James (of Lifesized) invited Elmine and me over for one of his geek dinners in Amsterdam. This way I finally got to meet George Dafermos, whom I know from online interaction since 2003, back when he was sort of the only blogger in Greece and wrote the article Blogging the Market. He now does very interesting research into the production processes behind Open Source software at Delft University since last summer.
It was a good group and fun meeting.0 Comments and 1 Trackbacks | Permalink
Reboot 9: Human
Yesterday I received an early invitation to Reboot 9 in Copenhagen. Today came a wider announcement by Thomas Madsen-Mygdal. Already looking forward to the conference!
The theme is 'Human', and that fits in very well with what Elmine and I have been discussing to bring to Reboot this year. Some of that will show up on the blog in the coming weeks I guess.
Meanwhile have a look at these impressions from earlier Reboot editions:
Reboot 8 Themes I-V, stuff I took away from last year's conference.
Reboot 7: Doug Engelbart Demo, a goose bumps experience.
Reboot 7: Plazes works
See you at Reboot! (off hunting for a place to stay now)0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Sony Goes 3D with PS3
In all the hype around Second Life you can sometimes forget that the real message is that 3D is now becoming a usable technology. Communities of people feel much more at ease if their synchronous communication takes place in a 3D immersive environment than when it happens in flat environments like chatrooms of fora.
Sony will release their 3D environment for PS3 users, called Home, in the fall as a free download. Next to chat, Home also provides voice communication, something that Second Life is due to release at the end of this month, and something we have seen in a number of 3D environments since the mid nineties as a standard feature.
There are public and private spaces (your own Home), in which you can play e.g. the music you have stored on your PS3, and listen to it with friends. Also you can start playing PS3 games with people you meet in Home. The appearance of your avatar, as well as the interior of your Home can be altered as you wish.
This is the trailer:
There is also a site where in the coming months you can sign up for a beta account for Home.
Found via Marc Canter.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Mathematics and Social Software
Mathematics is the study of patterns, be it patterns of numbers (arithmetic), shape (geometry), motion and change (calculus), or chance (probability theory).
When talking about dealing with information abundance I always talk about pattern recognition. That we need to be able to recognize patterns around us, present in the landscape of information we are engulfed in. Probe, sense, respond, as Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge says.
So I spy patterns in my social networks (where are they from, which background, what is missing, how much diversity in opinions, change over time), and I spy patterns in what my social surroundings communicate to me (what is the overlap and difference in their stories, what is hot or not, what excites large parts, what excites only those emotionally close, or only those far away from me). I also spy patterns in the behaviour of those that do not belong to my social networks. Who is linking to the same stuff I and my peers are linking to, but with different words, and different descriptions? Differences in language mean they might be a different community. A community that, as indicated by the fact that they seem to be interested in the same stuff I am but for different reasons. It might be worthwile to get into contact with that community, extending my social environment, extending my understanding of the things that interest me, and connect them into new networks of meaning and context (Siemens, Connectivism).
In the past months I have been thinking about how our human skills needed in dealing with information abundance, and what we know about what makes groups and communities be effective, can serve as design principles for social software tools (I now think that the word social in that term actually refers to taking those skills and traits into account, where I used to say it means it puts human relationships before information objects, which is a less detailed understanding of the same, and the perspective from the tool, not the human perspective).
Now if pattern recognition is a crucial skill as I described above in dealing with the information abundance we live in, and mathematics is the study of recognizing and manipulating those patterns...then what can mathematics bring us with regard to social software tools?
The mathematics of change, chance and shape seem to be important here as we are dealing with networks (of people, information sources and objects). What can we glean from mathematics in this regard, that can serve as design principles and features, or that can be used to determine 'blind spots' in existing tools?
Just a thought that came to mind while reading The Math Instinct by Keith Devlin.1 Comments and 1 Trackbacks | Permalink