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Friday, April 29, 2005

Thanks Shifted for the Gaming Post - Wow Strategy Guides vs Bosses - I like the concepts


Got Game on the Brain.

I’m late to the whole gaming and how it affects libraries thing, but I’m a total convert now and it’s something I’m going to actively track from now on. At first I thought it was just interesting, and while I did like the idea of bringing tweens and teens into the library using gaming as a social carrot, I’m gaining a totally different perspective for the way we can use the characteristics, expectations, and interplay of gaming and gamers in a “tipping point” kind of way.

The latest catalyst for this round of “gaming on my brain” is Moira Gunn’s interview with John Beck for IT Conversations. I’ve listened to the podcast of it twice in the last three days, and a couple of his points really resonate with me. In case you’re not familiar with him, Beck wrote Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever, and this podcast is the first chance I’ve really had to hear him talk about all of this since Audible doesn’t carry the audiobook and I’ve never seen Beck speak in person. While listening to it, all I could think of was Brent and how much Beck totally nails him and his friends. I even made Sheree listen to the interview and she agrees with me, although we both disagree with Beck about gender differences because most of the girls we know don’t play video games much at all.

At one point in the interview, Gunn asks Beck how gamers will change the workplace, and Beck provides an example observation that in video games, there are “level bosses” that you have to beat in order to advance further in the game. So one of the things you don’t want to be in real life if you’re a gamer or the supervisor of a gamer is a “boss.” I hadn’t thought about that before, although I always hear Brent talking about bosses in a negative way. In fact, when he started playing video games years ago and he first told me he was having trouble beating the “boss,” I thought that was the name of the character he was fighting. It took me awhile to realize it was his generic term for “the big bad guy at the end of the level.” Then came the realization that it wasn’t just him using the term, it was all of his friends. Imagine his surprise when he first heard me talking about my boss in a positive way!

Beck goes on to say that in the workplace, you don’t want to be a “boss,” but rather a “strategy guide,” because that’s what gamers rely on, especially to beat the boss. And as I was listening to this, it struck me that this is an excellent description of librarians! I’ve always liked that comic drawing of a librarian sitting behind a reference desk with a sign on it that says “search engine,” but now I’ve decided that I’d rather be a “strategy guide” instead. In fact, if I could, I’d change my job title to “strategy guide.” That’s exactly how we need to market ourselves to gamers, boomers, bosses, everyone. The big question, of course, is how to do that and more and more, I think gaming offers clues for how to do that.

If you don’t really understand why this gaming stuff is important, why it will be important in the future (the not-so-distant-future), why it will affect everyone (including you) or why gamers truly are different than you or me, then this interview is a great place to start. I highly recommend you listen to it. And don’t let anybody tell you that these kids aren’t any different than we were at their age, because they’re not like us at all. I was struck by how Beck’s descriptions of gamers mirror so closely the way I talk about NetGens (aka Millennials) in my own presentations. I’m going to have to rework my stuff a bit to highlight the gamer aspect of this generation.

Oh, and if you listen to the Beck interview and get as excited and intrigued about all of this as I did, be sure to register for our upcoming Tech Summit on Gaming @ Your Library! Thanks to our Executive Director, Alice Calabrese, I get to attend the ADL Games, Learning, & Society Conference in June, after which I’m debating trying to put together a day-long symposium/discussion/whatever specifically about gaming and libraries.

[The Shifted Librarian]
4:35:46 PM    

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

music networks (last.FM and Audioscrobbler).

One of my favorite parts of the academic interim period is that i can catch up on all of the things that i have put on the queue as unacceptable procrastination devices. I sent my computer in to be fixed (damn optical drive), bought a new iPod and have been organizing my music.

Amidst this, i finally dove into Last.FM and Audioscrobbler (even later than Liz). Aside from the fact that it's fascinating to see what all i listen to, it's absolutely intriguing to see what others are listening to and to be able to listen to their music as "radio." I've already found two new DJs that i *love*.

Music is a social tool. Most people get their music through their friends and social networks say more about music than anything else. Of course, many of my older friends are still listening to what they loved when they were in college because they no longer have access the diverse networks that introduce them to new music. And we're not even going to begin discussing the weaknesses of radio. When Napster collapsed, my music explorations collapsed. The only thing that fixed that was a server my friends have that allows you to stream music. Folks in our crew upload music and we can all stream it. That is a fantastic way of connecting to interesting music that my friends have found. This is effectively what Last.FM is doing on a larger scale

Of course, i found songs that i liked, tried to buy them at the iTunes store, realized that they didn't exist (because they aren't so mainstream) and then re-downloaded LimeWire to find them. It's frustrating because many of the CDs i listen to go out of stock relatively quickly or only have a few runs. It's sooo important for me to find other people that have them and i'm still cranky with the RIAA for making it hard for me to find rare songs that they don't even cover anyhow.

I'm very curious what will happen once more folks get on it (particularly youth and alternative cultures). I'm already pleased to find out that there are more than 100 psychonauts out there. This certainly looks like the type of sharing-driven social networking tools that i love.

5:57:22 PM    

In this post by Apophenia - there is the sense that Genrefication is the solution - but I think the "would you make me a dub-mix" line is the key - it is the play list you want to listen too - not just the Genre's - genre's cannot be specific enough if there's only one field of information - even within one artist - there's too much variety to pack into a single genre, let alone mood, and setting.

Someone in a position of authority (read Steve Jobs? or an appropriate iPod minion) needs to think about this for a while and come up with a  list of fields - 2.0.  I know there are a few solutions out there, but none seem to do it quite right.  So maybe there's an opportunity for Apple or Creative, or Red Chair, to come up with the solution that will take this whole thang to a new level.


music genres and moods.

One of the reasons that i loved Napster was that you could see how people labeled their music, particularly the genre. In music, i use genre like i use tagging in Gmail, del.icio.us and Flickr, only i'm a bit more obsessive about keeping them organized. My playlists are all automatically created based on my idiosyncratic genre labels. The labels are not for you, but for me and i don't care if PsyChill doesn't really exist - it's the label that ties together things like bluetech and Shpongle.

Due to 1) my new iPod, 2) the barfing of my Mac, 3) the scanning of CDs and 4) my obsession with last.FM, i am diving deeply into my music collection to re-genrify things. It is this attribute of last.FM that is given me the greatest curiosity. Last.FM is full of people with - shall we say - "interesting" tastes. I'm sorry but there is no playlist in the world that should have Gwar and Nina Simone together. Wrong wrong wrong. And why is Elliott Smith on the top artists page of the genre Breaks? No no no.

Of course, i'm part of fucking this up. I love Elliott Smith and i love breaks. Since i am in the breaks group, my listening to Elliott Smith is affecting that genre page. This is a problem. I know better when i manually genrify my music. Elliott Smith is is the MaleNeuvoFolk genre (which is effectively equivalent to Sadcore except can also be listened to when not depressed). I would never recommend Elliott Smith to a breaks aficionado.

I'm worried that this diverse listening pattern is messing up all the data. After three days of listening to non-stop chillout, goa and breaks, i should not be getting recommendations for Rancid and Ludacris. The problem is that there's a big gap between Beth Orton and Son Kite and i fear that trying to resolve those two listening patterns will result in abysmal results. The system should know that i'm listening with two different faceted patterns - the chill danah and the dancey danah.

When i ask a friend for music advice, i don't simply say "give me anything you listen to." I know better. But i would ask "could you make me a dub mix?" or "what would complement Dr Toast?" Or think about the Back to Mine series (collections based on what musicians chill out to). I want my last.FM to understand that there are moods. All of my playlists get this. All of my genrification gets this. Now it's time for last.FM. I should be able to play everything that userx thinks makes for "coding music" or for "chill out" or for "getting ready to go out." I want to be able to cluster my music. I want to be able to inform Audioscrobbler to only tell the genre group "PsyTrance" about things that i've marked Full-On, Melodic, Scando or PsyChill. Or tell them about a playlist or two. Tag the genres so that i don't blush when i see my love of Johnny Cash appear as appropriate for other Trip-Hop fiends.

2:09:50 PM    

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Must Do in Schedule, Pattern interrupt! You are a font of Museful Ideas!


Monday Thing.

Monday Thing

I have this theory that people try to get 85% of what they need to do for the entire week done on Monday. This makes them half nuts and very unpleasant to be around. (Once I started working on my own, I realized this was a good reason to crank up rock and roll very loud around about 9:00am on Monday and spend the first hour of the week dancing. This, correlated with the fact that the highest rate of heart attacks take place allegedly at 9:00am on Monday, seemed a much more healthy response.)

When I worked in real offices, Monday mornings were often spent in sales or marketing meetings where the boss was yelling at the staff like an angry dad and the staff was stuffing themselves with pastry and coffee to feel better like unhappy children eating sticky treats.

Then on Tuesday, people do the last 15% of their week's work and fix mistakes they made from rushing around like crazy people on Monday. Then Wednesday, they see what really matters that week and what they would have been better off focusing on right from the beginning to be really effective. Thursday they rest because they start thinking about the weekend. Friday they don't do anything because it is Friday after all, Thank God! [Halley's Comment]
7:38:07 PM    

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Took the quiz - got the same result...

I too am a books and language snob - although drinking, music, art and travel are up there too...


Saw this quiz on somebody else's LJ and thought it looked cute.

Book and language snob
You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You
are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to
impress at a party. What people love: You can answer almost any question
people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves. What people hate: You
constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Not entirely true, but close enough. [By the way, do people like these quizzes? I've seen several others I've been taking, but I'm not sure whether to post the results, or if it will just bore the heck out of you all.]

My writing plan for this morning didn't work. I polished up the conclusion, but that one scene still escapes me. I can visualize it, but I just can't seem to write it. I wish I could do like Terry Moore and just have the story switch from prose to comic-style illustration for a scene and then back again. Meanwhile, the rest of the story has reached the point where it's starting to feel like overworked bread dough. I shouldn't tinker with it any more. But nyarrgh! <gnashes teeth? And I can't focus on that any more for the day, since I need to continue jobhunting.

Finally, through that Jay Leno quote I posted yesterday, I discovered that Associated Press runs a daily column, Comedians on the political campaign with excerpts from Leno, Letterman and Craig Kilborn (no Jon Stewart, alas, but he usually puts at least one video segment from the Daily Show on the website). At any rate, this link will take you to Google News where you can conistently get the latest day's column. Enjoy!

[Riba Rambles:]
9:31:27 AM    

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Halley.you've done it again! Praying is alot thee sex. As You Said , it was meant to do everywhere and always improves the day!

places I've done it :

Piano-on top/underneath


Cadillac-Lots of Cars

Kitchen -Bent over an oven

Ina bathroom -Shower/toilet/Floor...

Couches Chairs File Cabinets Desks

Boats -Sail/Power /Paddle

And the list goes on and on...


My Friend Rob.

My Friend Rob

I have a friend who reads my stuff and sends me thoughtful email and I got a great note from him this morning about my son being ill and how sometimes praying can take the edge off -- I totally agree.

I completely misread something he wrote, however.

He wrote this -- about how his kid's illnesses could "send me into the closest church to pray."

And I read it quickly as, "send me into the closet church to pray."

And I thought, wow -- THE CLOSET CHURCH -- he prays in the closet sometimes too? Okay, so now I have to explain that I pray EVERYWHERE any old time and I have a big closet and sometimes, it's a great place to pray. Praying's a lot like sex that way for me -- I figure it was meant to do everywhere and anywhere and always improves the day.

And I wanted to answer that other question Rob asked -- why do I always wear black in all my pictures -- and the answer is -- I don't know, just because that's what I always wear when I get dressed up I guess.
[Halley's Comment]
9:24:22 PM    

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Book Exercise. Via danah boyd:
  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"The problem is our minds are so locked in one frequency, it's as though we can only see at 78 RPM; we can't see anything at 33 1/2."

From Peter M. Senge's "The Fifth Discipline".  Oddly, I haven't actually opened this book for a long time, but it is the nearest at hand!  How telling about the lack of organization in my office.  Also, noticed a sticky indicating the place where I stopped reading... And in the age of CDs and DVDs, let alone MP3 players - this quote seems a bit quaint.

On another note, I actually like the sentence above.  My mind is so easily locked into one frequency, that am now two hours, seven minutes past when I wanted to eat lunch!  So guess what I'm going to do after finishing this entry?...

Another great quote from page 40 - where I happened to flip randomly, within the section titled "Lessons of the Beer Game" - point 2, the "structure in human systems is subtle".  What would all the social networking software folks think of this?  He goes on to define structure as the basic interrelationships that control behavior.  So, what is the

2:13:29 PM    

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Stranger in a Strange Mary Sue. I just found a great old post by Teresa Nielsen Hayden on "Mary Sue".

MARY SUE (n.): 1. A variety of story, first identified in the fan fiction community, but quickly recognized as occurring elsewhere, in which normal story values are grossly subordinated to inadequately transformed personal wish-fulfillment ...

[for example] Galadriel's secret love-child (Aragorn�s unacknowledged daughter) who runs off to join the Company of the Ring, sorts out Boromir's problems, out-magics Gandalf, out-fights Aragorn during the melodramatic scene in which she reveals her true identity, demonstrates herself to be so spiritually elevated that the Ring has no effect on her, and wins Legolas' heart forever.
I loved this, and was all set to blog that Robert Heinlein falls deep into this trap in some later novels--until I discoved Teresa's commenters had already said exactly this.

What would Mary Sue do in my situation? Drink exotic poison and die a lingering death in the arms of Johnny Depp, as mascara ran down his cheeks on a riptide of tears....

[Betsy Devine: Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Peculiar?]
6:04:26 PM    

Bush at War by Bob Woodward - given Bob's history, Bashing Nixon, Bashing Clinton - maybe this is a bridge kind of book?

Another Type of Digital Divide ?.

Gleaned from Esther Dyson's blog, Valdis Krebs uses his software to map the books setting out political points of view in these oh-so-interesting times.

I'll bet a map of left/right blogs would look similar.

Kinda looks like the two main gangs in West Side Story or the Bloods and Crips from South-Central LA, doncha think?

 Thanks, Valdis.


[wirearchy News]
4:41:11 PM    

Thanks to Due Diligence for this post  - Don Norman as Andy Rooney caught my eye...

In fact it makes Don's point  - that things that capture attention create an emotional response...  Smiling as I write this.


The Last Day and the Last Brain Cell

The last day at ETech featured Don Norman's keynote. I have occasionally mocked Don (in a friendly way!) as the Andy Rooney of human interface - "Did you ever notice...." - as he's critiqued his way through computing and industrial design. But he's turned over a new leaf, and came to talk about 'enjoyable things', more accurately, products that create an emotional response. And the talk was a joy. Don really is a master raconteur, and his graphics were a great accompaniment - a contrast to certain other (ahem!) graphically challenged keynotes. Don convinced me to amazon his book on the spot, so he gets my pitch of day award.

I had to leave Bill Janeway's talk before the end, but caught most of it. I won't recite his dismal stats on the effects of the NASDAQ and bubble bust on the VC biz, since I get to live that all the time. I think the approach to venture formation which he proposes is a valid and valuable one, and will continue to be a part of the capitalist ecology alongside the conventional round-driven model. I'll just put in one caution - that there's a bit of survivorship bias in the examples he used - eBay, et al. He makes it sound and look easy; it's not.

By this point, accumulated sensory overload and sleep deprivation were starting to take their toll. and brain cells were shutting down at an alarming rate. I visited the programmable matter and XML talks, and Dan Gillmor's blogging/journo affair, but saw no eye openers. I sat in on Bunny Huang's hardware hacking talk on a lark (the last circuit I built featured 14 pin DIPs), and did learn a lot about the low cost of reverse engineering even the most complex silicon products, as well as the continued ingenuity of hardware hackers.

In spite of my occasional snarking, this Etech was a worthy successor to the first. My compliments to the chefs. There was great hallway and lounge action, and I particularly enjoyed my first f2f meets with a lot of folks, of whom I'll specifically mention my blogdaddy Jeff Jarvis, Scoble, Jason Calacanis, and Allan Engelhardt. I'll post some photos over the weekend.

And very lastly, my best-of-show award goes>David Sifry of Technorati. He taught me some new things about a field I've followed for a very long time, and that's a rare gift. [Due Diligence]

2:10:24 PM    

OK OK - you are endlessly fascinating - juxtaposing posts - On The Perceived Hermanetics of Didactic Fundamentalism and then this one... 

I am hot just imagining you in your bikini - pink hat - darjeeling dream

And Great Link to Daniel Day Lewis as Cecil - talk about contrasts - Room with a View and then Last of the Mohicans - don't underestimate the flexibilty of us tweedy guys...


Cock-A-Doodle Do.

Cock-A-Doodle Do

Rise and shine, guys. Let's go. It's getting late. 5:22 am here I suppose that rooster noise is what woke me, figuratively, metaphorically, not literally, as there is no strutting bird anywhere in sight, but in my mind's eye, which is to say a rather sexy dream woke me, what's a girl to do, but stagger out of bed, say ... "hmmm" about that, put a light on, shuffle into the kitchen, grab the counter for balance, flip the switch on the teapot, reach for the Darjeeling to bring her back to Earth, and with spring battling winter and my dreamy landscape a hot summer beach, I don a most inappropriate but perfect costume, last summer's black and white bikini, a black cashmere sweater, a pink faux fur hat. You can't take this life too seriously you see.

I think, "Who Was That Masked Man?"

Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
No, must have been ... oh yes, he's the one. [Halley's Comment]
11:13:45 AM    

Thank you Halley - once again for keeping me on my literary toes.  My introduction to Uxor comes from an a capella song I sang back in high-school.  It is a very sophomoric tribute to latin lessons by John O'Keefe:

Amo, Amas

    AMO, amas,
    I love a lass
    As a cedar tall and slender!
    Sweet cowslips' grace
    Is her Nominative Case,
    And she's of the Feminine Gender.

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum, scarum Divo!
    Tag rag, merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic hac, horum Genetivo!

    Can I decline
    A Nymph divine?
    Her voice as a flute is dulcis!
    Her oculi bright!
    Her manus white!
    And soft, when I tacto, her pulse is!

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum scarum Divo!
    Tag rag , merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic hac, horum Genetivo!

    O, how bella
    Is my Puella!
    I'll kiss sæculorum!
    If I've luck, Sir!
    She's my Uxor!
    O, dies benedictorum!

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum scarum Divo!
    Tag rag, merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic, hac, horum Genetivo!

    John O'Keefe

Note the line above - "if I've luck sir, she's my Uxor."  In other words the beautiful woman he is singing about will become his wife!  Or, at least will perform some "wifely" activities...;-)

Thanks again=======================================================



I used this word "uxorial" today on the phone with someone who knows a lot of words and he didn't know this one. It's a great word.

I have nothing but avuncular or perhaps, fraternal feelings for this guy, btw.

And he is not particularly uxorious either. He simply needed to ask her a question before we could plan an outing. [Halley's Comment]
10:56:33 AM    

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