Dec 09

Daily Links for December 7th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • The Major Works of Counterintuitive Thought From the Past Decade- The 00’s Issue– New York Magazine – In the aughts, the shocking hidden side of everything became the only side of anything worthy of magazine covers and book deals. Social scientists applied their techniques to the problem of climate change; liberals who wanted to be taken seriously had to come up with arguments for conservative policies and vice versa. Everywhere in the media, the former creators of mass consensus devoted themselves to contradicting the conventional wisdom. Here, a selection of the most unlikely ideas in a decade that was always looking to blow your mind.
  • Winners and Losers as the Dollar Falls – Experts argue about the many effects of the dollar's fall and what it says about confidence in the American economy, with its decades-old trade deficit and mounting national debt. But there are also more predictable effects replayed in each decline.
  • How Will You Die? – While you may be worried of catching of an obscure disease you heard about on the news, the truth is that we are far more likely to die of a small range of illnesses, nearly all of which are tied in some way to your lifestyle choices, like the food you eat or how much exercise you get. But you can lessen—sometimes dramatically—the likelihood of succumbing to the most common causes of death by knowing your risk factors and making informed choices. This is a look at your most likely cause of death (excluding uncontrollable events like accidents and homicide), given your race, sex, and age. Use this information to make choices that will keep you healthy.
  • The Biggest Lie In Social Media – Weather we want to believe it or not, investing in social media takes time, money, and resources. Companies and people need to have a means for evaluating their investment in social against other areas of focus. When the bean counters and CMOs are weighing their options, I can guarantee you an argument of “the numbers don’t matter” won’t hold water and will have you laughed out of the room.
  • Why Social Media Purists Won’t Last | Social Media Explorer – No, I’m not turning my back on the social media community or mindset. But I am trying to make a point all the social media evangelists out there need to grow up and face: If you don’t stop selling the fluff and start driving the bottom line, you’re going to have to go back to whatever you were doing in 2005. It’s not about convincing the curmudgeon. It’s not about waiting it out until digital natives are calling the shots. It’s about making social media drive business for your clients or companies. If you don’t, you’ll soon hear, “You’re fired,” and it won’t be from Apprentice reruns.
  • Three Tweets for the Web – Many critics of contemporary life want our culture to remain like a long-distance relationship at a time when most of us are growing into something more mature. We assemble culture for ourselves, creating and committing ourselves to a fascinating brocade. Very often the paper-and-ink book is less central to this new endeavor; it’s just another cultural bit we consume along with many others. But we are better off for this change, a change that is filling our daily lives with beauty, suspense, and learning.
  • Business Week Social Media Article Misses The Point – They frame it as if social media (which in reality is just one part of the digital marketing mix) is this new scary thing, and that companies and professionals are gullible enough to be usurped by snake oil types. At this point, the opposite is true: any marketer worth their salt understands digital marketing by now. At least enough not to be sold snake oil.

    Executing on the correct digital strategy can accomplish the same business objectives as strong traditional marketing/PR strategy. The web and the real are no different in my eyes: this article might as well have been called “Beware The Consultant Snake Oil,” sans-social media. What does the web have to do with it?

  • Continue reading →

Jan 09

Daily Links for January 21st

  • Going.com – Newspapers Covering Obama’s Inauguration – A collection of front pages.
  • A face you can trust – Boston.com – Princeton psychologists recently showed that certain faces, even when expressionless, strike people as trustworthy or untrustworthy. Features like the shape of the eyebrow are part of an unconscious language of trust that powerfully affects human interaction.
  • Barack Obama Said 44 Men Have Taken The Oath Of Office For President. Was He Right? – Yahoo! Answers – OMG. I don't even know where to go with this? The only proper response is to mock the true-believers.
  • Bill Gallo on Obama: Draws an interesting parallel to Babe Ruth after the Black Sox scandal | Crooks and Liars – Will Barack Obama be able to restore the public trust in our government after the disastrous tenure of George Bush? If a Babe Ruth was able to come along at the right time and restore the dignity to a sport that had been destroyed, then there is some real hope that perhaps Obama can do the same in the world of politics.
  • Official Google Blog: Search findings from the U.S. presidential inauguration
  • YesButNoButYes: The Famous "44" – Apparently a notable number with regards to sports…
  • Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » What Drives Republicans Insane About the Media – Obama jumped in early, interrupting the first part. Roberts was then thrown off, and misplaced the word faithfully. Obama then started to recite the portion, got to the part where faithfully should have been, smiled at Roberts, Roberts corrected, and then they kind of just said to hell with it and went forward.


    But to pretend it was some sort of super-human Presidential moment on the part of Obama is as silly as the earlier comments on PUMA websites that ZOMG OBAMA MESSED UP THE OATH HE AIN’T REALLY PREZNIT! There really is no fault on the part of either one, and the smiles on both of their faces show that they know what happened. They both sort of goofed, and that really should be the end of that.

  • Obama’s New Robots.txt : Codeulate. – Within a few moments of President Obama being sworn in, a new whitehouse.gov was revealed. The new site looks great, and promises greater transparency about the actions of our President and government. [Bush's robots.txt file was ~2400 LINES. Obama's is 2. Transparency comes to Washington, DC].
  • Whitehouse.gov: Looking Back at 12 Years of the US President’s Web Presence – ReadWriteWeb – As the eyes of the world were focused on the pomp and circumstance of Barack Obama moving into a new role as President of the United States, Obama's Web team was hard at work – with far less fanfare – moving their Web property to a new address: whitehouse.gov, the official Web site for the President. And while, at first blush, the site may appear similar to Obama's President-elect site, change.gov, it is strikingly different than the predecessors who have occupied whitehouse.gov over the past 12 years. How different? Let's take a look.
  • iGov – The Atlantic (January/February 2009) – “Data sharing is no longer an afterthought,” Elin explained. “You begin with the notion that you’re going to share information. And you’re going to make it easy for people.” (Compare that with the approach of the Federal Communications Commission, which allows only limited searching of filings and comments; or that of the Department of Justice, which puts out data on foreign lobbying in unwieldy PDF format and binders.) An API also encourages the release of data in real time, instead of in occasional reports, like Federal Election Commission figures, or earmark spending.
  • How big will inaugural crowd be? Do the math – Inauguration- msnbc.com – After gathering data on numerous demonstrations, Jacobs came up with some rules of thumb that still are used today by those serious about crowd estimation. A loose crowd, one where each person is an arm's length from the body of his or her nearest neighbors, needs 10 square feet per person. A more tightly packed crowd fills 4.5 square feet per person. A truly scary mob of mosh-pit density would get about 2.5 square feet per person.