All Your Thursdays Are Belong To Us: Berkman Blog Group Summer Schedule


Berkman Blog Group Summer Seminar Schedule

All Your Thursdays Are Belong To Us

The Berkman Bloggers’ Group hosts a series of discussions on blogging each Thursday night, 7PM, at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society in Cambridge, MA. Join us this summer for discussions on a wide array of topics including the Blogging 101 Film Festival, tagging, how blogging interacts with social networking services, podcasting, foodblogs, Blogging for nonprofits, Wikis, and more.

Warning: Series organized by bloggers. Enormous changes at the last minute not only possible but likely.
Cost: $0! We often go for dinner afterward which is Dutch Treat.
Best source of late-breaking news and advice to the blog-lorn: Berkman Thursday Email List
Directions: Berkman Thursday Meeting Info
Berkman blog group weblog with meeting notes and info: Berkman Blog Group Meetings
Participate remotely? Yes!
To listen: (only during meeting).
To ask questions: Meeting IRC chatroom. Directions: Berkman Thursday Weblog Meeting IRC chat
Audio archives: We attempt to archive audio of most meetings so you can listen after the fact. Scan the group’s blog for news of newly uploaded audio recordings of sessions.

May 19: LiveJournal: Not Just For Teenaged Girls Anymore

Moderator: Josh Ain (Weblog: Josh Ain’s Inspiration and Humor)
Livejournal has a reputation as a hotbed for irrelevant material. A ‘typical’ livejournal blogger is typecast as someone who blogs about trivial things: the teenage girl blog, or the cat blog. Yet livejournal has been immensely successful within its chosen niche. Why are livejournal users the AOL users of the new era? Is this reputation deserved? What technology does livejournal possess that caters to and attracts these users?

In this meeting we will examine the livejournal blogging/aggregation platform with a specific focus on its success as a social networking tool. We’ll spend about fifteen minutes on a presentation, and hear from a couple hardcore livejournal users from within our group. Then we’ll open up the floor to discussion.

Come to this meeting thinking about this question: what features would make your blogging / aggregation platform a more valuable tool for communicating with your friends? We’ll look at how Livejournal succeeds through this lens.

May 26: Tagging is Fabulous! It’s Also Crap!

Moderator: Shimon Rura (Weblog: Shimonolog)

Shimon Rura will lead a discussion on “tagging” — using subject-oriented links to distribute and discover information across blogs and websites using services such as Technorati,, and Flickr. From Shimon’s high-speed summary:

  • Part 1: 5 minutes on what tagging is, and some of the major services
    incorporating tagging

  • Part 2: 10 minutes on why tagging is totally amazing and what new forms of
    community discourse and organization it will create, and how it will
    inevitably pervade all information systems and knowledge structures within 5

  • Part 3: 10 minutes on why tagging is a lame hack with no future, that will
    never succeed past the early adopters and in the end will prove to be a huge
    waste of everyone’s time

  • Part 4: 15-30 minutes group discussion

June 2: Why Do You Blog?/Blogging 101 Film Festival

Moderator: Michael Feldman (Weblog:Dowbrigade News)

Nerdy. Cutting edge. A popular phenomenon. Geeky. Personal. Blogging may be the strangest movement ever to capture the public’s imagination. Nonbloggers wonder why all these people are shoving digital messages in digital bottles on the net, even when those messages may be read only by a few people — or, unfortunately, by your boss or your mother. Yet we blog on. Why? In this session we’ll try to capture the compelling essential goodness that may make blogging the first lifelong digital activity. We’ll also share the newest videos produced by the group aimed at showing blogging platforms from the inside.

June 9 Blogging As Performance Art

Moderator: Lisa Williams
This week the Berkman Blog Group will storm the Institute for Contemporary Art and ruthlessly blog the current art exhibit, Getting Emotional. From the ICA’s description:

Getting Emotional:Thirty-two international artists explore the expression of feelings through painting, photography, sculpture, and video.

…While most of the significant artistic movements since the 1960s have avoided the explicit depiction of feelings, in /Getting Emotional/, emotions come out in the open. Featuring 32 international artists, this exhibition depicts emotion in a variety of ways, from intimate moments between individuals to the physical manifestations of human feeling. Getting Emotional presents contemporary work in four thematic areas: Bodily Sensation, Feelings Portrayed, Emotional Intimacy, and Emotion and Society…

Hear curator Nicholas Baume discuss /Getting Emotional/ on WBUR’s The Connection .

Note that this week we will be meeting at the Institute for Contemporary Art at 7PM. The ICA is free on Thursday evenings. Afterwards, we will partake of the free Newbury St. wi-fi and eat at one of the neighborhood restaurants. Break out your snazziest blog-pajamas for this one.

June 16: Super Sekrit Blog Meeting

We’re working on a special guest for this one. Stay tuned!

June 23: Wiki Wonderland

Moderator: Sam Klein (Weblog: SJ’s Longest Now)

Sam Klein, Wikipedia maven, will try to give us a flavor of the world of Wikis — the collaborative, cathedral-like information structures of the web. Sam will also cover access control and antispam techniques for Wikis that keep these cathedrals from turning into an info-landfill. Sam has a weblog, SJ’s Longest Now, but you can get a feel for the variety and quickness of his intellect by visiting his page on Wikipedia.

June 30: Using the Blogforce For Good: Blogs in Nonprofits

Guests: Beth Kanter, Ben DiMaggio, Brian Reich, and Deborah Elizabeth Finn

503land: it’s foreign territory to many of us. But a large number of people in the Boston area and throughout the world are spending their lives trying to change the world for the better. And they’re starting to blog about it. As a lightweight, inexpensive, and simple way to get the message out and engage a community around a movement, blogs may end up being more important to nonprofits than for-profits.

July 7 Foodblogs

Moderator: Bill Ives (Weblog: Portals and KM)

The daily nature of food and cooking and the daily nature of blogs seem to go naturally together. Moderator Bill Ives will take us on a culinary tour of the blogosphere.

July 14: How To Have A Nice Little Traffic Jam: Understanding How Search Engines Read Your Blog

Moderator: Amanda Watlington

Blogs and search engines have a symbiotic relationship: the world’s most popular search engine, Google, gives preferential ranking to content that appears in blogs, and also owns one of the biggest blog services (Blogger/Blogspot). Understanding how search engines read your blog is an important step towards getting the information you want out to the world (or avoiding that, if that’s your bag). Our moderator, Amanda Watlington, is an expert on search engines and search optimization.

July 21 Podcasting, Gigadial, and Satellite Radio

Guests: CC Chapman of Accident Hash and Manager, Podshow Podsafe Music Network and Andrew Grumet, coauthor of iPodder, and creator of Gigadial.

Podcasting has exploded, growing dramatically over the last year. At its inception, podcasting was a form of audioblogging — homemmade radio programs covering everything from politics to underground music, distributed via RSS. Now major media outlets are getting into podcasting, pumping out prebroadcast radio programs over the net and even providing just-in-time audio commentaries for TV shows. There’s even a radio station, KYOU, that broadcasts nothing but podcasts, and satellite radio is also starting to get into podcast programming. Soundseeing tours — volunteer audio tours distributed as a podcast — cover everything from Miami Beach to MoMA. Our guests will be CC Chapman and Andrew Grumet. CC Chapman’s popular podcast Accident Hash features the independent New England area music he has a passion for, and Andrew Grumet, co-author of iPodder and creator of Gigadial, a service that lets you become a “feed-j” by putting together RSS-based streams of your favorite podcasts.

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