I’m pretty pleased to be involved with the Survive or Thrive conference for three reasons (1) it is occasionally nice to be working on something that I actually feel I know what I’m talking about (2) it has been an opportunity for Stef and I to put into action some of the events related website ideas we’ve been chatting about for a while now and (3) I actually think it looks like a cracking line-up (and I can take no credit for that at all!).
One of the really nice things Stef came up with for this project is a WordPress plug-in that allows easy updating and managing of the agenda/program – this is still pretty ‘beta’ but compared to the usual hassle of playing around with tables or the slightly clunky option of embedding something a document using something like Scribd which I did do initially and don’t even get me started on events that just have the program available as a massive PDF download it is a pretty elegant solution. Stef has some interesting plans for making it more feature rich and I think it is something that will be useful for all sorts of events and conferences – in fact the real time update element of it means it would even be useful for unconferences as well I think in the future.
We also have some quite cool plans for the map/venue information section *inspired* by the DConstruct website – I think it will be a nice addition to the site and will have some real utility as well as looking cool.
The event has a nice spread of topics with a mix of academic and external perspectives. I’m obviously looking forward to hearing Bill Thompson speak but also am very interested in hearing more about the brilliant Galaxy Zoo, seeing if Tom Heath can continue my slow journey to understanding about Linked Data after his colleague Leigh Dodds recently pushed me in the right direction, hearing about the work of Digital New Zealand which for a small country always seems to be punching above its weight in the digital world and I think it will be interesting to actually see Mr Ellis speak in a formal setting as I mainly know him in a Bathcamp/pub context 🙂
I also like the fact the event isn’t in London – I am a big proponent of spreading our events around the country and it is nice to see something of this profile happening in Manchester.
Anyway the event is free for anyone with an interest in providing content for learning teaching and research whether from academia, the public sector or commercial companies and I think it will be well worth the trip.