Monday, March 17, 2008

Sociology 2.0

(I hate the whole 2.0 thing as much as anyone. If you can think of a better name, I'd gladly use it.)

Last week turned into a sort of "ethics week" on Burnlab, as we looked at the roles shame, taste and morality play in design, politics, business and society. Almost on cue, the governor of New York punctuated the complexity of the discussion, and the violence in Tibet elevated it to tragic and urgent proportions.

There are still plenty of current ethical debates worth mention - such as Herzog and de Meuron's argument for working in China - but, this week I'd like to spend some time on the rapidly changing trends in how people interact with information and each other, and how social networking models are being applied to things of substance in the real world.

There was a good article in Wired a couple months back on the viral marketing/expanded universe for Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero project, created with immersive media consultants 42 Entertainment. Any discussion of viral marketing these days can't exclude J.J. Abrams: creator of Lost and the blockbuster monster movie Cloverfield, who's viral campaigns are just as interesting as the filmed productions, and provide a tremendous amount of content depth to those willing to be more than mere consumers.

Abrams has proven himself the master of participatory storytelling, but I've had a hell of a time finding much critical analysis of his approach on both news outlets and blogs. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places? If you run across any articles, please send them this way, as well as anything else on this week's subject. We're open for discussion.

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