Small Pieces Loosely Joined – NMC 2004

Alan, Brian and myself are hitting the road again. This time, we'll be presenting at the NMC 2004 Summer Conference in Vancouver (June 16-19, 2004).

The topic of this presentation is "Small Pieces Loosely Joined", and it's a session that we hope will be a bit, well, different. It's a hands-on session, with attendees actually playing with (er, using) some of the various tools that are available.

The plan is to take the folks in Vancouver, and split them into 3 groups. We'll assign each group to a role. They'll become either "Centralists" ( bent on global domination with the One True Application ), "Decentralists" ( complete anarchists, with bits and pieces scattered across and off the 'net ), or the more conservative "Fence Sitters" (who will try whatever works, but aren't religious about it).

The point of the exercise isn't to sort people into they groups they feel they belong to – that would be boring and less-than-productive. Nope. You're going to get randomly assigned a group, and you'll get to think critically about the pros and cons of a particular perspective. You might even learn something 😉

As another twist, we're counting on contributions from the Rest of the World. Those who can't make it to Vancouver are encouraged to participate in the session online. There are a whole bunch of people who have volunteered to contribute already! Here's your formal invitation

We've got a bunch of tools available:

As yet another twist, we're experimenting with as many tools as possible, and trying to duct-tape them into a cohesive system. We're blogging in 3 completely different environments (MovableType, Plone, Blosxom), using a wiki, using RSS all over the place, iChatAV/AIM/ICQ, and probably a few other tools I've forgotten about.

All of the content is being actively worked on, and will grow/evolve between now and the conference (and hopefully beyond). This is proving to be a truly organic project – it's taking on a life of its own already!

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