You don’t need to be Google to engage in a little industrial psychology. I note the tone of Berg London’s update postings (“weeknotes”), which create a near-palpable YOU ARE HERE feel. The mystique they are trying to imbue runs as follows: These theoreticians (in Berg’s case, of media) are doing important, interesting work. Unlike lackadaisical freelancers and procrastinators, they get things done every week – and they’re only too happy to tell us about it.

The nucleus around which all this atmosphere crystallizes is the word studio – so important it merits its own page. In this day and age, who really wants to be a “developer” working in an “office”? (Or, God help us, a “plex” or a “campus”?) At the very least, wouldn’t you prefer to be a designer, or, if more advanced, a creative technologist or director, or, at the pinnacle, a principal, all working tickety-boo in a studio?

This kind of mythmaking, while agreeable and humanizing, is also self-aggrandizing. And it works: Berg keeps hiring, and their shit don’t stink. It’s a model that works well enough that another theoretician, this time of urban computing, adopted it wholesale, “studio” and all.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.05.13 12:42. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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