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A wise person once said to me that nothing is new and everything is an evolution of something that already exists.

There is nothing truer than this sentiment when it comes to the web. Look at the more popular sites and lets use YouTube as an example. How many of the viral/popular videos are parodies or response videos to another popular video? Old Spice ParodiesSh*t ____ Says and more.  I just watched Kevin Alloca’s Ted talk about Why Videos go Viral and found it fascinating how many viral videos are parodies on parodies of an original viral video and how popular *those* videos are.

The web is filled with individuals who have the ability and the need to take existing content and make  it their own.

But what about the originators of the content? Shouldn’t we credit and acknowledge those that created the original content? Or at least the individual or group that spent time and effort taking existing content that inspired us to put our own spin on it be it a comment,  a tweet, a shared link, a blog post, a pin or a video?

I am a passionate proponent of attributing where you found the content that was shared. If it was important enough for you to share it, comment on it, make a parody of it, then it should also be important to allow your friends/family/visitors to see the originating source. As Maria Popova says in the NY Times article  mentioned below “Discovery of information is a form of intellectual labor. When we don’t honor discovery, we are robbing somebody’s time and labor. “

Today the NY Times wrote an article titled A Code of Conduct for Content Aggregators. The articles highlights examples of content sites that hijack  popular content and re-publish it as their own. What this article fails to mention is that this is the way of the web from the monster content aggregators to the little itty bitty bloggers. Everyone on the web is guilty of taking content  and republishing it as if they were the ones to create it. Part of this issue is not just the actual content but the discovery process.

And here is where The Curator’s Code comes in.  They have created a web browser bookmark that allows you to participate in giving attribution every time you share a link. There are two different icons that you can chose from when sharing a link – one that is considered a “via” link and the other is a “hat tip” or better known as “HT” link.

As per the definition on their site, “via”  indicates a link of direct discovery and “HT” indicates a link of indirect discovery, story lead, or inspiration.

Hopefully this will help stop the endemic issue of taking someone else’s content or shared information and republishing it as  your own.

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Sheryl Turkle, a MIT technology and society specialist and author of Alone Together, presents the impact of technology and how now we are all connected via our devices.. but yet we are still alone. Being online is “easier” than being physically present.

It is an interesting video. Watch.

How often do you come across a poignant line in an article, blog or status update on the web that you wish you could “favorite” or save? How about a piece of information that is relevant to your business and you want to keep tabs on this piece of information?

How can we save all the relevant bits of information that we come across every day in a methodical manner?

Evernote

I remember coming across Evernote when it first debuted and I signed up for an account. I remember poking around inside the platform and felt very confused by it. Maybe it was just too advanced for me at that moment.

Recently I decided to try playing with Evernote again. I come across a lot of pertinent information throughout my day online and I needed a better way to save and manage all these bits of information.

Evernote has an extension on Firefox and a platform you download to your computer. The extension allows you to save bits and pieces or entire pages and include the links from that page into the platform.You can either highlight the bits of info you want to save or just click the Evernote icon on the tool bar and voila! a note is created. You then head over to the desktop platform and edit the title, add key tag words for easy retrieval.

This desktop platform is my resource center.  My own personal resource center with information about anything and everything I find interesting on the web that I want to save.

After a few days of using Evernote I called my father and told him I was using the best resource for him ever and he laughed when I told him about Evernote. He has been using the platform for a while now.  Now if I ever met someone who needed to use Evernote, it would be my dad.  I wonder how long before he cant use the free platform anymore and has to move to the premium platform (which allows for an unlimited amount of data to be saved).

Its nice to share a love for a platform with my Dad.  He might not be into Twitter and social medial but the man knows whats going on.  He taught me about Skype (thats another post for a later date) back in 1999.

By the way .. did you make a connection between the logo and the service Evernote provides? An elephant never forgets……..

A few years back I saw a start up company that was trying to create a  geo-locational mobile dating platform.  The idea was that the startup would install their platform in every bar/coffee shop and users would be able to sign in when at that location to see who else was there and single.  Now I loved the idea and thought many others would love it too but the main issue was that there was no way this startup could go from place to place and install the platform- scalability was problematic.

Now lets fast forward to 2009  and we have Foursquare in Tel Aviv. Foursquare allows its users to “check in” at any location from a list of cities made available by Foursquare. Users are responsible to add the location’s address if they are the first ones to “unlock the badge” or register the location to the site.  A user must sign in every time they want their location disclosed to the public. It is not an automated platform unlike Google Latitude which is automated when the app is open on your mobile device

I have been dying to play with this mobile app for some time now. Not a day goes by that I do not see a mention of a friend checking in or becoming a mayor of some location in the States via my twitter feed and all I could do was look at the tweet, stomp my feet and say “when will they bring it to Tel Aviv” ?!

And now its here. But I have used it maybe four times. This is really geared towards the  iphone or BB devices.  The interface on the symbian devices is via the internet browsing and not an app. The current website for the mobile is not aesthetically pleasing or even easy to use.

Part of the power and appeal of foursquare for me is not just the “I am here now” but the recommendation aspect.  Foursquare allows the users to comment on every location, make recommendations and view the list of others who have “checked in” at the same location.

The question I hear most frequently in regards to Foursquare is – Why would I want others to know where I am ?

Its not just about where I am, but also the recommendations from friends and contacts on the platform.

Foursquare is an application that allows me to explore my city by the recommendations of my friends and trusted contacts.  I can see where they “checked-in”, view the recommendations from other users, build a “to do list” of locations I want to visit and most importantly I can reach out and get trusted feedback from my friends.  I trust my community more than I trust articles I read both online and offline.

As a non native citizen of Israel,  I prefer to read in English (my mother tongue) and I do not have Hebrew on my computer so I can’t search easily Hebrew even if I wanted to.  This application allows me to find new restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, etc from my trusted network and explore  this wonderful city I call home.

A less significant reason I like foursquare is the ” I am here” aspect. There are often times that I am in a neighborhood and in the mood for coffee and company but I have no idea who is around or not. Now I can go to Twitter or Facebook and change my status to let people know that I am looking for company but I have to wait until someone responds.  On the other hand, Foursquare lets me check in and see where my friends and contacts are currently situated  and I can then directly reach out to them and say “do you have time for a coffee now? “. It makes the experience of meeting up with friends and colleagues just that much easier.

Foursquare enables the city  I am in (which can be changed when traveling) to a much smaller and personable city.

So the next time you see a Foursquare post, tweet or mention realize that this mobile application allows even the most savvy city folks a new way to explore their city and to meet up with friends.

Creativity building upon previous creativity. Inspiration. Mashup. Collaboration.

Sound familiar ? Reminds of of the current ecosystem for the internet.

 

 

(found this video on We Love Viral )

5e ethernet cable bundle

I remember years ago when the only way to connect to the internet was by dial-up and how i would hit “redial” over and over again, each time with a bit more force hoping that my emphatic press of the enter button would be felt by someone (as if there was a little leprechaun on the other side of the line) and connect me to the internet over the rest of the users trying to dial in.

The mobile industry and innovation within the mobile market in the States has exploded and yet the infrastructure has yet to catch up with the needs of  mobile users.  Innovation within this space is like a superfast locomotive traveling on train tracks from the 1800’s. I wonder if the mobile carriers focus more of their attention on how to generate new revenue streams rather than focus on expanding their infrastructure to keep up with the ever growing needs of their current and potential customers.

Different US metropolitan cities are feeling a lack of  mobile infrastructure for mobile data.  The iPhone entered the market and drastically changed the playing field.  This device changed the way users  explore the internet by encouraging mobile applications for different online activities. The increase in the phone’s popularity coupled with the explosion of applications for the iPhone has crippled the AT&T infrastructure in cities that have a predominant mass using this device.

And this is just going to get worse. According to the latest Mary Meeker report 2009 is the year of mobile internet growth and it is just going to continue to expand.

New phones are entering the market that are built to be mini-computers. Every major carrier in the States is going to have to deal with the infrastructure issue and fast. Users are unable to cope with the lack of connectivity. Infrastructure for data and connectivity is going to cost money .

John Stratton, Verizon Wireless’s marketing chief  was quoted in a recently WSJ article titled  “The Coming Mobile Meltdown” saying he  “recently assured an interviewer that the mobile net would be open to all kinds of devices and uses. But he also predicted “a higher emphasis on usage-based billing, where if you consume more of the network, you pay more.”

I predict that if the mobile  infrastructure does not grow fast enough for consumers, innovators are going to create a solution cutting out the mobile carriers altogether. And then where will they be? Extinct.

(Image Courtesy of Zinkwazi )

client who hated ideas

Creativity will keep your company alive.  Just remember you could end up inside the chalk if you hate ideas and creativity.

(Flickr Image by Kate_A)

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