Links for 5 July 2012

I think the best thing I’ve seen in the past month has been Touchy, a human camera. It’s:

a phenomenological social interaction experiment that focuses on the relationship of giving and receiving by literally transforming a human into a camera. Touchy, (the person wearing the device) is blind most of the time until you touch his/her skin. Once vision is given to Touchy, he/she can take photos for you. This human camera, with its unique properties, aims at healing social anxiety by creating joyful interactions.

I really like the idea.

Arts/digital links

Most importantly, Ze Frank and Nina Simon are working on something together. I think I heard a thunderclap.

Here’s a case study about a festival using RFID wristbands for enhanced security and social media integration. Festival-goers could link their wristbands to their Facebook account at registration. Once inside they could also tap their bands at stations around the site to post updates with details of the stage they were at and the act performing.

2wice Arts Foundation have moved from a print publication to an iPad app. In other print to app news, here’s a very polished iPad app for Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Other links

Ita is a to-do/list-making app. There are lots of these about but what I thought was interesting about this one was that it makes the lists you use most often start to look worn and dog-eared. On a similar note, I liked this idea about online images that would be affected by people viewing them.

More productivity-related stuff – IFTTT has had a refresh and now works with physical triggers. Tray is like IFTTT for emails, although I’ve yet to give it a spin. The Setup features regular interviews with people detailing the hardware and software they use. I’ve already picked up a few good tips from it.

When Crowd Sourcing Reveals Its Limits sits on one side of a back-and-forth conversation, the inevitable conclusion to which is that crowdsourcing is great in some circumstances but not in others. Still, this was nicely expressed:

The efforts to “crowd curate” remind me of those “Mongolian barbecue” restaurants where the diner has to choose among a buffet of ingredients—meats, vegetables, sauces—to be combined in a stir-fry. Never mind that a competent chef is more likely to know which of the sauces complement which of the meats, which of the vegetables work together and which clash, which combinations are salutary and which are just a muddle. Which would you rather have, a meal crafted by a skilled and knowledgeable toque, or a dog’s breakfast tossed together by the peculiar whims of a random crowd?

Any article with the title ‘32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow‘ should be approached with a healthy dose of scepticism, but actually this one was pretty good.

Some other things:

This Is How You Make Something Go Viral: An Impractical Guide is a follow-up from Gawker on their ‘traffic-whoring’ experiment. This has actually been written by Neetzan Zimmerman (he founded The Daily What) and it includes this:

So do stories that are not being shared even matter? The answer, undoubtedly, is no. How could they, when they are seemingly invisible? This isn’t a comment on their bona fide merit, but if the purpose of the Internet is to engender exchange, then anything not being shared must therefore, in this context, be worthless



Clouds is a computational documentary featuring hackers and media artists in dialogue about code, culture and the future of visualization.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.