December 05, 2004

A bit of History, and more Design Engaged

Some documents are of enormous historical interest, and ought to be more retrievable and more widely known. Dave Winer's 'Payloads for RSS' (11 Jan 2001) lays out the potential of enclosures and multimedia files. Adam Curry pointed to the post in today's blog entry... and it's all right there: "you subscribe to channels instead of clicking-and-waiting... it's a simple matter to teach RSS about multimedia payloads..."

Some more extracts from Design Engaged, to give a sense of its delights:

from Fabio Sergio's freegorifero:

How much structure is really needed to create engagement?

...sites like Flickr and, where user-contributed bit-based constructs are puppeted to dance to the rhythm of hard-bopping metadata.
Because Flickr is not a photo-sharing product, and not even a photo-sharing tool.
It's a bit-sharing platform [see this example, viewed as a slide show, to get the idea...]
...Flickr and are successful examples of platforms with "just enough" structure to enable growth, platforms that let the emergent behaviors of their users slowly give them peculiar shapes..

from Mike Kuniavsky's Orange Cone:

Life is incredibly complex, and now it's not just the scientists at the Santa Fe Institute and Wall Street mathematicians who know it. Many people see it and feel it. But most don't know what to do about it. We can see patterns of compensation mechanisms appear. Nihilism, irony, fundamentalism and nostalgia are all ways to simplify the world. We are at the end of the prescriptive rationalist vision of the world and we're waiting for the next framework to explain the world to appear. It has, but it's going to take a while before it's in full bloom. After all, it was 300 years between Giotto and Isaac Newton.

from All watched over by machines of loving grace: Some ethical guidelines for user experience in ubiquitous-computing settings
by Adam Greenfield:

By comparison with the World Wide Web, ubiquitous computing is vastly more insinuative. By intention and design, it asserts itself in every moment and through every aperture contemporary life affords it3. It is everyware.

...Imagine the feeling of being stuck in voice-mail limbo, or fighting unwanted auto-formatting in a word processing program, or trying to quickly silence an unexpectedly ringing phone by touch, amid the hissing of fellow moviegoers - except all the time, and everywhere, and in the most intimate circumstances of our lives. Levels of discomfort we accept as routine (even, despite everything we know, inevitable!) in the reasonably delimited scenarios presented by our other artifacts will have redoubled impact in a ubicomp world. human society can survive the total evaporation of its protective hypocrisy.

Posted by oook at December 5, 2004 03:54 PM