Show & Tell: 5 cool things people showed us at i-Docs

The i-Docs symposium seems like so long ago already, so partly for nostalgia and partly because I forgot to do it at the time, here’s a few of the cool projects people showed us during their presentations.

1. Wolfram|Alpha is like Google but with far more depth:

[quote]Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers— not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.[/quote]

Find out more for yourself at and have a look at their timeline of systematic data here to get your head around it all!

2. Sharon Daniel presented her current work-in-progress, UNDOING TIME at this years i-Docs, but she also mentioned one of her previous projects: Blood Sugar. A beautiful example of how to present audio in an interactive format:

[quote]Blood sugar. It’s the index of the concentration of sugars in the blood.
Blood. It’s a noun and a verb and a modifier (blood feud, blood sport, blood money, bloodless…).
It’s a chemical substance, which in semantic compounds, answers for lineage and temperament (blood brother, bloodline) desire and violence (bloodlust, bloodshed) life and death.
Sugars are a class of soluble, crystalline, typically sweet-tasting carbohydrates found in living tissues. “Sugar” is also the street-name for heroin, an illicit psychoactive drug that is sold in the form of white powder and typically injected into the bloodstream.
So introduced, “sugar” crosses the blood-brain barrier — tipping the delicate balance of biology and disturbing the social equilibrium.
BLOOD SUGAR is an audio archive of conversations with 20 current and former injection drug users.
BLOOD SUGAR is a measure of the social and biological construction of addiction.
BLOOD SUGAR is an index of the concentration of desire and difference/legitimacy and license, at the boundary of the skin.[/quote]

Explore the project more here.

3. If you haven’t seen this before, then you are missing out on a serious piece of web history. Buffy vs Edward was shown to us by Brett Gaylor (of Popcorn.js) and is by  pop culture hacker and video remixer Jonathan McIntosh who has even won two awards from the clip – one Webby and far more excitingly, one from the Whedon Studies Association. Watch the clip below and find out more, including a vast library of press, discussion and reviews here.

4. This next one was brought to our attention by the Web Tools panel, which featured Klynt, 3WDOC and Brett Gaylor. I can’t remember who exactly mentioned this project, but the audience was mesmerised… With that in mind i’m not going to say anymore but urge you to look at it:


5. We Feel Fine is on a mission to harvest human feelings from a large number of weblogs and have been doing so since 2005. This may sound a bit creepy, but the result of these harvested emotions is wonderful:

[quote]The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s? What do people feel right now in Baghdad? What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day? Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.
The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system, where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single individual. The particles’ properties – color, size, shape, opacity – indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph it contains. The particles careen wildly around the screen until asked to self-organize along any number of axes, expressing various pictures of human emotion. We Feel Fine paints these pictures in six formal movements titled: MadnessMurmursMontageMobsMetrics, and Mounds.
At its core, We Feel Fine is an artwork authored by everyone. It will grow and change as we grow and change, reflecting what’s on our blogs, what’s in our hearts, what’s in our minds. We hope it makes the world seem a little smaller, and we hope it helps people see beauty in the everyday ups and downs of life.[/quote]

– Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar
May 2006

Explore the visualised database here and try to remember to go back to work…

If you want to find more cool projects that people mentioned during i-Docs 2012, have a browse through our Storify where I attempted to document almost everything mentioned!