Last week, I was invited to a meeting with Bill Buxton at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology. During that meeting, we informally discussed collaborative experience design. One of the questions raised was: why aren’t today’s content creation tools truly collaborative. One of the main reasons seems to be that modern society is built on Pillars of Ego. I’m still thinking about this, but the main point is: we all want to be heros.

Now, here’s a very tangible way for all of us to truly become super heros. And it’s really easy: fill up a form, and you could save a life.

Here’s a poor man’s screencast showing how to register to the local stem cell donor registry in Quebec, Canada. It’s so easy that you can even do it from your iPhone. For a slightly better encoding quality, visit http://blip.tv/file/786438 .

Emru is still looking for a matching donor. So are many other patients. Please visit healemru.com, visit your local registry’s web site, fill up the consent form and register, today. It’s really that easy.

GHOSTS

March 21, 2008

I have always admired Trent Reznor‘s artwork. I have also admired Marcel Achard‘s creations since I met him many years ago here in MontrĂ©al. While very different in style, they both produce multi-sensorial, viscerally emotional and personal content.

Tonight the moon is full, and my inbox is calming down — Easter weekend started. Yet, I just got a surprise: Marcel sent me a short video he’s producing in the context of the GHOSTS collaborative project. Get your hypothalamus ready, dim the lights down, raise the volume, then click play:

Heal Emru

March 12, 2008

Life is full of surprises — of all kinds.

Geeks and people passionate about technology sometimes choose to forget that there’s a real life out there, and prefer escaping reality by taking The Blue Pill. Choosing bliss over awareness. Yet, some surprises are particularly difficult to ignore.

Emru Townsend is well known in the Montreal animation and technology community. Emru is not only a fantastic writer and blogger, he’s an amazing brother and father. Along with his super-sister, Tamu, Emru has over the years organized several online charity auctions supporting non-for-profit organizations such as the Cancer Research Society. In case you don’t know it yet: Emru and Tamu’s generosity is not easily surpassed!

Last December, Emru was diagnosed with leukemia. He has gone through a couple of chemotherapy sessions, but leukemia keeps coming back because of a condition called monosomy 7. Emru needs help. Emru needs our help. My help. Your help. Now.

Emru needs a bone marrow transplant, very soon. But first, Emru needs to find a matching donor. The chances of finding a matching donor are very low. So here is what you and I have to do:

  1. Register to our Country’s bone marrow registry. It’s easy: fill up a form to be added to the registry, then provide a mouth swab or blood sample. That’s it. Log out of your facebook for a few minutes and do it.
  2. Spread the word: the international database of bone marrow donors isn’t diverse enough! Emru is the son of two African Carribean parents and blacks are underrepresented in bone marrow registries!

Anyone, anywhere can be a potential matching donor. I wish there was a coloured pill Emru could take to heal. But such pill doesn’t exist yet. It’s up to us to take The Red Pill and act, today.

Let’s Heal Emru.

Emru Townsend