Archive for March, 2007

BBC/Yahoo Hackfest June 16-17

March 28, 2007

From BBC Backstage Blog (courtesy Tony Hirst, natch):

As many of you may have already heard through the geek grape vine (GGV 2.0) 😉 The BBC and Yahoo! are planning to get together to hold 48 hours of hacking madness this summer.

Over the weekend of June 16th and 17th we plan to see over 400 developers and designers from all over Europe heading to Alexandra Palace in London to hack the hell out of our APIs and various feeds and systems. Plenty of help will be on hand if you’re new to the scene, or if you just want to push the envelope with your ideas and prototypes.

We plan to finish the event with a huge concert (band is top secret – more details via GGV I’m sure) and party open to over 1000 people we hope.

The formal announcement and sign up will go live soon – so block the dates out of your diary and get those laptops charging.

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OpenLearn Conference 30-31 Oct 2007, MK:UK

March 26, 2007

Hot off the presses, details here (spread the news):

Researching open content in education
30-31 October 2007, Milton Keynes, UK

The ways in which people can learn are changing with new opportunities to learn at a distance, to learn as part of global community and to learn using new technologies. Open and free educational resources are an important component in this expanded world of learning and major initiatives are now underway to provide such resources.

This conference recognises the research challenge alongside the business challenge of providing, using and sustaining free and open resources and invites contributions and participation from those who are interested in how to research open content and what the findings are from those working in this challenging area.

Conference participation will be over two days near The Open University in Milton Keynes. There will be no charge for attendance with priority for registration given to those responding to the call for papers. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education.

Check out

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Great links, Jeff Han’s multitouch demo

March 19, 2007

More great hot-n-cool links from Tony Hirst:

Unified messaging a la Web 2.0, namely GrandCentral (motto: “One number for life”)

Easy peasy tree builder from

Mobile NetVibes

Yuuguu, yet another app-sharing app

and finally, Tony asks me “When is KMi going to get one of these?”, referring to the killer demo by Jeff Han, inventor of the wall-size muti-touch display/interface… Worth sticking with the whole 5 min video, as it does a LOT more than you thought … (also embedded in this blog entry).


OpenCoffee London success…

March 1, 2007

The gig that I mentioned yesterday went extremely well today. Somewhere between 40 and 120 people, depending upon which report you read (I’d say about 50 at any instant but people came and went).

Lots of people with keen interests and skills in web-centric technologies: entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, hackers, and enthusiasts of various flavours, and plenty of positive energy.

What I liked particularly was the overwhelmingly positive can-do atmosphere, and the very high signal-to-noise ratio. 99% of the conversations were concrete – only 1 tiny ‘meta conversation’ (about ‘Is this London-entpreneurial-hub stuff hype or is there really some potential here?’… you can imagine my reaction: look around!)

The special blend that you could smell in the air was a nice mix: these people were talented and saw only opportunities, not obstacles. For every discussion, it was a case of “Ah, you ought to meet X”, or “Did you know about Y”, or “I think that if Q and P could talk to W then some cool stuff could happen” or “Hey Z, get over here and see this” or “Come back next week with 4 of your team and let’s talk some more” or “OK, let’s do it”. Even better from my perspective, there was none of the ‘attitude’ that you see on the Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice. I saw just as much self-effacing help-the-next-guy attitude here in the Centre of Capitalism as I did last week in Havana!

I hope Stowe picks up on this crowd next time he’s over in the UK, as I know he’s been shmoozing around serveral European projects lately.

A more detailed rundown of who was there can be found at the following locations:

Saul Klein –

It was so cool to see such an diverse mix of entrepreneurs, developers, marketers, investors (VC and angel) and media all in the same informal space – not pitching, just sharing ideas.

Mike Butcher – Vecosys

So what’s the idea? It’s basically to do what a lot of other networking events do in the Web 2.0 and technology space these days – get people together, and if possible, get the ‘money’ to meet the ‘talent’. The one difference – and a crucial one before anyone starts making dumb comparison to First Tuesday – is that this is a free event and it’s done over coffee not drinks. (In fact, this makes a lot of sense – many people in the startup tech world have kids now, so a morning coffee is a LOT more convenient, believe me).

(Mike then goes on to provide a very nice summary of a dozen or so people he spoke to during the morning)

Robin Klein – The Accelerator Group (TAG)

If entrepreneurship in London is not alive in London today, it never will be.
There were VCs, entrepreneurs, angels and press all networking and enjoying.

Jemima Kiss – OrganGrinder

Another great meet-up for London’s media/tech community, this time hosted by Saul Klein who is now full-time venture partner at Index. ….So many interesting people turned up – too many to write about in detail now. But I’m planning calls with these people so let me know if you want more detail on anyone specifically.

(Several details provided, so check it out).

Mbites/Flickr: Some photos from the gig.

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