The upcoming trip to Croatia is fraught with peril. There are materials to prepare, workshop logistics to attend to, office and household tasks to square away before Friday’s departure. I’ve noticed a couple of prominent weblogs in the region, including the blog.hr site (scroll down a bit) are plugging our workshop, which is nice. I notice that the site is reproducing the “when the jug is done, the presentation is ready” image with the blurb. Which may give the impression we will be serving beer during the sessions… not a bad idea.
I don’t read the language, but based on web-based translation and phrasebooks I gather that we are taking a kicking on this comments-field discussion — there are complaints about the cost of the workshop (I’m in no position to assess that), and some indignity that “Americans” are coming to tell Croatians about social software, when there are plenty of locals with expertise.
I can understand the latter complaint. I’ve known about the blog.hr system for some time — it’s an amazingly dynamic community. We even gave some consideration to adapting the software for use here at UBC. We’ve invited people from blog.hr to join us in Zagreb and give a presentation, and I hope that comes together, as I’d really like to meet these people. And we definitely want to fairly represent the local scene. I’m getting traffic from links at blog.hr (can’t figure out how to link direct to the post) and a site called Internet Monitor right now. I’d invite these visitors to add links below pointing out good use cases of social software from their own context, especially educational ones. And if they’d care to express their concerns to me here (preferably in English) I welcome all comments, however vitriolic.
Tomorrow I’ll ask my buddy Novak (who hails from Belgrade) to give me a precise translation of the complaints, and help me try to formulate some sort of response. Mainly, I want to communicate that we do want to represent the Croatian scene, and let people know that this workshop is part of a long and much broader collaboration between UBC and CARNet, one that so far has been beneficial to both parties (from everything I’ve heard, at least). I also expect to learn more than I teach, as usual.