LIFT08: Paul Barnett [en]

Creative director. Between the creative vision and the huge raft of people who do all the work.

Is going to try and strip the gibberish away.

LIFT08 158 Paul Barnett

“Lots of people online doing things.”

Bother, too large to talk about! One of the things you can do online with lots of people: you can socialize. Social networking is massively popular and theoretically worth billions and billions!

Lets of people are making things and showing them off. “User generated” 🙂

“My cat was sick all over my grandma, and I videoed it. Wanna see it?”

*steph-note: this guy is really fun and I like his accent!*

Strange word: “entertainment games that make old-fashioned… something (money?)”

Objective: they do this really well, I want to give them money!!

Profit! Something his mum understands. Virtual making real money. Not sure why!

Decided to talk about two things:

– history of cinema
– ?? *steph-note: missed that*

Just like mainstream movies, games have:

– too many people working on them, cost way too much, miss their deadlines, and when people experience them, they go “I can do better!”

History of cinema: color… weren’t sure it would catch on. TV came, and they were convinced TV was dead. DVD. And yet, movies flourish.

They don’t have 5 changes in 50 years, but 50 changes in 5 years. They don’t have the generational thinking. People who are successful in this business build rockets to the moon and never come back. Technology keeps changing and they don’t know how to use it. They don’t have a clue about what’s going to be “the platform of the future”. They don’t know how to monetize it either. Problem: all the games that appear to make money online were built years ago. Problem in a moving market.

The online space is fun and draws new speakers.

Designers who design for designers cost a lot of money, speak gibberish, and you just have to believe them. Paul is the middleman, between various players in the industry who have different languages.

Casinos: like movies and games (cost a lot, not ready on time, and when you walk in “I can do this?”) Subscription model. Community management.

American system: if something works for somebody, build it bigger, better, faster… But that doesn’t work in the long run.

New design and thinking is happening online. Take your game design people, and put them online — fight insular thinking. Need to embrace the online industry.

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LIFT08: Bruce Sterling [en]

[fr] Notes prises lors de la conférence LIFT08.

*Note: live notes, probably incomplete, possibly misunderstood.*

What’s the punchiest thing one can say about the past year? That’s the way it was, now get out!

Europeans: historical sense.

LIFT08 017 Bruce Sterling

2008 is not going to be the total revolutionary year (no year is, we always thing it’s going to be, but it doesn’t happen).

Economic downturn. China under piles of dirty laundry. India surrounded by crazy mujahidins (spelling?).

Global warming is a slow, 200-year-old problem. Is it really exciting to watch Microsoft eat Yahoo?

Bruce would like to offer us a piece of futuristic insight, a nice prophecy.

Carla Bruni. Sarkozy who wants to civilize the Internet from a French perspective, by repressing P2P on French soil.

Carla isn’t here at LIFT. She has a whole lot of reasons to be here. She’s a [Black Swan](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/05/an-experiment-seesmic-and-the-black-swan/). But Black Swans can be beautiful — Carla is gorgeous! *steph-note: snip some comments about Black Swans, positive and negative.*

There isn’t a single journalist around who can’t write a Carla Bruni story.

Two driving purposes (Carla and Sarkozy): ambition and publicity. First Diva de France. She’s certainly never been a politician. *steph-note: follow scenarios of Nicolas and Carla etc.*

Carla is a pop star with the power of state behind her.

Predict the future: Carla and Nicolas don’t know the future any more than you do.

Empress of Europe: 35% (fantastic success is a much better story — Bruce is a journalist!)

The Internet is a Black Swan too.

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BlogTalk 2008 Proposal — Being Multilingual: Blogging in More Than One Language [en]

Here’s the proposal I just sent for [BlogTalk 2008](http://2008.blogtalk.net/) (Cork, Ireland, March 3-4):

> The strongest borders online are linguistic. In that respect, people who are comfortable in two languages have a key “bridge” role to play. Blogging is one of the mediums through which this can be done.

> Most attempts at bilingual (or multilingual) blogging fall in three patterns:

> – separate and independent blogs, one per language
> – one blog with proper translation of all content, post by post
> – one blog with posts sometimes in one language, sometimes in another

> These different strategies and other attempts (like community-driven translation) to use blogging as a means to bridge language barriers are worth examining in closer detail.

> Considering that most people do have knowledge (at least passive, even if incomplete) of more than one language, multilingual blogging could be much more common than it is now. The tools we use, however, assume that blogs and web pages are in a single language. Many plugins, however, offer solutions to adapt existing tools like WordPress to the needs of multilingual bloggers. Could we go even further in building tools which encourage multilingualism rather than hindering it?

> —-
> Extra material:

> I’ve gathered pointers to previous talks and writings on the topic here: [http://climbtothestars.org/focus/multilingual](http://climbtothestars.org/focus/multilingual) — most of them are about multilingualism on the internet in general, but this proposal is for a talk much more focused on blogging. Here is a video of the first talk I gave in this series (by far not the best, I’m afraid!) [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2096847420084039011](http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2096847420084039011) and which was about multilingual blogging — it can give you an idea of what this talk could look like, though I’ve refined my thinking since then and have now fallen in the grips of presentation slides. I also intend to base my talk on real-world examples of what bloggers are doing in the field.

> Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like more details for evaluating this proposal.

We had a long discussion on IRC about the fact that the submission process required a 2-page paper for a talk (in all honesty, for me, almost the same amount of sweat and tears as preparing the talk itself — I’ll let you figure that one out yourself). BlogTalk is a conference which aims to bridge the space between academics and practitioners, and a 2-page paper, I understood, was actually a kind of compromise compared to the usual 10-15 page papers academics send in when they want to speak at conferences.

The form was changed, following this discussion, to make the inclusion of the paper optional. Of course, this might reflect badly on proposals like mine or [Stowe’s](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/11/proposal-for-bl.html) which do not include a paper. We’ll see!

I’ll also be speaking on [structured portable social networks](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/16/we-need-structured-portable-social-networks-spsn/) during the workshop on [social network portability](http://webcamp.org/SocialNetworkPortability), the day before the conference.

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Blogging in Internal Communications [en]

[fr] Notes de la conférence que j'ai donnée aujourd'hui à Zürich sur les blogs dans la communication interne.

First of all, let me thank all present for their participation, and Nils ([Enzaim Communications](http://enzaim.ch/)) in particular for making this happen. I also appreciated having [Stefan Bucher](http://www.stefanbucher.net/blog/) amongst the audience — it’s particularly nice when fellow bloggers show up, share their experience, and to top it all tell me my talk was interesting to them, too. Thanks!

Two months ago I gave a talk titled [“How Blogging Brings Dialogue to Corporate Communications”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/24/how-blogging-brings-dialogue-to-corporate-communications/). This one is quite similar, but focused on internal communications.

As I explained, the dynamics involved are very similar. It’s about having conversations, whether it’s behind the firewall or outside on the big bad internet — about engaging with people (employees, customers, colleagues) rather than talking *at* them.

Although the talk I prepared was very similar (with some added stuff specific to internal communications), it did of course turn out rather different. Different people, different questions. I like it (particularly with small audiences) when instead of giving a lecture-like talk, there are lots of questions and I am derailed from what I had planned.

That’s a bit what blogging is about, isn’t it? Having a dialogue. So, when the setting permits it, I try to do the same thing with my talks. My impression is that people get more out of them that way. (Do feel free to correct me if you think I’m mistaken.)

You should probably go and have a look at [the notes from my previous talk](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/24/how-blogging-brings-dialogue-to-corporate-communications/), as I’m not going to rewrite everything here. I’ll just concentrate on what seems to me was the important additional stuff we talked about. If you were there and want to add things to what I’m writing here, please feel free to leave a comment. I’d be very happy if you did.

If you look at the slides, they’re very similar in the beginning, aside from slides 9-10-11 in which I try to clarify the difference between blog and wiki, as I was told confusion was common.

Blogs

Content on blogs is organised based on the time they were written. From an editorial point of view, blogs also put the author(s) forward. He has a very different status from the commentators, who are guests on his blog.

Wikis

Wikis, on the other hand, are organised solely through the links created between the various pages. The focus is on the documentation produced rather than on who produced it. The various author voices tend to merge into a uniform community voice.

Both blogs and wikis are part of the larger class of tools one can name “social media”. These are the online tools which help us publish information in a way that connects us to other people, and encourages us to engage in conversations and relationships with them. You’ll also come upon the expression “social software” used with roughly the same meaning (though the emphasis is in this way more on the technology than on its usage). “Social tools” can be considered a wider category including all technology that explicitly connects its users to one another. (I have to say, though, that many people — I included — will sometimes use these terms interchangeably.)

Short version: it’s “social media” that is important in this discussion, more than “just blogging”. I’m talking of “blogging” inasmuch as it is a popular incarnation of social media.

We spent quite some time commenting the [blog examples]() I showed. These are of course examples of blogging externally, because unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to find examples of internal blogging on the internet ;-).

There are a lot of “damage control” or “crisis” examples, because blogging is a good tool to use in this kind of situation where real communication is required.

Here are a few quotes I read out. First, the beginning of the open letter to Palm on Engadget:

> Dear Palm,

> Man, what a crazy year, right? We know things haven’t really been going your way lately, but we want you to know that we haven’t given up on you, even though it might seem like the only smartphone anyone wants to talk about these days is the iPhone. It can be hard to remember right now, but you used to be a company we looked to for innovation. You guys got handhelds right when everyone else, including Apple, was struggling to figure it out. And it was the little things that made those early Palm Pilots great — you could tell that someone had gone to a lot of trouble to think about what made for a great mobile experience, like how many (or rather, few) steps it took to perform common tasks.

> The problem is that lately we haven’t seen anything too impressive out of you guys. Sure, over the past few years the Treo has emerged as a cornerstone of the smartphone market, but you’ve let the platform stagnate while nearly everyone (especially Microsoft and HTC, Symbian and Nokia, RIM, and Apple) has steadily improved their offerings. So we’ve thrown together a few ideas for how Palm can get back in the game and (hopefully) come out with a phone that people can care about. (And we’re not talking about the Centro / Gandolf.) Read on.

Dear Palm: It’s time for an intervention

And two days later, the response of the Palm CEO, Ed Colligan

> Dear Peter, Ryan and Joshua:

> Thank you for the very thoughtful post about Palm. I really appreciate the fact that you guys and others care enough to take the time to write such a comprehensive list of actions. I forwarded it to our entire executive staff and many others at Palm have read it. Although I can’t say I agree with every point, many are right on. We are attacking almost every challenge you noted, so stay tuned. Let’s remember that it is very early in the evolution of the smartphone and there is enormous opportunity for us to innovate. We have only just begun to fight!

> Thank you for taking the time to write. I really do take your comments to heart and I know the team at Palm is totally committed to delivering the best mobile computing solutions in the world.

Ed Colligan

Not bad, huh? This is the kind of openness people want to see more of.

> Corporate types will always be concerned about negative comments, which is a valid concern; however, if you’ve got a product or service that’s worth blogging about, your fans should be coming out to support you — which they have, in Yahoo!’s case. Also, by allowing full comments, and better yet, responding to some of them, you gain a valuable sense of integrity and, as loathe as I am to type these words, “street cred” — that you just can’t buy.

> Negative comments are the price you’ve got to pay for having a Real Blog, and companies that have them deserve to be recognized. It shows that they believe in their own business, and they respect their customers enough to allow them to have a public opinion on their business.

Yahoo’s Blog Takes Its Blogging Lumps, Like a Real Blog Should

We talked a lot about negative comments and what to do about them (they can actually turn out to be a good thing if you respond to them openly and honestly). We also talked about ghost-writing (don’t!) and human relationships in general. Things that are true for offline relationships, I find, are also true for online ones you can establish through blogging: if somebody is willing to recognise they made a mistake, for example, or acknowledge that you are upset about something, it goes a long way. Same is true on blogs.

Here’s a link to [the corporate blogging 101](http://engineerswithoutfears.blogspot.com/2007/04/tooling-around-blogs.html) I mentioned in passing and I said I would point you to.

I also skipped a bit quickly through the Do/Don’t lists, so here they are again:

DO:

  • eat your own dog-food
  • trust your bloggers
  • read other blogs
  • be part of the community
  • use a feed-reader
  • link! even to competition, negative stuff
  • be human
  • learn the culture
  • use an existing blogging tool
  • discuss problems
  • define what is really confidential
  • give existing in-house bloggers a role (evangelists! learn from them!)
  • tag, ping, use the “kit” and other social tools

DON’T:

  • try to control
  • use a ghost-writer or outsource blogging
  • “roll your own” tool
  • ignore established blogging conventions, they’re there for a reason
  • copy-paste print material in posts
  • use corpspeak
  • force people to blog
  • write happy-clappy stuff
  • write blog posts or comments as if they were e-mails (starting with Hi… and ending with a signature)
  • be faceless (signing with the name of the company instead of the person)

Employees know (and so do internal communications people) that the best sources of information are usually one’s direct boss and… the cafeteria. If you think about it, your boss is probably one of the main people you actually have real conversations with. You don’t often have a real conversation with the CEO — but you probably have regular briefings with your boss. Hopefully, you have something resembling a human relationship with her/him.

The cafeteria or the corridors are the informal networking spaces of company life. And often, these informal relationships can actually be more useful to your work than the hierarchy. “Networks subvert hierarchies”, says the [Cluetrain](http://cluetrain.com).

Well, in a company in which employees can blog, subscribe to their feeds and leave comments on each other’s blogs, the online space can become a kind of “virtual cafeteria” — only in the public eye. This might sound scary to some. But you’re not preventing people from having conversations in the cafeteria, are you? By having these conversations online, in a “public” space (which may still be behind the firewall), you can help them be more efficient if they’re positive, and debunk them more easily if they’re rumors.

RSS is an important technology to be aware of. It’s the one that allows people to subscribe to blogs, comments, or other sources of news. In a company where employees can have their own blogs, they’ll need to learn to use an aggregator, which will enable them to create their own news channel. One can expect an employee to know best exactly what sources of information to follow or people to stay in touch with to get her work done.

People who work remotely, who are on different sites, different silos, or who simply have different working hours can all benefit from the online cafeteria.

A few key checkpoints, if you’re thinking of introducing blogs in your company (“are we ready?” style). 5 prerequisites:

– the management/CEO/company needs to **care** about their employees. Blogging won’t work well in an “abusive” relationship.
– be willing to **engage** in real, honest **dialogue**, also about problematic issues (difficult, but often the most rewarding, as with normal human relationships)
– blogging takes **time**, so it should be counted in as part of people’s workload/job
– accept and understand that communication **cannot be controlled**
– understand that blogging is not just a technology/tool, that it is mainly a **culture/strategy**

5 ingredients to “make it work”:

– **training**. Don’t assume blogging comes naturally to people. We “natural bloggers” are the exception, not the rule. The technology is cheap — put money in the training, so people have a chance to really “get” the culture.
– **eat your own dog food**. If you want to get people in your company blogging, do it yourself, too.
– blogging is a grassroots phenomenon (bottom-up), so **enable** it (top-down), knowing you can’t “make” people blog. Create a blog-friendly environment.
– **read** blogs and comments. This can easily be 50% of the workload involved in “blogging”
– speak like a **human** being.

There… that’s about it. Did we talk about anything else important that I missed?

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Talk: Being a Blogging Consultant [en]

[fr] Notes d'une conférence que je viens de donner en Serbie sur ce qu'est le travail d'une "consultante en blogs" (notez les guillemets). Je préfère en fait me définir comme une spécialiste de l'internet vivant (celui des dialogues et des relations humaines) et de sa culture. J'interviens partout où ce genre de connaissance est utile à mes clients.

Here are some rough notes of the talk I gave at [Blogopen](http://blogopen.eu), reason of [my presence in Novi Sad, Serbia](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/12/blogopen-in-novi-sad-serbia/). I hope they can be useful to some. Number between square brackets refer to slide numbers (

This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.

(http://www.slideshare.net/sbooth/being-a-blogging-consultant) embedded below).

*If you have notes of this talk or by any chance have recorded it, please leave a link in the comments.*

**update: yay! some short recording snippets. see the end of this post.**

[1] [2] Two years ago I was a teacher, and if you had told me then that I would be here in Novi Sad, talking about what it is like to be a freelance blogging consultant, you would probably have seen me make a face like this:

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 9

[3] Later on I’ll tell you about what a “blogging consultant” like me actually does, but first of all, here’s my story. I grew up with computers in the house, discovered the internet in 1998 and soon after [created a website](http://old.climbtothestars.org/hist/version1/). I [started blogging in 2000](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2000/07/) and gradually built a small reputation for myself online. By the time the Swiss media discovered blogs in 2004, I’d been at it for a while. When they started looking for Swiss blogs, they found me, and the phone started ringing.

You know how it is with the media: once one journalist has written about a person or a subject, all the others follow. I started [giving interview after interview](http://climbtothestars.org/about/presse), exciting at first, but somewhat tedious after some time. But I was lucky to have very good local media coverage, which did help people find me or hear about me.

Just before the press started to show an interest in me (and blogs), a friend of mine asked if I could explain to her how to make a website. We sat together for two hours, and I told her how the internet was made of servers, and websites were in fact files that lived on those servers, files you can make in a text editor with special markings known as HTML, with CSS to control the visual aspect. She said “wow, you’re really good at this, you should get people to pay you to do it!” I was a bit skeptical, but thought it would be cool. So just before my first appearance on TV, I created a [professional website](http://stephanie-booth.com/) (just a few pages, and if you look at it now, it’s really out-of-date — I’ll be working on it during the [“Website ‘pro’ day”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/31/une-journee-pour-bosser-sur-nos-sites-pro-website-pro-day/) in a bit over a week). And on that website, I made [a page](http://stephanie-booth.com/particuliers/) saying something like “I’ll explain to you how to make a website, this is how much it’ll cost”.

Shortly after my TV appearance, I was contacted by a school who wanted me to come and talk about blogs to a class of teenagers. It went surprisingly well and I really enjoyed it, so I added an extra page on my professional site saying [“I give talks in schools”](http://stephanie-booth.com/ecoles/). Little by little, through word of mouth mainly, I started having clients. And at one point about 18 months ago, I started having enough clients that I could consider quitting my day job (teaching).

That’s how I became a professional blogging consultant.

[4] So, what does a “blogging” consultant do? It’s not just about blogs. Actually, one of my ongoing struggles is to find a “job title” to define myself. “Blogging consultant” already existed, and people knew about blogs, so it wasn’t too bad.

[5] Blogging is more than it seems. It’s a tool, but it’s more than that. It’s also a culture, and if you’re a company or an institution, blogging is a communication strategy. We see companies and media corporations using the blog tool to publish press releases or official documentation. That’s using the tool, but they don’t get the culture, and they haven’t changed their strategy. *(You might want to see the notes on my talk [“How Blogging Brings Dialogue to Corporate Communications”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/24/how-blogging-brings-dialogue-to-corporate-communications/) if this topic interests you.)*

[6] One expression we hear a lot in this kind of context is “social media”. Traditional media go in one direction. Journalists write, people listen (or put their fingers in their ears). It looks like this:

Cluetrain 101 Sketch 1

With social media, on the other hand, we have a new type of media (well, *reasonably new*) where conversations take place. Communication goes both ways:

Cluetrain 101 Sketch 3

So basically, being a “blogging” consultant has a lot to do with social media. (Understanding and explaining it.)

[7] All this kind of stuff is explained in a great book that everybody should read: [The Cluetrain Manifesto](http://www.cluetrain.com/). You can [read it for free on the Internet](http://www.cluetrain.com/book/index.html) or buy it as a real book if you prefer. The Cluetrain Manifesto was written in the year 2000, so quite some time ago, but it’s still spot on. It tells us how people are sick of being marketed at and talked at, and how people are already having conversations everywhere about brands, companies, and these conversations are happening on the internet. Companies, politicians, and media empires would be smart to step in and join the conversation. Anyway… read the Cluetrain Manifesto if you have any interest in what’s going on on the Internet.

[8] So, in my job, I don’t just work with blogs. In addition to blogs, sometimes solution require wikis, podcasts, or social networks. [9] Using these tools brings up values like dialogue, transparency, authenticity, and often leads to rethink strategy. [10] Finding a solution for a client can be helping them re-organise their e-mail, set up a mailing-list, or simply build a website. Maybe it requires social tools like Twitter or Dopplr, or they might even want to know about virtual worlds like Second Life.

This is clearly not just about “blogging”. It’s about this bigger world blogging is an important part of.

[11] I like to think of myself as a specialist of **the living web** and its culture. The living web is the internet of people, conversations, and relationships.

My work is anywhere people need this kind of knowledge. Who needs this kind of knowledge?

[12] Schools, politicians, companies big and small, freelancers, non-profits, media, startups, people…

[13] Here’s a little more about what it means to be a freelancer consultant in today’s world.

[14] [The Balance of the Soloist](http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2006/09/08/going-solo-a-few-words-of-advice/) according to [Stowe Boyd](http://stoweboyd.com/message):

> The most difficult challenge for soloists is to find a balance between the various activities that must take place to survive. I like to oversimplify these down to three:

> 1. **Doing The Work** — The heart of consulting — of whatever description — is delivering the work. A soloist has to deliver value to the client in order to make money. Most consulting-oriented people start with this capability: it’s the other two that cause problems, in general.
> 2. **Marketing and Networking** — I have already noted that I principally market myself through blogging, and that I attend conferences: those are the outward signs of a willingness, or even an obsession with networking with likeminded others. When I find out about a web product that sounds interesting (my beat), I sign up for the beta, fool with it, write a review, ask for more info, and very soon I am involved in a direct communication with the company’s management. I read other people’s blogs and comment on their ideas. When attending conferences I try to chat with both old friends and folks I have never met before. I know many consultants whose natural introversion makes such activities difficult if not impossible. But these interactions are just as critical to being a soloist as performing the work, and are likely to take up just as much time!
> 3. **Prospecting, Contracts and Cash Flow** — I am always happy to talk about money, and as a soloist it is imperative to get what you are worth, and then to collect the fees. This is a blind spot for many, and a make-it-or-break-it issue. I know a lot of folks that find it hard — even with people they know well — to ask for a project, an engagement, whatever, and to demand payment later on. It may seem obvious but many consultants only get involved with this as a necessary evil, but it’s not. It’s just as central as delivering the goods and networking.

Stowe Boyd, “Going Solo: A Few Words Of Advice”

These are the three skills the freelancer needs. Often people drawn towards freelancing are people who are good at doing something (the work) and reasonable networkers — and the third part (money) is the most difficult.

[15] **the work**

This will of course vary from person to person. Depending on your skills and abilities, you will be doing different things. For example:

– talking (like this talk I gave — speaking engagements)
– explaining — talking with clients to tell them about things they need to understand
– solving problems
– gathering information (about your client, about a subject you need to know more about)
– managing projects
– installing tools (WordPress, wikis…)
– coding HTML, CSS, or even PHP
– doing graphical design in Photoshop (I don’t do this, I’m really bad at it, so I usually tell the client he needs to have somebody else for this)
– training — it’s not that easy for “normal people” to learn how to use a blog tool… and more importantly, understand the blogging culture. Linking can be the topic of a two-hour class! (what to link, when, with what text, trackbacks, linking technique… suddenly text has two dimensions instead of one, so it changes writing style…)
– “cluetrain 101” — explaining the basics of what the internet is changing to the way we communicate
– experiential marketing (I’ll blog more about this later) — where you use a client’s product and blog about it
– blogging for a client (even though it’s not something I believe in, and I don’t do it — some people might)

[16] **Marketing**

– blog, blog, blog. And blog more. Demonstrate your expertise. Look at how [Thomas Mahon](http://englishcut.com/) used his blog to demonstrate his expertise at being a high-class tailor. Blog about what you know and what you’re doing.
– be a good connected net citizen. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, IM… be out there
– talk around you offline
– go to events — try to speak! send in proposals! [Barcamps](http://barcamp.org/) are a great place to start because anybody can talk. Get somebody to film you and put it online. If you’re not speaking, [publish live notes of the talks on your blog (live-blog)](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/01/on-liveblogging). People who weren’t there or didn’t take notes might appreciate yours.
– in short, take care of your social capital ([whuffie](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whuffie)) — your social connections
– if you’re lucky enough to have journalists call you — be nice with them. I would probably not be here today if it hadn’t been for the local press in Switzerland.

[17] **Cash**

Often a difficult point, as I mentioned.

– how do you actually get to the point where you close a deal?
– contracts
– you’re worth more than you think! Have friends help you keep that in mind before you negotiate with clients.
– will you be paid per day, per project?
– how much? fixing the right price can be tough — I haven’t completely figured out pricing yet.
– when do you ask for money, when do you not ask? Sometimes it’s [not that obvious](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/30/operations-mediatiques-marre/).

In addition to this, going freelance might mean you have to think about:

– insurance
– taxes
– laws
– accounting
– invoicing

And also… balancing your personal and professional life. All this “taking care of your social capital” does tend to blend the two — in a good way, often, but also in a way that makes taking days off or going on a real holiday very difficult. Pay attention to that.

[18]-[23] So, looking back… After my initial “no way!” reaction to the idea of being a “blogging consultant” two years ago, even though I went through phases like this

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 2

and this

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 12

and this

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 11

and even

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 3

overall… I’m pretty happy about my life as a blogging consultant:

Expressions (Stephanie Booth) 14

*note: I took all the rather cheesy “emotion” photos myself the morning before the talk, because I didn’t have the time and resources to go hunting for good “emotional faces” stock photography… I hope you’ll forgive me!*

You can find [more stuff about consulting in my del.icio.us links](http://del.icio.us/steph/consulting).

Thanks to everybody who attended my talk and gave me kind feedback. Many Serbian bloggers also mentioned my talk in their blog posts, but I’m afraid I can’t understand any of it! [Here are the links](http://del.icio.us/steph/blogopentalk%2Bcoverage%2Bstephaniebooth), though:

– [Borska internet organizacija | BITNO na BlogOpen-u / 2](http://www.bitno.org.yu/vesti/?p=33)
– [Blogopen utisci](http://blog.aurora-dizajn.info/izvestaj/blogopen-utisci/)
– [BlogOpen & Novi Sad – dan posle | O zivotu, Vaseljeni i svemu ostalom](http://www.mmilan.com/2007/11/11/blogopen-novi-sad-dan-posle/)
– [BlogOpen – Elektro kuhinja – Blog.hr](http://elektrokuhinja.blog.hr/2007/11/1623579400/blogopen.html)
– [» Blog Archive » Susret na Blog Open-u](http://www.gradjanski.co.yu/blog/?p=13)
– [Nemanja Srećković » Blog Archive » Utisci sa BlogOpen-a 2007](http://blog.nemanjasreckovic.com/2007/11/10/utisci-sa-blogopen-2007/)
– [BlogOpen Review](http://blago.blog381.com/2007/11/10/blogopen-review/)
– [Uh kakva subota! at Samo malo](http://samomalo.hermani.info/?p=345)
– [BlogOpen u Novom Sadu – total report | Webmasterov blog](http://snaxors.com/blog/?p=57)
– [BlogOpen utisci | Dragan Varagic Weblog](http://www.draganvaragic.com/weblog/index.php/349/blogopen-utisci)
– [BlogOpen weekend](http://www.blogowski.eu/2007/11/12/blogopen-weekend/)
– [Blog Open…i kako ga pregurati](http://auroraborealis.blog381.com/2007/11/13/blog-openi-kako-ga-pregurati/)

As far as I can tell, some posts simply mention me. But if there’s anything said worth to be translated or paraphrased, feel free to do so in the comments! (Just tell me what link it’s about…)

**Update:**

Thanks a lot to [darko156](http://komunikacii.net/2007/11/12/blogopeneu/) who filmed two short video sequences and uploaded them to YouTube. Here they are. The first video is slides [4]-[7] (what exactly a blogging consultant is, social media, The Cluetrain Manifesto):

The second is slides [7]-[10] (Cluetrain, social media tools and values — dialogue, transparency, authenticity, strategy…):

Curious about [what I was waving in my right hand](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/1988146940/)?

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Blogopen in Novi Sad, Serbia [en]

[fr] Je suis allée en Serbie donner une conférence sur "être une consultante en blogs" lors du festival "Blogopen" qui a eu lieu samedi à Novi Sad. La conférence s'est extrêmement bien passée, mais n'a malheureusement pas été enregistrée. Les retours ont été assez incroyables, au point que c'était presque pas forcément évident à gérer.

For the last few days I’ve been getting weird digital looks on IM and IRC. You’re in *Serbia*? What on earth are you doing there?

Simple answer: I came here [to give a talk](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/12/being-a-blogging-consultant/) during [Blogopen](http://blogopen.eu/). A few months ago I was contacted by [Tatjana Vehovec](http://mooshema.com/). [Pedja Puselja](http://www.blogowski.eu/), a popular Serbian blogger living in Strasbourg, had recommended me as a speaker. Well, past the initial surprise, I happily accepted. That’s how, Saturday just past, I ended up [giving a talk on what it is to be a “Blogging Consultant”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/12/being-a-blogging-consultant/) to a room full of Serbian bloggers and other interested people.

Those of you who give talks regularly know that all “performances” are not equal. I’m happy to say this was a good one. (I was quite happy with the one I gave at Web2Open too, come to think of it.) It was streamed live on Blog.tv by Pedja, but unfortunately (and to my great frustration) it was not recorded. (Had I known it would be broadcast, I would have let you know…) I really need to remember to organise recording for future speaking engagements.

But then… wow, the feedback I got was almost overwhelming. At least three people came up to me saying my talk had really inspired them. A publisher in the room asked me if I would write a guide to being a “blogging consultant”, which would be translated into Serbian. I had put what was left of my Moo cards on the table, thinking a dozen or so people would take one — they all disappeared. I got interviewed on Croatian national TV (the journalist was very nice and promised to send me a copy of the raw interview — I hope he does, because I was very happy with it and would like to be able to show it to you).

Basically, I felt like a superstar or an extraterrestrial which had just descended on planet earth. A very mixed feeling, I have to say — somewhat pleasant, but mainly disturbing to me. I felt like it created a huge distance between me and other people. Hence my use of “overwhelming” to try and describe it. I was very *very* happy to have my lovely host [Sanja](http://auroraborealis.blog381.com/) by my side during that day. (I’ll write more about that in another post.)

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Lars Trieloff: i18n for Web 2.0 (Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin) [en]

*steph-note: incomplete notes. I was very disappointed by this session, mainly because I’m exhausted and I was expecting something else, I suppose. I should have read the description of the talk, it’s quite true to what was delivered. Please see [my work on multilingualism](/focus/multilingual) to get an idea where I come from.*

Why internationalize? You have to speak in the language of your user.

e.g. DE rip-offs of popular EN apps like Facebook. CN version of Facebook, and RU, and turkish.

What is different in Web 2.0 internationalization? Much more complicated than normal software i18n, but some things are easier.

More difficult:

– sites -> apps
– web as platform
– JS, Flash, etc…

The i18n challenge is multiplied by the different technologies.

Solution: consolidate i18n technology. Need a common framework for all.

*steph-note: OK, this looks like more of a developer track. A little less disappointed.*

Keep the i18n data in one place, extract the strings, etc. then pull them back into the application once localized.

Example of how things were done in Mindquarry.

*steph-note: oh, this is in the Fundamentals track :-/ — this is way too tech-oriented for a Fundamentals track in my opinion.*

*steph-note: insert a whole bunch of technical stuff I’m skipping, because I can’t presently wrap my brain around it and it is not what interests me the most, to be honest.*

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 21

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 22

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Ankur Shah & Gi Fernando: (Facebook API) Disrupting the Platform (Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin) [en]

*Here are my notes of this session. Usual disclaimers apply.*

Harnessing social analytics and other musings on the Facebook API

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 10

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 17

In the lights of OpenSocial, tough week to be talking about Facebook.

Ankur and Gi are going to talk about a variety of good things that they’ve done with the Facebook platform.

Understanding human relationships.

Facebook is a truly social platform, which allows to create truly social applications. Engage with your friends directly. Ability for a company to respond to the social content inside the platform.

Questions:

– where were they? (Facebook)
– where we are? (developers)
– what’s everyone doing?
– where’s it all going?

Geek + pizza = Facebook.

7000 applications. SuperWall, Slide, Top Friends, iLike, Flixter, Likeness — successful!

*steph-note: Ankur is speaking a little fast for me and I have a headache, so I’m not following this very well, sorry*

Applications kept in a controlled environment. The back-end to all those applications is the same.

Doesn’t depend where your engaging with your users as long as you are.

Standardised facebook functions => very compact code. Homogenous look (avoids the “MySpace effect”)

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 8

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 16

Bob Dylan application.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 15

PHP. API easy to use. *steph-note: maybe I should build a Facebook app… not sure about what though!*

Standardised component set.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin 20

Big question: does the platform really break? Facebook’s innovation is so quick that things break.

A short note on viral-ness. A phenomenon, from 50 friends to 50’000 users in a week. It can happen… but. The Dylan application allows you to share something with others. Individuals make applications spread more than other users.

Facebook allows users to spam their friends with applications.

My Questions: 450’000 daily active users.

Socialistics. Information about your friends.

*steph-note: ew, sorry, I’m passing out. Nothing to do with the content of this session, quite interesting.*

Little Facebook API vs. OpenSocial moment.

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Jeremy Keith: The Beauty in Standards and Accessibility (Web2.0Expo, Berlin) [en]

*Here are my notes of [Jeremy Keith](http://adactio.com/journal/)’s session. He’s somebody I always appreciate listening to, and he also happens to be the creator (and provider) of [Buzzword Bingo](http://bingo.adactio.com/). Play with your neighbour when keynotes or sessions go down the buzzword path.*

*My notes are as correct as I can make them, but they may be missing bits and pieces and I might even have misunderstood stuff.*

Web 2.0 Expo 6 - Jeremy Keith

First define. Who knows about beauty? The poets.

John Keats: Ode on a Grecian Urn. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

William Blake: Auguries of Innocence. “To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”

Looking deep beneath the surface. Close-up sketch of a flea. Micrographia. Beautiful. Viewing source. This is how we see the beauty of things.

This whole web2.0 stuff is not about details. We’re not using microscopes, but telescopes, looking at the “big picture”. Telescopes can be good: think “Galileo”.

He brought upon the world an *a priori* change. A new way of looking at the world, though the world had not changed. The earth revolves around the sun, and not the opposite.

Darwin: the world didn’t change from one day to the next when The Origin of Species was published, but our view of the world did.

We want to think about structure. How is the house built? It’s when you understand the structure that you can build solid houses. Same with web pages. This is where web standards come in.

Separation. Before: all mixed up (html, css, js). Now: separate. (cf. http://nataliejost.com) Progressive enhancement. An a priori change to how you design websites.

a) begin with your content
b) structure it (HTML)
c) think about how it’s going to look (CSS)
d) think about the behaviour (DOM Scripting)

Web 2.0 Expo 5

If you remove any of these layers, it will still work. It won’t look pretty, it won’t behave as well, but it will still “work”.

**CSS**

# in a separate document!
p { }
#foo { }

Then, add rules using selectors. From general to specific.

**DOM**

Very similar approach. Make it external. You don’t put it in the document. The vocabulary is different, but you also reference elements in the page pretty easily

document.getElementsByTagName(“p”)
documnet.getElementById(“foo”)

School of thought called “unobtrusive scripting”, “unobtrusive javascript”

**Beware**

First structure, then presentation. If you catch yourself doing this…

# wrong!

If you put behaviour in here, you’ve wasted a hyperlink.

Slightly better… but still bad

# JS equivalent of using the style attribute

*steph-note: I’m learning stuff about JS! yay!*

Bandwidth benefits in doing things the right way. Process benefits, you can separate the work. And also… the beauty of it. Flexibility. See how it reacts in situations you haven’t accounted for? It won’t fall apart if somebody accesses with no CSS, no JS, no images…

So, is this about making site accessible? Kind of. Note: go to the talk on accessibility Thursday morning.

Jeremy is talking more about universality. You’re not shutting out devices. Mobile. Search bots. Screen readers.

W.B. Yeats (April 1916) “All is changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.”

**Ajax**

Wonderful, beautiful, but can be terrible depending on how it’s used. *steph-note: reminds me of what we said of JS in 99-00*

The key to Ajax is about asynchronous communication with the server. XmlHttpRequest.

Jeremy’s definition: “A way of communicating with the server without refreshing the whole page.” Just part of the page.

Buzzword Hijax.

Here is how Jeremy thinks we should build an ajax application.

a) build a website in the old-fashioned way — buttons, links, for interaction with the server
b) then, come along with ajax — which parts of this page benefit from just being refreshed separately, and intercept the links/events. Hijack the requests. Bypass the whole page interaction.

Progressive enhancement rather than a terrible beauty that locks people out. Switch off JS, and everything still works.

Where? When?

Patterns: when I click a link/form, and when I submit it, I return to the same page with almost nothing changed.

– registration forms (specially for user name availability)
– comments on a blog/forum
– add to cart
– *steph-note: sign in links*

“Web 2.0” is not about web applications versus documents in the old “Web 2.0”. It’s a sliding scale. Most sites are somewhere in between documents and application. Applications work with documents! It’s not an either… or thing.

This kind of Ajax is more on the document side of the scale, roughly mid-way to the application end. Doesn’t scale to “more application”.

But at that point, why the hell are you building that with HTML, CSS and JS? The reason to use them is that they degrade gracefully. If you decide that all three are required, maybe you need to use another technology, like Flash. These technologies have their place for applications which cannot degrade gracefully. Flash is made for building web applications! But there is an insistance in building “2.0 Apps” in HTML/CSS/JS.

Maybe hesitancy because Flash isn’t a standard in the same way as HTML/CSS/JS?

Standards: you know your stuff will work, you know there’ll be support there. The best thing that Adobe could ever do in Jeremy’s opinion is to open it up truly (*steph-note: if I understood that correctly*).

History of standards.

ISO, ECMA, W3C…

Open data. API. RSS. XHTML.

If you’re going to release and API, look at what Google and Yahoo are doing and copy. Build upon existing conventions. Your own format is not going to make it.

If you allow people to access your data like that, you start to see emerging patterns.

Microformats! *steph-note: yay!*

Machine tags! *steph-note: yay again!* There is a [machine tags wiki](http://machinetags.org/wiki/Main_Page).

Jeremy, like many of us, really hates the “Web 2.0” label/buzzword. It had its place a few years ago, but now it’s really putting us in a box. Ajax is a good buzzword, because it allows to talk about a certain technology in a snappy way. Whereas Web2.0… ask ten people, and you’ll get 10 explanations.

Web2.0: people.

But we don’t need a buzzword for that. We already have a word for “leveraging collective intelligence”: the WEB!

Combine looking through the microscope and looking through the telescope.

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Reminder: Speaking Tuesday at Web2Open, Berlin [en]

[fr] Je présente une session sur le multilinguisme ici à Berlin, à l'occasion de Web2Open, mardi (demain!) à 10h10.

Just a reminder: I’ll be giving my talk [Waiting for the Babel Fish: Languages and Multilingualism](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/09/another-multilingual-talk-proposal-web-20-expo-berlin/) Tuesday (tomorrow as of writing) at [10:10 during Web2Open](http://web2open.twiki.net/twiki/bin/view/Main/PreChosenSessions) at the Web2.0Expo in Berlin.

I also put together (for the occasion, but I’d been wanting to do it for a long time) a page entirely devoted to [my work about languages and multilingualism on the internet](/focus/multilingual). This is the first page of the [Focus series](/focus/) which will showcase some of my work and the areas I’m currently active in.

For those of you who’ve been intrigued by [this twitter of mine](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/387658512) I’m going to make you wait a little more — but if we bump into each other at Web2.0Expo, don’t be shy to ask me about it!

**Update:** here’s the slideshow! Slightly upgraded since the [last incarnation of this talk at Google](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/10/talk-languages-on-the-internet-at-google-tomorrow/):

Thanks to all those of you who came. I got lost on the way so arrived late — my apologies to any of you who might have been there on time and left before I arrived.

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