Blogjects — Perambulation, Locale Harvesting, Presence

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Anticipating my participation in a Blogjects workshop at the Lift in February, I’ve begun thinking about what a Blogject prototype might be like. Will and I are working on a kind thing that shares your perambulations with yourself, your network, the world finding intersections with other locative or place-based “goo.”

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Your perambulations are logged and the intersections with other “things” are captured. The Blogject is smart enough, and resourceful enough, and context aware enough to figure out how to communicate with and capture other Blogject goo.

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It’s also resourceful enough and smart enough and context aware enough to know how to disseminate what its found along the perambulation and, thus, is able to “blog.” (Here, the idea of blogging is a trope that is roughly meant to convey that the Blobject “disseminates” based on its experiences in the world. It might not literally be a Movable Type or Drupal blogging entity — but it might. Until there’s a better, richer more socially connected mechanism for circulating culture.) We’re thinking of a less purposeful/more casual model for capturing perambulations than the kind of scenario wherein you stop, capture a moment with some annotation or psychogeographic mark. Rather than that, we’re interested in what happens in slow-time, afterwards, as a kind of post-facto replay that makes legible unseen or lightly-seen “things” in the pervasive Internet.

MobHappy kind of riffs on this theme of tying mobile moments to some sort of dissemination network that may be tied to place, but is mostly tied to “state” in the presence mode. What am I doing? Am I available? Um..I really admire the MobHappy bloggers and their work. I would only say that, you know — finding “another use for Mobile RSS” is probably not the best approach to designing compelling mobile experiences that mesh well with existing social practices that are, a priori, not assuming some bit of technology or a kind of syndication protocol. With due respect and general collegial admiration, that’s kind of like buying a door knob and then buying a house that it looks good on.

Why do I blog this? I think Presence is a fruitful area for research & development, and I think that dissemination is the easiest part of that. It’d be “cool” to jettison some feed and, like..of course it is RSS. But, like..what else? What beyond the little applet that publishes an RSS feed that says “I’m driving..can’t talk.” Can the “thing” blog or disseminate on its own, based on context, location, paths?

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