Friday, April 4, 2008

Emerging Digiterati

I just got back from presenting Localtone Radio at Emerging Digerati earlier this morning. It was held at the Wiesmann Art Museum on the University of Minnesota Campus. What an awesome event! I actually had never heard of this event, but my business partner Phil I think got the skinny on this event from our good friend Garrick.

Emerging Digerati is basically a showcase of emerging technology related to art - and I use art in the broad sense of the term. From everything related to video, audio, installation, design, etc. I talked with the people who have been running this event for the past 7 years and learned a little about the mission and goals of the event. This year was the first time that they tried doing a full week long event with presentations. I was blown away to see all of the different presentations people gave and all of the ways technology is emerging. A few take-aways that I do see in emerging technology were:
  • Trusted Friends - Some people call this social networking, but those are kind of loaded words, since they encompass a lot of concepts. Basically, the thought that there is so much content out on the internet, that people only have time to visit sites and keep on things that are recommended by their trusted friends. It's not so much to just network with people, but to use their suggestions in content you consume. I have some thoughts about how to add these concepts into Localtone Radio.
  • Interactivity - The days of the boring static website I would predict will be coming to a close. With Flash and technologies such as Ajax/Javascript, more desktop type interfaces are going to be demanded in the browser.
  • Video - We all know video is popular, but seeing a number of the presentations today solidifies this point and more sites will incorporate some form of video or pulling in video from other services in the future.
  • RSS Feeds - With the sharing of more information on the web, RSS feeds are becoming more well known as a way to distribute content to people. I was surprised at the knowledge and ideas people had related to sharing and using RSS feeds. RSS is something that I had kind of viewed as being beyond many consumers and was not a big deal in Localtone Radio. After today however, I'll be looking at ways to add them.
  • Passion - As with all artists, it's the passion of what you are working on that drives you. In all of the presentations today, you could tell that these were projects and technology that people truly felt passionate about. People often work on these projects for little or no money and instead are not driven by dollars, but by pure motivation.
I want to say a big thank you to Aaron and Anne from the Institute for New Media Studies the opportunity to be a part of this event. I'm looking forward to next year, if not to present, just to show up and take in what everyone else is up to. It was a great way to spend half a day (I unfortunately couldn't stay the whole time due to other meetings) and I'll be sure and be there next year.

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