Way back in October, that month's London Wiki Wednesday
on 3rd October
was hosted by the innovation consultancy ?What If!
, in their rather funky, stylish meeting space called the Old Laundry
. This has a great atmosphere, rather like Skype's Chill Out Lounge at their London HQ, with comfortable sofas and bookshelves full of books and other interesting stuff - examples of mobile phones through the ages, the first Amstrad Notepad NC100 computer
from the early 90s, or yellow plastic hair that rather suited Toby. My thanks go to Anne-Fay Townsend
, and the wiki-chick Julie Callick
for being such great hosts, and laying on the pizzas, beer and wine.
, ?What If!'s CEO, kicked off proceedings with an intro to the type of strategy and creative consultancy they do, and we have to give her special thanks for funding the event out of her marketing budget.
Toby Moores and I then failed abysmally to Skype/Video connect London Wiki Wednesday with the first meeting of the Bay Area CreativeCoffee Club, which happened to be going on at exactly the same time in a coffee shop in Menlo Park, California. Maybe next time.
Anne-Fay Townsend and Julie Callick
spoke about ?What If!'s own use of wikis in all of their projects, explained how every employee gets their own wiki page, and is encouraged to contribute. They also gave their thoughts on how social media can be used within corporations.
I went on to explain the rationale behind CCC. It's an OpenCoffee Club style meetup, aimed at getting the worlds of business and academia together to talk about creativity, make connections, and discuss how we can encourage our organisations, public or private, to make creativity part of their everyday processes.
spoke about some personal examples of the injustice of Wikipedia's approach, where some topics are deleted by "the editors", even though there is clearly a user community interested in contributing or discussing that subject. He also highlighted some successes he has had, like adding a page on 70s soul and funk band Kokomo
(which just happens to be one of my old favourites - re-release of their first two albums
out this month).
Paul Youlten talked through his experience of creating the first wiki style Yellow Pages - yellowikis - and then how his "Saturday morning project" fell foul of copyright issues. Yellowikis still exists, but not in the UK.
presented the World premiere of Itensil
's new workflow and wiki based product Minuteman. This is a free service which uses a subset of the Itensil product to automate meeting actions. In theory you should be able to copy in your minutes from Word or some other text editor, and the system will automatically create a workflow from the actions to help you manage the process. However, a bit of finger trouble invoked the first rule of live demos - that they invariably go wrong. Derek Miers
then chipped in to explain a bit more about the reasoning behind Minuteman, and its typical web 2.0 business model - a free service that is useful, but which might prompt you to upgrade to the full Itensil
licence for project management and other business process functionality. Even though the demo went wrong, everyone seemed to like the concept and want test accounts, which should be available in a few weeks. (Disclosure - David is part of D2C
, and we are the UK partner for Itensil
Richard Drake talked about the history and development of the wiki. He highlighted that Ward Cunningham was the real genius and commented on how disingenuous Jimmy Wales has been in talking about the development of the wiki and wikipedia with no mention of Ward. On Wikipedia he commented that sometimes the neutral point of view was a bit of a shame, and predicted that it's glory will peak.
We finished earlier than usual at 8:30 and then repaired to the local pub for more chat and networking. Everyone I spoke to thought it was a good mix of people and topics, and another great success. The next event was to be on November 7
. Stewart Townsend and Sun Microsystems
were kindly providing the venue
, but food, beer and wine. For future events, as always if you can suggest someone, or if there are any volunteers, please contact me
My Flickr photos from the event