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Preview: X-Events :: Robin Good's Latest News

X-Events :: Robin Good's Latest News

Extended Events. Online events and conferences. Internet-based events that extend through time before and after the actual core event. Event management, organization and marketing. Event initiatives and activities. New media interaction with extended onli

Last Build Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 05:10:00 PDT


Organizing An International Festival: The Back Story At IJF Perugia

Tue, 10 May 2011 05:10:00 PDT

Though I am not a great fan of conferences and events (as I find them still utilizing old-fashioned delivery formats, which keep and increase the separation between audience and presenters) there are key factors that can make me become a most passionate event fan. Photo credit: Mlenny Photography Specifically: Venue: The event is designed around a special location or place, where the "being there" is not just the same as sitting inside an anonymous auditorium chair. In the best cases, the event topic and interest extends gracefully in the locales, hotels and streets hosting the event. Duration: The event spans a number of days offering the opportunity for getting to know the venue, having enough extra time to relax and enjoy the place, and to establish new connections without needing to rush from one session to the next. Interaction-Networking: The space and the venue support easy meeting and exchange with other people. There are many break-out areas and the atmosphere feels cozy and welcoming. Logistics, tools and services are designed to facilitate to the max the meeting of new people, networking activities, groups discussions and open learning circles. Program: The event program is rich in lectures, presentations and other types of sessions, allowing me ample choice of topics, locations and speakers to attend. It doesn't force me to follow any specific session or speaker. Formats: The types of delivery formats utilized innovate and break new ground. The audience is as important as the presenters, and there are opportunities for discussion, brainstorming and exchange, rather than just for top-down information delivery. People: The people participating are very diversified, in terms of expertise, competence, professional experience, age and origin. That makes for such a much more interesting environment and for a great possibility to learn from others. Food and Lodging: The event venue offers opportunity to eat unique original foods and location specialties. There is a variety of restaurants and the event has partnered with many of these to offer special rates and discounts to the event attendees. Hotel and accommodation places offer themselves a unique experience as they are immersed in the culture of the place and offer services and amenities unique to them. Learning: I like to learn. The more an event offers me the opportunity to go away with tangible advice, practical information, and tools that I can put to use right away, the happier I am. In fact, this is one of the two things that most people go to events for: learning something new, getting inspired, finding out new ways and solutions to solve their problems. Organizers: The organizers are "accessible". Humble, friendly and always open to new suggestions and ideas. The organizers are the heart and soul of the festival and their personal attitude and availability broadcasts and represent the true spirit of the event. Event Design: The event is made, conceived and realized by the participants themselves. Individual participants, as well as companies and public organizations are invited in large advance to submit and propose their ideas for the event contents, panels, workshops and sessions. Everyone has a voice and can contribute to the shaping of the next year program, lineup of speakers or topics covered. In Italy, there is one yearly event that comes very close to having all these characteristics, while being completely free to attend. It is the International Journalism Festival, which is held in the beautiful city of Perugia during the month of April. I have had the luck, thanks to Media140 and to Vittorio Pasteris of having been invited to this event for the last two years, and for many of the reasons I have listed above, I have become an instant fan of IJF. In this light, this year, I decided to organize an interview with the festival organizers, Arianna Ciccone and Chris Potter, to find out directly from them, how they had first arrived at the idea of creating a festival and which were the key obstacles they had[...]

Live Events Strategy: Mashing Up Physical Conferences With Online Extended Events - Live Events Become X-Events

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 07:20:00 PDT

A new class of powerful, inclusive, popular and engaging events liberated from the straitjacket of space-time by the convergence of usable new media technologies is ushering at your door: X-events are next. Photo credit: XLucas But let me explain myself better: Online (and offline) events should not be confined anymore by physical the space-time boundaries of when and where the event actually occurs. The convergence of new media communication and collaboration technologies like RSS, wikis, blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, as well as social media outlets with more traditional information delivery channels like newsletters or mailing lists offers an opportunity for extremely rich, engaged and dynamic communities to be built around the core track topics and themes of any conference or event. The best way to explain X-events is to start simple. Consider for example a physical conference for which a community site is built beforehand and in which participants, lecturers and sponsors start interacting and actively engaging with each other way before the physical event starts. Think also of an event that while takes place in physical space it is also re-broadcast and made accessible in multiple ways, providing access and different levels of interaction to those attending live as well as to those at a distance. Imagine the breadth and richness of content options that can be skillfully created out of the many interactions the virtual event communities have been able to generate. Or the many possible compilations, playlists, and collections of user filtered and edited multimedia content that could be created after the event was over. It is in the ability to merge and synergize the tremendous potential of new media communication, collaboration and community creation technologies with the attraction and interest generated by a live event guests and key issues that revolutionary communication and marketing potential of X-events really lies. X-Events Overview Live events are a great opportunity to market, showcase, demo, present and introduce new ideas, as well as products. But, if you have ever been behind one, you will have realized how complex is the organization of the logistics, and how swift, skilled and prompt the team running the show must be. Given all this investment in organization, and stuff, how significant would be the additional cost of extending the event fully into virtual space by leveraging, in a synergistic, organic and well planned out fashion all of the most relevant new media technologies to enable a community and an extended conversation to form online around the event. Consider the infinite number of revenue options that can be born out of commoditizing the conference and creating a hot passionate and lively community that generates all kinds of relevant content around any given theme. Imagine how fantastic it would be if you could engage your favorite speakers before the actual conference and with your questions and contributions shape the topic and discussions for the live event. I have played with this idea for the first time back in January 2005, when I wrote this article, "Events Break Out Of The Physical Space-Time Prison. Time-Extended Conversations Are Coming: X-Events". Some years have passed but my feelings have not changed. Actually, I am much more convinced now than I was then of the tremendous benefits and advantages that extended-events could bring to all parties involved. What are X-Events? X-events or "extended events" are a yet-to-be-realized form of conference that extends well beyond the physical event boundaries, into time (before, during and after the event) and through multiple media formats. X-Events are events which are planned and carried out in a continuous experience that merges offline physical events and online conversations. In other words: X-Events are typical conferences, social events or physical gatherings of some kind that extend their lifetime, reach a[...]

New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 2

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 06:35:51 PST

As 2008 will bring greater focus on professional online publishing for Master New Media, here is the second part of my anticipations and predictions for this new year that has just started. In this second part: Online Collaboration Tools Mobile Mobile Live Video Online Marketing P2P Conversational Tools - Microblogging Widgets OpenID Off-line Web-based Applications X-Events 2008 Media Predictions - Part 2 If you haven't seen Part 1 yet, check it out here: New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 1 Online Collaboration Tools 2007 has been in many ways a record year for online collaboration tools with literally dozens of new tools having joined these fast growing group. Screen-sharing, video-conferencing solutions based on Flash as well as new innovative solutions have been all over the news thrughout 2007. Will it stop? Absolutely not. You are going to see more real-time and asynchronous collaboration tools entering the space as well as notable innovation from many of the existing players. Screen-sharing will become a standard integrated OS or application integrated feature in an increasing number of cases. Adobe is one of the key companies now setting the benchmarks in this space nonetheless the broad installation base of WebEx and other enterprise conferencing systems still own the numbers. But Adobe has set a long term strategy for the development of its next line of collaboration tools and characterized by a light footprint, cross-platform compatibility, easy to use and feature-rich approach. Connect and Brio are two brilliant examples of this successful strategy. Adobe is not my sponsor, but when a company does well over and over again, one should have no shame of saying it. What to expect? I think that if Brio and the last iterations of Connect are any indication, you are in for some serious good surprises from these guys which means easier to use and more effective collaboration tools at your disposal. Mobile For online independent publishers, mobile is the next frontier, as more and more people log, search and read news while on the move on their mobile phones and PDAs. Better integration of monetization and advertising opportunities, as well as more sophisticated tools to easily convert your standard web site in one that can be accessed by any mobile device will show up during 2008. Cooler than cool a new mobile application will allow you to post to your site or blog using your voice and the images / video you capture on the move. The great thing is that your voice is converted into text and published as written content along your mp3 downloadable podcast. In 2008 you will also be able to access remotely all of your tools, music, data and multimedia content, while being able to play it back on any television set or computer you will find available. Thanks to tools like Mojopac, Orb, Slingbox and TakeTV you will be able to access all of your tools and music / video content from just about anyhwere. Mobile Live Video Yes, I have already written about web tv yesterday in my first part of new media predictions, but live video will be a technological innovation that will affect not only web television channels but a much broader set of application and uses. While accessible and cost-free live video streaming has been here for a good year now, the ability to stream live video from anywhere you may be without having to open your whole notebook is the new video-casting frontier. Two companies (Wwigo and QIK) have already introduced tools and services that allow anyone to broadcast real-time video from their Nokia cellular phones and in 2008 you should see a breakthrough announcements in this field from some top international brand names. Online Marketing SEO and SEM are not enough anymore to do a good, comprehensive job of promoting your content or specific products online.[...]

Crowdsourcing Italy's Tourism Portal: Italian Independents Get Together To Rethink Italy's Institutional Web Site - RItalia

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 03:14:26 PDT

""Crowdsourcing" is a neologism for a business model in which a company or institution takes a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsources it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call over the Internet. ...In almost every case crowdsourcing relies on amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time to create content, solve problems, or even do corporate R&D." The scoop: One month ago tomorrow, Italy's government launched a new tourism web portal for which huge resources and a budget of 45 million euros had been allocated. The site came online under a barrage of heavy fire from many technologists, independents, bloggers and professionals as the site failed to meet some of the most fundamental accessibility and usability principles, while leaving lots to be desired in terms of its overall communication strategy. In a matter of days a fast-moving and highly vocal community of passionate individuals aggregated online and decided to give life to a counter-initiative called RItalia. In essence, the RItalia group is made up of all those people who, following the announcement of the new tourism portal and not feeling satisfied and represented from a project that should be our country online business card - have decided to spontaneously aggregate with the will to understand and discuss how such a tourism web portal should have been architected and designed. RItalia is made up of professionals, students, university professors, tourism and marketing experts, IT people and geeks from Italy an from other countries as well. More than 200 people have already signed up to join in this unique live event taking place next week in Milan. The initiative, unique in his genre, showcases how effective the power of aggregation and free sharing of ideas can actually be. Whether or not the RItalia initiative will be able to design and create an alternative solution to the newly launched Italian tourism portal is all to be seen, but the sudden wave of interest and ideas that this spontaneous group of individuals is already giving life to is a living proof of the new opportunities that such spontaneous self-organizing action-oriented communities can generate. As RItalia supporters include some of the best independent thinkers, writers, designers and technologists that we have around, it would not be to arduous to imagine that the project could indeed give life to a web tourism portal that is highly innovative, user-centered, standards-compliant, usable, fast, engaging and very cost-effective. and the RItalia movement - The Story In the Italian blogosphere it seems there is no better to talk about right now: the new tourism web portal With a Hollywood-like budget of 45 million euros (almost 60 million dollars) the new institutional web site announced over a year ago launched less than 30-days ago among an ocean of negative reactions., whose logo has been designed by the historical international communication agency Landor Associates, delivered at launch a web site that wasn't accessible with Firefox, had navigation and accessibility issues, utilized old-fashioned tables to format the content in place of DIV layers, showcased an exaggeration of very glamorous Flash-based content and video, and had a number of technical issues including being very slow to access and remaining off-line for an unusual number of hours during his rather short existence. Other problems include lack of content, sections that are navigable only with German language menus, pages awaiting a final layout, and an overall sense of slowness. For now, accessibility compliance is guaranteed by using a parallel web site and dedicated sections that serve as reference for access by handicapped users. The overall architecture of is quite interesting: an attempt to provide a multi-faceted access to the most interesting pl[...]

Alternate Reality Games: A Mini-Guide

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 23:37:45 PST

The expression "alternate reality games" refers to a type of game that overlaps the game world with reality, by utilizing real world media, in order to deliver an interactive narrative experience to the players. Over the past years, alternate reality games have captured the imagination of millions of people by getting them to play within worlds that are as fantastic as they are real. Photo credit: James Thew The birth of new forms of communication which characterizes this digital age has driven story tellers and game designers to explore new ways in which their audience can participate with the interaction between fictional and real worlds. What started as experiments with two of the biggest companies in the game industry, Microsoft with "The Beast" and EA with "Majestic", have moved on and combined efforts between advertising agencies, movie studios, television networks. This resulted in promotional campaigns and games that extended the story universe beyond the big or small screen and into the hands of the audience. Today, not only the big industries, but also small independent companies are willing to create successful financial models around this new genre of entertainment. Looking at the games that have appeared in the past five years shows trends such as playing with funding possibilities, exploring the relationships between fictional and real world spaces, and investigating new ways to interact with stories shown on the small screen. Television has been exploring the possibility of extending the story beyond the small screen and onto the internet since Fox first aired Freaky Links in 1999. They were not the only ones seeing the potential of the new media and were quickly followed by ABC, which experimented with several extended realities prior to last year’s The LOST Experience. As broadband internet becomes more widespread and digital video recorders more common, networks will continue to experiment with ways in which they can engage viewers both on and off the small screen. With all of this activity, it is an exciting time to talk about alternate reality gaming. In this mini-guide I have collected for you the most popular and recent alternate reality games. Characterizing traits that helped me analyzing them are: Running dates: the total duration of the game, specifying whether it is still ongoing Prizes/earnings for participants: the possibility for players to earn prizes and rewards Means of interaction: the means of communication used to perform the game, such as message boards, phone calls, emails, etc. Online/offline gaming: the possibility for participants to play online and offline Special requirements for participants: specific requirements that players need to have or necessary actions to do (such as purchasing items in order to play) Design teams: information on the developing team Funding model: the way the game is supported economically (through sponsors, players, etc.) Description of their goals: the story of the game and its objectives You can also check out the four articles we have previously published about alternate reality gaming to have a deeper understanding of the subject (read part one, part two, part three and part four). Please note that this mini-guide is an overview of alternate reality games and in no ways intends to represent a complete resource. You are very welcome to suggest new inclusions or corrections anytime by using the Comments section to be found at the end of this mini-guide. Catching the Wish Running dates: May, 2006 – September 2006 Prizes/earnings for participants: none Means of interaction: conference calls, email, meetings in the person Online/offline gaming: online Special requirements for participants: none Design Team: Dave Szulborski Funding Model: Supported through sales of a graphic novel Website: Description: Catching the Wish took players to the fictional A[...]

Alternate Reality Games: Daily Narratives Turn Into Interactive Cross-Media Games (Part I)

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 23:10:30 PST

What is an ARG? What if reality were different? What if you suddenly discovered not just different customs but different rules, different rewards, wholly different aspirations - a reality in which everyday occurences were not exactly what you thought, in which certain activities suddenly took on a rich and newly meaningful sense of possibility? From reading this paper, we hope you'll see that Alternate Reality Games (ARG) are many things to many people, from the latest innovation in interactive storytelling to a new form of ultra-realistic video game. The common ground shared by each of these is that they are some form of game, in that they are not an entirely passive experience (although many people enjoy them passively, there always has to be at least one active player, usually thousands), and that they use the world around you - advertising hoardings, telephone lines, websites, fake companies, actors and actresses you can meet in real life - to deliver the game experience. Alternate Reality Games take the substance of everyday life and weave it into narratives that layer additional meaning, depth, and interaction upon the real world. The contents of these narratives constantly intersect with actuality, but play fast and loose with fact, sometimes departing entirely from the actual or grossly warping it - yet remain inescapably interwoven. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, everyone in the country can access these narratives through every available medium - at home, in the office, on the phones; in words, in images, in sound. Modern society contains many managed narratives relating to everything from celebrity marriages to brands to political parties, which are constantly disseminated through all media for our perusal, but ARGs turn these into interactive games. Generally, the enabling condition to is technology, with the internet and modern cheap communication making such interactivity affordable for the game developers. It’s the kind of thing that societies have been doing for thousands of years, but more so. Much more so. We take the start of the ARG genre as known today to be the release in 2001 of The Beast, the unofficial title for the game interwoven with Steven Spielberg's film AI, and of Majestic,a commercial game from EA. That summer saw the identification by players of this whole new genre, and the coining of terms for it. It saw the formation of large communities of players (such as Cloudmakers and Unforums) dedicated to the discussion, dissection, creation, and above all the playing of these new games. The genre is not just a new direction in gaming but part of the more general evolution of media and creative narrative, and a reaction to our increasing ability and willingness as consumers to accept and explore many media in parallel, simultaneously. ARGs and MMOGs Technically speaking, ARGs are a form of Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), with individual games attracting playerbases numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and with a heavy slant towards online media. However, ARGs use “online” merely as a convenient, cheap, mass communication medium, rather than as a narrow straightjacket to deliver a tightly defined gaming experience. Where the typical MMOG uses a custom client, an application running on the player's home computer, which delivers and controls all content and interaction, ARGs use any-and every-application available on the internet, and potentially every single website, as just small parts of the wider game. Looking at the games themselves, ARG and MMOG/MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Games) also tend to diverge wildly in core gameplay. On 5 September 2006, the New York Times announced that World of Warcraft was on track to bring in more than one billion dollars of revenue in the year 2006 from its approximately seven million players, making it "one of the most lucr[...]

New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 46

Sun, 02 Apr 2006 03:08:29 PDT

New media tools and services are blooming like never before. Here is a new basket full of new media gems for another great technology-rich Sharewood Picnic. The Sharewood Picnic is my weekly collection of the best, most interesting new media tools, resources and pointers I have run into during my daily research and online explorations. These are new media tools and technologies that can facilitate more effective communication, promotion, marketing, networking and your ability to discover like-minded individuals and organizations around the world. Photo credit: Delphine Mayeur And here is what I have colected for you this week: Reputation management service applicable to any web site Access online applications via your mobile phone Browser-based toolbar to download rich-media from any web page Online events manager helps track, find, share and promote favourite events Contextual chat service allows interaction with people visiting the same web page Mobile-based event and people finder Contextual advertising service that pays high commissions to web publishers Independent filmmakers resource allows to search festivals and competitions worldwide Directory of selected web sites Upload, read, promote and market your comics strips to iPods Add navigation, images, ads and external links to your video clips and track users selections Zero footprint projectable portable keyboard Telephone interfaceable automatic recording devices EasyUtil Recommendation Service EasyUtil Recommendation web service is for people who want to provide a reputation management and recommendation service (a-la Amazon) to their users, but don't want to spend resources developing it or can't offer it due to limitation on their hosting plans. The service's engine generates recommendations based on the data a client site provides to the engine. The data is fed into the engine using a "this user likes this item" type of request. The items liked by the same user are considered to be related to each other. This information can be retrieved by using a "people who liked this item also liked which items" kind of request. It is currently free to use, but users must expect to be charged of it when it will emerge out of beta. MobileGlu mobileGlu is a service that allows users to access their online favorite applications through their mobile and enables developers to mobilise their existing web services. Basically, mobileGlu pulls the data from your life online and automatically optimises it for your mobile device. This service currently supports, Flickr, moblogUK,, Blogger and RSS feeds with more being added as time goes on. If there are services you wish to see mobilised, you can get in touch with mobileGlu developers and tell them. Check it out. It's free to use. PimpFish PimpFish is a powerful browser toolbar that enables you to save pics, movies and more in your computer, from any webpage. PimpFish provides an advanced download manager that offers several features such as a mini thumbnail viewer, live statistics, gallery shortcuts and SLAPfiles integration. SLAPfiles is a shared collection of URLs, all gathered in one place, that you can also comment. PimpFish is able to save Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media and other embedded videos; moreover, it offers password management when grabbing file from protected websites and bulletin boards. Free download. For Windows/Internet Explorer (Firefox beta version available). Eventful Eventful is a tool that allows users to find events that they care about, share their discoveries with friends and also receive alerts about events that haven't even been announced yet. Events come from the community, as well as EVDB's partners and web crawling. Users can create calendars and then publish them anywhere online using pre-built design[...]

From Live Conferences To X-Events: Key Benefits

Thu, 17 Feb 2005 03:13:04 PST

X-events, physical events that leverage the potential of new media communication technologies to extend their communication potential over time, remain one of the hottest topics relevant to conferencing and collaboration providers. Photo credit: Nelson Syozi The convergence of RSS, wikis, blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, newsletters and mailing lists with real-time communication and collaboration technologies is a certainty. Traditional events are going to transform themselves into ongoing conversations streams, as popular and successful as the topics and people participating and moderating them, and as credible and authoritative as the time they are able to thrive online. X-events are going to be outstandingly capable marketing, branding, sponsorship and premium advertising channels, giving extended life to any physical event while hugely increasing its potential audience and profit potential. Here are some of the very apparent benefits that X-events can bring to any company managing, organizing or designing the delivery of live events like conferences and seminars: a) Extension of communication reach. As a very significantly larger number people can attend, participate, subscribe, listen and attend asynchronously to extended events so does the reach for your message, brand, sponsorship, or product. b) Expansion of marketing, awareness and promotional channels. All of the extended channels utilized to transform traditional events into ongoing parallel conversation channels offer huge opportunities for highly targeted, contextual, non-intrusive marketing opportunities, especially in the form of sponsorships and sell-side advertising options. c) Creation of "vertical-communities" by leveraging extended events natural aggregation components and delivering them to X-events participants in a personalized, easy-to-use, self-contained branded media aggregation application. d) Participatory design and delivery. Yes, grassroots X-event design is here. Who's going to grab it first? Participants can now become co-creators, contributors, editors, individual re-sellers and publishing houses for any event. If only we allowed them to! Who is to say that events need to designed by a non-transparently elected group of vested-interests representatives? Couldn't emancipated participants do a better job of it? Sure they could. Who better then them knows what they will want to buy, listen and attend to? Why take the risk of discovering all this at event time? e) Great ROI, expanded profit, extended sales marketplace. X-events offer great opportunities to hugely increase event profit-margins by extending marketing and sales opportunities, without a need for expensive physical space and hugely expensive event-related logistical costs. The new X-event is grounded on an extended communication framework not on additional costs for physical infrastructures. The X-event enables major cost-savings matched by the potential for much higher quality output when the organizing team is able to fully realize the direct involvement of participants in the design and delivery of the X-event. What instead needs to be watched out for when thinking about stepping into the fascinating X-event arena is: 1. Having a talented X-event communication strategist. Someone who can aptly envision, plan and coordinate the unfolding of the X-event as an integrated whole. 2. Employing a skilled and well staffed editorial team. Creating ongoing discussion topics, news radars, webcasts, interviews and podcasts, blogs, wikis and live chats requires skilled individuals who live and breathe the online world. 3. Selecting tools and technologies that are accessible to everyone. Having communication, presentation and collaboration tools that are both easy-to-use and accessible by all types of Internet users is a critical, essential requirement. 4. A mill[...]