Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wikinomics and collaborative publishing

I spent the afternoon at a workshop organized by Sitra. It focused on the future of the Internet. This was actually our second workshop out of four. We are building a foresight "report" which will be ready in summer08. This time Anthony Williams who is the co-author of Wikinomics - How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything book (2007) started the session.

In his talk he focused on four aspects: web2.0, Net Generation, social revolution and economical revolution. Before getting into the topics, we learned that his company New Paradigm is currently focusing on anything and everything ending with 2.0. It is a bit annoying to hear these version numbers while at the same the speaker stresses the role of the users. Why they do not talk about change in mode or style of use instead of empty/multifarious catchwords and 101000110-language? Also is this (the current web) really the second version of the Internet? I tend to disagree.

Anyhow, the talk itself was too overall, too obvious and not too innovative from my viewpoint. BUT it did raise some ideas and questions which I am just going to list here.

- Is it useful to coin different terms for generations (x, y, c, Millennials, iGen, NetGen...) or perhaps try to describe the change in how people have learned to use the net, what are the factors for cultural change, how much that actually is a question of generations of users?
- Don't get me wrong, I like to categorize youth into generations as well (to be able to focus better on one mass and/or highlight some changes) but that should not be the only thing to look at because there are clear differences within youth which might e.g. relate to location (country side/city, central/remote, cultural differences etc.)
- Is it cool to say that you do not read newspapers?
- Is it because of the medium or wrong type of content? Both?
- What will be the generation after Net Generation? When? How does it differ from NetGen?
- Demographic aging in North America & Europe vs. India, China and African countries
- Is the number of youth in correlation with innovativeness?
- How much innovativeness is related to cultural atmosphere and various enablers?

- Mr. Williams was convinced that the future of the web will be "multimedia 3D". I totally agree with multimedia but what's the case with 3D? Aren't we expecting to get involved real time, anywhere, anytime and as conveniently as possible?
- What is the role of 3D environments in the business life?
- Companies certainly look for ways to utilize blogs, wikis, Jaikus, etc.
- Does the new modes of operation include 3D?
- Open innovation in 3D?
- Who would like to use 3D via a cell phone?

- Isn't revolution intially social?
- Why it has to be revolution [instead of e.g. evolution]?
- Paradigm shift.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Carbonhero & friends at PixelAche08

I visited Pixelache University ´08 on Saturday at Kiasma (Helsinki Finland). It was nice to see a lot of buzz and people at the sessions. Just to contribute the discussion I would like to rise a few details from the "Travelling without moving" session.

Videoconference system works nicely WHEN it works. This time most of my energy went to filtrating the message from the echo and noise caused by some technical problems. Two of the introductions were held from the distance. First Matt Jones on Doppler and then Daniel Peltz on "Response Call" international video dialogue project.

The presentation on Dopplr (a service for frequent travelers) focused on social networking and linking Dopplr with AMEE platform to calculate ones personal carbon footprint. Call and Response is an international video dialogue project that has engaged media makers in Cameroon, Sweden, Korea, France, South Africa and the U.S. in collective productions aimed at exploring the potential of networked video environments.

After that John Thackara talked briefly about "From Myspace to fakespace". He also put the presentation to his blog. Andreas Zachariah talked about Carbonhero. It was pretty nice mobile app utilizing existing technologies in a novel and innovative way to reveal to its user their own unique Travel Carbon Footprint.

One of the nicest new terms was "brand parasite" coined by Niko Punin. Indeed there are already business "parasites" in virtual services (e.g. Second Life). In this world of open networks, WoM and viral marketing, brand parasites are not that far fetched alternative for the future.

That also reminded me of Virtual World 2008 which will be held in New York at the beginning of April. There is one session focusing on branded virtual goods. That is not really connected to Niko's idea but anyhow... made me to think of "real" and "virtual" brands as well as openness as a part of brand development or brand image.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SOE looking for girl gamers / designers

Oh boy, it is good to be a girl! Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) conducted a survey on women and video games. That is no news because “women & games” has been topical for 15 years already. What is interesting though is that SOE announced scholarship program with The Art Institutes designed to educate and recruit more women into the video game industry. One might say that this emphasize being a girl as invalidity. On the other hand SOE gives special benefit for girls. Take the most out of it then?!

According to SOE: “SOE G.I.R.L. Gamers In Real Life” scholarship is the first of its kind with The Art Institutes to encourage students toward career paths in the creative and applied arts, ultimately resulting in the development of games that are more interesting for women to play. The only problem is that it is only valid in the States. Find out more from the website.

Even though you might not qualify as an applicant you might be interested in hearing what their survey revealed:
* 61% of students surveyed believe male dominance in the industry is a deterrent to women pursuing a career in gaming
* 42% of those surveyed would like to see women portrayed as leaders in video games
* 35% of the students surveyed want to create more games that are fun and interesting for women to play
* 31% of those surveyed want to become involved in gaming because more women need to represent the industry.

I find the results quite puzzling and a bit surprising. Personally I know quite a lot of women from the game industry but have not heard that much about problems due to male dominance. Also I would have liked to hear that 31 % want to become involved in gaming because they find the industry innovative, inspiring and full of opportunities. Or because they want to become the next Peter Molyneux or Will Wright :)

Anyhow – SOE G.I.R.L. sounds like a good opportunity, I give virtual waves for SOE!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Communication acrobatics - next generation

Finnish Youth Research Network with our Japanese and South Korean colleagues has collected broad research material on the digital lifestyle of 15-29 year olds in Finland, Japan and South Korea.

At the end of the 1990s, youngsters from these three countries were known as pioneers of digital communication. South Korea was the leading country in online gaming and online communities with extensive network of public PC Pang rooms (net caf├ęs). Finnish youngsters expanded their habitat with the aid of mobile phones and started heavily utilizing SMS messaging as well as “misusing” the mobile for their own purposes. At the same time Japan was already jumping to mobile internet thanks to i-Mode.

After that the rest of the Europe and APAC countries and even the States have catch up. Are there still factors that differentiate these pioneer countries (or youth in these countries) from the others?

Youth researchers have conducted quantitative studies in Japan, South Korea and Finland in 2006-2007. A group of researchers from these countries have formed a network where our aim is to get the most out of the material. Communication Acrobatics -blog was put up in able to communicate the current status of the articles and early research findings to broader audience. The researchers are preparing articles at least in English and Finnish. The articles will be published in late 2008 early 2009.

We hope for active discuss around the topic as well as people to challenge the researchers and ask for further information!

To the Communication Acrobatics -blog