Media in Transition 5: how did I miss this motherlode?

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clouds, originally uploaded by dltq.

Preparing for my Friday talk at this week’s Open Education Conference I have been mulling over something that one of last year’s keynoters, Erik Duval, said in conversation. If I understood him correctly — and Erik is one of those scary-smart people I never presume to fully comprehend — one of the primary challenges of the emerging media environment is dealing with an overwhelming abundance of resources.

On a basic day-to-day information overload level I think this is something we can all understand. (Cole wrote a post on that theme today.) But every now and then something comes along that really brings the problem home to me.

Case in point, last year’s Media in Transition conference at MIT, on creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age. The site is chock full of fantastic resources on numerous subjects that have been very much on my mind the past few years. The site is something of a model on how to document a conference, with links to papers, podcasts of the plenary sessions, and well written summaries of the sessions that are ideal for skimming and scanning. Everything I’ve sampled so far has been first rate.

The conference was last April, so how am I only coming across this site now? I like to think of myself as fairly plugged in, I’m online a lot, and read a lot of amazing people who work in this field — some of them must have linked to this. I subscribe to MIT’s Emerging Technologies newsletter. I’m an admirer of Henry Jenkins. So how is it that I didn’t see MIT5 until Dean Giustini linked to it? (BTW, Dean’s always-fine blog has really kicked it up a couple notches of late, I highly recommend you add it to your newsreader.)

This post might simply be an admission of my own cluelessness. But I can’t help but think this oversight is symptomatic of a broader condition of information abundance. Now, with my talk only a few days away, and with those days packed with work and sociality, the new challenge posed by abundance is taking in all this relevant and exciting stuff and somehow managing to process and account for it. (Those text summaries are tremendously helpful in that respect.)

And I gotta keep an eye out for next year’s 6th Media in Transition event. I would love to see what next year has in store.

8 thoughts on “Media in Transition 5: how did I miss this motherlode?

  1. Sorry to hear you missed finding out about the Media in Transition conferences before now. We hold them every other year so MIT 6 will be in 2009. We do have a mailing list for announcements about the conference if you or any of your readers would like to be added. All the best.

  2. Ah, and just like that, Jenkins himself drops by! Excellent. I’ll be adding my name to this mailing list too.

    I’m struck by two things (besides the Jenkins sighting):

    1. You’re right about the abundance, and how weird it is when one is plugged in and still able to miss such mammoth things as the MIT conference.

    2. However, I feel that while the abundance is increasing, it really has always been there in one form or another, and it’s only by being fully plugged in that one can ask informed questions about what one is missing … there’s an obvious analogy with education per se … gotta mull on that one, I do. (All together now.)

  3. Funny. I started reading your post, got to the MIT5 link, clicked it and thought, “Wow. I wish I’d known about this conference before. What a great set of resources.” (Then I promptly delicious-ed it.)

    I was feeling my own anxiety about how un-connected I can feel at times. Then I came back and read the rest of your post. 😉 Now, I don’t feel so alone.

  4. This is great! Thanks for sharing this. This is yet another reason for at least having a few tags that we share and subscribe to using delicious. Every time we talk about having a few tags in common like “education” or “education_conferences” the folksonomy crew says “OH you can’t do that.”

    But if we don’t, we’ll keep missing “motherlodes” like this.

  5. Brian,

    Completely enjoyed your presentation this morning at Open Ed. Please can you facilitate my search for the wiki page that posts all the links that you shared in the presentation. I am frustrated at my inability to use your search suggestions to locate your presentation.

    Is it also possible that I can revisit the musical artistry mash you opened the presentation with?



  6. Rebekka – thanks – I’m a bit shellshocked by the technical and timing glitches, I’m glad you got something from it.

    The raw wiki list of links is here: It’s all coming apart

    I linked to that wonderful page you and Pedro were working on into the wee hours — I wish I had timed things better so I could have shown it!

    That was a live mix, but I didn’t record it. I might try to record another version of the source materials — if I do, I’ll blog it.

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