Now that the exhaustively inspirational Pop!Tech 2008 is over, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what’s next, in other words, at the conference's theme for 2009. The organizers’ choice is pretty telling and may be indicative of a larger shift among not only the elite thinkers gathering at Pop!Tech, but also broader public opinion. Succeeding this year’s theme “Scarcity and Abundance” will be “America Reimagined,” a “top-to-bottom look at America’s opportunities, its challenges, and its future” that promises to explore what it means to be a “superpower in the … Read more
Social network Hi5 has launched a site translation project, a week after the announcement that the company had created a "crowdsourced translation" app for use on the OpenSocial developer platform and several months after it initially announced plans for translation.
The site is now available not only in American English and the two dozen languages that Hi5 had previously translated it into (not through community efforts), but now also in Catalan, Danish, British English, Finnish, Hindi, Macedonian, Slovakian, Mexican Spanish, Colombian Spanish, and Swedish. These translations were generated by community participation and verified by translation service Lionbridge. Later … Read more
Tim Roberts' black Audi A3 has something called green bandana funk.
It's not slang for a mechanical problem or lingering bad smell, but rather, lime-green graffiti art in bandana patterns that dot the exterior of his otherwise shiny urban sedan. Roberts, a longtime tech executive who previously helped Twitter get off the ground, sometimes forgets the vinyl stickers are there, until they prompt a nearby driver to roll down a window and ask about his artwork. Once he even found a pack of young skateboarders surrounding his car in a parking lot taking pictures with their cell phones.
"… Read more
My grandparents in England had cows on their farm so I've always had a lot of affection for them, and was delighted to read this story from the Los Angeles Times indicating a "hidden cow power." Turns out cows may have internal compasses much like birds and bees do for orienting themselves to magnetic north.
Using satellite images on Google Earth, German scientists were able to see that all over the planet, cows stand with their bodies pointing to magnetic north.
Studying photographs of 8,510 cattle in 308 herds from around the world, zoologists Sabine Begall … Read more
A few years ago, it was trendy and "transparent" for CEOs to have their own blogs. But typically it didn't go this far--then again, Southwest Airlines chief Gary Kelly isn't your average CEO.
Kelly posted an entry on the Southwest blog on Tuesday asking readers to contribute to an annual poll he hosts: What should he dress up as for Halloween? Kelly has been known to go all-out, and provided photo evidence of past costumes that included Hairspray drag queen Edna Turnblad, Pirates of the Caribbean's Captain Jack Sparrow, and painted-up Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.… Read more
Google on Monday unveiled a new Web-based tool, Map Maker, that lets people add roads, lakes, businesses, and other features to unmapped regions of Google Maps.
With the tool, people can using tracing tools to build maps in Cyprus, Iceland, Pakistan, and Vietnam, according to the Google LatLong blog. Also open for cartographic contributions are several Caribbean nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, it'… Read more
Remember the movie The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn as unlikely brothers, shot before the backdrop of vertiginous San Francisco?
Well, here's a new interface for the city by the Bay: SFZero is "a new representation for the data that's already there. Your mind is full of inaccurate representations that are affecting the way you use the San Francisco data flow, steering you away from interaction and collaboration and toward unproductive reflexive data loops.
SFZero designers are working double shifts to engineer this next-generation interface that will bring you together with your cohabitants to experience … Read more
One may wonder whether this fixation on the main competitor shows (over-)confidence or the lack thereof. In any case, it is a bold and unprecedented move towards leading and preempting conversations about the competitor in the blogosphere. And what might easily be derided as … Read more
Crowdsourcing has entered the mainstream big-time. It has become daunting to find a brand these days that does NOT have some crowdsourcing program in place.
My Starbucks Idea is just the latest example: Starbucks asks its consumers for advice, and besides certainly receiving a lot of good ideas, the troubled coffee chain makes consumers feel part of the brand remake.
It's the same template as usual: engage your community, harness its creativity, and let it create the content for you.
It works, sure, but it's getting stale. For some reason, marketing trends take two to three years before … Read more