Llightening talks and more from Liver and Mash – Mashed Libraries 2010

I spent an informative morning at the Mashed Libraries event in Liverpool on Friday. I don’t normally go around crashing unconferences but I’d been asked to speak, and as a result I got to sit in on some really informative and fun presentations.
The sessions I heard included Mike Nolan, Head of Web Services at Edge Hill University, who’s blogged about his presentation on what role higher education institutions play in mashups, and his belief in the need for more of the country’s academic houses to open up their data.
I loved his Data.ac.uk talk because it was delivered with real humour and insight, and it also made me realise again how many parallels there are between the newspaper industry culture shifts and that of the library sciences industry (a more lucid post on the subject is here, and it’s recommended reading).

I also saw Aidan McGuire and Julian Todd, of Scraperwiki in action and was very excited to discover they were based in Liverpool (I’m off to see them again this week to pick their brains some more). The possiblilities Scraperwiki could create (not just for journalists but of course that’s what I’m interested in) are far-reaching and within minutes of talking to Julian he’d shown me a simple way to delve into historic planning decisions for the city, and posed some interesting ideas about how to use the data.

I also saw mapping king John McKerrell taking about, well, mapping – mapme.at and APIs, which was so oversubscribed by delegates that he had to shift his talk to the main room of Parr Street Studios – and Phil Bradley, talking about Web 2.0 tools, several of which were new ones on me.

My talk was about data curation, and the importance of transparency in using, sharing and communicating information, whatever format it came in.My slides are here:

It was a 15 minute gallop through a massive subject, but I had lovely listeners for my session, and I really enjoyed myself.

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About Alison Gow

I'm a journalist, particularly interested in story-telling, networks and digital innovation.
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