TAKEAWAY MAzine workshop

I've now run 2 out of our 3 workshops at the Takeaway Festival which is all going by in a bit of a blur, especially after a stimulating but exhausting evening of lectures and discussions - some of which happened over a pint or two of lager. The discussions in the workshops have been really useful - I didn't know what to expect at all before hand. They've confirmed that there's a growing interest in blogging and the possibilities of new (user generated) media generally and that this comes from lots of (sometimes conflicting) perspectives.

It's clear that increasingly institutions both educational and commercial want 'their' people to engage with tools and developments such as these. Also individuals want to become more involved either from personal interest in the phenomena itself or from wanting to communicate about a particular area. Also it's clear that there remain considerable obstacles and issues and that our understandings vary widely. Hopefully these workshops have made a tiny ripple of a difference.

We talked about MAzine and it's development and especially our aims. Also people asked about technical issues related to Drupal and other Content Management Systems. There were more questions about how a project like this can generate content and also how we can maintain standards and collaboratively moderate our content. We talked about tagging from both technical and more social wider perspectives. This led to thinking about how developments loosely associated with Web2 are fostering greater inter connections between us and allow for greater collaboration and change but also tensions that exist bewteen the potential of new tools and the commercialisation and exploitation of the very connections that we make.

In the afternoon I had a really interesting talk to Juan from Lorca in Spain and in talking we discovered how similar our delicious bookmarks folders looked which kind of illustrated some of the things we'd been talking about. The evening lectures helped me to think of these discussions in a much wider context and more from the point of view of those who have made the step to be producers more than consumers. I'll definitely write more on this later but right now I'm sort of half in another workshop...

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