BarCamp virgin here – be gentle

· conventionology, Design, Development, Events, Patterns, Social Design, Teamwork, The Power of Many, User Experience

camplogo.jpg
Two years after the first BarCamp (an ad hoc unconference formed initially in response to O’Reilly’s Foo Camp, I’m finally planning to make it to one, this weekend’s BarCampBlock, headquartered at SocialText’s offices in Palo Alto.
According to what I just jotted on the Sessions page on the wiki, I’ve just volunteered to lead or participate in discussions about portable social networks, identity, design patterns, particularly social-media related design patterns, and the gift economy.
I don’t know if I’m qualified to talk about all of those things but when has that ever stopped me before?
Since the moment that Liz Henry and Tara Hunt tipped me off to this event, I’ve had the feeling that this was an important one not to miss. So soon after my wedding and honeymoon and with a rapidly filling-up fall conference schedule, I could have been tempted to let this one slide by, but I have a strong intuition that many of the people I consider friends, heroes, and inspirations will be there and that I’d be kicking myself if I let another Bay Area BarCamp go by without joining in on the fun.
I’ll blog from there if I can find the time between no-spectatorin’ and schmoozin’ and gettin’ things done.

Sifry steps down as Technorati CEO

· Applications, Searching and Finding, Social Design, The Power of Many, User Experience

Maybe everyone else in the blogosphere knows this already but I just read that Dave Sifry is stepping down as CEO of Technorati: Technorati Weblog: A Change In Seasons
Looks like Tantek’s timing was impeccable.
I first met Dave during the dotcom bust when blogging was booming (again) on the backs of a lot of underemployed folks, myself included. I was working hard, updating Radio Free Blogistan three to seven times a day, hanging out on the #joiito channel on irc, and going to various blogger dinners and shmoozes here in the Bay Area.
I met a lot of folks with interesting startup ideas or who were looking at various ways of turning their passion for blogging and or social networking into businesses or publications or both. Dave’s idea was simple to explain and easy to understand, so I wasn’t surprised to see it get funded and take off.
I’ve got other friends working there now – some of whom I introduced to the Technorati people. I guess I consider myself a friend of the company, if that’s even a possible thing to be, and I’ve hesitated to complain or criticize too much when I’ve found the service sluggish or otherwise frustrating.
I applauded their recent redesign and I still visit the site when I am in the mood for some egosurfing (usually disappointing) or to see who’s been blogging about the Yahoo! Pattern Library recently.
It sounds like Technorati is having a tough time right now. Valleywag reported something like eight layoffs in addition to the CEO vacancy, and people don’t seem to talk about how Google or Yahoo! should buy Technorati so much anymore.
(Disclosure: I work at Yahoo but I have absolutely no knowledge regarding acquisition plans or lack of them for any startup out there.)
I’m sure the next thing Dave does will be interesting and I wish him the best.

Podcast of my SXSW panel now live

· conventionology, Social Design, The Power of Many, User Experience

If you missed Every Breath You Take: Identity, Attention, Privacy, and Reputation last March at South By here’s your chance to hear me, Ted Nadeau, Kaliya Hamlin, Mary Hodder, and George Kelly take on these topics, very early one Sunday morning after an untimely daylight savings change and, for many people, a night of carousing and drinking free drinks sponsored by startups and web behemoths.

Technorati launches new design

· Searching and Finding, Social Design, The Power of Many, User Experience, Web Gossip

Looks like Technorati has reconfigured itself to be less blog-centric and to take a more multimedia look at what they call over there the Live Web (Technorati Weblog: Come check out the refreshed www.technorati.com!):
> First, we’ve eliminated search silos on Technorati. In the past, you had to know the difference between keyword search, tag search and blog directory search in order to make use of the full power of our site. No more. Starting today, we now provide you a simplified experience. Simply indicate what’s of interest to you and we’ll assemble the freshest, hottest, most current social media from across the Live Web – Blogs, posts, photos, videos, podcasts, events, and more.
>
> We’ve also worked really hard at making our user interface simpler, and more intuitive. We’ve been spending months doing user testing, and listening to you, our users, collecting and prioritizing what you wanted, what you liked, and what you hated about Technorati. We haven’t gotten it 100% right yet, and we’re going to keep working hard to improve, but I think we’ve made a big step forward with this launch.
>
> …
>
> With this launch, we also provide you with more context around more stuff like videos, music, and blogs. Over time, these pages will become richer and more comprehensive as we add more information about the thing itself, like where it was published, who links to it, what other things are similarly tagged, and more.

Answering danah's twitter questions

· Social Design, The Power of Many, User Experience, Web Services

In reply to apophenia: Twitter questions (curiosity is killing me…):
> **First, the practical question. Can i quote you?**
>[ ] Yes, and you *must* use my real name.
>[ ] Yes, but please use a pseudonym and don’t use any identifying information.
>[ ] No, please just use this for your own weird thoughts.
>
> Hmm, those options have an excluded middle. I’d say “Yes, feel free, and you may use my real name, my online handle(s), or whatever other descriptor you find useful.” If I have to pick one I guess I’d pick the first one.
> **1. Why do you use Twitter? What do you like/dislike about it?**
>
> I use it to jot down my thoughts and narrate my day and to keep up with what some of my (online) friends are doing and thinking about. I like the ambient intimacy, to quote Leisa Reichelt.
> **2. Who do you think is reading your Tweets? Is this the audience you want? Why/why not? Tell me anything you think of relating to the audience for your Tweets.**
>
> I think my followers are reading them. Is that a trick question? It’s a perfectly OK audience for me, since it’s opt in. There are people, like close friend and family whom I’d like to also read them (if they were willing of course), but there is no invite feature.
> **3. How do you read others’ Tweets? Do you read all of them? Who do you read/not read and why? Do you know them all?**
>
> I read them sometimes via twitterific, sometimes from the Twitter website, sometimes receiving them as text messages. I don’t always read all of them but I do tend to read down till I reach familiar territory, much like the way I catch up on a blog I haven’t read in a while. (Having said that, I *scan* – I don’t read everything carefully.)
>
> I read people whom I’ve met and a few whom I find interesting or appealing. So I don’t know them all but I think I know (meaning have met in person) 90% of them. I don’t expect any of them to reciprocate necessarily. That is, it doesn’t bother me if they are not interested in following my thoughts.
> **4. What content do you think is appropriate for a Tweet? What is inappropriate? Have you ever found yourself wanting to Tweet and then deciding against it? Why?**
>
> I haven’t thought about it too much. I go by instinct. I guess some descriptions of graphic bodily functions might not necessarily feel appropriate to me, at times. Beyond that I think it’s fair game and the character limit kind of helps.
>
> I have thought about tweeting something and then decided not to, usually because I think it’s too random or trivial, because I’ve ceased to find it amusing in the first few seconds since thinking of it, or because I’ve posted a bunch of tweets lately and don’t want to be spamming people.
> **5. Are your Tweets public? Why/why not? How do you feel about people you don’t know coming across them? What about people you do know?**
>
> My tweets are public. I like doing things in public and don’t mind people paying attention. Therefore (back to the appropriateness thing) I probably won’t be tweeting about things that are illegal or offensive or humiliating (unless I can’t resist because it’s so entertaining or revealing). I don’t mind people coming across what I write. I expect it’s all out there and people will see it and even form opinions about me based on it. It’s all good.
> **6. What do i need to know about why Twitter is/is not working for you or your friends?**
>
> I can’t get the IM interface working and I would find it useful during the workday. There are many people I’d enjoy sharing with on Twitter who are not on the system but I can’t be sure they’d like it (so many people don’t) so I don’t feel comfortable evangelizing.