Collaborative Futures Day2: “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?”

This is so much fun!

On the second day of our “Collaborative Futures” book sprint (read the posts about it and about day 1) I was still very skeptical about our process and our chances of success. But as the day progressed the project started taking shape and I’m actually even more excited about it now (and the same goes for the rest of us).

Most of our work today was actually heads on writing and from time to time some more lower level structure stuff. I focused mainly on definition issues and wrote drafted three chapters under this section tentatively titled: Sharing is the First Step Towards Collaboration, Coordination Mechanisms, Does Aggregation Constitute Collaboration?

My co-conspirators have wrote about assumptions, history, web 2.0 is bullshit, motivation, open relationships, and other people’s computers (revolving mainly around cloud issues). Pretty interesting writing, as this is definitely a group of pretty informed and passionate people.

We have also drafted a more detailed outlines to the whole book which would be the basis for our call for remote (ahm…) collaboration tomorrow, so definitely stay tuned for that.

Knock, knock…

One of the sections we’ve drafted was an unexpected yet somewhat obvious epilogue which will refer to some of the anecdotes that we are experiencing through this collaboration. I want to share one of them with you now. Around noon today we hear a knock on the door. Now let me just explain the set up, we’re working from a hotel room in a complex called IMA Design Village, on the 5th floor of an old (nicely) reappropriated industrial building with a jerky elevator and nothing to really point you at where we are. All of us were in the room at the time and we were not expecting any company. We opened the door and there stood a guy around our age who said he has heard about the project and he wants to contribute.

We were both amazed and mainly unprepared. He didn’t even say his name, he just said he had some ideas about collaboration and he really wanted to contribute. That was just completely great! But while we announced that the collaboration will be later opened to remote collaboration, at that moment, in that place we were completely unready for more people in the room. Adam (which the mysterious contributor said he met in some obscure music event in the city) have went with user-X downstairs to the cafe to discuss the contribution and he (still don’t know his name) will join us tomorrow writing a chapter for the book.

This was a unique experience of (finally) meeting the epic “anonymous user” in person. That faceless person that does not even have a username but is highly motivated and just wants to start contributing was standing there in-person at our doorstep. We didn’t know his name, we only knew his IP address–where he physically is: he was right there! Practically browsing our “collaborative site”.

And we? We were so Alpha, we were what early web people two decades ago used to call “under construction”. We didn’t even have an interface for him yet. It’s like he found a public yet unannounced URL for a future collaborative platform that was just not ready yet. We thought we were private, but apparently we were live. We were caught off-guarded with our first anonymous visitor, very online and just eager to log in.

If this will continue to be the spirit through the next 3 days I do expect to be continuously surprised. More updates on proxy collaboration definitely coming tomorrow. This is really great!

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3 Comments

  1. Doron
    Posted Jan 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed reading this one Mushon. i amm hooked to hear what is coming our of this, exciting.

    some benign and well intentioned questions now
    Perhaps in your assumptions lies the key as to why your interface did not scale at this stage?
    perhaps there is room to float performance, and stability , as well. as they are integral parts of a cluster.

    • mushon
      Posted Jan 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      scaling, performance, stability… all of these issues can only be addressed with experience – failing, and then trying again. The time constraint doesn’t make things very flexible either. I wrote about it a bit in a new post as this challenge repeated itself again today.

      Glad you’re enjoying this, so am I… :)

  2. Doron
    Posted Jan 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Also re: web 2.0

    Using a nebulous term like Cloud computing is as annoying as Web 2.0. The cloud eludes precise definition, selling that elusive fantasy is a cheap market trick.

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