Follow CHI 2006 through

A few of us felt that CHI needed an unofficial blog. The official one does a great job of being the “official” voice. But we wanted something that we could have fun with – post things that were not very official. The blog is mostly an aggregator – aggregating conversation, pictures etc. But a few of us are posting. Go check it out. Its just for the conference, so a few days after CHI, we will kill the blog off!

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DCamp gathering steam!

A few days ago I announced DCamp on this blog. DCamp is an unconference focused on design & user experience (on May12th, 13th, in Socialtext offices in Palo Alto). Its time to give an update.

So far, 73 people have indicated on the wiki as that they will come by to DCamp.

15 people have signed up as presenters. Topics range from desing in open source, to cinematic user experience, to designing for AJAX to use of IM in usability testing. We want more presentations, discussions and panels!

Several companies/organizations have offered to help out with costs with sponsorships: Intuit, Yahoo, O’Reilly & BayCHI. And of course Socialtext is hosting the event. We need more sponsors – to make sure that DCamp participants are fed and have all the beer they want!

We have a number of logo contributions. I will put them together in a day or so and organize a vote so that we can choose one. Please add yours if you have been working on one…

The wiki is here, the mailing list is here. Participate in any way that makes sense to you – see you there!

BayCHI Social Search panel – Podcast is online!

Last week we had a great BayCHI panel on Social and Personalized Search. Participants were from Netflix, Live365,, Pandora and digg. I moderated it. The podcast for that panel is now online. In inviting this particular group of panelists, I was hoping to highlight the changing trends in Social and Personalized Search. The companies were founded between 1997 – 2005 and their different approaches tells its own story. More about that inside.

For a more detailed desciption of the panel, go to Rick Boardman’s blog.

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Wisdom of crowds: Why diversity is important for good decisions

Interesting research coming out of Tufts University showing that racially diverse groups were consistently better at decision making than homogenous groups. While it has been known for some time that minority members are more likely to express divergent viewpoints in diverse groups, this research shows similar advantages for majority members as well.

This study implies that racially diverse groups may be more thorough and competent than homogeneous ones. “Diversity, at least in a group decision-making context, has some real benefits–and for everyone in the group,” says Sommers, one of the study authors.

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Announcing DCamp an unconference focused on design & user experience

I am excited to announce that DCamp the first BarCamp type ad-hoc, unconference focused on design & user experience will be held in Palo Alto, on May 12th & 13th.

From the time I attended the first BarCamp, I have wanted to go to one that focused on design issues. Several others at BayCHI shared the enthusiasm. Chris Messinahelped us think through our ideas and we got the ball rolling. Others joined in – now we have a date, location, a wiki and a mailing list. Add yourself to the wiki if you would like to attend, help sponsor, or organize the event.

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