A picture named me.jpg

"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" ~ Guy de Maupassant ~

Friday, May 06, 2005

Are Bloggers Hunters?

I just told Avi I blogged our Guru-Geek conversation ... am still IMing with him while I write this. He called me a Hunter ... always on the prowl for a blog post .....

avi : now look u turned into a hunter  
me : meaning?
avi : ever on the prowl 4 a blog post! 
me : lolol.  naaaaaaah sometimes I dont look for it, it just comes to me ... like this one ... spontaneous
avi : hmmm, nope not spontaneous
me: am going to blog that toooooooooooooooooooo ... you calling me a hunter
avi : it comes 4m awareness, see for all others things are just episodes which depending on expectations will make them happy or sad, a hunter, as a journalist, poet, photographer is always aware and knows tht the moment will give him/her the feed

avi: in fact Don Juan has said some nice quotes on being a hunter, Carlos Castaneda. for the hunter doesn't count on expectation that thing will come his/her way. The hunter knows if he's aware and the right moment will always feed him. So whn u r in the blog mode u'll see topics coming 2 u left right n centre, whn u r not topics dont come and the diff between the two is ur level of awareness 

avi: it is essentially this .. and u hv told it 2 me urself ... u had said "Don't judge Avi, just put it down. Once u start to think you can't put it up" thts a primary rule of the hunter ... the hunter doesnt operate out of expectation.  will give chase. if he gets his quarry well n good, if not, will focus on the next quarry. know tht in the hunt he gets transformed.  each time u hunt down an idea that idea is consumed by u and becomes a part of u

And then he sent me this quote ... "An average man is too concerned with liking people or with being liked himself. A warrior likes, that's all. He likes whatever or whomever he wants, for the hell of it." ---- Carlos Castaneda

Hmmmmmm ... we continue chatting as I push publish  ....  


12:36:31 PM    comment []  trackback []

Blogs and Wikis - Is Guru Geek?

I was just chatting on IM with a friend who was asking me about wikis and blog .... and I was just rambling on and on. 

He stopped me in my tracks saying ... "you should wear a Guru crown".  

My spontaneous response ... "naaah ... am just CURIOUS and PASSIONATE and a USER and BELIEVER.  I'm definitely not A GEEK ... all the gurus are geeks"

To which he responded : "hmm who said you need 2 b Geek 2 b Guru?"



12:19:45 PM    comment []  trackback []

Voice Comments at Blogs

Now wouldn't this be cool !!!   How about it, Radio Userland?

Skype to Blog Calls - SkypeAudioBlogging.

"What I hope to share today is my initial experience with Skype to Blog Calling. What's a Skype to blog call? Well don't you want your blog to capture voice comments from readers? I certainly do. What's more Skype has evolved to the point where it is more than just possible. Short recordings. Based on tests today and the speed with which the blogosphere can adapt solutions mean:

  • Every blog user could have a "Voice" comments option. You simply Skype the blog. In fact what happens is each post has a unique call to tag which is intercepted by a small program interacting with the SkypeAPI, which diverts the call to Pamela which also provides text messages to the Skyper - You finish leaving your voice comment and it is being uploaded and the final url link to the voice comment texted to you when completed.
  • Voice Commenting Status would be provided by a Presence Server which would also present online status updates for the post author. As long as the author has Skype online then voice comments are activated. Similarly commenters would have an option to share their status with the site they are commenting on. Eg a recent comments by those currently online.
  • Voice Activated Blog Channels could be set up. SkypeMe.SkypeJournal.com as a voice blog consisting of voice messages tagged by topic. It could be self regulating just like Hot or Not or similar sites. You record your elevator pitch and tag it with key words. When others listen they can also tag it. Thus you have a repository and a history search function and directly feed into RSS.
  • Presence for Vocalizers. If you leave lots of comments and want feedback at the appropriate times why not leave / share your presence with others listening to your comments. A response button would also be possible that would say enable a text message but no intrusive calls. This is no different than leaving an e-mail link.

As a side benefit, voice comments could be clipped into newsy podcasts, highly commented on posts with unique insights could be very interesting. Personal podcasts of the RSS Voice Comments feeds are possible"

Read the whole post - its worth thinking about. 

11:57:33 AM    comment []  trackback []

Visual Ethnography using Cam Phones

Also came across this article in the Feature, by Howard Rheingold, on how camera phones are fast becoming a personal storytelling medium.  Howard ponders :

"It looks like this newly ubiquitous device could be more about flows of moments than stocks of images, more about sharing presence than transporting messages, and ultimately, more about personal narrative than factual communication."

He then goes further into quoting from a paper delivered at a conference in Korea at the end of 2004, by Daisuke Okabe :

"Cameraphones enable an expanded field for chronicling and displaying self and viewpoint to others in a new kind of everyday visual storytelling......"

".......For example, the people they observed used streams of text messages to "inscribe a space of shared awareness of one another" -- an explanation for the preponderance of messages that conveyed no information other than what the sender was doing at the moment: "I'm sitting on the bus," or "I'm bored" or "I'm walking up the hill." The cameraphone study extends this framework by revealing how people's choices of images to share enables intimate social networks to share ambient information; but, "on the other hand, we are finding that users tend not to e-mail messages to one another, and prefer to share images by showing pictures on a handset screen." Hence, the communication device that used to transmit messages across distances is now also used to capture a flow of experience in order to add a visual element to face-to-face story-telling......"

I remember the time we would equip our subjects in studies, with disposable cameras to record moments in their lives.  We don't need them anymore with some of the youth target audiences. Especially in India, and many other Asian countries, where its hot for youth to own cam phones.  

Advantages are many ...

  • quicker
  • cheaper
  • much more real life and real time as you're using a tool that fits into their "culture of use"
  • easy to transmit via email or post on blogs or Flick'r- like applications
  • no researcher bias - the subject is the researcher    

The only bitch is the quality of photographs - I hope cam phone manufacturers get their act together providing cheaper but better quality imaging. 

11:10:07 AM    comment []  trackback []

Art with Heart

I'm currently involved in a multi-country study which involves visual ethnographies in people's homes.  As a result, I've been experimenting with capturing lifespaces through the lens. Its an interesting journey ... I never thought my projects would help me learn so much about photography one day !

I was looking around on the web for stuff on photography, and I came across Evelyn Rodrigues post that points to a really neat article from the editor at Lenswork - "Twenty one ways to improve your artwork" (its a pdf file). 

This one resonates.  For ethnographers (ok - we're not there to create 'art' - still.... ), it might be a very useful tip :

"Remember art is not about artwork. Art is about life. To become a better artist, first and foremost become a better person - not in the moral sense, but rather in the complete sense. Remember that the greatest artist is not the one with the best technique, but the one with the most human heart."

Thanks Evelyn, for the link.


10:35:11 AM    comment []  trackback []