Web 2.0 serendipity

An earlier post reflected upon my impressions and experience of presenting at the Eduserv Symposium in London. Now I want to spend a few moments describing how the virtual and real worlds can collide and produce synergy and promote activity that would not have happened in any other circumstance, or at least not so forcefully.

I’ve explained how the event was being streamed on the web, and how CoverItLive was being used to provide a live micro-blogging channel so that participants and attendees could take part in a discourse with the presenters and conference organisers. What perhaps was not obvious was that some of us were also using Twitter as a separate back-channel (sometimes also using Direct Messaging) which allowed us to communicate together using the hashtag #efsym2008.

What I want to describe is how a communication on the back-channel at that event led to lunch today with a colleague from our School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies (JOMEC) – “@egrommet” – and then on to discussions on how we could use the Collaboration Tools within our Modern IT Working Environment (MWE) to affect change in the way we work and the way we deliver learning and teaching at the University as well as the possibilities for partnership between Information Services (INSRV) and JOMEC. On CoverItLive it looked like this …

12:19
Pete Johnston – OK, slight reorganisation, so next up is Geoffrey Bilder from CrossRef
12:20
[Comment From David Harrison]
Would be good to be able to identify actual from virtual attendees
12:25
[Comment From David Harrison]
Great start – hits at stuff we’ve been talking about in Cardiff in terms of trust/credibility
12:25
[Comment From egrommet]
@David Harrison I’m a virt
12:26
[Comment From egrommet]
@David Harrison – where do you work, I’m Cardiff Uni
12:29
[Comment From David Harrison]
@egronmet – real – INSRV in CU
12:29
[Comment From egrommet]
lol

… colleagues of mine who were also following the event on CoverItLive then advised me through Twitter who @egrommet was and by the end of the event we were “following” each other on Twitter, had effectively brought two parts of the University together and had agreed we needed to meet up to chat more about our respective areas of work and interests.

The upshot of all this is that today we discussed the use of socialmedia in Journalism, the structure of blogs/wikis and other collaboration tools that will very shortly be available in the MWE, some ideas of creating a team blog for those in the School interested in technology, and an exchange of contact details of others working in this area that I might be interested in following and most important to me the knowledge that we had the possibility of a partner who would work closely with us to achieve benefit and start to change the way we do things in the University. So really the subtitle of the talk, “making sense out of nonsense” couldn’t have been more apt. The real learning point is however that social software (whatever you call it), or Web 2.0 opens up whole rafts of possibilities that you cannot imagine. It breaks down silos, it creates new communication pathways that are very direct, it creates new alliances, it puts like people in touch with each other and most importantly it fosters co-operation and collaboration.

When’s my next lunch … ?

2 thoughts on “Web 2.0 serendipity”

  1. It is fascinating, and the other benefit is it lead to meeting a real person for a chat over pizza! The ability to share with like minded people is a very powerful tool and opens up all sorts of possibilities. Very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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