Flickr? Not a flicker (of recognition)

Flickr Logo

I think I mentioned that I’ve been doing some user testing lately for a project I’m working on at the moment.

As part of that research, I included some questions to see whether services like Flickr and Del.icio.us were making any impact on the ‘general public’.

Working in web, and reading/writing blogs, it sometimes seems like *everyone* knows about Del.icio.us and Flickr and I find that perspective can influence the strategies that I am inclined to take with functionality and design for projects. It’s easy to start to think of Flickr, for example, as setting a number of 2.0 type conventions.

Except, it’s not really a convention if only a small group of people are aware of its existence.

And that, based on our research, is the case.

Not one person we interviewed (and, to put this in perspective, we interviewed about 18 people) volunteered either Flickr or Del.icio.us as services that they used online. Once prompted, they confirmed that they had never heard of either of them.

I guess its not really all that surprising. More like a reality check.

I’d be interested to hear of any other research that’s been done re: awareness of ’2.0′ services in the world outside of the blogosphere.

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links for 17 March 2006

congratulations Reach Out! (Winner @ NetGuide Australian Web Awards)

WebAwards

Hooray for Reach Out! who were winners at the recently announced NetGuide Australian Web Awards

Reach Out! is an initiative of the Inspire Foundation who are dedicated to making the future a great place for our young people.

They’re a bunch of smart, dedicated and passionate people who have used the web well for a long time to help achieve their objectives and to communicate with young people. Young people are highly involved and integral to the decisions made and the projects undertaken.

And they do really cool stuff, like my favourite: Reach Out Central or ROC – a great little interactive environment designed using the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to teach kids skills that will help them manage their mental health through the challenges of adolescence and for the rest of their lives. If you’re not into CBT, it also has a great Aussie soundtrack, and Joel Edgerton volunteered his time to narrate along with some other special guests doing voiceover.

If you had a spare bit of cash to donate to a worthy cause, you could do a lot worse than get behind these guys.

Disclaimer: I know as much as I do about Reach Out! and Inspire because I’ve worked with them on a number of their projects. But, don’t don’t just take my word for it. They totally rock. See for yourself!

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monkey lessons (step away from the nut)

eviscerated shells

Cameron Reilly posted earlier a story that he heard somewhere about how to catch a spider monkey, or more importantly, how important it can be to let go of the nut.

In order to catch spider monkeys, hunters in South America simply walk through the jungle and drop heavy containers on the ground. These containers have very a narrow top and a wider bottom. Inside the containers the hunters drop a special kind of nut which is particularly attractive to the monkeys. Sometime later, the spider monkeys come down from the tops of the trees, smell the nut, but the tops of the containers are so narrow they have a tight squeeze to get their hands inside. Once they grab the nut at the bottom, their fist is too large to remove if through the opening. And the containter is too heavy for them to carry.

So instead of letting go of the nut, the monkeys just sit there until the hunters come back, pick them up, and throw them in a bag.

The spider monkeys are not prepared to let go of a small nut in order to gain their freedom.

This story and Cameron discussion around it, really resonates with me at the moment. There are some nuts that I’m kind of holding that I think I might need to drop. All of this discussion that I’m engaging with around process and documentation – that’s one nut. There are a lot of people out there who are clinging to the nut (the ‘old’, familiar process) and who are going to be trapped because they won’t let go… but then, at the same time, I think others have just grabbed another nut in place of the other (e.g. Getting Real methodology), which seems like a more attractive nut, but which is not necessarily a good nut. And probably not one worth getting trapped for. (Am I wearing this analogy a little thin?

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