Ecology of Narratives Project


a design experiment

some initial experiences from participants

Group suggestions:

Group 1
Group 2

Triggers in the city:

– locative places tell, evoke stories

Locative places invite interaction or emotion

– you see something in the city and tell the story because you have memory


– stories emerge using triggers from virtual reality


Collaboration starts:

– funny pictures

– pictures that related with own emotions

– food pictures

attractors in hybrid space

attractors in hybrid space

– buildings

– activity on the picture triggered curiosity

– perceiving several dimensions in the photo



*embedding yourself*



Reasons of using pictures:

– comparing pictures with own pictures

– similarities on own photos

– collaborating without agreeing, contributing

– dedicated triggers


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Be prepared for the final count-down :)

Monday, 23rd is very close and we will meet the last time to see what has happened with our experiment.

What kind of preparations i expect:
– Think what you have learned/experienced/observed from the experiment about narrative ecosystems and write down some of the main ideas (or write in your blog!)
– Look back at all your data, and propose at least one way how to analyze such data.
We will discuss these issues in the seminar.

The last day is for getting answers to the experimental design as teams.
You started as teams two wiki pages. These questions will need answers, also new questions might have risen.
So we will work as teams to finalize and illustrate with your examples what happened in the narrative ecosystem, what kind of trends existed, what kind of standards seemed to emerge, what issues emerged.

And i hope some of you decide to use this dataset for writing the master thesis – we can discuss it on monday.

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Random Thoughts

Suggesting Suggestions

Having been out of the picture during the last weeks I will try to implement the program by feeding some random general thoughts about what’s emerging from the whole interactive process. I will not discuss emergences as “results” in typical terms since I keep thinking of all of them as part of a system that is still up and running. It might eventually slow down and even stop in the next few months but more than dead I would eventually talk about latency, since pictures and posts are and will be there, mapped and tagged into interactive, socially networked systems. So, no results, just suggestions.

Collaborative Streaming and Individual processing

First off it has to pointed out that the individual connection to a collaborative source of data works as predicted, in terms that individual participants actually rely on items posted by others while processing their own personal narrative. Of course some participants even work as an independent channel, just featuring limited interaction, but it’s more an exception than the normal situation. Such Interactive process leads to different outcomes. Mostly, items posted by others trigger individual reactions based on previous experience, leading to specific processing of the reference. Interestingly, participants more likely rely on snaps uploaded by themselves when it comes to events or items that are available in multiple forms (pictures of the same airport for instance). In some cases the whole experience is processed on the basis of integrated references that are hardly interactive with previous similar ones experienced by other members of the community. Typically, stuff uploaded by others, both snaps or textual posts, gets interesting when it counts as a relevant term of comparison referring to some analogue event directly experienced by the active members of the community. Which leads to the emergence of Pattern and Themes…

Patterns and Themes

Some topics and themes seem to spread on the basis of polyngenetic emergence, say food, whereas other ones seem to be virally transmitted from one source to the whole community, say birds or geometric patterns. So, interaction basically leads to emergence of standards, that immediately develop into mutagenous forms. That is, as soon that a theme seems to be spreading among the community, the individual participant start differentiating their unique point of view on it, eventually pairing with some peers, that is teaming up on the basis of affinity.

Literal and Metaphorical

Some of my prediction concerned the involvement of methaporical filters when processing streamed items. A more careful assessment of data is very likely needed, but I’d say anyway that literal outscores metaphorical by far. Comparison is definitely very active as a processing strategy but proper metaphores, that is generalizations based on some universal meaning desumed from snaps, text or combos takes place on a very limited basis. It looks like individuals evaluate the collective streaming as a source of peculiar, particular events, meaningful in themselves, not just because they can be generalized.

(to be continued…)

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data from my narratives in excel table

I have analyzed my month in hybrid ecology settings using simple excel table format. I think this can be one way how we can make sense of what has happened in our hybrid ecology.

I would like that you could look at your data similar way and compiling and excel table.

My table in google spreadsheet format is here.

I think from this table we can see how different triggers influence action, interaction, emotions in hybrid ecology.
We can also analyze tags and places.
We can see how the same information transforms and is retold when it is removed from the place and brought to virtual environment.

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When narratives are rolling

Now that we have managed to push the experiment into the active participation phase, you should start thinking of the following:

1. What were your research questions (look into wikiversity group pages), and is the experiment giving answers to any of these questions.
If the questions were initially not very clear, you can now come up with more precise questions and add them to your group page in wikiversity.

For example: My question was: what are new standards of writing hybrid narratives.
I have been monitoring the hybrid ecology and i can now suggest which may be more preferred ways how people like to work with narratives in hybrid environment.
Now i need to document my findings – either bring out some examples or so.

2. Our experiment presumed that we work in a kind of swarm – collaboration can happen in an unplanned manner, voluntarily.
Investigate the experiment data. Did some forms of collaboration appear? How can you document such forms of collaboration?
Write your ideas down at the collaborative wiki page and monitor the next weeks if the ideas can be proved.

3. One big issue what we are exploring is if narratives can be written in hybrid environment – how can narratives be detected by other people. Has this happened that some stranger has started to follow your narrative?

4. Eventually, it would be good to start thinking and suggesting – which would be most interesting data-collection possibilities in hybrid ecologies?

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Food is a very emotion-loaded trigger?

Some places and some triggers are preferred for collaborative narratives beyond others. We may have entangled emotions with actions and embodied them. This compound will be active again due to the perspectives from the places, and we can embody and interact it again with some modifications.

Geroli noted that food picture created an external narrative collaboration.

attractors in hybrid space

attractors in hybrid space

Why is food a good attractor?
Is it because we eat so often that it must have some influence on our emotions?

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What can be learned from simple statistics

Today i looked the activeness of visiting this central blog. It is showing a bit of rising trend, and i hope it says at the current level 🙂

ecology of narratives launch weeks

ecology of narratives launch weeks

Some of you are pulling feeds from central blog – this means that the bog detects someone has visited it from your page.

Here are some statistics since the experiment started.… 36 30 11 6 4 4… 2 2 2 2 2… 1… 1… 1 1… 1… 1… 1 1

Conclusions: even if there is an experiment where people should work actively every week… it does not necessarily activate people.
I think interest does and good triggers of other people do as well.

Hmm.. and i guess in real swarms such tiny activity will not catch much attention at all and most of your narrative traces will be unattended.

Other statistics:
In Flickr pool with tag narrativeecology we have now 147 images.
Not all of you tag things to flickr… so some more images appear in Brightkite with #narrativeecology tag.
It also seems to me that map-search of personal images and other similar images is not very popular – am i wrong?

Tagging: in flickr people tag mainly with general tags, not so much variety and so called soft ontology appears for images.

In #narrativeecology feed in Twitter we have reached to 9 pages of content – this is approximately 15 twits per page, totally 135 or so.
This seems the most interesting and active way to monitor narratives.

There seems to be two ways of blogging that have appeared:
– version one is a chain of separate postings
– version two is a collection of impressions in one story

So, if the aim of the experiment is to see what people do and what are the new standards appearing for hubrid story telling…perhaps we can see here some standards emerging.

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hypothesis: only emotion-loaded places create collaboration

There has been one special artifact that has triggered emotional responses.

the story of snow

Originally uploaded by Lauri Laineste


Usually it is said that any locative artifact is loaded with emotions and presumably embodied by its maker. If one artifact can be continuously used as a token of emotions, certain re-embodiment takes place? People simulate the same or similar feelings over and over again what were attached to this artifact.

So i have a hypothesis: it is possible to re-embody the locative content over and over by different people if … is a bit difficult to write it clear way what i have in mind.
Just i think that emotion-related cues provide stronger simulation than other types of cues. Clarify my thought if you can… it seems a bit messy.

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Exploration of accumulated tokens

So – the snowball has been rolling at it seems that the bigger it gets the more it invites to participate.

There are better ways of monitoring the accumulated stories than viewing blog-feeds or mashing the microblogging feeds. There are maps.

Flickr Map provides a possibility to view all content with the similar tags. For example – i have made a picture and i have positioned it on the map, then it is quite natural to explore on the same map, what pictures have been taken of this place.

nearby content on map

nearby content on map

In another case i may wish to view what has been collected by people similar to me. The common tag-use enables to find if there are people similar to me. In normal ecologies no pre-defined tags (eg. narrativeecology) exist. However, there may be still similar tags.

finding similar-thinking people

finding similar-thinking people

Another possibility to make your narratives sequential on the map is using My maps of the Google Map.
It is possible to start a map and draw your path on the map.
The flickr images can be pulled as a new layer on top of your personal map. Even more – you can search only specific tags from the flickr content to enrich your map.

using tagged perspectives as triggers of your map path

using tagged perspectives as triggers of your map path

Let’s imagine that you wish to collaborate on the map. One person switches on one tag dimension and adds something on the collaborative map. Another collaborator may switch on totally different tag and the images direct to make more adds on the map.

extracting perspectives on collaborative map

extracting perspectives on collaborative map

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Visitors and interaction

Today i detected some visitors testing our work-mode – Antonio Fumero and Ralf Klamma are always eager to test something new 🙂

Another interesting aspect is dedicating locative artifacts for someone.

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