GEL 2008: Day 2, Session 1 “Connect”

[Also check out other GEL 2008 posts: Day 1; Day 2 Session 2 “Twist”, Session 3 “Make”, Session 4 “Success”]

For the first time, Day 2 of Good Experience Live (GEL) was held at The TimesCenter, the ground-level theater in the new New York Times building in Times Square.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was typing like mad during the ~9 hours of speakers on Friday. It resulted in 139 tweets, and now it’s way too overwhelming to summarize. So, because I am both lazy and don’t have enough time to spend on this, I’ve basically just pasted the tweets below in chronological order. I’ve separated them by speaker, cleaned up typos and added links where relevant. My apologies for not doing any synthesis, but well, it’s Sunday and I’d rather be watching TV. Here we go…

Session 1: Connect

Speakers: Clay Shirky, Bobby C. Marin Jr, Phoebe Damrosch, Kelly Dobson

Clay Shirky, Author Here Comes Everybody

  • Facebook socially coordinates physically distributed people. Uses example of the HSBC Fraud, info on how to switch to Barclays
  • Allows groups to express collective will: they’re angry, and now they’re organized
  • Clay using example of airline passengers sitting on tarmac for 8+ hours led to Passenger Bill of Rights
  • First incident with NWA in 1999 had no effect. But in AA incident in 2006, woman on the flight coordinated movement with passengers
  • “Thinking is for doing” — William James
  • “If you’re selling a metaphysical experience at least part of what you’re selling is trust” — Clay Shirky
  • If you’re dealing with a company that doesn’t understand the newly coordinated group of customers, they aren’t going to last
  • “If you have the same problem for a really long period of time, maybe it’s not a problem — it’s a fact”
  • Use the fact that your customers can organize to create good experiences

Bobby C. Martin Jr, Design Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

  • In 1999, Bobby moved to Harlem because of its rich history. Went to SVA & learned that graphic design can be used for social change
  • As a designer, what can I do to make a difference? Take down something negative, build on something positive.
  • Bobby part of campaign by a church to buy billboards so that ads for cigarettes and alcohol could not be pasted up in Harlem
  • Bobby got a $32,000 grant to implement “Word on the Street” campaign. They had a march w/ 100s in Harlem. “Love.” “Protect.” “Respect.”
  • Colors, typeface, large bold statements: underscore the positivity of the billboard campaign
  • Abyssinian Baptist Church if you wanna check it out
  • Graphic design as celebration

200th Anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, banner designed by Bobby C. Martin Jr

Phoebe Damrosch, author of Service Included

  • Phoebe’s talk: Falling in love with your day job
  • She believes there is a real sense of shame around service. Class dynamics in restaurant is a “ritual of royalty”
  • Server in a restaurant is a servant. Ironically, often an actor who on the stage is someone to revere
  • Thomas Keller‘s restaurants, French Laundry and Per Se, elaborate dining experiences. Phoebe wanted to learn about service there, went to work at Per Se
  • Servers attended master classes on food and wine. Discussed connecting with guests, what rules to follow and when to break them
  • At Per Se, all servers wore men’s suits and ties. It changed the interaction with guests
  • We all have different ideas about what good service is. Some want intimate relationship with server, while others want them invisible
  • Phoebe story: a guest says that dessert was better than pot. She tells him how her mom grew it in driveway. He says, “I said pie.”

Kelly Dobson, researcher at MIT Media Lab

  • Kelly’s talk about our connections to machines, how we interact with them in unexpected but meaningful ways
  • When you make a machine, you’re imbuing it with things whether conscious or not
  • Kelly is showing a video of her project ScreamBody
  • “Reappropriated domestic appliances” like the blender that operates when she growls
  • Kelly demo’ing Omo, breathes and senses breathing of anyone interacting closely with it, matching patterns of breathing. Companion bot
  • Omo example of “visceral communication”

NOTE: You can see all my photos of the conference or check out the photos by professional photographer Gene Driskell.

[Also check out other GEL 2008 posts: Day 1; Day 2 Session 2 “Twist”, Session 3 “Make”, Session 4 “Success”]

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