Monthly Archives: May 2006

Tagging 2.0 panel at SXSW2006 now a podcast

The Tagging 2.0 panel I organized at South by SouthWest 2006 in March is now a Tagging 2.0 podcast among the many SXSW 2006 podcasts you can download.

Some highlight quotes from the panel you really shouldn’t miss:

How can you pass up quips like that?

The Tagging 2.0 panel was one of the “highly-rated panels” this year, tied for first place with a number of other entertaining and informative panels, so check out their podcasts as they become available as well.

Logging Traces of Web Activity workshop at WWW2006

Yesterday we had a great workshop about Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection at the WWW 2006 Conference.

All of the papers, presentations and statements of interest provided a number of insight into different methods for collecting data about Web use including using both server and client based tools including the issues faced when trying to decide what to log about users’ interactions and what the log formats should look like too. A number of revealing studies also reviewed some current views of how Web users do interact with the Web as well as a number of applications, plug-ins and scripting methods for getting data, distributing it and what users’ perceptions of their data might mean to them.

We were just one of the many excellent workshops at WWW2006.

The entire day went well thanks to my excellent co-organizers for the panel: Kirstie Hawkey, Melanie Kellar, and Andy Edmonds.

WWW2006 – Foundations of Web advertising

Earlier today I was sitting in a tutorial about the Foundations of Web advertising taught by the most over-qualified staff I’ve ever seen:

Here’s the blurb for the tutorial:

Web advertising spans Web technology, sociology, law and economics. It has already surpassed some traditional media like radio and is the economic engine that drives Web development. The transformation touches the way content is created, shared and disseminated – all the way from static html pages to more dynamic forms of expression such as blogs and podcasts, to social media such as discussion boards and tags on shared photographs. This revolution promises to fundamentally change both the media and the advertising businesses over the next few years, altering a $300 billion economic landscape. The technical underpinnings of web advertising are based on a plethora of scientific disciplines, including Information Retrieval, Microeconomics, Auction Theory, On-line Algorithms, Security, User Interface design, Data Mining, and more. The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce the audience to the many technology issues behind the curtains of web advertising.

A lot of what Andrei is discussing so far is basic, but it is worth attending to hear how his mind works through these issues, and his jokes aren’t bad either.

Sadly, we’re packed in yet another horrible venue, these workshop rooms are the size of a double (American-sized) office but they’re packing up to 40 people in them with the projector smack dab in the middle of the room that has the usual problems of being noisy and near the audience as well as the frequent shadow on the screen of the back of someone’s head. It goes without saying that the network connectivity is still lousy too. This has not proved to be a good physical venue for the conference.

Tagging Workshop at WWW 2006, Edinbugh

I’m in the Collaborative Tagging Workshop at WWW 2006, Edinbugh right now sitting in the back with Ryan from Technorati using the wall outlets and sharing power adapters to keep our powerbooks running. So far, we’re not experiencing the optimal conference experience as the wifi is pretty sporadic (I suspect they didn’t count on nearly everyone here wanting network access), the room is standing room only and they even ran out of lunches with at least 100 people to go earlier this afternoon. I’m sure organizing a conference like this is nearly impossible.

Lots of excellent presentations and papers (see the link) with a lot of focus on enterprise or private tagging systems and some working demonstrations of products in progress. It will be amazing to see what this same workshop would be like next year, with lots of these ideas brought out into the wider world.

What I've learned in 36 Hours in Glasgow

  • Make sure you’re not coming to town on the day of the Scottish National Football Cup (which has got to be similar to the SuperBowl or at least a league championship playoff final), not to mention arriving at the train station EXACTLY when a train arrives full of hundreds of already drunk and boisterous Heart of Midlothian Football Club fans all decked out in maroon and white (I had an OU Sooners flashback for a second there) yelling and honking air horns. (I take that back, I can’t be sure that all of them were boisterous.) Lovely. (No wonder I had a hard time finding a hotel.)
  • They only have 7 channels here and the movie Braveheart is on one of them this evening while on another channel is something with Billy Connolly talking about a famous fiddle player.
  • BBC News is much better than anything I’ve seen in a while for international news without sensationalism or egregious bias.
  • People (5) in Italian restaurants (1) eat pizza with a fork and (dull) knife. So let’s generalize for all of Scotland!
  • Be on the lookout for fights. I have seen two fist fights already. One in front of a pub on Saturday night (natch) and one right on a main city street between two motorists who were stopped at a light and had some time for the free exchange of ideas. One guy actually got out of his car and was trying to pull the other guy out all the while both were shouting something indecipherable at each other (were they drunk or just with a thick brogue? both? I kid the Scottish.). Not to worry though, as you’d expect, the fights weren’t very dangerous, if these guys could fight they wouldn’t be part of Great Britain… (Again, I kid the Scottish. Try the veal and tip your waitresses!)
  • Scottish Tourism Centre people are kind and knowledgeable. My agent was originally from St. Petersburg, but still managed to have a Glaswegian accent. Moreover, they (she) used Google more than any other reference material when we were plotting out some potential travel routes. Interestingly, she would type things like “victorian heritage trail images” to look for pictures instead of clicking on the Images tab/link on the Google results page. Also, they must have browser history set to 0 or turned off which made it hard to her to re-find things she must recommend a lot.
  • Hotel “broadband” isn’t. And it’s 17.99 GBP per day.
  • Time shifting means I got up at 5:30am this morning. (Read that again if you like, because that’s the only time you’re going to associate that with me.)
  • Bus drivers have a good sense of humor.
  • Cab drivers are remarkably efficient, intelligent drivers and have spacious, clean cabs. (Just like in London.)
  • I already miss iced tea.

Check out some more pictures.

I'll be in Scotland

in the next few weeks, primarily to attend the 15th International World Wide Web Conference where I’m co-chairing a workshop on Logging Traces of Web Activity: The Mechanics of Data Collection with Melanie Kellar, Kirstie Hawkey and Andy Edmonds. If you won’t be attending, you can check out the excellent program schedule, including links to the submissions that will be presented at the workshop.

Fortunately, before the conference I will be doing some touring throughout Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. If you have some recommendations, on “must see” experiences, I’m happy to hear about it. I’ve already added a few events to my trip from excellent suggestions including the Isle of Skye and a whisky distillery or two. Feel free to comment on this post or send me an email.