SICSA event (Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance) 24th November

Arrived at the Informatics Forum, slightly flushed as usual from the frantic pedal over North Bridge and then down Nicholson Street. I picked up my name badge and wove myself into the clusters of conversation.

Started off with an initial round of the various stands, trying to get a feel of the exhibition. I gather SICSA has hosted similar events, but this was my first one and I didn’t know what to expect. A second round of the exhibitors generated some interesting material, but since the presentation material was generally poor, it wasn’t always easy to distinguish between services we [Blonde] already offer (such as data visualisation and usability testing) and those technologies beyond our capabilities … where a partnership/further investigation would be fruitful.

It was at times frustrating having to read an entire A1 board to just try and understand what the initial offering was… Even when there were video clips of product demonstrations – these were sometimes out-of-focus and difficult to follow. In hindsight it was difficult to figure out whether the inconsistency in presentation material was down to ignorance (we don’t know how to market/present ourselves) or arrogance (we’re speaking to fellow academics and therefore don’t need to consider how we communicate, assuming a basic level of technical knowledge.)

Intriguing projects included…

  • Phonic Stick (University of Dundee) – though it would be more exciting to see this in the context of its target audience
  • A project entitled “Transforming How We Authenticate People” (Knowledge-Based Authentication)

I’ll see if I can get some other links to post up here, but lost patience with one guy who had no material at all that I could take away with me – not even a web address. Sheesh! :)?

Off to see a talk tonight (25th) by Alexis Ohanian on “Building and Growing an Internet Start-up”… hoping this event will offer insights that are easier to take away: bearing in mind that the more portable your information the further it will travel.