Archive for March, 2014

#sxsw #BSterling Closing Remarks

March 11, 2014

Live, unfiltered notes. May have some of my own thoughts. I somehow ended up front row center next to a data viz writer named Hunter Whitney, who works on health care UX. Unexpectedly great chat about the conference–and of course about Big Data with my brother, an AT&T organizational psychologist.

Live Notes – mostly unedited.
People who were virtually here
Assange and Snowden and letter from Kansas congressman complaining about SXSW– what was he doing that was so important that he couldn’t come to SouthBy? In Congress?!

People who weren’t but ought to be here
Electronic politicians From Europe, Mayoral candidate in Paris, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet–right wing, but here looks leftish.
– her significance
– waging a good social media campaign, technically savvy…us, in the future
Gianroberto Casaleggio and his M5s was able in Italy to unite angry factions. Best electronic organizer, very honest. Is a Bruce Sterling Dopolganger. Has every Web 2.0 book– everyone who has been at SouthBy.
– Right and Left immediately formed a coalition to through them out — calling them the populist clowns.
Watch people who are getting some traction doing what we dream.

People Who Ought to be here from Texas
* Barrett Brown, Aaron Swartz of today.
Is in prison for threatening police. Wrote friendly articles about hackers.
Vast nebulous pack of beltway spooks.
* Cody Wilson. Right wing anarcho student radical. Distributes handgun plans, all plastic except for 10 penny nail, 3D printed. Bit coins can pay for guns in Austin.
* Ross Ulbricht. Major BitCoin narcotics crime lord that drank the koto laid from BitCoin fountain. Anybody can buy anything from anywhere. Silk Road founder. He’s very SouthBy. Disruption. He’s our Mr. Hyde, our dark side of the force. Prosecutor was interesting.
* Texas Cryptologic in San Antonio and their tailored access project. Who are these guys?
* Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (British) – misinformation experts, make fake victims, sit there just messing with us. JTRIG. Not going to end well because of bad karma, doing the wrong thing. Hackers and spooks.

Who Else?
New Orleanian refugees from Katrina. He suspects California will come here, they are next because of water. Climate change wolf isn’t at door, it is in the living room. Might happen fast.

Casino Economy where up the ultra-wealthy can buy anything.

The future is old people in cities afraid of the sky.
What kind of life would they have? Made a prototype.

Stop Making Sense:
Standing in the warm breeze in front of the convention center, it slowly incurred to me what this talk meant. Don’t be so damn obvious, is what I think it says to me. Don’t just take Snowden and Assange at face value. Look a bit closer for interesting connections in unexpected places. Don’t resist education and health care as topics. Fact check.



#sxsw #Clinton Harnessing the Power of Tech and Data for Development .@chelseaclinton #noceilings

March 11, 2014

Raw notes mixed with my own thoughts on Chelsea Clinton’s talk on Social Good. Belatedly I realize the correct term is Development.

Anecdote that President Clinton has only ever sent two emails. And that Mom is most famous texter.

Spam was once innovative. CARE was originally created to send care packages to our soldiers…was at the time innovative and disruptive. Was a collaboration between 22 smaller organizations

[Just occurred to me the fact that she must face the very real possibility if being part of history versus the rest of us who may not get that chance].

Went through examples of companies doing good:
– Kiva
– texting for Haiti.
– Fast Company article on RIC (spelling?)

Mobile tech can disrupt and improve care.

M-pesa, mobile banking in Kenya.

Clinton is looking for a solutions hub and more transparency. Failures are not talked about in the Good world. People are more skittish about such sharing.

Aggregating data with Gates Foundation and others to aggregate and analyze how far women and girls have come.

Clinton in the Q&A portion spoke about clean water and fighting diarrhea and the kind of commitment corporations had to make to overcome the problem.

Feels policy makers vs technologists is a false dichotomy–we need both. We need to get people to feel inspired, empowered and motivated by data. Policy makers to help set the direction.

Her hero Wangari Maathai — Nobel Peace Prize winner

Feels nourished by the care her parents gave her, particularly that she was expected to have a point of view.

She felt she reminds her parents we have to include young voices when coming up with solutions, have them involved.***

Health and education [topics I have resisted] she brings together by talking about obesity and how being obese tires you out and makes it hard to focus in school.

Loves idea of reducing corruption with tech. Ideas addressing corruption can also induce transparency. The technology hasn’t been applied.

Stop Making Sense:
Interesting pre-talk conversation on Tesla with an entrepreneur from Sweden: Not the point that Tesla is a car company; it’s an energy storage company. So talk about over-valuation misses the mark.

“Disruption” as Clinton uses it, mashed up with my learning from meeting activist corporate change agent, Abhi Ingle of AT&T (briefly), inspires the thought means breaking and improving legacy systems. Mash this back against Dr. Neil DeGrassi Tyson’s “Question!” over “Believe,” to fact-check what Snowden and Assange say instead of assuming they are correct, and I start to drill into the meaning of this SouthBy for me. “Question!” is not just about fact-checking or investigating further. “Question!” is also about not accepting the assumption that the structure you have your feet planted on is so very solid. It might be you are standing on a legacy system of sand. ***See above, the value of youth in disrupting legacy systems.

Back to Tesla. It is a disruptive company because it isn’t about what it seems to be about.

March 13 to 17 for 2015 SXSW conference next year








#sxsw #intuition Let’s Get Physical: Design + Embodied Cognition .@rmichael .@ideo

March 11, 2014

Bailed on George Takei, intentionally as I just wanted to see him in person, I’m afraid. Struck by a star. These raw notes from a talk by Ideo’s Michael Hendrix.

Five Senses.

Apple product to get your brain to focus called Axio. Renamed company Melon — freshness and approachability. Founders were not in it for money, but passion.

“Old”: positive and negative connotations. Worn in. Fossils. Sequoia awe.

Used example of medical implants (such as bolts for your spine). Bolt cutters are used by doctors–connotation is uncomfortable.

Puddle on the sidewalk turned into a beautiful mouse.

Confident in our intuition: empathy quotients and emotional quotients in design.

Emotional intent as important as functional or marketing intent.

Objects becoming more human.
Digital experiences become multi-sensory.
– Oscar Mayer bacon smell alarm example.

Bad things: used for testing (and manipulation)
Marketers will try to make another quantitative validation exercise.

What gestures, sensations, experiences influence design

Stop Making Sense:


#sxsw #octalysis Live Notes Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points & Badges .@yukaichou

March 11, 2014

These are raw notes interspersed with my own thoughts.

Demographics of games are not what we think.

For this session, think about one game you found enjoyable and hold in your mind.

Grinding: doing same activity, monotonous to level up. Games get people to do this “work” over and over. Example leveling up in MMPORPGs.

“Human-focused design” — not like a factory treating people like cogs. As opposed to “function-focused design.”

Schopenhauer Cycle

We are now at DUH everyone needs a social strategy. Now 70% according to Gartner will use gamification — but 80% will fail because of bad design.

The Cause: “game mechanics” over core purpose.

For good: what do I want my users to feel? What is goal I want to accomplish?

Epic Meaning & Calling: people contribute to wiki bc something bigger than themselves.
Development & Accomplishment: achieving mastery
Empowerment of Creativity & feedback: learning
Ownership & possession: includes customizing aviator, accuse wealth
Social Influence & relatedness : people like me
Scarcity & impatience: because you can’t have it, you want it ( FB and early membership)
– FarmVille example.
Unpredictability and curiosity:
– Skinner box example (press lever and food comes out; if food doesn’t always come out, lever pressed more)
Loss and avoidance: don’t want something bad to happen

Left brain–extrinsic (reward-based) / accomplish, own, scarce, avoid
Right brain–intrinsic (creative, social) just enjoy, no reward

White hat: master, good, powerful
Black hat: avoid loss (relates to Zynga — users don’t feel good playing game)
— people might do this to encourage going to gym (loss and avoidance)

Level 2 Octalysis – design for all phases

Discovery – figure out and orient in game
*try out, curiosity
on boarding – rules and tools
* users must know what to do in four seconds
* starts out simple, makes people feel smart, but to conquer scarcity
* Google often makes this mike

scaffolding – repetitive tasks
endgame – for retaining vets

He matches this back against Bartle.

Back to game you like: map back to these traits to understand why you think fun.

Speed Camera Lottery: get people to obey speed limit thru fun. Speeders pay, law obeyers have chance to win money. Results were overall reduction in speed of 22%

Social influence of everyone can see results of speed cam. Competitive dynamic of winning from speeders.

Why in video do they not just show the idea? Because we connect, becomes a person like me.

Pain squad – game for kids with cancer

Gamifying taxes – compared to progress bar on LinkedIn.

Easter Eggs — example of four square and Easter egg, badge at Steve’s house the day he passed away “here’s to the crazy ones”

Stop Making Sense:

Greg Gunner and end of strategy mashing up for me against what is very strategic approach of this talk. Feels valuable to approach in this informed way.

Need to mash this back against Dan Ariely’s work.

Figuring out this WordPress app is losing changes — and not feeling attached because it will just be a karmic editor.