Sunday, September 25, 2005

Digital companion

I read some productivity advice the other day. You can get back about a day a month of your working time by only reading your email twice a day. Twice a day! I live and/or die via email. While i know that many young people see email as an oldies technology, it is how i structure my work, keep my overseas family under control, keep records of important 'conversations', construct carefully thought out responses to nasty communications, and maintain the long-distance relationships with friends and colleagues that have become so important to me in a strange land. While demonstrating how embedded this form of digital communications has become in my life, this also means that the twice-a-day productivity email rule is very difficult to observe.

However, this little rabbit might be the answer. S/he's wifi connected to the internet and does cool stuff like wiggle ears or light up when email arrives. S/he can also update you on the weather or traffic conditions and facilitates sending personal messages (e.g. you can move the ears on your bunny and the ears on your friend's bunny --in the room next door or in another country -- will also move, showing that you're thinking of him/her). Higly functional, directly linked to maintaining personal affinity networks, and importantly, FUN! Also a tricky transfer across on and offline spaces. (I'm not sure how the cute little bunny will help me be more productive, but at least it recognizes the importance of email and online relationships in my life...and it makes me smile).

Friday, September 23, 2005

Turning Pages project at the British Library

The British Library has been developing a really useful resource, turning much loved and rare classics into online texts. The great thing about the Turning Pages project is that the books are available in their original format (e.g. Lewis Carroll's classic 'Alice's Adventures Underground' can be seen in his original handwriting) and the technology used makes it appear that you can actually turn the page. In addition, there is a printed form, plus an audio version.

More information can be found on the BBC online news service or, of course, at the British Library website.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Creative boxes

Wow, talk about mixing creativity, play and digital cultures! Have a look at the Box Doodle Project -- you take a cardboard box, play around doing something creative and arty with it, take a digital photo and upload it to the site to create a collective gallery. Thanks for Boing Boing for the link.

THIS is the kind of affordance that is SO POWERFULLY provided by digital media. Makes possible rapidly developing, evolving (and possibly, just as quickly, disappearing) affinity groups. Online communities made possible by shared interests, creativity, play and digital technologies.

We need more of it!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The digital dream

The new ESRC Seminar Series "Play, Creativity and Digital Cultures" held its first meeting over the weekend at Lincoln. A brilliant group of people in a room together. It was sheer bliss.

Lots of debate and discussion around theories of play and what we understand play to be in relation to digital media, enhanced by presentations by Margaret Mackey, Julia Davies and Jackie Marsh.

My important contribution to the event was to share my knowledge of beautiful laptop bags (note the connection to digital cultures). All of us schlep laptops, PDAs, cameras, mobiles phones, iPods and whatever else we use to 'live the mobile dream'. However, until recently it was very difficult to find stylish and functional bags to carry it all in. For gorgeous and functional bags, try StyleMaven and MobileEdge!