Most people who know me are fed-up to the backteeth of hearing me go on and on about Hiptop Nation, the collective photoblog for those in the USA lucky enough to have a hiptop/sidekick.
Last week, they staged a hiptop-augmented team scavenger hunt for Halloween.
The results are not as far as I can tell posted on the site in coherent form yet, though I’m sure they will be. Already however, those who took part are starting to describe it as revelatory experience; which they are going to devote study to:
“This paper examines the successful evolution of a specific smart mob into a wireless community of practice. It begins with an examination of a popular wireless blogging website “Hiptop Nation” (http://hiptop.bedope.com). “Hiptop Nation” acts as a central blogging site for owners of the “Sidekick” device, a portable handheld data communications device recently introduced by Danger (http://danger.com). The Sidekick supports wireless AOL Instant Messaging, email, SMS text messages, and web access. Users of the Sidekick can post wireless public blogs on Hiptop Nation via their Sidekick device, as well as upload photographs from the Sidekick’s digital camera.
On Halloween, October 31 2002, Hiptop Nation sponsored a photo-scavenger hunt competition across the US. Participants were users of the Hiptop Nation blog site who were placed into competing teams, and participants coordinated their actions as well as acquired and uploaded photographs across the US exclusively via their Sidekick wireless devices. The hunt lasted for 24 hours.
The author of this paper participated as a member of one of the teams (Team Raven), and witnessed firsthand the evolution of an unorganized and homogeneous wirelessly-connected group of people (smart mob) into a highly motivated and organized group of team members with very common goals and flexible roles (wireless community of practice).“
I’m really looking forward to reading more of what the participants thought of the experience – particularly around the aspects of the technology giving rise to cooperative relationships between stangers, as alluded to in the paragraph I’ve emphasised above.
All this reminds me of how much fun playingNoderunner was. Fascinating to see so many people investigating how personal tech is going to give rise to new urban games and sports, and redefine our relationships with the space of the city.