another early morning on the red line

Got up early again to sit in on Len Edgerly’s excellent presentation on Arts 2.0 at Podcamp Boston 2.  Follow the first link to watch the video of the presentation.  Len covers ways in which individual artists and arts organizations are using web 2.0 tools, and he breaks it down into four categories:

  •  New Media
  • Social Networks
  • Mobile Networks
  • Virtual Worlds

Note the trenchant comments from the floor by the chick in the front row. 

Also note my abject failure to win the “fastest text messager in the room” contest.  That’s OK, the prize was a bright green pencil sharpener (I believe with pencil thoughtfully included!), and I have an even more vintage version in my office.  I am the envy of all.

I’ll be covering some of this ground in my presentation at Philanthropy Day Cape Cod on Tuesday, November 6, and it was great to see how somebody else approaches the material.  What I liked about this presentation was the terrific amount of specific examples of what people are doing right now with the technology, along with some thoughtful ideas about what else might be possible.

Don’t forget to click on part two to see the (eventually successful, trust me) live demo of Second Life.  This was particularly gratifying for me to see, as I have only ever dabbled in Second Life with my very slow home computer, so I had never seen the graphics in all their glory.  Mine are alway slow, pixellated, and buggy, and I inevitably crash and get logged out because of my computer’s very small brain.

Eventually, the guy filming the presentation does turn the camera on to the screen, so you can see Len’s very dapper avatar, Hercules Randall, strolling through an exhibit in Paris, 1900, and then flying up to the Sistine Chapel for an eye-level view of the stunning replica that Vassar College has built in Second Life.

I really liked the point Len made at the end, about urging people to “just try it” — just build a profile on Facebook, start reading some blogs, comment on a few, mess around and experiment.  Unfortunately, I still see people who are terrified they will “blow their computer up” or something if they hit the wrong key.  I do think that the key to a lot of this technology is just getting people to try it — it’s fun and interesting on its own merits, and you learn by doing.  To a certain extent we take some of the joy out of these tools by wrapping them up in the language of marketing and ROI.

OH EXCELLENT footage of me chugging coffee like my life depended on it at the very end!  I’m such a star.


One response to “another early morning on the red line

  1. I particularly like the “blow their computer up” phrase, because it so ably captures the irrational fear that seems to be behind the stated obstacles for an arts organization that is resisting new uses of technology. And I’m glad Phil Campbell turned the camera on you for your observation about how iPods in rural areas are an answer to a problem that doesn’t exist.

    I really appreciated your being at the session and participating so helpfully!

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