Patterns for Communication, Moderation, and Information Processing

by Daniel H. Steinberg

We're finding patterns everywhere. Clay Shirky talks about patterns of moderation strategy, Jon Udell makes recommendations for those of us seeking attention, and George Dyson helps us understand the present by looking back at Von Neumann (DTF 04-03-2006: 31 minutes 05 seconds)

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Distributing the Future April 3, 2006: "Patterns for Communication, Moderation, and Information Processing"

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1:25 Attention-Focussing Strategies

Jon Udell's Wednesday morning keynote at ETech talked about strategies you can adopt for helping people understand what you are trying to tell them in your blog, email, and other communications. When you ask someone for their attention, you should take a moment to make it clear what they will get in return. The solution could be as simple as a clear subject line in a threaded newsgroup. You can download presentations and see more media coverage on the Emerging Technology conference site. (8:30)

9:55 "Shut Up!" "No, You Shut Up!"

Clay Shirky continued the morning with an introduction to a pattern language he's been developing for moderation strategies. Even sites that have taken Slashdot's software have not been as successful at replicating that site's success. Shirky takes a step back and looks at some of the patterns that have made Slashdot and other sites work so well. (13:00)

22:55 Turing's Cathedral

In this portion of George Dyson's talk, he looks at the digital universe that Von Neumann delivered. Instead of merely modeling the existing universe, Dyson explains, these computers helped create a new universe. (7:20)

Total running time: 31:05

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Production Notes

The initial montage is from Tim O'Reilly, recorded at OSCON '04 and in a phone interview with Doug Kaye of IT Conversations, and is used with permission. "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet" is a quote from author William Gibson that Tim used with attribution.

The credits, including special thanks to David Battino for composing and performing the theme music. David can be found at and also edits O'Reilly's Digital Audio site. David provided a lot of help and feedback getting this program launched. We used Soundtrack Pro, Bias Peak, and Audio Hijack Pro to put it together.

Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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