Monday, April 19, 2010


I was hugely looking forward to taking part in Fiberfete, where I was due to do some sponsored coverage of the event, but Eyjafjallajökull had other ideas, and my flight this morning was cancelled. The earliest slot I could re-book for was Friday morning, by which time the whole event will be over. David Isenberg has tried in vain for years to get me to one event or another, and on this one the stars aligned beautifully, before dispersing catastrophically.

I will of course enjoy following the event via webcast, but for me the real promise was to meet (in some cases for the first time) others with whom I have been in virtual contact for many years, and of course, to share ideas and experiences. I'm sure there are a lot of other frustrated attendees (also of eComm) who share my sense of disappointment.

I guess if there's any positive spin to this, it's that you probably couldn't find a better illustration of the potential value of fiber than the unprecedented travel chaos we're experiencing in Europe. A single-angle webcast video feed is one way to experience an event which you are unable to attend, but it's a pretty anaemic representation - passive, one-dimensional and unidirectional. With telepresence, virtual collaboration spaces, augmented reality tools, and the ability to toggle between multiple conference tracks and/or points of view, we would be talking about quite a different prospect altogether. As Blondie sang, "Dreaming is free."

Anyway, to all my erstwhile Fiberfete comrades, have a great conference, and have some gumbo for me. Also, if you're attending and have any insights, anecdotes, or other color from the event, please get in touch.

(P.S., I will be giving some coverage to the event via the webcast, both here and on Twitter, where you can follow the backchannel with the hashtag #fiberfete. eComm is also well worth following, if you are capable of multitasking.)

No comments: