Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services

December 22, 2012

An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services:

The article I link to discusses Waze, a mobile mapping platform from Israel (respect!) that is growing into the international market these days. What makes waze special is that it bases it’s mapping data on it’s users rather than experts, making the mapping data more dynamic and up to date.

Rather than add to the praise in the article, which you can read for yourself, I want to discuss an interesting fact – waze’s self-mapping is not the feature that was used to market in Israel at first. If you read the article attentivly, you’ll see it hints to that fact as well – “Waze was born in 2006, when founder Ehud Shabtai coded an add-on for a commercial GPS system that let users map the location of speed cameras.” Rather than a self-mapping GPS service – waze was first and foremost a social GPS – allowing for users to report on traffic data and even socialize!

To me, that shows one of the most impressive facts about croudsourced services, in my book at least – the fact that these services evolve and branch out a lot more than their expert equivalents. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, off course, but can be used, using its interlinking system, as a tool for discovering new music and movies – I used it in that fassion more than once. Facebook is a social website, with content created by users. It’s purpose originally was networking and keeping in touch with friends, but it has now become a platform for broadcasting messages, promoting social awareness, spreading revolution, and even music sharing (my father’s main use for facebook!).

To me that’s the main beauty in social / crowd technologies – the fact that they become a whole new platform for activity, which is often too hard to predict, evolving from little niche’s to full fledged features. 

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16659916264 at January 29, 2012 at 12:51AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.”

December 22, 2012

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.” :

I love (and sort of hate, I guess) finding articles that say exactly the things I think about.

I’ve always found psychology to be a very interesting and practical field of work. Though it may be hard to quantify and measure behaviors in humans, it is not impossible – that is why psychological research is helping people to an ever growing extent in modern times – be it through proper medication for mental conditions, behavioral therapy or simply tips regarding cognitive functions that are making many people’s live’s better every day.

All the application of psychology I listed above contribute to people’s well being, and while not all methods are as precise or effective, they are helping people change their behavior according to their will. For example – helping a person with “ticks” overcome his obsessive behavior. But as they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. 

Even when ignoring problematic experiments and psychological torture, there are still many ways to misuse even the best theraputic practices. If we put asside drug abuse, the main concern that comes to mind, and rightly so, is behavioral modification. The same methods that can help overcome bad habits and teach us to act in more positive ways can be used, if applied correctly, to coerce us into an activity, which we might rationalize as entertaining but wouldn’t have neccesairily engaged in williningly having seen it’s outcome. This article raises a flag on one example – the social gaming industry – whose buisness model relies heavily on influencing players to dedicate time, and eventually, money, with their games.

Even if we put aside the debate regarding the merits of playing a game (described in the article as “‘easy’ vs. ‘hard’ fun”), the major concern, in my idea, is the weak but effective coersion techniques used to getting players involved in the games. If that seems to harsh of a judgement, read this. People payed to click cows… COWS… and now that they’re gone, there are still people playing… So what if their moo sounds are cute!

Despite the above rant, the point I’m trying to make has nothing to do with the games – while I despise them and find them problematic, my main issue is with the idea that this is a working, effective buisness, based on “clicking nothing” games. I can’t imagine working and supporting such an endavor – coming to work to develop games that lure people into a psychological experiment, for which they have to pay (THAT would actually be illegal in modern standards). It’s not about good or bad, but rather about the human hours wasted by both users and company on “clicking nothing”. I feel the way Luis Von Ahn fealt about the captchas.

I try to fill this blog with ideas that make our lives more fulfilling – doing something because it contributes to something else – not just for that something’s sake. I do it because I think that be it through crowdsourced efforts or individual developments, we are building, block by block, a better tommorow through todays technologies, when we try to look at them practicly rather than as a buisness or something cool. I want to eventually pitch and develop an idea that will take part in this trend.

Zynga is the exact opposite of this vision – it bases its success solely on the effectivness of its buisness model, which isn’t a great feat considering how virality and reinforcement are easy to achieve these days. The fact that the internet is so widely based on these economically oriented buisness models (AKA heavy advertising, paid subscription, etc’) is both outdated an a missed opportunity in my opinion – why waste people’s time? There are many examples of successful projects that garnered interest because of their value, not their buisness potential. I wish with all my heart more buisnesses would look into generating a valuble service or by-product as a way to get funded, rather than the methods listed above. 

Returning to social games, and more specifically, the gamers – it’s time to set up higher standards for what we do in our spare time, even in games. Look at the many options today – games that are smartly designed, thought games, games with a social message, or full fledged GWAPs (games with a purpose) – we have enough variety to chose critically on what to invest our time in. In the end, any time we spend on any activity should be valuable to us, and is in fact valuable for the companies (time is easily to capitalise. Therefore, I believe a true shift in gamers interest could, if direct enough, force a shift in buisness strategies as well. The question remains – how to engage a large enough crowd?

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16429768891 at January 25, 2012 at 01:09AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Missing out on the purpose

December 22, 2012

Missing out on the purpose:

I’ve heard about Google’s “social search” a few days ago, and, while I wasn’t impressed, it didn’t bother me to much. I didn’t see much use to the tool, and having Google turned to Hebrew by default due to localisation, I didn’t get to use it. I heard people didn’t like it, but didn’t form an opinion. I can’t say that I can say I already do.

What I read in the linked article, however, concerns me, and seems to agree with my world view on internet services.

The article has a very simple complaint – when I make a Google search, I don’t look necessarily for social results. Sure, they can be relevant (finding Facebook’s CEO’s Facebook account was an example given in the article) but they don’t rank higher than my regular searches. Frankly, if I am looking for social searches, I search the social service itself – acebook, Twitter, as well as Google+ have great search functions that display post results. Considering the “social results” only display results from one social network (you guessed it – Google+), the new function is a huge miss. Let’s ignore for a second that the same function exists within Google+ – the purpose of the main search tool in Google is not to find social results – which is exactly what the article linked argues.

I won’t go on a rant on purpose like in the Matrix, and frankly I discuss it throughout the blog, but I think it’s clear that missing out on the reason your tool is great is just a huge misstep. But rather than cut the tool short (as is usually the case with problematic tools), I’d suggest another thing – add a social tab to google, like the image and video tab, and begin integrating more networks and services (like the great real time tool – a real gem, that closed for no decent reason). 

In any case, only time will tell what will become of this tool. I hope it won’t remain in it’s current state for too long.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15783667430 at January 13, 2012 at 08:58PM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services

January 29, 2012

An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services:

The article I link to discusses Waze, a mobile mapping platform from Israel (respect!) that is growing into the international market these days. What makes waze special is that it bases it’s mapping data on it’s users rather than experts, making the mapping data more dynamic and up to date.

Rather than add to the praise in the article, which you can read for yourself, I want to discuss an interesting fact – waze’s self-mapping is not the feature that was used to market in Israel at first. If you read the article attentivly, you’ll see it hints to that fact as well – “Waze was born in 2006, when founder Ehud Shabtai coded an add-on for a commercial GPS system that let users map the location of speed cameras.” Rather than a self-mapping GPS service – waze was first and foremost a social GPS – allowing for users to report on traffic data and even socialize!

To me, that shows one of the most impressive facts about croudsourced services, in my book at least – the fact that these services evolve and branch out a lot more than their expert equivalents. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, off course, but can be used, using its interlinking system, as a tool for discovering new music and movies – I used it in that fassion more than once. Facebook is a social website, with content created by users. It’s purpose originally was networking and keeping in touch with friends, but it has now become a platform for broadcasting messages, promoting social awareness, spreading revolution, and even music sharing (my father’s main use for facebook!).

To me that’s the main beauty in social / crowd technologies – the fact that they become a whole new platform for activity, which is often too hard to predict, evolving from little niche’s to full fledged features. 

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16659916264 at January 29, 2012 at 12:51AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.”

January 25, 2012

Social gaming – “it’s our responsibility… to demand more honest and fulfilling fun from our entertainment.” :

I love (and sort of hate, I guess) finding articles that say exactly the things I think about.

I’ve always found psychology to be a very interesting and practical field of work. Though it may be hard to quantify and measure behaviors in humans, it is not impossible – that is why psychological research is helping people to an ever growing extent in modern times – be it through proper medication for mental conditions, behavioral therapy or simply tips regarding cognitive functions that are making many people’s live’s better every day.

All the application of psychology I listed above contribute to people’s well being, and while not all methods are as precise or effective, they are helping people change their behavior according to their will. For example – helping a person with “ticks” overcome his obsessive behavior. But as they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.

Even when ignoring problematic experiments and psychological torture, there are still many ways to misuse even the best theraputic practices. If we put asside drug abuse, the main concern that comes to mind, and rightly so, is behavioral modification. The same methods that can help overcome bad habits and teach us to act in more positive ways can be used, if applied correctly, to coerce us into an activity, which we might rationalize as entertaining but wouldn’t have neccesairily engaged in williningly having seen it’s outcome. This article raises a flag on one example – the social gaming industry – whose buisness model relies heavily on influencing players to dedicate time, and eventually, money, with their games.

Even if we put aside the debate regarding the merits of playing a game (described in the article as “‘easy’ vs. ‘hard’ fun”), the major concern, in my idea, is the weak but effective coersion techniques used to getting players involved in the games. If that seems to harsh of a judgement, read this. People payed to click cows… COWS… and now that they’re gone, there are still people playing… So what if their moo sounds are cute!

Despite the above rant, the point I’m trying to make has nothing to do with the games – while I despise them and find them problematic, my main issue is with the idea that this is a working, effective buisness, based on “clicking nothing” games. I can’t imagine working and supporting such an endavor – coming to work to develop games that lure people into a psychological experiment, for which they have to pay (THAT would actually be illegal in modern standards). It’s not about good or bad, but rather about the human hours wasted by both users and company on “clicking nothing”. I feel the way Luis Von Ahn fealt about the captchas.

I try to fill this blog with ideas that make our lives more fulfilling – doing something because it contributes to something else – not just for that something’s sake. I do it because I think that be it through crowdsourced efforts or individual developments, we are building, block by block, a better tommorow through todays technologies, when we try to look at them practicly rather than as a buisness or something cool. I want to eventually pitch and develop an idea that will take part in this trend.

Zynga is the exact opposite of this vision – it bases its success solely on the effectivness of its buisness model, which isn’t a great feat considering how virality and reinforcement are easy to achieve these days. The fact that the internet is so widely based on these economically oriented buisness models (AKA heavy advertising, paid subscription, etc’) is both outdated an a missed opportunity in my opinion – why waste people’s time? There are many examples of successful projects that garnered interest because of their value, not their buisness potential. I wish with all my heart more buisnesses would look into generating a valuble service or by-product as a way to get funded, rather than the methods listed above.

Returning to social games, and more specifically, the gamers – it’s time to set up higher standards for what we do in our spare time, even in games. Look at the many options today – games that are smartly designed, thought games, games with a social message, or full fledged GWAPs (games with a purpose) – we have enough variety to chose critically on what to invest our time in. In the end, any time we spend on any activity should be valuable to us, and is in fact valuable for the companies (time is easily to capitalise. Therefore, I believe a true shift in gamers interest could, if direct enough, force a shift in buisness strategies as well. The question remains – how to engage a large enough crowd?

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16429768891 at January 25, 2012 at 01:09AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

Missing out on the purpose

January 13, 2012

Missing out on the purpose:

I’ve heard about Google’s “social search” a few days ago, and, while I wasn’t impressed, it didn’t bother me to much. I didn’t see much use to the tool, and having Google turned to Hebrew by default due to localisation, I didn’t get to use it. I heard people didn’t like it, but didn’t form an opinion. I can’t say that I can say I already do.

What I read in the linked article, however, concerns me, and seems to agree with my world view on internet services.

The article has a very simple complaint – when I make a Google search, I don’t look necessarily for social results. Sure, they can be relevant (finding Facebook’s CEO’s Facebook account was an example given in the article) but they don’t rank higher than my regular searches. Frankly, if I am looking for social searches, I search the social service itself – acebook, Twitter, as well as Google+ have great search functions that display post results. Considering the “social results” only display results from one social network (you guessed it – Google+), the new function is a huge miss. Let’s ignore for a second that the same function exists within Google+ – the purpose of the main search tool in Google is not to find social results – which is exactly what the article linked argues.

I won’t go on a rant on purpose like in the Matrix, and frankly I discuss it throughout the blog, but I think it’s clear that missing out on the reason your tool is great is just a huge misstep. But rather than cut the tool short (as is usually the case with problematic tools), I’d suggest another thing – add a social tab to google, like the image and video tab, and begin integrating more networks and services (like the great real time tool – a real gem, that closed for no decent reason).

In any case, only time will tell what will become of this tool. I hope it won’t remain in it’s current state for too long.

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/15783667430 at January 13, 2012 at 08:58PM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com


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