Open Business – crowdsourcing an entire business. What is an “open company”, and how do we set one up?
How do we talk about cool technologies in ways that make sense to new users? How do we talk about technology in ways that take account of the realities of those users? And how do the terms we currently use shape up? These are much bigger questions than whether an event is called BarCamp or Unsheffield – and it’s worth standing back and thinking about.
Dougald Hine takes a timely look at the language of disengagement and the uncool of technology.
The old adage of Build It And They Will Come simply doesn’t work with many Future Users. Sustained engagement demands not only an innovative product but a shake-up in the way we traditionally go about identifying relevance and creating useful solutions, typically using widespread or mundane technology that’s just applied to cool effect. 4iP have already established a strong pedigree of encouraging forward-thinking and inventive ways to reach out to millions of people who would otherwise happily let the digital revolution pass them by.
Okay, it’s rough to criticise the work of Alvin Toffler, nearly 40 years after he published ‘Future Shock‘. But while Toffler’s key premise – that the shift from an industrial age to a post-industrial, highly technology-mediated society would leave us all feeling rather disconnected and over stressed – may have some merit in terms of information overload, it’s perhaps not quite as stressful. We’ve certainly been living a more connected existence in technologically developed societies since the early 1990s.
Joanne Jacobs explores the evolution of technology into the contexts for engagement of Future Users.
We’re looking for people who can help make Unsheffield run smoothly on the weekend. We need people to help out with general event support, the Social Media Surgery and event reporting. If you’re interested in getting involved, drop us a line at volunteer [at] unsheffield.net. Volunteers also get full tickets for the event.
BarCamp Sheffield has evolved to Unsheffield, and is taking the technology unconference format to a broader public. Participant-generated content still remains at the heart of the event. Mixed up alongside are public workshops that create a bridge between local and regional talent and the international event and its contributors.