Presentation, eComm America conference, May 2010

Glad you stopped by. Take a look around at some of my work. Here’s a video of a talk I gave at the eComm America conference in May 2010.
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5 Responses to Presentation, eComm America conference, May 2010

  1. Sara Diamond says:

    Hello Clark, You were at the Banff New Media Institute several times. We are working on a book about the BNMI and I would like to send you information about it. Thanks, Sara Diamond

  2. Hi Clark
    Thank you for an exciting presentation at City Hall of Aarhus.

    “Looking for patterns in your life” is this really the future. Do people want to be narrowed and simplified in the future (except for limited fields). I think we’d rather be surprised, amazed, and sometimes go the “wrong” way and fall over and buy a car type, we never dreamed of acquiring!
    It is perhaps not so straightforward to commercialize;)

    At the museum we have for years debated the use of tracking through active tickets. One of the conclusions were not to use the collected data to automatically give the visitors more of what he had already seen or read, it must be an active choice from the guest. What do you think?


    • Clark says:

      Agreed, Lars. For contextually aware services to fit into one’s life, the fundamental rule must be that they not intrude, not irritate, or get in the way of the user. A well-designed service will be in the background unless invoked, and not dampen novelty. It will seek and analyze potentially useful patterns, have some hypotheses, alternatives, & scenario variants available if the user asks, but avoid narrowing one’s experience any further than it already is.

      The Character Skin I described for the Dubailand theme park application is a set of machine-learned personality dimensions that configure to the individual user, and can be set by the user on scales that include assertiveness, novelty, caution…

      For a theme park environment, the default starting point will be more active, outgoing, helpful, and at times a comedian. That special case is far from the sort of service I’d use in daily life, of course.

      To me, any museum’s task is to find ways to continue the conversation with each visitor after they go home — to build a way for them to stay in touch with the museum’s topics in the changing daily context of the culture.


      • Lars Foged Thomsen says:

        Hi again Clark and thanks for the reply.

        I’m glad you agree not to make the museum visitor / team mate for an extra, or believe we can decode all his needs.
        And totally agree on the importance of keeping in touch with the visitor after the visit and between visits.

        I like your idea of ​​being guided by a Caractere in museums or theme parks, but how do we avoid the clash with the important social experience it is to go to a museum?

        • Clark says:

          A visually presented animated character by definition takes our focal attention away from the built environment — a theme park environment is in the minority of real-world locales that a smartphone-resident character can be appropriate. Characters are less immediately useful in a museum…though a great deal of ‘character’ can be communicated by voice alone:

          The Whisper Interface I referred to in my talk is appropriate for everyday use, and especially so for a museum environment. But it must be done with nuance; not a brute-force accretion of locations in the museum you have visited. Time in front of any specific exhibit in each room, for example, sequence of exhibits lingered at, whom you are with, total elapsed time in the museum, and time of day, all should be included in the contextual analytics at each moment of each visitor’s visit. If not, any ‘help’ offered by a smartphone-resident info service will be more interruptive than helpful. Knowing when _not_ to be of assistance is as important as knowing what to provide. “Assist upon query” will continue to be a good method, as with museum docents now.

          When the visitor is onsite and (especially) later at home, it’s valuable to have a method of parsing queries, to send each one to one or more staff in likely order of expertise. Staff must be readily able to respond during their normal work processes, constantly reinforcing the museum’s role as an available authoritative source in its topic areas. The museum becomes (and sustains) a constant part of the 24/7 global online conversation about the topics. This is ultimately more important than the collections.

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