11 February 2009

We Need a Widget: How reader/co-creators help create a sequel to The Concrete Jungle Book & grow the tribe (# 3 in series)

[please click image to see a bigger version]

When my business partner Doug Millison co-founded Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier magazine in 1993, he did it to recognize and serve an emerging tribe of interactive multimedia designers, developers, producers, tool makers, visionaries. They came from Hollywood, from video games, from training and education, from the computer industry, to create a new kind of software and to deliver it on new platforms. See the http://MorphsOutpost.com anniversary blog we published last year.

Heady days, indeed. At the Art Teco conference that convened at Fort Mason Center on San Francisco's waterfront the day O.J. made his most famous run, many ideas and business proposals were first discussed, which only now are becoming real in Web 2.0, in socialmediaspace. Some of the concepts discussed that day almost 15 years ago won't see light of day until Web 3.0.

Morph's Outpost
existed to serve this new tribe.

To give them a platform where they could talk to each other, exchange technical insights and how-to.

"Written by developers for developers" was their editorial law, and in fact their wizard multimedia producer readers contributed virtually all of the editorial content, with help from an eager but minuscule editorial staff.

People like Marc Canter and the other cross-fertilizing geniuses who got this business started, who had helped to make multimedia possible in the first place, as discussed in earliers posts stemming from our meeting with Marc yesterday.

Doug Millison & Sarah & the oysters
Photo by Marc Canter, blogged immediately
after he snapped it. Of course, Little Mo had to get
in the act, too. Took me 1 minute to mash up their images
with this photo at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

Now we've identified a new, and far larger tribe, and engage them daily in our crude but effective and always evolving test site, http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com

We used Flickr to identify dozens of groups and hundreds of individuals of people who appear to share our love of graphic novels and comics, streetart, and edgy scrapbooking. We figured if they liked to do the same things that we like and write about in our book, they are likely to enjoy reading this prose+comics scrapbook novel.

We manually searched and read thousands of Web sites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter profiles, and identified hundreds more specific individuals likely to enjoy The Concrete Jungle Book. We started inviting them to come and Preview our book online.

This tribe wants more than Little Mo and The Concrete Jungle Book, of course.

As we move into the next phase of our roll-out, I'll be taking a more active role to guide you to other great graphic novels, comics, webcomics.

We've already begun giving our readers social media tools we're building to help our readers find friends for discussion and online fun, at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com plus creative tools they can use to mash up their art and words with the pages of our book, in the read/collaborate Preview now underway.

Hundreds of the more ambitious and creative members of our tribe have found us early on and gave us valuable feedback, through our read/collaborate Preview at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com. We're incorporating it the "1st Edition" now in production. You know who you are.

More of you have offered to contribute your edgy scrapbook pages and art work to TCJB SCRAPBOOK EDGE, which I announced the other day, http://nonhumancommunications.blogspot.com/2009/02/publish-your-art-in-our-new-tcjb.html

Next up: our tribe is going to help me, Steve Porter, Doug Millison, Srayla Tip, and the rest of the Nonhuman Crew, to help shape the sequel to The Concrete Jungle Book.

This may be a first. We hope you'll join our project. You're invited.

Oh Yeah, the Widget

Next, we're going to make it easy for them to pass along our top content, the fruit of our effort as curators, with a widget that they can use in their blogs, social media profile pages, Web sites, and elsewhere in socialmediaspace.

Because our tribe, though emerging, remains somewhat hidden. How many edgy teenagers are already subverting Mom's cute scrapbook supplies? Drawing goofy comic strips and publishing them on the Web? Curating a Flickr image pool for art & healing journal fanatics, or a collection of streetart and graffiti photos?

It takes one to know one. They know who Little Mo needs to know. And, based on the way they're helping already, at Facebook, at Twitter, at http://TheConcreteJungleBook.com, I think they want to do this and more, the more we can give them tools and fun reasons to do it.

What do you think? Would you like to help? All comments and feedback welcome. Leave comments here. Direct message my partner, http://twitter.com/dougmillison or email pynchonoid@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Scrapbook page of presentation we gave to
Marc Canter this week.

Marc Canter on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Canter
Read Marc's blog http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/
Learn about the Open Mesh in a fun video, http://blip.tv/file/1377855
Buy & read his state-of-the-art book,
How to Build the Open Mesh

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