March 30, 2007
Where We Are At
We have a design review today, so here's an update:
The display is working and the last few weeks we have all been writing modules (plugins) for the display server. Also, we got a survey up on surveymonkey to gather some community preferences.
Hopefully, we will deploy the system to our satisfaction in the next few weeks and then finish off our wrapup report for GROCS.
March 18, 2007
Street tv as a "public display" phenomenon
Nicolas writes in the "pasta and vinegar" blog:
Street TV is a phenomenon that always impressed me, the only area where I’ve seen it were ethnic blocks in France and in LA. Why? because it’s about my fascination towards entertainment in cities and how such a device is shared in a public space. It’s generally even more fascinating when people have put couches or chairs around the set [...]
March 09, 2007
The Ease of Modularity
This week, Ben and Paul coded up some modules for the PROSPERO framework.
So far, our development process is totally open such that new developers out there in the world should be able to make new modules with ease.
To test this, Paul made a module after Ben did, noted information gaps, and will be writing up a developers guide for coding new modules.
March 05, 2007
Next for Social Networking
There was a piece by Brad Stone in Friday's NY Times on social networking that caught my attention. The punchline: quite a few players are trying to figure out how to make the most of the (presently hermetically differentiated) social networking services available at more and more sites.
They look at MySpace and Facebook, with their tens of millions of users, as walled-off destinations, similar to first-generation online services like America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy. These big Web sites attract masses of people who have dissimilar interests and, ultimately, little in common.
The new social networking players, which include Cisco and a multitude of start-ups like Ning, the latest venture of the Netscape co-creator Marc Andreessen, say that social networks will soon be as ubiquitous as regular Web sites. They are aiming to create tools to let ordinary people, large companies and even presidential candidates create social Web sites tailored for their own customers, friends, fans and employees.
The questions that folks are grappling with are fairly common. Since the mulitudes that head to YouTube have, the article suggests, little in common, what does a "deep" community look like? Smaller for sure. Purposive? Unifed by a common theme (the article suggests common interests such as a fondness for C.S.I. as an example).
A link between this and what we're up to with Prospero is that we imagine that interactive displays would work well in bracketed contexts such as a campus or corporation, a place where membership to a certain extent frames what is expected from other members. Stone's piece suggests a similar inclination among folks exploring with networking:
Several former employees have left Tribe.net to start their own firms offering social network tools. Alexander Mouldovan, who had been a product manager there, started a company called Crowd Factory to design social networks for large companies.