Starting with my favorite “track,” there were several presentations at HOPE that focused on how to make stuff – either from scratch or by repurposing other things in unusual ways. This included a lot of LEDs, microcontrollers, unusual food, and a scale model of a dodo skeleton.
AKA: How is a Hacker Con like a handbasket?
Two weeks ago I went to a hacker conference in NYC called “The Last HOPE” (HOPE = Hackers On Planet Earth). As I thought about how I’d write about it here, on my professionally-oriented blog, it seemed a little like a mental puzzle posed by Lewis Carroll: How do I explain how this relates to what I do in my day job?
The last day of the Semantic Technology Conference has a few morning panels, a closing keynote, and then some afternoon seminars. But the day is really about saying goodbye to everyone, finally introducing yourself to a few of the people you’ve been crossing paths with for the past week, and making that annual trip to Koo-ki Sushi. Well, that’s what it’s about for me, anyway.
Started out the day with my own presentation – Survey of Taxonomy Tools (follow the link to view the slides). It seemed to be pretty well received, for the most part. I included some time for discussion, and several people contributed interesting comments and questions. I was pretty happy with the turnout considering that this session was first thing in the morning.
After that I was so relieved, I’m surprised I could do anything, but I jumped right back into some interesting presentations, including a panel on Developing Semantic Web Applications, a talk on Calais, and a keynote that included several of the Rising Stars of the Semantic Web. Then I ended the day on the speaking side of the table again.
Started the day out with keynote speeches by Nova Spivack (Radar Networks) & Eric Miller (Zepheira). This was followed by presentations, of which my favorites were on Persistent Identifiers, Blue Organizer, and Bringing Semantics to Mainstream Markets. I closed the day out by going to the vendor exhibits.
It occurred to me, towards the end of day one of this conference, that I’ve been making my panel choices based on the speaker more than the on the topic. Now that I know more about who is doing what, this seems to be a better indicator of whether I’ll find the presentation interesting. Of course, I still take the topic into consideration, but my knowledge of the speaker will carry equal weight and will certainly come into play as a tie breaker.
So, today I went to one tutorial by some guys from DERI and one by some guys from Metaweb (makers of Freebase), and then a presentation by Tom Ilube, of Garlik. All three were just as excellant as I’d hoped.
Heading out to San Jose tomorrow for STC 2008. In addition to my presentation, Surveying Taxonomy Building Tools (Wednesday, May 21, 8:30-9:30AM), I’ll also be participating in a late addition panel called How to Internally Market Semantic Web Technologies in Large Enterprises (Wednesday, May 21, 5:30-6:30PM). Hope to see you there!
About a month ago (was it really that long? tsk, tsk!) I went to London to speak at a one-day conference held by Henry Stewart Events. The event was organized by Madi Welend Solomon, who I met a couple years ago at the Semantic Technology Conference. There were some excellent people speaking, and I was really happy to be in their company.
It was really amazing to participate in a complete day of discussion about metadata and taxonomy. Each speaker took a different angle and addressed a different aspect of the issues and the work. The individual presentations complemented each other and came together to tell a whole story.
Here’s what some of the other participants had to say about it:
On March 10 I’ll be participating as a speaker at a one-day Henry Stewart conference called The Essentials of Metadata and Taxonomy. If you’re going to be in London that week, I highly recommend it. I know several of the other speakers, and I have to say that I feel honored to be in their company.
Two of my colleagues, Anh Dang and Nirali Patel, are going to be speaking at a conference called IxDA Interaction 08 in a few weeks. We recently had a preview of their presentation, called Designing Information. I don’t want to give too much away, for those that may be attending the conference, but I really enjoyed hearing about it because it converged nicely with my own interests.
The aim of their talk is to discuss their point of view on how to present data in a way that’s meaningful – not just cool or interesting looking. There are some sites that present really beautiful infographics, but they don’t necessarily tell you anything. More suitable for hanging on the wall than for providing illuminating knowledge or understanding. I think that’s just wasteful.
I’m not a designer, myself, so in my line of work I generally collaborate with someone who is. Ideally, I bring insight on the full range of data and the story that it wants to tell, and the IA or designer has the tools and techniques to make that story come to life. Anh and Nirali have a great perspective on the thought processes, insights, and strategies needed to make those techniques really work, and I’m glad to see them contributing their ideas to the discussion.