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We Media Fringe - Suw Speaks

May 04, 2006

I was lucky enough to be invited to be a part of the We Media conference which took place over the last two days here in London. The first day - when I was on site was great for networking but not much else: it felt a lot like the BBC were busy self-agrandising but not really advancing the conversation: it was great to be a part of a live if a little scripted BBC show, but really I heard commentary along the lines of - "great, the BBC gets it... what next?" It remains to be seen if the conversation will continue.

Day two was better, even though I had to observe from afar: catching up with a delayed stream is never easy! There were some fantastic conversations, some real ideas and hope for a better future through communication. I was especially impressed with the stories from Africa, and the blog from Ory Okolloh about life in Kenya. It was great also to see Global Voices get a bigger more public voice. I hope to be able to follow up some of these leads and convert them to some interesting and personal conversations.

The one event that wasn't scripted was the off-the-cuff fringe event where the we in democracy got together to present, rant and share ideas from the floor. Up on the schedule was a speaker from Microsoft talking about (I think) their impression of the digital future (but I don't recall him mentioning Robert Scoble or even Origami/UMPC however....). Also up was Tim Ireland, Ben Metcalfe and Suw Charman. Ben had something to say about his opinion on the transition from free to pay for FCO sponsored properties.

I took my video camera along with me to try and capture some of the thoughts expressed. Unfortunately I did not have my mic boom with me, so I had to make do with holding my microphone (so apologies for the inconsistent sound). Also, I'd have posted this sooner, but it's taken the entire day to encode and process the footage - my 12" Powerbook doesn't cut it anymore.

So, without further ado - here's Suw Charman providing her thoughts after the first day of the conference.

wemedia wemediafringe

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