Books: Social Something and the Agent

I have failed at understanding what it is that twitter does or at conveying to you how I use facebook. The truth is that I do not know what these websites are good for, and truth be that I use them but I can also live happily ever after without them, like I can live happily ever after without bars. I go into bars. I meet people at bars, I talk with people at bars, and I can live without bars. It has always been this way.

I remember a discussion many years ago with a friend in Schwabing (Munich) about bars when he insisted that we go to a bar (1). For the life of me I really could not get what he found so particularly interesting about bars, I always preferred sitting in his Schwabing kitchen having a coffee, tea, or a glass of wine and some good conversation while a few rooms down the hall some music played in the background. He had a neighbour whose last name was Depp and my visits to him had this highlight of marveling at the neighbours door and wondering what it is like to wake up each morning having Depp as a name. The Depp and the bakery scents from downstairs together with lots of argumentation marked my experience of those days. I could not warm up to the idea of bars, still can not. But then, I do lots of things out of curiosity, not necessarily out of preference. The bars are now digital, they are called twitter, facebook, myspace and what have you not. I like digital objects. Actually, I love digital objects. But now I am stressed. Yesterday a friend with whom I had not conversed in a while asked if my book had been published….

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Why is it that Blogging is not about Blogging?

Greg Vernon took the initiative to video record this session and wrote a few words about it . Stephanie Booth live-blogged it while participating in the discussion during BarCampSwitzerland. Henning summarized what the discussion was all about very well in his blog.

Thanks to all!

My own thoughts as to what was guiding the live inquiry that we conducted during this session were posted here.

Review: BarCamp BlogCamp Switzerland

On Saturday I did go on this little outing to Zürich to experience my first BarCamp that the local organizers insisted on calling BlogCamp, and it was not without some mixed feelings. From this perspective, it is perhaps not surprising that I returned home with mixed feelings, and that a look at the echo on the Blogsphere leaves me once more with them feelings still mixed.

First the good news: 0. Meeting Stephanie on the train in Bern made the whole trajectory rather short. Of course we had arranged this through IM ahead of time and texted the necessary confirmations. Communication today is not what it was when my son was born 23 years ago.

1. The organization was well done, all ran smoothly. The way from the Polybahn to the lecture halls of the HG were well marked, and upon arrival I got from Corsin a number to pin somewhere on my clothes like I had not had since I was doing track and field. A simple, no nonsense solution to the problem of tagging the odd 200 bodies at the the meeting or unconference. Congratulations to the organizers. Well done!

1.extra: There were fruits, including bananas, besides croissants (that I can not eat), plenty of juice, water and coffee. I really appreciated that for such an informal meeting it was rather well catered, including the pretty smiles of the people helping out.

2. I met for the first time a few really interesting people and whom I would like to see again or somehow interact over them cables and wifi networks surrounding and connecting us. In no particular order they are Christian (link?), Stefan, Jürg, Henning, Pia, Sarah, Kobi, Peter, Greg and most likely a few whose name I neither wrote down, nor marked somewhere in my list of participants that had been handed out to me at the entrance. I had a fun time listening in and giving my two cents at Gabor‘s session and then later connected to him via Facebook although I did not get a chance to talk with him face-to-face. If I forgot you, drop me an email or comment. I am a bit chaotic, especially when I am working on a few projects at the same time, make that very chaotic.

3. It was great to see and speak, albeit briefly, with some of the same old suspects like Matthias, Leu who did quite a fun flick of those willing to brave being shot by a Nikon D70s, and of course Bruno. Unfortunately I did not get much of a chance to talk to Nicolas Berg although we do know each other from what to me seems to be another lifetime. I went to Stephanie’s session which was quite enlightening. Take home lesson, bilingual bloggers are the bridge builders across language and culture barriers.

4. I was immensely pleased with the lively and insightful discussion in my session of “Why Blogging is not about Blogging” that Stephanie not only brilliantly contributed to, but also live-blogged! How does she do it? I look forward to seeing and listening to the video that Greg recorded, and all my thanks to you Greg for taking the initiative on this one. All my thanks and admiration especially for those who dared to explore what was perhaps not an easy inquiry of what blogging might be about.

Shameless self promotion follows: If you are interested in more of the mysteries of Theoretical Man, the next installment is most likely going to be at reboot 9 in Copenhagen in just a few fast weeks at the end of May.

5. The wifi worked (most of the time).

And now for the things I really did not get… I wonder what is the value of this bit that Kobi and a few others reported on. In my view a bit sophomoric, and the kind of thing that really does not serve any constructive purpose. But it might be just me, I only have second hand information, and this is the kind of action that went by me unnoticed at the event.

Ah, Peter, that thing with “Christoph Blogger” is sort of cute, but it sort of ranks right there with blond jokes, and is forgotten before the morning after arrives. Good try!

Fooled you, did I? Overall, the positive far outweighs the negative in MNSHO.