Playful 2010

A few of us were at Playful on Friday.

There were a number of great talks, but one of the themes that stood out for me was gamification, as elaborated on by Sebastien Deterding in his talk. It’s almost a recurring theme of sorts nowadays, with Dan Hon having touched upon it in his PSFK conference talk too. Sebastien spoke about how, with the advent of Foursquare, plenty of services seem to have taken it upon themselves togamify their sites in some way or the other. We now get badges and/or points not just for checking in to a place on Foursquare or Gowalla, but for reading blogs and even for eating food (Foodspotting, if you’re wondering). And that’s where people start losing the plot. He mentioned an excellent quote by James Carse:

It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever *must* play, *cannot* play.


TEDxLondon: the future we make

On Monday, I went to TEDxLondon, the London sibling of  TEDxChange New York, an independently organised TED event convened by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The aim of the event was to mark the 10th anniversary of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Entitled ‘the future we make’, the tone was firmly celebratory and optimistic…perhaps a little too optimistic for those of us for whom a question mark hangs over the common interpretation of aid and development.


What iPhone apps are people using, really? [part 2]

So, ‘all this is well and good‘, I can hear you say, ‘but there isn’t much there that I didn’t know before’. Well, hopefully this will be interesting then:

For the health enthusiasts:

Cyclemeter ‘turns your iPhone into a powerful GPS stopwatch, giving you feedback and motivation to go farther, become faster, be healthier, and live longer’. Simon I’Anson at Made by Many is a keen user of this one.


What iPhone apps are people using, really? [part 1]

Last week, we asked the people in our Twitter and Facebook networks for their top iPhone apps. The driving force behind this query was our observation that the majority of people we know own an iPhone, and yet a lot of people wind up asking their friends for recommendations of interesting or useful apps. Of course, the Top Apps section in the iTunes store is always there for reference, but the problem there is one of curation. At the end of the day, would you trust Apple or people you know who have similar interests to you, when you’re looking for cool apps? I don’t think it’s much of a contest really – the power of the network is much stronger than most of us realise: I’m sure more than one of us has seen our friends ask for recommendations from their network on Facebook, whether they are experienced users of social media (read Foursquare and Twitter addicts) or not.