Around noon on the second day of the First Book Sprint we hear a knock on the door. Here is the set up, we're working from a hotel room in a complex called IMA Design Village, on the 5th floor of a redeveloped late 19th Century factory building with a jerky elevator and nothing to indicate where we are. All of us were in the room at the time and we were not expecting company. We opened the door and there stood a guy around our age who said he heard about the project and he wanted to contribute.
We were all amazed: the writers and the guy in the hallway. But mainly we were unprepared for this. He didn't even say his name, he just said he had some ideas about collaboration and he really wanted to contribute. That was just completely great! But while we announced that the collaboration will be later opened to remote collaboration, at that moment, in that place we were completely unprepared for more people in the room. The anonymous contributor said he had met Adam at an obscure music event in Berlin. Adam and the anonymous contributor went downstairs to the cafe to discuss how he could contribute. It was planned for him to write some material remotely and possibly join us the following day.
Includes: placing, territories, deterritorialisation, context, site, cities such as Berlin and New York, places such as playgrounds, airports, mobile stations, ice-scapes. Contexts such as festivals, exhibitions, neighborhoods and conferences.
This was a unique experience of finally meeting the epic “anonymous user” in person. That faceless person that does not even have a username but is highly motivated and just wants to start contributing was standing there in-person at our doorstep. We didn't know his name, we only knew his IP address—where he physically is: he was right there! Literally browsing our “collaborative site”.
And we? We were so Alpha, we were what early web people two decades ago used to call “under construction” or “in stealth mode.” We didn't even have an interface for him yet. It's like he found a public yet unannounced URL for a future collaborative platform that was just not ready yet. We thought we were private, but apparently we were live. We were caught off-guard with our first anonymous visitor, very online and just eager to log in.