World experts on social networks, blogging and “Web 3.0” come to Cork in March

Cork will play host to the 5th International Conference on Social Software – BlogTalk – from the 2nd to the 4th of March 2008.

The BlogTalk event – see 2008.blogtalk.net – allows practitioners, developers and academics to connect and discuss the latest trends and happenings in the world of social software (blogs, wikis, social networks, etc.). A workshop on the hot topic of “Social Network Portability” will be co-located with the event.

BlogTalk has attracted prominent speakers in the past, and this year is no exception. The conference will feature three keynote speakers from Silicon Valley talking about their Web 2.0 experiences and future plans for the emerging “Web 3.0”:

  • Salim Ismail – Head of Brickhouse, Yahoo! – Salim is a successful investor and entrepreneur, with expertise in a variety of early-stage startups and Web 2.0 companies including the conference directory service Confabb and blog feed collector PubSub. He currently leads Yahoo!’s internal start-up think tank. Salim will talk about entrepreneurship and social media.
  • Rashmi Sinha – Founder, Uzanto – Rashmi is a designer, researcher and entrepreneur in the area of user experience and interactions with web technology. She led the team that produced SlideShare.net, a popular presentation-sharing service that some have dubbed “YouTube for PowerPoint”. Rashmi will talk about lessons learned from designing social software applications.
  • Nova Spivack – CEO, Radar Networks – Nova is the entrepreneur behind the Twine “knowledge networking” application, which allows users to share, organise, and find information with people they trust. He is a leading voice of the Semantic Web or Web 3.0. Nova co-founded EarthWeb in 1994, which led to the first big tech IPO. He will talk about semantic social software for consumers.

Other presenters and panellists at the event include: hypertext pioneer Mark Bernstein; the CEO of coComment Matt Colebourne; and “Mobile Web 2.0” expert and consultant Ajit Jaokar. Topics to be discussed include the impact of social media on politics (and vice versa); the use of social networks and blogs in corporate environments; mobile internet solutions for education; issues to be aware of now that anybody can design and produce social media; the “long tail” effect from having multiple online identities; and blogs about dieting.

Co-located with BlogTalk will be a workshop on “Social Network Portability”. Nowadays, people have accounts on a variety of social networking sites. However, many users are experiencing problems when they register for a new site: they don’t want to re-enter their personal profiles from scratch, and they want to be able to easily discover their existing friends from previously-used social networking services. There’s a real need to be able to port profiles and social relationships (i.e., whom we are in touch with on a particular site) across various services. This workshop will discuss how we can solve this need by making both social network profiles and associated data portable.

The event is being sponsored by Microsoft, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway and BT. Places are limited to 200, so those interested in attending should signup as soon as possible.

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