Monday, June 09, 2003

PC Forum, Day 3

The earlier claim about my wonderful memory turns out to have been more wishful thinking than reality. I just re-read my notes, and can make few connections between them and a visceral memory of much of anything. But I need closure. Thus, for your edification, a few snippets:

The social software panel was, to be perfectly honest, less interesting than I had hoped. Some of the panelists were interesting, but some struck me as a bit arrogant. Somehow that seems antithetical to the notion of social software, but then again, people often pursue things that reflect more personal dilemmas, who am I to judge?

Two new companies, Meetup and Socialtext, had created web-based services that seemed simple and smart. I am going to pilot Socialtext on one of my projects, which is about connecting social systems and computing systems to facilitate a more organic (and presumably more effective) approach to IT strategy and systems implementation. I'll let you know how it goes.

One of the products, nTAG, was just plain frightening. Essentially, it is a name tag that is supposed to facilitate conversation by locating similarities between people so they don't have to poke around until they find something to talk about. It just struck me as a product developed for people who are socially inept in the extreme. Simultaneously funny and pathetic. Not that there is anything wrong with social ineptitude........having spent at least a decade that way myself, I am again in no position to judge--only to commiserate.

Apparently nTAG was developed at MIT. During the presentation, I thought to myself: "There are only two places where such a product is needed: MIT and Swarthmore College" (The latter is my undergraduate alma mater, the complete antithesis of the 'party school.')

....and this permits me to drift on to the next topic.

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