• "I don’t blame The Cure. That was your call. The Cure is just out there, like car horns or people who make noise when they cry. The Cure is a choice. When we hear Michael, it is not a choice to feel the beat. It is not a choice to cock your head and straighten all the fingers on your right hand." And, in a sea of media nonsense, still the best eulogy was written by an illustrated cat in a thong.
  • "Design, culture, scale, space, superpowers. Key concepts: design and contributing to culture; ourselves as individuals and the big picture; taking action. …other topics covered include million mile tomatoes, President John F Kennedy as a yogic master, superpowers and the tools of production." I am very lucky to work with smart people. I do not know what to do with my 100 hours.

My notes from Reboot 9 are now online. Forgot to mention this when I did it last week, so am now making up for lost time.

When I say “notes”, I mean my notes on other people’s talks (as opposed to the notes on my own talk, which have been much requested and which are still in the pipeline).

Anyhow, do check them out if you’re curious as to what went on. They’re vaguely useful if you weren’t there; most things in [square brackets] are me extemporising, rather than anything the speaker said.

The slides from my Reboot talk are now up:

The Uncanny Valet (4mb PDF).

Do download! I’ve been asked to put the slides up several times, so have duly obliged. They won’t make much sense if you weren’t at the conference (yet); at some point int he future I’m going to reconstruct what I said from my notes (and those of others), and will put something fuller online. In the meantime, I hope this will do.

Update: and now we’re on Slideshare.


30 May 2007

Recent radio silence has mainly been down to last ditch preparation for Reboot. And this post itself is a bit of a placeholder – I’m about to leap on trains to take me to planes, so there’s little time to write.

I’ll be in Copenhagen from this afternoon until the weekend. Can’t wait for the conference – last year’s was awesome. I’ll also be speaking at the conference, about modern manners for the digital world. I think it could be interesting, but I’m quite nervous about it.

I’m on email and Twitter as ever. If you’re Rebooting: do say hello.

Update: Will be late to CPH; the flight is delayed. Boo, hiss. Hopefully I’ll make the pre-boot party, but it’ll be tight…

A PDF transcript of my Reboot talk is now live. It’s essentially a tidied-up version of the wadge of paper I spoke from, so excuse the conversational tone. Hope you enjoy it.

Breaking cover

30 May 2006

Been quiet here; it’s been busy at work (more on that next week) and it’s been busy outside work, working on my talk for Reboot.

Looking forward to Reboot hugely. The lineup looks fabulous – really mind-expanding, powerful stuff – and I’m really looking forward to meeting the many new faces I don’t know, as well as seeing old friends again.

I hope to put the PDF of the slides, big as it may be, online soon, along with a rough PDF script. Let me polish them off, first. Also, there’s now a pReboot podcast interview with me over at bloxpert which you can listen to. Not sure how it came across – a bit enthusiastic, a bit dorky – but hope it all makes sense.

Post-Denmark, things will really kick off around these parts. Hoping to be writing more, taking more pictures, and making sure it’s all very visible here. What Ben writes about building and sculpting the tangible, the physical is really striking a chord right now. Now, I just need to work out how to build these things.


12 April 2006

Exciting news of the day: I’m going to be speaking at the Reboot conference in Denmark this summer.

Looking forward to it lots, though obviously I need to start working on the talk soon. Still, following ETech, I don’t think I’m going to let myself get quite so stressed.

What follows is the rough pitch I outlined in an email (written, as ever, in conference-abstract-ese); final version may vary, obviously, but I think it conveys the gist of what I want to discuss:

“Telling stories – what social software can learn from Homer, Dickens, and Marvel Comics”
or: “Social software as serial narrative”

Social software is playful, and much ludic analysis has been made of it. But what of narrative analysis? After all, we use this software to tell the grand serial narrative of our lives – cataloguing them via Flickr, journalling them (in whatever form) via our blogs. And then consider the wealth of parallel narratives many people have – a delicious account, a Flickr account, multiple blogs, LiveJournals, MySpace accounts, some contradictory, some anonymous, some fictional, some fact. This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature; we should encourage parallel storytelling, encourage the formation of personas, and make the interaction between these different platforms as complete as it needs to be to support this.

We should design our software around these narrative impulses. In ten, twenty, thirty years time, for good or ill, we will want to look back at the stories we told – for they are part of our greater story. So as well as encouraging parallel narrative, we need to consider how best to support the long ongoing narrative that we weave.

So: let’s look at how, over history, serial narrative has been told, distributed, and retrospectively altered, and see what it tells us about the tools we build to tell our stories.