Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogfest in Urbino

I have just learned that Fabio Giglietto and Luca Rossi are a great team when it comes to cooking up original, entertaining and intellectually challenging events. They are also great fun to hang out with, but I knew that.

As a lot of the Academic BarCamp lectures during the Festival dei Blog were in Italian, I didn't get it all, all the time. But the open-source schedule was pretty full:

A BarCamp is supposedly all about self-organisation, which meant that if you wanted to go here and give a lecture, you could. But they had made sure to get some people who were actually prepared, by both using invitations and online scheduling. Still, I had to be quick at the board to keep my original time and place for the lecture.

One of the most interesting observations was how important this event was to Italian media. Fabio mostly, but also Luca, were chased by people with cameras all over Urbino. I only saw Fabio stand still when in front of a camera:

Another interesting aspect was how much the "play" part counted for the festival. It's a cliche how much more spontaneous and playful Italians are than us steady, slow Norwegians, but sometimes those stereotypes do fit. The Italian blogosphere is a lot more interested in meeting, making out, and playing, than our rather slow and carefully considered bloggers. Would we have been able to organise a Twitter game in the middle of a Norwegian small town Sunday at noon? I think not. First, nobody would be there. Second, if a stranger wanted to tie a black thread around a strangers wrist and parade him or her in front of a judge to prove they had found a "follower", it would have been considered weird at best, threatening and offensive would have been more likely.

This was just part of an event where the participants also had to run around in Urbino guided by coordinates and google map from point to point. This is when the second stereotype about Italians decided to strike, and the entire net in that part of Italy collapsed. No fear though. True geeks have satelite links, or girlfriends with 'net connections. So when the "Blog olympics" were done, it was time for prizes. And of course, the media documented this extremely important sports event:

And then there were just a few more interviews, before the event could be wrapped up:

And if you still would like to see my lecture, it is on this site, but you have to pick "barcamp" on the tags over the initial movie, then scroll down on the right to my name, and then cross your fingers that it will eventually show up.

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