Amplified 2008

Photo Courtesy of Benjamin Ellis

Image Courtesy of Benjamin Ellis


Last Thursday, I dragged my pre-man-flu self down to London to visit Nesta’s headquarters for Amplified 08 – a non-conference to bring together creatives, practitioners, academics – or indeed anyone that was interesting in social media – who had taken part in previous events (such as Creative Coffee Club, which I attend occasionally at DMU – full list of networks who took part here) My first time in London on my own (how pathetic – I hope to change that and get involved more with the stuff that is going on…)

When I first arrived, I was unsure why I was there – and the people that I did know were asking similar questions. We weren’t sure what to expect. The event opened with Toby Moore’s motivational introduction (which cleared up everything up for me –  Sounds really silly, it was also great being able to experience my first event where, not only were we asked to write our twitter IDs on our name tags, but we could watch the live twitter stream on TVs as it happened. Everyone had their laptops, iPTs/iP, N95s out. I’ve watched streams from a distance before but never had to a chance to attend an event with so many people tweeting, live blogging and video streaming at the same time. Great to see it working in practice. I’m hoping that once I start getting moving with the Ph.D. I will start seeing this more.)

Photo Courtesy of Phil Campbell

Image Courtesy of Phil Campbell

We then split up into groups. There was a variety of different sessions that you could attend. The first one I attended (mainly because I was still confused – and it was in the main room) was The Future of Books session which was lead by Annie Mole, (incidentally, who’s blog about the London Underground is superb) Billy Abbott and Chris Meade – and was covered by Nicole from Geek Girl Dinners (which I would like to get involved with once they get up and running again. Spoke to Richard Galbraith about his writing blog and his ideas about books with memory sticks which would introduce art and music to the process. Interesting stuff.

The other two sessions I attended were more related to the work that I will be doing on my Ph.d. – “The Social Graph and our many electronic identities. What would be ideal?” and Joanne Jacob’s session “Social networks as a force for generating positive change for public interest initiatives” – To begin with I decided that was only going to sit in and observe what others thought on the subject (mainly because I was feeling a bit under the weather and was suffering from brain fog) but ended up getting into quite a good discussion relating to identity management, transparency/personalisation and enjoyed learning a bit about social graph theory (which is what they must call it in the industry..) 

Image Courtesy of Kat (Plasticsnow)
Image Courtesy of Kat (Plasticsnow)

Annoyingly, there just wasn’t enough time to speak to the people I wanted to speak to – and I think that was felt across the board. It felt like a taster for things to come – and it was amazing that such a meeting could occur within 4 weeks of the initial idea. Unfortunately, after one glass of wine – my body was crying out to be horizontal and I decided it would be best if I found my way back to Leicester in order to make myself feel better.

The big thing for me is getting to meet and connect to those who are not only discussing social media with passion – but are also out there and trying to implement these ideas. By the end of the event, I could understand why I was there and could see with uttermost clarity why I was there – and why I needed to be part of something like Amp08. In relation to the Ph.D. (which begins on the 12th of Jan!) speaking within such networks of networks, made up on the percentage of the population who are using communication tools in this way, is where I should start. 

Roll on February 2009!