Code, Shmode - people trump algorithms. Tummeling for success


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A talk to Startup festival Montreal on the importance of People not just Code. In a world where access to information is cheap and we are no longer command-n-control - the human skills of the "tummler" will ensure success.

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  • Underlying everything at this conference is people, sharing and collaboration, yet we in the startup/tech world spend more time on algorithms than human nature. \nIn order to create startups that matter we have to remember that people matter. They are your foundation.\n\n\n
  • Good morning - Normally my rule of thumb is to never start a preso with a slide about me BUT considering that this talk is all about bringing the social online - it is only fair that it is proper social etiquette to formally introducing myself. \n\nI’ve played in a lot of corners of the web. \n\nCurrently, \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n
  • Set our own new rules \n\nWhat are the new moral principles of the Web?\n\nWe are living in a world with ethics and normative behaviors being set individually on a case by case basis and rules from one world are being carried over into another. \n\nIn a frictionless, hyper connected and persistent society norms are hyper-local within small groups – and we have become accustomed to move easily between these two groups and different [i.e. many hcat rooms, ]\n\nEach relationship has different expectations\nNever so much simultaneously communication with such density 0 \n\nDATING/WORK Story\n\ninredibly funny and mortifying the personal not to the darling boy I used to love goes to boss – style and content\n
  • Not about a viral video...or a blog....or a facebook app...or social media....or community\n It is about your business your product and your customers How, when and where they are receptive to you\n [and it better work, be easy to understand and add value to my life] \n
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  • A very social node\n
  • we socialized and did business with those who existed in the same physical space as we did - we knew them - we had small tribes - of family and neighbors\n
  • Each one of those dots is represents - not jsut data but people\n
  • Unfortunately, computers don’t always reflect our human selves\n
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  • What’s really changed about relationship – is that over the last few years we have a culture of sharing that we were not able to easily do before - it’s the ease, amplitude and attitude that has changes\n
  • The world we live in today is a blend of the grand and the personal; The episodic and the continuum; The atom and the bits; The binary and the blurry; How these two “modes” work together.\nIf we are now hyperconnected on the LiveWeb. We operate in a new relationship economy. Grand gestures represent an old model, the metaphor would be “ignore me ignore me ignore me - flowers on Valentine’s Day, ignore me, ignore me, ignore me - Superbowl Ad.\nWe have to design our online experiences to reflect the social relationship driven nature of this new economy. Death to Grand Gestures.\nThe implication of the death of the grand gesture for business is that this alters the way we connect with customers and market, now we need to communicate everywhere all the time, it's not the 2 product launches per year model anymore, or silence and then big launch – it’s a continuum punctuated with episodic - hence the popularity of agilie and innovation.\n\nIf we are now hyper-connected on the LiveWeb and operate in this renewed relationship economy - this means an end to the importance of Grand Gestures. Grand Genstures represent an old model, the metaphor would be “ignore me ignore me ignore me - flowers on Valentine’s Day, ignore me, ignore me, ignore me - Superbowl Ad. We have to design our online experiences to reflect the social relationship driven nature of this new economy. \nThe world we live in today is a blend of the grand and the personal; The episodic and the continuum; The atom and the bits; The binary and the blurry; How these two “modes” work together.\n\n
  • Andrew Zoli - poptech\n
  • And I would even argue many sites pretend to be about social but are often very static - heck we still call them web “pages” [skeuomorphs]\n
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  • We have thousands of years of moral principles we ‘live’ by\n\nIn the past these rules were set by divine right and then philosophical dominion i.e.[smart guys in towers] now each new tool and individual and community forges a new set of principles on what is or is not valued by that community or tool or group\n\nIn all other places where we have gathered as a community we have had rules in place prior to the situation and an understanding of the agreed social contract\n\n\n\nAfter the creation of fire that first nite in the cave - someone had to negotiate - ok it’s not cool - we need to go to sleep put put the fire!\n
  • Web still adolescent - this stuff is SO new\n \n Thomas Vanderwall - social comfort” - \n\n\n\n
  • sm brings out the superficial in us....efficiency.....intimate relationships are not about efficiency - andrew keen on tummelvision\n
  • Bronislaw Malinowski - exchanges meant to provide a social connection rather than transmit information\n
  • Single piece of human interaction\n Opening - Hello\n Presence- Availability Offline we have phatic communication online we have very discreet ways - signaling is different online\n Closing – Leave taking - Just walk away not polite\n\nWhat is present – example of using cell phone to augment lecture when older couple felt I was being rude\nIntimacy – Are you being ignored or are you just busy?\n
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  • Also notice that flickr tells me I have learned something new\n
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  • You have all this great data - USE IT\n\nthis entire page is filled with data that is interesting and about me\n
  • This new world requires new design thinking, more sophisticated tools and a renewed focus on human skills \nWe need an acknowledgment of the behavioral shifts and the emergent cultural & societal impacts \n\nThis is early days - the social web is an adolescent. As we move more and more from the data driven web to the social & participatory driven web - the softer social skills of the connector are in demand & needed. \n\nAsk yourself - If we no longer live in a command and control hierarchy...\n\n What kind of filters, frameworks and technology do we need to connect these dots to be truly useful?\n \n How do we incorporate design into framing emergent etiquette and the new social contract?\n \n What are the new skills succeeding in a hyper networked world?\n\n\n\n
  • Tummlers - Tummler is a yiddish word that means to catalyze others to action. It was traditionally the individual who was hired to get everyone to dance at a wedding or the comedian who hung out all week to get to know his audience and create a sense of community.\n\nI used this word today to describe both the human skill set and practice needed to succeed in a world that is no longer command and control but networked and connected. \n\nI am here to put a stake in the ground - one who are the technologists who say the users will change - the socialogists friends who stamp their feet and people are people - entrenched discourse\n\nNot just people but communities - technologists and the luddites need to get each of those cultures individual tummlers lead to cultural shofts and breaking down the boundaries\n\ntummeling is not just a person it’s a practice.\n\npeople and technology -their are activities thru technology \n\nWe need to be cognizant of the world we are building and live in the colorful middle\n \n \n \n an entertainer or master of ceremonies, especially one who encourages audience interaction (from Yiddish tumler, from tumlen 'make a racket'; cf. German (sich) tummeln 'go among people, cavort')\n
  • In a fast paced agile environment trust, connection etc is increasingly vital\n
  • If we no longer live in a command n control world we need to cultivate our ability to connect to each other and act \n
  • Access to information is cheap\nTech/Code is rarely a differentiator\nWhen there is no more command n control - we need to cultivate tummel skills to act and thrive.\n\n
  • In this world the tummler is the new CEO and is critical for thriving.\n
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  • Code, Shmode - people trump algorithms. Tummeling for success

    1. 1. Code, Shmode,it’s People that Matter!Tummeling for successStartupFestival, MontrealJuly 2012Deborah #tummel
    2. 2. First, a little about me‣ “Of the Web”‣ Reformed marketer‣ Human centered lens‣ Partial geek [alas, I don’t code]‣ “Translator, Catalyst, Pattern finder”‣ Formal work ‣ Founding Partner, Senior Fellow, Altimeter Group ‣ Co-founder Tummelvision ‣ P&G Digital Advisory Board Member ‣ Six Apart ‣ Executive Director NYC Info Center ‣ Launched
    3. 3. is a talk about people! Algorithms alone can’t do it @debs #tummel
    4. 4. is not about this don’t be swayed by the bling
    5. 5. A reminder
    6. 6. are inherently social animals
    7. 7. Way way pastLife was simple
    8. 8. ttp://, everything is Nodes are not just data but people connected & things
    9. 9. We bring our behaviors with vibrant, chaotic, organic us online
    10. 10. “We are weaving a global brain” -Jerry Michalski
    11. 11. Culture of sharing Easier than ever before
    12. 12. Death of the Grand GestureContinuum vs Episodic
    13. 13. You build authentic networksAnticipation before you need them
    14. 14. And yet….Web is still pretty binary
    15. 15. An adolescent hasn’t quite figured itself out
    16. 16. takes us a looong time to We are agile as people but not as a adapt between versions species
    17. 17. new technology brings new tensions and a reshaping of social frameworks @debs #tummel
    18. 18. a result - we often feel like thisShifting rules - Leads to vulnerability, social discomfort and fragile trust
    19. 19. private persistence personal identity truth “friend” authentic currency rude trust presence reciprocity respect honesty anonymity value free ownership intimacy accountability public urgency secret comfort appropriate self share celebrity objectivity influence constancy commerce Source: Thomas VanderwalAnd we are renegotiating a vast array of social connections & definitions @debs #tummel
    20. 20. The subtext of language whenPhatic Communication connecting @debs #tummel
    21. 21. Lets examine a single piece of human interaction @debs #tummel
    22. 22. Let’s Break it Down‣ Handshake‣ Greeting‣ Response‣ Handoff‣ Feedback‣ Make me smarter about me
    23. 23. Enter is a handshake
    24. 24. Sign-in is a greeting Acknowledges me
    25. 25. Did you know.... Handoff
    26. 26. Make me smarter about me & you
    27. 27. This new participatory world requires a combinationof new design thinking, more sophisticated techtools and a renewed focus on human skills &emotion
    28. 28. Tummlers & TummelingOne, such as a social director orentertainer, who encourages guestor audience participation. 2. Onewho incites others to action.ETYMOLOGY: Yiddish tummler,from tumlen, to make a racket.Learn more at
    29. 29. Rahav Segev NYTimes the customer In the pit making it happen! @debs #tummel
    30. 30. Sample Tummel Skills‣ Listener‣ Teacher‣ Connector‣ Emotive‣ Supportive‣ Critic‣ Catalyst‣ Diplomat‣ Approachable‣ Intuitive‣ Inquisitive‣ driven by relationships
    31. 31. We are living in a world where your code is nolonger your differentiator - you are!What you stand for, how you design, communicate, gather and understand people andhuman behavior!
    32. 32. New framework for aparticipatory web‣ Organic vs Static‣ Emotion vs Data‣ Relationship vs Transaction‣ Continuum vs Grand Gesture‣ Anticipation vs Reaction‣ Relevance vs Chronology
    33. 33. Some Practical Steps‣ Be a sociologist or ethnographer‣ Think of yourself as a host‣ Be vulnerable‣ Help people participate‣ Make them smarter‣ Use human words‣ Hire a person to help [not an FAQ]‣ Think constancy not episodic‣ Remember you build a true network before you need it!
    34. 34. Thanks!Thriving in a networked world!Learn more at our