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Wireless providers and social networks scheming for the future

February 23, 2009
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All of the recaps and chatter from the Mobile World Conference focus on the same major trend: mobile’s integration with social networks. Wireless providers want to make it as easy and seamless as possible for their customers to connect with their friends, add content, and update status via their mobile phones.

Myspace announced deals with Nokia and Palm and the Facebook phone won handset of the year. These wireless providers are courting existing networks; however, a lot of developers are trying to create new ones specifically designed for the mobile device. Mobile to the web is not a simple apples to apples translation. So they think their understanding of mobile applications will give them an edge.

However, getting people to completely migrate their from existing network is no easy task. I think in the end, the people who figure out how to completely rework Facebook for mobile will win.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ivy leagues go open source

February 22, 2009
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An Ivy league education has always been reserved for the elite. However, thanks to Yale grad Richard Ludlow, now anyone can have access to a world-class education. Ludlow just launched Academic earth, a Hulu-type site for nerds. Academic Earth catalogs videos of lectures from the best professors at the best schools across the nation. You can search by university, subject or top rated content, tune-in or out at your own leisure, or subscribe to a “playlist” and get a full course-load of knowledge.

Found via Slate.

Affecting change

February 18, 2009
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When Facebook changed their terms and conditions, people were not quiet about their feelings. The blogs, radio stations, status messages all hated on the invasion of privacy, loss of control and overall creepiness factor.

So, Facebook immediately changed back to the old terms, PRing their way out of public scrutiny.

Real-time response + owning up + giving people what they want = game changer

Skype on your Nokia phone

February 18, 2009
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Skype and Nokia announced a partnership that will bring the Skype experience to your mobile phone. The integration is tight–super intuitive and simple. Your address book shows who is online at the moment, and through your menu you can send instant messages or initiate skype-skype voice calls. Sweet.

Only on the Nseries phones for now. Stay tuned on progress.

Posted in Mobile
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Another Facebook integration

February 15, 2009
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The NBA is streaming live with Facebook for this weekend’s All-Stars game. This allows people watching via Facebook to post status messages in real time next to the video stream.

Yes, it is the exact same deal as the inauguration.

I wonder when or if people will just be able to chat, comment, and connect with each other via their TV? Wouldn’t the ultimate integration be between Facebook and digital cable providers? Not for a one-time event, but so anytime you watch TV, you could opt in to social viewing and talk to your friends straight from your screen This would make my life easier.

Current art project

February 13, 2009
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This project is escalating into a bit of an obsession. It’s actually scaring some of my friends. But I think it’s a big idea so I decided to share.

I loved spin art birthday parties when I was a kid. I couldn’t get enough of that. So, when I saw Damien Hirst’s spin art paintings I kind of fell in love all over again. I can’t afford his work, by any means. So I decided to tap into my childhood and create my own.

This weekend will be my third attempt and I think I finally nailed it. See plan below (illustrations by Rob, thanks for the help dude). I anticipate magic.



Posted in Art + design

A pandora for movies and TV shows

February 13, 2009
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You probably know Pandora. It’s is a music discovery tool and it’s been around since 2005. But if you don’t here’s how it works: Pandora analyzes characteristics of individual songs and recommends new music that shares similar attributes. So, if I select “Wolf Like Me” by TV On the Radio, it might recommend “Golden Skans” by the Klaxons because those songs share a similar composition or tone.

Well, now Jinni is offering this discovery tool for movies and TV shows. Unfortunately it’s in private beta and I don’t have an invite. So I can’t really tell you if it’s useful. But, it does make me think about other extensions.

Here is my personal wishlist of Pandora type tools:

1. Pandora for clothes

2. Pandora for restaurants

3. Pandora for wine

4. Pandora for books

The list goes on.

A good read and a good video

February 12, 2009
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A friend I worked with in Chicago (also a planner) posted this video on her blog. Check it out if want to understand Augmented reality. Also, check out her blog if you want to feel smarter and more interesting.

Posted in Uncategorized

What has the Obama craze done to our culture?

February 12, 2009
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I got this email today selling Valentines presents. The name of the product, “romance stimulus package,” was the first thing that stood out. (the second was, how did I get on this list?) With Shepard Fairy making art out of our president’s likeness, hip hop artists remixing the inaugural speech into a rap song, and now a lingerie company creating a Valentines package around our country’s economic stimulus package, I think it’s safe to say that politics and pop culture are colliding head on. I think it’s great that for the first time in a long time our country is taking such an active interest in politics. I even find myself tuning into NPR much more consistently. The economy and election continue to creep into water-cooler conversations. Subtle changes, but they are changes. I just wonder what is the point where culture and politics need to draw the line? Or is it only beneficial?

Posted in Trends

25 random facts, goals and other sh**

February 6, 2009
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The “25 random things” note on Facebook is everywhere. Last week it was all over my news feed and today it was front and center in the New York Times business section. The NYT reported that over 5 million of these notes were written in one week. If you search”25 random things about me” on Google 35,700 results will pop up.

If you don’t know what these notes are please go sign up for Facebook. But in a nutshell, someone writes 25 random things about themselves that not everyone will know or expect. They tag 25 friends and then those friends write one and tag 25 others. And so on.

I wrote one of these notes. For some reason, I have a fascination with random facts. I love knowing that 35% of people who create personal ads are marryed. I also love knowing that my closest friend doesn’t believe in panda bears and my sister carrys at least 3 sticks of chap-stick with her at all times.

So, aside from me and my love for randomness, why is this note spreading like wildfire? NYT threw out a theory: these notes are a creative brainstorming exercise. In all honesty, I don’t buy into that. I think it represents a shift in our culture. People are tired of facades and fronting. The Millennial generation is known for a “this is me, accept it,” mentality, a sharp departure from Gen X hipsters and grups. This note is the embodiment of that shift. It’s about divulging and accepting without any pretense. Listening to other people’s quirks, acknowledging them and then putting your own on the table.

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