Tag Archives: collaborative

Less brainstorming, more reasoning

Over the past few weeks I bookmarked, well, I pinned on my Pinboard a couple or more of posts and titles about logical and cognitive fallacies. I’m not the one entitled to give a lesson on the topic,  but it might be helpful to recall that some of these discussions are centuries old. With the reading of Adland still resonating in my mind, and being immersed myself in the design of digital communication and marketing projects on a daily basis, I found out that these kind of basics were very relevant to me – perhaps much more relevant now than when I tried to grasp them as a student.

In fact, the business of designing digital platforms for brands (“digital platforms what?” ok, it’s a namesake!), or, more precisely, the design process that’s behind it, works through innumerable discussions that might greatly benefit of a thorough understanding of these common fallacies. As everyone in the field knows too well, the reality of agency life, and of the agency/client relationship, is dominated by meetings and discussions, many of them face-to-face, but also in writing (oh yes there are collaboration platforms too, but that’s not the point at the moment). Well, honestly I think that the quality of these discussions is quite poor pretty often, in the sense that are ridden with bad arguments. It’s a paradox but that’s happens even during brainstorming exercises (I’ve just been shown a great parody of the case by some good folks at DigitasLBi London but I don’t have the references right here) – and brainstorming in any case is frequently reduced to an unstructured “informal chit chat” as J.C. Jones noted a long time ago (no wonder people then have better ideas just sipping a coffee in a quiet place).

I put “reasoning” in the title but I could have written “rhetoric”, meaning the good reasoning, the use of good arguments. So I tried a Google search and Scholar also pointed to a world of research about design and rhetoric that it’s worth exploring (with a bit more time on hand). Anyhow, let’s have a look at the basics, as said. Here you have short readable pieces, a well illustrated book and even a poster (free in Pdf form). Enjoy. No, think about it.

First, from FastCompany Co.Create, the story about a recently published illustrated book about bad arguments.

Now More Than Ever, You Need This Illustrated Guide To Bad Arguments, Faulty Logic, And Silly Rhetoric

With your mind well refreshed by the logic gymnastic, you can get a bit of psychology.

The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

Back to logic now. “Thous shall not commit logical fallacies” is a more concise guide printable in various formats – some big enough for an agency or a client meeting room…

User generated services

Drawing explicitly from UCG intended as User Generated Content, the idea of UGS-User Generated Services put more emphasis on the role of the user as the one being able to create and manage services; in other words, this is about offering users appropriate (i.e. easy to use, enjoyable etc.) technical means not only to produce, publish and share content, but services as well. Among others, the SPICE project (where we at Neos are partner) supports the workshop on UGS to be held in Madrid next July on the initiative of the OPUCE project.

The full program is already available (see it on Scribd) and attendance is free to registered participants.

Socio-economic analysis of technology

SPICE project logo
SPICE project logo – not so spicy I am afraid…

As part of the SPICE project, successfully completed an initial socio-economic analysis on the potential impact of the technologies reseearched and developed in that same project (in short, a mobile service creation and execution platform, with a set of context-awareness, service roaming and content delivery distinctive capabilities).

I conducted the study combining the results of a project internal workshop (held in Budapest with participants from Telenor and NTNU) and an external online video and email-based questionnaire addressed to experts in the field.

I managed the workshop as a structured brainstorming, eliciting feedback in discussion rounds based on a review of the key usage scenarios; then I analyzed the results extracting pros, cons and mixed reactions.

The questionnaire consisted in a simple set of open questions related to four short videos made available online; I selected a number of academics and research manager with relevant expertise from various locations (Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Israel, among others) and got them to provide their comments.

The task was part of the revised business modelling analysis, coordinated by NTNU and conducted in cooperation with VUB (Brussels), Telenor, Telefonica and Telecom Italia; it has been also my last major effort in Spice, in which I have been working right since the kick-off in Paris, in January 2006 (and before that a bit at the proposal stage too).