Toby Moore is one of those people who can sustain a conversation across time and distance, not-withstanding the Web, and can get into “collaborative” mode at the drop of a hat. Last week we talked at the Left Bank during an interim moment for him between flights from the U.K., to L.A., to San Francisco, onto Canada and home again.
Despite a hectic travel schedule, we picked up where we had left off in person about 8 months ago (with plenty of Skype conversations in between). The topic, as usual was the process of nurturing a collaborative process from initial first thought (IFT) to final finished product (FFP). (We Love Acronyms!)
Toby and his team at Sleepydog in the U.K. produce game software for Sony. But he is also, along with Howard Rheingold, a visiting professor at the Institute for Creative Technologies DeMontfort University in Leicester, facilitating cross-disciplinary creative projects among academic specialists. DeMontfort is an institution that has specialties in the creative professions. The Web, he says, and new modes of production are changing the classic design-to-final-finished product process to design for “hackability” or “mixability.”
In our conversation at the Left Bank, we expanded our “back of the napkin” architecture for collaboration, this version incorporating more visualization and social networking elements than our last hand-drawing. We bemoaned the continuing issues around "HITL" or "human-intervention-transport-layer." which means we need some sort of flow and context-switching services between the conversational and visualization process to definition via wiki tools to full fledged project/production tools. If only I could scan that napkin onto the web, we'd be zillionaires.
Last year, Toby was an attendee at the first Office 2.0 conference. He and I kibbitzed on the sidelines during the 2006 conference. We were excited about all the new technology we saw, but we agreed: there needed to be more about the human experience of collaboration at future conferences. Well this year, Toby gets his wish. At Office 2.0 in San Francisco, he’ll be on a panel, moderated by Jevon McDonald, discussing ‘one year later’ experiences with his work with DeMontfort University.
Toby is a consummate creative catalyzer. After his participation at Office 2.0, he’s back in the U.K., launching a creative “open coffee club” for people in the creative professions, and in October, the first European Machinima conference in the U.K.