The smartphone revolution promised us that whatever you want to do, "there's an app for that". We do carry a vastly powerful portfolio of possibilities in our pockets, but we are limited. Our data is locked into different formats and apps, only usable in permitted ways. Computers should be general purpose tools you can use to achieve your goals, not constrained, walled-garden user experiences. Click the image to read more.
Through my work at Zooniverse, I worked with the MICO Project looking at what motivates citizen science volunteers on Snapshot Serengeti. Our research found that mundane images actually increase, not reduce, volunteer engagement. The work was presented at the HCOMP 2015 conference, as a work-in-progress paper (PDF version here) and as a poster as shown below … Continue reading This Image Intentionally Left Blank: Mundane Images Increase Citizen Science Participation
From 2014 to 2016, I was Web Science Architect at the Zooniverse, the world's largest citizen science platform. Zooniverse.com has over 1.5 million volunteers helping scientists with the problems that machines suck at, but humans are great at, such as species identification, pattern recognition, or handwriting transcription. While I was there, my role was to … Continue reading Zooniverse
As a species, we have begun a transformation as far-reaching as the industrial revolution or the invention of the printing press. We are now a digital society, living in two worlds - the physical world and the digital world that exists online, in our phones and PCs. Every human activity, from news and socializing to … Continue reading We Deserve the Time and Space to Be Human
Human 2.0 was a magazine-style blog that ran from 2007 to 2011 while I was working in the startup industry in Montreal, Canada, with myself and Alistair Croll as authors and editors. Its entire content is archived and browsable at http://human20.alexbowyer.com/. Human 2.0 examines the impacts of technology on society and how new technologies change our … Continue reading Human 2.0
Files are an outdated concept. As we go about our daily lives, we don’t open up a file for each of our friends or create folders full of detailed records about our shopping trips. Create, watch, socialize, share, and plan — these are the new verbs of the Internet age — not open, save, close … Continue reading Why Files Need to Die