May 26, 2006


Something sunk in a couple of weekends as I attended DCamp. I am without a professional tribe. This realization has grown as I attend various industry events. I'm just not really grooving with the crowds I'm part of.

DCamp was definitely a pleasant experience, and I enjoyed the chats I had, but I had to admit to myself that the subjects being discussed weren't all that compelling to me. It felt... quotidian.

The week before, I attended a dinner meant to help generate buzz and ideas for the forthcoming Web 2.0 conference. I had very little interest in schmoozing there, and really kept to the few people I already knew. I think it was all the men in sportcoats that turned me off.

Not too long ago, I was very much engaged with many communities. I was active with AIGA and SIGCHI and ASIST; I was attended events on design and information architecture and web stuff. Now, I find myself on the periphery of a lot of groups, but none of them feel like a home for me:
- design (say, AIGA style)
- interaction design (IxDA, etc.)
- business and design (IDSC, Gain, the Overlap)
- "design thinking" (similar to above)
- web design (Webvisions and the like)
- Web 2.0/social software/social media
- "anthrodesign" (design + anthropology/ethnography)

About as close to a tribe as I get is information architects. The IA Summit continues to be my favorite event year in and year out. But I noticed that even there, this year, I wasn't as engaged in the material as I had been in prior years. I love the people, but the subject matter remains stuck.

We'll see how this all proceeds. In some ways, it saddens me, because I feel out of place. In other ways, it's exciting, because it suggests opportunities for creating new groups, new connections, new communities with people who share my slice of professional interests.

Posted by peterme at 10:49 PM | TrackBack

May 22, 2006

peterme speaks! and says "um" and "uh" a lot

Thanks to Livia Labate, you can listen to my closing plenary at the 2006 IA Summit [56.7 MB MP3]. It will help you if you follow along with the PDF of my slides.

I'm definitely proud of this talk, though I hate hearing all my "uh"s and "um"s. Definitely something to work on.

If you want to avoid the aspects of IA history that I dwell on and hop to the thesis, start around the 12:00 mark.

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Posted by peterme at 09:05 AM | TrackBack


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