Webstock 2008: The Framework Age

by Luke Wroblewski February 14, 2008

Liz Danzico’s overview of The Framework Age and its implications at Webstock 2008 discussed how unwritten but detectable rules can help people contribute to and improvise within systems.

  • Physical & social constructs determine how people interact with the offline world.
  • On the Web, we are designing frameworks that require people to adapt to systems and improvise as they do so.
  • Frameworks are un-inscribed but detectable rules that govern behavior. Frameworks allow people to react in real time and are additive. They enable people to perform.
  • Every act we do is intended for an audience –we perform. All our actions are self-conscious.
  • Modal jazz is a framework. It provides a rough set of broad strokes. In classical music all the notes most be documented and played in order. There is little to no room for improvisation or contribution in classical music.
  • Frameworks like modal jazz allow participation but keep some broad strokes to help keep systems intact. Frameworks need to maintain an original vision.
  • Systems with detectable patterns allow people to come in, detect, and participate.
  • Before the advent of writing people told stories and relied on frameworks to pass along oral traditions.
  • Detectable patterns have to be simple. The paradox of choice points to simpler, fewer choices.
  • Performance happens in real time. It is transmitted and composed in real time and as a result, well suited for the Web.
  • As user sophistication goes up over time, we are focusing on the art of being great facilitators for other people to perform.
  • We can learn from familiar frameworks around us –cities, music, oral traditions.