Sep 022011

I am very aware that I haven’t posted an update here in a long while so I thought I’d provide a wee update on what I’ve been up to for the last month.

The Social Media & Repositories Round Table (you can see me chairing) at Repository Fringe 2011

The Social Media & Repositories Round Table (you can see me chairing) at Repository Fringe 2011

After a busy early summer of attending events August has seen me wearing my organiser hat. First up was Repository Fringe 2011, our annual unconference on all things repository which this year took place in Fringe Preview week in the Informatics building in George Square (or the Gilded Balloon/Assembley/BBC@Potterrow as the area is known in August). My role at Repository Fringe (this was my third) is to amplify the event and this year we went for a fairly successful blend of liveblogging, a very busy #rfringe11 hashtag, and a Flickr group for any attendee to submit images to.  We have also uploaded all the presentations that we can on SlideShare (these are also embedded on our new Presentations page) and are adding video recordings to our YouTube channel over the next few weeks.

This year we had a few new tools to try out for RepoFringe. We weren’t streaming video from our filming team this year but we decided it was worth trialling use of UStream for this purpose. It wasn’t ideal but it did allow those not attending in person to get a sense of what was going on particularly on the workshop day where we hadn’t planned to film presentations.  A definite learning experience although it seemed to be a compatibility glitch with our netbook that caused more issues than UStream itself.

I also experimented with the new(ish) EDINA Flip Camera to grab short highlights such as this live demo from Dave Tarrant of Southampton University showing off instant deposit via a Microsoft Kinect:

The Flip was great for capturing things quickly and easily, the qulaity is good and it’s super portable but a few things are frustrating: it has to be charged via USB which takes longer than the resultant battery time; you are limited to 90mins recording; it works best as a static camera but is very small so it is not wildly sturdy when on tripods.

Comob Net workshop at the JISC GECO Open Source Geo & Health Workshop

Just a few days after Repository Fringe – and using many of the same amplifying tools – came the first JISC GECO event on Open Source Geo & Health and hosted at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus. I was live-blogging once again and the event included a hard to capture but very fun to take part in Comob Net workshop led by Chris Speed and using the Comob Net app on a variety of iPhones and iPads to draw virtual shapes on the landscape.  It led to anarchic crowd control issues – what to do when one group walks off too far and fails to appear on schedule? – but was hugely engaging.

After a week off – more on that in a blog post to follow – we had a further GECO event booked, this one in partnership with DevCSI which is, as an aside, a wonderful programme of events and projects to encourage developers in academia to be creative, to network, to experiment and feel valued. The Open Mapping Workshop preceded the first ever OpenStreetMap State of the Map Scotland event and was about providing support and encouragement to those wanting to use open source mapping tools. Again we amplified the day (live blog post here) but as this event took place in quite a small room (the Electron Club at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow) there were a few issues with tripping over each other, finding a good place for the camera etc. Thankfully I’d taken along a Zoom recorder and the audio capture was a lot more successful than the videoing.

This week I’ve found myself involved in organising yet another event, this time it is part of Social Media Week Glasgow, a week long series of free events on all aspects of Social Media. If you haven’t already heard about this you should take a look at the website. If you are outside Scotland’s Central belt keep an eye on the website for streaming from events and those taking place in 11 other global cities between 19th and 23rd September.

The event I’m helping to organise is a joint event between EDINA and Edinburgh Beltane Beacon for Public Engagement focusing on social media in academia and particularly social media for public engagement. You can read more (and book a space) on our event page (some of the details on which will be confirmed shortly).

On a related note there are a few other Interesting Upcoming Social Media Events that I wanted to give a wee shout out to:


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