When we launched the first interactive website for the IST Event (IST 2002) we didn’t know it was a Web2.0 site. That term only appeared two years later.
What we did know was that we created a website for a 3-day conference, exhibition and networking event for stakeholders of the EC’s ICT research programme - policymakers, companies, academics, and more.
And we made it interactive - launched 10 months before the event, the site allowed users to:
Years later we realised we had created the EC’s first online community of practice, convened by a research programme but very much ‘owned’ by its participants.
The research programme has used the same underlying philosophy and code literally dozens of times since. The details vary each time - in 2002, for example, all strands were bottom-up; in 2003 all Calls were guided by a set of 'priority themes’; in 2006 participants could vote for the 'best exhibit’, Twitter was a Big Deal in 2008 …
While this variety means each site is self-contained, however, the users formed the common thread. Once a user creates a profile for one event, s/he can migrate it to the next, so the online community grew each year, even if physical attendance stayed level.
Each physical event thus becomes the annual high point in an ongoing online pan-European online conversation about the EU’s research, innovation and digital policy.
More - including some ludicrously long slidecasts - on my oldblog.
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