[unedited notes from my introduction at the post forum event @ UD press room – I’ll edit later]
First, a personal reflection; A big “thank you” to the organizers of Stockholm Internet Forum. A truly amazing event, with brilliant speakers and moderators and a well balanced agenda. Open space and open communication. My only regret was not being able to visit the side events as well. Maybe next time they should also be broadcasted/videofied and curated…
I worked as one of four digital curators – and my task now is to talk about the how, the why and the what. The other curators are Jasmine Elnadeem, Marcin de Kaminski and Pernilla Näsfors. A dream team to be a part of, and thanks to Teo Zetterman for gathering us, setting the stage and coaching us. There’s another superstar.
Not everyone can come to stockholm so to strengthen the link… Our role as digital curators was threefold
– To amplify and extend the room, and present it to the external participants (note: I call them participants, not audience). Everything on stage was broadcasted live, using Bambuser, but via twitter we could also pick up the vibe and deliver the feelings, the response and action from the conference. Bridge offline and online.
– To bring the outside into the room. By monitoring various channels, mainly twitter and the chat by the video stream, we were to be the voice of the outside. Moderators on stage could turn to us and we would echo reactions and questions from around the world onto stage and even ask questions direct to the panelists. We also gathered some representative tweets to be included in the more official summary of every session.
– To “build the story” as it happens. Using Storify, a web based tool for collecting and curating, we gathered tweets, links, images and quotes in a chronological and easy to follow flow. Directly after the session we gathered to summarize the session in a few key phrases. Those storys are included on every sessions page on the SIF-site, and together with the video the make up for a very nice package in my opinion. (Our Storify account)
The results of the online effort was tremendous. We’ve seen almost 10.000 tweets, not counting spam. According to social media monitoring tool Topsy, we’ve seen 2608 high quality, unique tweets. A special mention to @EFFlive who captured the most and the best quotes, and reflections.
One of the most widespread tweets was
@sultanalqassemi: “There are more important things than freedom of expression like food” vs. “Without freedom of expression I can’t say who’s stealing my food”
And that tweet also signifies a lot of the diversity in opinions. On the one hand: fxinternet/digital media/social media is a fad – on the other hand fxinternet should be part of the declaration of human rights. And most of the crowd in between.
One reflection is also that the online participants are more direct and more persistent. They don’t drop a question, just because it goes unanswered. The story with teliasonera in Belarus (selling equipment to be used against fxinternet) never settled online, even if no one publicly wanted to comment. And other stories to the theme was also amongst the most retweeted, like:
@mohammad_syria: Why #Ericsson has 60 IT experts working for the #Syrian gov’s STE. A body that monitors Syrians internet and violate their rights! #sif12
The quality of the comments online was of equally high standard as the on stage presentations and the ”in room commentary”. I’m not surprised, but very happy.
The only major issue was that of spam. When #sif12 become a world wide trending topic the spam almost took over the stream for a while. The situation settled after a couple of hours, but Twitter really need do put more effort into the problem. It happens whenever a topic is trending, and response time is way to long…
But besides from that small hickup – an amazing and rewarding experience. A good thing that we all are on fire for fxinternet, as given the high tempo a pretty high level of knowledge and insight is necessary.
To conclude: At our desk, we really got the sense of doing good shit – in connecting the events in the physical world with the bigger world on the outside. All in the spirit of fxinternet…