Reboot9 — Lee Bryant: Human Need (Kozarac) [en]

Here are my notes, unedited and possibly misleading, blah blah blah, of the Reboot9 conference.

Why adoption is not an issue when the use case matters.

Lee Bryant

Where the use case matters, people will make it work, no matter how crappy the system is. Inspired by Sugata Mitra’s “hole in the wall” presentation at LIFT. “Life will find a way.”

About a town called Kozarac in northern Bosnia. Returnees to a town from which they had been chased. One of two towns in Bosnia which was inhabited almost only by one ethnic group.


  • town destroyed, people imprisoned, thousands killed and others expelled
  • perpetrators stay in power, and control local authority, and don’t want the inhabitants back
  • need to go back and rebuild from scratch

How can an online community support real community (protect, develop…)

Return begins around 2000. 2002-05: rebuilding. 2005-07: reclaiming presence.

Three sites.

For a period of town, the websites were the town. The town only existed in virtual space.

Online space shows high degree of consensus. All discussing the same issues.

Top forum topics: #1, taking the piss out of their own leaders; #2, fire engines.

Practical outcomes? Fire engines: bootstrapping their town, had no support, and were actually opposed. Funded stuff themselves, expat communities contribute through the forums. Fire engines were one of the first priorities. Funded and organised the fire brigade with the help of the diaspora on the forums.

Memorialisation campaigns. Basketball. Identity in the diaspora. We know people in the diaspora tend to become more “old-fashioned” or radical in their national identity. The website allows young people to access the “real” town, and know what’s going on there. Keeps the diaspora connected.

Emin, traumatised survivor, was able to open up about it through the site that he discovered recently.

Bridging can also be physical, structural holes in the physical world. Preservation of memories and culture, specially in a context where teachers, doctors, etc have been targeted for execution. Some people from the town are dead, and nothing exists or remains of them besides what is said or put online about them.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


  • scale: small intimate spaces can have a huge effect, more effective at supporting collective action (would this happen on MySpace? no)
  • common purpose: if people share a need, they are more co-operative
  • hooks into RL
  • motivation: real needs => positive behaviour

More LIFT Notes: Sampo Karjalainen, Lee Bryant (and Stowe again) [en]

As always, can contain inaccurate material.

Sampo Karjalainen

Habbo: hang-out place. You get a character, you can configure it. steph-note: looks like a very lo-res version of Second Life

Sampo Karjalainen

There are games inside Habbo.

What makes people come back? People can create their own room/spaces. Can buy furniture (in-game credits), pets, kissing booths, armies, banks. steph-note: this really looks like pixelised Second Life. Question: can you create stuff and objects as you can in Second Life? People seem to be having a ball in Habbo, in any case.

Playful environment, though people might find it “uncool” to say they’re “playing” in there. A part of unexpected in what people did with Habbo.

Provide building/playing blocks. Intuitive interaction. Get people in the mood for play.

Lee Bryant: Collective Intelligence for the Enterprise

Brain Leak

Original photo by Violator3 on Flickr.

Basic problem: wasting a lot of brain power in large organisations.

Our IT systems don’t understand how we work. People are great at pattern matching. We don’t go “yellow object, subset with large hairy objects, teeth => lion” — we just shout “Lion!”.

We need to feed our minds, not the machine. steph-note: Lee has got much better at slides since BlogTalk 2004

Many intelligent people inside organisations are surprisingly open to using social tools.

Lee Bryant

Usually, enterprise tools get worse the more people use them. Social tools get better the more people use them.

There is no such thing as a global collective intelligence. Collective intelligence exists only within a defined community.

Large large companies (>1k) have enough scale to make these things work, and do internal versions of these tools.

Bottom line for doing social stuff:

  • potential cost savings if we work in a smarter way
  • multiplier effect on productivity
  • greater peripheral vision
  • less duplication of effort
  • closer, more responsive client relationships

Basic principles: reading, writing, filtering.

Over time, information starts to find you. If I miss something in my news reader, it’ll probably pop up again, because somebody else in my network is going to blog/link/ it.


  • feeds everywhere
  • feed library management
  • filtering tools
  • clipstream tools
  • social search

Importance of engagement and context. There is no magic tool. Adapt the solution to the context and situation.

Engaging people with new ways of working is not easy.

There is perception of dangers, risks, security — and the “real” evalutation.

Stowe Boyd

This is a shorter version of the workshop notes, so I’ll send you there. Or read [Bruno’s notes], which, as always, are quite complete.