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Archive for June 2009

At Issue } essential reading

The Philosophical Significance of Twitter: Consciousness Outfolding

Peter Daou
Jun 16, 2009

As with any new phenomenon, a wave of curiosity, criticism, mockery, and adulation follows. The Twitter meta wave is cresting. Now, attention is focused on Twitter's practical applications in the disputed Iranian election and its unique capacity to harness real-time events. In the larger picture, the most intriguing thing about Twitter is not how it is different from other online communication mechanisms, but how it is the same: one more technological innovation enabling the outfolding of consciousness -- the collective turning-outward of human thought.

How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think?

Lera Boroditsky
Jun 16, 2009

For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. Research in my labs at Stanford University and at MIT has helped reopen this question.

Internet Giants Look For Edge In Real-Time Search

Scott Morrison
Jun 16, 2009

Micro-blogging phenomenon Twitter Inc. hasn't figured out how to make money, but that hasn't stopped Web giants Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. from racing to establish real-time search capabilities. The growth of Twitter has fueled expectations that real-time search could drive Internet advertising to new heights by allowing marketers to target relevant ads at consumers interested in breaking events, hot topics or their favorite celebrities. Some proponents argue real-time data and search could develop into a billion-dollar market.

How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook Can Make History

Clay Shirky
Jun 16, 2009

While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.

Crowdsourcing: What It Means for Innovation

John Winsor
Jun 16, 2009

A soured economy has prompted a boom in crowdsourcing, but this is a creative, efficient trend that will outlast the recession?

Web Is Great Equalizer for Producers and Consumers

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 16, 2009

I miss the good ol' days of global brand strategy. It used to be so simple: Develop a single, absolute definition of your brand, then produce content -- mostly TV spots and print -- that was generic enough for local voice-over talent to translate, perhaps augmented with an image or two for local color. What was important was that those absolutes of brand were constant; the delivery component was tactical. "Think global, act local" was the mantra we stole from the world's do-gooders in the 1970s, and it was supposed to save money on production costs while ensuring consistent delivery of our messaging.

The Art of Saying Thank You

Denise Lee Yohn
Jun 16, 2009

I’m taking a break from the series on brand value creation for a post on a topic I’ve been reading a lot about lately — saying “thank you.” For people in general, service providers specifically, and companies, communicating sincere gratitude, it seems, is a lot more complicated than you might expect.

Brand Migration: Navigate the Passage

Martin Lindstrom
Jun 15, 2009

I guess you’ll have heard about the Versace hotel, the Ferrari laptop, and the Apple cell phone. Yet, had I suggested any one of these products to you fifteen years ago, you might have been forgiven for thinking that a few extravagant typos had made it past the editor. Yet today, we’ve become perfectly used to extreme brand extensions like these. But, can you go too far? Brands have been stretching their way into such new and unexpected product categories that some product progeny can be impossible to link to their brand parents.

On Web and iPhone, a Tool to Aid Careful Shopping

Claire Cain Miller
Jun 15, 2009

GoodGuide, a Web site and iPhone application that lets consumers dig past the package’s marketing spiel by entering a product’s name and discovering its health, environmental and social impacts. “What we’re trying to do is flip the whole marketing world on its head,” said Mr. O’Rourke. “Instead of companies telling you what to believe, customers are making the statements to the marketers about what they care about.”

On "Socialism": Round II

Lawrence Lessig
Jun 14, 2009

There's an interesting resistance (see the comments) to my resistance to Kevin Kelly's description of (what others call) Web 2.0 as "socialism." That resistance (to my resistance) convinces me my point hasn't been made.

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