waiting in line

Posted November 22nd, 2005 at 6:00 pm. There are 0 comments.

for game design dan and myself are trying to take an idea he has had about the lack of communication in public space, in particular waiting in a line at say the bank or DMV, and people’s turning inwards in public situations with their iPod, PVP, PSP, cellphone etc. The idea was to make a game that would be played spontaneously at times when you found yourself in a line and was tuned to the flexible, temporary situation of the line and the people gettign added to and leaving from the line. This had a number of problems in my view, in particular the randomness of game interactions with strangers, but my attitude was the one we were trying to overcome.
gameSpy commercial - lets wait in line
We brainstormed pretty heavily on this idea and tried to add other ideas to it but it kept hitting a wall.
Instead of a game that is played while waiting in line we will try to make a game about waiting in line.
Frank didn’t seem to keen at first, thinking it was limited as being more of a one liner and not compelling as a game, but one I went through some of the game mechanics and possible gameplay he seemed to think it was ok. But just ok. He suggested looking at Grand Prix , which was a racing card game with no board and each player controlling a team or team of cars. The play was simply the playing of the card and reordering the position of the cars on the table. Which sounds much too much like what we had though of.
Possibly with work on the card contents and the mechanic of turns and rounds go we can add some interesting turns to it.

mr. kottke getting married

Posted November 17th, 2005 at 5:38 pm. There are 0 comments.

i’ve never met jason or meg but i’ve been a consistent reader of kottke.org for several years. congratulations on their engagement to be married

return to the real

Posted November 10th, 2005 at 4:45 pm. There are 0 comments.

from our thinking about networks syllabus

After almost 30 years of assuming that virtuality is the logical endpoint of human use of networks, the real world is re-entering the picture, with services that emphasize or rely on physical proximity coming to the fore in various ways, exemplified by sites like MeetUp, dodgeball, and Flickr. What is driving the increasing overlap of the formerly distinct categories of virtual and real, and what are some likely future developments?

In groups of 4 (can’t find anything online, but i seem to remember that magic number being more like 3) we are to analyze how these social networks are connecting back to the real world and enabling real world interaction.

dodgeball | meetup | craigslist | upcoming | flickr

listed in the order of most connected to real world activity or locality to the least. i would interpret this to mean that the ‘most local’ network has the largest percentage of its service devoted to the fostering real world interaction while the least has, umm the least. Our group is looking at flickr and while it’s the least in terms of locality, there is plenty of real world interaction to investigate

folksonomy : Tag’s epic struggle

Posted November 9th, 2005 at 6:37 pm. There are 0 comments.

for thinking about networks we read Folksonomies – Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata a paper by Adam Mathes seeking to provide an understanding of user created metadata, data about data created by the end users rather than authors or professional catorgorisationalists classifiers. The term folksonomy comes from folk+taxonomy. Taxonomy being a professional classification system like you would see at your local library or the 14 catagories that all things must fit within on Yahoo. The discussion focuses on del.icio.us and flickr and the systems of tags that are used on both sites for users to catagorize their pictures or links in vocabularies that are known or important ot them. Of course the varied vocabularies cause overlaps in the namespace where the same item may have many different tags, (mac, apple and macintosh all meaning apple macintosh computers) or a single tag having multiple meanings. Not unlike the lore of the number of words for ‘snow’ in the eskimo language or conversly the lack of a word for water, from the viewpoint of a fish.
Flickr has, since the article was written, added clustery goodness as a way to group photos that all have a single same tag but varying other tags. The pot tag for instance has clusters for pot meaning marijuana, weed, etc. , for pot meaning something to cook food with and for pot meaning pottery, ceramics and the like. Del.icio.us has added more robust features that show the most popular tags that other people have tagged a URL with, suggested tags for a URL and, all the tags you have previouly used. TagTagger has a solution for overlapping namespaces.
Folksonomies have some of the best and worst qualities of classification systems as a whole, but its my thinking that the good already outweigh the bad, and the bad are currently being dealt with. The distributed nature of the way we describe our world allows groups to form around the way we see things. Tags let us add mini micro decisions to describe things and give off little hints and signs to the other people how we think of things. Flickr already has groups that form around a certain tag (sometaithurts, squarecircle) but I am unaware of groups forming more dynamically, around an aggregate of tags or tag styles.

There is a fundamental difference in the activities of browsing to find interesting content, as opposed to direct searching to find relevant documents in a query. It is similar to the difference between exploring a problem space to formulate questions, as opposed to actually looking for answers to specifically formulated questions

Can you find your soulmate this way? Are tags your digital fashion sense or haircut? Or are they indicative of your personality? Are they soulless meta data, meaning nothing out of context or when not part of an group of all tags? Its an unfinished though but maybe I’ll come back to it.

in the paper is the flickr tag sometaithurts so I thought it appropriate to include the most popular tags for the above article when I entered it into del.icio.us :
folksonomy metadata tags tagging del.icio.us folksonomies classification

The Company

Posted October 27th, 2005 at 1:50 pm. There are 0 comments.

GGI isn’t a real company. It is not listed on the NASDAQ, nor is it privately held. It has no mailing address, website or physical location. It is size-less, shape-less, transparent and ethereal. It has no discernable footprint, no targeted market, no focus. There is no org chart, human resources department interoffice memos or emails and no water cooler or break room. There is no ladder to climb, no glass ceiling, no boardroom, no headquarters. There is not a logo to be found, no slogan or brand identity. There is no unified message, no marketing department to craft press releases, broker deals with magazine editors or work on product placement, celebrity endorsements or do damage control when the vengeful media comes knocking with inquisitions. When asked any employee of GGI wouldn’t have the faintest idea what GGI is or does. GGI’s employees come and go as they please, demand no pay, endure little or no recognition for their individual efforts and yet find great satisfaction in their work.
Great numbers of individuals labor wholly for GGI, and some work only part time. Many stay up late at night, after working another full time job, and tending to their lives to work for GGI. Many large and small companies work directly for GGi and many collaborate with GGI on an increasing number of large and important projects and products.

Why haven’t you ever heard of GGI? Did you miss the cluetrain?

joining the flock

Posted October 20th, 2005 at 11:35 pm. There are 0 comments.

test driving flock and its seeming pretty cool. for instance i wrote this blog entry from within the flock browser. next im going ot upload some pictures to flickr through flock. still in beta but maybe it will behave better than safari

Provocative Technology

Posted October 17th, 2005 at 3:36 pm. There are 0 comments.

Ralph Borland, ITP Alum ’02, has and still is into art making and object making with protest as the catalyst for work. He mentioned his piece, Suited for Subversion that is currently in the MoMA Safe show.
Borland spoke of the game like nature of the protest. Especially in America protests take part in the places set up by the state, penned protest areas, set up by the state. But when protests occur outside of the demarcated places of protest it threatens and provokes the state. The Barcelona based Las Agencias and the White Overall movement both served as inspiration for Suited for Subversion.
Borland has been accepted into the next wave festival in Australia in 2006 where his proposal was to curate a show of different “Provacative Technologies” to be housed in shipping containersin a matter of reuse that he has observed in his hometown of Capetown, South Africa.
His talk here at ITP consisted mostly of briefly showing many of the projects he will be showing in his show within the show in Melbourne and weaving the thread that tied all of them together thematically under the idea of Provocative technology

Very roughly paraphrasing here, by way of Michael Rakowitz:

“Technology does not always offer a solution to social problems, but one can use technology to call enough attention to the social problems that they get solved through policy or other means”


“A bandage covers and treats a wound while at the the same time exposing it’s prescense”

Notes from the talk (more…)


Posted October 17th, 2005 at 2:29 pm. There are 0 comments.

In Finland the everyday word for mobile phone is kännykkä meaning “extension-of-the-hand.”

I’ve heard this “extension-of-the-hand” and know that in germany a mobile phone is a “handy”. Searching for this led me upon this text version of our shared mobile future by Marko Ahtisaari Blogging Over Las Vegas.

uhaul or man-with-van

Posted October 5th, 2005 at 11:13 pm. There are 0 comments.

for thinking about networks i compared uhaul and man with van.

When presented with the need to relocate ones home and belongings to another part of the city, or even around the block you will probably find your self using a specialized transport network like UHaul or the ubiquitous (in NYC at least) Man-with-Van. Both networks rely on the cities constant state of flux, with people moving up, and down with people leaving and with new arrivals. Each network provides the user the ability to move their ‘stuff’ across the city. In the context of this paper, you are moving to a new neighborhood, and you are either renting a UHaul truck, or, a man and his van.

read the whole thing here

seans birthday! cupcake!

Posted October 5th, 2005 at 11:05 pm. There are 0 comments.

seans birthday!

Originally uploaded by makomoo.

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