Mar 14

SXSW: Extending your brand, there’s an app for that

Extending your Brand, there’s an App for that.
For many, brand extension into the digital realm means a Web site, a banner add, a viral campaign. But applications can extend conversations and perceptions of a brand, as well as add to discussions and ideas in compelling new ways. How can applications help your brand and idea be more authentic,…
Rob Girling, Adrian Ho, Shiv Singh, Brian Morrissey

SS: Social Media lead at Razorfish, we currently have reduction in form size, but no reduction in functionality, we are developing mobile solutions for almost all the clients. we are not the 3rd gen of mobiles design, where the core interface is buttons, and streaming and a pulse interface.
RG: Co-Founder of artefact. being working on apps for the last 20 years. come at this from the tech and UI perspective. thinking about how to make a grate app is what we do, which is diff to how marketing has developed things from the past. One thing recently is Seesmic Look, Twitter for neophytes. It’s a branded channel, so brands can build content on top of their tags that are happening. It’s not about building an app, it could be about reaching through an app to get to your audience.
AH: 3 yo company, founders were all ad people, we are reformed. It is around the idea you can take the same money that you spent on commas and spend it on doing things for people and have the same success. My background is strategy. We try and solve business problems by doing things, so for Nordstrom, teen girls, when they want to spend lots of money, they would take pictures and send pictures to their parents – OR would dress up and take photos for touchscreens. So we created something that could take photos, edit them and let them be sent out.

BM: we are going to be talking about the future. what do you see going on right now?
AH: the biggest change, it’s about the information, about how people use the products. Less of the brand perception is not about the imagery and commas but about what they do.
SS; I would extend that further, the biggest change in last 3 years, is trust in big brands has dropped dramatically, thanks to financial crisis and consumer empowerment. Brands are not defined by what they do (marketing, PR, launches) and more by how consumers talk and relate to them. A lot of questions about fundamentals of marketing, advertising etc

BM; so where do apps fit in there?
RG: the days of brands trying to get your attention and hold it with traditional methods are gone. if you are not trying to actively engage your customers, provide utility, you are not going to have a lasting relationship. you have to understand them, their pain, look for opps to delight the. It’s not another channel to push out the message, you have to provide them.
SS: Only partially agree. I like toothpaste, I use it everyday, but I don’t want to have a 2 way conversation with colgate. I care about that I have a memory point when I next buy it. It is important to see the type of brand and if it is high or low consideration.

BM: what can brands learn from popular apps, that are not brand apps.
AH: the lessons that brands can learn from 4sq is not the one they think they are learning. SO people want to connect with friends and they should not get away form that. there are times you can help..but they should not go through you. Typically brands would say this is fantastic it is another place we can connect but it is not a great place for brands to be playing.
SS: so how many of you consider yourself experts in social media (a quarter). (More in mobile). You can’t be into social media if you are not into mobile as well.
RG: I want to add a diff point, what we should be learning is about incentivised behaviour and social status. there is a lot of buzz about reward systems for behaviour. they get something back for checking in, for changing behaviour. that is the beginning of a massive trend, that will snowball in the next few years.

BM: so I want to go into your favourites. A lot of apps are serving the same place as microsites, they are disposable, So what is the role for the campaign like, ephemeral apps.
SS: if you have an app that is a microsiste, it is a total failure, an app coming from a brand has to be entertainment driver – without eh brand as a sponsor or it has to be utilitarian, like the food ordering apps. For it to play role of microsite is a waste of time and money
BM: Adrian are you seeing this> It was the facebook app, now the iphone app.
AH: I would agree on microsite thing, also, I think the entertainment model of using apps is flawed for brands, it does not do the behaviour change, A lot of advertising is about trickery, about changing behaviour. Apps in general, they reward change, that may be useful for brand. A utility based app is much more direct, allows you to behave in a new way. an entertainment app is different, it is about you making you feel different about eh brand, so not a great use for apps,

AudQ: is the brand manager of the future technologist or marketer?
RG: if what I said about apps is true, the technology component cannot be ignored. it’s maintenance and shipping cycle and complexity that the marketing industry is not used to yet. I still think the brand expertise to have the insights and empathy with customer will still rule the day however.
SS: Knowing customers is getting harder by the day and that is of paramount importance. With mobile apps it should get a lot quicker and easier to build and the tech should be commoditised.
AH: the debate about who controls is interesting. from tech, an app is designed to allow you to do things so there is research about making that possible, Marketers come at it about telling you things about the brand that is good to know. they often collide. It is in the middle it will come together, if you allow technologist to do anything, you get usable apps that are not differentiated, so you need the marketing that flavours it with the brand.

BM: so apps you like?
SS: Bundle helps you understand how people spend money. you can info about how other people just like you spend money, the app does not translate the website. The app is Vice Tracker is about changing the spend behaviour. allowing people to be more mindful of how they are spending, against their friends. I can track behaviour, see friends, comment on their behaviour, gives a leadership ranking, on who has the most vices. the idea is that apps can serve a strong educational purpose, in this case managing our vices in a fun game like fashion, it has a social piece, a game like interface, game mechanics, that is what makes it powerful. There are incentives, tied into cause marketing as well.
BM: are the points are what are driving people on 4sq? is it changing behaviour.
SS: there are more to life than incentives and points. it is a shortcut….it is not just about incentives, they do help, there are successful that are pure entertainment or utility, it does depend.

BM: so now into the sucky part.
SS: New York Times. I’m a big fan of the NYT. I feel the app misses things. the content is amazing and great to have it on the phone. I wish they would ask me for money for it. It has no location aware functionality, can’t understand why it doesn’t, so news has a local component. It does not have social features, cannot comment, share, cannot see top rated articles, can’t mash them up, it is a glorified news reader, take tout he content and it is nothing. It does not let me filter by my social graph. it could be better.

RG: . the zippo lighter is about what I don’t like about apps, but I’m using it as a good example. It’s very cheap/simple, and has 3m downloads. Not doing very much, but understanding the platform, early and quickly to get something there. My real good example is Shop Savvy. It is a barcode scanner. you can go into a store, and you can find the cheapest price in the web to get it, also if there is a shop nearby where you can buy it cheaper. `so incentive to get it. save money. they understood the customer, they are wanting to purchase it something, we know where they are, then sell that info to advertisers, so they can discount or offer something.
SS: you talk about shop savvy being a platform for brands? is this an pop for target etc to build their own. So AUDQ about if brands should build or sponsor?
RG: I tend to believe that the loyal Best Buy shopper, is not really a real scenario (i.e. once a month or more for this) is not real. Being part of the ecosystem is better than owning every part of it.
SS: the criteria I use, is it a passionate brand, there is a lot of passion around it. does it have great content or a lot of utilitarian use, does it change on a frequent basis. if it meets these 3, then it is a good reason to build one.
RG: the Merc AMG is an example of what I don’t like. The luxury brands are putting out the microsites as apps. They are links…a video, sound effects and some photos and that is all. There are a tonne of these, brands that have spent years building classy momentum around brand and then they offer you this. It’s is nothing. You may use this once. It is less rich than the site. it is lame. There is nothing to it.
BM: what could they do to make it useful?
RG: this is a passion brand, where the lust is high, but what I don’t see anything about social integration , no community of users, no attempt to connect them, no attempt to say Merc is listening or cares. If I was going to buy one, I may want to talk to other owners, look at second hand market, understand the brand.
AH: Apps like this are advertising – potential owners. With apps you can actually target owners as well. the biggest sales go to existing owners, so an app that makes driving Mercs even better would be good, tap into data etc. this is what happens when advertising people take on app design.

BM: Your example is different?
AH: they don’t run advertising, they created an app that allows you to take pictures when hopping, save it to your cart to get later. it’s a direct relation to sales, we know business impact. My bad app is the GTI driving game. as a tool for branding, it goes against an impressions based model. Of those who downloaded, the idea is that some portion will remember and then take some action and eventually test drive. It is a waste as most who use it will never do anything with it related to the brand, except maybe a good feeling.

BM: so the biggest challenge is campaign vs software development? The budgets may not change soon?

SS: it will change when it proven to have value. A single brand app gets little traction, the ROI is questionable. it is easy to slam marketers for not doing this, but it comes down to metrics, there is not enough education or decision but there are not enough metrics either.
RG: the metrics today are a lot more like PR metrics than traditional marketing etc, I do think that new metrics will be required. e.g. engagement with app in a month. and the tracking of that. When they do use it, you have an engaged user. those metrics don’t properly show up with this yet, and they need to do this.
SS: the biggest metric is not CPMS, CPC, but Cost per BUZZ, and that is not enough.
BM: is that what success looks like (refers to a flurry graph)
AH: we are measuring a lot with advertising metrics, we expect apps to delver scale that advertising does. they will not do this. the reach is limited. we need to figure out new ways to measure ha they are delivering, then you will start to see things do look better. Apps are designed to look good but offer no value, a lot of stuff on that, so if you offer something that allows someone to do business with you easier, then it has a longer lifestyle.

BM: we are talking a lot about iphone as a platform, a few years ago, it would have been facebook.
SS: it is mobility does not mean a sacrifice in functionality. the facebook app is one of the most popular on the iphone. the apps are being downplayed by facebook as well, so not getting as much traction.
RG: a lot of the apps have screwed the privacy issues, with a rogue app stealing info, left me not happy in the platform. Not the best for developers, a lot of things difficult about the facebook universe. the mobile apps universe is more mature and the idea of it being with you all the time is the most compelling thing, it’s powerful;. facebook is still one foot int he desktop experience and not with me all the time.

AUDQ: how will the iPad impact it?
SS: there will be an impact, a lot to do with your posture. you will have more space, different posture and gestures. Not used to it yet.
RG: just the larger canvas, is something.

AUDQ: What steps to increase stickiness of apps?
RG: there’s no lipstick answer, there is no small thing. you have to do your homework. What is the opportunity. It’s the user-centric design, try and figure out a way to make some utility. Charmin did one…an app to find toilets and to review them. for moms with kids, a good app. it is relevant.
SS: don’t frontload all the advertising PR push etc, that is when you see a reverse hockey stick. think different marketing and PR levers.

Mar 14

SXSW 3 days in

It’s the start of my 3rd full day at SXSW and again it’s a completely different experience from all the others. Friday was spent at an off-site event, Tweethouse. Saturday was spent in panels and today there’s going to be a mixture of panels and parties, at least when I get started on the day.

At the BBC Digital Planet panel, which was actually a recording for the radio/web programme, it was mentioned that this year for the first time, interactive has outsold music, with nearly 15,000 attendees. It feels like it! The conference has spread over 4 venues, the halls feel more crowded and from what I’ve seen there are far more first-timers here than I’ve ever spoken to before. Despite the financial woes of the last year, this is obviously the place to be for anyone involved in digital in any form. And there are all sorts, I’ve met coders (the guys keeping foursquare up and running), publishers, freelance web designers, consultants, social media people (there are a lot of them, there always has been), advertising and marketers, and just general web folk.

I’m on track to meet my objectives for the conference, which are simple – meet at least one new person (for a long chat that is likely to be followed up with further connections) and learn at least one new thing. I’m half way there with 3 days to go, so looking promising. I’m luckier than many I believe, in that I pay for this myself so there is no external pressure to justify the ROI. to me, this is definitely geek spring break! No conclusions yet though on how this is all working out, who will win the location app battle or whether At&T will keep the mobile network going, although they seem to be doing well so far. but it is on track for being another successful and enjoyable event for me.

Mar 13

SXSW: Andrea Phillips ARGS and the hot Brunette

LIVEBLOGGED: taken during talk, so any mistakes are mine.

Andrea Phillips
ARGS and Women

A freelance game designer and writer, involved since they started. Also Chair if IGDA SIG ARG One of community moderators of Cloudmakers, one of the key moments in ARGS, when we recognised that something had happened. One of the ingredients of the community experience was the Hot Brunette, Laia Salla, the one who had a problem. Her friend, she thought was murdered. She needed your help! In context, 2001, Buffy was on air, last season of Xena, then Alias and dark Angel, with Tomb Raider. Our cultural experience led to the hot brunette. She was influenced by culture, and bin turn influenced on. Also, this year, internet use by gender was equal. In 2001, the internet did not feel completely safe, it was common to hide your agenda. In Cloudmakers, however, it was not long before we saw there were a lot of women. We wondered why there were the women, was it the format, the role, the community. Only statistic I had was 28% of the voters for a final vote were women in this fame. As the AI game was widely known and successful, it came the model for future projects; who tried to unravel that review and repeat the experience. And in marched the hot brunettes. They were young, attractive, smart, funny. The kind of girl a geek may fall a little in love in.

A difference btw the video game and a ARG, you are not the star of the show, you are not the main character. The star is usually an attractive brunette. She is not the one doing stuff, you still are, she is something between a role to achieve and someone to help. In the 2012 experience, the 2 white guys were very unusual in this genre. There is a trend, we have made a new archetype, so we need to understand who she is and what she means. So let’s tale a look at the history?

Do girls play games? Yes, of course they do, why are we even discussion. 40% of all gamers are female, 52% of PSP owners are female. Women over 25 play more games than any other group. (Neilson figures)

So why are games ‘for boys’.. why do we still have this idea that games are a boy thing. Was there something about Pong that was hypermasculine? was it the marketing. (see 1976 ad for Pong) But there are girl and boy games – lots of the over 25 games, are casual games, or social games. They are not really the big AAA titles, which are what ‘press’ call games, When we think of video games those err the games that comes to mind. Farmville with its 100m users is not what you think of when you come to a gam, not what a gamer plays.

Games are marketed towards men…straight men. The Sin to Win campaign…for Dante’s Inferno. So if you committed an act of lust at (E3) you could win an evening with 2 hot girls in a limo. There was a protest over this campaign, and the winner rejected the prize. Look at Evony -marketed with boobs. There are no girls (or characters) in the game. (Video of E3 09, lots of girls). You could say it was bad this year – and that was toned down. As a women, what E3 is telling me is that the game people don’t like me, that they don’t want my money, that I am not a real human being.

Games are Made by Men. Another cog in the machine that keeps games a boy things. there are 3 % in programming. Women in game make less money. On (Andrea) ARG teams, there have been more women on them than men. Recent results from an IGDA survey, a third of ARG builders are female.

Female Characters in games suck: classic role for female is the damsel in distress. You are supposed to rescue girlfriend wife, sister, princess etc. Often for some unknown reason. In Zelda, she knows everything, she disguises herself as a ninja – why does she need rescuing. Why isn’t Zleda a playable character. Even when playable, it does not go well. SO Super Princess Peach. Her superpower – MOOD SWINGS!!! When she is happy she flies, she drowns enemies with her tears. Bayonetta is in a category all by itself for its depiction of girls. The art director has talked at length at getting her arse correct. The ‘wins’ are ‘climaxes’. Her costume is made from her hair, that needs concentration..which falls when she is doing something. So her superpower is getting naked. One on 5 characters on a game box is female. In an industry fixated on realism, in light on water, in the action of dust. If they are after realism, they are not really getting there.

So What?? Why does this matter, why is it that girls play games, boys play games, It is not an academic question, it is a real problem. I could give you pages on sexual harassment stats. instead I’d give you info on my first brush of sexism. At 13, I moved schools; in my old schools I was studying literature, in my new one, I was in a class that had to underlined verbs. I approached the teacher to ask for more advanced work…the teacher replied that I had the most beautiful blue eyes. I learnt that being pretty would not help me. So i learnt to remove the markers of being feminine, I considered myself not a real girl…they like shopping and gossiping etc. At some point, you have to ask yourself where i got the idea about. So I had to ask what was wrong was me? My daughter likes girly things, and pink etc. I had internalised the message that girl things suck, so challenged my daughters choices. She was better than that. We have stigmatised femininity. We are cool with a women surgeon, but don’t like a man that collects unicorns. Girl stuff, means soft, pretty, in a culture…Girl Stuff sucks! the message in ads often convey this. If you repeat it, it becomes the norm.

A study has said if you consume a message, even if you disagree with it) you will end up adopting it. this is about the THE SLEEPER EFFECT. once info is in your brain, even if from a distrusted source, it becomes part of your world view.

PRIMING – behaviour and performance can be affected by situation and environmental cues. If you remind a girl that she is female before she takes a maths test, her scores are worse (as girls are ‘worse’ at maths). So who are responsible. the media. But WE ARE THE MEDIA. We are the media just as much as they are. As the media, we make culture, we put ideas into peoples heads. We have to think about what we are adding to the collective consciousness. So with our collection of brunettes in the ARG, we are saying women, even smart, competent women, need help to solve their problems. But why do we use them? What makes them useful. A lot of them come from the point of wanting to put in strong characters? So why young, brown hair. Writers are very lazy, building complex characters are hard. A mass market game want smart, funny, and vulnerable, Female means vulnerable, brown hair means smart (it’s a short hand)

When you start a character, you have a neutral human. But even so, there are defaults for a human – male, white, young etc. Look at a stick character, then most people will assume male, I’d be surprised if you look at a stick figure and not think of a gender at all. We think in genders..parents can get really angry if you misjudge the gender of a 2 month infant, even though it does not really matter until puberty.

We look at stock characters. they are easy. when you want to make a mad scientists, you take an actor and put him in a white coat and mess his hair. It’s easy, but simple, predictable and very boring, ad you can get offensive very quickly. so what is a writer to do? You can’t leave it at a stock character. You end up offensive and boring and which one is worse depends who you are talking to. So to make interesting, you pick an archetype and give them atypical traits. Mix and match. You need to avoid obvious, easy and predictable.

So, there’s nothing wrong with casting cute brunette as lead. But if it just for people to look at and there is no control, that is slipping into bad territory. So here’s a list of things to think about.

1. pass the Bechdale test. 2 or more women who talk to each other about something other than men. There are few that pass this test.
2. Give her agency. Give her the power to change the world. Lack of agency is one of the places ARGS fall down; although if there is two much, the players are short changed. If you give her free will, you can drive the story. make her unreliable, keep info to herself.
3. Diversify. add other dimensions. however, if you are not careful, then you get a cast of white people with different colours of skin.

The brunette is often a guide to the game world. You could skip this, let the players decide and explore.

There are a lot of bad characters, but lets look at what works. Faith from Mirrors Edge. She is conceived a human being first, who happens to be female. The female hero in Fable 2 – although he story is the same regardless which character you play. I though they used the same body model, so the female was strong and muscular. And in Fable, when you die, you scar. and there is no way to get rid of it. I liked that remaining pretty was not one of the rules. Then you have Shel in Portal you can argue that she is not really a character, as there is little about here. But it was cool that she was a girl and it was no big deal.

STORIES ARE TRUTHS: the truths we tell ourselves as a society, crime does not pay, love conquers all. Also girls like shopping…etc. the deep truth about ARGs is not hot brunettes need help but that there is someone on the web who will help you when you need it. This culture of helping people is the one that I want to build. you need to build the culture you want to be living in.

Mar 13

SXSW: Chris Messina and Actvity Streams

LIVEBLOGGED – so pretty much as said

Google Data Liberation – most excited to be part of this team

Ingeneral, interested in generative systems and structures, rhizomatic structures, built into the fabric of how they work. Start spill with constructs that grow into the systems. Thats how it all started, hashtags etc.

As in The Future of the Internet, (Zitrain) those sort of systems, paints a picture of things we need to think about as internists. So all that I have been doing based on these generative systems, those with transparent DNA.

An activity stream – facebook newsfeed, we are going somewhere with this, a lot more interesting. In 1999, Fight Club presented us something that gives us something to think about. YOu get a picture of someone through material objects. so imagine going shopping you get an activity stream as a receipt of what you have purchased. YOu get this on paper now, so how do you get it to something that is usable. When you purchase things with cards, the bank does all the collection and analysis. Card becomes a digital identity and you have no idea what the digital life is like. We end up with a stack of receipts that you can’t get anything from. Ther is an unbalance, where those that provide the cards can get the info and make use of it and they do not give us anything back. The bank provides data (he asked for bank info) but they provided it as pdf data. The pdf is a digital version of the paper they used to send you.

Today, the newsfeed is the best activity stream there is, one of the only ones we can have. (History of Feeds) IN 1999, they took RSS and piped data form one place to another. RSS was title + link + description. this was when people were afraid of giving data away, so this was the most you could do. So go forward 5-6 years, then there was a series of battles, so in 2005, there was a new format, called Atom. Still similar, till about syndication, innovation was author, unique id and update date. So very slow to get there. now we know who wrote it and when it was published. Moving forward but not about powering social web, still based on media consumption, the syndication. So now, we take the articles, will still have the same idea. We have a news feeds, which is still a portal types thing. So even with the most advanced browser/feed you still get the news feed. We are trying to pump all these rich info throughout he formats that were designed to publish news articles. So everything looks the same, it is all RSS (etc). There are all these rich activities but the formats we have are all stuck in 1999. The social web needs to have better, richer formats to allow us to express, why, when, how.

This is the friendfeed problem. There idea was to bring them all together, to make sense of it all. It was a metalled, representative of your actual identity online. Then friendfeed got acquired by facebook, now the service has languished. it still supports services that do not exist, it does not list all the services. (So no work). Int he world of social web and startups, there are a lot of casualties. Friendfeed put a lot of effort into stuff that goes away (as would anyone). So the solution could be a universal format (to minimise effort).

So this is where activity streams format comes from.

So to start, let’s go back to the Soviets. They proposed a theory called Activity theory…a structure about making workers more productive, a system to create divisions of labour. You wool have a subject with Tools with an object to produce and outcome. Then the theory got expanded, so broaden it out to the individual operating in a community structure, with rules and roles and mediating artefacts. This allows us to think about activity streams beyond point a to be syndication. It allows us to create meaning. (Engestrom 1967)

one of things you can think of is Social Objects. Jyri took his Dad’s research and started working on social objects. You can’tt just do a social network that allows friending, you have to create these shared objects that people can gather around and have some interesting interactions. Those social objects are the pivot points for connections, which allows them to derive meaning and make sense of the connection.

You Tube – the social object is the video. Instead of a list, you can modify it, with comments, favourites etc, all this social residue provides meaning, adds value to the object, that was created once and then gets built up over time. Look at Flickr, go back to our activity theory, they have understood how the different things they have used these rules to generate interesting interaction models. Focus on the pieces, you create a vibrant community, different roles, create, comment, curation,. Flickr does a good job of expanding the roles of non-producers, the actions adds richness and dynamism to Flickr than found on other sites. Also, on rules, they have made it possible for an individual to finely tune the system, the rules. So if I were private, I can control public searches. When I get a comment from someone I don’t know, then there would be a connection as that is the only way to find. If I was public , then another set of reason for people to find them. So the way I set up attracts the activities that are meaningful.

Useful when talking abut lifestreams. Lifestreams and activity streams are not completely interchangeable. The lifestream concept came from David Gelernter. Wrote Mirror Worlds. A decade later 2000, wrote The Second COming, A Manifesto. He talked about lifestreams. He said a lifestream organises info as a mind, not a file system. He talked about the idea of hashtags, connecting elements. (HTtp:// This is all like Donnie Darko – we have these threads that play out to past and future and we can modify, but we do not have great tools for doing so. As we start to move towards experiencing the now, the next and the next next.

As we start to produce all these digital objects, we start to snack on it. Today may feel like overload, we don’t have the tools to consume it. We are constantly compressing, microcontent goodness. You would write a book, long, you were paid on words. Then we went to articles in publication, now we do tweets. So what are we giving up? We go from a slow consume and digest, lingering on content to one where info is disposable as there is so much of it. What is interesting is the data trail that can come from these experiences.
The info can lead to a mapping of behaviour. We are scratching the surface of this, with systems about where and what we are doing in the world. Still not good systems. Being able to build a profile over time, this social data, social residue and be able to make sense of it is fascinating. We can make little of it now.

Social signifiers can be useful in training computers to serve us better; it is very valuable, and bite size chunks make it more accessible to computers. One example is a pedometer I use, that hooks to a website, so I can track the trend. You need to accrue data over time. So I can track have a slowed down, am I more lazy than my peers. Look at the Feltron annual reports. He collects all of the data over a year. and publishes. He tracks where he goes, so why can’t google maps provide this? Food consumption, how does he track it? There’s an app called Last History…looks over the scrobbling. This is your data, so you can do something with it. It takes your habits, combines ical, iphoto, imovie etc and shows you the soundtrack of your life.

Now Tufte has been horrid by Obama, to track and visualise where our tax dollars are going. So why don’t they make it compulsory for the data to be released so we can build stuff….we’ll end up with pdfs from most of them.

The solution to data overload is more data – actually more metadata, data about data. So we need to start generating this and this is what we are doing with activity streams. We presume there is an actor, that did something and modified an object, with some output/target. Actor Verb Object Target. this model allows me to do this.

So what does the code look like? So add verb, object-type and target to the atom definition. so you have an activity stream data model. The new bits are added. You can start to substitute verbs and object types, mix and match and build more interesting experiences. Now we have a list of verbs and object types, from review of friendfeed and others. So all of this is in v0.8, moving towards 1. the idea is not to have a million verbs on day 2, but to start with something that can be added to.

We are not really inventing this, we are being inspired by the microformats process, for the expansion of the model. So ask why, do your homework, then propose the new verb/targets etc. Then iterate. Then interoperate. We want to grow this slowly so we know what we are getting into