Category Archives: Events

Photos from unSummit #4 at Lowertown’s CoCo

Steve Borsch at unSummit #4 unSummit #4 unSummit #4
I attended UnSummit 4 yesterday at CoCo, the coworking and collaborative space in downtown St. Paul’s Lowertown:

unsum4 UnSummit is an alternative, "unconference," not unlike a BarCamp. That means full participation, full dissemination and free admission — all the things that traditional conferences are not.

The unstated theme was social media/PR oriented, though not exclusively. It was an amazingly well-done conference for being volunteer-run and 100% free (no conference fee; free coffee, donuts, pizza, beer, wine, etc.) due to the generous support of its sponsors.

Andrew Eklund/Meghan Seawell: "Selling Social Media to Execs" Arik Hanson: "Feeding the Blog Beast" Don Ball: "Escaping wage slavery"

My favorite session: "Feeding the Blog Beast" by Arik Hanson (center photo above).

Minnesota Voices Online Unconference

UnconferenceSM  Bernadine Joselyn Steve Clift Marc Osten
I was an invited ‘practioner’ at the Minnesota Voices Online Unconference (“Connecting rural Minnesotans with new media so every place can share its voice in the Internet age”) in Duluth this weekend, co-hosted by the Blandin Foundation and Above: Bernadine Joselyn, Director of Public Policy and Engagement at the Blandin Foundation;  Steve Clift, Co-Founder and Chair of; Marc Osten of the Summit Collaborative who moderated the event (run as an unconference).

Some of my photos (click any thumbnail and then scroll through all 8 photos):

Minnesota Voices Online Unconference Minnesota Voices Online Unconference Minnesota Voices Online Unconference
Minnesota Voices Online Unconference Minnesota Voices Online Unconference

Blogging a World Championship sporting event

I returned from the Trials Training Center (a client) in Tennessee yesterday, having spent 6 days taking photos, recording videos, and blogging the U.S. round of the World Trials Championship (USGP) , also known as the Wagner Cup. Yep, it’s all about motorcycle trials, a sport that’s been one of my hobbies for the past 30+ years.


I created the blog site for the event back in January  but it wasn’t until I arrived on site a few days prior to the event that things heated up. I posted 70 or so blog entries over the course of the week, focusing more on the staff, volunteers, and activities surrounding the competition than the competition itself.

This is the second time I’ve blogged an event over the course of several days. The first was the 2006 International e-Participation & Local Democracy Symposium in Budapest and Baltimore.

Future of the Web event

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Citizens League Executive Director and chief blogger Sean Kershaw (left) launched this morning’s Summer Policy series event titled The Future of the Web and Civic Engagement: What Happens When MySpace Meets Our Space? held at The Forum at Minnesota Public Radio. (Click photos to enlarge.)

I recorded the forum. Click play to listen. 1 hour, 5 minutes, 22 seconds.

I found myself a little disappointed with the event. I wanted to hear more stories… stories that would illustrate the what the future of the web could be for civic engagement, public problem-solving and policy-making. I don’t remember much about the discussion but I do remember two stories: Jean King’s story about Gov. Al Quie and Roger Moe; and Steve Borsch’s story about visiting the Eden Prairie public library.

I also was hoping to hear more about the forces — systemic or otherwise — that are both helping and impeding the constructive use of these Web 2.0 technologies in the public sphere. That would’ve generated more discussion about what steps could be taken by citizens, civic organizations, and yes, policy-makers to address these forces.

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Left photo, L to R: moderator Jack Uldrich, panelists Jean LeVander King and Steve Borsch.
Right photo, L to R: panelists Garrick Van Buren,Tom Swain, and Jen Alstad.

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During the post-event schmoozing, I had a chance to talk with (L to R) Steve Borsch, Steve Clift, and Garrick Van Buren. And then Mr. Clift and I retired to the MPR lobby to chat further in the way-cool audio-enhancing pod chairs. Amazingly easy to hear one another. And yes, that’s an apple core in my mouth.

Aug. 22 Update: Victoria Ford has a set on Flickr of 60 photos from the event.

Aug. 23 1 pm update: AAAARRRGGGGGHHHH!! I mistakenly deleted this blog entry earlier today and had to ask my beloved webhosting company, Tiger Technologies, to restore the site from a midnight backup. They’ve done it but two comments were lost so I’ve manually replaced them. Apologies to Steve and Mike.

Team e2e4e departs

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Over the weekend, a team of cyclists from the Royal Borough of Kingston in the UK began cycling from the southern tip of the UK to the northern tip (1000+ miles in 15 Stages), in aid of Asian earthquake relief. The event is called E2E4E – End to End for Earthquake.

From my UK travels and involvement in the ReadMyDay project I have colleagues and bloggers in Kingston and so I’ve helped set up a weblog, a podcast, and a photo album to support this event. See the main website, the blog, and considering donating to the cause. And follow the trip as it progresses with regular weblog updates from my colleagues in the saddle, Roy Taylor and Herbie Blackburn.