F8 developer conference starts today and, even if I had a plane ticket, I couldn't be there. The same went for Twitter's Chirp conference last week and the iPhone OS 4.0 release the week before that. It just wasn't in the stars and, more importantly, the budget - but that's what technology is for, right?Facebook's
On that point, we'd like to look at a few ways you can keep up with the news coming out of today's F8 conference and other events you might not be able to attend in person but want to watch, in real-time, nonetheless. And for your convenience, we've embedded streaming video of the F8 Keynote after the jump.
First, for more less secretive events like today's F8 conference, there's the fully authorized, sponsored live-streaming video. And often a search on sites like UStream and Justin.tv get a number of somewhat shaky but nonetheless informative smartphone videos of the events. Often, these sites are the place to go for streaming video of less open events, like most any of Apple's clamped-down product releases. Then there's the old faithful hashtag, the identifier that shows you tweets that are (supposedly) related to the same topic, though sometimes fall short on that point. And lets not forget any number of live blogs.
But beyond all of these standard tools, we were reminded of an aggregator of all these different ways of remotely monitoring a real-time event that's been around for a bit more than a year now and is just as useful as ever - Almost.at.
Almost.at is a sweet looking tool written in Cappuccino by David Cann for the express purpose of "Following People at Real-World Events in Real-Time". The service can be used on the web or in a standalone browser for Mac OSX 10.5+ and gathers all the content it can about a specific event from a number of services: Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, TwitPic, TinyURL and Bit.ly. Streaming in real-time, Almost.at shows a number of different events in the left-most column, pulls in related tweets in the next, pictures and videos after that, and then related articles and external links in the final column. Even better, the web app offers a minute by minute timeline at the bottom of the screen, showing when the conversation was most active and allowing you to browse everything by the timeline.
So, while we'll certainly be keeping an eye on our own cultivated lists of who's who on Twitter, Almost.at will likely be the main browser tab we keep open alongside the live-streaming broadcast that we've embedded at the end of this post.
But before you get to watching today's F8 conference, you may want to catch up on what we're expecting, so here are a few links to that end:
- Om Malik's F8 Preview explains "How Facebook Plans to Take Over The Web".
- Marshall Kirkpatrick anticipates that a Facebook Firehose May Be Released at Developer Conference F8.
- Inside Facebook's Eric Eldon also gives a round-up of all the rumors leading up to the F8 conference that helps put everything in context.
- Marshall Kirkpatrick also expects that Facebook May Launch Recommendation Service For Other Websites.