menu

How Do We Improve The Values Of The Web? [PSFK NYC 2012]

How Do We Improve The Values Of The Web? [PSFK NYC 2012]
culture

Jonathan Harris, founder of Cowbird, believes that we need to find a teachable moment in the information we share online to create content with lasting value.

Kyana Gordon
  • 31 march 2012

At the PSFK CONFERENCE NYC 2012 today, our diverse lineup of speakers are sharing valuable insights and ideas about technology, business and creativity.

Jonathan Harris is known for his innovative work that explores how humans relate to technology and to each other. He is the co-creator of We Feel Fine and has exhibited around the world at museums such as MoMA and Le Centre Pompidou.

His latest venture, Cowbird, is an online community that aims to offer a deeper and longer-lasting way for people to tell stories about their lives. Jonathan explains his personal approach to self expression:

I spend a lot of time in solitude, and a lot of time in nature. I also go swimming every day. When you go to the woods, or to the desert, or to water, and you consider your ideas, if the ideas seem timeless and valid in places like that, then they are probably very good ideas.

As a slower-paced alternative to services like Twitter, Cowbird aims to be a rich public repository of human wisdom and experience. Jonathan is thinking about how his offline lifestyle mimics his goals for his online life — natural, holistic, contemplative.

At today’s conference, Jonathan spoke about four popular trends that are manifesting themselves strongly in our online behaviour that need to be monitored closely and shifted:

  • Compression: Moving towards a point that can’t be superseded.
  • Disposability: Putting things out there that are constantly updated and instantly erased by something new.
  • Curation: Participating in overdirected self-expression, assembling lists of something cool, reflagging content — leading to a dramatic decline in emotional self-expression.
  • Self-promotion: Hyperbolic online personae — turning your own life into an advertisement.

Jonathan set out his philosophy for what kind of information we should be sharing online:

There’s certain stuff worth telling stories about (a lot of stuff online doesn’t meet that criteria). What is important about a story is to find a teachable moment, something you’ve noticed that no one else has, and capture those things that no one else has been exposed to. We need to put forth beautiful and believable visions, because people will start to believe them to be true.

For more insights from Jonathan check out PSFK’s  Need to Know Magazine

Jonathan Harris / @jjhnumber27

Previously on PSFK:

Are Self-Reflection And Timelessness Possible On The Internet? [PSFK NYC 2012]

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Howard Sullivan

Design, Retail Marketing

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

Gaming & Play december 2, 2016

This Game Lets You Be A Pilot In The Drone Racing League

DRL Racing Simulator recreates actual courses in a virtual environment

Travel december 1, 2016

Hotel Chain Is Giving Away Its Not-So-Super Hotel Art At Art Basel

A lesson in how to advertise a kitschy-to-cool redesign in the middle of Miami Art Week

No search results found.