The Web 1.0 Conference is Back! Join us at MIT Media Lab!

Will you be in Cambridge, MA on Dec 2nd and 3rd, 2016? Come spend a day building awesome websites!

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What is the Web 1.0 Conference?

A conference celebrating the creative, original, static (no backend) web sites, both old and new, that stand the test of time.

It’s time to rediscover and bring back the lost art of web site creation. Let’s build some weird, interesting, quirky web sites!

Website

websiteconf.neocities.org

Next Conference:

Dec 2-3 2016
Cambridge, MA
@ MIT Media Lab

Get tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/web-10-conference-at-mit-media-lab-tickets-21106338627

Tickets are $15, which covers food and future Web 1.0 Conferences! Scholarship tickets are also available. Contact @caseorganic!

See what people built at the last Web 1.0 Conference!

Announcing the Web 1.0 Conference!

web-1-o-conference

The Web 1.0 Conference is a celebration of old style static websites. It’s a place where you can trade your unused domain names then develop them the next day!

A conference celebrating the creative, original, static (no backend) web sites, both old and new, that stand the test of time. It’s time to rediscover and bring back the lost art of web site creation. Let’s build some weird, interesting, quirky web sites!

portland-web-conference-2015

Location

  • Vadio
  • 919 SW Taylor St.
  • Portland, OR 97205

Website

http://websiteconf.neocities.org/

Description
A conference celebrating the creative, original, static (no backend) web sites, both old and new, that stand the test of time. It’s time to rediscover and bring back the lost art of web site creation. Let’s build some weird, interesting, quirky web sites!

Schedule!

Friday, Nov 6th ,2015

  • 5:30PM Check in
  • 6:00PM Lightning talks begin
  • 7:00PM Real world domain name exchange Have some domain names you own you’ll never do anything with? Bring them to trade with others!
  • 8:30PM Friday closing

Saturday, Nov 7th, 2015

  • 9:00AM Check in, breakfast, 玉露
  • 9:30AM 15-20 minute talks
  • 11:00AM Web site building / hacking begins
  • 12:30PM Lunch is served
  • 3:00PM Afternoon snack
  • 6:00PM Web site hacking ends
  • 6:15PM 2 minute presentations begin. Show everyone your awesome web creation!
  • 7:30PM Closing

Tickets

Registration Tickets are $10, which covers expenses.

  • Don’t have a web provider?
  • New to making websites?
  • Free web hosting will be provided by Neocities!

The Need for Superhuman Interaction Design

Here I’d like to rant about something that’s been bothering me for a long time. Skeuomorphs and their contributions to friction-filled, annoying interfaces. This reduces the ability for people to feel like superhumans when they use an interface. If you already know what a skeuomorph is, skip down to “The Most Annoying Skeuomorphs”.

What is a Skeuomorph?

“an element of design or structure that serves little or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the new material but was essential to the object made from the original material.

Basalla, George (1988). The Evolution of Technology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 107. ISBN 0-521-29681-1.

“a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original”.

The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 1971. Volume II, page 4064.

Skeuomorphs in the Wild

When done well, a skeuomorph helps a user to feel comfortable with an interface. Slight textures in digital interfaces help them to feel tactile. Good skeuomorph take cues from an analog world to help a user navigate a digital one. when done poorly, the skeuomorph forces the user to deal with an interface in an outdated way by blatantly ignoring the fact that the interaction is being done on a platform that is capable of handling new and improved interactions.

The Most Annoying Skeuomorphs

There is one place in particular where skeuomorphs aggravate me the most. This is the book reader or “page turn” skeuomorph. A book in real life takes some effort to hold, and some effort to flip a page. Many designers keep this effort around when they translate a book into a digital format. This results in the following annoying user interface experiences. Have you ever tried one of these badly designed pager turners out? When you try to flip the page, you have to physically press down on it and drag it over to the other side of the screen! And this is supposed to help people relax and enjoy reading on a digital device! Not if I have anything to do with it.

I first struggled with these annoying interfaces that blossomed during the 2000’s with the advent of quick Flash design. One or two people figured out how to program a page turner, released a tutorial and everyone was off to the races to copy it. The problem did not solve itself when the iPad came out. Instead, users saw and unfortunately experienced a increased bevy of ostentatious and distracting skeuomorphs. Things that made them feel bad while using a device.

Superhuman Interaction Design

Look at this interface for Flipboard. When you use it, you get an entire new page of content with the touch of a finger. Content pre-loads on either side in a visually pleasing way, taking a neurologically stressful set of RSS feeds and presenting them in a way in which the human has implied control over the data.

Flipboard presents a very important turning point in Skeuomorphic interaction design. It takes the best parts of the page turn, reduces them by half (the page pivots from the middle, not the side) and presents the reader with more information instantly. It is seamless. It is empowering. And because of that, it is relaxing.

People are excited to use Flipboard because it is not just a mentally joyful experience, but a physiologically joyful one as well. It is because of this that I consider Flipboard to be a part of what I’m calling “superhuman interaction design”. In order for an interface to be considered superhuman, it has to have the following characteristics:

  • Minimize visual skeuomorphic cues and reduce the interaction to action ratio. Flipboard reduces the page curl to a centralized pivot, and allows a page to be turned with the touch of a finger.
  • Make the user feel physiologically empowered. Present information in a way that makes the user feel more powerful than the information, not overwhelmed.
  • Make the user feel exhilarated when using the interface, as if they had suddently turned into a superhuman and they are able to do this because you’ve made them an excellent interface that empowers them instead of frightens them and makes them run away from data.

Other Superhuman Interfaces

Do you know of any other superhuman interfaces? I really like Skitch for its ability to quickly capture and store information, as well as it’s slick flipping interface. Least stressful tool on my machine.

JumpCut allows one to store up to 50 clipboard objects and access them with a tiny set of keyboard shortcuts. The interface is invisible until one needs it. It makes me feel like my short term memory is suddenly 50 memories long, instead of just 4 or 5.

Data Flows and Crises in Online Reputation Economies

Prior to network culture, traditional news outlets were the first reliable source for news concerning major events. This was because traditional news media outlets have established reputations for providing a certain level of credibility and reliability.

In a global, ever-connected economy, it is finally possible to rely on citizen media outlets to receive news almost as soon as it happens, however, people often have a limited basis on which to determine validity. Online, time and space for information gathering is compressed. This also means that time and space for decision making is also reduced. This is why online social networks try to use online metrics to establish validity in as short amount of time as possible.

Take, for example, critical situations like wars, attacks, accidents or natural disasters:

• In emergency situations, traditional media sources are often too slow in providing clear, relevant information.

• In delicate political environments, standard news outlets are often blocked from transmitting relevant information.

These situations call for non-traditional data points. These data points exist in the form of social nodes in networks. The wired, network of the online world allows anyone close to the news source to have the same power as ones with bigger budgets, bigger political power or better transmission equipments like a traditional news source. Reputation in critical moments like these (such as earthquake reporting, or terrorist attack information and safety instructions) must be negotiated almost instantaneously. Unlike traditional offline news identities, there are no presuppositions of identity.

In a space where news sources are both distributed (in both sense of the word: “distribution of power” and “fragmentation”) and largely anonymous, reputation becomes the sole metric for validity. This is the problem that this paper tries to address.

Reputation is extremely complex. There is no single way to define it:

• It can take the form of a hyperlink between two places, abilities, or powers. In other words, reputation is a way of describing the link between two entities.

• It can be transitory, especially online, where reputation serves as a social construction only as long as it’s needed, depending on data flows, proximity to events, or distance between individuals. In other words, reputation is a dynamic system of situated knowledge that sorts social interactions.

• It can be a handshake, in a sense that both parties must agree to open up and exchange something valuable for a trust-relationship to happen. In the business realm, for instance, this action has been formalized in the act of exchanging business cards.

• It can be measured or tracked as an overlay on a series of data points showing relations and trust.

• It can be measured or tracked as factors that individuals share in common. More shared things will lead to more shared beliefs, value systems and judgment, and generally could better reputation.

Measuring Reputation

A new metric is thus needed in order to quickly determine credibility and reputation in the event of a crisis. Note that this paper does not aim to search for and establish the most accurate metric, but rather, one that provides the user with an idea about the situation, then leaves the ultimate value judgment in her hand. In other words, to be both economically and timely achievable, the metric has to have enough ‘fuzziness.’

“What you want is a durable perception of person”, says programmer Anselm Hook, “one that allows one to quickly understand whether a piece of information from a source is reputable or not in the fastest way possible”. One way is to wait for a backup vote. Robert’s Rules of Order say that a statement must be seconded before it can be voted on by many. But in some cases, waiting for a second is difficult, because there may be only one person next to a data source or event that is capable of reporting it.

In order to determine a valid metric, one must define a few key elements of the online experience:

Interest and Power

Power is created by interest. This is the most easily observed in online environments, where the creation of value and interest is most fluid. The fluidity of value creation and exchange.

Interest Groups

One could call an interest group a demographic. Demographics are those with specific lifestyles that influence interest, and also support those who create products or services that fulfill these interests.

Crises and Social Networks

During a crisis, interest groups tend to converge upon a single topic or news source. The creation of validity in a news source in an online social network is often very fast, and generally not a traditional news source. Network users who were formerly low-level nodes can suddenly become major nodes of traffic if they begin to provide data that has proxemic, relational, or newsworthy value.

Those nodes that can provide the fastest information have tremendous power over those who have recently turned to follow them.

Point A marks the status of normal social network conditions and interest groups.

B marks the first appearance of crisis in the social network.

C signals the ramp-up of information awareness among social groups not in the social interest group of the initial reformers.

At point D, the crisis becomes a topic of collective interest. Networks of trust re-broadcast the news to un-informed groups until the network is saturated with information from all groups capable of absorbing the information.

At E, the discussion of crisis decreases due to crisis resolution of exhaustion of topic. The crisis falls out of common interest and formerly melded interest groups diverge once again.

F marks the final resolution or disappearance of the crisis. The crisis falls almost completely out of social network conversation.

One of the problems with social networks during crises is quickly finding the nodes with the most valuable information a voice in an efficient way, and promoting them to the top of a social network so that all that need that information can find it.

Micromeasurement

On May 11th, 2008, a earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale hit China. Several of those who experienced the earthquake Twitter user @dtan Tech Reporter Robert Scoble was able to rebroadcast the message to (at the time) approximately 40,000 followers.

But how did Robert Scoble know that @dtan’s Tweets were valid?

Was it the architecture of Twitter? A trust economy, established by the rapid exchange of everyday data on Twitter helped to. But Scoble’s reputation process takes a while.He has to first follow @dtan and through direct or indirect exchange determine the user’s reputation to report on an emergency.Of course, later on, additional reports from other people in China who also experienced the quake arrived. But it took CNN hours later to report on the event. This demonstrates the agility, relevancy and accuracy of non-traditional nodes as news sources.

As an aside, tools such as Google’s translation engine allowed @dtan’s Tweets, which were written almost entirely in Chinese, to be translated into English, and passed on to a more global

Improving Data Flows in Crisis

All individuals have social bases. There are an increasing number of individuals who use social networks as social bases. However, these bases are not necessarily the same. Social networks record relationships in different ways.One who uses the photo-sharing website Flickr as a social base interacts with data differently than a Facebook or Twitter user. Robert Scoble was able to transfer authority and power to @dtan very quickly, but rapid, local news of the earthquake was constrained to Twitter.

There was no system that looked at Twitter as a database and pulled out information. Neither was there a system that added Twitter’s earthquake updates to other relevant information coming out of mainstream news sources and other social networks.

To improve data flows in crisis, there is a clear opportunity to transcend data silos and aggregating data streams into a more accessible and unified databases, so that users of different social networks, or limited social networks, can quickly access relevant information.

This calls for either:

• The establishment of an open standard for disaster reporting across networks.

• The use and appropriation of existing open standards for reporting.

For instance: the DiSo project is an initiative to facilitate the creation of open, non-proprietary and interoperable building blocks for the decentralized social web.

Another other alternative (besides traditional media) is to rely on many ‘Scoble’s’ on each social network who talk to and inform each other on current happening at all times. This is highly impractical and very costly.

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Additional Sources:

For more information and a full analysis of the Twitter Earthquake reporting, please visit: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2008/05/12/twitter-and-the-chinese-earthquake/

Search Engine Reputation Management

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About

Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and Tech Consultant from Portland, Oregon. She studies the effects of technology on the ways in which communities are built both off and online. You can follow her on Twitter @caseorganic.

MIT’s Futures of Entertainment 3 – Session 3: Social Media

mit-cms-futures-of-entertainment-3

Moving lives online, creating conversations across geography, connecting with consumers – how is social media defining the current entertainment landscape? As people not only put more content online, but conduct more of their daily lives in networked spaces and via social networking sites, how are social media influencing how we think of audiences?

Video-sharing platforms have changed how we think of production and distribution, and Facebook gifts point to the value of virtual properties, how are these sites enabling other processes of production or distribution practices. Spaces where commercial and community purposes intertwine, what are the implications for privacy, content management, and identity construction of social media? How have they impacted notions of civic engagement?

Last October, I was invited to speak at MIT’s Futures of Entertainment 3, an interdisciplinary thought leader event that brought together the academic and business worlds for two days of communication on the effects of the digital age on things like communication, business, news, and entertainment. The following is the video from my session on Social Media.

Thanks to Joshua Green for inviting me to speak at the conference. It was one of the highlights of 2008.

Panel Members:

Joe Marchese – President, SocialVibe.com

Joe Marchese is co-founder and President of SocialVibe, a service that effectively brings brands into social media by empowering people to interact with the brands and social causes of their choice. Series A funded by Redpoint Ventures, SocialVibe connects brands and people in social media, recognizing that individuals hold the key to attention and influence in social media. SocialVibe’s goal is empower its member community to team with brands to make a difference for the causes they care about; the service allows people to utilize their influence to enhance their social media experience and provides a way for brands to reward the people that support them with brand specific perks. Most importantly, SocialVibe empowers people to use their influence in social media to raise money for the causes they care about, by allowing people to direct the money they earn from the brands they support to the charitable cause of their choice.

Prior to SocialVibe, Marchese built and lead the online media strategy division at a boutique management consulting firm. Marchese developed and guided the group to provide Fortune 1000 clientele research and online strategy development focused on digital media. Before consulting, Marchese began his career as a business analyst for Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com. He is a well known thought leader in the social media and advertising industry, writing weekly for MediaPost publications. Joe has also keynoted various digital advertising and media summits including, OMMA, iMedia, Digital Hollywood, as well as having contributed to a number of national publications as an expert on new media, such as BusinessWeek, NY Post, Boston Globe.

Amber Case

Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and Social Media Consultant living in Portland, Oregon. She received her degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College this May with a thesis on “The Cell Phone and Its Technosocial sites of Engagement”. She uses her anthropological training to provide strategic intelligence to businesses and individuals. She is an active blogger on caseorganic.com and is currently researching how the psychology of space in the digital world affects relationships, business systems, and value creation online.

Sabrina Calouri – Director, Marketing and Promotions of HBO online

What Sabrina Caluori, a storyteller who has found a home in digital entertainment strategy, loves about the web is that it’s a logical extension to on-air plot development in an environment that encourages conversation. After two years as an Account Executive at a Los Angeles creative agency that specialized in the motion picture industry, she moved back to NYC and joined interactive agency, Deep Focus as the third employee. As Account Director she led digital marketing strategy for clients such as HBO, Picturehouse, Miramax and Court TV. Shepherding effective ideation sessions across multiple disciplines (media, creative and publicity) to a unified strategy led to award-winning work and happy clients.

In 2007, Sabrina joined HBO as part of the leadership team managing the enterprise-wide redesign of HBO.com. As Director of Marketing and Promotions she oversees consumer engagement including community and social media, sponsorship and research. In the spirit of giving back, Sabrina acts as a Pro Bono Account Director for the Taproot Foundation. Currently, she is overseeing the redesign of The Hetrick-Martin Institute’s website www.hmi.org. If community is about the intersection and exchange of human experience, then Sabrina believes that technology will continue to redefine the delivery and the shape of those exchanges, but never the substance.

Kyle Ford – Director of Product Marketing, Ning

Kyle Ford is the Director of Product Marketing at Ning, a service that lets anyone create their own social network in seconds. He has been with the company for nearly three years.

Prior to Ning, Ford was an Associate Product Manager at Yahoo! Movies and TV, and a Writer/Producer for new media at FOX Broadcasting Company, working on shows such as The X-Files, Firefly and Undeclared. He’s currently based in Los Angeles and blogs at houseofkyle.com.

Rhonda K. Lowry – Vice President, Social Media Technologies, Office of the CTO, Turner Broadcasting

Rhonda K. Lowry is Vice President, Social Media Technologies within the Office of the CTO for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (“TBS”) and has been with TBS for eight years. In this role, Rhonda provides thought leadership and strategic guidance toward emerging social media technologies and trends across the spectrum of social networking, blogging, online communities and virtual worlds, gaming, social collaboration and computing, and personal media. Ms. Lowry is based in Atlanta and reports to Scott Teissler, Chief Technology Officer. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lowry was Vice President within the New Products Group and led the development of key digital business initiatives including the development of Turner’s advertising widget. She led efforts in the adoption of virtual worlds including the CNN iReport presence in the virtual world of Second Life and is the company’s primary contact for emerging social spaces and virtual worlds. Rhonda began her career at Turner in the Digital Media Technologies department where she led technical program management and development teams for major programs across a wide portfolio including: CNN digital news production and archive systems, digital offerings including CNN Pipeline and GameTap, as well as numerous web systems and publishing services for the CNN, NASCAR, Turner Entertainment, and Sports Illustrated web properties.

Ms. Lowry has over 15 years of complex systems development experience and held a number of program management and technical leadership roles within the aerospace industry at NASA, Rockwell International, and Lockheed Martin. She began her career at NASA where she was a software developer and systems integrator for a multi planetary detection system that eventually became part of the Kepler Mission. Ms. Lowry was Chief Engineer and Department Manager at Rockwell where she was twice awarded the President’s Award for professional achievement, and she spearheaded a revolutionary modeling and simulation program for Lockheed on the F-22 program for which she was awarded Lockheed’s highest award for leadership, the NOVA Award. Ms. Lowry earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Master’s degree in Physics from Washington University in St Louis. She has a certification in Systems Engineering from UCLA and is a member of ACM, INCOSE, WICT, and is a Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow. Lowry was the recipient of WICT Atlanta’s 2006 Catalyst Award for Woman in Technology and was listed on Cable World’s Top 50 Women in Cable in 2006.

Moderator: Alice Marwick – NYU

Alice Marwick is a PhD candidate in the Media, Culture, and Communication department at New York University. Her dissertation examines how social media technologies affect social status and social hierarchies. Most discussions of power and cyberspace focus on either the positive transformative potential of the internet, or how structural oppression (race, gender, class, sexuality) is maintained through technology. Instead, her research looks at one form of power-social status-and how it is transformed by mediated “lifestreaming” technologies, like Twitter, FriendFeed, and Facebook, when used by a specific community. Alice is a frequent presenter on internet celebrity and social media and recently gave the keynote at “ROFLCON”. Her work has appeared in First Monday, the LA Times, Wired, Business Week and on BBC radio. Alice holds an MA in Communication from the University of Washington and a BA in Women’s Studies and Political Science from Wellesley College. She grew up in suburban New York, spent eight years in Seattle, and now mostly resides in Manhattan. Alice currently lives in San Francisco, where she is conducting ethnographic research on status structures in Web 2.0 startups, consulting on user practice for technology companies, and enjoying karaoke, thrift stores, and feminist blogs.

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Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist who studies new media and the relationship between humans and computers. She enjoys data visualization, search engine optimization (ask), and how marketing works in the online ecosystem.

You can follow her on Twitter @caseorganic, or drop her an E-mail at caseorganic[at]gmai[dot]com. She’s spoken at various conferences including MIT’s Futures of Entertainment 3, Inverge: The Interactive Convergence Conferece, Ignite Portland, and Ignite Boulder.