Attencion! Camp — Starbuck vs. Samwise in a Fight (and what does that have to do with the Attention Economy?)

Posted by bryanzug - 2009/02/27

As I’m getting around to documenting some of the fun things I’ve gotten to do over the last year, this one was quite the blast. I updated my (Geek Fight * Attention Economy) talk with a new character — this time a woman who kicks serious ass.

At the very first BarCamp Seattle last June, we had a great turnout for “Starbuck vs. Samwise in a Fight (and what does that have to do with the attention economy)”. Here’s the session poster:

BarCampSeattle: Starbuck vs. Samwise in a fight (and what does that have to do with the attention economy?)

I’m not going to give away the thread of the discussion, because that makes it less fun if you ever get to drop in on one of these discussions — but I’ll tell you this, they are lively, fun, and get everyone to think.

I learn a ton every time I facilitate it.

Wanted to take a bit of time to note it because this theme of attention keeps coming up.

While at the Seattle Drupal User Group’s MiniCamp this last Saturday, Gregory Heller, Scott Falconer, Larry Swanson, and I began talking about how we need a camp about content that is tool independent and all about “signaling through the noise”.

Since “content” is such a boring word, I suggested an “Attention Camp“, which seemed to strike a chord.

Looking around for a domain, “attentioncamp.com” is being squatted — so I went with the next best things —

  • attencioncamp.com (we could all use a little revolucion! no?)
  • attncamp.com (140 char headline writing seems to be seeping into my thinking)

So we’ll see — I’m pinging possible partners in crime to see if this thing has legs. If you are interested, tweet me and join the discussion.



My Chumby Just Arrived

Posted by bryanzug - 2008/01/07

My Chumby just arrived — here it is (except mine is black) — and yes, this is a realtime reflection of what it is showing —



Marching toward release of an open learning system…

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/09/05

I’ve been marching busily during recent months toward release of a 200+ lesson web based training system for the new phase of a clinical information system at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Hope to release details soon on the site so those of you in the elearning space can take a look.

The architecture of the thing should be very interesting to those of you who lament with me how learning management systems (LMS’s) too often function as walled gardens — and cut off discoverability and content re-use as a result.

Stay tuned for the hard launch.



Udell on ‘Video Knowledge’ and my riff on the death of the specialist

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/20

Father of screencasting, Jon Udell has great post on the move toward video as a knowledge/rapid-documentation repository. After a few technical points, he hits this gem that completely jives with my experience on getting into the flow of screencasting —

…you have to overcome the same natural reticence that makes dictation such an awkward process for those of us who haven’t formerly incorporated it into our work style. You also have to overcome the notion, which we unconsciously absorb from our entertainment-oriented culture, that video is a form of entertainment. It can be. Depending on the producer, a screencast documenting a disaster recovery scenario could be side-splittingly funny. And if the humor didn’t compromise the message, a funny version would be much more effective than a dry recitation. But even a dry recitation is way, way better than what’s typically available: nothing.

Just another step toward the seamlessness of media where real headway means that this will be less and less of a specialist skill — who is a ‘word processing’ specialist these days?

No one — every one.

There is a point in the future (near? mid? far?) Jon alludes to here where things like screencasting will be a natural repository for business/education/whatever knowledge — a time when this stuff will not be a specialized skillset.


Last night with the wife and kids, I brought YouTube up on the family TV and searched for my wife’s username and my daughter’s name. We all sat mesmerized for 30 minutes while we played the various clips Jen has uploaded over the past 6-8 months.

It’s content that I, as a professional multimedia producer, had little to do with — All video my wife produced on her own through mostly self developed knowledge and a digital camera (not a miniDV camcorder).

What does TV look like to my daughter and my wife? Something much less specialized than I could ever imagine — and I’ve got a good imagination.

On with the flattening of the universe…



Ignite Seattle videos now ablaze

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/14

Had another great opportunity to shoot some rapid turn around video last week. This time it was for Ignite Seattle. All I have to say is what a night.

Thanks to Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis for putting on a fantastic event — as Scott Beale said, it really gave you a sense of what’s going on in Seattle.

I’d call it a snapshot of this grand moment we are experiencing in the Seattle geek entrepreneurial community. Lots of fun from my end to help the momentum along.

Where to start? So many highlights — you can see all 25 of the five minute sessions over on the Ignite Seattle Blip.tv page. One’s that stood out were —

  • Scott Ruthfield (embedded above) from Amazon talked about doing re-design in a “Megacorp”. Scott was at our Mind Camp 3.0 Discovery Slam and is a great presence on stage — very funny and engaging. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Brian Aker was great as he told the story of ripping up his new house to install his own computer based phone system — it’s as much a tutorial as it is an essays on geek relationships with your wife. Very funny. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Scott Berkun did a session on ideas and innovation and, as always, did a great job. Very cool visuals. Blip.tv video is here.

So many others were great — go take a look at the other sessions when you get a chance.



I’ll Have a “Cappuccino U”

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/11/26

Via Harold Jarche this AM comes a link to a free pdf book called “Cappuccino U” (.pdf) by Jerome Martin and published by Spotted Cow Press.

It’s kind of a chronicle of diving into / developing “a new, personally-driven approach to learning”. From the Intro —

This e-book is about a new style of learning in which innovative people have combined new information technology with traditional ways of learning to develop a new, personally-driven approach to learning. It happens predominantly in “the third place,” a location that is neither home nor office. The third place is usually a coffee house, one which is designed to serve this particular audience.

People gather in their favourite third places to work, relax, visit and learn. They work independently and in groups. Some of them use computers which may or may not be linked to the web. Some are taking courses online; others are writing books like this one.

This is Cappuccino U.

Martin goes on to relate how he dove into a Faulkner class via Oprah’s Book Club —
I soon learned that Oprah has not only a book club but a classroom as well. By joining her book club (at no cost to me) I found that I had access to lectures about Faulkner and the books. I and thousands of other students were told that the lectures would be available over the summer. We were asked to read the books in the order I listed them and were informed by e-mail when a new lecture was available on the web.
He then does a nice summary on how education is no longer “acquired through vaccination” — that’s a nice phrase —
Some people feel that they have an education because when they were 22 they received a Bachelor’s degree, or they received a PhD when they were 28 (or, more likely these days, 38).

However, education is not acquired through vaccination or some sort of
anointment. We learn daily – or we have the opportunity to do so. Continuing education, be it formal or informal, is essential to our growth as individuals.

If our formal education has been successful we will have been vaccinated with a curiousity virus and will continue to look for new knowledge, not just because it is useful to us but because we have an insatiable desire to learn and become better at what we do.
Overall, it’s a nice short summary of where things are headed — both for our traditional teaching institutions and for career training.



Gratitude as the driving force behind Google

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/28

Here is a cool quote about what drives Google engineers —

The thing that drives the right behavior at Google, more than anything else, more than all the other things combined, is gratitude.
It is well buried in this long articulate rant by Steve Yegge on why most Agile development hype is akin to sci-fi religion yoohoo — he frames the nice stuff by so much self aware BS detection that, well, I kinda believe it.

Definitely want to digest the whole thing as I have more time.



FooBar Sessions as Literature

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/29

Berkun has a great writeup of his FooCamp experience from last weekend. Sounds like a great time.

Found myself nodding with this lowlight observation ––

I’m guessing fewer sessions were recorded or taped this year. I don’t know why, but the vibe was much less about blogging, posting and publishing in real-time than last year. Maybe this is not a lowlight – not sure.

Seems to me that this is both a highlight and a lowlight. In one sense, people are more focused on engaging with the stuff around them –– the facilitator, the content, the people, the space.

That’s a big win in my book as the ‘must blog’ buzz is subsiding in favor of more human lids down engagement  (laptops, not eyes).

On the other hand, having just done a full weekend of session video capture at BarCamp Vancouver, it’s a lowlight to me that so many great conversations that could have been captured and passed on just won’t.

In a sense, our ‘now’ orientation keeps us from seeing the connections that are waiting to happen outside of the room/people/time of a particular setting like this.

And yet, when things get captured decently, they have great potential to take on a kind of life of their own — making connections and sparking fires that we can’t see in the moment — kind of like good literature does over the ages.

Even capturing a session that is not hit-it-out-of-the-park-fantastic is fun for me because the presenter is always really grateful and will usually go back and see the things they did well and learn things they could do better next time.

All the stuff, those rhetoric classes were supposed to teach you, but, because you never saw the relevance, never did.

Anyway — the weekend was really useful to help me think through this participate/capture dichotomy — lots of ideas percolating on how to bridge the gap.

Can’t wait for Mind Camp 3.0 to try ‘em out.



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