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web 2.0

From the Seedcamp about pages:

“There will be a diverse mentor network of serial entrepreneurs, corporates, venture capitalists, recruiters, marketing specialists, lawyers and accountants that will help the selected teams put together the foundations of a viable business.”

How about designers?

Technology plays alone are starting to lose their distinctiveness in many of the more-crowded areas of the marketplace.

Great service and interaction design are on the rise as strategic differentiators for products as diverse as the iPhone and Facebook.

Bruce Nussbaum in BusinessWeek:

“Innovation is no longer just about new technology per se. It is about new models of organization. Design is no longer just about form anymore but is a method of thinking that can let you to see around corners. And the high tech breakthroughs that do count today are not about speed and performance but about collaboration, conversation and co-creation. That’s what Web 2.0 is all about.”

The article that’s taken from is entitled: “CEOs Must Be Designers, Not Just Hire Them”.

Not sure I agree about CEOs breaking out OmniGraffle, but what about entrepreneurs?

I wonder how many Seedcamp teams will have a interaction designer on board, as part of the core – or even a designer as the lead entrepreneur?

Are they going to bake great design in from the get-go, or put lipstick on their baby gorillas?

I think it will be the former.

If there’s one Brit caricature of the entrepreneur, it’s the inventor – the engineer/designer/impressario: Baylis, Dyson, Roope!

Nussbaum’s article, in bulk is a speech he gave at the RCA, which traditionally has grown quite a few of those designer/engineer/inventor/entrepreneurs in the world of atoms.

Prof Tom Barker‘s crew springs to mind, as do some of the graduates of the Design Interactions course.

The line between hackers and interaction designers is blurring as they start small businesses that are starting to make waves in the big business press.

As I mentioned, my experience of HackDay Europe was that

“It really does seem that the hacker crowd in London/Europe at least is crossing over more and more with the interaction design crowd, and a new school of developers is coming through who are starting to become excellent interaction designers – who really know their medium and have empathy with users.”

So I have high-hopes.

I’m also glad to say that the Seedcamp team are going to have user-researchers, usability experts and interaction designers in their mentor network, including me for some reason…

Looking forward to it.

I’ve started playing with Radar.net from Tiny Pictures.

Nothing much to report yet, but there is one little design detail that I’ll be stashing away for my own stuff (as long as Mr. Poisson et al don’t mind) which is not only going for a URL that is t9/predictive-text friendly, but also issuing identity elements (an auto-generated unique posting address to MMS pictures to, in this case) that are t9-compliant.

This makes it far, far easier and more pleasurable to set-up the service and integrate it with your mobile, which with these sorts of things is 75% of the battle won. Makes the thing feel very polished and considered from the start, which gives me the confidence to trust radar.net with a little bit more of my digital life perhaps.

My feeling is that despite all the hoo-haa about uglydesign/undesign’s success in Web2.0, it just won’t carry in the Mobile Web 2.0 world.

Mike Sugarbaker makes comparisons between Last.fm and Pandora, finding pros and cons in each, and ends up asking why we can’t gene-splice the two together:

“We shouldn’t have to choose between bottom-up and top-down, between cathedral and bazaar – that’s the other thing, that Pandora’s categories were made by experts and presumably applied by professionals, whereas last.fm basically is just the product of what people do anyway, via the site and its associated Audioscrobbler tool.

People say that the top-down, made-by-those-who-know-what’s-good-for-you approach is now outmoded, but in this case it seems to have what folksonomy will never get us: the element of surprise.”

Well, the gene-splice has happened it seems: with PandoraFM (http://pandorafm.real-ity.com/)

I missed this when it made LifeHacker late last month, but this seems like an excellent idea (although there’s still no link through to Bleep. Hummph) – injecting the element of robotic, clinical input into the organic social network. Going to try it for a little while…

What other social networks could benefit by the addition of non-humans?

From Peterme’s closing plenary at the IASummit:

“…I think that web 2.0 puts the “architecture” in information architecture. Think of an architect. They design the space. People flow through it, meet in it, contribute to it.! With that model, the bulk of information architecture currently on the web isn’t really architecture — it’s some form of hyperdimensional document organizing. We’re not creating a space that people move through, and engage with. We’re classifying material to be retrieved. But with web 2.0, we are providing an architecture — a space, a platform through which and upon which people move, contribute, and change…

…If information is a substrate running through an increasing amount of our “real-world” lives, and we believe that these web 2.0 principles are important for the future of information architecture, how do we merge the two?”

And

“as digital networked media pervades more and more of our lives, the idea of a discreet region called “cyberspace” starts to feel like an anachronism. Who here has a mobile phone on them? One that can send photos by email, for example? Well, you’re all carrying “cyberspace” in your pocket. And once that happens, distinguishing that from the “real world” becomes impossible.”

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Foe wrote a simple yubnub command on the weekend, and suggested it might be quite neat when accessed from a mobile, in order to see whether the other person was available to call (over cellular, not Skype…)

Tried it this evening, to find that mystatus.skype.com was treated as a ‘restricted access’ site by Vodafone’s web gateway.

This is the bar put in place by default by Vodafone in order to stop kiddywinks downloading ‘premium adult content’ (surely they’re all busily making their own with camphones and uploading it to youtube?) – which after ages of wandering around Voda’s Heathrow-Airport of a website and two registrations (one of which involved entering a creditcard number to which I got charged £1 to prove my age, and reimbursed £2.50!?!?!!!) I finally managed to get removed.

I switched the phone on and off (!) and then tried the yubnub.org ‘Skype’ command again. It worked fine.

Finally - it works.

I tried it again with a different friend’s Skype handle, and I got bounced back to the “Restricted Access” page!!!

One can’t help but wonder what Vodafone is doing classing Skype in with porn, and making it as difficult as possible to get to their site online on your phone, it’s not as if Skype have even got a cellular product live yet.

Cockup… or conspiracy?

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Above is a still from Canon EOS350D advert: “It’s Playtime”

I’ll wager it is both directly inspired by, and deliberately targetted at ludic Flickr users and the visual culture they have built.

Here’s the quicktime of the ad on Canon’s site.