Everyone’s space

I had a rather good time at the Karajoz Great Blend last night. I arrived to hear that due to the fog at Wellington airport, guest speaker Danah Boyd’s flight had delayed, but that she was – probably – in the air.

I had a sausage (organic) and a beer (Monteith’s Golden) and said hi to Moira, James, Mark, Amanda and Darren and soon enough Danah arrived and the evening’s events got underway.

First on the programme was a screening of Star Lords, a video mash-up involving bits of Star Wars cut together with Lord of the Rings to make it seem like they were fighting each other, and then there was some breakdancing, lolz. I dunno. I don’t think I’m enough of a fan of either of those films to really get it.

They showed a few other clips including one that was a montage of American flags and possibly made a political statement, but may have also just been a guy mucking around with editing software. Either way, the New Zealand flag says more to me about my life.

Next up was Danah Boyd, who gave a brief version of her “Why teens heart MySpace” speech. The thing that surprised most of the audience was that most American towns now have curfews for teens, meaning they can’t go out on the streets after around 10pm. They can’t hang out at the mall or outside the 7-Eleven, so they hang out on MySpace.

After the break it was time for the panel discussion, so I took to the stage. Russell gave me a really nice introduction, running the gamut of my interweb life, including the David Hasselhoff Experience to Sensible Erection. WTF.

I was joined on the panel by Danah, Peter McLennan, Justin Zhang and late addition MySpace Matt who has – at last count – 5496 MySpace friends, and is a caricature of a MySpace emo boy. I’d surely hate him if he weren’t so open about his, well, fakeness.

The panel discussion was mostly centred around MySpace. There hadn’t been much of a Q&A session after Danah’s speech, so people still had plenty of questions for her. However I got to talk about how internet communities are different now to how they were then, and also how people still use IRC these days, but less because stuff like MSN and AIM are easier to use. Not to mention texting. I was a good discussion, but there was a lot of stuff I didn’t get to say, so I might write that up later.

Afterwards SJD played, but I kind of wandered out of the main hall and didn’t get around to wandering back in. Instead I had a nice chat to various people I’ve known online and offline for years.

I ended up going to a cold Chinese restaurant with Morgan, Claire, Lin and Simon and had some rather good food and conversation. (I came away from it with an excellent idea for a novel, so now I just have to get around to writing it.)

It was all a good way to spend a chilly winter night in Auckland. Arigato, Mr Brown for organising another great Great Blend.


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