Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011

Cross posted from FindingAda.

As announced on the front page of the Ada Lovelace Day site a few weeks ago, the date of this year’s Ada Lovelace Day has moved to Friday 7 October 2011. Please put it in your diary!

I didn’t take the decision to change the date lightly. We’ve had two years of ALD being in March, and it was starting to become a bit of a tradition, so the idea of moving it to later in the year has worried me a bit, as I don’t want to lose momentum. But by early January it had become clear that things just weren’t going to be ready in time.

Although I have had some fabulous help from some wonderful people, the responsibility for getting things moving still lies with me, and the last six months has seen me incredibly busy with work. We’re in the middle of a recession, so I feel grateful for having such a full diary, but the knock-on effect has been that I’ve not been able to give this year’s Ada Lovelace Day the love it deserves.

It turns out that March is a supremely bad time of year to have a recurring event. Despite trying to get things moving towards the end of last summer, I didn’t make much progress and before you know it, it’s Christmas and everyone’s really busy, and then New Year has come round and suddenly things aren’t ready and it’s all getting a bit tight. Add a trip to India in February to the mix and deadlines throughout March and it became clear to me that something had to change.

The March date was always arbitrary, picked because I was too impatient to wait any longer! The October date has been picked because it’s far enough away that it gives us a chance to get our ducks in a row, but also because (hopefully!) it doesn’t clash with school and university calendars. I’d very much like to do a bit more outreach this year, and would like to have more resources for teachers, pupils, university lecturers and students. A date that’s in term-time, but not too near Easter or in exam season is a more important consideration now than it was two years ago.

There are other changes afoot too: I’ve also shifted the mailing mailing list from Yahoo to Mailchimp, so provide us with more flexibility. Please do join up – there’s a form in the sidebar of I’ll be sending out monthly updates once we have a few people subscribed, with more updates closer to the big day. You’ll be able to manage your subscription and unsub at any time you like, so take the plunge and subscribe today!

Finally, I do need your help to spread the word about the new date, so please do blog, tell your friends, Twitter, and Facebook followers! Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011.

Interesting North & Eyjafjallajökull

I’m going up to Sheffield in November to speak at Interesting North, a day-long conference where people talk about their passions (rather than their work). I, for one, will be going way off piste:

Suw is a writer, collaboration strategist and lapsed geologist.

Earlier this year she followed, in considerable detail, the exploits of Eyjafjallajökull, The Little Volcano Who Could (Close Airports Around Europe On A Whim). Part of a community of vulcanologists and lay enthusiasts, she watched for earthquake swarms, monitored live webcams, and attempted to interpret interesting yellow blobs on the volcano’s infrared cam.

For your delight and delectation, Suw will be attempting to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull live on stage, as well as pointing out some of the more interesting aspects of the eruption.

I’m up for doing some consulting in Sheffield, so if you’re based there and would like some social media help just let me know. Otherwise, I hope to see you there!

Event: Designing social interfaces workshop

With any luck, tomorrow will see the delivery of Christian Crumlish’s book, Designing Social Interfaces, co-written with Erin Malone. I’m really quite excited about getting my own copy and getting my teeth into the lessons it contains. For those who want a more personal learning experience, Christian is running a workshop in London on 9th June. I really wish I could go, but I’ll be in Sweden at the time.

Event: Radical Real-Time

The Radical Real-Time annual virtual unconference is scheduled for June 5 this year, with the theme of “Making the Most of Collaborative Worlds: Physical, Virtual and Blended Collaboration”.

This Radical Real-time unconference will take place in different virtual platforms that offer possibilities to meet both asynchronously and synchronously. The synchronous part of our conference will be an array of meetings during four hours on June 5, 2010 starting at 2.00PM GMT. You are already participating in the asynchronous part of the conference by being on this Ning site. Right now, we are collaboratively putting together the conference program.

For more info, check out their Q&A page.

Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating women in tech

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, the international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology, science and engineering. Now in it’s second year, the day is going very well indeed with hundreds of people talking about women that they admire. You can see people’s contributions on our map or in list format.

If you haven’t joined up already, please take a moment today to write a blog post about a women in tech that you admire and add it to the ALD10 mash-up. The hashtag #ald10 is already trending on Twitter in the UK and we’re hoping that the noise will encourage more people to join in!

My own Ada Lovelace Day entry, over on Chocolate and Vodka, was about legendary Tomorrow’s World host, Maggie Philbin. Who’s your heroine?

Event: Show Me The Change

Just stumbled across the Show Me The Change event in Melbourne, Australia, May 4 – 6, via Johnnie Moore. From one of the organisers:

Are you fascinated by human behaviour … and do you spend at least some of your time trying to influence and change others? When you do this, are you asked to ‘measure success’ or report on outcomes?

If you are in any way involved in social media in your business, the answer to those questions will be yes. Social media is all about behaviour change and not simple, measurable behaviours at that. This event looks like it will take a complex topic and find ways to treat it as just that, rather than assuming it can be made simple. I wish I could go, but sadly my travel budget just doesn’t extend that far.

IntraTeam 2010

For any of you interested in intranets, I’m going to be talking at the IntraTeam conference in Copenhagen at the beginning of March. I’m onstage at 3.10pm on Wednesday 3rd, talking about email and how we can use social media to shift the burden of certain types of communication away from email and onto more suitable platforms.

If you’re going to be there, please do come and say hello if you see me!