My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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Incantations for Muggles

I love Etech. This year, i had the great opportunity to keynote Etech (albeit at an ungodly hour). The talk i wrote was entirely new and intended for the tech designer/developer audience (warning: the academics will hate it). The talk is called:

“Incantations for Muggles:
The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life”

It’s about how technologists need to pay attention to the magic that everyday people create using the Web2.0 technologies that we in the tech world think are magical. It’s quite a fun talk and i figured that some might enjoy reading it so i just uploaded my crib notes. It is unlikely that i said exactly what i wrote, but the written form should provide a good sense of the points i was trying to make in the talk.

I should give infinite amounts of appreciation to Raph Koster who took unbelievable notes during my presentation, letting me adjust my crib to be more in tune with what i actually said. THANK YOU! I was half tempted to not bother blogging my crib notes given the fantastic-ness of his notes, but i figure that there still might be some out there who would prefer the crib. Enjoy!

(PS: If you remember me saying something that i didn’t put in the crib, let me know and i’ll add it… i’m stunned at how many of you took notes during the talk.)

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12 comments to Incantations for Muggles

  • Glad to help out… when you said, there on the steps that afternoon, that the liveblogs were always wrong, I cringed inside. 😉

    I’ll point back to this too since, it’s more grammatically coherent than my notes!

  • Hi danah,

    This speech was genuinely awesome, kudos to you!

    I worked for awhile for, which is definitely building in response to the desires of its niche audience- the 50+ demographic.

    Be well and keep up the insightful thinking!

  • Danah, amazing amazing speech. Thanks for getting it in writing, too!

  • Danah,
    I swear … there’s no other writer/speaker I know that can make me think so deeply about so many ideas.
    I wish I’d been at Etech to hear it. But I’m grateful I got the chance to read it.

  • Stimulating as ever, but I wonder if you would agree that the life stages you delineate are increasingly more fluid and particularly that reflection is much more prevalent at an earlier age than before and certainly common long before retirement.

  • Some aspects are more fluid but many are less fluid because of structural and social constraints around what you have access to at different stages. There are laws for specific age groups; it’s a lot more difficult to get a meaningful job at a younger age (and it is increasingly more difficult for under 18 year olds to get any job).. without economic access, a lot of other things fall apart.

    As much as i’d love to think that there’s more reflection earlier, i don’t think that’s actually true. There’s certainly more documentation, but there’s not nearly that much backwards looking as one might think given the tools.

  • Would the increasing interest in social responsibility not be classifiable as reflection or self-actulaisation at a stretch?

  • What makes you think that there’s an increased interest in social responsibility? I would argue that this is not true at all.

  • You don’t sense a ground swell of environmental awareness. Perhaps it is all lip-service but I don’t think so.

  • Political tides happen but, i see a lot of lipservice with little change on a personal level. The number one care i see has to do with the price of gas, but people are still consuming at extremely high levels and they don’t want their lifestyle to change at all. There’s virtually no reflection on their own practices. Even amongst my progressive friends, there’s a lot of talk about environmentalism while they still drive 40 miles a day in their SUVs and leave all the lights on and leave all of their chargers plugged in. Just because the media is finally covering it does not mean that most people care or that most people are doing something…

  • Oh, one thing to note… so long as being green is cool, people will “be green.” Of course, this will typically be commercialized green. Like the woman in front of me in yoga today with her Nike yoga mat, animal-free Prada bag, and Red phone. Brand-identifying with social responsibility for status is not the same as being socially responsible.

  • On your last point about brand identification with social responsibility, I’m in total agreement – there is a lot of that going on here, but equally there is something in the air (no pun intended) which is both spilling over into legislative action and a degree of consumer insistence. And I say that from a standpoint of a dyed in the wool cycnic.