Sunday, March 22, 2009

Serving Buzz

Coffee shops share a constructivist heritage in that here is where people congregate to compare notes and weave memes.

After WW1 in Paris, a kind of existentialism took root, as the devastated and war torn tried to reboot. The movie Jarhead makes a lot of allusions to this literature, which was insufficient to keep WW2 from happening. WW3 was at least colder in some dimensions.

If you're fortunate, your shop will have some networking pros, including on staff, Romany Marie types such as some of our CSN co-founders here (others more grumpy and back office).

"Meme weaving" or "dream weaving" or "day dreaming" (as in conversation, or as in just doodling and noodling) connotes politics. In Portland that means projects like DemocracyLab or the operations of PDC, Metro, PPS, the City Council... lots of players, takes time to surf the blogs, sample the buzz, before chiming in, starting to build a constituency.

Putting too many conversations into one space, plus doing some gaming, sounds like a recipe for pure hubbub, like Laughing Planet on steroids. But of course I'm assuming there's a virtual aspect to all this, that personnel touch base in the shops, through smalltalk or whatever, and then follow up over time, perhaps moving among the shops.

Larger and more programmed events are occurring off camera in this scenario, often in rented facilities, meeting rooms, at facilities such as CubeSpace on SE Grand, or at Lucky Lab on SE Hawthorne.

However, if your shop runs some communal LCDs, like at airports, then there's the option to telecast customer "business cards" as commercial shorts, cameos, accepting a fee for the service, perhaps in terms of accrued tokens on the gaming account.

Customers may also stream travelogues, not necessarily at a charge, with the corresponding web page pointing to the scheduled presentation, should such info be semi-public. Portlanders still travel a lot, come back with their stories.

:: portland barcamp @ cubespace ::