A brief glimpse at what happened at ThingsCon, and why.
A big thank you to the brilliant folks at Opposition Studios who were a real joy to work with.
I’m always interested in what motivates people, what drives them to do cool stuff. Here’s a neat video where Dan Pink talks a bit about different kinds of motivation. (Hint: it’s not about the money.)
If you prefer a talking head to animation, here’s a similar talk Dan Pink gave at TED.
Spot on. PR firms and brands, please watch this this. Then watch it again, and internalize it. With no further comment:
Update: A great way to get involved in the community is by the way – in all bluntness – to sponsor a community event. Like the one we’re putting together for late September, atoms&bits Festival. Feel free to drop me a line or read more about it here.
Earlier this summer I went to Reboot11 (and loved it). Sadly, I never really got around to write down all the stuff we talked about there. But here’s a few quotes from the particularly great Bruce Sterling talk.
Sterling on geeks and favela chic in the context of different “quadrants of the future”:
The other side of Reboot in power is low-end: Favela chic. You’ve lost everything but you’re wired to the gill and still big on Facebook. Everything you believe as geeks is Favela thinking. This venue is itself a stuffed animal. The unsustainable is the only frontier you are. You’re old in old-new structure, a steam punk appropriation.
What can I say? He’s spot on. I’m writing this from our coworking space Studio70, a lofty, industrial-style Berlin backyard office, where we all sit on table differently arranged every day, working from our laptops, shoving data and information back and forth. We’re sharing desks and meeting room, improvising with every new gadget and feature we build in here, in the room next door a makerbot is being assembled. In other words: it’s a steam punk appropriation.
And on sustainable lifestyle in a geek context:
You’re going to be dead much longer than you’re alive. So you need to do stuff that you can do better than your dead great grandfather. How can you do this, he asks. A geek-friendly approach to consumption. For people of your generation, objects are print-outs. They’re frozen social relationships. Think of objects in terms of hours of time and volumes of space. It’s a good design approach. Because if you’re picking these things up — washing it, storing it, curating it — these possessions are really embodied social relationships: made by peole, designed by people, sold by people, etc. Relationships that happen to have material form. You might argue that you ought to buy cheap things or organic. That’s not the way forward. Economizing is not social. If you economize, you’re starving someone else. You need to reassess the objects in your space and time.
Also, here’s the whole talk, and so worth watching:
CeBIT 2009 is over, so it’s time to see what worked and what could be done better. Also, there’s a few videos in case you want to see some panels I moderated.
Since CeBIT has been losing some of its importance of the the last few years, with most tech news being available elsewhere before the actual fair, it was time for a new concept to stay relevant in web- and cloud-based times. WebCiety was a try to do just that, to bring the web back to CeBIT. Turns out that although the area was very small, and the booths could have been somewhat nicer (it was all very dark and pretty compact), WebCiety succeeded in bringing all the web folks together. The Web 2.0 crowd gathered here both for the panels and because it’s just simpler to have a home base where you know you meet everybody else. As one participant put it: “I walked through four halls and met nobody I knew. Since I entered the WebCiety area I’ve met a lot of folks just here and then.” So the social part worked out pretty well. (One could argue that it’s all a bit self-referential, but hey, this is the social web, right?)
The rest of the fair was, to be honest, somewhat disappointing. Over are the days where I’d go explore CeBIT voluntarily in my spare time. Maybe that was just a student thing to do anyway, but I suspect there’s more to it. Since you can see all the gadgets in blogs and magazines way earlier, it doesn’t seem worth the extra time and effort to go to CeBIT just to try it out briefly while squeezing into a crowd of people.
What was quite fun, though, was moderation the Open Space / panel discussion together with Steffen Büffel. It was part of the Dresden Future Forum, and we invited a bunch of cool folks to talk about life, work and culture on the web. Since the whole thing was streamed and recorded, here’s the videos. (They’re in German.) You can see these and more WebCiety videos combined with the discussions on the Twitter wall over at zaplive.tv. Thanks to all the panelists, the audience and those who contributed via Twitter wall.
Panel on digital life and work (German, about 3h):
Panel on art and culture on the web (German, about 1:30h):
Moveon.org has a great video to get folks to vote. It’s a personalized fake news show telling you clearly that it’s your fault, and yours only, if Obama lost the elections. Here’s the version I got sent, customized with my name, but you can put in anybody. (Remember the Dexter viral campaign?)
(Maybe I should have voted then? Oh wait. Wrong country. ;)