Flying saucers, flow and serendipity shape the web

Recently, my work has moved again towards "concept" and "facilitation", into the realm of the unknown, the things to be discovered. Especially around online collaboration, platforms to facilitate that, and internet strategies and architectures to support such processes: Web of Change, WijZijnMedia, NABUUR, Internationale Samenwerking 2.0 (in Dutch for now). It’s all about new community-organising strategies and tactics, and I love it: a potent mix of "where do we go from here" and "what will we have built by the end of today". Pragmatic idealism: punk+utopia with web 2.0+mobile as catalyst, or perhaps: "do it yourself serendipity". But also: how to let flying saucers get you there. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s talk at TED and Matt Leacock’s Google Tech Talk guide me.

Creating wire frames and mockups

Mockup sampleCommunicating web concepts for user experience and site structure is a challenge. Wire frames and interactive prototypes are great for this, and over the years, I have been using those with many designers and developers in a variety of web projects. But creating and sharing such mockups still is a laborious task, so I went around the web again to look for a tool that truly makes that task easier. Pidoco seems to offer the best way forward for me.

How “web 2.0″ can you become in six months?

Adaptive Path's DNA of web 2.0Adaptive Path’s DNA of web 2.0
A while ago I was asked to help answer an interesting question. Imagine: you want your website (and organisatuon) to become "truly web 2.0", and a donor is considering a sizeable grant to help you do that, under the condition that you define yourself how you will measure your "web 2.0"-ness, set your own targets for the next half year, and have reached those targets by then. What would you measure and what targets would you set?

  • Indicators: Web 1.0 metrics like number of visitors or registered users are not really a measure for "web 2.0-ness". Amount of user-generated content maybe more. Per registered user? Number of mashups? Position in Technorati? Having an API, connecting to the APIs of other sites? Number of feeds into your site?
  • Targets: A 6-month timeframe to do the technical work and show measurable results would lead me to focus more on the infrastructure and organisational side of things. What’s a realistic target… needs to be compelling enough to get the grant, but also a pretty certain win…