A Day at WordCamp 2007 [en]

[fr] Résumé des notes prises durant WordCamp.

Today was the first day of [WordCamp 2007](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/). Had a really nice day, met cool people (hi [Daniel](http://dbrusilovsky.wordpress.com/)!), and live-blogged my hands off (almost literally: nasty [RSI flare-up](/tms/) which made me skip two sessions of note-taking). Two sessions in the morning, two in the afternoon, a big two-session break, and then Matt Cutts. I also, of course, took [a bunch of photos](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157600938619089/), which, as usually, received far more praise than I think they deserve. I’d like to take this occasion to remind everybody to please [open up tagging to the community, and add tags to my photos as you stroll through them](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/20/flickr-open-up-tagging-your-photos-to-the-community-please/).

WordCamp 2007 4

Here are the sessions I live-blogged.

– [Dan Kuykendall, Podcasting and podPress](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/21/wordcamp-2007-dan-kuykendall-podcasting-and-podpress/)
– [John C. Dvorak and Om Malik: Blogs vs. Journalism](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/21/john-c-dvorak-and-om-malik-blogs-vs-journalism/)
– [Lorelle VanFossen, Kicking Ass Content Connections](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/21/wordcamp-2007-lorelle-vanfossen-kicking-ass-content-connections/)
– [Jeremy Wright, Im in ur blogz grabbin’ ur kash! Blog Monetization](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/21/wordpress-2007-jeremy-wright-im-in-ur-blogz-grabbin-ur-kash-blog-monetization/)
– [Matt Cutts, Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/22/wordcamp-2007-matt-cutts-whitehat-seo-tips-for-bloggers/)

So, *what do you think, ;-)* should I start marketing myself as a 2.0 conference live-blogger? (Laying aside the fact RSI *does* limit the number of sessions I can do in a row…)

Similar Posts:

WordCamp 2007: Matt Cutts, Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers [en]

*Here are my notes of [Matt’s session](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/search-engine-optimization/). Might be inaccurate, blah blah blah. Oh, and RSI, so might be a bit short. Check out the [post on Matt’s blog](http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/speaking-at-wordcamp-later-today/) too.*

**Update, August 2007:** Matt wrote another blog post in which you’ll find [links to his Powerpoint presentation and the video of his talk](http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/whitehat-seo-tips-for-bloggers/).

WordCamp 2007 Matt Cutts

Google doesn’t hate your site. [Some guy](http://alexchiu.com) invented an immortality device (with magnetic rings). His site looks like the love-child of Geocities and MySpace. He claims to have been repressed by Google because of the immortality device. No! Instead, view the source of the page. Ugly things hidden in it! Hundreds of words in a tiny textarea! Hence, the penalty.

Good plugin: [SEO Title](http://www.netconcepts.com/seo-title-tag-plugin/) (swaps the name of your blog with the name of your post).

Don’t put your blog at the root of your domain:

– what if you want something besides a blog?
– people link to main page and main blog page, so you get some extra links that way.

Think about it.

Call your blog “blog” and not “wordpress” — you never know if you might switch.

What do SEOs know that bloggers might not?


What might people be typing to search for your stuff? example… “[lol kittens](http://flickr.com/photos/tags/lolkittens)”! Don’t spam, but if you know what people are searching for, there are perfectly natural ways of slipping them in your posts. Use synonyms! *steph-note: it’s also better writing than repeating the same words over and over again.* Use this knowledge for good, not for evil!

Use category names which are good keywords. Dashes are best to separate words. Then underscores. No spaces is dreadful.

But wait! If everything is already in place, don’t completely mess up your urls to change. Leave the old stuff as it is, and make the new stuff better.

Use alt tags, or the blind guy at Google will get really angry. 3-4 relevant words. Keep it short.

Q: does having .php .html .asp in the URL make a difference?

A: nope. just avoid .exe 😉

Dynamic URLs are treated just as static URLs. However, keep the number of parameters low.

Should I do an audio podcast, or a video? Well, depends on how pretty you are. If you’re not sure, try hotornot.com.


Make sure your site is crawlable (WP: good).

Q Ben Metcalfe: what about duplicate content WP archives create? Supplementary results?

A: Not too bad, but WP does suffer a bit from the fact you can get to a post from 3-4 different ways. Will have WordPress wishlist at the end of the talk.

Make sure post creation dates are easy to find.

Q: Does Google care about the number of slashes in a URL? (Date in URL)

A: Google doesn’t care about link depth.

**Moving to a new IP**

1. Reduce your DNS time-to-live
2. Back up your site, bring it up on new IP.
3. Watch Googlebot and user traffic until they fetch the site from the new IP address.
4. Take down the old site.

*steph-note: heck, will be doing that soon.*

Q: for mobile/iPhone, different site, or different stylesheet?

A: if you can, different stylesheet.

A2 from public: use Alex King’s wp-mobile plugin

**Moving to new domain**

– use a 301 redirect


– do 301 on one subdirectory and when that is ok do the rest
– write to everyone and ask them to update their links (useful!)
– standardize www or [no-www](http://no-www.org/) but don’t use both, also slash/no-slash

**Free Google tools**

– webmaster console
– feedburner (you can get feeds.mydomain.com rather than feeds.feedburner.com with MyBrand for free *steph-note need to do that!!* so you can leave feedburner…)
– custom search engine
– adsense
– google analytics

**Webmaster Console**

It’s at [google.com/webmasters](http://google.com/webmasters)

A famous web publisher used robots.txt to blog Google completely, then called in a panic “what’s the matter! Google is blocking me!”.

– test robots.txt before pushing live
– submit an authenticated spam report
– remove URLs (for emergencies, useful!)

You can see the backlinks — who’s linking to your site.

Q: can google analytics harm your search results? (?)

A: nope.

You can see crawl errors which can give you hints on making your 404 handling better. Also, tell Google what your preferred domain is (www or not).

“Get noticed, then get traffic from Google” rather than “Get traffic from Google, then get noticed” (*steph-note: yay, exactly the position I defended in a whitepaper on search optimisation for a client!*)


– PDF sign converter
– Lolcat builder
– iPhone app directory
– say Google fast
– sell your moustache on eBay — linkbait!
– free hugs campaign
– tutorials
– analysis
– hunting down wikipedia defaces
– liveblogging
– create controversy (like Dvorak!) — linkbait!
– mention Robert Scoble
– make lists (13 reasons why something rulez/sux0rs)
– …

Be creative! (Well, maybe we need to embrace the fact there are many ways to get attention, and linkbait is one…)

*steph-note: Matt is deadly funny… watch the video of the talk if it exists.*

If you get popular enough, people might want to hack you. You can make your wp-admin accessible only via a whitelist.

A to Q: Google doesn’t look at meta tags much.

Don’t worry about the algorithm too much, focus on compelling content.

If you’re buying/selling links, make sure they don’t affect search engines.

Similar Posts:

WordPress 2007: Jeremy Wright, Im in ur blogz grabbin' ur kash! Blog Monetization [en]

*These are my notes of [Jeremy’s session](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/blog-monetization/). They might be inaccurate. I did my best. Reminder: you’re invited to [tag my photos on Flickr](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/20/flickr-open-up-tagging-your-photos-to-the-community-please/) if you go off to explore them.*

WordCamp 2007 Jeremy Wright

[b5media](http://www.b5media.com/) is a large blog network. 250 blogs. Finds people who are really passionate about their stuff (gardening, football, cats…) and help them make money with it.

Plan, invite a few random people on stage for an impromptu panel. Open source presentation.

– one person who earns money blogging
– someone who’s earning a cup of coffee a day
– someone who’s thinking about making money with blogs, but just thinking

Quick historical look at blog advertising.

2003: blog advertising was evil. Selling your soul. (It does happen, but by and large bloggers are fairly opinionated, and readers fairly astute at outing fakers.) Before [pay-per-post](http://payperpost.com/), which is [obviously evil](http://www.calacanis.com/2006/06/30/payperpost-stupid-and-evil/), btw.

Now, anybody who wants to, can make a full-time living blogging. *steph-note: I must have misunderstood that.*

There’s a lot of money in blogging. AdSense, TLA, custom campaigns… You do need to put a few months in before you get to full-time pay. You make more money consulting/speaking etc. than actually writing.

3 people:

WordCamp 2007 Panelists Concentrating

– [Eric Nakagawa, Mr. ICanHasCheezburger](http://icanhascheezburger.com/)
– [Michelle Leder](http://footnoted.org/)
– [Julie](http://cottagedaily.com)

Q: picking a topic that will maximize monetization?

A E: we didn’t choose a topic to make money. just wanted to do funny stuff. And people came.

WordCamp 2007 Eric Nakagawa

A M: started four years ago, early blogger (*steph-note: and what am I, then? OMG! dinosaur!*), linked to book she wrote.

WordCamp 2007 Michelle Leder

A J: getting out of unemployment: program, needed an idea, chose to blog about her passion, cottaging.

WordCamp 2007 Julie

Q: ??

A E: wondering what the people who visit our site would be interested in? And match up with relevant advertisers, rather than use AdSense which just scrape your content.

A M: struggling with this question right now. Google ads are not a good match for my audience.

[Lorna Dietz](http://www.radiantview.com/blog/): Philippino community site => gets huge amounts of dating sites with AdSense, annoying!

E: being a full-time blogger is really full-time, so you better really love what you’re blogging about.

JW: reducing the number of ads on a page.

[Ben Metcalfe](http://benmetcalfe.com/blog/): seems the best way to monetize your blog, going down the long tail, is not advertising but adding value with your blog to some other thing you’re going to be able to earn money from.

A M: I make a fair amount of my money through speaking, clearly more than ads.

A E: could make money selling billions of T-shirts, but do you really want to do this? We’re just trying to do this and see how long we can push it.

A J: making videos of wakeboard stuff, hoping to attract a younger demographic. Problem now is: how can I get traffic?

JW: Average traffic, average money. 10-12’000 page views a month for a personal blog won’t bring you much more than a couple 100 $ a month.

JW: Would you read your blog?

Ten tips:

– lots of valuable content
– host your blog yourself, own your domain
– AdSense is the crack of blog advertising, but don’t get hooked
– do 2-3 things really well in blog advertising
– CPA/CPL don’t work well (repeat audience)
– content syndication
– partner
– be smart about TLA (you don’t want to be exited by Google)
– don’t sell out
– if your audience supports it, blogging about stuff your paid for can work

*steph-note: going too fast, fingers hurt too much. folding up for this session.*


– [Jeremy’s blog post](http://www.ensight.org/archives/2007/07/21/blog-monetization-session-wordcamp-2007/) and [powerpoint presentation](http://www.ensight.org/uploads/wordcamp.ppt)

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John C. Dvorak and Om Malik: Blogs vs. Journalism [en]

[fr] Conversation entre John C. Dvorak et Om Malik sur les similitudes et différences entre blogging et journalisme. Intéressant.

*These are my notes of [this session](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/blogs-vs-journalism/). They may be inaccurate. Check with people who actually said the words before jumping up and suing them. Thanks.*

WordCamp 2007 John C. Dvorak, Om Malik, Matt Mullenweg

[John C. Dvorak](http://www.dvorak.org/blog/) thinks there is no difference whatsoever, and bloggers should be given credentials. The mainstream media are not taking bloggers seriously *yet*. *steph-note: I remember [Dvorak from 2002 and the kitty-heads](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2002/02/20/dvorakitty/).

[Om Malik](http://gigaom.com/): Shift… blogs have a different dynamic, do not replace mainstream journalism. Careful not to lump all bloggers in the same category.

*steph-note: arghl, going to sleep. Please, wake me up.*

JCD: bloggers cover crap stuff like Paris Hilton’s lost PDA or Tom Cruise doing something silly, just like the mainstream press. Problem. “Quote posts” amongst bloggers (quote, + “what is this guy thinking?”, and that’s your blog post). Driving mainstream media nuts. The blogging world will be rejected by the mainstream because they are an annoyance.

At one point, JCD had to fight to stick links to outside sites in his column (“OMG! if we link outside people will see how crap we are!”)

OM: comments can be good/bad. Important feature. You have to assume that your commentors care. They’ve spent time on your site. Respect that.

JCD: asking readers to fill in the blanks of your story *steph-note: like I’m doing for my 2002 Dvorak article* — very interesting, the whole of the information is in the post **plus** the comments.

OM: comments are what makes blogging different from mainstream media, tapping into the collective intelligence. Engage every single comment. Single most important lesson learned.

JCD: hey, you can moderate comments without killing the blog (JCD uses Spam Karma). Some comments don’t contribute much (“You suck!” doesn’t really add much to the conversation). Recommends moderating to make sure comments have value. Need critical mass of readers to have enough comments. Moderation should be the responsibility of the post author. In this new world, you make a post, these comments are part of your job as the writer.

OM: you set the tone. There are good bars, lousy bars. People choose. *steph-note: blog gardening is really important. what you accept or not will influence the way people act in the comments.*

WordCamp 2007 Om Malik

JCD: also need to relax. Not a national disaster if things go downhill in the comments. JCD has been called an idiot for 25 years, but he’s still up there ;-).

OM: you can rate comments.

JCD: doesn’t like rating comments, except restaurant reviews. *steph-note: I don’t like comment rating very much either.*

OM: One trick is to step away from what you wrote for 15 minutes before posting.

JCD: journalist trick: read out loud (really!) because your ears and eyes don’t work the same way. Catches a lot of errors.

OM: Actually, you can have your mac read it back to you.

Q [Ben Metcalfe](http://benmetcalfe.com/blog/): “no difference about bloggers and journalists” — could you explain more? Investigative journalism, holding government to account… More thoughts on the mainstream stuff.

JCD: Importance of layout. If it “looks too much like a blog”, you may lose credibility (people go “ah, it’s a *blog*”). Cf. [The Onion](http://www.theonion.com/content/index). NYT redesigned after the Onion (challenged!) Neo-blog style: credibility goes way higher, with same content. Same old templates, different flower, different pink, place for cat photo… Same old tired layouts.

WordCamp 2007 John C. Dvorak

BM: Is it really just a question of layouts?

JCD: What I’m saying is valid for first impressions.

Q: ??

JCD: “Citizen Journalism”: artificial construct *steph-note: what is it with Dvorak and cats?*

OM: Bloggers should call people. Try to get information directly from people. At least you can say you tried to get in touch.

JCD: Maybe take one course in journalism so at least you have a clue how it works, and study libel law, that’s important (you can’t call people a “crook” for example, you can get sued into oblivion — “douchebag”, however, is OK!)

OM: Actually, “douchebag” might even have a greater effect in the post. The English language is wonderful, has many ways of describing the same thing.

JCD: You need to be careful, and I think bloggers haven’t had the lecture on libel law. You don’t want to get sued for a minor comment or something.

OM: blogging uptake directly related to broadband penetration *steph-note: not sure about that!!*

Ben Metcalfe: places blogging is catching on are places where there is not really much free press (e.g. Eastern Europe, Iran — not necessarily lots of blogging). Absence of free press more valid correlation than broadband.

OM: Lots of blogging in USA etc.

JCD: yeah, countries with a lousy free press. We don’t have a free press.

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WordCamp 2007: Dan Kuykendall, Podcasting and podPress [en]

[fr] Notes prises à WordCamp 2007. Introduction au podcasting et à podPress, un plugin WordPress qui le transforme en machine à podcaster.

*Here are the notes I took of [Dan’s talk on Podcasting and podPress](http://2007.wordcamp.org/schedule/podcasting/). I did my best, but they may not be accurate.*

WordCamp 2007 Podcasting and podPress

[Dan Kuykendall](http://www.mightyseek.com/) is the author of the popular [podcasting plugin podPress](http://www.mightyseek.com/podpress/).

Podcasting is very similar to blogging (just audio/video). About getting your message out. All about content, in consumable ways. Feeds.

RSS2 feed + “enclosure” tag.

Difference with blogging: lots of offline podcast viewers/listening. (Not many offline blog readers.)

Gear? Microphone, recording software, site + RSS2, something to say/play. Dan has a $100 mike, a $100 external sound card — *steph-note: fancy! but not even necessary… in-built microphone and soundcard can do for starters.*). Software: [Audacity](http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/) is free, so is WordPress.

WordCamp 2007 Dan Kuykendall's Gear

Podcasting does not require a major investment.

Dan got into podcasting early 2006. *steph-note: is [that](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/02/18/nuit-du-journal-intime-quelques-paroles/) early, as far as the history of podcasting is concerned?* Podcasting is a little more personal than blogging (voice, etc.) Podcasters, like bloggers, really crave feedback. At that time, podcasting wasn’t built into iTunes. WordPress looks great for that, but if you’re interested in podcasting more than blogging… hmm.

WordCamp 2007 Dan Kuykendall

Dan heard about the plugin system in WordPress… He had figured out how to do podcasting and make his podcast look good in iTunes, but what about others? => started writing a [plugin, PodPress](http://www.mightyseek.com/podpress/). “Which has now grown a bit out of control!” *steph-note: indeed, problems with redundant queries which caused my site to be shut down by DreamHost twice in the last six months.*

Podcasting is not just about pointing to your mp3 files. PodPress adds meta information, media players, etc. This means your public can view your podcast even if they don’t use a dedicated “podcast reader” (iTunes…)

*steph-note: tour of podPress’s features, and demo (not blogging this)*

WordPress: amazing blogging platform and CMS, with tons of hooks for plugin developers.

*steph-note: my experience of podPress is lots of settings, does the job though, even with minimal settings. However, as I mentioned above, my blog has been taken down once and maimed at least once by DreamHost because it was raising the load on the server it was hosted on way too much. After narrowing down the problem, the culprit appeared to be podPress.*

Q from Dan: who is providing media content in their blog, but doesn’t use podPress? *steph-note: question unclear from me, in my mind a blog which provides media content is a podcast, as long as the media content is made available as an enclosure in the feed, which I thought WordPress did out of the box.*

Q from audience: monetization? A: no, for free, but PayPal donations, though they haven’t really covered the cost of hosting…

Q Mark JaquithAaron Brazell: I love podPress, but the only problem is the weekly releases… could we space them out a bit? A: never sure when I’ll be coding, so when I get some stuff done I release it. => Q for Matt: will WordPress support some kind of plugin update automation? A (Matt): yes, for 2.3 (at least notification). *steph-note: yay!*

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Blogging 4 Business Afternoon Keynote: Michael Steckler [en]

Gossip: casual talking, especially about other people’s affairs.

SN are a large and highly engaged audience, so there is a great advertising and branding opportunity there. Rules?

Blogging 4 Business

75% use SN to keep in touch with family and friends.
62% for being nosey
55% express my opinions
49% meet people with similar interests

*steph-note: totally tuned out I’m afraid. I think the initial idea of viewing social networks as advertising space put me off, to the point I’m not even sure if he’s saying if it’s a good or a bad thing. Today I just feel like telling people to [ride on the Cluetrain](http://cluetrain.com).*

Personal spaces set up by a brand.

How do you get into that personal area?

– understand consumers’ motivations for using social networks
– express yourself as a brand *steph-note: I’m wondering if people shouldn’t just forget about brands a bit — not that they’re totally useless, but branding for branding gets tiring*
– create and maintain good conversations
– empower participants

Participation ecosystem. Recommendations based on personalities.

*steph-note: did a really shitty job of taking notes. I’m getting worse and worse today.*

Early adopters, onine mavens, online connectors (really important!), followers.

How to? create your own community, find influential bloggers, segment existing customers, attack the niche, start the gossip, reward customers… *steph-note: this is exactly the war-marketing vocabulary/mentality [the Cluetrain speaks against](http://cluetrain.com/book/markets.html)… Eek.*

Summary: SN = large and engaged audience => huge opportunity for branded content and advertising, but there are strict guidelines to how to approach this.

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Technological Overload Panel [en]

Technological overload (oh, I hadn’t realised this was a panel!) — again, [Bruno has some nicely-written notes](http://www.lunchoverip.com/2007/02/lift07_the_priv.html) to share.

Fun crackberry video from YouTube.

The moderator loves his crackberry, but he’s an addict.

The panelists don’t blog! What a shame! Not much IM either… *(that was a steph-note)*

*steph-note: We’re asked to close laptops for Nada Kakabadse’s presentation. Reminds me of “Le Test du Moi” where they wanted to take my laptop away for a week — not realistic given my line of work. In my case, I’m using the computer to take notes because my handwritten notes are illegible because of my RSI. => no notes on the first part of the presentation, but I took photographs of the slides.*

Internet Addiction Slides 1

Internet Addiction Slides 2

Internet Addiction Slides 3

Internet Addiction Slides 3

Internet Addiction Slides 5

Panelists seem to agree that one can’t assume people are “addicted” because they resist closing their laptops in a given situation (I resisted, saying I was using it to take notes, but was asked to close it).

Stefana has seen the private come into the workplace much more than the opposite, carried by technology (e-mail, IM, etc). Keeping our social network alive at work too.

Trick question: how many of you use e-mail for personal use during work? Trick, because the line between personal and private is not clear. *steph-note: agreed — I didn’t raise my hand. In my situation, it’s worse, because my “private life” and “work” have merged to a great extent.*


Information overload, burn-out, addiction: are we mixing things up here?

Sharing: burn-outs? addiction? “My name is … and I’m an internet addict.” *steph-note: is this turning into an AA session?*

Robert Scoble: too many feeds, too many e-mails. Solution? Maybe addiction, but also allows him to do his work, and happy about that. *steph-note: if I got that correctly, Robert…*

Risk in curing addiction: reduction of productivity. (Stefana)

“poorer” channels actually have something that allows more than “richer” channels like VoIP (people have Skype, but continue to chat hours a day). (Stefana)

Bruno Giussani: where exactly is the addiction? not to the Blackberry.

Stefana: average number of contacts for non-social-networking person is around 20. The digital channels actually *allow* people to maintain this high number of contacts. *steph-note: wow, technology actually allows us to handle more relationships…*

Quality of online/offline relationships? Stefana: there is anyway a multiplicity of qualities of relationships.

Question: can we really multitask? (cf. continuous partial attention, etc *steph-note: done to death imho*)

Stefana: with routine, things that seem to require attention actually have become only monitoring.

*steph-note: wow, all this talk about addiction. Looking forward to my talk at the Centre for Addictions in Geneva very soon.*

Stefana: real issue = what is the acceptable response time for an e-mail (20 minutes, half a day, a day, a week?) The pressure comes from what **we** consider an acceptable response time. For IM? *steph-note: you can **not** respond, cf. Stowe*

Wrap-up: how do you unplug?

Stefana: what is the cost of unplugging? it can be compared to “stop talking to everyone!” *steph-note: totally agree*

Fred Mast: no need to switch off, we can be addicted and happy *steph-note: don’t agree, “addicted” contains unhappy — if you’re not unhappy, you’re not addicted*

Nada Kakabadse: upto each and every one.

*steph-note: “quality-time” **can** also happen online, folks. This session is getting me slightly worked up.*

Stefana: keep in mind the overload issue is touching a tiny amount of people, most people would be thrilled to have 7 instead of 5 e-mails a day!

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Lara Srivastava [en]

Lara Srivastava

Mobile phone everywhere in our life.

We’re at the beginning of the “digital revolution”.

Much of human relationships is now mediated by some form of technology. We spend more time consuming digital media than any other media.

Acceleration: what on earth are the next ten years going to bring?

Social networks: added value to the individual, especially when the social network is visible by others.

Connectedness and the marginalisation of space and time in our interactions.

We keep our social contexts separate because of space and time. With technology, we get to merge them.


Shared experiences create friendship and intimacy. *steph-note: great minds meet*

We don’t live by scientific methods or statistics.

Ambiguity of communication: open-endedness (e.g. who ends the conversation, bye-bye ping-pong)

Need to re-create ourselves online. => “who am I?” Shadows of ourselves everywhere we go. Painting ourselves online. We fragment our identity online. Where do we find our “true” identity in there?

Managing online identity is a bigger and bigger challenge (not talking about privacy or legal issues here). What design to facilitate this?

“Vivons heureux, vivons connectés!”

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Sugata Mitra: Outdoctrination (Hole in the Wall) [en]

*As always, these are just my notes and I may have misunderstood stuff. And as always too, check out [Bruno’s writeup](http://www.lunchoverip.com/2007/02/lift07_sugata_m.html).*

Build an argument for family eduction. 4 ideas.

Sugata Mitra

#### Remoteness of quality of education

– as you go further from the centre, you can… ?
– socially/economically remote from the rest of the society

Guess: schools in remote areas don’t have good enough teachers, and if they do, they can’t retain them.

Test taken by students, plotted against remoteness from Delhi. More remote = worse, but did not correlate with infrastructure (?).

Pilots for educational technology are usually the best schools => usually perceived as over-hyped and under-performant. ET should reach underpriviledged schools first, and not the other way around. Improvements at the bottom of the scale are proportionally higher at the bottom of the scale.

So… alternative primary education where there are no schools, not good enough, no teachers, teachers not good enough (“can be replaced by a machine”!!)

#### Children and self-organisation

The Hole in the Wall experiment. 1999-2004 (HIWEL project)

The Kalkaji Experiment. Hole in the wall of the office and pretty powerful computer with touchpad and internet connection, altavista etc in it. Within eight hours, one of the kids was teaching a younger one how to browse.

Second: Shivpuri. Children in groups can self-instruct themselves to use a computer and the internet.

Madantusi experiment, 2000-2001 (village near Lucknow). No internet, just CDs. 3 months later: “we need a faster processer and better mouse.” They were using 200 english words they had “learnt” from the computer.

=> language is not a barrier, it could even teach them some of the language.

Many other experiments in other places. *steph-note: lots of footage shown*

6-13-year-olds can self-instruct, irrespective of background, in *groups*

300 children become computer literate in 3 months (windows, browsing, chatting, e-mail, painting, games, educational material, music downloads, playing video), with one computer. Usually, one at the computer, 2-3 around advising, often wrongly… but they learn.

Letting it happen. [Hole in the Wall site.](http://niitholeinthewall.com)

#### Children and Values

Example of confusion: sometimes it is necessary to tell lies: 50% yes, 50% no.

Natural self-organising systems: galaxies, molecules, cells, etc. traffic jams, stock markets, society…

– remoteness affects the quality of education
– educational technology should be introduced into remote areas first
– values are acquired, doctrine and dogma are imposed
– learning is a self-organising system

A digital, automatic, fault-tolerant, minimally invasive, connected, and self-organised educational technology. To address remoteness, values, and violence.

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Daniela Cerqui — Cyborgs: what kind of human being are we building? [en]

Kevin Warwick: implant in arm (real surgery!), measure signal when opening closing hand, to see what the right signal for it is. => able to control a robotic hand with his brain (by moving his hand).

Question of feedback. Sensors => capacity to get feedback from the robotic hand.

Applications: blindfolded, used the hand to “feel” something at a distance.

Wife: electrode fired into nerve, no anesthesia, really painful! Brain-to-brain interface, two human systems linked to each other. When he moved his hand, a signal would appear on his wife’s system.

Controlling robotic hand in the UK (from the US) by sending signal through the internet. Implications? will we one day be considered “disabled” if we cannot control a robotic hand across the ocean? We get used to technology and our ethical boundaries shift. What does normal mean?

*(steph-note: lots of photos, very evocative)*

Commercial applications: 2004 nightclubs in Rotterdam and Barcelona use membership implants instead of cards (and Kevin had his first in 98 — just a few years before!)

Kevin’s point of view: if it is used now, then I was right to develop it.

Humans are flexible. Get used to almost anything. Can we redifine ourself without boundaries. When do we become “other than human”?

Kevin looks towards enhancements. Happy with the idea we might become other than human. Promoting cyborgs as a new species.

Often, people draw the line between medical and non-medical applications, but it’s usually impossible to draw the line between therapy and enhancement.

Kevin is not *such* an exception.

We are on the same path as Kevin, whether we like it or not (connecting brains to machines and brains to each other). In our society, being “normal” means being connected.

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