Using social technologies to run better events


Today I had an online presentation to a group of people enthusiastic about re-imagining the role of events and how to improve the traditional format, perhaps even with social technologies. I gave my own opening presentation entitled “Using Social Technologies to Run Better Events”.Here is the abstract:

Most conferences are organized and provided from the top down. Social technologies, peer-production and open innovation models provide new opportunities for people to organize events from the bottom up. Social media applications can support event planners and participants before, during and after the event. Many alternative approaches exist, but most of them still demand a lot of technical skills, vision and labor from the part of organizers. There are also a lot of interesting concepts for running more participative events physically and how things might connect to virtual environments, but the information is scattered around the web. In my presentation I will go through some of the most interesting concepts, ideas and tools for running better, digitally mediated events. I have applied some of these principles for a project called Bantora, that I’ve been working on lately. Early on in the development we paid attention to what happens before an event: how people find each other online and turn their passion and ideas into great events. Everything starts and ends as digital. In this presentation I will go through lessons learned about the role of social media at events and how to make the best out of it. Finally, I would like to present a vision of how better events could fundamentally change the way we interact and do our work.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Here are the slides and the recording is already available here (57min), recorded with Adobe Connect. Please provide feedback below.

In the presentation I also point at one of my projects called Bantora, that we opened last week for public beta. Bantora is about events++, making better events, time/space extended events, events that utilize social technologies and just get more of the good stuff out there. Keep in mind that we are just starting there, a lot of corners might be a bit rough, things are evolving in the next few months but we definitely would like to hear your feedback on how it could be improved.

This event (Spaces for Interaction) comes obviously at the right time regarding my personal interests. Maybe it’s about time for x-events to become a reality?

I would be interested in if someone knows about some other cool non-traditional face-to-face methods or some creative uses of social technologies at events that I have missed. Anything interesting coming to mind?

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  • Kim Wikström

    Nice and informative!

    Two-way creation of events and “the long tail of events” is one of the most interesting thoughts here, I think. The idea that people can pool their (sometimes) unusual interests and gather around that has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve started developing a two-way-creation-of-school-curriculum -concept (using Ning at the moment) for a bunch of edu-organizers here i Helsinki. The idea is basically that of crowd-sourcing: instead of having edu-personnel trying to figure out what people in the crowd would like to do (i.e what courses to take, what hobbies to develop etc.) you let students-to-be create that themselves. The role of the edu-organizer is to arrange the means (i.e facilities, expertise, infra, economy). So if I want to, say, learn the basics of national-economy, I can pool up with others with the same interest and when there’s enough of us, a school offers us the course!

    I agree that the line should be drawn between digital and analogue, and then, when it has been drawn, erased. We still need, I think, consider a few points about ourselves here.

    If the crowd sets the agenda, who is “responsible”? If we don’t want to use that concept, why not? (I don’t have answers to this, by the way)

    If one of the primary functions of education is to initiate people into a certain, common way of thinking (that is, a kind of conditioning), which it obviously is, then what follows from this new culture. Is it a ethically self-regulating system? I have a feeling it is going in the “right” direction, but much is open to questions.

  • http://erkkola.net Jussi-Pekka Erkkola

    I guess our thinking is aligned with the topic.

    Here’s a blog post I read today about back channel usage during presentations and how it can benefit the audience and also the presenter. http://pistachioconsulting.com/twitter-presentations/

  • http://www.reflexionesdocumentadas.blogspot.com Katina

    Hi Teemu (I guess usually the people call you this way…)

    My name is Katina, I’m from Chile (South America), I speak Spanish (so, sorry about my written English, my speaking is better!!!). Anyway, like you know, I did a lot of steps before to get here. The last, was to “clik” in a link (in one Sapnish web) and then I kenw about your “Homus Contextus”.

    I believe a lot of people, like you and me, are just now thinking about the whole ciber space and how te live off line and on line in a good way… But you imagined a perfect Name!!! So, I came to visit you, and I saw you are so joung!!! (I’m 36, very old in comparation with you). Well I think you are doing a wonderful job. And I wanted to tell it to you.

    Ah, I’m an editor. I mean, some people ask me to correct there peace of wirtting. Sometime I do also journalistic job. Well, just now I’m helping a thesis for a futur translator. We chose the theme “translation multimedia”. So I was researching bibliography about it, about web 2.0, and… well I got “Homus-Context” and… It was very very instersting for me, it made me curious and I came to see you… So, Thankyou for your whole job. It is really amazing.

    Cariños desde Chile!!!!

    Katina

  • fjodor

    well, i see no correspondence in the DESIGN of bantora with the thoughts presented above. there is more like a mechanic insight-to-feature translation or maybe more a conversion.

    plz, hire designers and people into ux/ixd who can turn it to an actual software product/service which is worth to be given its own name and visual identity? the obvious feature creep also makes it hard to take bantora seriously.

  • http://tarina.blogging.fi/ Teemu Arina

    Fjodor, thanks for the feedback. Sure we are in the early steps in implementing the thoughts that guide our development and the first draft may seem (and is) like an early draft.

    We have a lot of the bottom-up ideas on our near-term roadmap. First and foremost we had to make it possible to create events, browse events and find people participating in various events. Better use of APIs to connect to various other services, bottom-up self-organizing aspects of creating events and many others are among our next steps. But before continuing towards that goal, we have to get feedback from the community. I personally believe in user-centered design.

  • Philip Penny

    Philip says:

    Hi Teemu, in response to “I would be interested in if someone knows about some other cool non-traditional face-to-face methods or some creative uses of social technologies at events that I have missed. Anything interesting coming to mind? – check out Brian Reynold’s inventions and ideas that are all linked to his blog below.

    http://yjaman.blogspot.com/