ReLIVE08 Closing Keynote – When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up

Back from two days in Milton Keynes for ReLIVE08, the Open University’s conference on Researching and Living in Virtual Worlds.

The abstract said that

Roo Reynolds has offered to not pre-prepare any slides for his closing keynote, but instead create a short presentation on the fly during the other sessions. Drawing on the notes and photographs taken
during the conference, he’ll act as a virtual cheat-sheet for the event.
He’ll share his notes, including what he found most interesting and what he’ll take away from it, wrapping up the two days by distilling any key themes and considering what we’ve learned about learning. Perhaps he can pull the threads together into something which will make sense. It makes predicting what he’s going to say particularly tricky, but it could be fun.

The results from this afternoon are embedded below. I’ll let you decide how well I met my (scary, self-imposed) brief. I would say that I didn’t take as many photos as I planned (I either need a better camera or a portable lighting rig), and I ended up trawling my own back catalog of photos to illustrate certain points. Also, I was a smidgen more didactic than I’d intended. I was (and am) very tired. In fact, I was up at 2:30 am this morning pulling together my notes from yesterday. Four hours sleep is not enough for me and perhaps being tired made me more challenging – and less congratulatory – than I could have been.

More importantly, my apologies for only drawing on a very small selection of the papers presented at the conference. With 4 or 5 streams running at once (and especially with the rooms spread across the campus) it just wasn’t possible to see everything. Much of what I did see really impressed me and I really enjoyed the conference.

View SlideShare presentation

WebcastUpdate: a video of the presentation, with the slides nicely inter-cut, is now online.

Want more?

The Real Britney Becomes a Bit More Real

Compare and contrast: Stephen Fry, John Cleese and Britney Spears are all on Twitter.

Brittney’s account is called ‘therealbritney’, but it initially read more like a collection of abbreviated press releases than anything else. Talking about things like “Britney’s new YouTube channel” and asking “Have you joined the Britney social network yet? Connect with other Britney fans…” was a great way of undermining the description of it being ‘the Real Britney’. In fact, it looked like a naive way of promoting her website, and felt like a wasted opportunity. When social media tools do no more than offer an alternative feed of existing content, there’s not really much point.

Gary Vaynerchuk took Britney and her team to task in this video (“I applaud Brit or her team for jumping in this space but I really think she is taking the wrong approach and should take control of the situation RIGHT NOW!”) and I was very impressed to see Lauren Kozak, Britney’s social media director, actually paying attention and reacting within 48 hours of Gary’s post. First of all, she replied to his video with a thoughtful comment as well as an acknowledgment via Twitter, which earned her an equally thoughtful response from Gary.

What really impressed me was that the team immediately started labelling posts with the author’s name, so now we get updates like

We’re talking about Brit’s next video tonight. They wanted real animals, but Britney vetoed- she’s allergic to horses. Posted by Andrew. [


I want to thank all my fans for making Womanizer #1. I’m recording my new album & hope you guys are blown away. Thank you so much! ~Britney [

Full marks to Lauren for understanding a bad situation, defusing it quickly and massively improving Britney’s Twitter feed in the process.

Britney joining Twitter is no doubt a milestone. It marks a step in the journey of Twitter (and other social media tools) becoming properly mainstream. It’s clearly a bumpy ride, but let’s hope that everyone who follows has learned something about authenticity.

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