What was unsaid on Picnic

The first day of Picnic was short, but I saw some interesting talks already. Aaron Koblin showed some great visualization-projects like the New York Talk Exchange and a great videoclip without cameras for Radiohead.
The closing talk of Itay Talgam was entertaining. He connects management theories to classical music conducting styles.

And there was an interesting discussion on the emerging real-time social web. On paper interesting, but in my opinion the real topic was not addressed.

The session was moderated by Linda Stone. She introduced the concept of continuous partial attention on the Picnic conference in 2006, a very appealing concept. And in the introduction of the session she set the right tone: in the context of a well known clip of the Idiots of Ants she refers to new rules in social media. Do we need audience control? The topic I also addressed in my Reboot talk on virtual gated communities.

It was a pity that the four presentations did not follow the introduction and did not go into this topic. Matt Jones of Dopplr had a great presentation and did focus on the difference between friend and relations, but he did not really discuss the new social landscape as he did at dConstruct a month ago.

Jyri Engestrom just reshuffled his old slides on the social objects, verbs and nodal points. He did however add some interesting slides where he points out that the nodal points are not one on one connected to the social networks, but are related to the objects. He sketches the desired architecture where the objects are free to be used in different social networks. Objects from pictures to status messages.

The vision of Jyri was a promising start of something that was not said. And something that was not addressed in the discussion afterwards. It will be likely we move to walled gardens where we choose to share our life only with our preferred group of friends (or relations). I think these personal communities will move into the cloud where the different social tools can connect to and be one of my hubs to my walled garden.

I know for sure that Jyri and Matt have some great insights on this topic and I hope we will see some of those on another occasion. For now it was unsaid. Let see what the next Picnic days will bring.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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