Since the Civicus World Assembly I've been wondering about how technology could be better used next year to create more connections and capture more of the discussions that were taking place.
I experimented earlier this year with content-tagging and aggregation – but its reach was very limited. One of the challenges with trying to create an online collaborative dimension to a big event is encouraging those not accustomed to online interactions to view and engage with it. I think, however, Michele Martin has it cracked in her suggestion here that we should be making use of online portal systems as our platform for creating better, more online-integrated, conferences:
Create portals to support better concerning. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how to improve the conference experience. Portals are another option. Imagine sending an email out to all conference participants with a Netvibes or Pageflakes portal link that includes feeds to weather, newspapers, events, etc. in the location where you'll be holding the conference. It could also include a calendar of events and feeds to the wiki pages I suggested that you use to develop the conference agenda and get the conversation started. It could also include access to MySpace and Facebook modules, audio and video feeds on related content, email, etc. This can also become a way to follow-up on a conference, by adding feeds to those bloggers who are blogging the conference.
Bringing together useful pre/during-conference practical information like local maps, weather etc. with a space to share feeds of content from the conference, and tools for interacting during the conference seems like the ideal solution. For an event like Civicus, it could lead to some really exciting things…
So – all I need to work out is who at Civicus to suggest this to…?