A real human interface (Multitouch Barcelona)

“Did you ever think that your computer was alive? That there was someone inside working for you? ‘Hi, a real human interface’ is a metaphor for how interaction with technology should be. It was our attempt to create the perfect interface; one that really understands our deepest needs, a human interface indeed.”

“Multitouch Barcelona is “an interaction design group exploring natural communication between people and technology. We design experiences that merge real and digital into a creative environment where people are invited to touch, play, move, feel as they do in the real world”

Stephen Downes’ free course on Connective Knowledge starts 1/17

“On Jan. 17 George Siemens and I will launch the third offering of our online course called ‘Connectivism and Connective Knowledge’ — or CCK11. We use the term ‘connectivism’ to describe a network-based pedagogy. The course itself uses connectivist principles and is therefore an instantiation of the philosophy of teaching and learning we both espouse….

“Connectivism … is a pedagogy based on the realization that any knowledge, all knowledge, is … not something we can package neatly in a sentence and pass along as though it were a finished product. It is complicated, distributed, mixed with other concepts, looks differently to different people, is inexpressible, tacit, mutually understood but never articulated.”When we focus on the content of a discipline, we miss most of that. We learn the words, but not the dance.”

“See, I change the world. Make the change.”

Beautifully inspirational viral video for Li Ning/China

Analysis from Rand Han of Little Red Book:

“I’ve been seeing this trend recently, first introduced in Olympics advertising, then obvious in Vancl’s latest campaign, and now in Li Ning: protagonists that focus not on conformity, but on discovery; a beautifully refreshing attitude of going against the grain of societal expectations, to instead slowly reveal the world like a precious gift opened with fear of ripped wrapping….

[Note: this video is embedded from Youku; may take a while to download. Looking for YouTube version. Song: Don’t Let Me Fall by Lenka]

“I’ll admit I was surprised by Li Ning’s latest viral. There’s no focus on sports, nor on clothing, or any product I could identify on first viewing. It’s fresh, simple, light hearted and contains a youthful spirit not of competition, but of the slow, pleasing process of self’s layers unfolding; enlightenment on slow boil never breaking; warmth building without climax….

“My guess is we’ll see more of this theme of advertising as the “Born after 90′s” generation matures. Gone are the gold gilded lifestyles promoted in the past … perhaps we’re seeing the first signs of a maturation of mindset; past monetary status seeking to transcendental self awareness? Someone call Buddha, he’s gonna love this.”

The power of Quora

“On Quora you can subscribe to topics, specific answers or people.  You’re alerted when people follow you, when the create new questions in your topic area and when new people have answered the questions you’re following.

And the system is really quite smart.  First, it has DIGG like voting mechanism where you can vote up or down the quality of an answer.  If your objective is to be near the top of an answer stack (e.g. and thus be read by everybody following the topic) then you need a great quality answer.  You also need to answer the question reasonably early because when a question has been around for a while the important people aren’t likely to be going back and reading it again (thus they will neither see your answer or vote your up).

So in a way it has built in game mechanics.  And they are trying to bake in user adoption into the design of the product.  Obviously it is build on a social network “follow people” model that is asymmetric like Twitter.  When somebody is new to Quora and is following you it encourages you to “give them topics” to follow, which is clever because if they accept the topics they get more alerts, more emails – more bacn – and thus they come back to the site more frequently.

The increasing value of social currency @briansolis

“Right now, the social web is a vibrant “egosystem.” When we were introduced to blogs, Facebook or Twitter, as human beings, we were simply excited at having an audience for our words and our experiences. With every reaction and friend request, we were rewarded to share more of ourselves.

“Now we realize something new: that what someone says can represent varying levels of value, whether it is an opinion or expertise. Who you are connected to is also important. We are judged by the company we keep. When combined, actions and relationships create a foundation for social capital….

“For example, banks are looking at an individual’s social graph to determine their credit risk. In the blink of an eye, what could be considered trivial information becomes an influential element that will contribute to changing the direction your life will take. I believe we should make users more aware of this unfolding reality. This is about consciousness. How they engage online and who they connect with serves as social currency in every transaction.”

A new study reveals Twitter’s new direction from @briansolis

“At a minimum, Twitter is an extension of each one of us. It feeds our senses and amplifies our voice. We’re connecting to one another through shared experiences creating a hybrid social network and information exchange tied by emotion and interest.

“While Twitter provides the technology foundation, it is we who make Twitter so unique and consequential by simply being human and sharing what we see, feel, and think – in Twitter time. It’s both a gift and a harbinger of enlightenment. As new media philosopher, and good friend, Stowe Boyd once said, “It’s our dancing that makes the house rock, not the planks and pipes. It is us that makes Twitter alive, not the code….

“Twitter continues to change how we discover, communicate, and share. Each time we do, we reveal a bit more about who we are and what moves us. As we embrace the new year, Twitter’s numbers will expand, but I believe the nature of the service and also how we use it will change significantly.”

Excerpts from Brian Solis.

Rise of the networked enterprise

“McKinsey’s new survey research finds that companies using the Web intensively gain greater market share and higher margins…

“A new class of company is emerging — one that uses collaborative Web 2.0 technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization’s reach to customers, partners, and suppliers. We call this new kind of company the networked enterprise.

“Results from our analysis of proprietary survey data show that the Web 2.0 use of these companies is significantly improving their reported performance. In fact, our data show that fully networked enterprises are not only more likely to be market leaders or to be gaining market share but also use management practices that lead to margins higher than those of companies using the Web in more limited ways.”

Investigating crowd-driven, symbiotic innovation

“The internet has caused an economic shift every bit as important as the Industrial or Agricultural Revolutions. Thousands of bottom-up solutions are leveraging mobile and social media, open-source values, collective intelligence and other emerging patterns.

“These crowd-driven innovations are combining – symbiotically — into a truly novel way of living and doing business.

“Symbionomics is part online media project, and part feature length documentary film. We intend to highlight the emerging patterns, cultural trends and business models that will take us into a deeper relationship with wealth.”

Krishnamurti’s 1974 talks on education are still inspiring

“Education is not only learning from books, memorizing some facts, but also learning how to look, how to listen to what the books are saying, whether they are saying something true or false. All that is part of education.

“Education is not just to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really, directly in touch with them…

“The function of your teachers is to educate not only the partial mind but the totality of the mind; to educate you so that you do not get caught in the little whirlpool of existence but live in the whole river of life. This is the whole function of education. The right kind of education cultivates your whole being, the totality of your mind. It gives your mind and heart a depth, an understanding of beauty….

“There is a great deal to learn about yourself. It is an endless thing, it is a fascinating thing, and when you learn about yourself from yourself, out of that learning wisdom comes. Then you can live a most extraordinary, happy, beautiful life. Right?

What college students want from websites

“Teenagers prefer websites that have dynamic and engaging interactive activities, such as quizzes and games….

However, “college students are much more goal-oriented. They like interactivity only when it serves a purpose and supports their current tasks. At the college level, users make a separation between play and work and don’t require websites to entertain them at all times. Instead, students consider websites as tools. A good site is one that helps them quickly accomplish their goals….

Students often judge sites on how they look. But they usually prefer sites that look clean and simple rather than flashy and busy. One user said that websites should ‘stick to simplicity in design, but not be old-fashioned. Clear menus, not too many flashy or moving things because it can be quite confusing.’…

“Students don’t like to learn new user interface styles. They prefer websites that employ well-known interaction patterns. If a site doesn’t work in the expected manner, most students lose patience and leave rather than try to decode a difficult design….

“Students associate Facebook and similar sites with private discussions, not with corporate marketing. When students want to learn about a company, university, government agency, or non-profit organization they turn to search engines to find that organization’s official website. They don’t look for the organization’s Facebook page…”