Category: Social Media


Playing Well With Others: Design Principles For Social Augmented Experiences

March 7th, 2010 — 10:21am

UXmat­ters just pub­lished Play­ing Well with Oth­ers: Design Prin­ci­ples for Social Aug­mented Expe­ri­ences, the lat­est install­ment of my col­umn Every­ware, which man­ages to range from Air­plane II to zom­bies, all while con­tin­u­ing the recent focus on aug­mented real­ity and expe­ri­ence design.  ‘Play­ing Well With Oth­ers’ sug­gests AR has two paths to fol­low as it evolves, and pro­poses some design prin­ci­ples for cre­at­ing the social aug­mented expe­ri­ences — expe­ri­ences rely­ing on aug­mented social inter­ac­tions as the cen­ter of grav­ity — that lie along one of those two paths.

Here’s an excerpt:

With the exotic, mixed real­i­ties that futur­ists and science-fiction writ­ers have envi­sioned seem­ingly just around the cor­ner, it is time to move beyond ques­tions of tech­ni­cal fea­si­bil­ity to con­sider the value and impact of turn­ing the real­i­ties of every­day social set­tings and expe­ri­ences inside out. As with all new tech­nolo­gies as they move from the stage of tech­ni­cal probe to social probe, this AR trans­for­ma­tion will hap­pen case by case and con­text by con­text, involv­ing many fac­tors beyond the direct reach of UX design. How­ever, as a result of the inher­ently social nature of aug­mented real­ity, we can be sure the value and impact of many aug­mented expe­ri­ences depends in large part on how effec­tively they inte­grate the social dimen­sions of real-world set­tings, in real time.

The first four design prin­ci­ples are:

  • Default to the Human
  • Enhance­ment Not Replacement
  • Build Real Bridges
  • Stay Off the Crit­i­cal Path

Of course, this is just a start­ing list, and they raise almost as many ques­tions as they attempt to answer.

Some of those follow-up ques­tions include: what other prin­ci­ples are there?

Are there ‘anti-principles’ to be aware of?

What’s the best way to make these prin­ci­ples part of design­ing aug­mented experiences?

Comment » | Augmented Reality, Everyware, Social Media

What's the Next Wave of Augmented Reality? (Panel at Where 2.0)

February 10th, 2010 — 3:14am

2009 was a big year for aug­mented real­ity, and there are many pre­dic­tions that 2010 will be even big­ger; with accom­plish­ments com­ing in the form of new tech­nolo­gies, devices, busi­ness mod­els, and ways of hav­ing fun.  But even as we go about build­ing this emerg­ing medium, we’re still rely­ing largely on old-media style cen­tral­ized under­stand­ings of the pro­duc­tion mod­els, form, and con­tent of the aug­mented world.  What hap­pens when we grasp the new social and inter­ac­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties of aug­mented reality?

I’m part of a panel titled The Next Wave of AR: Explor­ing Social Aug­mented Expe­ri­ences that’s address­ing this ques­tion at the Where 2.0 con­fer­ence in San Jose in late March / early April.  We’ve got a good group of speak­ers that includes Tish Shute (Ugo­trade), whur­ley * (whur­leyvi­sion llc),Jeremy Hight (Mis­sion Col­lege, CA), and Thomas Wro­bel (Lost Again).  Our goal is to look ahead at how aug­mented real­ity will soon evolve to include — or be based on! — mean­ing­ful social inter­ac­tions and dynam­ics at small and large group scales.

In the spirit of co-created social aug­mented expe­ri­ences, we’re ask­ing for audi­ence con­tri­bu­tions: in the form of sim­ple sce­nar­ios that describe the future of social AR.  What will it feel like? Who will you inter­act with?  How will these expe­ri­ences change every­day life?

Panel Sum­mary (full descrip­tion on the Where 2.0 site)

This panel will dis­cuss shared aug­mented real­i­ties, con­sid­er­ing some of the essen­tial pos­si­bil­i­ties and chal­lenges inher­ent in this new class of social aug­mented expe­ri­ences. The for­mat is pre­sen­ta­tion of a small set of sce­nar­ios (defined in advance, with audi­ence input) describ­ing likely future forms of shared aug­mented real­i­ties at dif­fer­ing scales of social engage­ment for dis­cus­sion by a panel of lead­ing prac­ti­tion­ers in tech­nol­ogy, expe­ri­ence design, net­worked urban­ism, inter­face design, game design, and aug­mented reality.

Cur­rent aug­mented real­ity expe­ri­ences put who you are, where you are, what you are doing, and what is around you at cen­ter stage. But we can already look beyond the first stage of inter­ac­tions assum­ing a sin­gle user see­ing sim­ple arrows and tags indi­cat­ing POIs, and begin to explore shared (multiuser/multisource) aug­mented real­i­ties.
These social aug­mented expe­ri­ences will allow not only mashups, & mul­ti­source data flows, but dynamic over­lays (not lim­ited to 3d), cre­ated by dis­trib­uted groups of users, linked to location/place/time, and syn­di­cated to peo­ple who wish to engage with the expe­ri­ence by view­ing and co-creating ele­ments for their own goals and benefit.

Share your sce­nar­ios for the Next Wave of AR in the com­ments or else­where (tag nextwaveAR socialAR), and come to Where 2.0 and see the panel!

1 comment » | Augmented Reality, Everyware, Social Media

The Architecture of Fun: Massively Social On-line Games

February 27th, 2009 — 4:57pm

Here’s my pre­sen­ta­tion from the Ital­ian IA Sum­mit on Killzone.com as a lead­ing exam­ple of the next gen­er­a­tion of Mas­sively Social On-line Games.
As usual, I try to share some of the best think­ing on these ideas; in this case I quote lib­er­ally from Nicole Lazarro. (I hope she takes this as a com­pli­ment.) Her insights into the emo­tional dri­vers for social and game expe­ri­ences and the nature of cross media are — no sur­prise — right on, and com­ing true years after first pub­li­ca­tion.
Some of the more eye-opening mate­r­ial I dis­cov­ered while look­ing into the design of this game / com­mu­nity hybrid con­cerns the direct con­nec­tion between game mechan­ics (a design ques­tion), the space of pos­si­ble choices for play­ers, the emo­tions these choices inspire and encour­age, and the result­ing expe­ri­ence of the game envi­ron­ment.
From the func­tional to the psy­cho­log­i­cal, it seems there really is an ‘archi­tec­ture of fun’ for both games and social expe­ri­ences. It is just another exam­ple of how archi­tec­ture of any (and all) kinds is an enor­mous influ­enc­ing fac­tor on peo­ples’ expe­ri­ences.
This is the first of two parts — stay tuned for the follow-up, once we clear the dis­clo­sure ques­tion.
A slide­cast will fol­low shortly, now that my lap­top is back in work­ing order, and I can fire up ScreenFlow.

Comment » | Social Media, User Experience (UX)

Cultural Clouds: A New Kind of Commons?

September 21st, 2008 — 8:29am

There’s a lot of buzz about cloud com­put­ing in the tech­nol­ogy world these days, but I think some­thing much more inter­est­ing is the emer­gence of cul­tural clouds as the newest kind of pub­lic com­mons. By cul­tural clouds, I’m talk­ing about the new layer of the human cul­tural stack we’re busy lay­ing down as a by prod­uct of all our social and cre­ative activ­i­ties in the inof­verse.
To be clear, I’m not refer­ring to the IT infra­struc­ture layer wherein cloud com­put­ing is defined as the “style of com­put­ing where mas­sively scal­able IT-related capa­bil­i­ties are pro­vided ‘as a ser­vice’ across the Inter­net to mul­ti­ple exter­nal cus­tomers.” [Thanks Gart­ner, via Busi­ness­Week]
These new cul­tural clouds appear in the ever grow­ing col­lec­tions of crowd­sourced col­lec­tively or socially accu­mu­lated judge­ments, cul­tural prod­ucts, knowl­edge, his­tory, rela­tion­ships, etc., encoded in the form of man­aged dig­i­tal infor­ma­tion. This quick illus­tra­tion shows some of the pools of activ­ity and judge­ment that that make up these cloud com­mons; includ­ing wikis, pub­lic media, rep­u­ta­tion state­ments, read­ing rec­om­men­da­tions, social net­works, wish lists, music lis­ten­ing his­to­ries, shared pho­tos, films and videos, cita­tion net­works, geo­t­ag­ging and mem­ory maps, com­ments and pub­lic dis­course, hash­tags and tags for pho­tos, URLs, and songs, link streams, sub­scrip­tion and feed lists, blogrolls, etc. These are social, cul­tural, and con­ver­sa­tional resources, not min­eral deposits or phys­i­cal topogra­phies.
New Cul­tural Clouds / Com­mons
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The com­mons is an old con­struct that embraces nat­ural resources — think land, air, water, the elec­tro­mag­netic spec­trum — and the more recent pub­lic domain of cul­tural mate­ri­als not gov­erned by copy­right law.
Ven­er­a­ble insti­tu­tions of cus­tom and law, such as sea­sonal access to pas­turage, the right of pas­sage across bor­ders for nomadic peo­ples, and com­mon law, define and reg­u­late the rec­og­nized forms of com­mons.
But socially col­lected, dig­i­tal, rei­fied human cul­tural prod­ucts and judge­ments are a new *type* of com­mons. I think they’re a new type of resource, brought forth largely by the cog­ni­tive sur­plus we enjoy. And as pro­found tech­no­log­i­cal per­me­ation and ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing bring on the age of every­ware, the cloud com­mons will grow (and frag­ment / spe­cial­ize / mul­ti­ply?).
Who and what will gov­ern the new cloud com­mons? How will we define and man­age these resources?
By form and makeup, the cloud com­mons is ephemeral and dis­trib­uted. But as dig­i­tal infor­ma­tion, it is emi­nently tan­gi­ble and action­able. Our basic social struc­tures and mech­a­nisms — sci­ence, the law, eco­nom­ics, art, agri­cul­ture, reli­gion, tech­nol­ogy — will rec­og­nize the emer­gence of cloud com­mons, and respond accord­ingly. APML (Atten­tion Pro­fil­ing Markup Lan­guage), from the APML Work­ing Group, is an exam­ple. The Dat­a­Porta­bil­ity project — “a group cre­ated to pro­mote the idea that indi­vid­u­als have con­trol over their data by deter­min­ing how they can use it and who can use it. This includes access to data that is under the con­trol of another entity.” — is another. [Advo­cat­ing for the right to free move­ment of data is a dig­i­tal ana­log of the ancient idea of right of way.] OpenID, OpenSo­cial, OAuth, OPML, and the rapidly evolv­ing Cre­ative Com­mons licens­ing sys­tem are other exam­ples of responses to the appear­ance of cloud com­mons.
What does the future hold? As recog­ni­tion of cloud-based com­mons grows, expect to see all the pat­terns of activ­ity typ­i­cal of new fron­tiers and zones of insta­bil­ity: wild­cat­ting, pio­neer­ing, piracy, squat­ting, pri­va­teer­ing, enclo­sure, slums and shanty towns (infor­mal set­tle­ments in the par­lance of archite­cuter and urban plan­ning) extrac­tive indus­tries, sov­er­eign claims, col­o­niza­tion, spec­u­la­tion, etc.
With his­tory as a guide, I’m espe­cially wary of enclo­sure move­ments, and extrac­tive indus­tries. Both prac­tices can rapidly dimin­ish the present value of a com­mons or commons-based resource. Worse, enclo­sure and extrac­tive prac­tices act as neg­a­tive feed­back mech­a­nisms, decreas­ing cur­rent esti­ma­tions of a com­mons or commons-based resource’s future value, mak­ing the tragedy of the com­mons a likely out­come sce­nario.
The U.S. radio spec­trum, as enclosed by the FCC
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Is this fram­ing of recently formed clouds of infor­ma­tion and activ­ity data as a new kind of com­mons accu­rate? Use­ful?
More on the idea of cul­tural clouds as the new com­mons forthcoming.

3 comments » | Ideas, Social Media

Ethics and Design Podcast: Part Deux

June 30th, 2008 — 4:30pm

The I.A. Pod­cast (by Jeff Parks of I.A. Con­sul­tants and Box­e­san­dAr­rows pod­cast fame) just pub­lished the sec­ond of two inter­views dis­cussing research on ethics, design, social media, and con­flict.
Play and down­load the sec­ond inter­view here.
Sub­scribe to the iTunes and feed­burner feeds for the I.A. Pod­cast here.
These pod­casts are based on the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series I’m writ­ing for UXMat­ters: watch for pub­li­ca­tion of the final arti­cle later this sum­mer.
Thanks again, Jeff!

Comment » | Ethics & Design, Social Media, User Experience (UX)

Understanding Juicy Rationalizations: How Designers Make Ethical Choices

June 23rd, 2008 — 5:35pm

Under­stand­ing Juicy Ratio­nal­iza­tions, part 3 of the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series, just went live at UXMat­ters.
Here’s the teaser:
From “The Big Chill“
Michael: “I don’t know any­one who could get through the day with­out two or three juicy ratio­nal­iza­tions.“
“They’re more impor­tant than sex.“
Sam: “Ah, come on. Nothing’s more impor­tant than sex.“
Michael: “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week with­out a ratio­nal­iza­tion?“

Design­ers ratio­nal­ize their choices just as much as every­one else. But we also play a unique role in shap­ing the human world by cre­at­ing the expres­sive and func­tional tools many peo­ple use in their daily lives. Our deci­sions about what is and is not eth­i­cal directly impact the lives of a tremen­dous num­ber of peo­ple we will never know. Bet­ter under­stand­ing of the choices we make as design­ers can help us cre­ate more eth­i­cal user expe­ri­ences for our­selves and for every­one.

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Under­stand­ing Juicy Ratio­nal­iza­tions is the first of a pair of arti­cles focused on the ways that indi­vid­ual design­ers make eth­i­cal choices, and how we can improve our choices. This sec­ond pair of arti­cles is a bit of eye-opening win­dow into how peo­ple make many of the choices in our daily lives — not just design deci­sions. Or, at least it was for me… Read­ers will see con­nec­tions much broader than sim­ply choices we explic­itly think of as ‘eth­i­cal’ and / or design related.
The final install­ment in the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series is titled Man­ag­ing the Imp of the Per­verse; watch for it some­time soon.
With the pub­li­ca­tion of these next two arti­cles, the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series con­sists of two sets of matched pairs of arti­cles; the first arti­cle in each pair fram­ing a prob­lem­atic real-life sit­u­a­tion design­ers will face, and the sec­ond sug­gest­ing some ways to resolve these chal­lenges eth­i­cally.
The first pair of arti­cles — Social Media and the Con­flicted Future and Some Prac­ti­cal Sug­ges­tions for Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences — looked at broad cul­tural and tech­nol­ogy trends like social media and DIY / co-creation, sug­gest­ing ways to dis­cover and man­age likely eth­i­cal con­flicts within the design process.
It’s a nice sym­met­ri­cal struc­ture, if you dig that sort of thing.  (And what archi­tect doesn’t?)
For com­muters / multi-taskers / peo­ple who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, Jeff Parks inter­viewed me on the con­tents of this sec­ond set of arti­cles, which he will pub­lish shortly as a pod­cast.
Thanks again to the edi­to­r­ial team at UXMat­ters for sup­port­ing my explo­ration of this very impor­tant topic for the future of expe­ri­ence design. In an age when every­one can lever­age professional-grade adver­tis­ing the likes of Spo­tun­ner, the eth­i­cal­ity of the expres­sive tools and frame­works design­ers cre­ate is a ques­tion of crit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance for us all.

Comment » | Ethics & Design, Social Media, User Experience (UX)

Speaking at EuroIA 2008 In Amsterdam

June 20th, 2008 — 11:37am

I’m happy to announce I’m speak­ing at EuroIA 2008 in Ams­ter­dam, Sep­tem­ber 26 — 27. My ses­sion is titled ‘Frame­works Are the Future of IA’. If the excit­ing title isn’t enough to sell you on attend­ing (what’s more com­pelling than a case study on an open struc­tural design frame­work for self-assembled user expe­ri­ences and infor­ma­tion spaces…?), here’s a descrip­tion:
The Web is shift­ing to a DIY (Do It Your­self) model of user expe­ri­ence cre­ation, where peo­ple assem­ble indi­vid­ual com­bi­na­tions of con­tent and func­tion­al­ity gath­ered from many sources to meet their par­tic­u­lar needs. The DIY model for cre­at­ing user expe­ri­ences offers many ben­e­fits in pub­lic and con­sumer set­tings, and also inside the enter­prise. But over time, it suf­fers many of the same prob­lems that his­tor­i­cally made por­tals unus­able and inef­fec­tive, includ­ing con­gested designs, poorly planned growth, and inabil­ity to accom­mo­date changes in struc­ture and use.
This case study demon­strates a sim­ple design frame­work of stan­dard­ized infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture build­ing blocks that is directly applic­a­ble to por­tals and the DIY model for cre­at­ing user expe­ri­ences, in two ways. First, the build­ing blocks frame­work can help main­tain find­abil­ity, usabil­ity and user expe­ri­ence qual­ity in por­tal and DIY set­tings by effec­tively guid­ing growth and change. Sec­ond, it is an exam­ple of the chang­ing role of IA in the DIY world, where we now define the frame­works and tem­plates other peo­ple choose from when cre­at­ing their own tools and user expe­ri­ences.
Using many screen­shots and design doc­u­ments, the case study will fol­low changes in the audi­ences, struc­tures, and con­tents of a suite of enter­prise por­tals con­structed for users in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, oper­at­ing units, and man­age­r­ial lev­els of a major global cor­po­ra­tion. Par­tic­i­pants will see how the build­ing blocks pro­vided an effec­tive frame­work for the design, expan­sion, and inte­gra­tion of nearly a dozen dis­tinct por­tals assem­bled from a com­mon library of func­tion­al­ity and con­tent.
This case study will also explore the build­ing blocks as an exam­ple of the design frame­works IA’s will cre­ate in the DIY future. We will dis­cuss the goals and design prin­ci­ples that inspired the build­ing blocks sys­tem, and review its evo­lu­tion over time.
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The con­fer­ence pro­gram includes some very inter­est­ing ses­sions, and Adam Green­field (of Every­ware reknown) is the keynote.
Ams­ter­dam is lovely in Sep­tem­ber, but if you need more rea­son to come and say hello, Pic­nic 08 — with a stel­lar lineup of speak­ers — is just before EuroIA.

1 comment » | Building Blocks, Information Architecture, Social Media, User Experience (UX)

Ethics and Design Interview Live

June 13th, 2008 — 7:34pm

The I.A. Pod­cast (by Jeff Parks of I.A. Con­sul­tants and Box­e­san­dAr­rows pod­cast fame) just pub­lished the first of two inter­views we recorded recently, talk­ing about ethics, design, social media, and con­flict.
Play and down­load the inter­view here.
Sub­scribe to the iTunes and feed­burner feeds for the I.A. Pod­cast here.
Stay tuned for the sec­ond inter­view!
Thanks Jeff!

Comment » | Ethics & Design, Ideas, Social Media

Hybrids: Architectures For The Ecology of Co-Creation

March 21st, 2008 — 4:38pm

Com­mon mod­els for par­tic­i­pa­tion in social and con­trib­u­tory media invari­ably set ‘con­tent cre­ators’ — the group of peo­ple who pro­vide orig­i­nal mate­r­ial — at the top of an implied or explicit scale of com­par­a­tive value. Bradley Horowitz’s Con­tent Pro­duc­tion Pyra­mid is one exam­ple, Forrester’s Social Techno­graph­ics Lad­der is another. In these mod­els, value — usu­ally to poten­tial mar­keters or adver­tis­ers exter­nal to the domain in ques­tion — is usu­ally mea­sured in terms of the level of involve­ment of the dif­fer­ent groups present, whether con­sumers, syn­the­siz­ers, or cre­ators.
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By the num­bers, these mod­els are accu­rate: the vast major­ity of the con­tent in social media comes from a small slice of the pop­u­la­tion. And for busi­nesses, con­tent cre­ators offer greater poten­tial to com­mer­cial­ize / mon­e­tize / trade influ­ence.
It’s time to evolve these mod­els a bit, to bet­ter align them with the sweep­ing DIY cul­tural and tech­no­log­i­cal shift hap­pen­ing offline in the real world, as well as online.
The DIY shift man­i­fests in many ways:

The essen­tial fea­ture of the DIY shift is co-creation: the pres­ence of many more peo­ple in *all aspects* of cre­ation and pro­duc­tion, whether of soft­ware, goods, ideas, etc. Co-creation encom­passes more than straight­for­ward on-line con­tent cre­ation — such as shar­ing a photo, or writ­ing a blog post — acknowl­edged by the archi­tec­ture of par­tic­i­pa­tion, user-generated con­tent (and ugly term…), crowd-sourcing, and col­lec­tive and con­trib­u­tory media mod­els.
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Co-creation includes active shap­ing of struc­ture, pat­tern, rules, and mech­a­nisms, that sup­port sim­ple con­tent cre­ation. This requires activ­ity and involve­ment from roles we often label edi­tor, builder, designer, or archi­tect, depend­ing on the con­text. The pyra­mid and lad­der mod­els either implic­itly col­lapse these per­spec­tives into the gen­eral cat­e­gory of ‘cre­ator’, which obscures very impor­tant dis­tinc­tions between them, or leaves them out entirely (I’m not sure which). It is pos­si­ble to plot these more nuanced cre­ative roles on the gen­eral con­tin­uüm of ‘level of involve­ment’, and I often do this when I talk about the future of design in the DIY world.
A bet­ter model for this world is the ecol­ogy of co-creation, which rec­og­nizes that the key dif­fer­ence between indus­trial pro­duc­tion mod­els and the DIY future is that the walls sep­a­rat­ing tra­di­tional cre­ators from con­sumers have fallen, and all par­ties inter­con­nect. Judge­ments of value in ecolo­gies take on very dif­fer­ent mean­ings: Con­sider the dif­fer­ing but all vitally impor­tant roles of pro­duc­ers, con­sumers, and decom­posers in a liv­ing ecosys­tem.
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What will an ecol­ogy of co-creation look like in prac­ti­cal / oper­a­tional form? In The Bot­tom Is Not Enough, Kevin Kelly offers, “…now that crowd-sourcing and social webs are all the rage, it’s worth repeat­ing: the bot­tom is not enough. You need a bit of top-down as well.“
An ecol­ogy of co-creation that com­bines top-down archi­tec­ture and design with bottom-up con­tri­bu­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion will take the form of a delib­er­ate hybrid.
I’ll quote Kelly again (at some length):
Here’s how I sum it up:  The bottom-up hive mind will always take us much fur­ther than even seems pos­si­ble. It keeps sur­pris­ing us in this regard. Given enough time, dumb things can be smarter than we think.
At that same time, the bottom-up hive mind will never take us to our end goal. We are too impa­tient. So we add design and top down con­trol to get where we want to go.
The sys­tems we keep will be hybrid cre­ations. They will have a strong root­stock of peer-to-peer gen­er­a­tion, grafted below highly refined strains of con­trol­ling func­tions.  Sturdy, robust foun­da­tions of user-made con­tent and crowd-sourced inno­va­tion will feed very small sliv­ers of lead­er­ship agility. Pure plays of 100% smart mobs or 100% smart elites will be rare.
The real art of busi­ness and orga­ni­za­tions in the net­work econ­omy will not be in har­ness­ing the crowd of “every­body” (sim­ple!) but in find­ing the appro­pri­ate hybrid mix of bot­tom and top for each niche, at the right time. The mix of control/no-control will shift as a sys­tem grows and matures.
[Side note: Metaphors for achiev­ing the appro­pri­ate mix of control/no-control for a sys­tem will likely include chore­o­graph­ing, cul­ti­vat­ing, tun­ing, con­duct­ing, and shep­herd­ing, in con­trast to our cur­rent direc­tive fram­ings such as dri­ving, direct­ing, or man­ag­ing.]
Knowl­edge at Whar­ton echoes Kelly, in their recent arti­cle The Experts vs. the Ama­teurs: A Tug of War over the Future of Media
A tug of war over the future of media may be brew­ing between so-called user-generated con­tent — includ­ing ama­teurs who pro­duce blogs, video and audio for pub­lic con­sump­tion — and pro­fes­sional jour­nal­ists, movie mak­ers and record labels, along with the deep-pocketed com­pa­nies that back them. The likely out­come: a hybrid approach built around entirely new busi­ness mod­els, say experts at Whar­ton.
No one has quite fig­ured out what these new busi­ness mod­els will look like, though exper­i­men­ta­tion is under way with many new ven­tures from star­tups and exist­ing orga­ni­za­tions.
The BBC is putting hybridiza­tion and tun­ing into effect now, albeit in lim­ited ways that do not reflect a dra­matic shift of busi­ness model.
In Value of cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism Peter Hor­rocks writes:
Where the BBC is host­ing debate we will want the infor­ma­tion gen­er­ated to be edi­to­ri­ally valu­able. Sim­ply hav­ing suf­fi­cient resource to be able to mod­er­ate the vol­ume of debate we now receive is an issue in itself.
And the fact that we are hav­ing to apply sig­nif­i­cant resource to a facil­ity that is con­tributed reg­u­larly by only a small per­cent­age of our audi­ences is some­thing we have to bear in mind. Although of course a higher pro­por­tion read forums or ben­e­fit indi­rectly from how it feeds into our jour­nal­ism. So we may have to loosen our grip and be less wor­ried about the range of views expressed, with very clear label­ing about the BBC’s edi­to­r­ial non-endorsement of such con­tent. But there are obvi­ous risks.
We need to be able to extract real edi­to­r­ial value from such con­tri­bu­tions more eas­ily. We are explor­ing as many tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions as we can for fil­ter­ing the con­tent, look­ing for intel­li­gent soft­ware that can help jour­nal­ists find the nuggets and ways in which the audi­ence itself can help us to cope with the vol­ume and sift it.
What does all this mean for design(ers)? Stay tuned for part two…

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OCLC Pilots Socially Constructed Metadata

October 16th, 2005 — 1:22pm

OCLC has caught the socially con­structed meta­data fever. A release on the OCLC site titled “User-contributed con­tent pilot” dis­cusses a pilot pro­gram to allow Open World­Cat users to add pub­licly vis­i­ble meta­data, in the form of reviews and descrip­tive details, to exist­ing records.
This looks the lat­est step in the wave of explo­ration of meth­ods and mod­els for putting socially con­structed meta­data into prac­tice that’s play­ing out in pub­lic. (Is this nec­es­sar­ily done in pub­lic? I’m curi­ous to hear thoughts on how this might be done with closed or cloaked com­mu­ni­ties, like IBM’s intranet).
Broadly, it looks like a wide vari­ety of enti­ties are fol­low­ing the stan­dard new prod­uct or ser­vice devel­op­ment cycle with regards to socially con­structed meta­data. A sim­pli­fied ver­sion of this cycle is:
1. Con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion, tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment
2. Prod­uct devel­op­ment
3. Intro­duc­tion to mar­ket
4. Mar­ket Accep­tance and growth
5. Ongo­ing Mar­ket as con­ven­tional prod­uct
A quick review of known social book­mark­ing / tag­ging ven­tures dis­trib­uted over a num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions sup­ports the idea that each exper­i­ment is at one of these stages.
Some visu­al­iza­tions of devel­op­ment and pro­to­type cycles are avail­able here, and here.
Where’s it headed? I think we’ll see at least forms forms or appli­ca­tions of socially con­structed meta­data sta­bi­lize and become pub­licly rec­og­nized and accepted in the near future, with more on the way that will sur­prise every­one. Those four are:
1. Fee for ser­vices mod­els, pay­ing for access to pre­mium qual­ity pools of col­lec­tively man­aged infor­ma­tion under pro­fes­sional (paid) edi­to­r­ial cus­tody. OCLC could adopt this model.
2. Non-commercial com­mu­nity dri­ven pools of social knowl­edge. This might be delicio.us.
3. Deploy­ment as an enabler or attribute of other prod­uct / ser­vice mod­els. Flickr is an exam­ple of this per­haps.
4. Pub­licly free but com­mer­cial­ized infor­ma­tion min­ing oper­a­tions, deriv­ing sal­able value from for­mal­iz­ing the seman­tic rela­tion­ships between peo­ple, groups, and infor­ma­tion objects. TagCloud.com might fall into this group, or maybe Clouda­li­cious.
5. Some­thing very inno­v­a­tive I will wish I’d thought of when it’s released.
Excerpts from the OCLC release:
“As of Octo­ber 9, 2005, Open World­Cat users are able to add their own con­tent to author­i­ta­tive World­Cat infor­ma­tion about library-held titles. Avail­able under the Details and Reviews tabs, this func­tion­al­ity per­mits those who have located library items through Open World­Cat to return to the inter­face and add eval­u­a­tive con­tent.“
“User-contributed con­tent will help extend the OCLC cat­a­loging coöper­a­tive to include non-cataloging library pro­fes­sion­als and — more impor­tantly — patrons. Their shared par­tic­i­pa­tion in World­Cat con­tent cre­ation and man­age­ment could fos­ter a larger sense of library-centered com­mu­nity and gen­er­ate more inter­est in library resources.”

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