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A Primer in Social Experiments


A Primer in Social Experiments by Chris Cloud (@thinkdoer) and Marie Dupuch (@mjdupuch). …

A Primer in Social Experiments by Chris Cloud (@thinkdoer) and Marie Dupuch (@mjdupuch).

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  • 1. A Primer in Social Experiments
  • 2. What is a social experiment? Social- n. social gathering, especially one organized by a club, congregation, etc. Experiment- n. procedure for testing a hypothesis, etc.
  • 3. Social Experiments before 2010
  • 4. Bottle Bank Arcade Theory: Can we get more people to use the bottle bank by making it fun to do? "social experiment"
  • 5. The way it worked: Wait for light and put the bottle in the corresponding hole to collect points. The Bottle Bank Arcade had nearly100 visits that day. Meanwhile the conventional Bottle Bank across the street received only 2.
  • 6. Theory: “... could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it?”
  • 7. “As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining its destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot.”
  • 8. “The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers.” “But of more interest to me was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object.”- Kacie Kizner
  • 9. Theory: What would happen if we left a chair Blu Dot alone on the street? Where would it go? “’s surprising, but I suppose in this day and age it’s only a matter of time that something like this happens to each one of us...” - Personal Interview (Curb Miner)
  • 10. To celebrate its birthday as well as the resourcefulness of its New York City home, we took to “curb-mining”: the obsession with both placing and taking furniture home from the street. Our mission: place 25 of Blu Dot’s signature Real Good Chairs all over the city, free for the take. The catch: we enabled many of the chairs with GPS to see where they’d go. The two-day experiment — comprised of real-time online tracking, a live Twitter feed and a follow-up documentary video — garnered over 136 million media impressions for the brand in just two months. The idea won the hearts of editors from the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Dwell, Creativity magazine, and CNBC, not to mention a handful of New York scavengers who created epic blogs dedicated to their chair pursuits. Blu Dot gave good design to 25 people. In turn, millions more took notice of Blu Dot.- mono
  • 11. Social Experiments in 2010
  • 12. DATING BRIAN Theory: What if I crowd sourced my dating life?
  • 13. “With more than half of New Yorkers single and available, it's a jungle out there and there's no getting just dipping your toes in. So Brian is taking the plunge and going on 30 dates in 30 days with 30 different women. But part of the challenge is he's crowd sourcing all the decisions: who he dates, where they go...”
  • 14. To date (Aug. 5th, 2010): Facebook:741 fans Twitter: 1,584 followers Youtube views: 29, 874 Featured: All Things Considered WGN Village Voice Mashable name a few.
  • 15. SIX ITEMS or LESS Theory: What do our clothes say about us? Why do spend so much time on what we wear? What happens when we don’t?
  • 16. Each participant gets to choose six (and only six) items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for a month.’s about putting a challenge out there and seeing what people bring to it, do with it and talk about.-
  • 17. Featured: New York Times Good Morning America The Today Show PSFK .... About 100 participants worldwide.
  • 18. 30 DAYS of CREATIVITY Theory: If presented with the task to create something/ anything for 30 days, what would people create and most importantly, would they?
  • 19. 30 Days of Creativity was a social initiative encouraging people to create stuff, anything, every day for 30 days in June 2010 by folks in the Minneapolis creative community.
  • 20. Stats: Over 3,000 creations and counting Twitter followers: 595 Pledgers: 350 + International following (Creators in England, Australia, Denmark, New Zeland, Brazil, Bahamas...) Featured: Make PSFK ....
  • 21. What makes an experiment social?
  • 22. 1.) SOCIAL It’s collaborative.
  • 23. 2.) THEORY It’s unproven.
  • 24. 3.) ONLINE/OFFLINE It lives in either space.
  • 25. 4.) MEASURABLE It’s effectiveness can be shown.
  • 27. “We have always wanted to be autonomous, competent, and connected; it’s just that now social media has become an environment for enacting those desires, rather than suppressing them.” - Clay Shirky
  • 28. Chris Cloud (@Thinkdoer) Marie Jeanne Dupuch (@mdupuch)