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Previewing Reboot Britain in the park

Tomorrow sees the launch in London of Reboot Britain – first as “an extraordinary one-day event which will take a totally different look at the challenges we face as a country and the new possibilities that – uniquely – this generation has to overcome them”. Then lots of follow-up conversations, events and who-knows-what (except that it will certainly be creative, innovation and no doubt fun as well).

Last week’s Tuttle Club in the park gave me a chance to meet up with Roland Harwood of NESTA, who are the main promoters of the event.  As you will hear, Roland is keen that Reboot starts to reach people  beyond the social media crowd. Over the past year we have done a lot to promote new ways of doing and thinking … but I believe that Twitter and the many social media meetups have led to a lot of talking among “people like us” who “get it”. The emergence of ideas like FailCamp, and Roland’s advocacy of a wider reach, show a welcome shift. Unless ideas and practices around open, collaborative innovation move into the mainstream, what’s the point? As Clay Shirky says, in effect, it isn’t until we get bored with talking about the tools that we’ll properly concentrate on their social benefits.

I’ll be doing a bit of social reporting at Reboot, as well as helping launch Social by Social, a handbook and website funded by NESTA to help people use social technology for social benefit. Andy Gibson, Amy Sample Ward and I will be running the Social by Social game – on the lines of the session in Edinburgh recently – with expert assistance from the game co-designer Drew Mackie. Andy has put a huge amount of effort into the final edit of the book, which will be available here online and as a download tomorrow.

I was also able to talk to Toby Moores, Joanna Jacobs and Steve Lawson about the way they are planning to help everyone at Reboot be a social reporter using Twitter, blogging and any other means to create a cloud of online conversations to complement the live streaming that will be provided by Richard Jolly and Diarmaid Lynch. There should be more soon on that linked from the official site – but meanwhile keep up with everything Reboot through the Twitter tag #rebootbritain. Toby and friends are using techniques developed through Amplified09, so you can be sure there will be plenty going on, with some good analysis afterwards. The creative force behind the event is Steve Moore, who curated 2gether08 and morphed the 2gether09 plans into Reboot. The event is produced by my friends Jess Tyrell, Lizzie Ostrom and the team at  Germination … so when I say in the usual way that I’m looking forward to tomorrow I really mean it. No tickets left, but plenty to follow online.

Update: aggregated newsdesk, Twitter, live streaming and live blogging will all be linked from here

Launching 2gether09 with lots of Videoboo

Last night at The Hub, Kings Cross, Steve Moore, curator of 2gether08, soft-launched this year’s digital festival with a taster of what’s planned. There’ll be more detail early next year, with a series of meetups and online activities through which people can pitch ideas for what they want to contribute. Steve’s plea: make it fresh. No chance for recycled content.

I took along my current favourite social reporting tool, which is a portable videobooth on a Macbook. Well, Videoboo actually, as you can see here in previous use on an iMac at Chain Reaction.

More on Videoboo in a moment. First here’s Steve with a preview of his presentation, above. (as the evening progressed I got better at staying out of the frame) read more »

Asking the Alice question after Amplified08

If you are around London, and interested in new/social/creative/digital media, it seems that barely a day passes without the chance to go to a free or low cost event and network with others of similar interests. The landscape is getting crowded, and as you see many of the same faces at different events you might wonder if there could be a more effective way of networking.

This occurred to Toby Moores (above) and friends, so they got together and organised Amplified08 last week, hosted by NESTA. I’ve quoted below from the first newsletter explaining how Amplified aims to build towards a nationwide event, or series of events, involving up to 10,000 people. That’s the potential power of networking networks. But is “more” enough? Do we also need to know why, and towards what? I’ll come to the Alice question later. read more »