Answer Unclear, Try Later

I have to admit that I still don’t see the stereoscopic picture yet. I can see that each of these articles is important, and I get the sense that I’m looking at something which should be important in the extreme, but somehow I’m just not getting that bigger picture in clearly.

We took a look at some interesting concepts, like continuously recording our lives, the question of whether or not we could store a continuously recorded lifetime on a terabyte drive, the way that cell phones and mobile technology have really taken on in varying parts of the world, the way that user-centered device development case studies look, and then we take a look at Fab, by Gershenfeld (2005).

All of the rest seemed to be talking about cell phones … excuse me, mobile technology. Hoo hoo. Ahem. Fab talked about a printer that produced items, not print. A machine that makes anything. Fab looked to me a lot like an even more ‘out there’ version of the Long Tail. An extension of the idea that basically, everybody wants something, and it’s something based on personal insight and need. What a simple truth exists in the model that you will do great business if you become part of the business of empowerment. I know that sounds soooo like a bad self help book, but I think there’s some real truth to it. If we concentrate on connecting people with their own solutions, and make it so that everyone can benefit from those solutions, then we’ll be in strong business.

Not much more to add
I think that the other articles and book excerpts were each fascinating in their own special way. But I think that ultimately, I connected with Fab the most. I connected with the wiki articles and readings from earlier in the semester the same way. There is money to be made here, in terms of business. I know that sounds greedy, but what a wonderful thing if we can approach the place where economy is based on either the sharing of individual efforts or the facilitating of individual efforts. Where those with the technology enter into a world of cultural empowerment and cultural creation.

There’s a philosophy that is slowly coming into view now for me. It’s tied up in the concept of playing for the greater good. I need to think on it more, let it develop, but I do notice that there is a set of underlying personal values for me by which I’m selecting topics and responding to others in this medium. We’ll see where it can go.

For now, though, it’s more along the lines of ‘Fab’s case study of the artists and the students ‘without technical knowldge’ stepping up to the bat and just trying to gather skills in order to just learn, while making something. I found it mildly amusing that the ‘technical’-type author was surprised at the ‘think outside the box’ approach of the artist. It made me think back to the conversations with the Aprimo engineers, trying to get them to understand that aesthetics were crucial to user-centered design.

Maybe that’s why the other articles didn’t resonate with me as much, too. It’s not nearly so glamorous once you’ve had to live it. Either way, I’ll be sure and share as the philosophy becomes more clear. I’m sure it’ll be a work in progress for a few more years.

Class Reading References

  • Rheingold, H. (2002). Shibuya epiphany (pp. 1-28). Smart mobs. New York: Perseus.
  • Czerwinski, M., Gage, D.W., Gemmell, J., Marshall, C., Pérez-Quiñonesis, M., Skeels, et al (2006). Digital memories in an era of ubiquitous computing and abundant storage. Communications of the ACM, 49(1), 45-50.
  • Gershenfeld, N. (2005). Fab (Selection). New York: Basic Books.
  • Optional: Kangas, E. & Kinnunen, T. (2005). Applying user-centered design to mobile application development. Communications of the ACM, 48(7), 55-59.
  • Optional: Gemmell, J., Bell, G., & Lueder, R. (2006). MyLifeBits: a personal database for everything. Communications of the ACM, 49(1), 89-95.
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One response to “Answer Unclear, Try Later

  1. exploringinteractivecommunication

    Do you like using your cellular phone on a daily basis? Do you text or call more on your cellular phone? Comment on my blog.

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