Twittering the Election, SIFTing Media Collections

If you haven’t seen this already, then go check it out. Terse political opinions fly by with impunity. What to do, what to do…and how does media theory speak to this? I can anticipate hundreds of approaches, from critical political economy to social constructivism to what-have-you … but then again, I’m directly implicated in the construction of these very tools, for better or for worse.

Case in point – if you can imagine a media rich version of this, then you might be interested in what Mobile Muse (in partnership with the affable people at Raincity Studios) has been working on for the past little while: the Social Information Feed Tracker (SIFT) Tool. Currently in beta, this application allows SMS and social media from sites like Youtube and Flickr to be aggregated in custom channels. More functionality is being added as we speak – watch for a full public announcement of this and other Mobile Muse innovations very shortly…

Open Mobile, as it happens

Scott talks about open video platforms
Irwin talks Fearless

It was fun setting up to Brian Eno’s Music for Films, which cast an alternately serene and ominous shadow over our dry runs with the 3 screens.

I think the keynote went over well. The tech worked out supremely, with all 3 screens going, SIFT aggregation, Movino, and Modul8.

Scott Nelson then talks about mobile video. Movino is the winner today. I texted as much to SIFT. then he demos Movino over TCP/IP. Unfortunately the docs for this program are slim.

Great questions and comments, including how to stream to handsets, how video streaming and other rich media features are trickling down to budget handsets.

Next Irwin talks about Fearless and Mobile Swarm.

Video about Mobile Swarm.

Next Igor talks about “Beyond the Mobile Web:context awareness as the future of internet”. wow, he’s got stats on advanced wireless web use on mobiles. in Vancouver. can’t wait.

Igor talks Mobile Web

mobile web and context awareness can solve the information overload problem (e.g., 13 hours of video uploaded every minute to youtube).

every third user of Translink’s mobile site comes from the desktop, not from a mobile.

advice: design for context.


“Mobile technology in Latin America: a selection of works” – Jorge Hernandez Cerda, via Skype from Chile. tech issues. psychologist.

mobile festivals in Brazil. GPSarte – using gps tracking to create art.

making excuses to avoid phone calls over SMS as art – Buena Letra (Argentina)

Glenn Iles – Whistler and large scale events. video from Crankworx. questions right away – professional and amateur mtn bikers don’t want their tumbles videotaped. the “scrutiny of truth”. event management. add value to productions – e.g. mobile camera operators can fill a need to keep production costs down for a production company. video coverage of sideshows too. attention to sponsors. behind-the-scenes wins, such as capturing the bear on the mtn bike course.

had to go early and miss the last two presentations…

Open Mobile

I’m presenting a keynote this Sunday for an event called Open Mobile, presented in part by Mobile Muse as part of New Forms Festival 2008. I’m co-presenting with Roland Tanglao and Jesse Scott (artist info here), who will be my visual accompanists. But hopefully their visuals will override and scramble my messages such that the audience comes away more confused than I am going in. No, seriously. It should be a good opportunity to talk about mobiles with a highly creative audience, fresh from ArtCamp and other New Forms goings-on.

Here’s the abstract for my talk in draft form:

Opening Mobiles, Community Activation and the One Wireless Web
It was once said that the Sony Walkman, not love, would tear us apart. Contrary to these claims about mobile privatization, whereby individuating technologies are said to produce alienated populations running around in mobile media cocoons, and for some quite unexpectedly, the diffusion of advanced mobile devices and applications offers new opportunities to build and activate communities, invoking a radical reconstruction of media, art production, intellectual property, and public space. Ubiquitous, open, mobile, and accessible internetworking technologies, heralded by portable wi-fi devices such as the Nokia N95 or Apple’s iPhone, will enable us to continue the legacy of our tethered social media cloud – media sharing, wikis, tagging, twemes – in a radically different space than we’re used to (or one that we’ve simply forgotten about somewhat): public space. This is contested terrain, with a complex political economy, but the potential for a ubiquitous mobile web is now too alluring to ignore. This talk will navigate the mobile web space with one eye on media history and political economy, and another eye on the accompanying VJ screen, to assess how the speaker’s messages are being scrambled while this all unfolds.

Check out the Open Mobile Eventbrite page for more details about speakers, times, location and so forth.

Update: Here’s a compressed PDF of my presentation. I’ll post a link to the video later on…

Mobilecamp Vancouver 2008

networking at Mobile Camp Vancouver 2008

Mobile Camp Vancouver 2008 Scheduling Jam

Setting tracks

Fearless Medias Mobile swarm cart

Transit security surveillance cycling and gaming session

Andrew Kumar on being a mobile student at Mobile Camp Vancouver 2008

Mobiles and education session

mobiles in education - Richard Smith

even more networking at mobilecampvancouver 2008

more networking at Mobile Camp Vancouver 2008

notes from MobilecampVancouver08, as it happens:

scheduling jam – lots of tech and business, but the turnout is a little more arsty than last time with a good showing from the Fearless community. huge iphone dev track. it’s split in two it seems.

10:30 – 11:30 Karen Fung on transit and cycling and Roland Tanglao on cycling ARGs – mashed together into one session.

public space, access to display space at trankslink/canadaline sites.

Roland wants to build an ARG using linux chipset and mobile cameraphones on bikes. how about with the

courier community – can this add value to their experience?

ituna – community bluetooth public transit – browsing others’ mp3 players.

why not start now? we have low hanging fruit – api, google earth as test bed, nokia sportstracker – proof of concept stuff doesn’t need funding yet.

myths about security with surveillance at transit sites. often result in crime being simply moved away from the sites where cameras are located.

ridesharing…cut short.

11:30-12:30 Richard Smith on mobiles in education.

discussion not presentation. what is the problem? what are the possibilities?

context switching – managing multiple selves becomes more challenging.

but what are the opportunities?  backchannel, projecting these on the screens, heat mapping from students who can indicate how much they’re absorbing the material.

how about mobiles outside of the classroom? scavenger hunts, etc.

well – look at media history and its impact on curriculum – (video and multimedia as substitutions for traditional writing assignments). what are the particularities of mobile that are conducive to learning?

how about channels for twitter – students can consult their social networks over mobiles and then bring commentary in.

tagclouds – one for the instructor, and then one for the student tagcloud. collaborative notes. the aggregate of text msg notes from all students could combine to form a very useful study resource. could be used for interdisciplinary work, too – tagcloud mapping could help resolve issues of nomenclature/vocabularies of different disciplines.

laptop adoption is higher than expected.

access and democratization in education. third world uses of mobiles. making services accessible to all – sms and voice are the lowest common denominator.

Andrew Kumar – being a student in this milieu. how to stay engaged with the material – what system is needed? reflections on iphone use with podcasted courses.

engaging students, getting them to create the content and then posting it.


1:50-2:30 – Mobile Muse, Fearless City, SIFTTool session

I presented briefly on Mobile Muse’s role in community activation (my 3 words today were open mobile communities).

Irwin presented briefly about Fearless. Scott followed up about open handsets, open software, solar panels, etc. Swarm.

Mobile swarm – Roland and Scott. SMS comments, mobile live screen on shopping cart. demonstration of the the SIFTTOOL – Roland. live on the screen – inputs: sms, youtube, flickr, twitter.

Malcolm – why would people socially/culturally want to engage with the MUSE3 platform (not just how they’ll do it technically)? Swarm was a great test bed for this. it’s down to opinions.

how many people uploaded? 250+ .

Andrew on BOB. sponsors business dev programs, infrastructure. has 4 clusters, including an ICT cluster.

also offers loans and grants

2:45-3:15 – Igor Faletski on how there is no mobile internet

context aware network. today’s mobile web. war now btw those who’ve built the narrowband mobile web (e.g., admob, bango) and the new players coming in who are used to broadband (iphone). .mobi. smasung instinct, iphone are breaking this old model.

the one web. coined by tim berners lee. it’s indivisible. do you go to a mobile social network site or do you go to facebook? obviously facebook, cus that’s where everyone is.

goal is to minimize the work done by the end user. (?)

context aware stuff, examples:

fire eagle. location awareness for ads.

Q&A – is there going to be one web? is it about delivery of content and rendering it for whatever device? what about the fact that spectrum is owned, and the internet is not? isn’t that indicative that there are two webs? the intermediation of content seems relevant to me.

3:30-? – Translink on the iPhone

Translink has an API, but it’s still uncertain whether they’ll ever make it avail to public. google has an open transit sched spec that allows anyone to write their scheds to it. Translink prolly won’t do it. many transit systems use proprietary systems.