Drumbeat 2011 – Media, Freedom and the Web

Alongside landing my job with the MRC probably my best experience last year (at least relevant to this blog) was my involvement as a blogger and conference attendee at the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival in Barcelona. I met a whole heap of interesting people and had a great time exploring Barcelona for the first time as well. The fact that it coincided with the OpenEd conference and as such there were alot of people in town who I knew at least a bit in person or via Twitter made it all the more special. I had originally hoped to remain involved at least a little with the initiative but unfortunately the new job took up alot more time initially and also the ‘community calls’ fall at a really awkward time for me workwise as well.

That said I have remained an active ‘lurker’ – reading the notes from the Etherpad produced at each call as well as following the Google Group and subscribing to the aggregated blog feed. This weekend I was interested to see Michelle Thorne had joined Mozilla after leaving Creative Commons a few weeks back and will be taking on the role of Event Manager for Drumbeat. I met Michelle briefly in Barca and she was extremely friendly as well as obviously smart as hell so I’m sure she’ll do a great job (as Nathaniel did in 2010). It looks like her first big job is sorting the 2nd Drumbeat Festival in late October/ealy November which will be focused on Media, Freedom and the Web and seems likely to be in either London or Berlin (I think Berlin might be Michelles ‘home’ city and I also think Pippa might be returning there soon as well so I guess it has its advantages!).

To be honest if it was in the UK I would have liked to see it somewhere other than London – but that is just personal prejudice. Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh, Brighton, Oxford or Cambridge could do a great job (obviously I think Bristol could as well!) and everything goes to London! That said it probably makes sense for an international event like this – fact remains though if I was to attend it will cost me more than my 4 days in Barca! I’m sure they have a venue in mind but if not I think Dev8D proved that the ULU on Malet Street is a great setting for this sort of thing.

As for the topic of Media, Freedom and the Web I have to admit originally I wasn’t that interested – I was hoping for an ‘open science’ theme where I could tie in some work ideas! I’m not that interested in the news media and technology stuff if I’m honest – I know it is important but I leave the thinking about it to people like @markng and @currybet – I am just a consumer in this space. However it seems the definition for ‘media’ is wider than that and includes things like comics, tv and movies – which if you know me at all – well you can imagine how excited that makes me. I’m especially fascinated in the longer term effects of technology on comics. Now if someone like Warren Ellis or Scott McCloud were to get up and talk about their visions for the future of comics you’d guarantee my conference fee immediately 🙂 I’m also interested in the future of genre, arc driven, storytelling and whether that is going to move to the web.

Anyway I’m glad to see there is going to be a ‘sequel’ and I’m hoping to get a chance to contribute a little again on the blogging side of things – I’m sure there will be a call for volunteers again at some point and I’m stick my hand up again.

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