Tools for Tummeling in the Age of Google Plus

The Web has moved past data awareness to social awareness. This started a few years ago but the launch of Google Plus confirms it. When the biggest web company re-orients their businesses to say that “Today’s web is about people. To organize the world’s data, you have to understand people” then you know that even data is telling people who only want to understand data (Google is a pretty algorithmic culture) that we have met the point of it all and it is us: people.

How do people connect best with each other? And why should we have to go to one place where our content and conversation will be owned by one company to do it? In order to have “sites” (which sounds kinda geographic) that work well in a real-time social web, we need to consider creating conditions or being people together: more like hosting a party or conversation. We need open source WordPress to evolve us past where facebook, tumblr and even Google Plus have us. The human skillset or practice of creating engaged conversation or connection is called tummeling. It’s a Yiddish word that describes the job of entertainers hired to get the community involved in the show and have a good time.

Influenced by the web and her community of its earliest makers, innovative comedian Heather Gold began creating a way to involve the “audience” in her shows, scale conversation and hasten intimacy over a decade ago. In this “talk” she’ll show the basic differences between presentation and conversation and the assumptions underneath each. She’ll explore ideas with everyone there about how what we already and and what we’d like to be able to do create connection on our own and our collective space online by delving into what makes that kind of conversation in the physical world. More entertainingly (and usefully) she demonstrates these ideas by creating a great, relevant conversation in the room so that all can feel the difference.

Check out Heather’s slides: Tools for Tummeling

About the Speaker:
Heather Gold is an innovative artist, comic, speaker and talk show host best known for her ability to work the room. She’s a web veteran with geek cred from Apple’s webcast pioneering team and the start- up that birthed some of the iPod/iTunes experience. She mixes up Net ideas and performance flow and DJs the people formerly known as the audience in her shows. Heather shares her insights on tech, social engagement and authenticity as the host of and in popular keynotes at places like Google and Web 2.0 and YLE, Finland’s BBC. Heather’s written for Alan Cumming, shared the stage with Margaret Cho and  baked over 50,000 cookies in her interactive solo show Cookie was named the Best of the Bay and won Curve Magazine’s national lesbian theatre award. Heather often appears in media like NPR, Wired and BoingBoing calls her “one of our favorite comedians.”  You can follow her work or on twitter @heathr or join her at one of her UnPresenting workshops on 8/17 (