Home Nanowrimo Day 15 – plus some thoughts on categories and topics

Nanowrimo Day 15 – plus some thoughts on categories and topics

27,563 words. Here’s the latest (ch. 34 onwards). I’m hoping to reach the 30,000 mark by end of tomorrow. That will give me a nice round figure to aim for of 10,000 words per week for the final two weeks.

I’m enjoying having two storylines intertwining now. On the one hand, Declan Atomz is now beginning to understand the alien world. It’ll be interesting to see how far this character goes (grows?). The other more recently introduced storyline is about Dave Darwin and his social software company called “Social Kinetics”. I think I’ve come up with a new type of social software (well, as it deals with multimedia it wouldn’t surprise me if Marc Canter has already done it). Here’s a description from my novel – but to get the full picture, you’ll have to read the rest of it 😉

Today was the day Dave would announce Social-Kineticís new social software product to the world. The product was simply named after the company – ìSocial Kineticsî – and it was made up of three main ingredients: firstly it was an online community space on the Web, which was like other online communities. That is, it was a website with a URL (web address) and, in order to use the website, people were required to sign-up and register an account. The second main ingredient was the personality assessment and physical body mapping. Once a person had registered to become a member of the ìSocial Kineticsî community, that person would fill in a questionnaire to establish the basic parameters of their personality. This was a very superficial personality type, similar to Myers-Briggs. Social Kinetics had 50 initial ìtypesî (eventually the number of types would number in the hundreds). The person would also have a ìmappingî done of their face and body, so as to approximate their physical appearance in the avatar. The software and management team had decided on the following policy: people must use mappings of their own person as a base for their avatars. This decision was driven by Daveís philosophy that people should not be able to ìhideî behind an avatar. The principle of ìWhat you see is what you getî should apply, so that people learned to trust one another and be honest with their interactions in the community. Dave felt that if people could select a graphical online persona like in previous examples of virtual worlds – a wizard, or a dog, or a green two-headed alien ñ then that would only encourage other falsities. The purpose of Social Kinetics was to encourage people to extend themselves via their avatars – meet new people, and make new connections. Dave felt that a big determining factor in the success of his software was that the avatar should approximate its human owner as much as possible ñ not just personality but physical likeness. The third ingredient was the avatar software itself. Once a personality was assigned and physical characteristics mapped, the customer would be given an avatar. At that point the avatar would join the community and at the same time begin to build up its own identity, by collecting and aggregating data about its owner.

P.S. I miss my blog! There are some real interesting things happening in the blog world right now. Particularly Dave Winer’s new category-based blog design. His use of categories is not quite the same as topics that e-vectors and Phil Pearson are doing. But it’s pretty damn close. I suggested in a couple of comments that it’d be great to add a “topic” tag to the RSS2.0 spec. It would be a sub-element of the “item” tag, just like the “category” tag (that Dave is using). I agree with Paulo and Marc that a “category” is different to “topic”, but in practice they are complimentary. Dave’s use of categories seems to give more scope for heirarchic organisation, while using topics gives a flatter and (IMHO) more flexible organisation. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves. Anyway, all this is inspiring my next idea for a project – a re-design of my own weblog! There goes December 😉

P.P.S. if you’re wondering, here’s a description of Nanowrimo.


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