Monday, September 22, 2008

Clay Shirky Talk - It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Clay Shirky ( It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure

There are a couple of stories in this short talk. One is the story of the student from Ryerson *University* who is charged for creating a study group on Facebook. Can we create online learning environments that support collaboration and also filter out free-riders?

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Shoutout to Liszen, Rainbows End and Superstuct

I just want to give a shout out to Liszen - the Library and Information Science Engine. I use its Firefox plugin every time I have a thought that begins with, "I wonder if anyone in the library blogosphere has written about..."

An example. I'm currently reading Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. I'm reading it because it was mentioned by Jane McGonigal in her paper, "Why I Love Bees: A Case Study in Collective Intelligence Gaming." I'm not finished with it yet, but I can already see how it very much applies to future thinking about search & analysis and libraries. And so I thought, I wonder if anyone in the library blogosphere has written about this book?

I'm also reading the book to generate some ideas about the future world of libraries for a game I'm going to play called Superstruct. It's not so much of a game as a collective writing exercise on the future. I've played a game like this before called World Without Oil and won a one-tonne carbon offset during the game. In Superstruct, "prizes" are going to be given out by these honourary Game Masters.

  • Tim Kring, creator of the NBC TV series HEROES
  • Warren Ellis, superhero comic book author and novelist
  • Tara Hunt, social network expert and author of The Whuffie Factor
  • Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and essayist
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia
  • Ze Frank, funniest person on the Internet
  • Chris DiBona, Open Source program manager for Google
  • Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
  • and more surprise guests to come!

There are too many of my personal heroes on this list for me to pass this opportunity up. Not that I need the possibility of egoboo to get me into this game. I really enjoyed WWO and I learned quite a bit from it, both about peak oil and how about how ad hoc communities can come together, weave their experiences around each other, and then dissolve when the street lights come on.

So not only am I reading science fiction, I'm now writing it. *Sigh* Just when I thought I couldn't get any nerdier...

If you are skeptical about the intersection between games and libraries, please consider watching this short video from The New Yorker called Saving the World Through Game Design.