Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Wired has an article that poses the idea of a completely cashless society.  The article heralds the benefits of getting rid of paper money and coinage, to instead, go all-digital. 

The idea of all-digital money sounds awesome.  As is, I hate cash.  I never have it, and when I do have it, I spend it.  On the other hand, converting to all digital money might make it easier to spend money.  Look at the credit cards, and how much fun we already have with not real money. 

To me, there is something being able to hold my money, or valuables.  I don’t know that I’d completely trust digital money.  I feel like the ability to pirate, or hack or even (gasp) computer glitch would be too high for me. 

Especially with our economy in the crapper, I’m interested to see where real money, and emoney will end up in the future.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oprah's on twitter!

Oprah is finally on Twitter!

I blogged earlier that Ms. O was seriously absent from the social media train.  Now I'm happy to see that she's finally getting on board.  

To me it only made sense that one of the most influential people in the world, should be using social media to her advantage, and it was surprising that she was not.  

Although Ashton Kutcher may have reached 1 million followers before Oprah, she was a late bloomer and I'm sure she'll reach that in no time!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Skype for the iPhone

Skype has arrived for the iPhone. Initially, when hearing about this, I imagined scenes from “The Jetsons,” where video conferencing becomes the norm. Unfortunately, it is not so. The current Skype app lets you talk via Skype to Skype calls on the 3G network for free, or make calls to land lines or cell phones at a discounted rate. However, the video feature is not yet available.

Although, once it does become available, there might be some problems with the older generation iPhones. For instance, the camera is on the back of the phone, but the screen is on the front, so you would only be able to see/chat by flipping your phone around every minute. I’m holding out for the June iPhone release, hoping for a camera on the same side as the screen on the iPhone and hope Skype updates their app.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is Boxee right?

Boxee is gearing up to piss off television networks. Boxee is free software that allows users to watch Internet content on their televisions. The reason this is upsetting to television networks, is because there are free services like “Hulu” or iTunes-which isn’t free, but is very cheap to download an episode. The networks are concerned that people are going to stop watching real time TV, even more than they already are tuning out with Tivo and DVR devices. This will further diminish the ad dollars, and then the networks won’t be able to fund the shows.

So let’s talk about the ethics of all of this. Is this wrong? I don’t think so. Boxee is free now. My guess is that at some point when it becomes a necessity-it will probably start charging for its services. Also, all that this is doing is helping the inevitable switch to digital programming move faster. I think that television networks instead need to figure out how to monetize online content.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly of social media.

Here are a couple of examples of good social media, social media gone bad-and ugly social media efforts.....

The good: Rachel Harris and her website:
As a result of her social media tactic, inspired by Barack Obama’s utilization of web technology during his campaign, Harris has already been featured on various news outlets: Detroit Free Press, Muskegon Chronicle, USA Today, WZZM 13 News Channel, NBC2 Fort Myers, FL affiliate. Hopefully, Harris’ social media campaign will help her get the $46,000 a year that she needs for tuition.

The site and effort is ingenious, however Harris should continue to expand her efforts onto twitter, a facebook page and maybe an online blog/diary tracking her efforts throughout school. Harris should also rethink her major to PR/Communications instead of pre-med.

The bad: Mistrials as a result of iphones.

More and more jurors are looking to outside sources for information. With the popularity of iphones and blackberry’s, jurors only need to reach to their pocket to do their own independent research. Although jurors might think that looking up traffic routes, or other information on their own to inform themselves and develop their own ideas is a good idea-it in fact is hindering the judicial process. Not only is it illegal, but also it is resulting in mistrials.

The ugly: The new Facebook. I know. Facebook is trying to be more like twitter-but I personally think it’s ugly and now the home and the friend pages are sort of redundant.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Privacy and cameras-is there privacy anymore?

Imagine that you are talking to somebody. As any good conversationalist, you know to make eye contact. Now, what if that eye you were trying to connect with was actually recording every move you made and every word you said?

With everyone worried about privacy these days, from identity theft, to Facebook owning your own personal profile, privacy is on the mind. And rightfully so. Technology is moving faster than the speed of light-which is great, but also brings some ethical concerns.

One example of privacy and technology clashing, is the creation of the eye camera. No, not the iCamera, the e-y-e camera.

A guy (Rob Spence), with one eye who had been using a prosthetic for most of his life, is now going to experiment with some new technology by making a prosthetic eye that also digitally records with a camera.

To me, it’s brilliant. And Rob wants to use this technology for good: to make a documentary about the rising privacy concerns of surveillance cameras.

I think it’s cool. You could use the eye camera to get more realistic point of view stories, or spy stories. Suddenly the cell phone that 007 used that turned into a stun gun seems lame.

Either way, the eye camera is fascinating to me, and I can’t wait to see what other body parts we can turn into digital recording devices!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why isn't Oprah on Facebook?

Here is an article that is all about brands that embrace social media, quietly.  PBS is listed as starting social media because of the engaging and educational programming like "This Old House".  HGTV, Oprah and ESPN round out the rest of the list.

Oddly enough, some of these influencers are more quiet than others.  It's odd to me that Oprah is not on Facebook.  There are several fake Oprah or Harpo facebook pages, but nothing dedicated to the official, original influencer herself.  Furthermore, a preliminary Twitter search produced only an "O" home magazine tweet.  O home magazine can maybe live on online, since the hard copy is now defunct.  

Myth Busters on Discovery Channel, was not on this list, but is an influencer in my eyes.  The show could not go on without viewer input and participation.  In terms of engaging, conversational and educational criteria, it seems that Myth Busters has (like PBS) been using social media way before it was even called social media.  And although the show is popular (it's on broadcast TV!), Myth Busters is not on Facebook (officially) or on Twitter-two of social media's largest networks.

Why aren't the real social media influencers or inventors like Oprah and Myth Busters on the two biggest social media networks?  It seems like they have nothing to lose, and can only gain influence and popularity. 

Just a curious observation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ethics and the Internet

The Internet is a fairly new medium, but more importantly, it is not a regulated medium.  This means that there is a lot of room for unethical things to happen on the Internet.  And boy do they happen!

The initial ethical issues that most people worry about are the privacy concerns.  What if someone gets my password?  What if they can log into my Internet banking?  Here is a website that lists a lot of similar worries.  Notice that exploitation of internet workers is not listed.

My ethical concern with the Internet is regarding the finances and exploitation of the workers.  Thankfully, the largest payers in the Internet game (Google as an example) have used their powers for good: offering free service, being transparent and valuing their employees.  However, could you imagine if the people who ran America's banks were instead running America's search engines or servers?  Yikes!

My contention is about the business of blogs, forums and websites, aka web 2.0 or social media.  There is no standardization or protection or regulation.  A web developer could therefore charge whatever price they want to develop a site-which is great.  But at the same time-there are no protections for developers, or bloggers when corporations are misguided about the value they offer.  

There are many corporations and decision makers that don't understand development or social media/web 2.0, and therefore don't want to pay for the work being done.  My concern is the ethical implications of a non-regulated internet-not for privacy concerns, but for the exploitation of the work that people are doing for companies that do not want to pay for it.  

Brands are getting endorsements by bloggers, often without pay, yet at the same time, the brands or corporations balk at the idea of actually paying a blogger to immerse the company in web 2.0.

I foresee corporations trying to take all that they can from social media, without paying for the work or the endorsements, and that to me is unethical.  

Friday, February 20, 2009

Social Media can disconnect people.

I blogged about a 9 year old app whiz kid in Malaysia.  Here is an article that shows the other (or negative) side of immersing children into technology.  

I never thought that exposing children to technology could have a negative effect, but I have to say that after reading this article-I agree.  The main point of the article is that children embracing technology are doing so at the expense of learning social skills.

The article explains that teens are opting to avoid the awkwardness that is puberty.  It's easy to hide behind an icon on facebook, or to connect over technology instead of say...regular old fashioned conversation.  Unfortunately, those awkward experiences are what teenagers have gone through for the history of mankind.  These experiences shape who are are as adults, and have contributed to our culture.  Without these awkward experiences, we never would have had "Catcher in the Rye" or "Great Expectations" or my personal favorite "Time to Change" from the Brady Bunch.

In my experience of dealing with social media experts, gurus and mavens, these people generally have an abundance of friends online, but in person are lonely and can barely hold a conversation.  They have a serious lack of social skills, probably because the only human interaction they have is online.  I have seen social media colleagues get asked by clients to be removed from accounts or have creatives refuse to work with them, because of their inability to connect on a personal level.

Social media, when used in conjunction with traditional human social activity can be great, but it by no means should be used as a substitute.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

9 Year Old App Maker

A large part of social media is programming. Programmers are necessary in the creation of applications, websites and pretty much anything else involved with web 2.0.

And honestly, programmers amaze me. For starters, they learn and work in various languages-that aren’t spoken. I have enough of a hard time saying “Yo quiro Taco Bell” correctly, that I can’t imagine typing a language to produce something intelligent. Secondly, the creativity and thirst for innovation to continue to create new products, applications, websites and functions is never ending and inspiring.

So programmers alone, already have my respect. They earn even more respect when they know several programs, but here is the kicker: Lim Ding Wen knows about 6 different programming languages and has completed about 20 programming is only 9 years old.

My hypothesis is that he is going to one-day take over the world. So far he has used his talents for goods, developing the iPhone app “Doodle Kids”, which allows users to draw with their finger on their iPhone, to entertain his younger sisters. I hope that he continues to use his powers for good, and not evil.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ikea commercial? Not yet, just very clever on YouTube

Here is a very clever YouTube video. It has only garnered about 7,000 views, to me it is successful and here is why: it makes you want to pass it along and mimic it.

To be even more specific, I think Ikea should contact the creator and ask them to do a whole series of ads. It would be a wonderful way for Ikea to showcase their large variety of bedding, while keeping viewers attention, because the concept is so creative and original.

Additionally, the Ikea campaign slogan “Home is the most important place in the world” is right in line with something like this. Think of the options for not only the bedroom, but the amazing things you could do in the kitchen!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A quote some "Experts" should listen to:

Margaret Thatcher - "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

Within advertising and social media, I meet and work with people who boast.  A lot.  About themselves.  And then I think of the quote above, and smile. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Social media has a niche for ANYBODY!!!

In addition to Hoffspace the David Hasslehoff social network, which offers a feature where you can leave a message for David, or in other words-hassle the Hoff-here is my new favorite social media site.  If you have a cat-you will enjoy this.  I have already checked it several times many cats, so many sinks....and surprisingly-so many fans!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama goes digital

President Barack Obama is a president of firsts:  he is the first African-American president, but he is also the first digital president.

An initiative of Obama has been to bring the presidency to the digital age.  Obama is going to be the first president whose term will be viewed in HD.  He is also the first president who will bring a laptop to the oval office-which he plans to use.  Already, he is the first American president to have a blog.  

And although he was not the first president or politician to use the Internet to draw support and donations, he has been by far the most successful.  His website helped him amass over 500 million dollars in online donations during his campaign.  He also has an e-mail list with over 13 million addresses, and sent out over 7000 text messages during his campaign.  That number can only be topped by a teenager in CA.  

But back to the firsts.  Obama wants to be the first president to have a blackberry and to maintain an e-mail address.  The secret service is against this because of the security concerns.  Evidently the useful GPS technology in the blackberry make it easier for hackers or other potential threatening people to locate and target the president.  Also, the courts can subpoena or potentially make Obama's correspondence public-which could create other security issues or create potential embarrassments (What?!  The president uses smiley face emoticons when e-mailing Russia?!?!  J/K).

The Internet and digital era has eased the lives of many, creating useful communication tools and other organizational tools that I personally could not function without.  So I applaud a president who want to do everything he can and to use every tool available to help him do the best job possible.

Whether Obama gets to keep his blackberry or not, I welcome and am proud of our president who is determined to move forward with progress-both culturally and digitally

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


You might notice a new widget that I’ve downloaded on the left over there.  It’s Uniqlock.  Uniqlock is a campaign that has won the Grand Prix at Cannes and Japan Interactive Advertising Annual.  It is brilliant and innovative and everyone should know about it. 

By simply clicking on the Uniqlock link, or perhaps by watching my little widget, you don’t really understand what it is, what it does or what it’s promoting, if you’re not familiar with the brand already.  However, it certainly makes one curios.  Curios enough to look it up and become pseudo-obsessed with its brilliance.

Uniqlock promotes the Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo-which I have never heard of until today.  It does this through a variety of ways.  The most basic form, is the web site.  The web site is a clock that alternates between time and a constant, 24/7 music video of a group of dancers, doing various dances in different Uniqlo clothes.  It’s mesmerizing.  You find yourself watching to see the loop, or wait for the dancers to repeat something-but they don’t.  Also, the dancers clothing changes at night, to sleepwear, and in winter and summer their clothing changes to the winter or summer line. 

If you’re like me, and can’t get enough of these adorable Japanese dancers in their clean clothing-then you can download the widget and put it on your blog.  So far, there are over 27,000 widgets in over 76 different companies. 

And in case you’re not a blogger, but you want Uniqlock-you can download a screensaver.  And in case you’re a super freak-there is an iPhone app for it. 

Brilliant-it’s so accessible, and interesting and engaging.  It was also executed extraordinarily well.  There was obviously a large amount of time put into this initiative-but I think it’s well worth it.   This is definitely an innovative website worth looking at.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Performance Reviews Go Digital

Here is an article explaining the new, free system “Rypple”.  Rypple basically is a free tool that allows employees to pick other trusted, valued colleagues to give them performance feedback.

The article claims that the benefits are that this can do away with the uncomfortable, time consuming annual performance review, while giving the younger “Net Generation” the constant feedback that they thrive on.

As a member of the “Net Generation”, who needs constant feedback to thwart my unwarranted daily fear of getting fired-this sounds too good to be true. 

1)    Rypple is free-so why not?

2)    The responses are anonymous.  I think that that is great-because you will get more honest feedback.