Through the cooperation of MeshForum, we're pleased to bring
you the keynote presentations from the
conference held in San Francisco, California, May7-9, 2006. The programs will be published over
the next few weeks and will appear in the list below.
Trust is fundamental to an understanding of human social networks. In this fascinating talk from MeshForum, Netform's Dr. Karen Stephenson shares her decades of experience in quantitative social network analysis, explaining how the measurement of relationships reveals general principles and patterns that can be seen across organizations. Diagramming the build-up and breakdown of trust networks gives insight for diagnosing management problems, and, better yet, opens the door to designing more innovative models to face our modern challenges.
Mashups - accelerators for innovation in Web 2.0 or just another buzzword? Creative reuse of content or a copyright problem? Jamais Cascio and Howard Greenstein discuss the phenomenon of mashups, applications that take data from one source and combine it with data from another source. Often, the result is a new use for the data, or targets a new user group. Get introduced to the concept and get to know what the key players and their motives are.
Dave Grey and Dana Smith from xplane conduct a group exercise in visual thinking. The attending Mesh Forum participants get collectively involved in the creation of a visual map connecting roughly 50 people. This session is a live demonstration on how visual thinking can serve as a tool to get networks communicated in a reasonable amount of time.
Dicky Davies spent seven days in a ten foot square cube at the 2005 Burning Man Arts Festival, studying social interaction and connections. Davies, speaking at the 2006 Mesh Forum, describes his experience at Burning Man, and how his notions about art have matured to focus more on the networking potential in the art community.
Traditional political campaigns can be seen as "Broadcast Politics" - run as a top-down hierarchy with tight control and simple sound-bite sized messages. But is this the only model that could work? In the 2004 U.S. presidential race Howard Dean became perhaps the first candidate to leverage the networking power of the internet in a national campaign. Jon Lebkowsky and Zack Rosen discuss the result of involving people at the grassroots level by providing an internet platform for campaign collaboration.
How do markets, competing modes, politics and technology combine to produce the trends of growth and decline that transportation networks exhibit? Using fascinating examples from waterway, railroad and road systems, David Levinson recounts the evolution of transportation networks over time. According to Dr. Levinson, growing (and financing) networks is no easy task. He shows specific cases of economies of scale, such as increased car use on roadways, touching as well on broadband networks and net neutrality.
Marc Senasac introduces People Aggregator, an open standards, open source social networking service, which is designed to create links between the walled gardens of today's social networks. Marc addresses two problems with Social networks today: size and interconnectivity. He also discusses the concepts of structured blogging, identity hubs, and digital lifestyle aggregation.
The Dunbar number is a measure of the cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom a person can maintain stable relationships. The concept has intrigued sociologists and anthropologists since it was first recognized as the correlation between brain capacity and group size in primates. In this talk, social software observer Christopher Allen discusses the interesting implications the Dunbar number theory has for the gathering of humans on line in the digital age.
Electric Sheep is a fascinating creation of artist Spot Draves which coordinates a large, distributed network of machines and people to create an evolving population of beautiful beings. Using the SETI@home architecture, the free, open source screensaver probes evolutionary genetics, design and aesthetics using algorithms for collective decision making and differential reproduction. Along with evolving animations, the project's cyborg mind generates a rich set of data with many interesting implications.
As an experienced technology marketing expert, PodShow's Aaron Burcell is able to show that podcasts have become a unique and sought after form of user-generated media. In addition to PodShow's work to remove some of the technological issues facing podcasters, Burcell also talks about their efforts to collaborate with advertisers, giving content producers the ability to make good money. Lastly, he discusses the Podsafe Music Network and how it gives musicians the chance to reach a larger audiences directly, through podcast play and through direct download.