September 16, 2008

Coming Down from the Nokia OpenLab08 High

We'll I'm back from a whirl-wind journey to Finland where myself, along with about 3 dozen other bloggers, new media technologists, early adopters of mobile technology and social media technology gurus, where we had a chance to discuss the what, where, when and why of mobile, particularly with respect to our social networks. I have to admit, like many others in attendance, I'm still trying to process fully what transpired! Made up of several "workshops", one of which I facilitated, we shared our tales and thoughts on the likely direction that social networking will take, and in particular, the role that the mobile web will play as things evolve.

There were no correct answers, there were no stupid comments, there were no misfits, etc... there was simply a group of cool people sharing their stories and offering up insights from their own special corner of the social web or geo-social web as I like to call it! This might sound a bit abstract and you may wonder, what the hell was Glenn doing there and what is he talking about? Well, that's how Nokia (sponsor of the event, via their WomWorld extension) likes to roll, that's how they like to get a glimpse of future technologies and the role that the company's solutions will play as the mobile web expands it's reach.

Obviously, with me being the "Geo" guy, I was providing insight into my thoughts on the geo-social web and other location-aware solutions that users take advantage of to expand their networks and share their experiences. If anything, the event not only enabled us to brainstorm, but we also had a chance to take part in a very interesting social networking test where a group of 35 people were introduced to each other, provided with a mobile device (Nokia E71 in this case) and told to have at er... setting us free in Helsinki to collaborate, socialize and communicate via whatever means we could. At the end of the day, the group Wiki, Twitter, Jaiku, Flickr, Qik, and Ovi proved invaluable in bringing us closer together and enabled us to have a much different experience had these mobille technologies not existed. If this is all too much for you to think about at the moment (I know it's been a load for me as I try to recoup), I can relate... I'm still absorbing a ton of material and media. I have to say thanks to Peter Batty for planting a seed in my head last week and reminding me how combining future location location focused applications more with current location focused applications is where we are headed... I couldn't stop thinking about this and now couldn't agree more! I also couldn't help to wonder while we were there, how crucial the latest social networking tools were to us all to help us enjoy the event and communicate with each other... indeed if we could build on the geo-social web experience we could have benefited even more - there's opportunity a plenty in that space in my mind!

Thanks to the team in Helsinki (along with WOMWORLD and 100Heads) for getting us together and for sharing some media with us via Ovi Share... Nice Job! And a big thanks to my 3 dozen+ new friends who have greatly expanded my social network and given me much to think about regarding the Geo-Social Network and the possibilities that it brings to our lives.

The OpenLab08 Group (Image Credit NokiaOpenLab08 on Ovi)

Enough of that for now... maybe take a load off and test your Geographical skills in this contest from Nokia called the Mapsters... have fun - you just might win a new Nokia 6110 Navigator! I just got a score of 69,900 on first try, can you beat that... I'm sure you can! Oh, and please, don't forget about thegreenthing! I'm doing my green thing by not watering my lawn every day like my entire neighborhood. Instead, once a week by hand and I have grass just as green as anyone else... go figure that one! More to come soon...

Some additional resources to consider include:

Blogs, comment, and Vlogs from attendees:

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