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Where I am, where I’m not

I’m in London, on a 30 hour layover between flights, long enough to let me visit colleagues at Reuters, meet Rachel Rawlins (Global Voices managing editor) in person for the first time, have a pint or two and avoid spending two successive nights sleeping in coach airline seats. This evening, I’m off to Johannesburg with colleages from Open Society Institute, enroute to the Highway Africa conference and Digital Citizen Indaba in Grahamstown later this week.

This, in turn, means that I’m not in Berlin, where 112 artists, intellectuals and public figures are seated around a table, simultaneously answering 100 questions posed by individuals around the world via the web. The project is called “The Table of Free Voices” and is organized by the folks at Dropping Knowledge, who I found out about through their excellent blog, “The Drop“, which currently seems to be down. The event is being streamed live, but the real impact seems likely to be after the fact – audio and video of each question answerer will be released on the web, meaning you can spend hours listening to what Wim Wenders or Laurie Anderson had to say about these issues.

I’m also not in Tidel Park, Chennai, India, where BlogCamp India – “India’s Biggest Blog UnConference” is taking place. Designed to “raise the bar” (which is already set pretty high!) for the Indian blogosphere, it’s a chance for Indian bloggers to share stories, ideas and strategies. As befits an Internet conference, it too is being streamed and an IRC is available for those hoping to participate remotely.

Some day, when cloning is possible, I’ll be all three places I want to be on a given Saturday, as well as at home, sleeping in, and thinking about repainting the trim on the south side of our house. Or a reality Tivo will let me record events in Berlin and Chennai, letting me replay them at my leisure, thus guaranteeing me fewer Saturday morning sleep-ins. For now, London is lovely and sunny and it is most likely time to set down the laptop and go outside.

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