I've posted belated Hydra notes from the Social Software Alliance Birds of a Feather and the Journalism Birds of a Feather from Emerging Tech last week. Taking notes using Hydra was an intersting experience, with 3 or 4 other people taking them too, correcting my spelling and so on.
The SSA meeting was fairly chaotic - perhaps reflecting the diverse meanings of 'Social'. Clay Shirky did not show up (or if he did, did not speak up); Dave Winer later poured scorn on the efforts, implying it was all about social climbing.
Friedrich Hayek famously said that the word 'social' empties the noun it is applied to of their meaning. Hayek goes on:
� it has in fact become the most harmful instance of what, after Shakespeare's 'I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs' ( As You Like It , II, 5), some Americans call a 'weasel word'. As a weasel is alleged to be able to empty an egg without leaving a visible sign, so can these words deprive of content any term to which they are prefixed while seemingly leaving them untouched. A weasel word is used to draw the teeth from a concept one is obliged to employ, but from which one wishes to eliminate all implications that challenge one's ideological premises.
At one point in the meeting, writers of social software were likened to scientists at Los Alamos building the bomb, which is certainly hyperbolic, not to say bollocks.
The subsequent Journalism BoF was less hectic, and more measured. One of the most interesting things for me was the various Blogger/Journalist hybrids like Dan, Glenn, Scott and Doc talking about the difference of voice between a blog and a newspaper, where you would have an editor pushing you into the house style. This reminded me of both Boris Johnson's NYT experience and the lamented Tish Williams, who left 'Upside' for 'TheStreet.com' in early 2000, and went from a sparkling original voice to yet another tech journalist. (I wanted to link to some of her stellar pieces at upside, but they are all gone - not even google or the wayback machine can find them)
I think this conflict, rather than layout issues is behind the blog/wiki divide that Joi mentions.
Blogs amplify individual voices. Unlike mailing lists, they don't get lost in the hubbub. Wikis are different - they blur authorship, and drive towards a consensual style. Blogs' temporal flow creates an affordance for conversation that is diluted and washed away in Wikis.