Raiding the Radar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had originally surfed over to the O’Reilly Radar blog to find out how they were handling the controversy over the Web 2.0 service mark dispute with IT@Cork.The dispute seemed to be out of character for O’Reilly Media and was in danger of alienating some of their customers even if they hadn’t heard of IT@Cork before.

I had a little bit of dealing with IT@Cork which organises small grass roots quality events for local IT managers, and given their profile which I considered wouldn’t be sufficiently worthwhile for the spokespeople I played gatekeeper for.

This was down to scarce resources (time and people), when I looked at factors like:

  • The amount of time required to attend
  • Diary schedules
  • Direct relationship between the audience and the business

So hardly a threat to the O’Reilly/CMP Events combination.I have also dealt with Josette Garcia, the PR manager at O’Reilly UK, so I knew how out of character the whole dispute was.

Thankfully common sense prevailed, but it will take a little while for stain on O’Reilly’s reputation to fade away as the media will not be covering the amicable settlement with as much ink (or pixels) as the original dispute.

While I was over there, however I found a couple of interesting postings:

Where 2.0 (the integration of geographic data and the web) has started to gather more and more heat around it, facilitated by work like Dan Catt‘s geo-tagging efforts at flickr, the proliferation of GPS-enabled handheld devices and open API systemic in the best web 2.0 enterprises.

In truth you could claim that Where 2.0 is already with us, based on tracking applications online by FedEx, UPS et al.

has already become a sport amongst geeks, part real-world adventure game and GPS orienteering exercise. The pastime was homebrew entertainment. Well Microsoft who turned homebrew software into the commercial PC software industry we know today with an open letter to hobbyists on software piracy in the Homebrew Computer Club newsletter; has managed to turn the geocaching meme, mash it with a hen party‘s ‘taking photos of people doing tasks’ theme and mould it into a commercial product with Pixie Hunt. You may also want to have a look at the Go Game and Caterpillar Mobile ;-)

Ok, question time, with gadget data exportable to the web including location, weight change and mileage; where does privacy come in?

The Radar team also blogged about how Disney is using virtual worlds to sell its theme parks, the bit that really got me was that kids are arriving at the theme parks knowing their away around. Simulation technology once developed for training pilots and soldiers is training kids to have fun, which made me feel uneasy. It is interesting how the line between the real and digital world is blurring in both these examples; which is where I think the real power lies.