Bernard Kerr is the user experience lead on delicious at Yahoo!. I noticed something the other day about the way his bookmarks are organised that in retrospect was one of those duh! ideas. On the righthand side of the page Bernard has a tag bundle labelled actions and then a series of actions attached to the sites that Bernard had bookmarked (see below).
Something to think about, a kind of GTD for your web browsing. This goes way beyond my current occasional use of toread and blogit as tags.
I had a long caffiene-filled weekend chilling out reading old Wired articles on counter-culture, prediction markets and social media when an idea came to me.
Why not combine the approach of Luke Rhinehart’s novel The Dice Man with an ad-hoc prediction market being substituted for the pseudo-chaotic responses provided by a pair of dice.
Like the dice a number of possible decisions could be created and then a prediction market could be used to decide which decision to take.
Then it struck me that Twitter would be an ideal vehicle for this:
- The Twitter Man could have a closed set of people who they follow in the prediction market (a kind of advisory board based on the their social graph), which would hopefully provide the optimal decisions
- 140 characters of Twitter would keep the options simple, closed, inambiguous in nature and enable simple responses; improving responses and making tallying up the results easier
- Responses should be short, taking up a minimum amount of time and allowing for immediate gut reactions rather than an overly-analytical response
There is also a certain circular reference in this as the proto-online social network The WELL, can trace its history back to the Whole Earth Catalog and the back to land new communalism movement of the 1960s and early 70s which tried to create a collective mind similar to that occurring in a tribal people.
On the other hand it could also pander to the darker modern phenomena of self-centred wannabe micro celebrities.
I was invited by some Poke London folk to go along to an event promoting the Webby awards this evening. The highlight was a series of talks, each bounded by restrictions inspired by the Webby’s five-word acceptance speech limits:
The organisers managed to get along a number of great speakers:
This isn’t a complete capture of everything that was said, but of notes I’ve made notes of the presentations of things that I found interesting, provocative or thoughtful.
Matt Hanson presented the idea behind aswarmofangels. The key concept that I found of interest was the captured in the phrase ‘Creator led, member powered’ which encapsulates the balance that the community involved in the project has involvement without losing project momentum
Francis Irving of charity Mysociety highlighted a number of tips on audience engagement and involvement that he learned whilst trying to turn public opinions into action.
- Always make the users first action on a site easy
- Sometimes a site can be too transparent (for some stakeholders). A site that allowed voters easily see MPs voting records managed to upset a number of MPs who claimed that their voting record was incorrect. A re-check of the data showed the MPs were in error
- An audience member will get involved in both online and real-world activity if they know that other people (not necessarily even people they know) will get involved too
David-Michel Davies of The Webbys provided an amusing history of online video. The highlight of this presentation was what David termed ‘The Cat Problem’: when you search on YouTube you get hundreds of thousands of videos featuring cats, however only one may be relevant to the searcher. It has become harder because of easy publishing to find ‘media that is meaningful and relevant to me’. Which ironically sounds like the same problem that the likes Bradley Horowitz and other social search advocates have been trying to solve.
Miles Beckett of LonelyGirl15/Kate Modern discussed the divergence between offline and online identity. Beckett thought that the social contract which makes civilisation work effectively is undermined by transcient identities like those existing on Facebook or discussion forums. Beckett thought that there would be an eventual rejoining of online and offline identities to build a trust-based ‘civilised’ web rather than the current ‘Wild West’ situation.
Malthe Sigurdsson of Skype came up with a presentation which would have probably given their corporate communications team a heart attack.
Talking about the societial importance of communications through the medium of cheerleader photographs. Communications, itsself has changes from real-world one-on-one sychronious high bandwidth conversations conversations to synchronous communications that require little effort to create or consume and allow easier social interaction using the ‘lost email or IM or SMS’ as a pretext to soften social rejection.
UPDATE: hello and welcome to all the people reading this post from Skype in Estonia, there are more pictures here.