The Little Black Book of Scams

This book is great! It should be distributed to all students and community groups.



Red Bull Marketing is Great!

The use of web addresses plastered on sports, products and billboards is very effective.

I was reading an article today on the web about the red bull high altitude parachute jump and was wondering how to watch the jump.  On one of the photos I came across, I noticed a website URL on the guys helmet

Following the link delivers the Red Bull website providing a live broadcast of the event:

Red Bull’s marketing team is great.  They get the press to amplify Red Bull marketing simply by taking an innocuous photo.

Vinod’s 12 “Unhyped” New Areas in Internet and Mobile

  1. Data Reduction or Filters: “Reducing, filtering and processing data streams to deliver the information or action that is relevant to you.”
  2. Big data or Analytics: “Analyzing massive amounts of structured and unstructured data to deliver unique services or analysis.”
  3. Emotion: “Services that evoke strong emotions in users.”
  4. Education 2.0 : “Education models that dramatically reduce the cost and increase the availability of quality learning.”
  5. TV 2.0 : “TV as an interactive and social experience both on the primary and the second screen.”
  6. Social Next : “Social as a useful and productive part of lives—enabling collaboration and deep community building around the world in specific areas.”
  7. Interest-based networks: “User driven content that maps to people’s interests both for a better user experience and better targeting.”
  8. Health 2.0 : “Exponentially growing data will yield personalized lifestyle suggestions, improved outcomes, predictive diagnostics and applications we can’t imagine.”
  9. Internet of Things/Universal ID/NFC/Smart sensors: “Sensors and authentication technologies which will interconnect everything and remake our interaction with the world around us.”
  10. Personal Collaborative Publishing : “Truly free press with no barriers to entry and personalized interest-based curation.”
  11. Utility Apps: “Leverage device ubiquity and context to deliver valuable services.”
  12. Marketplaces & Disintermediation : “Remove the middle man, increase market efficiency and produce better results, faster.“


Social “Things” and E-democracy

Social networks and services offer interesting possibilities for the future of e-democracy.

E-democracy is a combination of the words “electronic” and democracy.”  E-democracy represents the use of information and communication technologies and strategies by democratic actors within political and governance processes of local communities, nations and on the international stage. Democratic actors/sectors include governments, elected officials, the media, political organizations, and citizen/voters.

To many, e-democracy suggests greater and more active citizen participation enabled by the Internet, mobile communications, and other technologies in today’s representative democracy as well as through more participatory or direct forms of citizen involvement in addressing public challenges.

E-democracy is a relatively new concept, which has surfaced out of the popularity of the internet and the need to reinvigorate interest in the democratic process. Access is the key to creating interest in the democratic process. Citizens are more willing to use Web sites to support their candidates and their campaign drives. In the United States just over half of the population vote, and in the United Kingdom only 69% of English citizens do so.

The goal of e-democracy is to reverse the cynicism citizens have about their government institutions.   A key element of moving towards e-democracy is increasing the ability of citizens to engage their representatives to share their suggestions and opinions in a dynamic manner.

E-democracy is the first step in moving towards participatory democracy.

Participatory democracy, is a process emphasizing the broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems.   Participatory democracy strives to create opportunities for all members of a political group to make meaningful contributions to decision-making, and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities. Because so much information must be gathered for the overall decision-making process to succeed, technology may provide important forces leading to the type of empowerment needed for participatory models, especially those technological tools that enable community narratives and correspond to the accretion of knowledge.

Both e-democracy and participatory democracy will evolve in steps.   Each day we see government organizations providing more and more information and services online.   We also see politicians’ increasingly reaching out to their constituents with new and emerging tools such as Twitter and Facebook to share information and solicit opinions.

New technologies will be a major factor in helping us collectively move towards e-democracy and participatory democracy — for example the widespread use and increasing adoption of online tools such as  social bookmarking, social networks, social media are increasingly popula — and point to future possibilities for e-democracy.

I believe the evolution,  adoption and proliferation of these new e-democracy and participatory democracy technologies will be driven by a new breed of politicians.

Political candidates looking to unseat incumbents will increasingly look towards e-democracy and participatory democracy as a means to reach out and engage disenfranchised voters and constituents.   Using new technologies will allow these candidates to talk directly to what is important, to hear both the “silent majority”, as well as the “vocal minority”.   Incumbent politicians, stuck in the old ways of engaging constituents and votes may well find themselves swept away by more progressive and innovative candidates.    The beginning of meaningful e-democracy and participatory democracy will start at the polls in the coming elections.


Technology Rates Adoption from 1900 to Present

history-of-productsThis interesting chart is from the New York Times, it highlights the speed of adoption of new technologies over the years.  The general conclusion is that adoption/consumption of new technology occurs much faster today then in the past.

Is the End Near for Newspapers?

The Pew Research Center published a report in Dec 2008 which identified a significant trend that may represent the beginning of the end for traditional Newspapers.

For the first time, more people (40%) said they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%).

Another interesting trend is the Amazon Kindle.  I have had one of the Kindle’s since it came out.  For travelling, there is nothing better.  On the Kindle you can get books and newspapers delivered wirelessly to the device.

The price for the Kindle is around $349, but is likely to continue to drop in price.

Newspapers and magazines have repeatedly tried to sell their content in various online formats targeted at PC users but generally met with limited results.  I have tried several of these “digital editions” and have found them to be cumbersome to navigate and inconvenient to access.   Portable devices such as the Kindle and Sony eReader present a much more portable, and straight-forward user experience.  I imagine an Apple eReader can’t be far off…

For years I religiously subscribed to home delivery of local and national newspapers (more then one).  I stopped subscribing more then 10 years ago after I subscribed to broadband internet service.   Looking back on the last year I have purchased a newspaper less then 10 times when I have been out of the house with some time to kill.

Google is helping the demise of newspaper with it’s recently announced plans to start offering advertising on it’s Google News service.

A related personal trend I have noticed is that I no longer simply rely upon traditional news producers for my insights and opinions, but tend to draw upon a much wider set of sources – including blogs, ezines, etc.

Allan Mutter has a great blog that talks to the mistakes, challenges and general state of the news publishers.

Times are changing.