Wednesday, 19 September 2007

My Tagging Experiment

A little tongue in cheek this one. This years Dconstruct07 utilized a pre-conference website at Backnetwork. I tried a little to make connections here but my personal network consisted of just two work colleagues. My attempt to discover mutual interests amongst the attendees, via a couple of forum posts only resulted in one response which being just before the conference I did not read until afterwards (doh).

It seems a little over half the attendees signed up to the site on backnetwork and although I didn't make any new connections there, there was some useful insider information posted. In some other arenas I would guess that the sign up would be lower but this type of pre-conference interaction is perhaps something that more and more people are going to come to expect.

At one point the evening before, my mind was bored and thinking of hand-held devices, I was also thinking of tagging and whether I had put up the right 'interests' on the Backnetwork site. Tomorrow I would presumably be spending sometime in a large crowd of total strangers and have no idea or way to discriminate those that shared similar interests (or complimentary interests). I flashed forward to the future and imagined a hand-held device that was not only wireless but also transmitted a configurable profile. The profile would contain information on my current interests and status. For example if I really was looking to chat and had free time it would indicate this (like the 'Skype me' option on Skype). Pull out the device and it would communicate with all the other devices in the crowd, I could pop-up a screen and scroll though options highlighting the position of other people of interest and their position.

There is of course scope for chaos, how long before some wag transmits "I am a 10 second bomb", "I am a 9 second bomb" "I am .....". Or rue the day a Supermodel wanders into the conference transmitting "Computer geeks make me hot, and I love Apple technology" (there would be deaths, I am sure of it). Is this a nightmare vision, something desirable or just something soon inevitable?

I had no such device so resorted to writing, "I study Chinese" in Chinese characters in the space below my name on the name badge. As expected this was entirely unsuccessful but never mind I had plenty of opportunity to chat with the Chinese community in Brighton during non-conference time.

Oh yes, later in the day Tom Coates introduced us to a feature world (not too distant) where the absolute position of everybody could be plotted and reported and Paul Boag in one of his podcasts in talking about the IPhone speculated on all shops and venues transmitting information that could be picked up as you wander by. Not a big leap to extend this to people and already happening in a limited way via Bluetooth.

No comments: