Diary Archive 2009

9 - 10 December

Mobile Web Best Practices Face to Face Meeting

I joined the W3C Mobile Web best Practices Working Group on day 1 when we met at Vodafone's office on the Strand in June 2005 so I felt it only right that I attend what is planned to be the final face to face meeting, also at Vodafone's offices (although they've moved to Paddington now). Of the original (large) group I think there were only 4 of us who had been there on day 1.

2 December

Mashup (social media) Mixer

Hot on the heels of the very successful Social Media '09, I'll be at this informal networking event, again flying the flag for i-sieve.

Details at [broken link removed].

24 November

QUATRO Project Final Review

Back to the familiar surroundings of Luxembourg for the final project review for Quatro Plus [broken link removed]. The first Quatro project started so long ago it doesn't quite feel real that the end has finally come. The projects produced some really excellent outputs, not least POWDER, but where the work will go in future remains uncertain for now.

12 November

Social Media 09

Going to this event and doing a demo on behalf of i-sieve along with our MD Kostas Chandrinos.

Marketeers have been quick to use social media as a sales channel and it's easy to see why: it's a free distribution channel to people who you know are interested in your products or services! I follow several publishers on twitter for instance. I know I'm being marketed to and that's fine - I like what they're selling.

The challenge here is to get to know people I've not met before and to explain why i-sieve technologies' Sentiment Analysis is better than simple key word searches/buzz metrics that a lot of other companies offer.

Details at [broken link removed]. Twitter tag #sm09

29 October

Voice of Phil Archer dies aged 85

Picture of Norman Painting

For obvious reasons I am very sorry to hear of the death of Norman Painting today. As I share the name of the character he played continuously since well before I was born, I have lived with his voice all my life. I went to school in Handbridge (Chester), which does sound awfully like Ambridge, and have long been a regular listener.

I never met Norman Painting which I always wanted to do. I've met other members of the cast but never my namesake.

A sad day for those of us who know Phil Archer so well and my thoughts are with those who knew Norman Painting/Bruno Milna.

His obituary is on the BBC website.

12 October

London Web Standards

I'm delighted to have been invited to speak to this group of Web standards users. It came about after one of their organisers, Jeff Van Campen, took the W3C Mobile Web course that I lead. I'm going to develop the theme I began at Over the Air recently - that mobile Web BP is about designing for mobile users first and mobile technology second. Therefore although some aspects of the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices document may show their age in years to come, several aspects will remain highly pertinent whatever devices we're carrying around with us.

Follow Up comment posted the morning after!

7 October

Darwin, science and faith - why are we at war over creation?

A local event [broken link removed] that looks worth a visit. It's a religious group discussion on Darwin so presumably there will be some creationists but it looks as if, and I hope this is true, the conversation will be more informed than that. Most religious people have no problem with evolution, it's only a minority that do, and the way the question is posed here looks interesting. And no, I'm not going to goad the creationists or otherwise be a nuisance - I am genuinely interested how one can be a creationist (or climate change denier, or HIV causes AIDS denier or smoking causes lung cancer denier or Holocaust denier) in the face of overwhelming evidence that you're simply wrong.

After the event...

That was very interesting. Malcolm Brown more or less gave a verbal version of an article he wrote on behalf of the CofE earlier this year called Good religion needs good science which makes the mainstream case for there being no conflict between religion and science. He argued that creationism (which no one spoke in favour of in a room full of I guess 80 - 100 people) is necessarily a modern phenomenon. It takes the misconceived idea that science has a single definitive answer to everything and applies it, equally falsely, to the Bible. End result is the specious argument between fundamentalists of both sides. He referred to (although didn't show) this video which is posited as a metaphor for people coming at an argument from different directions. There were many jokes at the expense of silly and often extremely rude American creationists.

Although there were no creationists present, at least, none that spoke up, poor old Richard Dawkins was the bogey man de jour. Well, it was the Suffolk Theology Forum so I guess that's no great surprise! Malcolm Brown spoke fluently for an hour, no slides, barely referring to notes, and then answered a series of questions without missing a beat. I wish I were as good a speaker.

Next stop on my never ending exploration of the question of why creationism exists at all: Inherit The Wind at the Old Vic on 17/10! [broken link removed]

28-29 September

4th Future Networks FP7 Concertation meeting

Mobile Web Initiative Eurostar to Brussels for this concertation meeeting on behalf of W3C MobiWeb 2.0 project.

I'll be at the Localisation and Context Awareness Workshop on the Monday and in the main plenary meeting on the Tuesday [broken links to event website removed].

Any trip to Brussels for W3C means checking into our piéd-a-tèrre - must be the free wi-fi!

27 September

TimBL on Richard Dawkins' list of giants with big shoulders

Cover artwork for The Greatest Show on Earth

Here's a short personal note that sort of follows on from the one I wrote in March following the www@20 event in CERN earlier this year. Richard Dawkins, perhaps unconsciously, makes a reference to Tim Berners-Lee that I found interesting and noteworthy. Here's my note about Dawkins' mention of TimBL.

25 September

Over The Air 2009

This is a 2 day event in London for mobile web developers with a lot of high profile people from the mobile industry. I have a slot on the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices training course on the Friday evening [slides].

16 September

Focus Group on Positive content

Back to Luxembourg for the second meeting of the Positive Content focus group. I'm delighted to see this happening - it's an effort to try to define what positive content is, how to identify it and how to present it to users.
14 September

7th German Anti Spam Summit

I'm representing i-sieve Technologies on a panel called "Digital Brand Management" on the first day of this conference. Kostas Chandrinos and I will be there to talk about how i-sieve's Sentiment Analysis can help brand owners track what people are saying about them and what other relevant comments people may be making.
  • Conference website [broken link removed]
7 July

Online Communities:
What can scholarly publishing learn from other industries?

ALPSP logo I'm gving a short talk on publishing for mobile at this seminar organised by the Association of Learned Professional Society Publishers. I was put in touch with the organisers through a partner in the Quatro project - i.e. my i-sieve job - but it's more relevant to my W3C work so that's the hat I'm wearing for this event. It's an unusual event in that the delegates will decide at the end of the day which speaker's ideas are most deserving of their (sadly fake) investment capital. I just hope those playing the role of Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and co. don't give me too hard a time!
1 July

EU Information Day

Back to Brussels for an information day. There's a new call for proposals for objective 3.5 of the ICT-PSP work plan. This one's specifically about e-Participation - empower and involve citizens in transparent decisionmaking in the EU - so we're looking at how we can use and promote W3C standards in this area, especially on mobile and other non-desktop devices. It's a bit of a new area for me so I'm going to be meeting new folk...
15 - 16 June

QUATRO Plus Project Meeting

Eden Beach Hotel pool and tennis courts Second trip to the Hellenic world in the space of as many weeks! The QUATRO Plus project team will be meeting in Athens - actually, we're meeting a little outside the city at the Eden Beach Hotel [out of date link removed]. EU Project Meetings are such a drag aren't they?

After all that, I didn't make it. Ah well...

11 June

EU Kids Online conference

I'm not so involved with online safety issues these days but I get asked about it a lot and am keen to keep up to date with the issues. The research that Sonia Livingstone has either done or directed is always very enlightening and often surprising. If you hear me going on about online safety, I should always give a credit to her and others such as Elisabeth Staksrud - I only know anything because they find out. Sonia and Elisabeth have just published a joint paper Children and Online Risk: Powerless victims or resourceful participants? [broken link removed] that I heartily recommend to anyone who cares about what young people do online.

1 June

SPOT2009 - Trust and Privacy on the Social and Semantic Web

I'm delighted that our paper has been accepted for this workshop ahead which preceeds the European Semantic Web conference in Heraklion. I'm also pleased that I'll be in Heraklion on 1st June to present the paper on behalf of my co-authors: Elan Ferrari and Andrea Perego (DICOM, Universit'a degli Studi dell'Insubria, Varese, Italy); and Vangelis Karkaletsis, Stasinos Konstantopoulos and Antonis Koukourikos (IIT, NCSR 'Demokritos', Athens, Greece).

Not only that, ours is the first paper after the morning keynotes. Let's hope everything works!

Related links:

24 - 25 April

WWW 2009 Madrid

WWW2009 logo The W3C Track at WWW 2009 includes Bar Camps on Mobile Widgets and the Social Web. I'm looking forward to geting involved with both of those! This will be my first WWW conference since New York in 2004. I was in Edinburgh the day before WWW 2007 but wasn't able to stick around the conference itself so I'm looking forward to this one.
3 April

Youth Protection Round Table, Final Conference, Berlin

I participated in this group on behalf of my previous employer and I'm delighted that they liked me so much they've invited me to come along to this their final conference. Full details on the YPRT Web site.
25 March

Safer Internet Focus Group on Positive Content.

Many familiar faces were in Luxembourg today for a series of parallel meetings looking at various aspects of the Safer Internet Plus Programme - an activity with which I have been involved through various projects since 2000. I was in a group looking at 'positive content.' What is it? How can it be promoted? How can ideas about positive content best be shared. This relates very much to the Quatro project that I participate in on behalf of i-sieve. It was an interesting day! Expect to see positive content included in a cal for proposals in 2010.
13 March

WWW@20, Geneva

Through my W3C job I was very privileged to be invited to take part in a very special day at CERN to mark the 20th anniversary of a memo called 'Information Management: A Proposal.' I felt lousy that day having eaten something that didn't agree with me the night before at Brussels airport but even so, it was a day to remember for all the right reasons. See my reflections on the World Wide Web @ 20.
12 March

MobiWeb 2.0 Project Review Brussels

My W3C job is closely tied to a project running under the FP7 Framework, "MobiWeb2.0." I wasn't responsible for any of the presentations at this review but I have now taken over as lead for Work Package 2 which is the one that covers training. Half way through, everything seems to be running very smoothly. Let's hope I don't muck that up!