Andrius had given me the software for the worknets chatroom but I have yet to find a server for it, so First Thursday has moved to Skype for now. The August session covered a lot, so I tried to share First Thursday August in some detail. First Thursdays are changing shape. For the first couple of years First Thursday was just "me at home on the Internet" - and it was mostly my friends from Minciu Sodas who dropped by. Now it is more like an open meeting of Dadamac UK-Nigeria. I'm still experimenting with the dynamics - to get the right mixture of informal/structured discussions. I like the way it worked this time - with Elaine as the "guest of honour" - which meant that her interests and questions guided the direction of the conversations. It wasn't as formal as having a chairman, but it helped to give us a shared, and changing, focus.
Guests of honour - invitation
I think I may try the "guest of honour" format some more - so if you want to come to a First Thursday open meeting and guide the conversation to follow your interests let me know, and we'll explore a slot for you as a "guest of honour". (We can also arrange closed conversations with people in the Dadamac team - if you want to do business with us)
I joined David Pinto's Confluence group at the South Bank on Monday 26th - but otherwise work has mostly been firmly online or with other stuff behind the scenes. I've got interested in the Confluence wiki and what it could achieve, but it seems to me there is a real chicken and egg challenge with it. I think it needs a critical mass of collaborators using it before it will become demonstrably useful, and until it is demonstrably useful I think it will have trouble attracting people to collaborate using it. (Hence my suggestion about confluence pop-ups at Brixvill ). I wish it well because I can see it being relevant and useful for some of the collaborative things I do - and things other people might do - , but I don't have time to explore it deeply, or put much content on it at the moment. I'm busy managing content elsewhere.
Behind the scenes
I'm continuing to get my head around the implications of having additional Drupal modules for our website at www.dadamac.net (Drupal types may like to know I am getting to appreciate the benefits of CCK). This should mean wonderful ways of managing our content and much simpler ways of navigating our site. Of course, the fact that we now have better tools for managing our content means there is a lot of work to be done putting the content in the right place ready to be managed. Meanwhile other work continues as usual.
We have been working with some of our academic friends, and two of them are now preparing to put in funding bids, in the hope of taking forward collaborative projects with us. One is related to community links and video, The other is to do with SMEs and recycling plastic waste. More about those if they get funded.
The full picture
Nikki does a great blog with news from our Dadamac UK-Nigeria meeting every week - and regarding Dadamac UK I tend to simply let people "look over my shoulder" by posting to dadamac's posterous as I go about some of my work, so there is lots more from the past couple of weeks in the archives. This digest is to bring a few things together and give a slightly different perspective.