More post-conference thoughts: the Dutch, speaking Dutch, and oh-so-many ideas

I could keep writing and writing about WebSci’11, but I’ll try to hold off from too many posts! A few more observations, slightly more personal:

As someone who recently moved to the Netherlands, I was really impressed by the strong presence of Dutch institutions: my presentation followed talks from TU Delft and the University of Amsterdam, for instance! This was perhaps predictable based on the high proportion of submissions from the Netherlands, but still struck me. My job in Eindhoven isn’t directly affiliated with a WebSci initiative, so when I arrived in this country I had no idea WebSci was so big here.

Besides my predisposition to noticing the Dutch community, another consequence of living in the Netherlands for the last half year concerns my language. I used to have some limited German, such that back in 2005 I could at least order in a restaurant and discuss the cost of goods in a market. It turns out that learning Dutch has basically wiped that clear: I spent much of last week stumbling through a mishmash of half-Dutch, half-German… only to spend my first half-week back in the Netherlands speaking poor German to the locals. Whoops!

On a more work-oriented note, I am absolutely brimming with ideas after the two conferences. My current list includes giving consideration to:

  • a ‘Strange Hypertext Festival’ (as per the Narrative and Hypertext workshop)
  • some geocaching fun
  • some narrative hypertext fun
  • workshops for negative results (this idea was mentioned in both conferences)
  • Interesting Things with Spatial Hypertext

I opened this post with a promise to try and refrain from over-blogging WebSci’11. Cards on the table: I have two more posts to make, one on WebSci curricula and one on industrial-academic collaboration. Watch this space 😉


6 responses to this post.

  1. Why worry about overblogging? Blog away! Go wild! We want to hear more.

    People can always skip posts, but I don’t think there’s much danger.


  2. Thank you, good sir! I consider myself encouraged.


  3. Posted by Jo Symington on June 25, 2011 at 17:20

    I need to blog more too! Currently bogged (procrastinating) with progression report! Blah!

    Love that your working away now after finishing EngD. I’ve begun much needed french lessons with a private tutor + an evening course, on top of the research! Working with the french side of my industrial collaboration so worth the effort, plus I hope to work with them afterward. Should have got some of it together come 2yrs time…


  4. Ah, the joy of progress reports… 🙂 You’ll get there!

    French, eh? Sounds worthwhile, and two years is at least plenty of time to try and grok it. I wish I’d started learning Dutch two years ago…!

    G’luck wiht the progress report, it’s all worth it in the end.


  5. When I asked a friend to teach me some Dutch, he just said ‘don’t bother’, so I haven’t 😦
    Alliremember isthe reallylongwordsstucktogetherlikegerman. Kudos for taking the time to learn any language.


    • Heh, they don’t do compound nouns /quite/ like the Germans… but who does?! My contract here is only 12 months so some people have asked me why I’m bothering. I’m enjoying the challenge though!


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