Last night I attended the Third Tuesday: Social Media and PR Meet Up. While everyone would probably agree that the venue was too hot, crowded, and expensive, I still enjoyed meeting some fellow Toronto bloggers.
The speaker and author of Wikinomics , Anthony Williams, would certainly have been much better received if the sound on his microphone was turned up a bit. Not one to dwell on the negative, I still enjoyed hearing his discussion of how the after-market car modification community was like an early wiki. While I'm not much of a gearhead, the notion that I am working alongside countless others towards creating some kind of streamlined, supercharged version of the web that was not really envisioned by the original creators certainly appeals to me.
Commercialization of collaborative spaces like wikipedia and youtube was also discussed. It seems that the consensus was that wikipedia is foolish for not allowing advertising on its site. A move like this would certainly get rid of the need for the fund-raising drives they constantly have, and even if they want to remain non-profit, the money could be directed towards other sorts of projects.
However, I agree with wikipedia's stance on not allowing advertising. Their wish to remain neutral is certainly understandable, and they may see advertising as detracting from credibility of the user-built place they have created. Imagine, for a second, how you would feel if your favourite paper-based encyclopedia had banners across the tops of the pages, perhaps advertising Starbucks on the page about coffee.
On another note, last night I was fortunate to meet (for the second time, I suppose) a number of Toronto bloggers. Instead of having me sum up what they are all about, I urge you to take a look at their stuff. Ed Lee is notable, because he opened up his house to Paull Young (whose site seems to be down at the moment...), the man who first introduced me to these Third Tuesday meetings. I hope that sometime when I'm traveling around the world, an online friend will do the same fo r me. I'd also like to thank Julia Stein for introducing me to David Jones. Finally, it was nice to shake hands with Donna Papacosta, whose blog I've been reading lately.
For a better idea of who was there, take a look at Joseph Thornley's Flickr photos of the bloggers. He mentioned that he'll have the photos linked to each person's blog/wiki/podcast, and I look forward to seeing that.
On a final note, I'm pretty happy with wordpress. As I was about to finish this, my computer crashed but wordpress was able to recover this draft without me having had to save it. Hurrah for technology.