OpenWorld is quickly approaching; it’s September 21-25, in case you don’t already know that.
You’ll recall that last year, we used Twitter quite a lot to socialize, meetup and broadcast the sessions. We used Craig Cmehil‘s eventtrack side project to consolidate the tweets and other social clutter (videos, photos, etc.) into a single stream of OpenWorld goodness.
It worked really well, and since then, the Oracle community on Twitter has grown by tweets and bounds. In fact, I’m noticed that wiki page I started with about 30 names in January now has 107.
Not only has the community grown, but the tools available to us have improved, e.g. FriendFeed and Fire Eagle weren’t public during last year’s conference. Eddie has already created an OpenWorld room on FriendFeed to aggregate the social clutter. Not a member yet? You should be.
Beyond aggregation, which is a huge problem for a conference the size of OpenWorld (40,000+ attendees), what else is important?
I sat down with Eddie and Matt virtually yesterday to talk about what we could do this year that would be: a) useful and b) kickass cool. Beyond coolness, here’s a quick hitlist of what we thought the “requirements” are for both attendees and people who won’t be able to make it:
- Sharing information live from sessions
- Socializing with other attendees
- Organizing ad hoc meetups
- Broadcasting session attendance
- Collecting questions for specific session
- Attending a session virtually
- Listening to conference chatter
I’m especially interested in the socializing and organizing pieces, since my primary reason for attending OpenWorld, beyond speaking, is to network and meet people. As an employee, I can get product information anytime I want, but I don’t often get a chance to hang with the community.
Oh, and yes, I’ll be sharing the stage with Paul in our session in case you want to come by and heckle me. I heart hecklers. Now, if only I could get a hotel room in the city and skip the 30 minute drive up from the airport hotel where I’m currently installed. Ideas?
Anyway, as I’ve said before, I think combining a location service like Fire Eagle with Twitter has great potential for OpenWorld, which is spread over several blocks in downtown San Francisco. Example from last year, we serendipitously met Lou Springer via Twitter at a random bar with wi-fi. A couple people, including Paul, had a bit of trouble finding us. Broadcasting our location on a map sure would have been helpful.
Fire Eagle would help with this, and I had hoped to use Firebot, a simple command-based, Fire Eagle/Twitter bot. Unfortunately, it’s been dead for months, possibly another side-project killed by real work. Anyway, it was awesome.
This is a common problem, i.e. not enough time, that Eddie, Matt and I all share. During our conversation, the ideas flowed, but everything came back to time, or lack thereof.
So, we need your help. I want to crowdsource how we socialize OpenWorld. Can you help with any of these ares?
Requirements: I covered the ones we came up with, but is that all of them? Can you think of other requirements for a social OpenWorld?
Ideas: Beyond Eddie’s FriendFeed room and further aggregation of RSS feeds, what other services can we use and what will they do for us? One key point to remember, not everyone has an iPhone or other smartphone, so dependable network access may be an issue.
Hacker Help: Want to build something, you rockstar you? Matt says he might have a host you can use. You know you want it.
Sound off in comments. I know there are ideas floating out there.