LIFT'08: David Brown Workshop — Teenagers and Generation Y [en]

[fr] Notes prises lors de LIFT'08. Workshop sous forme de table ronde avec 4 ados de 16-17 ans, étudiants à l'école internationale de Founex.

*I took these notes at LIFT’08 in February, and am only publishing them now, I’m afraid!*

*Workshop notes with real live teenagers! No guarantee as to how exact
my notes are… etc.*

Panel with real teenagers LIFT08

Four teenagers from the International School of Founex

Trying to formalize things. A bunch of themes/apps to approach this session:

Social networks, IM, Music, Video/Films, E-mail, Blogs, Niche Web2.0,
Location based, Connectivity (what hardware?), Phone SMS, Own tools,
Wow and virtual worlds… Real world.

Friends/social circle, buying/e-commerce/for free,
advertising/marketing/messages, geographical distance, homework,
privacy security personal data, organising, fragmentation

Going round the room to see who is who and what their interest in
teenagers and the net is.

*steph-note: worried that the approach here might be a little too

Teens (seem like a highly educated, very literate bunch, critical;
international school!):

Chloe: Facebook to communicate with teachers, a lot for school. Not a
gamer, more of a social/pictures person. Maths homework via internet
(Mathletics). 2h a night.

Luisa (?): 16 — Facebook to communicate with each other, organise
meetings, not a gamer.

Elliot: not much of a computer-user, heavy mobile phone user
(text/calling), would play games (was denied electronics until he was
12). Facebook: good way of archiving who your friends are and what
they look like — good way to communicate by replying in your own

Liam: typical: video games, music (not a hardcore gamer though),
Facebook to keep track of friends (social circle online and offline
overlap). Wikipedia saves your life for homework.

Elliot: FB = great way of controlling the photos of you other people
are posting on the internet.

Liam: used to use MySpace but now really identified with Emos… so.

Chloe: used to have a skyblog, had lots of french-speaking friends. In
the international world, more Facebook. Was one of the first in her
school to have FB, as one of her best friends moved to the US and they
had it there.

ELuisa: FB really helps you keep up-to-date with people you’ve met
over the summer. With e-mail, your friendship wears out.

Liam: regular e-mail is good for attachments.

Luisa: it’s weird to have your teacher as your friend. *steph-note:
they don’t want to know too much about their teachers lives*

Chloe: concerned about providing stalker material (cleaned up and
deleted many people she didn’t really know). Didn’t realise that
everybody in the Switzerland network could see all her info — changed
the setting, and is spreading the word around her, even to her

My parents use the internet to work/communicate (use FB e.g.) so quite
open-minded. Used to ask for her e-mail password in case anything
happened, but Chloe doesn’t really think it’s necessary.

Luisa: keeping up on FB gives you something to talk about when you go
back — you’re up-to-date.

Never considered using Skyblog as public, and parents uncomfortable.
FB: more control and privacy, feels comfortable with it.

Elliot: couple of friends of mine rejected from universities based on
their FB page.

Chloe: Rumors?

Elliot: heard that some employers now demand access to your FB page
(but could be untrue). FB information is rather light-hearted, likes
and dislikes, etc — not really the business of the school or the

My question:

– how much of a threat do sexual predators online seem to you?
– do you feel that holding back personal information keeps you safer?

Chloe: not that concerned (from what I understand), doesn’t think that
holding back information keeps her safer — weirdos can get that info
anyway. *steph-note: good for her!* Weird IM people: blocks them.

Luisa: less concerned than she feels she should.

Elliot: more concerned about internet fraud. (E-bay.)

Question: buying online?

Answer: not much (trust, likes going into shops and talking to people)

Chloe: doesn’t like the idea of paying by credit card.

Luisa: amazon++ that’s ok.

Q: concert tickets

Elliot: yeah, tickets often available only online — got semi-scammed once.

(The panel seems divided on online shopping.)

Luisa: convenience vs. safety (giving your credit card number)

Elliot: quite wary of using the credit cards he has, because he knows
he’s being tracked quite closely.

Comment: the teenagers here have little “positive” experience of using
their credit cards to counter-balance the media scare about issues
like fraud or identity theft — which can explain their general

Chloe: her dad and her do grocery shopping online on, and
she’s comfortable with that. Useful.

Luisa, Liam: really weird to go shopping for clothes and food on the internet.

Elliot: gets information in the store and order it online.

Our panel doesn’t seem that familiar with the “go in town, take
photos, post them on facebook, get feedback, buy online” method.

Luisa: more “funny” pictures from changing rooms, but wouldn’t really
put them on FB.

girls: ask opinion about shopping for clothes to offline friends with
them, but wouldn’t do it via the internet. So much more fun to do it
offline. No fun to do it over the internet.

My question: plagiarism in homework

Answer: systems in place in school to detect it, don’t do it — know
people who have gotten away with it, but this is more something the
younger grades do. Doesn’t make much sense because you can’t fake oral

Elliot: wikipedia not regarded as a good source.

Liam: because anybody can write what they want on it.

Got to be careful with what you find in wikipedia. Experimented with
putting BS into pages just to see they could.

Music creation and writing on the computer. Picture editing.

Consensus: online doesn’t beat the real world.

Luisa: a good photographer is not somebody who’s skilled in photoshop,
it’s somebody who takes a good picture.

Some consensus here that digital art is “less” than using classical
techniques. Don’t feel “creative” in front of a computer.

Comment: you guys actually look down to things that are easy.
*steph-note: spot on*

*steph-note: interesting how fascinated we adults are to have a chance
to actually talk with teenagers!*

*steph-note: conversation is interesting but going off-topic as far as
I’m concerned (about being critical in general, having role-models).*

Elliot: technology makes it easier to be critical and determine if
what is said in a lecture is a widespread view or not, etc.

Question: do you have any role-models? *steph-note: imho badly
phrased… need to be more concrete: who do you look upto? admire?*

Discussion about music downloading. Awareness that they have the means
to buy the music they like (wealthy enough).

Luisa: “the internet isn’t the only way of spreading…(the word?)”.
Doing things for real (building a schoolroom in tanzania) has more
impact on me than buying a cow through the internet.

Not much webcam use (just Chloe, friends in the states).

*steph-note: sorry, tuning out — could have done with a break but
didn’t push for it.*

Discussion about creative commons and copyright. No perception that
photographs you find in Google are not free of rights. Seems to be a
lot of confusion about copyright regarding images/photographs.
Contrast with discourse about music downloading.

Blogs: a fashion that has gone past. *steph-note: confirms what I
thought, and also why I’m not asked in for talks in schools as much as
before. I think FB and social networking in general are “replacing”
blogs for teenagers. In francophonia though, I guess FB hasn’t taken
off, so it will still be Skyrock. But it’s called Skyrock now, and not

Less use of MSN, but Skype and Facebook.

Elliot: in the UK, Blackberry

This bunch are the student council, go on humanitarian trips, etc. Not
the most tech-savvy necessarily, but talkative!


Data usage: this is Switzerland! Data is horrendously expensive, and
it’s not in the culture to use it.

Conference Experience Evolution and The Paradox of Choice [en]

[fr] Mes réflexions sur l'expérience vécue lors de conférences comme LIFT08, LeWeb3, SXSW, BlogTalk, à la lumière de ma lecture du livre The Paradox of Choice. Surcharge cognitive et sociale, trop de décisions à prendre. Evolution également, entre les premières conférences où je ne connaissais presque personne, et où l'accent était mis sur "faire de nouvelles connaissances", et les dernières conférences, où je me rends compte que je ne peux pas passer du temps (ni même parfois dire bonjour) à toutes les personnes que je connais déjà.

There’s a lot going on in my head these days, and unfortunately I’ve been too busy/exhausted (that damn anaemia is still around, fwiw) to blog about it. Since a week or so before LIFT08, actually, I feel like I’ve been desperately running behind the train, and the distance between my hand and the handlebar that will allow me to climb back on is just increasing.

One book I’ve been reading these last weeks (months?) is The Paradox of Choice. If you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes to order it now. It’s turning out to be a really important book for me, on the one hand for understanding a few things about how the world we live in functions and affects us in the areas of freedom, responsibility, and of course, choice — and on the other hand for understanding myself.

I suffer a lot from having too many options to choose from: I’m really bad at being a “satisficer” in certain areas (somebody who will be satisfied with an option as long as it meets certain criteria) as opposed to being a “maximizer” — wanting the best option available. In particular in my professional life and my intellectual pursuits, each choice is agonizing, because my brain wirings keep me very focused on everything I’m possibly missing out upon each time I pick a particular option over others. I do my best to tone this tendency down, of course, but it’s there.

There’s a lot I could comment upon in relation to this book and all it is helping me understand (it delves deep into the mechanisms of choice, and that’s fascinating), but suffice to say right now that it’s colouring a lot of my thinking in general these days.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is conferences. Obviously, as a conference organizer (Going Solo early bird price ends soon, by the way!), it’s on my mind, but I’ve also been attending quite a few conferences recently and reflecting of how my experience of these events has evolved (due to “burn-out”, increased network and public profile, and maybe other factors).

For online people like me, conferences are an occasion to see their usually scattered network of relations (friends or business contacts) coalesce in one single geographical location over the space of a few days. It can be very exciting, especially when you get to meet many of these people offline for the first time, but it can also be overwhelming. During my first conferences, I also got to know a lot of new people. People I wasn’t interactive with online. People who “grew” (ew) my network. People I liked and decided I wanted to stay in touch with. People who were interesting business contacts.

As conferences went by, I would find myself in a crowd of more and more people I already knew and appreciated and wanted to spend time with. I think FOWA last November was a breaking point for me — I realized that it was impossible for me to catch up with all “my people” there in the space of two short days. It was quite distressing to realize this, actually.

A few weeks after that, I was in Berlin for Web2.0Expo. A bit burnt, I took things way more lightly. Attended a few sessions. Didn’t even show up on certain mornings. Hung out with people I met there. Didn’t try to blog all the sessions I attended. It went much better.

Conferences are hard. There is a lot of intellectual stimulation (sessions and conversations), and a lot of social stimulation too. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I already feel life is simply too full of interesting things and people. In my everyday life, I struggle with the feeling that there is “too much out there” for me to “deal” or “cope” with — and a conference just concentrates this feeling over 2-3 days. Lots of fascinating (hopefully) sessions to attend. Great corridor conversations. Old friends to catch up with. New friends to make. Business contacts to touch base with. Dinners, lunches and parties. Take photos, blog, video the sessions or interview fellow attendees. To do all that well, you’d need to be superhuman.

I had two “different” conference experiences during these last six months, and they were LeWeb4 and LIFT08. Both times, I attended the conference with a rather clear business objective. It was tiring, but less overwhelming, because I’d decided in advance what I was in for. LeWeb4 (LeWeb3 actually, 2nd edition — don’t ask me why) actually turned out better than LIFT08 for me, because I simply didn’t attend any sessions (aside from half of JP‘s). At LIFT08, I had a press pass, so I did feel pressure to live-blog — and also, it’s my “home conference”, and I really like their programme. I was also giving a speech, so, although this conference experience “went well”, it was overwhelming.

So, what am I learning about conferences? They’re “too much”. So, you have to go to them knowing you’ll miss out (which brings us back to what The Paradox of Choice is about). The more connected you are, the more socially unmanageable it’s going to be. People you won’t see. Not saying goodbye. Not spending as much time as you wanted with certain people, but in exchange spending more time with others. So, I’ve come to accept that. I don’t know who I’m going to be able to catch up with. I know I won’t be able to catch up with everyone. I do my best not to plan — and if there is a small number of people (1, 2, 3) that I really want to see, I make plans with them, and that’s it.

The sessions are also “too much”. You can’t sit in sessions for the whole day, take notes, blog about them (or whatever you do) and then do the same thing the next day. Well, you can, but chances are your brain will fry at some point. I know that I can’t do it for two days in a row. At SXSW, I decided at one point to officially give up on attending sessions. I felt bad, because there were lots of them which sounded interesting, and lots of people I wanted to hear, but I also felt relieved because all of a sudden the pressure of making choices had been removed. If I happened to be hanging out with people who went to a panel, or if I stumbled into one — well, good. But I wasn’t going to make decisions about them other than on the spur of the moment. That worked out pretty well.

I did the same for the parties. Too much choice => I refuse to agonize on decisions before the last moment. All open. Go with the flow.

So, bottom-line: very little planning, lots of improvisation, and setting low expectations about doing precise stuff or hanging out with precise people.

To change the subject a little, I noticed at LIFT08 how at one point, there seems to be a physiological limit to taking in new people (certainly some relation to the Dunbar number department). At LIFT08, I was just so socialed out (or over-socialized), between running around promoting Going Solo and being the object of some attention after my speech (watch video), that I realized at some point that I was doing horrible things like:

  • trying to hand out moo cards twice to people I actually already knew (in this case, it was Robert) in the space of a few minutes
  • asking people for their name 3 times in a row
  • forgetting I’d talked to people, even when they took the trouble to remind me what we had talked about a few hours before
  • and of course, totally not recognizing anybody I’d been introduced to recently or at a previous conference

In this kind of situation, you can do two things. “Fake it”, as in “oh, hi! how’s business, blah blah blah” and hope that the person will drop enough info to help you out, or just fake it till the end. To be honest, I hate the idea of doing that, and I can’t bring myself to do it (plus, I’m sure I’d be quite bad at it). So, I prefer the second option, which is being honest. I apologize for not recognizing people (mention that I’m hopeless with faces — people who know me can attest), explain that I’m over-socialized and have simply been meeting and interacting with too many people. In my experience, this approach works out fine.

There’s also a lot to be said about “micro-fame” — the first couple of conferences I went to, the number of people I “didn’t really know” who were interested in talking to me (as in “walked up to me to introduce themselves”) was close to zero. Today, people show up out of nowhere, know me, want to speak to me. Friends want to introduce me to people they know (which is good, by the way!) My first conferences involved a lot of just meeting a nice person or two, and hanging out with them for the whole conference. This is more difficult today (except maybe at small conferences like BlogTalk) because I just know too many people (or too many people know me).

There also seems to be a subculture of highly-travelled, highly-conferenced people I’m suddenly finding myself part of — and I’m sure it would be worth taking a closer look to what’s going on here (hmm… a conference, maybe?)

I’ll stop here, after dumping these thoughts in this not-very-organized post. It felt good to write all this down. If you have comments or thoughts, agree or disagree, experiences to share — my comments and trackbacks are yours to use.

About Missing Videos (Open Stage, Friday) and Expectations [en]

[fr] Certaines vidéos de LIFT, dont celles des open stage, n'ont pas pu être montées en live. C'est un peu compliqué pour finir tout ça et les mettre en ligne, et on ne saura pas quand ce sera le cas.

Update: the video of my open stage speech about Going Solo is online now, thanks Laurent!

I posted this note on the LIFT community blog at Laurent’s request (he sounds a bit swamped right now) to give some info about the missing videos. I’m cross-posting it here, mainly for the few personal thoughts at the end of the post.

A few of us Open Stage speakers have been wondering why our videos weren’t online. Let me state first that it is not a conspiracy of some kind or an indication that community-chosen presentations might be less regarded than “invited speakers”. If you look at the videos on, you’ll see that Kevin Marks is the last recorded speakers — all those after him are missing too.

I’ve asked Laurent about this (believe me, he’s heard about it enough) and what has happened is that some talks were not edited live — so it seems it’s a bit of a struggle to get it done / retrieve them / put them online. We unfortunately don’t know when they’ll be available. I trust, however, that the recordings are safe and will not be lost.

This kind of situation is really annoying. As a speaker, who was relying upon this video, I feel extremely frustrated — and also a bit mad at myself, because knowing how important this recording was for me, I should have planned for a fail-safe and got somebody to do some dirty shooting “just in case”.

As a conference organiser, I dread that I’ll find myself in this situation at some point — it’s almost inevitable. When you announce something, even if it’s something that you’re giving graciously, people come to expect it and rely on it. And when things go wrong and it doesn’t happen the way they hoped, they react badly (me included) — when they probably wouldn’t have said anything in the first place if they hadn’t been expecting it.

I know Laurent feels bad about this, and they’re doing what they can to find a solution — amongst the myriad of other post-LIFT things they need to deal with.

From LIFT06 to LIFT08 [en]

[fr] Un petit coup d'oeil sur les différences majeures entre mon expérience de LIFT06 et de LIFT08, à deux ans d'écart.

As I said in my open stage speech, two years (and a few days) ago I was sitting in the CICG conference hall, but things were very different from today. LIFT06 was, if I remember correctly, my second conference. I’d been to BlogTalk2 in 2004 and met a few people there (live-blogging already!). So, in 2006, there were very few people at the conference which I had actually met. I knew Lee Bryant. I knew Martin Röll. I knew Laurent Haug. I knew Björn Ognibeni (I think he was at LIFT06, but couldn’t swear it). I knew a few local bloggers, and some people from online. (My memory is a bit fuzzy.) But most of the people who make up my network (both online and offline, personal and professional) were not part of my world yet.

LIFT06 is where I met Robert Scoble, Bruno Giussani, David Galipeau, Euan Semple, Hugh McLeod, and a bunch of others. It’s where I got to know Anne Dominique Mayor (we both sat down smack in front of Robert Scoble by pure chance, because we were going for power sockets — that’s how I met him), and she has since then become part of my close circle of friends. LIFT06 felt a bit like San Francisco felt a year later: my online world had suddenly materialized offline.

Retrospectively, I’d say that in 2006, I was introduced to people, but that today, in 2008, it is people who introduce themselves to me. It’s not as clear-cut, of course, but it’s the general trend.

At LIFT08, I’ve lost count of the people present whom I’ve already met. There are almost too many for me to say hello to each one. I’m holding a workshop, and giving an open stage speech, so I’m much more public — more people know me than I know them.

It’s a bit scary. I don’t know who I want to spend my time with anymore, for one (old friends? new, unknown people?) — and my brain just can’t keep up. I forget who I’ve met. I try giving Going Solo moo cards to old friends more than once. I feel like I’ve become a networking automaton, and I don’t like it. I’m not good at faking it, I’d rather tell people that I’m over-socialized and that I have trouble processing all this.

My LIFT08 Recap [en]

[fr] Un récapitulatif de ce qu'a été LIFT08 pour moi cette année. En gros, expérience très positive, mais un peu comme une déferlante. Trop de tout, mais c'était bien.

LIFT08 was great, but overwhelming. I think I’ve used this word a couple of times already to describe it. I’ve been thinking a lot these last months about my “conference experience”. I’m not quite a conference butterfly never touching the ground between them (expression stolen from Tom Purves), but between FOWA, Web2.0Expo, BlogOpen, ParisWeb, LIFT, and the upcoming BlogTalk and SXSW, I’m spending a significant amount of my time preparing for, attending, or getting over conferences.

I plan to write a bit about LIFT08 first, and then come to more general stuff about these “tech” conferences and the worlds revolving around them — but you never know which way a blog post might decide to take you, do you? (I can already see I’m going to write it differently… fasten your seatbelts. Actually, I’m going to write separate posts. Or this one is going to turn into a 10-page essay. And nobody wants to read 10-page essays, do they?)

So, what do I take away from LIFT08 — knowing that this year, I’m looking at things through an event organiser’s eyes?

  • Many hats: I’m a live-blogger, I’m a “speaker” (workshop, open stage, and an informal discussion), I’m a friend, I’m a freelancer on the lookout for new gigs, I’m promoting Going Solo, and looking for anything or anybody who can help me put on a great event. Too many hats.
  • Live-blogging: I’m not happy about my job as a live-blogger this year. I think I was too stressed by my many other hats to really concentrate well on what I was doing. Also, as I had a press pass for it, I felt under pressure to do it seriously. Lots of partial notes, not “live” enough, didn’t tag my photos (help me!, and lots of talks I skipped. I want to post some slideshots still, and notes I took during the workshop with real live teenagers (e-mailing first to make sure I won’t publish stuff that might get them in trouble). I’ll write a summary post with links to my notes.
  • One track: really really great that there was only one track (as in, no separate rooms, no choices to make in the programme). Just sit down somewhere and the choices are made for you. Thanks for having the courage to make those choices for us, Nicolas and Laurent.
  • Water: bottles are really better than fountains. I’m not going to walk around with a glass, and I always forget to bring a bottle with me. I didn’t drink enough. Not sure Going Solo will be “as I’d want” in that respect, though we should have big bottles of water on the tables in the conference room.
  • WiFi: up and down, of course. Why does conference wifi always have to be so wobbly? There’s room for some serious analysis and reseach about that, in my opinion. Getting wifi for Going Solo is one thing I really worry about. There will “only” be 150 people there, but still… Given my track record for criticizing, I’m going to be lynched if Going Solo wifi fails.
  • Videos: great videos, but. No permalinks to each video (I e-mailed Nouvo about that). Also, some organisational (?) glitch which prevented the open stage talks from being edited and uploaded at the same time as the other videos — as an open stage speaker who was relying on that swift publication, I find it very frustrating. The tapes are safe, Laurent tells me — but had I known, I’d have asked somebody to quick-and-dirty shoot and upload to YouTube.
  • Content: I think the two-many-hats problem prevented me from fully getting all I could out of the various talks. I’ve also noticed a shift in content (the audience reflects this) from “more web” to “less web”. It’s a good thing, because it broadens my mind, but it also means there is less pointy stuff I’m directly fascinated with. (Don’t change anything guys, though, I like being stretched.) Maybe this had an influence on how easy (not) my note-taking was.
  • Speakers: at one point I started wondering if it was a new trend for speakers to read their talks. Please don’t do that! It makes it very hard to follow what your saying. Lots of really great and entertaining speakers, and general level was very high (despite the reading).
  • Food and drinks: nice! nice! yum! No breakfast though, I missed that. And also, no orange juice during the breaks?! I didn’t find it if it was there. Not everybody drinks tea or coffee — and I had a really hard time finding the tea.
  • People: lots of them, lots. My “conference experience” is changing, as I said above, and I need to blog about that.
  • Intense: LIFT is intense. Great people everywhere. Great talks you should meditate upon during a month.
  • LIFT experience: I was too busy running around to enjoy all the “offline stuff” LIFT08 offered, and I really really regret it. I didn’t even get around to having my own handwritten font made, and didn’t send anything to the editor of the not so empty book (I blame the wifi — it was just too much effort to send an e-mail). I really think that the not so empty book should go and tap into technorati and flickr tags to steal content which has been published online. I had my photo taken though… not sure where it is now, however.

So, still landing. See you tomorrow night in Morges to talk more if you’re in the area.

LIFT08: Kevin Marks (Google Open Social: The Social Cloud) [en]

Insert standard disclaimer about live notes.

LIFT08 168

The cloud is an abstraction, because we don’t want to think about what’s in between, or inside the cloud.

Send a message anywhere, and it’ll come out at the other end.

For Andrew Marks, Kevin’s son, the net is just part of the world. The older generation sees the net as a big cloud of poison gas. Has an impact on how we deal with the social software environment.

We assume e-mail is there and part of the web, but for the young generation it’s there to talk to adults, not really exciting. Standard boring stuff.

Their blog or their social network is “them”, but not their e-mail.

URLs are people too. Some of these pages on the internet are people. My blog is me. Links between these websites which are people are in fact expressing relationships. XFN.

Social Graph API: finds the websites that can be treated as people, and returns “me” and “friend” links between them. XFN + FOAF + Google crawler.

Problem: too many social networks!! Problem for the developers too! Need to make people sign up again, and tell who their friends are, etc…

“I want my own private island!”

The Social Graph API can help you find the friends you have on another site in the new system. Tell Twitter what your homepage is, and then Twitter will go and look up people-URLs who are linked to your homepage and in the Twitter system already, and assist you in making those connections. Finding me and my public friends on the web.

In social network land: “my friends are all here already, I’m quite happy on MySpace, don’t want to emigrate!” BUT my relationships aren’t all public, and change depending on what I’m here to do.

We put clouds around things so we don’t have to think about them. Registration, creating links between users…

OpenSocial is putting clouds around things that you don’t want to have to worry about. Take your application where the people are.

A third thing we need to worry about it: the nature of relationships. As danah boyd says, people don’t break friend links on a social networking site, except if there has been a messy break-up. Nothing less severe than that really justifies un-friending people. But when people get fed-up, they lose their password or destroy their profile, and create a new one from scratch with fewer friends. steph-note: like people used to do with blogrolls 5 years ago.

Technology mustn’t be perfect.

XFN isn’t subtle enough to render the relationships in Pride and Prejudice.

LIFT08 172

Douglas Adams: “Of course you can’t trust what people tell you on the web, not more than you can trust what people tell you megaphones… etc” 1999

The abstraction (trust, friendship, context) is in your head. It’s not explicit. The software never has a chance to understand this.

OpenSocial puts a cloud around social networking sites, the details of people, friends, etc. In the future, users could assume that your software will know about your friends, relationships, profile information. Could be implicit. In the cloud. An abstraction that any piece of software could use.

In the same way, the abstraction layer in your head provides information that you use in a way in any social software. steph-note: not sure I got that last bit right.

You can (and should) watch Kevin’s LIFT08 talk on video.

LIFT08: David Sadigh (User Retention) [en]

*Live notes of David Sadigh’s talk, possibly incomplete or misunderstood. Standard disclaimer, you know the drill.*

LIFT08 161

Who was connected to the Internet in 95?

Internet users get the same content, however they behave. But people are different! They should get different content.

– homepage bounces
– marketing and e-marketing campaigns are not well-optimized

98% of visitors leave an e-commerce site without buying.

2008: billions invested to drive more people to these websites. Lots of traffic but not enough sales. We would never accept results like that offline, why do we accept them online?

We don’t focus on user retention and customer experience.

Opportunity: sell more by delivering more relevant content.

Techniques: intentional, geographic, event, behavioral targeting. Push.

Intentional targeting example: you type “family holidays in Italy” in Google, and you get a sponsored link. When you click on it, you would land on the website but get a photo of a family instead of a boat on the sea in the header: that’s intentional targeting.

*steph-note: bunch of stuff on what is more clickable amongst certain Nespresso images.*

It’s not about clickthrough, though, but about sales. Or page views by a specific user.

*steph-note: a very quantitative approach, which is personally not very appealing to me, but which I understand is crucial for business settings today.*

Qik Interview by Robert Scoble [en]

Yesterday morning, Robert caught me for an express interview on Qik with his cellphone. Here it is. I speak about the beginning of my LIFT08 experience, and about Going Solo, of course.

Here is my blog post about the open speech talk I gave just earlier.

LIFT08: Paul Barnett [en]

Creative director. Between the creative vision and the huge raft of people who do all the work.

Is going to try and strip the gibberish away.

LIFT08 158 Paul Barnett

“Lots of people online doing things.”

Bother, too large to talk about! One of the things you can do online with lots of people: you can socialize. Social networking is massively popular and theoretically worth billions and billions!

Lets of people are making things and showing them off. “User generated” 🙂

“My cat was sick all over my grandma, and I videoed it. Wanna see it?”

*steph-note: this guy is really fun and I like his accent!*

Strange word: “entertainment games that make old-fashioned… something (money?)”

Objective: they do this really well, I want to give them money!!

Profit! Something his mum understands. Virtual making real money. Not sure why!

Decided to talk about two things:

– history of cinema
– ?? *steph-note: missed that*

Just like mainstream movies, games have:

– too many people working on them, cost way too much, miss their deadlines, and when people experience them, they go “I can do better!”

History of cinema: color… weren’t sure it would catch on. TV came, and they were convinced TV was dead. DVD. And yet, movies flourish.

They don’t have 5 changes in 50 years, but 50 changes in 5 years. They don’t have the generational thinking. People who are successful in this business build rockets to the moon and never come back. Technology keeps changing and they don’t know how to use it. They don’t have a clue about what’s going to be “the platform of the future”. They don’t know how to monetize it either. Problem: all the games that appear to make money online were built years ago. Problem in a moving market.

The online space is fun and draws new speakers.

Designers who design for designers cost a lot of money, speak gibberish, and you just have to believe them. Paul is the middleman, between various players in the industry who have different languages.

Casinos: like movies and games (cost a lot, not ready on time, and when you walk in “I can do this?”) Subscription model. Community management.

American system: if something works for somebody, build it bigger, better, faster… But that doesn’t work in the long run.

New design and thinking is happening online. Take your game design people, and put them online — fight insular thinking. Need to embrace the online industry.

LIFT08: Guy Vardi (Casual Games) [en]

*steph-note: live blogged notes, may be incomplete, etc.*

LIFT08 163 Guy Vardi

Casual games?

– “silly, stupid games”
– “games for the housewife”

*steph-note: video went way too fast for me.*

If a hardcore game is a full meal, a casual game is a snack.

Snacks are not dinner, say the WoW fans.

People play 2-3 hours a month, 3-15 times a month. (*steph-note: not sure I got that right.*)

Second largest money waster in the US after the subprime crisis 😉

Stats: rising phenomenon. People spend more time playing online games than watching clips on YouTube or interacting in social networking sites like Facebook.

Bite-side episodes. People want short stuff (video clips, TV episodes, music).