I've been out of the tech loop somewhat the past couple of years, and had decided not to go to conferences for a while. Ennui mostly. But when a Federated Social Web meet in Berlin showed up on the radar, it struck me I might get the shot in the arm I needed. Wasn't far off the mark. Berlin itself I found awesome, but right now I want to get down some notes on the conf. Falk (my new pen-pal) has a couple of overview posts. Good start Thursday night meeting up with Henry and a good crew. Friday morning I was tempted to sit in on the WebID WG but decided to leave them to it, relax in the hostel instead. That was until I got a ping from danbri, flying visit, unexpected f2f. Then the conf. proper started.
It opened with a pep talk from timbl via video link (captured by Dan Romescu, who has also written up the event). Nothing remarkable (aside from how hyper the man can be at 5am local or whatever :), just reinforcement that the notion of "Federated Social Web" is pretty much the same as Tim's notion of how the Web should be.
After that, all the stage stuff was captured on video by the organisers (bravo!).
For most of the presentations and discussion, Facebook was the mammoth in the room. All the stones they've turned over regarding identity, privacy, Web-wiring is astonishing. But there are people generally very well aware of these issues, which was nice.
beh, I'm really struggling writing this up, I get to 135 chars and start counting. Have to do it PowerPoint. The first bullet:
Lessons learned from Social Networking in Egypt (Amr Gharbeia) is really a must-see. A lot of the media bollocks about Facebook and Twitter playing a role in recent Middle Eastern events was true.
A related must-see presentation happened after the FSW event, over at starship c-base. How some European hackers were able to get communications going again after a govt. had pulled the plug - go to about 1700 on the vid here at telecomix (so I'm told, not got bandwidth here to check :)