Sunday, October 26, 2008

Confluence of Web 2.0 technology and adventure

One of my favorite applications of technology is the intersection of collaboration technologies and web 2.0 applications with outdoor adventures. My favorite example, not perfect, but getting there, is the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. This year's race around the world has 6 teams sailing around the world collaborating and updating everybody in the World by the means of email, blogs, RSS, Vlogs, and other applications. For example, any crew member of any team can pick up their on board laptops and send an email message that is immediately parsed as a blog post on their team website and syndicated via an RSS feed. Also, you can follow up the vessels virtually with the Virtual Raceviewer as they circumvent the globe, or simply listen to a podcast from the crew.

Collaboration tools can be used as logs (hence the name blog and vlog) very efficiently. I have used them in the past for posting updates on specific events like Cisco-Live. It can be as easy as sending a text SMS message: Twitter gives you 140 characters per twit, a full blown blog gives you more space if needed, twitpic lets you upload a picture from your cell phone directly, and Picasa even lets you tag the location of a picture in the world. These are just examples of applications. The important thing is that its simplicity and flexibility make online collaboration apps very appealing for races, adventures, and other activities.

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