There were lots of great talks, but if there was one that I wish I could have gone a bit longer, it was Ake's talk about the exciting language exchange program that he has helped set up through the Lifelong Learning program at the Stockhlom Public Library. I was able to get more details during the evening reception, so I wasn't completely disappointed And, as I learned more the program's concept I was very impressed. Titled LiteraTour, the project is a coordination between 5 countries (Belgium, Greece, Germany, Spain, Sweden) who through the use of social networking utilities are connecting different cultures together through the exploration and sharing of literature.
"LiteraTour" is a Grundtvig project within the EU "Programme for Lifelong Learning". Participants will be adult learners and staff in language schools and libraries in Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Greece. Project period: Oct 2007 - Sept 2009"
From what I can find online, it looks like the project has just kicked off. The ning network site supporting the project is currently only open by invitation, but you can find out a bit more about the project from Ake's slides (which fortunately are in English).
As I commented to Ake over a glass of the reception's red wine. I really wish there had been more time in his program track to talk about his program (he was last) because from what I could see his project had a lot of good ideas to offer. It's not the use of social networking tools that make the difference. It's the application that the tool is applied to that is meaningful and offers value in the first place.
So often I think that conference programs focus too much on the "tool" or "application" when in reality what's most important is the innovative program or project idea that connects people together.
Links: LiteraTour presentation
Sounds like a great conference. Ake's program sounds very interesting, and hearing Dave Pattern would be cool.
That bit about the free wireless access still gets me. Several chain motels in the US offer free access -- my grocery store has it now! -- but so many places, including my hotel last week, still charge by the day. Crazy.
Thanks Helene for your very nice and empowering comments concerning our project idea! It's extremely valuable for us to have this kind of feedback from you. :-)
I also felt that my talk was a bit too brief. I would have loved to have had some more time to expose some more project details and also give room for some questions.
I find your comments about the "tool" vs the "project idea" very interesting! It reminds me of my collegues at the Stockholm Public Library Web & IT Dept. who keep reminding us that the new library website project (www.biblioteket.se, due to launch in October) basically is NOT a WEB project, it's a LIBRARY project. It's supposed to involve ALL co-workers in the library, not just the geeky tech people. This is actually so very central in the 2.0 approach. I very much agree with you: it's not about the tool, it's the ideas and the content that really count! The tool is just there to expose the idea/content, promote it and make it more accessible. Just as a book basically is a dead piece until it's being read and discussed, the web 2.0 tools are stone dead if nobody uses them and last but not least, if we don't have a good reason to use them!
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