The second day of BarCamp was illuminated by several conversations about the future of Social Networks (is there one? will multiplicity kill them off? is Facebook past it or you ain’t seen nothin’yet? what about identity sharing with XFN and similar frameworks?).
I learned a bit more about Twitterbots. Twitter is one of those services which I know about but would, I think find overly intrusive into my working day. Partly that’s just me being older, I guess, but there’s a personality element to those sort of choices as well. There were a couple of people at least who are doing research into social network analysis: Aleks Krotowski of Linden and The Guardian’s tech team, and Beth Granter of Sussex Uni. I suggested a connection with Peter Gloor who’s a guru of this stuff at MIT’s Sloan School, who I met on a company IT Field Trip I organised to MIT last May.
Jeff Barr ran a session on Cloud Computing, for me an update on what Amazon Web Services has added to its portfolio since I first met Jeff on a Study Tour two and a half years ago. AWS lowers the entry barriers for startups, and enables enterprise IT to test things out or do big short-term projects without major capital investment on infrastructure.
So overall, what a great event! From the initial publicity, it could have seemed like a geekfest for students, but the great value was the whole spectrum – people with that kind of sharp insight, established hi-tech companies, start-ups and more – and the chance to absorb a much younger IT culture than the one I’ve spent the last twelve years in. And for free, thanks to the sponsors! If you get a chance, go to one!