networking posts

This Week @ Portigal April 23rd, 2012

Monday is well underway and the week is filling up with meetings and work sessions! Away we go!

  • Last week we kicked off a super-rapid project. We didn’t know we were doing the project at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week we had started recruiting research participants. This week we’re lining up our participants and figuring out what we’ll do in the field.
  • I’m calling it “collaborative listening” – thanks to our officemate Olly, we’re experimenting with some networked speakers that lets us all listen to music together instead of individually over headphones. This will mean sorting out some social norms around volume, phone calls, and musical tastes. But so far, so good (oh yeah, because we’re listening to my music right now!)…
  • We’re hosting our first event later this week. We’ve invited a small number of folks for a discussion and will be sharing more once it’s all over. But we’re actively discussing our catering options right now!
  • More conference submissions to prepare, more conference acceptances to announce, and more conference presentations to start getting together!
  • This week we’ve begun reaching out to potential new teammates, partners, and collaborators. We don’t know where we’ll end up but the journey is sure to be an informative one.
  • What we’re consuming: A Visit From The Goon Squad, The Firestarter Sessions, Pizzeria Delfina
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ChittahChattah Quickies May 12th, 2011
  • [from steve_portigal] Blu Develops a Social Networking Device for Smokers [NYTimes.com] – [While it's a bit of a weird idea, it seems to fit with the already weird e-cigarette better than the very old-school tobacco experience] The new “smart packs" ($80 for 5 e-cigarettes) emit and search for the radio signals of other packs. When they get within 50 feet, the packs vibrate and flash a blue light. Packs can be set to exchange information about their owners, like contact information on social networking sites, that can be downloaded to computers. The packs also conveniently vibrate when a smoker nears a retail outlet that sells Blu cigarettes. Later versions will be tethered to a smartphone through an app. Adam Alfandary, 24 was skeptical. He said that the social aspects of smoking were a part of the reason he continued to light up, but he scoffed at the idea of a cigarette that would do the social part for him. “I think that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. And I’m saying that in full acknowledgment that smoking is one of the dumbest things I can do.”
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ChittahChattah Quickies May 5th, 2010
  • Cupidtino: Meet An Apple Fanboy Or Fangirl – Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products! Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and of course a love for technology. We believe these are enough reasons for two people to meet and fall in love, and so we created the first Mac-inspired dating site to help you find other Machearts around you. [They claim it's not a joke /SP]
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ChittahChattah Quickies August 7th, 2009
  • Sherry Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and a sociologist. – She has focused her research on psychoanalysis and culture and on the psychology of people's relationship with technology, especially computer technology and computer addiction.
  • apophenia – danah boyd's blog – danah boyd is a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
  • Michael Wesch's IA Summit 09 Keynote – Even though the presentation itself uses a lot of visuals and YouTube examples, I found the podcast to be extremely interesting and provocative. Wesch takes many examples of Internet and social media culture that we're familiar with but wraps them together to create a new and exciting story about the kinds of new things that technology is enabling. While I might have thought I knew it all already via danah boyd and Sherry Turkle, I learned a lot (that's not to say that boyd and Turkle haven't covered this material, I have no idea; but for me this podcast was a huge leap forward in my grokking of the issues).
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ChittahChattah Quickies March 20th, 2009
  • Essayist Joseph Epstein Exposes Friendship – "Some aspects of friendship had changed, he averred. Women and men could now meet in non-sexual friendship in a way they could not in his father's generation. And through email, chat rooms, and technology, "techno friends" could be friendly without requiring personal presence."
  • Susan Roane – Small Talk – Keynote Speaker – Business Networking Techniques – Susan RoAne is the leading authority and original expert on how to work a room. Her best-selling books, popular interactive presentations and media interviews help companies and organizations successfully develop, build and manage client relationships that increase business growth.
  • Podcast: Susan RoAne, author of the book Face to Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World – RoAne is an author and speaker on communication but she's blissfully ignorant that the issues she's addressing (When do you email vs. make a phone call? Should you use your laptop in a meeting? Can you wear a bluetooth headset at the opera?) are social norms that are evolving rapidly as new interactive media take hold. What kind of expert proclaims "If you are twittering more than 5 times a day, you should get a life"? Especially in the same breath where she declares it as her new addiction. While she's a champion for the value of real personal connection and considers some of these technologies as excellent ways to enhance those relationships, she also has a top-down view of what's right and wrong without really addressing that sometimes our interpretations about new behaviors are arbitrary (i.e., the act of wearing a Bluetooth headset has no inherent moral value, it's only in the way our society at this time consents to interpret it).
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ChittahChattah Quickies March 12th, 2009
  • Twitter's suggested users for you to follow – This lacks any personalization and reinforces the unfortunate star system that (social) media supports, but it's a good example of a "how to get started" scaffolding that I've written about before
  • Jimmyjane's Sex Change Operation – my article on Core77 – We were invited to designer-sex-accessory firm Jimmyjane to learn more about their history and their approach. My thoughts on the company and its mission are posted on Core7.

    "Ethan Imboden worked an industrial designer for firms like Ecco and frogdesign, cranking out designs for everyday products (i.e., staplers and monitors), but grew to feel that he had something more to contribute. After starting his own design firm, he went with a client to the Adult Novelty Expo and saw bad design everywhere. He founded Jimmyjane as a response to that, and set out to use form, color, materials and so on to create premium vibrators. Now he's a visionary creative, with strong ideas about the Jimmyjane brand and how to embody those attributes across a range of products. Imboden fits the Be A Genius and Get It Right archetype we wrote about in interactions."

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Steve in the UK, coming right up July 4th, 2008

Less than a year after my last trip to London, I’m headed back to the UK – to Sheffield – to give the opening keynote at DRS2008 (Design Research Society conference), offering my perspectives on disciplinarity and rigour. If you’re attending the conference, drop me a note so I’ll know to look for you.

I’m also bookending the time in Sheffield with a few days in London before and after. It’d be great to meet up with firms and folks interested in culture, design, and innovation (etc.). I could probably throw together a little presentation or discussion starter for your team. Get in touch if you’d like me to stop by.

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Steve in Trafalgar Square, 1990, photo by Richard Wintle

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Steve in Trafalgar Square, 2007, photo by Avi Soudack

See more pictures from my London trip in 2007 here.

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London Calling August 13th, 2007

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Looks like I’ll be in London for the first half of September; my first trip there in 17 years. I’ll be mostly focused on the work I’m doing but do hope to meet up with readers of this blog/folks I know. Drop me a line and let’s see if we can set it up.

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Steve in London, 1990 (I still have that shirt!)

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Bigotry is the new networking January 22nd, 2007

Here we go again. From the Isaiah Washington slur flap

I welcome the chance to meet with leaders of the gay and lesbian community to apologize in person and to talk about what I can do to heal the wounds I’ve opened.

Now that’s how to get a meeting.

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