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The Digital Scholar: Network Weather

Networked Weather

From 2000 I saw the Internet as a digital ocean, since 2010 I’ve come to see it as a digital weather system. This is the difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0

Adam Greenfield (2010) has a similar idea.

He talks of Foursquare and a night out, Weller talks of the academic conference.

  • Knowledge sharing
  • Validation
  • Networking
  • Recognition
  • Socializing
  • Remote participation
  • Twitter back channel

Amplified events


  • Twitter hashtags
  • Blogging
  • Live blogging
  • Video
  • Flickr
  • Cloudworks and Friendfeed

50% networking

75% content

In 25% of the time

75% greener

Participants not an audience

Backchannel adds another layer, but can be a negative experience for the speaker (Boyd, 2009)

Amplification of the conference

Archive of multimedia, range of tone.

Preservation and curation of such a record

Brian Kelly (2008)

Amplification of:

  • Audience’s voice
  • Speaker’s talk
  • Across time
  • Of slides
  • Of feedback

Collective memory of the event

Of the learning

Of the long term conference outputs

Experimentation with:

  • Micro-presentations
  • Nan-presentations
  • Random selection of speakers
  • Backchannel

Used to be a choice of attending or not, now there are many alternatives (JV least attending more than one conference at the same time).

2010 Martin Weller ran Openness in Education over two days using Elluminate and Cloudworks.

Four sessions all recorded and made available through Cloudworks.

Sessions thinned and released as podcasts

Also used:

Speakers, including Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia.

287 attended synchronous Elluminate sessions

3,500 viewed in CloudWorks

From 14 countries

48% would not have attended in person

Cost 2,500 rather than 30,000

They have a legitimacy deficit to some.

• Attendees not given time from the workplace to attend virtually and readily interrupted.

• Doesn’t command as much attention

• Don’t plan ahead, so may drop out.

• Technical problems on the day are too late to resolve.

‘The Camelot comparison – accentuating the positives of the entrenched practice’.

Hard to compare as they do things differently (and can be blended)

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