Here in London speaking at the Online Information 2006 conference for a few days. I am stunned at the strength of the social software intelligensia here. It is truly remarkable. Our friend Lee Bryant at Headshift has been thinking creatively and as long as anyone I know about how to really use wikis, blogs, social tagging, social bookmarking, podcasting, and RSS woven together properly. His work for the influential New Labour think tank Demos is one great example. Lee will be speaking at the upcoming Atlassian user group meeting in London December 12.
At the conference, there has been no shortage of local experts passionate about making a difference with social tools, and the audience which is a fairly traditional industry, academic, and government crowd is keenly interested. Adriana Cronin-Lukas from the Big Blog Company is a refreshingly blunt consultant not afraid to tell it like it is and who has moderated the best session at the conference.
Robert Scoble of PodTech and the ScobleShow has been great for this crowd to hear. Robert did an interview with Mike Cannon-Brookes recently if you missed it. Much of the crowd at the conference seem to enjoy listening to Silicon Valley guys like Robert or me, but they also think we gloss over some of the challenges big companies face with using these technologies. I think they are partially right. Also the European market just does accept new technology as readily as we Yanks.