Architectures for Conversation (ii)

This is the ‘final’ version of the Architectures for Conversation talk. Hence the (ii) appended to the title.

Speakerdeck is struggling to work as an embed here, so I recommend grabbing the PDF.

This was a version that I presented at Philly CHI (Philadelphia chapter of the Computer-Human Interaction special interest group of ACM), at the U. Penn campus.

Most of it is the same thing I did at the IA Summit in Vegas a month ago, but there are some new slides and some more content, especially about how User-Experience Communities of Practice fit together, and what I mean by “Infospace.”

The Rise of Letting Go

I recently did a presentation at the very excellent DigitalNow conference, in Orlando. It’s a conference for leaders of professional associations, who have a vested interest in virtual community building and keeping their constituents engaged, even in the splintered information-saturated “Web 2.0” world.

I combined a couple of previous years’ IASummit presentations and added a few new things to try and create an interesting picture that tries to re-frame the situation in several ways, hopefully adding some clarity and helping spark some new ideas for them.

Here’s a pdf of the deck: The Rise of Letting Go: How the Net Generation can teach us to lose control and like it. (Warning: it’s about a 20MB file!)

Summit 07 Accomplished: Pres File Available

I managed to finish my presentation for this year’s IA Summit, and present it in under 50 minutes. Huzzah!

As promised, I’m posting the whole thing with notes here on the blog. If you want the PDF of the presentation (16MB), go here:

And if you want to see the “blog post of record” about the presentation — with extra reference and research information & links — then check out the post here:

Thanks to everyone who attended the presentation and asked such terrific questions!

We Live Here

The article I wrote for the August/September 2006 ASIS&T Bulletin is up. Thanks to Stacy Surla and the gang at the Bulletin for helping me get it into shape. I’m pleased to say it’s sharing space with a lot of really excellent writing.

It’s weird to read it now, in a way. It’s a snapshot of where my head was 2-3 months ago, and now I my thoughts about the topic have changed somewhat. Not drastically, but just natural drift (hopefully some evolution?). If I can get my wits about me I’ll write about it here.

Presentation: Clues to the Future

IA Summit 2006 Presentation

I presented on the topic “Clues to the Future” at the 2006 IA Summit.

Here is the link to the presentation, in pdf format with notes. It’s 12.8 MB.

It’s also available at the conference site.

If you download the presentation, could you leave me a comment HERE? Just to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks!

And, here’s the messy list of stuff I’ve been reading from:

Working “Bibliography” Links:

These are most of the sources for research I did when getting thoughts and ideas together for the presentation. I’ll finalize and categorize the list once the Summit is over.

From here to the CD-ROM list are new links I’m possibly referring to as I work further.

Another blog on MMOGs (one post in Oct questions Castranova’s Norrath GDP calculations — but it’s still a pretty high $450 or so)
This is the original one, which continues to be his casual blog
This is the new “virtual worlds” focused one:

Can’t believe I missed this: Jane McGonigal’s AvantGame

A new-media wiki page with a great bibliography

Philip Bell Associate Professor of Cognition & Technology
“learning scientist” / teaching science in internet environments
his syllabus on “everyday technologies in youth culture”

Playgrounds of the Self: Christine Rosen
excellent article on how people form identities and evolve/experiment with them over time — and how that now plays out online

Click to access EDCI505-Winter2005-syllabus.pdf

Radio Open Source entry on “Living in Game Space” and a lot of great links in a sidebar

Alternate Reality: The history of massively multiplayer online games.

First Monday article: The Impact of Digital Games in Education

Constance Steinkuehler’s site

Selection of presentations and papers given at the “Com Work” Conference
including one by Richard Bartle, the guy who invented MUD in ’78, as well as Julian Dibbel!

Richard Bartle’s site

A nice discussion of Alexander’s “A City is Not a Tree” and concepts of semi-lattice vs. hierarchy, etc.
and Shirkey’s mention of it

Article on the legal / tax implications of virtual bartering & “income”

Terra Nova — a blog on virtual worlds

Mostly solid overview of Sherry Turkle’s work on identity (ends up a little judgmental and oversimplified)
and an interview:
and an article:

A Testbed for Evaluating Human Interaction with Ubiquitous Computing
(looks at how Quake and other multiplayer environments tell us things about how people behave in ubiq. computing )

The Xerox PARC research landing page (esp embedded collab computing, community knowledge sharing, and game ethnography sections are of interest)

PlayOn — the PARC blog on game research

The “Serious Games Summit”

A Ludicrous Discipline?
“The information age has, under our noses, become the gaming age. It appears likely that gaming and its associated notion of play may become a master metaphor for a range of human social relations…”

Game Culture From the Bottom Up (“Productive Play”)

The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and Play / Nick Yee
“Using well-known behavior conditioning principles, video games are inherentlywork platforms that train us to become better gameworkers. And thework that is being performed in video games is increasingly similar to the work performed in business corporations. The microcosm of these online games may reveal larger social trends in the blurring boundaries between work and play.”

Social Impact Games

Game Resources Links (a lot of them are already on this list)

From PlayStation to PC,294,p1.html

Game Mechanic Wikipedia entry

Communication Technologies as Symbolic Form: Cognitive Transformations Generated by the Internet

Internet, Emerging Culture and Design

Kierkegaard on the Information Highway

Ludicorp (creators of Flickr)

From Computing Machinery to Interaction Design

Wikipedia entry on Ludology

Eternal Gamer – weblog

Grand Text Auto: Georgia Tech’s blog on Game Studies

Games * Design * Art * Culture (blog)

Below here, added on the CD-ROM file already

John Seely Brown (homepage and article trove)


Nick Yee’s Research on Sociology, etc, of games

Nick Yee’s “Project Daedalus” on “The Psychology of MMPORGs”

Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH)

Jeff Dyck Homepage

Interaction Lab: University of Saskatchewan: Publications

Learning from Games: HCI Design Innovations in Entertainment Software (pdf)

Click to access games-gi03.pdf

Building and Experiencing Community in Internet-Based Multiplayer Computer Games (Whitepaper)

On Integrating First Person Shooter Games and Ubiquitous Environments (Paper)
Find it here

Game Research site

Hybrid Worlds: Social Cyberspace, Imagination and Identity

Changing Technologies, Changing Literacy Communities?

Digital Games Research Conference 2003 — Presentations

DiGRA Games Conference 2005 Papers

DiGRA Site

Academic Gamers

Marketing to Teens (not complete article)

Games & Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media (New journal — excellent resource)

Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Pew Internet: Teens and Technology
(See also all the work at

Microsoft Research Gives Glimpse of the Future (article),1895,1033970,00.asp

Microsoft Social Computing Group


The Coming Age of Calm Technology

Mourning Asheron’s Call

Business Whitepapers, etc.

Information Technology and the Institution of Identity (paper)

Here is the proposal final version.


Clues to the Future: What the users of tomorrow are teaching us today.

What might Wikipedia have in common with World of Warcraft? And how might that affect design and business strategy today?

According recent academic and business research, there is an enormous wave of people on its way to adulthood that may very well take us by surprise. And while many designers may be aware of this, we still face the challenge of making it clear to our clients and stake-holders.

Beyond the hype and more obvious implications of the “net generation” are key questions that affect how business and design plan for the future. For example: the shift from hierarchical to nodal paradigms; the rise of new kinds of literacy (and authority); the blurring boundaries between ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ economies; the splintering of identity; and users who, frankly, expect your web environment to be as well designed as the best games on their X-Boxes.

It’s important not to focus on the surface gadgetry, but to understand what is different about how these users think, how they solve problems and manage resources, how they socialize and organize, and how vastly different it may be from the assumed conventions of most business and design decision-makers (i.e. people born before 1985).

This presentation will:

1. Survey some of the current research and insights on the issue;
2. Explore some of the more challenging theoretical questions raised;
3. Discuss the practical business and design implications of those questions; and
4. Suggest how those implications might help make stronger cases for innovative design.