April 26th, 2007

Forrester Research: Social Technographics

Just got my hands on the quite fascinating “Social Technographics” study from Forrester Research. They take a close look at the social and demographic structure of the social web population — unlike Technorati’s statistics which mostly focus on raw blog growth numbers and structural features of the blogosphere. The study is based on two surveys including including close to 5000 North-American individuals each.

Interesting facts:

22% of adults now read blogs at least monthly, and 19% are members of a social networking site. Even more amazingly, almost one–third of all youth publish a blog at least weekly, and 41% of youth visit a social networking site daily.

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Based on an analysis of online participation and consumption practices, the authors identify six segments of users, ordered by degree of participation:

→ read more

April 16th, 2007

Sense hacking

Late fame for a project I was involved with at my old university: The feelSpace belt allows users to “feel” the north direction via tactile stimulation. It was an experiment in hacking the senses — can we induce new modalities by technology?

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Thanks to Sunny Bains for the nice WIRED story!

Poster here.

April 13th, 2007

Hans Rosling / gapminder

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Watch Myths about the developing world, a talk by Hans Rosling from gapminder.org Intense, thrilling, passionate. 10/10.

April 11th, 2007

Innovationsforum Interaktionsdesign: a late review

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Although finished already over a week ago, some words on the Innovationsforum Interaktionsdesign organized by the Interface Design Program at FH Potsdam (where I happen to study). To put it short: It was a blast!

Especially remarkable:

• The design concept of the conference itself: excellently conceived and executed with love to detail. See monomo for some pictures. Props and respect to formdusche

• The line-up was really impressive – find complete coverage of the talks at wmmna. Lots of pictures also on flickr, especially James King’s scribbled coverage of some of the talks — here’s the one of the 10 minute talk I gave together with Fabian at the student’s panel: jameskinginnoforum.gif

• Bruce Sterling’s talk was, as expected, “something completely different” and he really hit the nail on the head a couple of times:

Never thinking about it again is the ideal relationship of a normal human being and an object. That is the opposite of how designers think. I realized this when I was teaching at Art Center College of Design. My students were doing media design, some of them, and very commonly they would come out with some gizmo on a neck pendant. “See, the user wears this large device dangling around his neck, and…” “No,” I would tell them, “your design project is not hung around the user’s neck. The user has other uses for his neck. This project is hung around YOUR neck. You’re the designer, you’re the one who has to obsess about the device, not them.” You obsess MORE. Let them obsess LESS.

Read Shaping Things if you haven’t yet.

Other than that, Anthony Dunne, Bernard Kerr and Tim Edler really impressed me.

An inspiring event, I wish we could have that every year!