo.com (bar the cool style). BT showed off BTconnect.com, which I assume was also showed off at BarCampLondon2 but I missed it. BTconnect.com I have to say looks pretty interested although its not live yet (see screenshot).

Kevin Rose

The last session of the day was by Kevin Rose of Digg.com. He ran through a lot of digg's past and announced that OpenID was coming soon and that a Flashtoolkit will be also be available soon. The toolkit would allow people to take a subset of digg and show it somewhere else. For example allow a bunch of friends to show others their own number ones, etc. He also talked about exporting attention, I suggested that the digg team should consider apml.org (should have mentioned attention rdf too).

The first day had its ups and downs. The biggest down was certainly the wireless which didn't work because of some broadband connection problems. This wouldn't be so bad but the speakers were also on the same connection, so some of the demos couldn't be shown live. Ryan Carson was rightly so, pissed off about it all and made his feelings known. On the upside, Tara Hunt, Werner Vogels, Bradley Horowitz and Kevin Rose were very good and gave me lots to think about. I'm sure Day 2 will be good too. Hey and free parking underground for Scooters was a huge bonus for myself.

Day 2

Its Adobe on board talking about Flex and Apollo. He's revealing the code behind Flex aka mxml. I'm still having a hard time understanding what the real difference between flex and xaml. In places they could have used SVG like syntax, they didn't, where they could have used xpaths they didn't. Thankfully they used CSS at least. Now he's showing off picnic.com which I've seen before. It seems Flashplayer 9 has been redone and now supports ECMAscript for XML (E4X). A guy from Scrybe shows how much faster Actionscript 3 is compared to actionscript 2, it looks like 12x faster across the board. AVM2 source was donated to Mozilla (Tamarin), it looks like it will make its way into Firefox 4.0. Now finally with only 3mins left, Apollo. Maptastic and a ebay application on the desktop, oh wow – i'm so impressed. Not!

Chris Wilison from Microsoft is now on stage, expressing why he felt thing went wrong in 2001. Hacking also became lucrative is one of his slides, but generally he talks about lack of vision of web developers trying to build everything in a their own silo. 2005 saw the rebirth of the lower s semantic web. RSS, Microformats, tagging and other browsers arise. Now the IE7 pitch, but some details on the integrated RSS platform. And back to security… and back to IE7. Wasn't this talk meant to be about the future of the browser? Talk about quirks vs strict mode and running multiple IE's side by side. Microsoft are releasing a virual PC image which has IE6 and IE6 sp2 for free every few months. Now a section about Microsoft Expression designer, ASP.net Ajax and WPF/E. WPF/E is like WPF but is a subset of XAML and works like a Mozilla plugin at 1.1meg.

I'm left wondering if the new york times get it at all after hearing Khoi Vinh talking? There still building lots of stuff internally and not reaching out to the rest of the web – silo building?

Simon Willison

Simon Willison did a great job outlining the problem with a non-single sign on eco-system. The slide for Microsoft and Six a Part did get a laugh when asked if you trust these people. The rest of the presentation was pretty fluid (as is Simon when usually talking). Intellengence on the edge is actually a very good model for why OpenID makes sense. Simon then outlined a load of scenarios which could be done now we're using OpenID. Simple examples using OpenID and XFN and hCard microformats. Plus more complex examples using Social Whitelists using OpenIDs. On the whats wrong with OpenID, he mentions phishing, privicy and what happens if your openID provider goes down? He mentions Microsofts cardspace as possible solution, but generally thats a browser issue which openID can not solve. The others can be solved by using adding multiple OpenIDs to a ID and using multiple providers.

I attended the Panel Debate in the Council Chamber. The debate was what could be learned from the Americans when it comes to startups in Europe. It wasn't a very good debate at all (too many panel members I think) and the setting was kind of odd, Anyway some of the highlights or lowlights depending on where you sit included, Mike Arrington deciding it would be best for the UK market if the BBC was shutdown (I caught the whole rant on camera). Another BBC employee jumped in and made the point about the public service test but Mike Arrington was having none of it. His point about the Office was simply stupid. The reason why there is no more seasons of the office is because we know when to stop (Mike should take a note out of that book) and it looks like we may have sold the rights to the American version. Distoration in the market my ass arrington.Later in the debate Chris Messina made the point about define goals and success. Mike being the one sided guy which I now think he might be, said to Chris, what do you mean? Thats pretty simple – How much money does the startup make. Chris I believe didn't say anything but shruge his sholders, knowing this was simply a arguement which couldn't be won with such a one sided guy. Maybe I was wrong but its certainly what I felt. The rest of the debate was pretty un-eventful except Arrington grinning everytime Mike Bucher avoided my question (which wasn't going to be about the BBC actually). I can't help but wonder if Mike is more upset because he didn't get the full details of CBBC world?

I took a few sessions off to catch up with Ben Metcalfe and others after the panel debate.

Rasmus, compared opensource projects to the current crop of web 2.0 sites. System that harness network effects and get better the more people use them in a way that to there own self-interest. He wonders what PHP, any Sourceforge project, Wikipedia and Flickr would be like without partcipitation from its users

Tariq from Netvibes just quickly announced a universal widget API (UWA) for Netvibes and then came back on and announced OpenID support coming soon. Mike Arrington blogged it 30mins before the annoucement.

Moo cards guys talk about the differences between them and there rivals Qoop who launched there cards 2 weeks before Moo.com. Made a good point about marketing. They think about and pay for marketing before the product which is very cool. Moo is very much the company I think of when saying the word boutique. They hand check every single pack and send it all via Royal Mail in the morning.

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BarCampLondon2 is over…

Ending BarCampLondon2

BarCampLondon2 could not have gone much better. It was a great experience and dare It, better that the first one. Thanks to everyone who turned up and made it an unforgettable event. I've had a total of 3 hours sleep over the weekend, so my brain is crying out for bed. But who could know Werewolf could be so intense….


lots more to come… but in the meantime, I'm uploading video to blip.tv, pictures to flickr and my slides to slideshare. All using the BarCampLondon2 tag.

So my account of BarCampLondon2 should be pretty consistent with most others. It was a bloody good event. The venue supplied by BT was nothing short of amazing. We had the showcase arena which includes autoriumum fit for CEOs including 180+ investers. Thseat wewcomfortablele enough for me to actually sleep hours unlikeke the Yahoo offices last year, we only had a couple of so called rooms. Instead we spaces with either a 60 inch plasma screen or projectors with over 100 inch screens. Most of them seateabout 4040people, so with 3 spaces upstairs, one in the middle and 3 downstairs. There was more that enough room. But at the same time, it never felt like there was no one around. Talking of which 70+ people stayed over night, how do I know? Because I went around about 5am and counted. This is over double what we had last time and according to Chris Messina better that the last San Francisco BarCamp. Quite a few people didn't go to sleep over night, they opted to stay uthrough thehenight. In total we had about 170 people, but i did notice some new people during the day, so I would say we weren't that far off 200. I also think the people who really wanted to present did get a chance, also this time around no one had more that one session.

This time around we also had wireless connectivity, this time via BT Openzone passes. We (the organizers) were honestly worried about 24 hour passes. BT offered a lot of Openzone passes but each one cost its full price of 10 pounds. So obviously BT wanted to keep the costs down. Hence we didn't throw them out the crowd. We worried there wouldn't be enough for everyone during the whole of BarCamp. So come Sunday morning we would have a 100 people asking for new passes at the same time. We tried to setup ut itwasn't to be. In the end it all worked out and out worst fears didn't happen.

Talking about Organizers, Nat and Jason were a pleasure to work with. Some people might remember me asking for a co-organizer to work with a while ago. A lot of people were interested but in the end I choose Jason because he was super excited to be involved and lived pretty close. Nat although living in Oxford was also very excited and offered to do what she could remotely like print out signs, etc. Both of them were enthuastic and were willing to spend a lot of time on BarCampLondon2. I had maother offersersbut some were less excited and some had already done a BarCamp in another country. I really wanted to give new people a chance to get a feel for BarCamp and who knows might happen in the future. So big thanks to Nat and Jason once again, couldn't have done it without you guys.

So in more details behind the decisions of BarCampLondon2.

Eventwax, was recommended to me by Nat. I setup an account (wishes it had OpenID support) and liked what I saw. So I used it and gave the account details to Nat and Jason too. Our first problem came with the firsign upnup period of 1.5hrs. I allocated 100 tickets and they all went in 1.5 hours. Now that was fucking amazing but the message which you got when you then tried to sign up wasn't very useful. So much so, that our friends who don't speEnglishish as there first language didn't quite get the odd messageabout tickets and went ahead and booked their airplane/train tickets. So in that case I would send out a invite or clue them into went the next wave of tickets would be. Some could say thats unfair but its tricky if that person has already bought there tickets. I had a lot of complaints about the words tickets aattendeesees. I would love for the Eventwax guys to build in the ability to change the wording through out the site on a event by event bases. Tabilityity to also say this event is free and costs nothingwould be useful. I didn't try out the promo code stuff but that certainly looks useful for guest tickets in the future, would certainly beat sending out invites. The different levels of tickets was damm useful, because I could do the wave thing with tickets. So after the first 100, I started putting out tickets on the wiki and a few email lists. The same is true of the 3rd wave. Eventwax allows you decide in advance when tickets go live and stop. Date is great but time would also be very useful, as midnight isn'tvery useful for most people. Cancellation are a pain to deal with eventwax (although thank you to everyone who did email us), it would be great to have an aggregator ticket which looks how many spaces are actually left and offers them up as a ticket. On the last wave of tickets I had to keep cacluating the difference and changing the tickets for the last wave. That was a pain. Looking back I shouldn't have left the last wave of tickets till 2 days before the event but I really wanted to reuse all tcanceledledtickets. In the end we ended up with about 20% not used.

One last thing about the ticket thing, I wish I'd never mentioned IDs and checking. That caused a shit storm which I thought might actually shadow the event. My reasoning behind it was because yes I did hear about people selling tickets and getting multiple tickets under different names. There might have been some truth to it all but in the end we still had the 20% drop off.

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The weekend of BarCampLondon2


Yep its finally come and I'm nervous to say the least. I look forward to the weekend but I know its going to be a lot of work. My presentation is still half done (hoping to finish it in a cafe today) although I can pull up my flow blog, yahoo pipes, touchstone, wikipedia and talk about pipelines.

There are still some tickets left over for those last minute thinkers.

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Is the BBC Backstage podcast the first CC licenced piece from the BBC?

Michela Ledwidge asks the question, and we racked our brains and did a lot of searching. I think it might be, but I can't say for sure. If thats not a first, using blip.tv is certainly a first. And to be honest, if it wasn't for the ability to…

  1. Set the license (creative commons attribution 2.5 in this case)
  2. Pipe content to Archive.org for permanent storage and to the benefit of generations to come

We would have never have consider it. Maybe we've been drinking too much of Lessig's kool aid. Although I was a little worried about the Blip.tv EULA. But Mike at Blip says,

As far as the EULA, we don't own all the rights. Don't want them. We need to find a way to make that even clearer. When you upload you give us the rights to create derivative works (for thumbnails and transcoding) and to distribute (i.e. make available for download). Those rights go away when you delete the content from blip.

Another reason why the archive.org angle is very important. If Blip.tv ever pulled a Yahoo/Flickr thing on its users. You could pipe them all to Archive.org and remove them from Blip. Metadata and all..

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XSLT 2.0 supported by Microsoft?

At a time when the W3C just announced XSL 2.0 as a official recommendation. Kurt Cagle has the scoop.

Microsoft has formally announced that with the publication of the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation the XML Team has commenced working on a new XSLT 2.0 implementation that will be available as part of the .NET platform, with the very real possibility that it will also be folded into the Internet Explorer browser.

Oh and did you see the new features which are being put into Firefox 3.0? Not only offline application support but EXSLT support too.

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The reaction to the first Backstage podcast

Podcast group

The first ever BBC Backstage podcast has caused a quite a stir. Some of it negative and some of it positive.

Generally the reaction to the podcast is positive but Ben did say he felt Backstage shouldn't be hosting such a debate. Its bigger that Backstage and should be taking place somewhere else. Fair enough, but till then backstage is where it will stay for now.

Before coming to Cory's thoughts on the BBC and DRM, I thought I'd better cover some of the other points from others first. Upyourego loves the podcast too and makes a good point about the lack of RSS like Tom Morris. Adam, Brian, Superfly
picked it up
and so does Euan Semple, who is surprisingly quiet about it. But some of the comments left are interesting, including one from Cory. Weird Cory didn't post any comments to mine or Ben's
blogs entries

Corys post to BoingBoing is over the top. I love Cory but he took a few points from the podcast and went to town on them. He threw out most of the other stuff which made it a much more balanced debate. For example,

You can hear the disappointment in the visionaries at the BBC, the betrayal at being sold out by management. The BBC is forcing Britons to buy an American operating system — Windows — in order to watch British programming, made in Britain. The free and open GNU/Linux — whose kernel is maintained in Britain — can't be used for British TV, because of DRM.

Well yes there was something in the air but we're positive about making things right and turning things around. Open DRM is one of many things discussed but Cory doesn't mention this. Tom has a comment which I don't quite get, but I'll ask him tomorrow.

Arstechnica does a much better job at reporting a more balanced view of the podcast. Although the title is misleading – BBC explains decision to go with Microsoft DRM.

The brouhaha surrounding iPlayer makes for some good reading, but more interesting is the podcast. The BBC engineers on the show come off as intelligent, affable folks who don't like content restrictions any more than consumers do. They're also fully aware of recent technologies like Ogg Vorbis, BitTorrent, and SlingBox. For those curious how DRM and rights decisions are made behind the scenes at a major public broadcaster, this is definitely worth a listen.

A couple of good comments follow too.

That's an amazingly insightful podcast! Thanks!

Which company has used DRM longer, the BBC or Apple? Just because Jobs uses DRM and then says “but we shouldn't” doesn't mean a thing. Well, depending on how gullible you are. It's about as meaningful as Google's “do no harm”. Actions speak louder than words.

Currently Digg and Slashdot have yet to pick up the podcast or its reactions. Oh it looks like we'll be uploading the video this week.

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Day Break only available online

Taye Diggs and Victoria Pratt of Daybreak

I write this entry a while ago.

Oh great! What is it with American networks and getting rid of shows before they get a chance to get going? I'm not saying Daybreak was the next Firefly but you know what – its damm ignoying. I mean its only meant to be a mini series between the break in Lost season 3 but come on. Its actually not that bad and I was looking forward to seeing what else would come from the series. Now I have to watch it on ABC.com via a proxy
because I can't see it in the UK, but it even that looks unlikely.

Well I'm glad to say, episodes 7-12 are now out and online. As expected the series was worth watching till the end (not sure if 12 is the last one or not). Go get them while there still online. Its also coming to the UK via Sky/Cable on Bravo. Shame there won't be a second series.

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