September 20, 2007

Dear Twitter,

I use your service for pretty specific things, usually remembering quotes I’ve heard when I’m at a conference. I realize this isn’t why you created your service, but unintended consequences and all. So for me, it would be really great if you could let me tag my twits. I know that sounds kind of insane and granular, and the folks that don’t like Twitter will think that’s just crazy talk, but it would allow me to do things like aggregate the great Anil Dash quotes I heard at this week’s Microsoft Social Computing Symposium (most of which I didn’t even get recorded). ‘Cause believe me, the guy is just brilliant and he rattles them off one after the other, on the backchannel and everywhere else. And maybe then I could create my own little random Dash quote generator or something.

So unless I’m already missing a way I might otherwise do this, if you could just implement one more way for me to categorize my lifestream, that would be really great.

Thanks. Your pal,
(who is blogging this sitting a foot away from Michael Gorman in the Louisville airport – heh; who knew his ringtone is “when the saints go marching in”….)

11:05 am Comments (8)

September 19, 2007

The Mudflap Flap

It’s rare when a library topic can generate more discussion than something as big as Talk Like a Pirate Day, but damn if the Mudflap marketing campaign from Wyoming’s libraries didn’t do just that in libraryland. Talk about going where your users are….

At first I thought, “Hmmmm…not sure about this.” But then I decided I like the idea of turning the image on its head and repurposing it for our own uses. It definitely gets your attention and makes you think for a second. At least, it made me stop and think, and I certainly won’t be forgetting Wyoming’s libraries now. More info about the campaign here.

picture of mudflap poster for Wyoming libraries
originally posted by WyoLibrarian

September 18, 2007

SCS2007 5-minute Blitz Talks (Day Two)

Martin Wattenberg – ManyEyes
part of the goal was to democratize visualization
saw a lot of political usage
saw citizen activism
also saw play
eg, tag cloud of Shakespeare’s favorite words was used to highlight specific words to create poetic phrases
blogs as a social “petri dish”
maybe the goal is connectivity, placed on blog where conversation can be pushed
there’s some competitive uploading now that is political
have a very conservative person on the site right now who is challenging them with what could be considered a rant in a different format about how you interact with data

you are a blogger – Anil Dash
we don’t get far outside of our world, and as a result, we don’t create tools outside of it
blogging is hip-hop
hip hop is currently driving our culture
links are beats
the core of the behavior we have is sampling; is still considered subversive
both are still seen as not being a legitimate art form
Apple – rip | mix | burn
turntables outsell guitars
we’re also not buying printing presses a lot
the reaction when hip hop came out is “that’s not music”
we had the same reaction to blogs – it’s not media
what we can learn is that we can see where the threats are going to come from

we link to content that eventually gets pulled down
the companies frown on the fact that you are the vehicle of distribution
they will railroad us if we let them
hip hop is more than just rap – it’s freestyling
graffiti is OpenID
the ability to be entrepreneurial
outsiders don’t get it – we have to pay attention
violence and misogyny are what rappers were knwon for
we’re seen as medium, not manners, by outsiders
have to think about the implications of tools
“conscious” is a genre

Justin Kan –
started out as a 24/7 broadcast of his life to the internet
at first, walked around trying to entertain people 24/7
was like a roller coaster ride to internet fame
first lesson he learned is that there are a lot of assholes on the internet when they had the police bust in on him at home
building a platform to let anyone do this online – almost ready to open it up to anyone to live broadcast
thinks we’ll see a huge number of video broadcasts that will violate copyright

Teen Second Life at a Glance (Don’t touch mah bukkit) – Lane Lawley
showed his house in TSL
reason #1 he can’t live on the ground in TSL
1 – public school; thinks schools should provide better technological education; he still hasn’t been taught Powerpoint in school yet, maybe it will happen when he’s 18
2 – lack of advertisements; HTML is making a comeback in his world because of MySpace

communities in TSL
– scripting; very few good scripters in TSL
– building; slightly larger community because easier to learn; get a sense of creation without having to learn as much
– social: on TSL to do things they do in RL (shop, be with friends, etc.)
– educational: usually owned by adults; teens in social communities have no interest in the educational one

– scripting + building

judgment day – the day Teen Second Life residents turn 18, and are transferred to main SL
the system is supposed to do it, but it doesn’t happen “overnight”
teens look forward to getting on the main grid because it’s so much larger

Liz: her big frustration is that she can’t play SL with her son; no socialization into the bigger world
“it takes a guild to raise a child” – how important it is that her son can learn from adults, mentors, peers in one place
so she doesn’t play in SL because she can’t be in either world with her son

Ben Gross – How Many

How many?
– email addresses do you have?
– IM networks are you on?
– phone numbers do you have?
– logins to websites do you have?

why do people have multiple identifiers?
it’s commonplace and mundane to have all of these things now
separation of personal and professional, separating out social groups
a category of “that’s my spam account,” which is really trusted and known versus not trusted or not known
focusing attention or limiting interruption for your work
permanence and continuity – your college account is likely to outlive any ISP account

“the odds”
“I got my name”
people are more likely to remember their passwords because they use the same one on each service, whereas they’re unlikely to remember their usernames/logins because they’re different on each one

– usability
– workarounds
– side effects
– security implications

Elizabeth Churchill
interested in cultures of privacy and how we come to know what we’re allowed to share and what we’re not
me putting up my friend’s picture is different than her putting it up
how people manage what they share with others
did some interviews with people asking if they understand privacy settings in Flickr
chart of Flickr sharing by age
60% of the people didn’t change the defaults at all (which means 40% do)
1 in 12 doesn’t share pictures at all
younger people share more
chart of photo sharing by connectedness – the more you put in your profile, the more you tend to share your pictures
map visualizing sharing across the world
interested in volatility – what makes you take something down
can you retract things?
how do our literacies develop around privacy, sharing, etc.

Flickr is about:
– documenting (personal and collective memory)
– competition (status)
– affiliation (group membership)
– learning (emulating)
– curiosity/voyeurism
– awareness (near and far)

5:41 pm Comments Off on SCS2007 5-minute Blitz Talks (Day Two)

SCS2007 Panel on Rules

Looking for Group – Kevin Slavin
if we spend time in the worlds of these games, what happens when we extract these types of dynamics we’re used to in these worlds into the real world?
people who share space should share experiences
it’s one of the powerful things the software we have should do
it’s about changing the conditions we’re in when we’re together

he lives in a co-op in Brooklyn, lived there for 4 years before a crisis came up
before the crisis, he thought of the people who lived in the building as neighbors; now as shareholders
he set up a Yahoo group for them to help them all communicate
“I broke my building”
termites appeared in one apartment – whose problem is it?
painting the walls – “this is where you see democracy fall to bits”
showed email messages to the Yahoo Group
residents started writing graffiti on the walls because the Yahoo group wasn’t anonymous
there was no in-fighting until the Yahoo group
these types of groups let you tweak your identity
email is how we work all day, so thinks they became their work identities at home because now they were using email to communicate
took those identities out of the office and into everyday life
the end of rolelessness – they were just neighbors until this, had no roles
email has rules that are different than the rules of everyday life
there are rules of proximity that are fundamentally different than how we express ourselves in email
the online rules broke the real world
what was removed was a sense of civility – what did that?
the tone changed when it became one-to-many, rather than one-to-one; the communication went public
they weren’t anonymous, but they became their email selves, which has more to do with how they spend their day
Kevin suggested shutting down the list pretty quickly, but the others asked him not to (they felt like they were winning, etc.)
things only changed six months ago when a common event caused suffering for everyone and it wasn’t any one person’s fault – that’s when they became civil again

Anything but Routine: Games and the Post-Bureaucratic Institution – Thomas Malaby
what happens when an organization tries to run itself like a game
every moment will fit into a category

what we mean by rules (sources of constraint)
– laws (contracts)
– architecture
– social convention
– the market

games also use these forms of control, too
they are supposed to generate indeterminate outcomes; no one knows ahead of time

Second Life
Linden Labs is in an unusual position on this control because they don’t know where it will end up
“let emergent effects reign”

a dilemma follows from this, though – still have to run the company by the same ideals
– it’s ethical commitment to open-ended creation runs counter to the classically bureaucratic approach; also can’t go the charismatic leader route
– by extension, this mut also ideally govern how Linden Lab operates – it too must be anti-bureaucratic
– the result? a crisis of legitimate decision-making

so they turned to Arpad Elo, a mathmetician, who gave them a way to rank players
they ended up putting every task in Jira software (because the head of the company said they would do this); employees picked a winner from the tasks, which generated a ranking of what they would work on
turned to game techniques to make decisions

“ludic bureaucracy” – lingering questions
– is this the new institution for the Digital Age?
– how legitimate are the outcomes/decisions reached by game techniques?

they exited the system after less than a month

Rules – Kathy Sierra

1. blog comments
2. ‘mean kids’ site
3. email exchanges
4. ‘mean kids’ comes down
5. unclebobism appears
6. police
7. I blog it
7.5. retaliation
8. media nightmare
9. offline

why did it become such a big story?
direct result of her visibility?

she tried to analyze it, including what people called the whole thing

internet “rules”
1. don’t feed the trolls (but it escalated because they were trying to get a reaction
2. if it’s on the net, it’s not a REAL threat (this is what people told her)
3. you own your own words (and nobody else’s); question: are you responsible for comments others make on your blog?
4. civility = censorship
5. “if you want to be on the internet, grow a pair”
6. online friends are “real” friends… and can be trusted (site owners involved didn’t know who was posting)

psychological “rules”
the brain has a mind of its own
1. anonymity – “the greater internet fuckwad theory”
part of the problem is the brain’s “illusion of invulnerability”
people who survive horrific scenarios have less of this illusion of invulnerability
2. anyone can be seduced by situational forces and group dynamics
“the lucifer effect” – The Stanford Prison Experiment & The Stanley Milgram Obedience Studies
it can happen almost instantly

the persuasive power of social proof – it’s why advertising works
“if he’s doing it, it must be okay to do”

Doc Searls took down his blogroll because it put him one degree away from someone behind the mean sites

we can use the power of social proof
1. code of conduct – not even explicit; eg, Javaranch registration terms of service, which consist of “be nice.” “no dumb questions” and “no dumb answers;” moderators keep the tone
2. who we recommend – remember that our readers perceive links as endorsements, even if we don’t mean them to be
be aware of what can appear to be acceptance, tacit approval, or even celebration
most importantly, be mindful of your brain’s deceptions

a good rule: less bark, more wag

Joi Ito
We Know/We No Forums for his WoW guild
used to work as a DJ in a club and sees many of the same issues in online forums
in the past, if you could do it in the game, it was okay – finding the hack was okay; designers worked to keep out the hacks
now, though, Blizzard’s terms of service states that just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you can – they will still ban you
issue of buying gold outside of the game to use in-game
Blizzard uses the terms subjectively when they want to
so the guild had to create a long set of rules for how to handle gold
best metaphors are the nightclub and church ones – it can become unfun and unravel very quickly
Joi is a dictator about the metaphors only in terms of running the forums
corporate metaphor completely fails (because what you do isn’t based on your job)

Law & Virtual Worlds – Greg Lastowka
low stakes in virtual worlds right now, but may change
Four parties involved: two players, the owner of the platform, and the state
player investments = time and money
owners investment = time and money and technological control
state = generally not invested

looked at 5 different possible scenarios of problems and whether the state intervenes or not
fifth scenario involves a fifth party and stolen copyright/trademark

2 big questions
1 – legally, what is a virtual world? (what is it like?)
2- how do the optimal rules for virtual worlds differ?

we need a more sophisticated framework for applying law to virtual worlds

virtual worlds as communities, games, fictions
not really special if they’re just online communities
state defers more to community self-ordering (game rules), but may intervene in the case of games
for fiction, the state has substantial deference to all aspects of virtual worllds – owners are privileged speakers (eg, theater); possible defense to keeping the state out of virtual worlds

what is an “optimal” policy for ludic ordering? (game, contract, state)
regulation by state – classic legal rule, generally “uniform”
customizable as contracts, though (EULAs, private agreements)
so the question is are games somehow special?
game rules – efficient, arbitrary, state’s role if they are arbitrary? who decides?

4:33 pm Comments (6)

SCS2007 Panel on Play

we started out the morning by playing “reverse scavenger hunt” (we are soooo playing this at GLLS2008!)

Amy Jo Kim – Putting the Fun in Functional

game design principles have been finding their way onto websites more and more
“social media” for her
1. player-created content (she likes to talk about the people who use your software as “players,” not customers) +
2. social features (profiles, reputation, groups, etc.) +
3. tools for sharing

“game” = a structured experience with rules and goals that’s fun (which includes things like “The Sims”)
stretches what can be considered a “game”
games tap into our primal response patterns
game payoffs are like slot machines – random, unpredictable, not always controlled by your behavior
games engage us in “flow” (that space between apathy and boredom, anxiety and boredom)
the tricky part is that the game has to adjust as you play it

game mechanics for social media
1. collecting – you’re going to show off your stuff (stuff in WoW, friends in Facebook, etc.); so when you’re designing, look at what can be collected to drive player behavior; downside is who has the most friends
2. points – point systems give you leaderboards, give you something sticky over time; great way to introduce new features, new areas to explore; social points are given by other points (different from system points); eg, flickr interestingness, ebay reputation, etc.
3. feedback – accelerates mastery; eg, Guitar Hero; this is probably the lowest hanging fruit of all these; it’s one of the easiest ways to make something compelling and fun and to help people master the curve
4. exchanges – back and forth interactions between two people; implicit (not built into the system, but comes out in other ways, eg The Wall in Facebook or the social pressure to provide feedback on exchanges in ebay) vs. explicit exchanges (codified in the system, eg adding a friend in Facebook); so leave room for implicit exchanges
5. customization – of the interface, your character, your identity, your experience; makes the person more invested and just makes it more fun; Gaia Online lets you customize your avatar before you even start playing

power to the players (trends)
1. the rise of content sharing networks – Flickr, YouTube, etc. that create the network but the players exchange the content
2. accessible tech – much simpler UIs, open APIs, cross-platform services; seeing these things in games, too
3. syndication – not just having your content-sharing network, but also to be able to take bits of it and place it on other sites (feeds, widgets, embed code); integrating with the rest of the web and accessible there

some of this change is because of the change in the audience (new demographics for gaming, both up and down); broadening of the audience has transformed game design into something that reaches beyond the hardcore
happening on the web, too

game mechanics + social media = the future of networked entertainment?

gave some tips that can be found on her website

points don’t have to be explicit – views on a picture, how many times it was emailed, etc.
points are not always the right thing to use

Merci Hammon – PMOG
launched in March before having to take the game down for improvements due to new funding
Firefox extension
game environments, the environment levels you up
in passively multiplayer, you don’t get to choose your class; you get assigned a role
in PMOG, two of them represent order and two represent chaos
you can purchase things that are bizarre
lightposts are used to create “quests” (they “illuminate” your context or something about the site)
“portals” transported you from one site to another seamlessly, but became a problem because of where you might end up
Merci’s favorite object was a mine – could leave one on a site and then the next PMOG player hitting a site would encounter it; an anonymous weapon that spreads havoc for the other players
had to develop “armor” at the end because popular sites would obviously get mined quickly

they were shut out by, open directory didn’t work, so they created their own tags
you get points for erasing other peoples’ tags and for adding your own
so users are determining the scope of the universe

hoping to test the new version in early 2008

they don’t monitor gameplay to see if players are gaming the system
passive because of class characterizations and point collection

Playful Programming, Competitive Code – Ned Gully (The MathWorks, Inc.)
“the big brain has many legs”
“competitive wikipedia” – imagine if the system could award points if your edit was an improvement and your picture then appeared on the page?
would wikipedia be better for having a system like this?
his contests run like this:
– entries are automatically scored, ranked, and displayed immediately
– code, author, and score are visible at all times
– anyone can modify anyone else’s code and resubmit it as their own

means you have to put your code into the public domain to get rewarded
are they encouraging collaboration or theft?
will this make you so angry that you won’t play anymore?
having been tweaked, some people delight in tweaking right back
“tweaking is the nickel slots of their contest” – teaches people to open up (their wallets, in the case of the slots)

showed a graph of improving game play scores which resulted in a final entry that was code no one could have written on their own

phase transitions (Jenny: can actually illustrate reflection?)
lots of interesting graphs and an animation of the tweaks
innovation uptake – can see it happen in convultion-based algorithm
social signaling – it’s just code, but thousands of entires have to be named; became fun exchange of communication
code genomics
personal glory or collaboration? the code is the one interested in collaboration
the coder wants to block code propagation while the code wants to propagate – use this to shape the contest design
for the coder, make participation easy, reward vanity, many cheap prizes, and darkness period
for the code, encourage copying, highlight changes, punish complexity, anti-obfuscation tools

think of the code as genomic in a biological sense
liberating to think of the code as an entity with its own agenda
well-written code is manipulating you to make more code like it
“a chicken is only an egg’s way of making another egg” –> “a hacker is only a code’s way of making more code”

fitness function is how fast did it run, but performance, too; blending them at a cost function
how would you evaluate future recyclability

A Creative Community for Young Programmers and Game Designers: Boku – Matt Maclaurin
he tried to figure out what computers are for
– creating new worlds
– inventing new languages
– udnerstanding cognition
– evoking wonder

software as an expressive medium
code as a medium
– the only truly modern medium

simulation is the fundamental basis of cognition
it’s a good description of how we think; we don’t think like a text engine
playing magical stuff makes you want to make magical stuff
then they get exposed to code – ugh

some history about programming environments (logo, etc.)

Boku’s approach
– start with a working simulation
– real-world objects and verbs
– throw out everything (loops, variables, most control structures)
– no typing (uses an XBox controller instead)
– make the exerpience fluid and immediate

could debate whether or not this is really programming

start off in a blank world where nothing is going on until you participate

demoed Boku – very cool, don’t ever see the code

adding actions adds the narrative; just having one bot eat an apple while the other one tries to kick made it into a contest without even adding any contest code
lets you easily create barriers and boundaries (like mountains)

early testing:
– 11 is a great age for this
– some as young as 7 can program
– community is critical (inspiration, learning)
– kids really dig shooting
– world editing

– is programming a core literacy?
– is computation a core literacy, and is programming the only manifestation of it?
– do we need conflict?
– is it okay for kids to act out violent fantasies?
– what “verbs” should boku have?
– what is the intersection between storytelling and game design?
– how to define authorship?

Alternate Realities – Susan Bonds
“42 Entertainment creates trans-media narratives for highly participatory experiences through a variety of both online and offline mechanisms”

distributed narrative
i love bees
one of the biggest rewards for this type of entertainment is just playing it
world as platform
– everything can be used to tell a piece of the story, which takes the pressure off any one piece to carry the whole tale

levels of audience (inverse triangle)
– casual, level 1 (more and more people entering here); modest level of interaction, mostly online participation, broadest audience reach
– active, level 2 (significant level of interaction, online and some offline)
– enthusiast, level 3 (very high level of interaction, participation across media into the real world, “tip of the wedge” super-engaged audience that can create entertainment for the other two levels)

has found that the community will form on its own
– the power of one can fuel the power of the many
– “hive mind” – people will collaborate based on shared goals and interests

can take traditional marketing materials and doing something different with it
“hide in plain sight”

used “Year Zero” example from Nine Inch Nails (
even giving out buttons at listening parties became clues

how can you make people think? how can it used for social experience?
an important part of the ARG was mpowering players to make the themes of themusic their own. this was facilitated through two sites – Art is Resistance and Open Source Resistance, the latter of which accepts user generated art and has even published in magazines and online.

when a story starts coming at you through the channels of your “real” life you start to see your life through the lens of that story
at the end, you saw a file of the players with “case numbers” as accomplices

all of their communities are organic and set up by the communities themselves

audience question: can you use these systems to engender positive/normative behavior?
“it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you speak up”
people are looking for a roadmap to activism

1:32 pm Comments Off on SCS2007 Panel on Play

September 17, 2007

SCS2007 5-minute Blitz Talks (Day One)

Life: If you’re bored, you’re doing it wrong – Elan Lee
we should all be carrying buckets with us everywhere we go
they are the key to entertainment because you can just walk in anywhere with one (even doors with “unauthorized persons” signs on them)
described the games “toast” and “sandbags” (floodboarding)
can find fun all around us if you can extract entertainment from the world around you
clothing with hidden messages in the stitching, invisible inks, etc.; tell stories through clothing
everyone should answer payphones all the time – it’s an invitation into a whole new world
– it could be an invitation to become a superhero
“i love bees”
think up a question and call a customer service line (call Butterball’s line and ask them if god exists)
there’s always something to do out there
(pecha kucha” format with progress bar)

Supporting Social Deviance – Cliff Lempe

anytime you violate norms of a community
crime, sex, obscentiy, violence, etc.
most of the interesting online communities are privately owned (by Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.)
open questions:
– why do we have to all get along?
– does misbehavior have its place in online communities?
– how can users voice their dissent with owners of online communities?
– why types of deviance shouldn’t we support?

what role does social deviance play in bringing down a community?
need to allow a certain amount of deviance to test boundaries

Beth Kolko – adapting to cell phones
internet in many places of the world takes happens in public places
“being online” = chatting
“being on the internet” = downloading data
communication versus information
“collective technologies”
cell phones are not collective throughout the entire world
mobile usage outnumbers computer usage 2:1
people don’t trust local entities for access
social networking via SMS is the way elsewhere in the world
SMS makes more sense than the internet

Online Video Gets Social – Mary Madden

57% of online adults watch or download online video
of those who have broadband at home, 66% watch or download online video
only 8% of adults have uploaded a video
multi-channel, annotated communication with web 2.0
at what point do we disconnect and not interact because of information overload?

SearchParty: A Design Concept for Social Search – Thomas Erickson
aim is to design visualizations that show the presence and activities of people in online systems
imagine if you could conduct a search in public

(Jenny: this would be an interesting way to visualize virtual reference transactions)

progressive engagement:
– glimpses of activity (entice)
– watching (imitate)
– kibitzing (share)
– acting (commit)

making people and their activities visible to one another is a powerful way of supporting coordination and collaboration in online contexts

Jerry Michalski – presence
a lazyweb set of ideas
why is it so hard for me to share my screen?
why does it still take me 20 minutes of setup for an enhanced conference call?
why isn’t there a simple comparison tool widget?
why can’t I highlight, annotate, comment on email in my email program?
why are the tools so awful when you try to bring people together into a group?
the tools are still in the “Model T” phase

Clay Shirky
diffusion changes the technology, not just adoption
flash mobs as a form of political protest, announced in public, that can’t be traced to specific people
let’s all walk around “october square” smiling – the secret police have to then decide if this is a political act
showed Twitter feed of someone arrested in Egypt
you don’t just drop this stuff in and get revolution, but something is going on here
makes him hopeful, moreso than the lolcats
anything that lowers transactions costs can be valuable, whether or not the older generation understands it
“the more people use it for their cats, the easier it is to use politically” – Clay quoting someone else
if you really want something to be adopted, especially in repressive regimes with some internet access, make sure it has utility to the entire population
showed Tunisian prison map as an underappreciated tool
the change in common knowlege to public knowledge

9:21 pm Comments (1)

SCS2007 Panel on Wired Teens

(shouldn’t this be *wireless* teens??)

Linda Stone:

youth patterns show us where things are going
anil dash said email isn’t used by the 20-year olds at Six Apart (they use Basecamp)

right now we’re doing what the computer does well and we haven’t figured out what to make the computer do to enhance our lives, which we will crave the more noise we have in our lives

“continuous partial attention for continuous partial friendship” (which Liz and Lili took issue with – it’s not partial friendship to them!)

an interest in presence says I want grounding on where I am

Anastasia Goodstein –

wrote a book for parents about what teens are doing
new generation gap
some of the questions she gets asked by parents
– “will they lose their social skills?”
– “will they take this stuff down, can it go away?”
– “how can recruiters and others see my kid’s profile if it’s private?”

when is it okay to take someone’s picture and put it online?
the other big challenge is setting limits when kids have

powerful tendencies to stay connected 24/7
teens will migrate (they left Xanga when adults found it)
growth in virtual worlds
blurring of wall between marketing and advertising
need for marketing literacy

widget explosion – teens have always decorated their rooms, lockers, shoes, etc.; now having a virtual space means tricking it out


social media @ school
mtv did a study where they took away the internet for a week and then asked them what they missed most about it; answer was they couldn’t do their homework
most schools are very reactive right now

generational differences at work
more structured growing up, so need structure in work
need more feedback and input
not doing summer jobs but doing service that will help them get into college
how can we help young people manage their online reputations and learn appropriate technology use?
how can we teach information literacy, credible sources, and marketing literacy?
how can we get parents and teachers caught up?
how can we deliver contextual resources to teens “in trouble” online

Stefana Broadbent

looking for opportunities for convergence
visited 250 households each year in Switzerland
75% of Swiss teens are apprentices; at the age of 16, there is a strong selection process that decides which kids go on to finish higher education; the rest go into apprenticeships 4 days a week and school 1 day a week

stefana’s group collects timelines of days; showed an example of kids with the same timelines (schedules) as their father
these kids are using all of the “youth” channels
the group also collects the kids communication diaries (on paper) where they jot down every interaction for professional activities

adults have found special uses for each channel
– fix phone: the Collective Channel
– Mobile voice: the Micro Coordination Channel
– SMS: the Intimate Channel
– Email: the Administrative Channel
– IM: the Continuous Channel
– Social Networking Sites: the Channel for Weak Ties

teenagers have the same pattern with the exception of SMS and IM, which are flipped: SMS is the Micro Coordination Channel and IM is the Intimate Channel
– some shift between written channels – from SMS and email to

– slightly less usage of mobile phone channels teens like to use
– IM is their main communication channel, including on mobile

– mobile phone is preferred for last minute coordination and

longer conversations

channels teens use but don’t like
– email is practically nonexistent (used for contacts with school administration and older people), is perceived as asynchronous and therefore not interesting for maintaining daily contacts
compared to other countries, Swiss teenagers are more multimodal; they are just as multimodal as 25-35 year olds

use of social networking sites is limited to supporting “usgang” (means “going out”)
– heavily connected to partying and going out – as a souvenir, as a way of finding people or mild flirting
– a space where you can share pictures
– not a space where you communicate with friends

communication with friends is still on IM and the mobile phone
their real buddy list is their IM buddy list

is teens’ social online behavior affected bybeing in an adult work environment?
do you need to share a lot of daily activities such as going to school together to really hang out with them online in the “third space?”
are online spaces a continuation of school environments?
how much daily contact do you need to feed your online presence?
associations, clubs, etc. are the environments where teenagers that work, share common activities
importance of shared context
“The Way We Really Are” book by a sociologist
teens in Switzerland are getting an adult, professional role

long before teens in the U.S.

Sean Kelly – Zoodaloo

small company with staff spread out
using Basecamp’s chat channel every day, all day
no corporate storage – it’s all on basecamp

most folks who have a webkinz got it from a female and they use it to stay in touch with kids
casual gaming and storytelling
animal avatars are the most popular right now
secret codes and the ability to find out information you can

use socially (like how to skip when walking)
kids created a code of numbers in club penguin that only they

knew, so cp turned off the ability to type in numbers
sites popped up with Club Penguin Cheat Codes
kids want to believe that everything in the world is interactive

Mike D’Abramo – youthography (marketing company)

did 200 focus groups, 120 studies, on 120,000 youth

youth is a different attitude than it used to be – it’s a way to experience your life, not a number
the 4 x 5 factor = the 10-29 group divides into four equal five-year cohorts (10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29)

21% of youth live in a household with no borthers or sister (so online with friends)
families aren’t traditional anymore, over 11% of Americans were born elsewhere
if you don’t understand immigrants, you’re missing out on 1 in 10 people (1 in 5 in Canada)
my downtime at home
even when kids go to college, they may not be leaving home
at a younger age, you’re taking a certain number of adult responsibilities, but at an older age you’re staying home longer, postponing marriage, etc.
“rolelessness” – if you can stay at home until you’re 29, you do because it’s cheaper, etc.
– “prolonged pre-adulthood”
you start becoming an adult very young, but you don’t really do

it until a much later age
there are many things young people do, but they do them differently at different ages
younger people wanted to be like older people – now it’s going both ways

fewer siblings at home = greater reliance on friends
single parent households = greater self-reliance
balanced demogrpahics = lifestyle sharing
immigration = clour blindness and diversity
six-pocket syndrome = more as-needed cash
==> it’s not only the culture changing, it’s the people

– integration culture: used to be in tribes, a way of creating identity at school; now, though, young people aren’t being categorized so easily now; no longer so easy to define
kids grew up in a world where this wasn’t normal
– hedonormalization: things that are self-indulgent and make us feel good are part of our experience
now have pharmaculture, talk about sex frankly, exploding influences, information, standards have created a larger

culture of general permissivness, gambling on TV
– rehumanization: not a backlash against technology, but idea that we want to get back to something more authentic
the ipod is very isolating, but we make it social (playlist playoffs); taking an intimate item and turning it into a social experience
the return and rise of rock n’roll over the last few years, comfort food, natural food

on the horizon:
– greater concern for public health (especially kids’ health)
– organizations with multigenerational workplaces need to have all staff get along
– privacy issues grow, especially with regards to data mining

social networks and loyalty cards
– business models: distributed models for mass ownership of businesses at a low cost threshold

we need to think about the people and the culture as much as you think about the product or service
– how do we reach new immigrant populations with technology?
– how do the negative effects of these trends get blamed on the technology itself and what can we do to mitigate this?

Fiona Romeo – Children’s Digital Lives: Risk Scenarios 2014

social play creating codes that would be adapted when banned
“dictionary dancing” (Club Penguin)

“Watching You, Watching Me” scenario from the BBC
low fear, centralised, digital assistance with life
“Paying to Play on the Multinet” – high fear, decentralised

digital life, free market delivers branded entertainment
“Left to Their Own Devices” – high fear, decentralised digital

assistance with life, gadget-enabled sociability and play

reduced scope for play (which means exploration)
increasingly institutionalized time
people overestimate risks in situations they can’t control and they underestimate them in situations where they do have control
overestimate on issues discussed in the news, too
there aren’t many designated play places in the world
fewer children cycle to school anymore – they get driven to school
nowhere to let mind roam freely
kids don’t feel welcome in places like shops

showed latter two scenarios
advertising may be the greatest risk to kids in the “paying to play” scenario; specter of an ad-based youth mobile network in the UK; Disney tracking phones; banning of free ads there

children’s mobility and monitoring
mobile phones are the new bicycles, as they are giving children more freedom and range, personal and portable, increasing in interactivity
let parents monitor from a distance

kids expect things like fingerprinting in school and believe they have nothing to hide but go “nuclear” when you talk about parents monitoring their phones
ongoing dialogue between parents and kids
no need for constant updates anymore; parents and kids negotiate the number of updates

most parents aren’t aware of internet-capabilities on the phone

discussion from questions

in Switzerland, finding that 80% of the calls are to 4 people

most people hold their breath when they download email
continuous partial attention and not breathing as a phenomenon means your personal CO2 level goes up
people over-breathe when on the cell phone
food and sleep issues, too (some don’t eat until they get home at 3:30; staying up late and not sleeping

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