Lift Conference

Julian Bleecker and Nicolas Nova
Date: February 1st, 2-6pm
Location: UniMail, Geneva, Room M-4193

Blogjects – a neologism Julian Bleecker came up with for objects that blog – exemplify the soon-to-come ‘Internet of Things’, i.e. a network of tangible, mobile, chatty things enabled by the miniaturization, the ubiquity of consumer electronics and a pervasive Internet. In its most basic form, a blogject is not dissimilar to people that blog – it is an artifact that can disseminate a record of its experiences to the web. It would report the history of its interactions with other objects and with people. Because it exists as a physical object, occupying physical space, proximity and movement play an integral role in the interaction syntax. A very simple example is the AIBO “roboblogject”: a robodog that harvests its daily experiences from its surroundings and shares these experiences in the form of a blog; presenting pictures and account of the day (like running distance, or people and objects encountered).

Therefore, this topic ties into the idea of proximity-based interaction and usage scenarios for mobile contexts. One of the underlying assumption is that the future of content creation and dissemination won’t just come from people. It will also come from the social world of objects – things that have histories and experiences. A different kind of witness upon the world, and a witness to events that are of interest to the other blogging species – people.

The motivation here is not just to create objects that blog, as we now understand blogging. But to use the framework of the complete blogging dissemination network and social formation as one in which objects participate – first-class – in the entire multipath culture circulation network. That means syndication, layering meaning on content, trackback, etc.

Aim of the workshop:

discussing usage scenarios of blogjects, the design issues they raises as well as their significance in various usage and design contexts.


  1. Julian Bleecker (USC, LA)
  2. Nicolas Nova (EPFL, Lausanne)
  3. Regine Debatty (WMMNA, Berlin)
  4. Fabien Girardin (UPF, Barcelona)
  5. Mauro Cherubini (EPFL, Lausanne)
  6. Robert Scoble (Microsoft, Seattle)
  7. Daniel K. Schneider (TECFA, Geneva)
  8. Jean-Baptiste Labrune (INRIA, Paris)
  9. Daniel Kaplan (FING, Paris)
  10. Cyril Rebetez (TECFA, Geneva)
  11. Aram Armstrong (IDI, Ivrea)


  • Before: think about 3-4 questions/hot spot to think about (see after)
  • Introduction (Nicolas Nova)
  • Presentation of each of the participant (name/location/domain)
  • Short talk about Blogjects (Julian Bleecker)
  • Everybody describe the 3-4 points (pre-event questions) -> it allowed us to specify different ‘areas’ or ‘blogject concepts’ to create groups.
  • Small Group brainstorm about potential scenarios related to the concepts
  • Presentations by each group
  • Wrap-up

Topics for consideration

  • A blogject is…?
  • What are examples of mobile, tangible, chatty networked objects today?
  • “Technology-Fiction” is a genre of writing based upon Fictional Technology for design-innovation practices in which the style and language of technical, design, research and technical report writing is used to help envision an imaginary (future or past) technology that does not yet exist. It is distinct from fictional technology in that it emphasizes the social-cultural aspects of the world in which the technology exists, and distinct from science fiction in that . In effect, technology-fiction is a way to creatively explore novel, potentially unrealizable forms of technology for the purposes of design-innovation.
  • In what usage contexts do you think a blogject or something related to this concept could be part of a compelling design?
  • What would then be the design challenges of creating such a thing?
  • For particular objects and specific user communities, consider blogject scenarios.
  • Think about an object that can track history of interactions with other objects or with people. How might these interaction histories be used?
  • Alongside of recording its history of encounters and experiences (where it has been and what it has seen, for example) what would a blogject have to say to other blogjects?