Archive for March, 2012

Experience > memory > culture

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The riddle of experience and memory

Experience vs Memory

In this fascinating TED talk, Daniel Kahneman talks about how our experiencing selves and remembering selves are very different. We may experience an event one way but remember it very differently. He goes on to say that the correlation between our experiences and memories is 0.5 at most – experiences don’t directly translate themselves into memories. In fact, most experiences don’t leave a trace on our memories at all. What our memory does is tell us a story about our experiences, and we give much more weight to these stories. And yet, memories still need raw material to be constructed.

Individual vs Collective

“…moods move through society. It’s something we’re often unaware of these days because we’re so obsessed by our own experience, that the mood we feel is probably common to a lot of other people at this point in time…sociologists like Durkheim…told us something that we forget these days, which is that we’re actually very similar to each other. And a lot of what we think comes from inside of us actually comes from outside.”

Adam Curtis interviewed here

However, our experiences may not entirely be our own. We pick up on moods around us and internalise them, make them our own. At what point do individual experiences (and memories of those experiences) add up to group experiences and the stories we collectively tell ourselves, our ‘culture’?


  • How many experiences make a memory?
  • How do we make more experiences more memorable?
  • Is the end of an experience the most important bit?
  • Is there such a thing as ‘experience inertia’ – it takes a few good experiences to build a positive disposition towards something (e.g. person, company, product) but also a few bad experiences to get us to change our opinion? Do we build up credit in the bank? And to what extent?
  • How much do we appropriate other people’s experiences?

These are some of the questions we’d like to explore, using nativeye to capture experiences but also test and match opinion and feelings over time.

Great researchers are like great novelists

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Photo: EssG

In an interview with e-flux magazine Adam Curtis, the UK documentary maker talks about the novelists that inspire him:

“What I found fascinating about people like Dos Passos and Balzac is that they somehow managed to understand and accept individuals’s experiences of the world, yet combine that with a grand pulling back and seeing those individuals and their feelings as also part of a larger social world. What I love about them is all the voices of the individual characters are different.”

And this is what great researchers should also do – taking fragments from individual’s experiences and opinions and abstracting them into a common narrative. It is art and science, qualitative and quantitative to construct a story in this way.

This is something we are trying to enable with the nativeye platform. On the one hand collecting individual data that brings an individual’s experience to life, and on the other, making it easy to collate that data to identify and evidence patterns and themes.


nativeye Network

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The nativeye Network is our respondent community. It’s made up of people who take part in our public and private assignments. These can be on many different topics. Private companies pay for members to take part in their assignments – maybe for feeding back on a product or service, or sharing their thoughts and opinions. We also run public assignments that are for general interest e.g. My Space and Are you being served?

The nativeye app means that people can store all their assignments in one place and respond on-the-go using their smartphone. They can also see all the posts they make and other people’s posts if they are part of a group assignment.

So really it’s a way to tap into a community to get ideas and insight. You can find out more about the network here if you are interested in joining us.

If you are a researcher looking for ways to access community’s collective brain visit our Researcher site

Are you being served?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Are you being served? is one of our public assignments. These assignments appear by default when you download the app and anyone can choose to take part or not. The idea is that we will run these public assignments or ‘experiments’ as well as the private assignments that people pay for.

They’ll undoubtedly cover a wide-range of topics but all will be aimed at investigating and improving a certain aspect of daily life. For example, the ultimate aim of Are you being served? is to improve customer service – learning what people really value and what drives them crazy.

It’s easy to take part. All you have to do is download the nativeye app and get posting. You can view the prototype Live Results page here

And we’re off!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Phew! Plenty to talk about, not sure where to start.

Our iPhone app is now available here

We have launched with 2 public assignments, “My Space” and “Are you being served?”. The idea here is to do something out in the open that everyone can take part in. There will be more to follow – suggestions welcome!

You can view the live results for “My Space” here and “Are you being served?” here.

The nativeye Network site is up here . This is the site for our respondent community. We are starting small and growing from there.

And finally the dashboard is having the last touches applied. Except they won’t nearly be the last touches as the plan is to evolve the product in line with what our customers want.

That’s it for post 1. I’ll be back with more “What’s all this then anyway?”-type posts and no doubt some more tangential stuff too.

Bye for now.