Last week, Shaun Fensom and I went to Birmingham for CBN to talk to Digital Birmingham about NGA strategy and developments in the wider City Region. We realised during a sequence of discussions with regeneration specialists and others that there’s been ‘language capture’ going on. The telecoms industry, in it’s usual way, has used the ‘naming of things’ to confuse the picture. So ‘First Generation Broadband’ aka ADSL was never really ‘broad’, and Next Generation Access is undefined, largely. But we’ve got ‘Superfast Broadband’ now; well, some of us have. So that’s all right then.
There’s an overfocus on speed. And a lack of visibility of connection quality, the need for symmetry, levels of contention, latency and jitter. In the past, in Regeneration and Planning ‘connectivity’ meant roads, airports and rail. The good news is that there is increasing realisation on a regional and City-regional basis that Digital Connectivity is increasingly important and needs to be planned in; and not left to the industry to not-deliver it.
So we need a new term. and Shaun and I agreed we would blog about it. So here it is. We need “Transformational Digital Infrastructure” – it’s not just about the technology. And it’s not some false polarisation of the “Pipes and/or Poetry” mafia.
It’s a much richer picture of the human and technical networks needed to bring about Digital Britain.
It may look as though my blogging has stopped, based on this poor old neglected site – but actually, the reverse is true. I’ve been blogging more but in different places and guises. I’ve been working hard on the new Centre for Creative Collaboration of the University of London and doing events with Amplified. And the flow of Audioboo content continues.
I’ve been looking back through the material I’ve generated and seeing what I’ve learned that might be useful; looking for the links between things and trying to see where I’ve got to. It’s actually quite interesting that this post and the previous one are so far apart in time. Since the previous post, lots of stuff has happened – so I’m going to pick out some things I think may be useful for you to have a look at.
Developing the Liveblogging Process
I’m really interested in realtime and near-realtime media and together with others from the Amplified team – Amanda Gore, Laura Kidd, Lucy Windmill and Steve Lawson, we amplified the NIACE/Ofcom DigiFutures meeting in November. At the peak of activity, we were liveblogging three ‘conversation circles’ simultaneously using Scribblelive, making photos and videos, and using Twitter to interact with ‘remote participants’ outside the room. Steve Lawson was not present at the event but was still part of the team; generating conversations with other people while he monitored (and commented on) the output we were generating. I made a short video to capture some of the work:
We used similar techniques at the myPublicServices event (#mps09) event; there were lots of other people using social media to cover the event and we had a loose social media cooperation where, at the event, we had an initial conversation with others to understand how we could all maximise the benefit to the event and to people outside it. We also began to see how to measure the impact of what we do.
What’s also interesting is to look at the impressions created by those tweeting. And to reflect that in the list of top 20, both @solobasssteve and the indefatigable @cyberdoyle were not actually present at the event. It was clear from both these events that there is an audience and interest from remote participants in events; and that we can measure that interest and also that it is possible to create ‘bridging’ conversations between those inside and outside the meeting.