This post is the tenth of 15 posts following the adventures of George S. Jones, a journalist from 2058 who has been sent on assignment back in time to report on the Web2.0 Expo Europe to be held in Berlin from the 21 – 23 October 2008. George, of course, is fictional. And the surrounding story is a figment of my imagination. However, the Web2.0 Expo in Berlin is very real and could very well be the most outstanding conference of its kind. If you want to be a part of it, I have a 35% discount code for anyone who is planning on attending the conference.
You can register here https://en.oreilly.com/webexberlin2008/public/register using the code ‘webeu08gr56′ to get your discount. The official conference website is at http://europe.web2expo.com/.
I don’t know whether I am paranoid, or whether I have got the scares thanks to this whole business from back home, but I swear someone is following me. I was out doing some research on Suw Charman’s talk about Gender Issues in Web 2.0 Careers, and it seemed that every time I turned around, there was an old tramp not far behind me. I can’t tell whether it is an old man or an old woman – the person is shrouded in a coat and balaklava, despite the temperature being quite mild and humid. I can’t help but think perhaps it has something to do with the sabotage, although it doesn’t make sense for the saboteurs to send someone to follow me who is that old. Although, I did try to outrun him, but he seemed to know all of the back alleys and found me every time. He clearly knows his way around 2008 London – whereas I am still trying to use these primitive paper maps that they still rely on here.
As I am writing now I can see him…oh, wait…it’s actually a her, standing on the next corner. I’ll get my report down and then I might go and face her. I will get to the bottom of this if it is the last thing I do. Although I hope it isn’t…
Anyway, Suw’s discussion about gender issues was also groundbreaking at the Web 2.0 Expo. I find it really strange, but in 2008, the tech industry was dominated by men. The majority of attendees at the conference were men, and Suw’s session began to explore why this was so. The session was documented in many places, and for the following 5 years, it was revisited, considered and reevaluated time and time again, not least by Suw herself. In 2058, this imbalance certainly doesn’t exist. That had a lot to do with the massive changes in society during the 20s and 30s, but women are as represented in the technology industry as men. In fact, I am sure it was a woman who pioneered the groundbreaking research into the emotions of computers. And I know it was a woman who formulated the idea for the iEverything as I know it. Odd how much of it happened at the same time that the tipping point came and there were more female world leaders than male…
Oh! She’s vanished!! She must have seen that I had noticed her and was going to go and talk to her! Surely she can’t be afraid of me? Or is she afraid of someone else? I can’t help but scan every face of everyone walking by. If only they could get the Time Travel machine fixed and I could get out of this place and go home. I am starting to wonder whether I am really so keen on being a time travelling journalist.
Img: Austin Tolin