Rough notes for Tom Armitage — What social software can learn from Homer, Dickens, and Marvel Comics

Dick­ens, cliffhang­er on every page

Putting data on dis­play = pub­lish­ing

Blogs are frag­men­tary

Every sin­gle thing you do needs to be dat­ed for con­text

In hind­sight it’ll show you pat­terns

Exam­ple: Infovore and pre­vi­ous blog actu­al­ly join

Col­lect data across bound­aries (chrono­log­i­cal, dig­i­tal, phys­i­cal)

Nos­tal­gia, be fuzzy, look­ing back at old sto­ries etc.

Anal­o­gy of reviews of books with com­ments on blog — mak­ing it live­li­er.

If some­thing counts (com­ments, sta­tis­tics) make them acces­si­ble and pub­lic.

Fin. ser­i­al nar­ra­tive.

Next: epic


How can some­one remem­ber these huge sto­ries?

Because they use known struc­tures and for­mu­las, con­ven­tions.

You can leave out stuff. Two tellings are nev­er the same.

He doesn’t believe in sin­gle sign-up. Stuff will be dif­fer­ent between sites.

Pro­files of peo­ple should be dif­fer­ent between sites.

Retroac­tive con­ti­nu­ity (ret­con)

delib­er­ate­ly chang­ing pre­vi­ous­ly estab­lished facts in fic­tion”

Cri­sis on Infi­nite Earths (Mar­vel) start­ing anew

Social soft­ware: revis­ing ear­li­er ver­sions.

E.g.: Flickr replace but­ton.

Fic­tion — telling lies, no let’s tell untruths

Truth: some­thing with no delib­er­ate dis­hon­esty” — Andrew Losowsky,

The Door­bells of Flo­rence (on Fiickr)


Give peo­ple the chance to use some­thing else than their real name. Per­sonas are impor­tant. Han­dle based cul­ture has exist­ed for a long time online.

Expect peo­ple to tell untruths.

Kaycee Nicole Swen­son hoax Dying of leukemia, Pay­Pal, blog­ging, died, but not real­ly, she was an old woman.

No default for truth.

Fic­tion­al char­ac­ters on Friend­ster.

Vin­cent Gal­lo on site — delet­ed too but it was real­ly him…

Wikipedia should mix both fic­tion and truth

Telling the sto­ry (final sec­tion)

The lan­guage you use is impor­tant

(Jar­head is a great book.)

You should tell a tale and talk as lit­tle as pos­si­ble in your own voice.

Breed­ster, art project, insect, eat­ing, shit­ting and hav­ing sex. Sex­u­al dis­ease — every­one became infer­tile.

User expe­ri­ence is impor­tant.

Good sto­ry­telling can’t save a ter­ri­ble sto­ry.


When you cre­ate social soft­ware, look to sto­ry­telling for inspi­ra­tion.


Q We should have a debate about truth and fic­tion. A Inter­net doesn’t have a laugh­ter track and it nev­er will. We expect comm. media to be truth­ful but pub­lish­ing media to be used for fic­tion. Inter­net is both… Friend that was evict­ed from WoW because of role­play­ing a racist char­ac­ter. There is a risk that the net will get real­ly po-faced.

Q How can we go about deter­min­ing who’s real­ly who? A Exam­ple of phish­ing (Pay­pal), lots of peo­ple will believe you when you just get the style right. With text it’s real­ly easy to pre­tend to be some­one else. Real names shouldn’t be forced to pub­lish their real names.­warecanlearnfromHomer%2CDickens%2CandMar­velComics

Rough notes for Stowe Boyd — The Revolution Will Be Socialized

Start with a joke that you need to apol­o­gize for (Amer­i­ca and Japan).

Sup­posed to be reboot­ed, but hasn’t man­aged to do it just yet.

JJG’s pre­sen­ta­tion is a good “foil” for his talk.

He’s work­ing a lot with web 2.0 com­pa­nies. He’s very busy, seen a lot of busi­ness mod­els. Try­ing to help them deter­mine wether it’ll work or change it so it does.

The rev­o­lu­tion will not be tele­vised” — Gil Scott heron

Stuff like Amazon’s is the future of online com­merce.

Rev­o­lu­tion will be social­ized”: opposed to that, it will be about social net­works.

Old quote: from acci­den­tal change of social struc­tures through soft­ware to social change through soft­ware by design.

Sym­po­sium on Social Archi­tec­ture

  • From some­where they find some­thing else, then read it or ges­ture (tag, com­ment, link, etc)
  • User gen­er­at­ed con­tent (ugh), is like a ges­tur­al space
  • Peo­ple vs. machines

Engines of mean­ing

  • We’ll need machines to man­age the huge amount of data being cre­at­ed (Bruce Ster­ling quote).
  • Means of sort­ing won’t be known
  • We’ll be trawl­ing with engines with mean­ing…”

Rev­o­lu­tion among the rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies

  • What does web 2.0 mean? Lot’s of bat­tles going on.
  • Core ques­tion: what’s worth build­ing?
  • Sim­ple three step process to find social dimen­sion in prod­uct
  • Enter­prise soft­ware lacks soul.
  • An app is a col­lec­tion of func­tions — this is wrong.

Exam­ple: wine sites

  • Cre­at­ing site based on func­tions: feels like a db
  • Turn it side­ways, intro­duce social dimen­sion, func­tion­al­i­ty is sec­ondary
  • Things we do are large­ly not done as indi­vid­u­als
  • 2nd step: look­ing at net­works
  • Last dimen­sion: mar­kets
  • Most com­pa­nies fail to cre­ate a large enough mar­ket

Online mar­kets

  • E.g. Ama­zon
  • — changed his life, counter to Ama­zon exam­ple, dis­cov­ered he had the musi­cal taste of a 23 years old British woman… Viable com­pe­ti­tion to Ama­zon and iTunes because of bet­ter expe­ri­ence due to human dimen­sion
  • What’s at thee market’s core? Case study: x:posted — brings blog­gers into con­tact with peo­ple look­ing for blog con­tent. You can take mod­el to apply to busi­ness plan and find viable busi­ness.
  • Prob­lem with Base­camp: no fed­er­at­ed iden­ti­ty. They did it wrong, because they didn’t go through the three steps.
  • Social soft­ware (archi­tec­ture) have soul
  • Actu­al e-com­merce will move away from algo­rith­mic archi­tec­tures to social­ized inter­ac­tions
  • Suc­cess­ful apps will cre­ate a mar­ket


Q Apps need big­ger mar­kets: the rea­son they’re keep­ing it small is because they built it for them­selves. Social stuff inher­ent­ly needs a small group… Social soft­ware doesn’t scale. A You can have a tight prod­uct and still take in the social dimen­sion. You need kar­ma etc.­o­lu­tionWillBeSocial­ized:SocialArchi­tec­tureandTheFutureofOnlineMar­kets

Rough notes for Jesse James Garrett — Keynote

Adap­tive Path intro

  • Big & small clients
  • Ele­ments of UX: “under­stand­ing tool”
  • the AJAX guy”


  • We know lit­tle about peo­ple, hard to make good guess­es
  • IA is about find­ing ways to make bet­ter guess­es, but they’re still guess­es


  • Card sort: prim­i­tive, low tech
  • New approach: just give up, cre­ate a sys­tem for users to cre­ate their own archi­tec­ture (tag­ging)
  • Prob­lems (no such thing as mag­ic): insid­er lan­guage, con­trolled vocab­u­lary non exis­tent, most pop­u­lar is not nec­es­sar­i­ly the best, tag spam, tag­bomb­ing

How to improve tag­ging? First step towards user gen­er­at­ed IA From explic­it IA woes to implic­it user gen­er­at­ed IA

Exam­ple: Ama­zon

  • Algo­rith­mic archi­tec­ture
  • Indi­vid­ual and aggre­gate data com­bine to cre­ate gen­er­at­ed IA

Next step for algo­rith­mic archi­tec­ture

  • use them in the right place
  • make them trans­par­ent to the user

Bet­ter data

  • Two fla­vors: about con­tent (meta­da­ta) and about users (now: user research, in thee future)
  • Usabil­i­ty test­ing is like blind man’s cane
  • Bet­ter canes aren’t the answer, make the blind see
  • Instru­ment­ed inter­faces: hav­ing a site be a con­tin­u­ing exper­i­ment and feed back data to design­ers
  • Exam­ple of Ama­zon URL: domain, CMS junk, prod. ID, inter­face tag, ses­sion ID
  • Inter­face tag tells you where users were click­ing on a page
  • Search results: use query ID, tells you about search terms used

Exam­ple of base­ball sta­tis­tics

  • Start sim­ple, then go to basic math, then to com­plex cal­cu­la­tions

Get­ting data isn’t enough


  • Sep­a­rate behav­ioral data from Influ­ence cor­po­rate pol­i­cy

Ear­ly days

  • Real poten­tial is still untapped, we need bet­ter ana­lyt­ics tools

Ques­tions Q Col­lab­o­ra­tive fil­ter­ing only tells you what choic­es were made, not what all pos­si­ble choic­es were? A How do we pre­serve serendip­i­ty, don’t get locked in feed­back loops? Peo­ple have been work­ing to rein­tro­duce serendip­i­ty.

Q How do we pri­or­i­tize com­mon knowl­edge about com­mu­ni­cat­ing vis­it­ed links? A Is it nec­es­sary to com­mu­ni­cate it? He thinks it’s an open ques­tion.

Q Is Ama­zon now in the busi­ness of push­ing this tech? A They’re cer­tain­ly mov­ing in the direc­tion…­ging:User-Gen­er­at­edInfor­ma­tionArchi­tec­ture

Winding down after day 1 of Reboot 8.0

I’m kick­ing back and relax­ing while lis­ten­ing to a weird and crazy talk on media hack­ing. Before we were enter­tained by the great Ben Ham­mer­s­ley talk­ing about how we all could become renais­sance men. The din­er buf­fet was excel­lent just as the rest of the day before that.

Reboot 8.0 up to now has lived up to the hype cre­at­ed by pre­vi­ous year’s edi­tion. The qual­i­ty of talks is gen­er­al­ly high both in con­tent and exe­cu­tion, except­ing a few dis­ap­point­ments.

I have hun­dreds of pho­tos to sort through on my cam­era, maybe I’ll be able to upload a few before retir­ing for the night. Oth­er­wise it’ll have to wait for tomor­row.

Rough notes for J.P. Rangaswami — Keynote

His blog’s Con­fused of Cal­cut­ta.

Pays homage to Doc Searls et. al. for the mar­kets are con­ver­sa­tions con­cept.

He’s not yet stu­pid enough to believe in his own pro­pa­gan­da.

He’ll take a grave­yard approach — things that should die. And then show things that should live.

Bor­der-less World: glob­al­iza­tion, dis­in­ter-medi­a­tion and inter­net.

Ini­tial­ly lan­guage was word of mouth. This was tricky because there was no per­sis­tence, that came with writ­ing, then with print­ing came repro­duc­tion. The inter­net brought shar­ing.

Metcalfe’s Law, and such have had an impact on the things we’re doing know.

He prefers think­ing about infor­ma­tion as opposed to tech­nol­o­gy.

Work of Engel­bart and oth­ers allow us to con­sume infor­ma­tion.

Then came Word­star and Visi­calc to allow us to cre­ate struc­tured data. The brows­er allowed us to start con­sum­ing unstruc­tured data.

The web became live (Doc’s words) with intro­duc­tion of blogs and such.

Empow­er­ment of peo­ple.

Assem­bly line pro­duc­tion approach to human­i­ty is bull­shit and doesn’t skill.

We were denied the dri­ve to bond.

Inter­net as source of neu­tral­i­ty

Iden­ti­ty is not of the indi­vid­ual but of the group (e.g. old-style pass­port: “I know this per­son would you please look after him”

Things that are dead:

  1. Device lock­ing — you should be able to use the device you’re com­fort­able with for com­mu­ni­ca­tion
<li>Marketing - move from CRM (customer exploitation), invert pyramid move from selling to buying, make it easier to buy something don't enforce a sale</li>
<li>Privacy - semantic web will kill privacy? BS - concept of personal space is culturally determined, DRM is pushed to create walled gardens around digital content we would rather have be free "if you want to keep a secret, don't tell anyone!"</li>
<li>Copyright & IPR - priests didn't like printing, the idea to start closed is not what humans are about, it should be the other way around</li>

Star­bucks exist because of the web, because they need­ed to do some­thing with the high street shop­ping space.

Tay­lorism & McLuhanism are evil!

Con­tent is an evil word!

We have to start claim­ing back things we have lost.

Liti­gious soci­ety should die too, con­tracts are evil by nature. Please don’t get mar­ried. Covenant rela­tion­ships are much bet­ter, you want to fix them not look for blame.

Longevi­ty hasn’t changed — we have to sim­pli­fy, enfran­chise peo­ple to pre­vent info over­load. A basic com­put­er should for instance have a bat­tery by default.

Our world has already gone vir­tu­al.

What hap­pens to a person’s blog when he dies?

One should be free to choose whether to use social soft­ware.

If you want good to be said about you — do good.

Don’t stop and sen­sor peo­ple, it’s about rela­tion­ships, do the right thing.


Rough notes for T.L. Taylor — Play

MMOGs have roots in RPGs and MUDs.

Soft­ware and ser­vice.

Ulti­ma, EverQuest, Wow…

Social con­texts

MMOGs isn’t anti-social. Social isn’t icing on the cake. Social is the sub­stance of the game. It’s key.

On- and offline con­nec­tions mix.

Emer­gent social activ­i­ty. E.g.: “guilds”; trust, respon­si­bil­i­ty, rep­u­ta­tion.

Game devs aren’t giv­ing play­ers the tools to be social. Focus is on arte­fact first.

Rough map of guild — con­nec­tions between play­ers are offline

Tran­script of in game chat. Lots of offline con­nec­tions.

Friends are the Ulti­mate Exploit”

EULA: shar­ing accounts is not allowed (in EQ).

Col­lab­o­ra­tion and teams:

Com­plex coor­di­nat­ed actions.

Co-cre­ative cul­ture

Play­ers also pro­duce and design. Emer­gent cul­ture and tech­nolo­gies that change the game…

Play­ers change the prod­uct in deep ways.

Game in box is just part of larg­er game space.

WoW opens up UI for play­ers to change. Big dif­fer­ences between play­ers.

Cheat­ing — mod­i­fi­ca­tion of game is debat­ed.

IP — who should be the design­er, what’s play?

Sell­ing avatars on eBay. Game com­pa­nies own the avatar so it’s not allowed. Embod­i­ment — you don’t own your body!

In EQ there was a lot to do about fan­f­ic.

WoW in game protests. “Protest­ing in game is not a valid way to give us feed­back.”

Are game worlds pub­lic space? Or not because they’re corp. owned?

Com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion of cul­ture. Design­ers want con­trol over play­ers / users. Let go!

Things that are hap­pen­ing in game are exam­ples of big­ger issues such as: UX, IP, mash-ups, P2P, etc.

Book: Play Between Worlds, T.L. Tay­lor.


What about scale? Do these thoughts apply to small­er games? We need small­er games to exper­i­ment with gov­er­nance and such.

Is there an end to the game? “End” is play­er-defined… Games should be bet­ter at help­ing peo­ple leave.

Can these games become the new plat­forms for pro­duc­tiv­i­ty? There’s a lot of mum­bling, but no-one knows. You pick up valu­able skills while play­ing.

Does this apply to alter­nate real­i­ty games? E.g. ILove­Bees… She did a piece on Majes­tic. Beta dur­ing 9/11. It was mixed with real­i­ty.

How can we use tra­di­tion­al ethno­graph­ic think­ing? The work isn’t com­par­a­tive enough to make any strong state­ments.

Rough notes for Matt Webb — Making Senses

Nav­i­ga­tion­al metaphor. How to use sens­es.

5 human senses for fea­tures of next gen web brows­er.

Sight Dis­tance — short dis­tance is mean­ing­ful Peo­ple who are look­ing Periph­er­al vision Mov­ing through world — active vision All about sur­face, we only see cov­er, spec­ta­cle

What is sight?

Idea: sitemapdb. Zoals CDDB maar dan voor sites. Crumb­trail, local nav, search.

Smell We’re embed­ded in smell, we move through it. It’s a mute sense. Maybe we’re mov­ing to smell­space rather than spec­ta­cle. Cat­e­gories for smell are cul­tur­al­ly depen­dent. 5 cat­e­gories.

Bad meat: no mis­take. Code has bad smell some­times.

For brows­er we need taste too.

Taste Is active smell. Destroy things in our mouth. Fla­vor is taste, smell and sight as well.

Voor­beeld: screen grab, page type, terms.

Voor­beeld voor smell: brows­ing trend, heatmap, all links.

Mov­ing away or towards a smell. Smell like barom­e­ter.

Sound Is like sight, it’s spa­tial. Sound is like smell too. Sound is sig­nal of s’thing alive. Hear­ing is rhythm analy­sis.

Idea #4: iden­ti­fied rhythm, oth­ers to vis­it. Who else res­onates with me? We could meet each oth­er. Assis­tance. Make vis­i­ble per­son­al map of brows­ing. Map that’s just a map.

Touch Not sure. Touch is low res. Like every­thing else. Not good for look ahead. If you feeel it, you’re too late.

It’s all browsers do right now. Like stum­bling around dark build­ing. We can only flinch. Gen­er­alise it, cre­ate undo (for ajax).


What does sense involve?

  1. recep­tion

<li>instant perception</li>

More sens­es

  • Bal­ance


<li>Electroceptive (vogelbekdier!)</li>

Echolo­ca­tion Sense of close­ness. WWII lis­ten­ing ear. Before radar. Vir­tu­al glove = mobile phone. Use it to change chan­nel.

Mag­net­ic It’s like GPS! Sound that gets loud­er when you near deci­sion point.

Elec­tro­cep­tion Use of periph­er­al vision. Infos­treams. Ambi­ent. Feed for­ward before some­thing hap­pens.

E.g.: Emer­gency eject before some­thing bad hap­pens.

Oth­er sens­es

  • Dan­ger

<li>Good or bad</li>


Step back: sum­ma­rize

Recep­tion isn’t enough we need per­cep­tion.

Why now?

Wayfind­ing — “The Image of the City” — direct toepas­baar op grote web­sites. Direct manip­u­la­tion is dom­i­nant. Nav­i­gat­ing isn’t enough.

Data exists every­where and we’re just reveal­ing it.

Renais­sance of the sens­es.

Before pangea — ear­ly cam­bri­an peri­od. Illus­tra­tion of sea floor. Dirty seas — only touch on sur­face. Seas clear, light pen­e­trates, sight and sens­es were nec­es­sary. Ideas in book are non­sense but design­ers can use it. We’re in the same sit­u­a­tion. Oceans of inter­net are clear­ing. We’re build­ing super sens­es.

End. No ques­tions?!

Ruwe notities van Michael Thomsen’s keynote

Wat is renais­sance?

Waarom van com­put­er naar inno­vatie — van­wege blinde vlek voor mas­sive change.

Eigen en andere ogen ope­nen voor inno­vatie.

Dig­i­tale tech. is alomte­gen­wo­ordig, dus we moeten verder kijken dan tech­nis­che issues.

Op ver­zoek van Thomas ver­haal over renais­sance.

Con­cept is vaag en moeil­ijk te plaat­sen in mod­erne con­text.

Teveel con­fer­en­ties over “kleine din­gen” (RFID, etc.)

Renais­sance met grote R — weg uit de mid­deleeuwen. Opkomst van human­isme en indi­vid­u­al­isme.

West­erse wereld is niet klaar voor wed­erge­boorte. Ogen ope­nen van blinde man is moeil­ijk.

Renais­sance met kleine r + vraagteken: betere aan­pak maar mogelijk antipro­duc­tief.

Niet proberen wiel opnieuw uit te vin­den, focussen op grote issues.

Derde per­spec­tief: focus op comm. tech.

Comm. tech. invloedrijk in opkomst en onder­gang van beschavin­gen.

Opmerke­lijk vroeg suc­ces: oude Egypte. Sumerische cul­tu­ur schrift ontwikkeld over 5000 jaar. Egypte heel snel. Tem­po van ontwik­kel­ing in samen­lev­ing nam ook toe.

Alfa­bet werd niet herk­end als superieur aan hiërogliefen. Elite had liev­er laat­ste: blind­heid voor veran­der­ing.

Semi­eten namen alfa­bet wel over. Instru­men­taal in opkomst in monotheïsme (!)

Gat tot 800 BC. Grieken kre­gen alfa­bet van Phoeniciers.

Abstract alfa­bet inspireerde abstract denken. Bijvoor­beeld Adam, indi­vidu, etc.

Grieken wer­den inge­haald door Romeinen (von­den ze lui.)

Rome ver­loor Europa aan de mid­deleeuwen.

Andere kant van de wereld: Chi­na ontwikkelde zeer moeil­ijk schrift. Drukpers uit­gevon­den. Wer­den intro­vert. Gin­gen in win­ter­slaap.

Zon­der drukpers geen refor­matie, geen opkomst van weten­schap e.a. En dus ook geen 19e-eeuwse comm. tech.

Drukpers zorgde dat fic­tie, religie en poli­tiek zich mas­saal kon ver­sprei­den.

Koninkrijken wor­den niet gemaakt of gebro­ken door comm. tech. Maar heeft wel grote invloed. Zij die nieuwe comm. tech. het beste kun­nen aan­pakken hebben voordeel.

Is er een dig­i­tale renais­sance? Wie zijn de genen die er voordeel bij hebben?

Renais­sance niet zek­er.

50 jaar na drukpers, nu 50 jaar na com­put­er. 1500: chaos, meeste pro­duc­tie werd gezien als porno. Als iedereen mag gaan schri­jven kri­j­gen we alleen maar slechte tekst. Klopt maar we hebben ook goed spul gekre­gen.

Dig­i­tale tech. veran­dert ken­nis­pro­duc­tie. Maakt het dynamisch.

Kracht van poly­log (dialoog online): wed­erge­boorte van mon­delinge over­dracht?

Orale over­dracht: geen waarheid, geen his­to­rie maar ver­halen, geen indi­vidu want bestaat alleen als onderdeel van groep, geen opper­ma­chtige god, geen bureau­cratie, geen stat­en.

Wat gebeurt er na deze renais­sance met eigen­dom, ken­nis, de staat, religie, etc?

Hangt van onze acties af.

Wie heeft er baat bij (laat­ste vraag): diege­nen die niet aan mass media hangen, zij die het beste zijn in dialoog. West­erse cul­tu­ur is niet waarschi­jn­lijk, blind door onze eigen paradigma’s.

Unieke posi­tie om de toekomst te beïn­vloe­den. West­er­lin­gen moeten aan­dachtiger en open­er zijn.

Er zij grote kracht­en die tegen rad­i­cale veran­der­ing zijn. Maar die zijn gedoemd.

Gebruik reboot om de grote vra­gen onder ogen te zien.

Als je dat doet ben je hier­na in ieder geval ver­frist en miss­chien her­boren.

Reboot 8.0 questions

Here’s some ques­tions to ask dur­ing Reboot 8.0 (heard after Michael Thomsen’s talk on renais­sance?):

What’s the point of it all? Is it actu­al­ly going to hap­pen? Re-renais­sance? What’s the impact of cur­rent way of writ­ing on our think­ing? What hap­pens to pri­va­cy when we’re inter­con­nect­ed? What will be the next phase of democ­ra­cy? Are we doing every­thing we can with cur­rent tech? How do we work togeth­er on larg­er scale to improve the world (e.g. Amnesty)? How can we be more hon­est with users of our tech? What is the next step? Where are the lifeboats on our titan­ic? What will not change? What will our chil­dren think of all this? How can we mon­i­tor this change and make it account­able? If all this stops what trade will you do tomor­row? Is this the end of nation states and will we live in 2nd Life? How can we be smarter togeth­er? Are we on thee verge of let­ting mas­sive avail­abil­i­ty kill the idea of great­ness?