Media in Transition 5: how did I miss this motherlode?

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clouds, originally uploaded by dltq.

Preparing for my Friday talk at this week’s Open Education Conference I have been mulling over something that one of last year’s keynoters, Erik Duval, said in conversation. If I understood him correctly — and Erik is one of those scary-smart people I never presume to fully comprehend — one of the primary challenges of the emerging media environment is dealing with an overwhelming abundance of resources.

On a basic day-to-day information overload level I think this is something we can all understand. (Cole wrote a post on that theme today.) But every now and then something comes along that really brings the problem home to me.

Case in point, last year’s Media in Transition conference at MIT, on creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age. The site is chock full of fantastic resources on numerous subjects that have been very much on my mind the past few years. The site is something of a model on how to document a conference, with links to papers, podcasts of the plenary sessions, and well written summaries of the sessions that are ideal for skimming and scanning. Everything I’ve sampled so far has been first rate.

The conference was last April, so how am I only coming across this site now? I like to think of myself as fairly plugged in, I’m online a lot, and read a lot of amazing people who work in this field — some of them must have linked to this. I subscribe to MIT’s Emerging Technologies newsletter. I’m an admirer of Henry Jenkins. So how is it that I didn’t see MIT5 until Dean Giustini linked to it? (BTW, Dean’s always-fine blog has really kicked it up a couple notches of late, I highly recommend you add it to your newsreader.)

This post might simply be an admission of my own cluelessness. But I can’t help but think this oversight is symptomatic of a broader condition of information abundance. Now, with my talk only a few days away, and with those days packed with work and sociality, the new challenge posed by abundance is taking in all this relevant and exciting stuff and somehow managing to process and account for it. (Those text summaries are tremendously helpful in that respect.)

And I gotta keep an eye out for next year’s 6th Media in Transition event. I would love to see what next year has in store.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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