In the Blog

AMC 2008 Round-up

June 25th, 2008     by Mir Verburg     Comments

So this is my first Wired Wednesday post (I forgot it was Wednesday last week, summer’ll do that to you), and in classic Miriam fashion, I want to really stretch the definition of what constitutes a “wired” subject.

See, I just came back from Detroit, where I was attending the Allied Media Conference, and I brought my computer and everything, because I am a technophile (with mild ADHD, natch) and I figured I would spend a lot of time listening to people talk and display PowerPoint presentations, leaving me with ample opportunity to do stuff like surf Metafilter or Favrd. That’s what you do at conferences, right? Show up, wear the badge and try to network. When not networking, stare at your laptop and “take notes” on the speakers.

Oh how wrong I was.

I had a damn good time at the AMC and, you know, I opened and used lappy the laptop a grand total of two times.

Part of what made the conference work so well, was that that sessions offered genuinely ‘alternative’ ways for audience and presenters to exchange knowledge and share with each other. What is a conference panel but an opportunity to re-balance the audience/presenter hierarchy? So, the sessions were really engaging, without too many moments where one person talked above the audiences collective head.

Another thing I noticed was that there weren’t that many instances of people staring at projected websites rather then each other. There were lots of videos screened so it wasn’t all hand-holding and Kumbaya, but it was a much more human-oriented experience than I have had at conferences in the past.

Attending the AMC 2008 re-inspired my belief that independently produced media is a building block for a better world. On the other hand, I am beginning to question Independent Technology a little. If having a laptop of my own is only good for taking my attention away from what’s happening around me, and if really the best we can do with all these new 2.0 tools is make Facebook groups to add to our already full-to-the-brim online identities, what exactly is independent/alternative tech and how successful is it?

So, today’s Wired Wednesday is brought to you by the question: What is the difference between indy-media and indy-tech?

Of the entire conference, my favorite session was led by the group from Real Media Leadership Literacy Training Project. This project is a collaboration between students at the U Mich education department and students at Western International High School in SW Detroit. At their session, students from Western International presented three videos, and talked about their experience making media after school.

Here are the three videos (embedding disabled): Social Identity, The Break-Up, and ‘High’ School.


« Put down your scissors and shrinky-dinks

Antonia Zerbisias Gives Us a Nod »