It’s my birthday.
Did you know?
-10 if you did not & you are on one or more of my social networks
-15 if you are on more than 3
-20 if you are on my IM
+/- 0 if you did not and are not
That’s the way today has been for me. It really is my birthday. I’d forgotten till someone sent me a text asking me what I was up to at the weekend.
In past years I did not do anything about it, I ignore it, I get grumpy if anyone mentions it.
This year was different: txt’s, IM’s, emails, twitters, fb presents. Also it’s following the clock so my birthday started as the US got into the evening and logged on and I’m sure it will continue until the west coast goes to bed.
The fist thing that this has taught me is that that James Governor’s notion of Declarative Living is one that in reality means that it’s very hard for us to control what it is we are declaring. Many web2.0 require you to give a birth date, and you have to remember to turn that option off. Of course I knew all this, I just did not feel it as much as I do today.
The second thing that I’ve realized is the degree to which I frame my life in ludic terms. I started to get the birthday messages. Immediately I was struck by who was sending them and what medium they were using. Some were unexpected, and I think there is a time factor there, if we are Web2.0 linked and we were drinking together a few weeks ago then I guess you will notice the b/day sign in face book.
Of course what was really present was the absences – that’s you!
Why haven’t /you/ sent me anything yet, eh???
I realized then that I was starting to implicitly rank things. Those that had send something, my relationship with them – are they just a contact on flickr or are they more upscale than that?
Next I started to make this explicit, and started to work out a relative points system for the different types of interactions I was, and importantly, was not having. Basically, I’m the GM / the Game god and I’m working out your XP on the My Birthday Quest, or better still it’s a DKP system.
To put it another way, I’m raking my own personal social relations in terms of game points. OK now I lean more to the Asperser than the Empath it has to be said, but still, I wonder to what degree my automatic use of this conceptual frame actually does change the way that I think about people.
Lastly I realized that there is not only a need but also a business model in this.
In relation to the pre-web2.0 days I now have a lot of contacts spread over a many many social networks. I also have a terrible memory.
Now one of the many interesting things about the Metavese Roadmap meeting and MetaverseU event that, to some degree, carried over into GDC was the idea of the virtual permeating into the web and the physical world. The former though thin virtual spaces such as Raph’s metaplace and the latter through augmented reality, such as gps based google-map overlays being displayed through one’s mobile phone and other geowanker (no really that’s what they call themselves, you just can’t make this stuff up) projects.
The other concepts to bring in here are those of passively multiplayer games and using distributed ranking systems / crowd sourcing / prediction markets, to solve problems. So, for example, there is the idea from a number of sources (including IBM labs) of allocating points to emails and then using point distribution to work out how emails are ranked – there are a number of variations on this theme. We should also ref the Linden ‘love machine’ here too.
So, to apply those kinds of technique - what I need is a way to manage all this data and especially these social relations. The solution might be a passively multiplyer game plug-in to all my communications feeds that will allow me to build the type of rule base I mentioned above than then apply it to a set of meta-data about the people I know. If there is a standard there somewhere I could also be shown the delta between how I rank you or you rank me – at least in macro sense, I don’t want to start wars or break up relationships here.
As a fellow TN’s t often says: I am judging you.
But it’s ok – you can judge me too.
……file under speculative musing