Armstrong Center for Professional & Continuing Education, Grand Lobby
Savannah’s new media strategists, visionary entrepreneurs, traditional journalists, bloggers galore, and local interesting characters gathered publicly, in real-life flesh and blood, at the 2nd annual BlogSavannah UnConference yesterday.
Although I couldn’t partake in all of the breakout sessions, my favorite panel was on GPS and Geocaching led by Marvin Heery. I hadn’t ever heard of geocaching, and since me likes to learn, it provided the biggest opportunity to do so. Geocaching is like a digital scavenger hunt, described as “an adventure game for GPS users” on the most prominent geocaching website, (uh, duh) Geocaching dot com.
From my limited understanding on the subject, it seems players all over the world both hide “prizes” in various “secret” locations, as well as hunt for these “prizes”created by other players. Through any number of various geacaching websites, players list the coordinates of a specific spot. Various items are left in the spot by the player that “hid” the treasure, many times a tupperware container with found objects, little toys, etc. There is usually a note in the box explaining the interest of the location, items in the box, etc. Geocaching is also used to bring players to points of interests in an area that perhaps no one else knows about, much like a childhood secret spot in the woods.
While the idea of Geocaching was being explained, it reminded me of the hyper advanced way Trent Reznor and Nine-Inch-Nails promoted their (then new) album, Year Zero. With cryptic messages hidden in a concert t-shirt, USB drives left in concert venue bathrooms, and the slow reveal of unannounced shows, the artform turned out to not only be the album itself, but the interactive discovery of a message created to connect the fans to the band and their music. This speaks volumes of our human and innate yearning for discovery.
Mostly, all of these technologies deliver some truly interesting modes of using the online environment to actually interact offline. Thus, my favorite part of BlogSavannah’s UnConference; Joining with others that have blogging (at least) in common presents the rare opportunity to learn from and meet the real life people behind their online presence and the opportunity for new discoveries.
***DISCLAIMER***My link to BFG Interactive is not unbiased. My other half started and heads the Content Department there.