More Clay

clay by Joi

[Update: after thinking about it overnight, the main take away I got from Shirky’s talk was examining media in a different fashion. It is too easy to just look at Web 2.0 as just normal media taken online. But the Web is not TV and will have its own way of connecting  people.  In the end, it will be the people in a community that determine the network’s utility/importance, not the media and not corporations. So listen to what the community wants, not what the hype says.]

Just got back from Shirky’s talk. He is a very engaging speaker. No slides. Just very different points of view that require you to alter your perspective. There has been some discussion of Shirky’s new book ‘Here Comes Everybody’ at Bench Marks that invites some thought.

Interestingly, he directly answered the ‘people with too much time’ meme. His point was that one of the huge aspects of the last 50 years is that almost everyone has too much time. It has been spent watching TV and consuming.

He stated that 100 million hours of human thought produced Wikipedia. We spend 100 million hours every weekend just watching ads on TV. Which one wastes the most time?

According to Shirky, those who say Web 2.0 approaches as being used by people with too much time ignore the fact that virtually everyone has too much time today. That is, there is a culture-wide cognitive surplus that, until recently, was filled by TV and consumerism. What happens if some of this is harnessed?

Shirky mentioned the inability of modern media to accurately describe what is happening. It sees anyone who is not watching mass media or consuming as a waste. But TV is really the waste.

New technologies now allow people to also produce and to share. He stated that even if a very small fraction of the total amount of time spent watching TV, say 10%, was utilized, it could result in 10,000 wikipedia sized projects a year. His point here was that even if people are playing World of Warcraft that it is a better use of their time than watching TV.

Now, according to Sturgeon’s law, 90% of the stuff produced and shared will be crud, because 90% of everything is crud. But to throw out that 10% because the rest is hype or echo chamber is a mistake. That is still about 1,000 wikipedia-sized projects a year.

Just as we had to get through My Mother the Car to finally see Battlestar Galactica, we may have to deal with some online crud. But, a social network will not gain much unless it serves the needs of the community. So echo chamber blogs will not really have much impact as they seal themselves away from anything that breaks the echo. Blogs as cults will not be very sustainable nor have much impact.

On re-reading the article by Brabazon, I think she is concentrating on something that was not at all the focus of Shirky’s book. If so, that is somewhat unfair. Or perhaps she found a blind spot in his discussions. But that may not invalidate what he has to say. What her article and Shirky’s talk have accomplished is that I may have to read the book to figure it out for myself. Score another victory for consumerism.

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Web 2.0 Expo – Clay Shirky

shirky by etech
Transfer from agrarian to industrial really sold a lot of gin for a generation. it took 30 yeasr before the institutions of industrial revolution we recognize came into being. gin was king.

20th century lubricant – sitcom. 5 day work week, rising middle class. first time had too much free time. filled it with TV. desperate housewives was gin of our times. only now are we starting to see cognitive excess as a plus.

interviewed on TV about book. What is he saying that is interesting? He discussed pluto on wikipedia. pluto dropped from planets. moved with lots of push-pull to move to a large rock.

Where do you find the time? Noone in TV should ask that question. well TV has masked it for 50 years. wikipedia is 100 million of human thought. TV is 200 billion every year. 2000 wikipedia projects a year watch TV a year. 100 million hours each weekend just to watch the ads.

so wikipedia is only a small portion of surplus. so how do you figure out what to do with surplus. no one has any idea of how to deploy it. early phase is all special cases. do not understand how it all fits. can;t predict outputs because of complexity.

try lots of things and hope fail informatively. wikimap for crime in brazil. put pushpin on map. converts tacit information to explicit. cops do not share the info. easier to rebuild from scratch than to get it from authorities.

someone working with cheap tools can have a huge effect. talking about WOW with TV. thought they were at least doing something. watched gilligan only choice. It is better to sit in the basement and pretend to be an elf than to wonder whether if Gilligan will get off the island.

Social participation is better online than to passively watch. media does not understand. only measures consumption. but people also like to produce and to share. so it is being split up not.

also the cognitive surplus is so large. if only 10% is carved out for producing and sharing – results in 10,000 wikipedia projects a year.

is it a fad? it is a shift coser to industrial revolution. society is not growing out of this, it is growing into.

Now has story. 4 year old looking for something behind new TV screen. asked what doing? Looking for the mouse.
screens that ship without a mouse is shipped broken.

media more than just consuming. it is producing and sharing. how to get ahold of cognitive surplus.

Web 2.0 expo Keynote – O’Reilly talk

O'Reilly by takeshi

enterprise wants in to Web 2.0 heart of it is collective intelligence, it is about using data to provide services.

PageRank begining of web 2.0. people vote by links. wesabe – how people spend their money is a vote. can mine in waays that banks will not. let into back office.

cloud computing – if you are not connected to the cloud, it is more computers. connectors to web.

difference between wordpress and facebook – why was facebook worth 15 billion and wordpress only 200M? market values consolidation but this is against where we want to go. web 2.0 is not just putting everything in one pot.

every true web 2.0 is building a database. but this leads to centralized databases which negate positive aspects of web. have to maintain openness.

Mobile – more than iPhone. more important than just a phone. synch online. dashboard on car. use to provide traffic flow from GPS. quake catcher uses Mac accelerometer to detect earthquakes. leads to ambient computing. sensors detect and create database without needing a keyboard.

confluence of tech and circumstance create opportunity to remake world. create congress. public InStedd – infectious disease outbreaks. use google earth to track deforestation. alternative energy needs.

don;t follow headlines. go after hard problems. read the man watching by rainier maria rilke.

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Web 2.0 Expo – Website Psychology

hand by woodleywonderworks
Gavin Bell – designing website for people

tell 5 stories – cognitive psychology. started 1956. we are systems of human behavior. make decisions based on systems process.

psychology provides framework for understanding human behavior. Schema – model of understanding of how world works. 1832 – Bartlett. teddy bear schema – if teddy bear misses ear, is it still a bear? how tell if it is a restaurant or a take away? look for congruence – expectations meet reality.

if not, congruence can cause problem. Adaptation – schemas can change. takes some time. web development and schemas – gradual change better because it allows audience to make adaptations. measured development. small increments better.

Affordances – Gibson. independent and inherent properties. does not need specific person. chair has affordances. schemas are models. make sure affordances match (use + sign for adding and for enlarging – not a good thing.

Cognitive dissonance – don’t want to confuse people. Consistent vs coherent. rules vs. context. implicit vs explicit learning.

Flow – lost in the moment. full involvement. try to engage people’s flow state. challenge people. add some difficulty to engage people.

Challenge their curiosity to increase flow. Pivots – changes in direction based on different types of links.

Reinforcement. operant conditioning. skinner. slower updates are better. random updates not good. do not want to make people have to check at random times.

Dunbar number – 150 people. Social software – not every update is joyful. try provide filters. need to be able to deny info feeds from some people. healthy to ignore and forget things. Attention – gating information to focus attention. Memory – much more news than 100 years ago. it is associative. primacy and recency effects. Miller’s number – 7 ± 2 . organize memory. Consciousness – 1) sentient – subjective experience. 2) self-knowledge – externalization of information. needed for social interactions. social relationships to be supported.

Collective intelligence – extract information from large amounts of data.

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Web 2.0 Expo – Bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise

carrier by SqueakyMarmot

[Semi-live blogging. I am uploading this after the talk from the Blogger’s lounge. I’ve tried to correct spelling but grammar may be a little lacking. I wanted to keep the immediacy.]

(not the carrier)

Still tackling same problems since 1988. Awareness builds branded web 2.0. broad participation. frictionless participation and credible content. this should be on all sites.

got investors from both enterprise and web 2.0

improve collaboration. take inside head info. and mash it up. provide context. inside enterprise it is all email. need to move away from crm, best practices, knowledge management.

problems of connecting personally gets harder as you scale. finding right people is hard. finding info is hard. context matters.

email is hard for newbies. and when people leave, that content is gone. at MS for 11 years. in year 8, wanted back to sales. told he was not sales. he was marketing. but he was in sales in year 1. it had been completely erased from corporate memory. people want credit and they want to be remembered.

On internet, know what you did on 2004 because it is already there. people know who/what you do. RSS/aggregators – bring disparate info together. end-users in control of data.

need good search. friend of a friend. move away from IT throttling exchange.

enterprise needs – security. accountability. ROI. departmental buy-in. structure. balanced with frictionless participation. anonymity? leap of faith. borderless. self-organization. grass roots.

missing from enterprise – notion of friends lists. self-created groups. sms or mobile strategy. personal profiles. personal blogs.

twitter works for individual even if no one else reads it.

fears – culture. swarming behavior. snark. worried about bad things.

need broad participation. everyone has to contribute and become part of community. works both ways from internal to external and back.

frictionless participation – don’t confuse with tools. get content into system. no new silos. awareness keeps the data together. uses different presentations.

content is corporate asset. compliance. departments want to know they will be separate and individuals need to get credit. my contributions are never presented as someone else’s.

want personal profiles. leverage. points of enthusiasm. certain events will trigger high participation. company meetings. employee reviews. file out form. voting, etc.

leverage any popular public web 2.0. allow them to submit content from facebook.

company culture – moderated vs open. structure vs self-organized. categories vs. tags. sizzle. profiles. is mobile important?

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Web 2.0 Expo: Community Building

sunrise building by David Wilmot

[Semi-live blogging. I am uploading this after the talk from the Blogger’s lounge. I’ve tried to correct spelling but grammar may be a little lacking. I wanted to keep the immediacy.]

No power cords so I will have to post this later. This could be a good start. The panel has some very strong members including Jeremiah Owyand from Forrester and Dawn Foster from Jive.

Jeremiah started with a nice easy question about what each panel member wore in the 80s. Lots of people using Twitter for the session.

Tools not important. It is the people and why they connect. Kellie Parker discussed gathering together to exchange ideas. Dawn – feedback on products. Bob – brand loyalty and 2-way communication.

Nothing new, right? just customer support.Kellie – old way is one to one. this is one to many or many to many. Collaboration provides support. Dawn – not just company providing solutions. Other members of community can. Bob – moving beyond support.

Jeremiah – asks audience to provide some answers on background. Do I great a new community or join an old one? Kellie – need to do both.set something on Facebook, twitter and on their own.

Bob – discussed almost too earlier since it was on before many web 2.0 came to maturity. need to use your own assets to create – train bloggers, etc. It is different from traditional marketing. Dawn – marketing messages are different from community. It is people who work for the organization not the organization. It is people not companies.

Kellie – community manager is the landlord, set up the space and take care of it but does not own it. She is just Kellie.

What is skill set for community manager? Bob – passion. need to have it not just be an expert. Helps but not required. needs to understand the community and the company. wants people who touch the technology. Dawn – a good networker. in real life and on the web. Kellie – tact and diplomacy. good people to serve community. Dawn – advocate to company and to community. [an effective ombudsman]

Bad – How? afraid of losing control. Bob – need to protect brand. but know culture. Need for risk may be more important than maintaining brand. for external deal with legal. biggest was company resource restraints when dealing with silos that need to communicate.

deployed tools, hired people but no one is coming. Dawn – how do you build initial community. in case of customer space, tap existing customers. Find outside evangelists. get early adopters on board early. if starting from scratch, find early adopters and use them to spread the word. Use marketing channels and other social media.

How flexible should community be with coporate rigidity? Kellie – keep goals in mind. realize that your plans may not be what the communities want. be creative.

Deal with trolls?Kellie – try to engage, at least once. often this just calms them down. if keeps on, will discuss in private and then ban.

Dawn – step back and do not get defensive. Typically there are people who will stick up for the community. It is much less defensive if you let passionate members help fight rather than the organization. Bob – train all bloggers on engagement. moderate lightly. often the community comes to the defense. use terms and conditions if they are egregious. let community have discussion.

Clay Shirky – deploy a community? what is funniest social dynamic on site? Kellie – general topics section. people find out they grew up in same town. what they had for breakfast. So have a place where community can just be people not part of PCWorld. Dawn – spammer got on and got Nigerian sam to members. Bob – discussed terms. not deploy but embrace. funniest is what does not make it out of moderation side. off the wall comments. experimentation.

How do you get people to stay at community? Kellie – ask general questions? favorite browser, etc. act as matchmaker and connect people. Dawn – give them something special like their own space. Bob – make it simple for people to engage. add captions to photos, etc. one sentence.

Within the enterprise (sales people or contractors) where do you see momentum inside companies. Dawn – mostly in external communities. seeing more around partners. semi-private. just starting inside company. does it at Jive. it is really helpful since all info on 1` platform and everyone knows where tp go to get answers. 2013 – 40% will be internal.

experience of community managers to senior management. Bob – distributed structure. need to make sure community is close to product. but need to evangelize up.

What are metrics? What is ROI? Bob – needs to know objective and be firm. outreach will have different than marketing. talking model – make intel more relevant. looks at organic traffic like to see referral links to site rather than number of visitors.
Dawn – look at participation. messages posted. do not need to look all the way down to leads. not really a funnel to purchases. Kellie – page views may be only way to tell who reads but not participating. looks at page views then number of messages. Jeremiah – depends on exact objective of community.

What about interactivity? Digg help hostage by community. cold community hurt product. Dawn – hard to value Digg because whole value is the community. can you buy a community. not an easy answer. different for dedicated sites like PCWorld.

Size of community. number of managers to community. resource management. Kellie – depends on culture. if community is self managing – then only need 1. if more like a cocktail party, then need more host activity and maybe more hosts. dedicated manager vs shared resources. Dawn – development manager but have help from developers. Bob – foster conversations. lots of managers living in community with 50-100 FTE with lots of bloggers. each post 4-5 times a week. no ghost towns.

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First day at Web 2.0

sunrise by Just-Us-3

The morning of the first day at one of these meetings usually starts with a continental breakfast followed by a search for a nearby plug in the meeting rooms. After my coffee, I discovered that none of the meeting rooms apparently has power outlets to use and there are no tables for computers.

I guess that is one way to prevent laptops from being used during a session. Little live-blogging I guess. There are several power-up sites at the conference, to recharge the computers but with 8000 or so attendees, they will be crowded.

There is a blogger’s lounge that I checked out and got myself invited to. That may be very helpful as time goes on. We shall see. It is sponsored by

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The Community Speaks

ginger by twoblueday
These three posts run the gamut from exuberance to wonder to doubt to reconciliation:

A Breakthrough In Taxonomy?:
So Much For Taxonomies:
Taxonomies Again — What Behavior Do We Want?:
[Via A Journey In Social Media]

They describe the process of creating taxonomies for a group of communities, an attempt to create some order. The very rapid path this took, from the excitement of a brand new idea, its implementation and then the very rapid feedback all demonstrate the power of Web 2.0. Life moves faster.

The problem here is probably a very old one. Some people feel better with a described space, using tags that mean specific things. The tags define the space. Others like the space to define the tags. There will always be a conflict here, between those who want an orderly desktop and those who prefer an unorganized one, especially if both types are represented in the community.

Neither view has a monopoly on wisdom. As brought out here, it is operational the difference between a search and a browse. Tags make searches much easier and allows people to find the exact information they want. The path to the information is sharply defined.

Browsers like to take a less defined path to the information. They like little cul-de-sacs and interesting dead ends. The surprise of new spaces is innervating for them.

One group will always find what they are looking for. The other will be surprised at the novel things they happen upon.

The approach described here was not satisfactory to the users, they let people know and the leaders of the taxonomy project quickly tried to reel it back in and find figure out what to do. They pulled back and asked “What question are we trying to answer?”

They understood that the problem was really getting new users on board as quickly as possible. Here a taxonomy would help them get started. But there are other ways to help newbies that would not disrupt the established users. Now they can try to fix the real problem.

Web 2.0 approaches allowed them to reach this conclusion in just a few days, rather than months, something that happened in the Web 1.0 world.

We tried this at Immunex, with defined tags being used for research projects. The Bioinformatic people spent months putting together the applications to allow tags to be attached to research projects. They finally rolled them out and they were a failure.

The problem was that the users could not define the tags. They were created by some unknown person. So what happens when a new project did not have an appropriate tag? Do you try and use something close, even though it might corrupt the system? Do you leave it blank, subverting the entire purpose? How do new tags get added? Who decides that they should be?

The tags never really got fully utilized. Research moved too fast to rely totally on pre-defined tags. Different people would categorize the same project differently. Without flexibility, too many projects would just get tagged with ‘Other’ negating the whole purpose.

A useful system has to be respectful of the users. It has to be malleable enough to have both structure and flexibility. It would also encourage browsing as easily as it does searching. Not easy things to do. But EMC will get to it faster by using a Web 2.0 approach.

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A New Page – What is Science 2.0?

Well, Science 2.0 must be the next full release after Science 1.5.b13, right? Not quite. It takes its lead from applying Web 2.0 approaches to scientific research. So, what is Web 2.0?

In 2005, Tim O’Reilly described in detail what he meant by Web 2.0. Since then, there has been a lot of discussion on just what this means, if anything. So, I am going to add my own two bits to the mix. There really are not many technical differences between Web 1.0 and 2.0. The differences come from how they are used, and how usable they are.

Web 1.0 is static. Web 2.0 is dynamic.

As mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Web 2.0, Web 1.0 was about displaying information. Web 2.0 is about conversations, about participation in the flow of information.

Web 2.0 uses many new approaches for dealing with information including wikis, weblogs, syndication, aggregators, RSS, podcasts, forums and mashups. These often require the active participation of users. They have been used to create hugely popular social media sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, where the very content seen by all is created totally by the users. User-generated content.
Continue reading A New Page – What is Science 2.0?