What is Chumby?

This is a session to discuss Chumby, which I recall hearing about but have never seen. Alexandre Rafalovitch was the presenter.

Chumby is Linux-based, uses wifi, flash lite widget, touchscreen, accelerometer, speakers, and usb. It is corded and small.

It is not supposed to be a computer replacement, but an augmenter.

It integrates with Winamp, radio stations, iPod, alarm, and has open architecture so things can be written for it.

There is a Chumby forum where people make suggestions and other people then consider writing their own applications for it. One of them suggested having a pill reminder, which reminds me of the medication management issues in and around telehealth.

Chumby seems like a great piece of hardware, and I want to look into this tool more. This has been one of the more interesting sessions today!

Blogs as Community

Max from Microsoft started to speak about Microsoft Channel 9. The goal was to get information out to the developers within the company. It was called Channel 9 since that is the airline channel where the information between the pilots and the control tower can be heard.

Max is speaking about Channel 8. He showed us the current blog appearance of the Channel 8, which looks and feels like a blog with reversed chronological feeds.

On the new appearance, Max was showing us elements of the new site design. He then used the people in this session as a usability discussion group. There was some interesting feedback from a usability perspective. It included some work on anonymity, including your personal avatar, and even a rotating discussion post.

The moderator plays a larger roll.

There is some discussion about chatting and how advertising has colored our use and expectations of technology. There was an example of some building of a community because there was user input into the building of a computer, and then it was given away at the end. The give-away seemed to help community.

There is really a big issue with the wifi access here at BarCampNYC3. I do not see a lot of people using laptops here, perhaps less than 20%. I do not think the wifi system here at Polytechnic can handle this small number.

What causes people to interact, even here in our sessions? There is a fear of not looking stupid, or lacking in information.

The discussion is starting to get a bit unfocused, as can happen in unconference sessions, but I am no longer paying much attention.

Ahh, time to go and thus to post this.

WordPress for CMS

Took some doing to get connected to the network, but it was as if somebody flicked the switch, and the group of us waiting for the WordPress session to start are able to get on.

It is now 12:10, and the WordPress session that ends at 12:30 still has not started. Ungood.

William Stratus (sp) is from Toronto and came down for the day, and stated that he stayed with a colleague in Harlem. He then said he did not get mugged there. I found the humor a bit caustic, especially for an outsider.

There is discussion about how people use WordPress for things beyond just blogging.

He was then speaking about people, and mentioned Garth Turner’s weblog in Canada. www.garth.ca 

There then was some discussion about how people change WordPress, especially about templates for content management so WP does not look like a blog. There is some work done with using WP templates, where the line between CMS and blogging is a tight line. There are a lot of wifi network issues, and people are starting to leave as the presenter keeps trying to get the network to work.

Unfortunately, the speaker was so focused on trying to get wireless, that he could not role with the technology limitations and ended up not speaking about or presenting or discussing much.

Half the people have left the session by now, and I will follow . . .

Welcome to BarCampNYC3!

There was a welcome by somebody who did not introduce himself. He did seem exciting though, and then asked who has NOT been to a BarCamp before? Most hands were raised. Interesting.

Carl Skelton (cskelton@poly.edu), director of Integrated Digital Media at Polytechnic, then spoke. He is hosting a number of the other events like this, and he invited us to consider using Polytechnic University for these sorts of events. I hope this will be the same once NYU buys Polytechnic. He had some interesting slides, and then spoke about the NYU and Polytechnic combination. There are a lot of relationships between the two institutions now. 

I wish I would have remembered my camera.

There was then the thanks and recognition for the sponsors of the event.

There was the discussion about filling in the schedule wall, which is something that is common for BarCamp unconferences. If we find ourselves in a room that is not for us, such as the subject matter is not right for me, then leave and go to another one. We are all participants, so we should try to fix any issues that come up.

Put a red dot on our nametags if we do not want to be tagged. We then crowdsourced and named the rooms.

Cider and muffins are next.

I asked about the tag, and Eric told us that the tag is BarCampNYC3. There is wifi all over, it seems like a friendly start of the day.

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