An Eye on New Media
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Why Crowdfunding Is In Your Website's Future - $10M Pebble Watch Campaign on Kickstarter

Why Crowdfunding Is In Your Website's Future - $10M Pebble Watch Campaign on Kickstarter | An Eye on New Media |

The "sheer genius" of the Pebble watch campaign on kickstarter will be somethig you want your team to emulate soon, very soon.

Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Ken Morrison's insight:

Everyone is wondering if Apple will be releasing a watch.  They should  be checking out Pebble.  This pebble will be making ripples in the tech pond.  Great strategy!

Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, February 19, 2013 8:07 PM

The Genius of the Pebble Watch Kickstarter Campaign
No one told the Pebble watch team they couldn't mashup distribution, pricing, marketing, sales and funding all in one brilliantly executed campaign. The team didn't have the "curse of knowledge". They didn't know how the game is normally played and that is really good.

Their lack of knowledge meant the Pebble watch team turned to Kickstarter to solve problems no one ever thought to solve via a "crowdfunding" platform. My ScentTrail Marketing post notes how getting distributors to come to you is brilliant.

Combine solving distribution with Pebble's amazing "create your own customized Pebble", an idea that puts the celebrity endorsement game on its head bedcause they fought to give Pebble $1200 each, and you get sheer marketing genius.

There is so much genius to go around here every Internet marketing team should study how Pebble solved traditional problems any startup faces with a single stroke of genius and OPP (Other People's Platforms).

I bet you lunch; your team will be using OPP in a similar way inside of two years.

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Social Media Over The Past Decade | HubSpot

Social Media Over The Past Decade | HubSpot | An Eye on New Media |

...To think of what “might be” a few years from now is barely fathomable but really exciting! I remember listening to the keynote speaker at the 1990 Seybold Conference talk about how books in the future would be enjoyed on electronic readers, and thinking, “not in my lifetime would electronic readers replace printed books.” We all know how that turned out.

Let’s go back and hit the high points from the past ten years. Below is a visual infographic timeline followed by a more detailed look at each year! Pay close attention to the ones that were launched in 2012; some of them have a lot of potential to be game changers!

Via Jeff Domansky
Ken Morrison's insight:
When did you jump in?
Meredith Tong's curator insight, August 10, 9:17 PM

look how many apps have been made from 2004 to the present!!!


Jeff Domansky's curator insight, August 16, 9:07 PM

Great way to look at the history of social media.

Amanda Swanson's curator insight, August 22, 8:22 AM

# 19 - A quick look at social media development over the last ten years.


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Why social media needs to be taught in high school

Why social media needs to be taught in high school | An Eye on New Media |
There’s been a lot of discussion recently on what schools should be teaching kids. Just this month, the United Kingdom announced the addition of cybersecurity to its curriculum in response to a lack of education in the field and the rising industry skills gap.

I believe U.S. schools have been hesitant and even neglectful when it comes to how they discuss social media with students, and it’s time for this to change. Social media is a very real and ongoing aspect of our everyday lives: It no longer makes sense that, in 2014, several states still teach cursive writing when many students can text much faster on their smart devices. We need to be educating students on applicable skills for the world that they will interact with, and that means providing them with an understanding of how social media can affect their future. The gaping generational chasm between teachers who grew up before smartphones existed and students who were raised on them has resulted in a trial-and-error model of internet education and exploration, which could potentially wreak havoc on a student’s future. The internet is written in pen, not pencil.

The latest statistics show that 83 percent of teens in the U.S. aged 14-18 are on a social network. More 90 percent of them share their real names and use real photos of themselves, and around 20 percent share their cell phone numbers, according to Pew Research Center figures from 2013. What the statistics mean is that what children (and adults, for that matter) d on the Internet is available to pretty much anyone. But that’s just the reality we live in. There is a one-in-seven chance that anyone with intent and an Internet connection can find your child’s cell phone number right now.

Dennis Kelly, president of the United Educators of San Francisco, says that teachers are already overworked, and although social media is important, so are other things. “All students should learn to swim, but should it be the school’s responsibility to teach them swimming?” Kelly asks. Well, I say yes. If you’re a school in an area where your students are regularly going to be swimming, then you should feel it’s important that they know how. Australia, a country more over 75 percent of the population lives near the ocean, has swimming as part of its curriculum. Likewise, as the numbers indicate, social media is already a large part of students’ lives and teachers should see this as an opportunity, not as a burden.

Some organizations have taken it upon themselves to introduce students to safe online habits. A group of volunteers from Fordham Law School recently began teaching seventh graders in New York about online privacy. When asked why it is important to educate students on best practices for online behavior, one of the classroom teachers, Nichole Gagnon, said, “Many teens believe that, because they are communicating through their own personal accounts, phones, and computers, it is private. While interacting with the law students, they soon realized that nothing that is public can be private at the same time.”

While similar programs are developing in other areas of the country (University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Irvine, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Idaho, Northern Kentucky University, Princeton University, Roger Williams University, Seattle University, Suffolk University, Tulane University, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale University), this trend needs to progress from out-of-school programs to in-school curriculum.

Along with personal privacy and safe Internet usage, recent hiring trends suggest teens should learn how to use social media for their jobs. A recent study of the site’s job listings shows a huge spike in companies looking for employees with specific social media skill sets. By analyzing the data from the title and description of job postings, found that jobs requesting Instagram skills were up 644 percent from 2012, and those searching for Twitter experience was up 44 percent. The term “social media” rose 28 percent.

So how do we begin the process of teaching social media to students? Colleges, companies, and individuals will look at how these students act on social networks. There are several things schools can and should begin teaching students.

Online reputation
As students increasingly live out their lives online, we’re seeing major downsides to all that social media over-sharing, and they might have little control over how they appear on the Internet. If someone says something negative about another person, it can really damage that person’s future. At the same time, the person’s digital reputation also creates significant opportunities for students to put their best foot forward. Students should understand that what they put on the Internet, good and bad, is out there for the public.

A lot of students have either completely crossed over or begun the process from parental influence to peer influence. Because this group uses experimentation to establish their adulthood, their social media interaction can exhibit inappropriate behavior that seems uncharacteristic. It will be more common for them to have established several social-media communities, some with different usernames. They are more aware of how to keep these personas private, but their behavior on social media may get riskier, due to this false sense of security.

It’s important to teach students how to use privacy settings, the importance of location and tagging information, and how to maintain a professional public appearance online. They also need to be made aware of appropriate behavior in private places such as locker rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms. Remind them that behavior in private places may not stay private and that anything they do could become a video or picture on someone else’s social media. Make the connection between their privacy habits and their ability to get into a good college, get an athletic scholarship, or even get the jobs they want after they graduate.

While students might not understand it now, their classmates and teammates can become valuable connections down the road. Encourage students to connect with one another on social media and to stay connected even after they stop going to school with one another. If students know what they want to do after school, they can establish themselves in their respective fields through blogging and get involved in the right online communities. There are many other advantages to being Internet-savvy, like finding the cheapest used textbooks online for college.

Social media isn’t going anywhere, and every year we put this off is another year we are behind. It’s our job to teach students, so they don’t have to learn the hard way from their own mistakes. In an academic study done at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, researchers found young people who believe the Internet and digital technology benefit society are more likely to be resilient self-regulators online.

Erick Qualman, author of “Socialnomics” and “What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube,” said, Wwe don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The question is how well we do it.”

I know it’s not traditional, but some things really are more useful than calculus.

Ronnie Charrier is a social media manager at Northcutt.
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Intriguing photos from our ugly history. Adolf Hitler Among the Crowds: Color Photos of the Fuhrer’s Fans | LIFE |

Intriguing photos from our ugly history. Adolf Hitler Among the Crowds: Color Photos of the Fuhrer’s Fans | LIFE | | An Eye on New Media |
Color pictures by Hitler's personal photographer testify to the Führer's mass popularity and the frenzied response he elicited from crowds.
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"Get a Room!" This will probably get creepy. Facebook launches Rooms for iOS, its first anonymous app

"Get a Room!"  This will probably get creepy.   Facebook launches Rooms for iOS, its first anonymous app | An Eye on New Media |
Despite building its entire existence around real identities, social network giant Facebook today unveiled Rooms, its new anonymous app. The project was created by the Facebook Creative Labs team.

In the new app, users can create individual chatrooms around various topics they’d like to discuss, customize the color and design, invite others to join them via QR codes that can be shared, and hold anonymous discussions within the room. In a post on Rooms’ blog, Facebook’s product manager Josh Miller writes:

A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room. Early users have already created rooms for everything from beat boxing videos to parkour to photos of home-cooked meals. There’s even a room called “Kicks From Above” that showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbling in popular social app concepts pioneered by others. Facebook launched Poke back in December 2012 as a first shot at a Snapchat clone. After Poke went nowhere, it launched Slingshot in June this year.

Though it’s not hard to see how the popularity of apps like Secret and Whisper may have inspired Facebook to delve into anonymous sharing, Yik Yak is likely the biggest inspiration here. About a month ago, two weeks before the New York Times’ report on the upcoming anonymous app, Miller — who is also the cofounder of the Facebook-acquired Branch and the lead of Rooms — sent the following tweet:

Though Yik Yak is similar to Secret and Whisper in that it enables anonymous socializing, it also relies heavily on location as a means to group conversations thematically. For example, Yik Yak’s been launching on college campuses as a way to help students chat about the goings-on in their communities.

Along with Miller’s interest in Yik Yak, let’s not forget what Branch, his former startup, was all about: topical conversations in an invite-only online setting. It wasn’t anonymous (actually, the opposite), but Branch nevertheless was built around “chatrooms” revolving around a topic, just like Rooms.

Rooms is also an experiment that’s as anti-Facebook as it can get.

As mentioned, Facebook’s entire being has revolved around real identities, which arguably gave it an edge over other social networks like MySpace. However, this issue landed the company in hot water recently when it wouldn’t allow drag queens to use their stage names on Facebook, an issue that put alternative network Ello in the spotlight.

Along with the idea of connecting “real” people around the world, Facebook released Facebook Connect (now Facebook Login) in 2008, as a way to let its users easily login into other apps and websites, as well as enable those apps to pull various levels of information from users’ profiles. Entire businesses (Lyft, Tinder) were built around Facebook users’ real identities. In addition, people can comment on sites all over the Internet using their Facebook profiles.

But with Rooms, users can shield their names. They can anonymous chat and say whatever they want without it being tied to their identities and potential judgement from others. According to Miller:

One of the things our team loves most about the internet is its potential to let us be whoever we want to be. It doesn’t matter where you live, what you look like or how old you are – all of us are the same size and shape online. This can be liberating, but only if we have places that let us break away from the constraints of our everyday selves. We want the rooms you create to be freeing in this way. From unique obsessions and unconventional hobbies, to personal finance and health-related issues – you can celebrate the sides of yourself that you don’t always show to your friends.
Moreover, giving users free rein to customize the rooms they create (including colors, Like buttons, name, and so on) is a big deal. Unlike MySpace in the early 2000s, Facebook has created a one-size-fits-all design and has stuck to this approach.

But it’s not clear what the company will do with Rooms if it does take off: Monetizing it would be difficult, as plugging the app into Facebook would defeat the purpose of anonymity. But given Facebook’s lack of success with its previous experimental apps (Poke died and Slingshot is pretty forgotten now), it’ll be interesting to see if anonymity is the experiment that sticks for Facebook.

More information:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w...
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Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning

Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning | An Eye on New Media |
Great Tools That Are Changing Writing, Teaching and Learning. Vicki Davis talks about how to pick right tool..

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Why Germans Are Afraid of Google

Why Germans Are Afraid of Google | An Eye on New Media |
These days Germany is known for being many things: a leader in clean technology, a manufacturing powerhouse, Europe’s foreign policy center. But increasingly, it seems to have taken on yet another stereotype — as a nation of Luddites.

And truth be told, Germany is not a great place to be a big tech company these days. Günther H. Oettinger, a German official and the European Union’s incoming commissioner for digital economy and society, has assailed Google for having too big a presence in Europe, and speaks of “cuts” in the company’s market power. In Berlin, Sigmar Gabriel, the vice chancellor and economics minister, is investigating whether Germany can classify Google as a vital part of the country’s infrastructure, and thus make it subject to heavy state regulation.

Google is often spoken of in dark terms around cafes and biergartens. People regularly call it the Octopus. Even a figure as dominant in the global economy as Mathias Döpfner, the chief executive of Springer, Germany’s largest publishing house, said he was “afraid of Google.”

Google isn’t the only target of Teutonic ire. A few weeks ago, a German court prohibited Uber from operating in the country, reasoning that the company was violating federal licensing laws for professional drivers. And Amazon is entangled in a long and wearying battle over working conditions and pay with Verdi, one of Germany’s most powerful unions.

To outsiders, this all seems like just another instance of collective German angst. In this view, Germany is the neurotic bystander of the digital revolution, shaken to the bone by its fear of everything new and its distrust of everything American, a secretive society still traumatized by its Stasi history, overestimating the importance of data privacy.

But this caricature misses the point. Germans don’t fear technology. Nor do we dislike America. On the contrary: Whenever Apple debuts a new product, our media goes bananas and people line up in front of Apple’s flagship stores. Most Germans use Google and Facebook on a daily basis, without ever getting sweaty hands when typing in a search term or answering a friendship request.

In politics, Silicon Valley is a magic phrase. It’s what Berlin wants to be. It’s where our representatives and business leaders go when they want to look really cool or snoop around for ideas. Speaking at a rollout for a new book on Silicon Valley, Mr. Gabriel’s eyes turned dreamy when he told the audience how he strolled the streets of Palo Alto on his first visit there in the late ’90s, looking around for the Hewlett-Packard garage, feeling the magic of innovation in the air.

What gives? How can Germany be both afraid of and in love with technology, and the companies that make it? The key is to look beyond those things, to the corporate model they represent.

The true origin of the conflict lies in the economic culture innate to those former Silicon Valley start-ups — now giants — that are taking the European markets by storm. To create and grow an enterprise like Amazon or Uber takes a certain libertarian cowboy mind-set that ignores obstacles and rules.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Silicon Valley fears neither fines nor political reprimand. It invests millions in lobbying in Brussels and Berlin, but since it finds the democratic political process too slow, it keeps following its own rules in the meantime. Uber simply declared that it would keep operating in Germany, no matter what the courts ruled. Amazon is pushing German publishers to offer their books on its platform at a lower price — ignoring that, in Germany, publishers are legally required to offer their books at the same price everywhere.

It is this anarchical spirit that makes Germans so neurotic. On one hand, we’d love to be more like that: more daring, more aggressive. On the other hand, the force of anarchy makes Germans (and many other Europeans) shudder, and rightfully so. It’s a challenge to our deeply ingrained faith in the state.

The German voter-consumer will always trust the state more than he will any private company, no matter how ardently it insists on being a good guy. Trust in “the state” is hard to measure; polls vary greatly depending on the current government’s performance and personnel, among other factors. However, Germans regularly report much higher levels of trust in the leading state institutions — the federal legislature, the courts and the police — than Americans do.

No major party, right or left, calls for shrinking the size of the state; the only party to do so, the Liberal Democrats, is too small to have a seat in the Bundestag, and is fighting for its life in state-level elections. Unlike in America, where trust in the state tends to dip during hard times, in Germany it rises. When problems appear, we look to “Vater Staat” — the Father State — to protect us.

That includes challenges by “disruptive” business models, like those coming out of Silicon Valley. Indeed, the reason politicians like Mr. Gabriel — who has said “we must tame Silicon Valley capitalism”— go after Amazon and Uber is that it is a surefire way to get votes. Even politicians who are normally pro-deregulation, like Mr. Oettinger, know it’s smart to come down hard on tech companies.

If it wants to succeed here, Silicon Valley needs to comply with the particularities of the German and European market. We love technology, but we want it delivered on our terms. In Germany, cowboys should remain in the movies.

Anna Sauerbrey is an editor on the opinion page of the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.
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MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities | An Eye on New Media |
BDPA Detroit Chapter website.
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Here is a list of (only) University-sponsored MOOCs.  Enjoy.

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Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions | An Eye on New Media |

Essential questions are, ask Grant Wiggins defines, “‘essential’ in the sense of signaling genuine, important and necessarily-ongoing inquiries.” These are grapple-worthy, substantive questions that not only require wrestling with, but are worth wrestling with–that could lead students to some critical insight in a 40/40/40-rule sense of the term.

I collected the following set of questions through the course of creating units of study, most of them from the Greece Central School District in New York. In revisiting them recently, I noticed that quite a few of them were closed/yes or no questions, so I went back and revised most of them, and added a few myself–something I’ll try to do from time to time.

Or maybe I’ll make a separate page for them entirely. Or, who knows. Nonetheless, below are many, many examples of essential questions. Most are arts & humanities, but if this post proves useful, we can add some STEM inquiry to the mix as well. Let me know in the comments.

Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

Decisions, Actions, and Consequences

What is the relationship between decisions and consequences?
How do we know how to make good decisions?
How can a person’s decisions and actions change his/her life?
How do the decisions and actions of characters reveal their personalities?
How do decisions, actions, and consequences vary depending on the different perspectives of the people involved?
Social Justice

What is social justice?
To what extent does power or the lack of power affect individuals?
What is oppression and what are the root causes?
How are prejudice and bias created? How do we overcome them?
What are the responsibilities of the individual in regard to issues of social justice?
How can literature serve as a vehicle for social change?
When should an individual take a stand against what he/she believes to be an injustice? What are the most effective ways to do this?
What are the factors that create an imbalance of power within a culture?
What does power have to do with fairness and justice?
When is it necessary to question the status quo? Who decides?
What are the benefits and consequences of questioning / challenging social order?
How do stereotypes influence how we look at and understand the world?
What does it mean to be invisible? (context: minorities)
In what ways can a minority keep their issues on the larger culture’s “radar screen?”
What creates prejudice, and what can an individual overcome it?
What are the causes and consequences of prejudice and injustice, and how does an individual’s response to them reveal his/her true character?
What allows some individuals to take a stand against prejudice/oppression while others choose to participate in it?
What are the causes and consequences of prejudice and how does an individual’s response to it reveal his/her morals, ethics, and values?
Culture: Values, Beliefs & Rituals

How do individuals develop values and beliefs?
What factors shape our values and beliefs?
How do values and beliefs change over time?
How does family play a role in shaping our values and beliefs?
Why do we need beliefs and values?
What happens when belief systems of societies and individuals come into conflict?
When should an individual take a stand in opposition to an individual or larger group?
When is it appropriate to challenge the beliefs or values of society?
To what extent do belief systems shape and/or reflect culture and society?
How are belief systems represented and reproduced through history, literature, art, and music?
How do beliefs, ethics, or values influence different people’s behavior?
How do individuals reconcile competing belief systems within a given society (e.g., moral beliefs conflicting with legal codes)?
When a person’s individual choices are in direct conflict with his/her society, what are the consequences?
What is morality and what are the factors that have an impact on the development of our morality?
What role or purpose does religion / spirituality serve in a culture?
What purpose or function do ethics / philosophy have in governing technological advances?
How do our values and beliefs shape who we are as individuals and influence our behavior?
Adversity, Conflict, and Change 

How does conflict lead to change?
What problem-solving strategies can individuals use to manage conflict and change?
How does an individual’s point of view affect the way they deal with conflict?
What personal qualities have helped you to deal with conflict and change?
How might if feel to live through a conflict that disrupts your way of life?
How does conflict influence an individual’s decisions and actions?
How are people transformed through their relationships with others?
What is community and what are the individual’s responsibility to the community as well as the community’s responsibility to the individual?
Utopia and Dystopia

How would we define a utopian society?
How has the concept of utopia changed over time and/or across cultures or societies?
What are the ideals (e.g., freedom, responsibility, justice, community, etc.) that should be honored in a utopian society?
Why do people continue to pursue the concept of a utopian society?
How do competing notions of what a utopian society should look like lead to conflict?
What are the purposes and/or consequence of creating and/or maintaining a dystopian society?
What is the relationship between differences and utopia?
Chaos and Order

What is the importance of civilization and what factors support or destroy its fabric?
What are the positive and negative aspects of both chaos and order?
What are the responsibilities and consequences of this new world order described as “global”?
What role does chaos play in the creative process?
What are the politics and consequences of war, and how do these vary based on an individual or cultural perspective?
Constructing Identities

How do we form and shape our identities?
In a culture where we are bombarded with ideas and images of “what we should be,”
How does one form an identity that remains true and authentic for her/himself?
What turning points determine our individual pathways to adulthood?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?

What is creativity and what is its importance for the individual / the culture?
What is art and its function in our lives?
What are the limits, if any, of freedom of speech?
Freedom and Responsibility

What is freedom?
What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility?
What are the essential liberties?
What is the relationship between privacy, freedom, and security?
When does government have the right to restrict the freedoms of people?
When is the restriction of freedom a good thing?
Good and Evil in the World

Is humankind inherently good or evil?
Have the forces of good and evil changed over time and if so, how?
How do different cultures shape the definitions of good and evil?
Heroes and “She-roes”

Do the attributes of a hero remain the same over time?
When does a positive personality trait become a tragic flaw?
What is the role of a hero or “she-roe” (coined by Maya Angelou) in a culture?
How do various cultures reward / recognize their heroes and “she-roes”?
Why is it important for people and cultures to construct narratives about their experience?
What is the relevance of studying multicultural texts?
How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?
The Human Condition / Spirit

In the face of adversity, what causes some individuals to prevail while others fail?
What is the meaning of life, and does that shape our beliefs regarding death?
Illusion vs. Reality

What is reality and how is it constructed?
What tools can the individual use to judge the difference, or draw a line between, illusion and reality?
Language & Literature

How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by language?
How can language be powerful?
How can you use language to empower yourself?
How is language used to manipulate us?
In what ways are language and power inseparable?
What is the relationship between thinking and language? How close or far are they apart?
How does language influence the way we think, act, and perceive the world?
How do authors use the resources of language to impact an audience?
How is literature like life?
What is literature supposed to do?
What influences a writer to create?
What is the purpose and function of art in our culture?
How does literature reveal the values of a given culture or time period?
How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?
In what ways are all narratives influenced by bias and perspective?
Where does the meaning of a text reside? Within the text, within the reader, or in the transaction that occurs between them?
What can a reader know about an author’s intentions based only on a reading of the text?
What are enduring questions and conflicts that writers (and their cultures) grappled with hundreds of years ago and are still relevant today?
How do we gauge the optimism or pessimism of a particular time period or particular group of writers?
Why are there universal themes in literature–that is, themes that are of interest or concern to all cultures and societies?
What are the characteristics or elements that cause a piece of literature to endure?
What distinguishes a good read from great literature?
Who decides the criteria for judging whether or not a book is any good?
What is the purpose of: science fiction? satire? historical novels, etc.?
Love & Sacrifice

If any, what are the boundaries of love and sacrifice, and where does one draw the line between them?
What are the factors that move individuals / communities / nations to great sacrifice and what are the consequences?
Nature in the Balance

What are the responsibilities of the individual / society / superpowers in regard to the health of the environment?  (local, regional, national or international context can be used)
What are the consequences of being unconcerned with nature’s balance/harmony?
Our View of the World and Ourselves

How do we know what we know?
What is changeable within ourselves?
How does what we know about the world shape the way we view ourselves?
How do our personal experiences shape our view of others?
What does it mean to be an insider or an outsider?
What does it mean to “grow up”?
Where do our definitions of good and evil come from?
What is the relevance of studying multicultural texts?
How does the media shape our view of the world and ourselves?
In a culture where we are bombarded with other people trying to define us, how do we make decisions for ourselves?
What turning points determine our individual pathways to adulthood?
Past, Present, and Future

Why do we bother to study/examine the past, present or future?
What are the recurrent motifs of history and in what ways have they changed or remained the same?
The Pursuit of Happiness

What is happiness, and what is the degree of importance in one’s life?
To what extent does a culture / society / subculture shape an individual’s understanding or concept of happiness?
Relationships and Community

What are the elements that build a strong friendship?
How do friendships change over time?
What impact does family have during different stages of our lives?
What can we learn from different generations?
How is conflict an inevitable part of relationships?
How do you know if a relationship is healthy or hurtful?
What personal qualities help or hinder the formation of relationships?
How are people transformed through their relationships with others?
What is community and what are the individual’s responsibilities to the community as well as the community’s responsibilities to the individual?
Shades of Truth

Who defines “truth”?
How does perspective shape or alter truth?

My brain; Grant’s; L. Beltchenko 2007-2008 and the Greece Central School District, New York; Many, Many Examples Of Essential Questions

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‘The Innovators’ by Walter Isaacson: How Women Shaped Technology

‘The Innovators’ by Walter Isaacson: How Women Shaped Technology | An Eye on New Media |
Whether in 1843, 1946 or today, women’s contributions are often ignored.
Ken Morrison's insight:


At Google, men make up 83 percent of engineering employees. Of Google’s 36 top-ranking executives and managers, only three are women. At Apple, male tech employeesaccount for 80 percent of the work force. And at Facebook, 85 percent of the company’s tech workers are men.

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Watch This Film About Why Aaron Swartz Matters More Than Ever | TechCrunch

Watch This Film About Why Aaron Swartz Matters More Than Ever | TechCrunch | An Eye on New Media |
Aaron Swartz was a young, bright genius who believed in the open Internet. A self-made millionaire by the age of 19, he co-founded Reddit, was part of the..
Ken Morrison's insight:

I forget how young he was

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Download Audiobooks with

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Download audiobooks to your iPhone, Android, Kindle, or other listening device. Audible has 150,000+ audiobook titles including best-sellers and new releases.
Ken Morrison's insight:

I finally read "Four Hour Work Week" this week. Better late than never, but I wish I read it sooner.

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How Peter Thiel teaches Stanford students to create billion-dollar monopolies (in 3 quotes)

How Peter Thiel teaches Stanford students to create billion-dollar monopolies (in 3 quotes) | An Eye on New Media |
tanford continued its wildly overcrowded How to Start a Startup course today with Silicon Valley’s outspoken libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel. The course is curated by Sam Altman, head of startup incubator Y Combinator. Each week, the course brings in another technology celebrity to share the secrets of the tech elite.

You can watch Thiel in all his low-key glory in the 30-minute lecture below. I’ve summarized the course in three quick quotes below.

“Competition is for losers”

The thrust of Thiel’s lecture — and his recent book, Zero to One — is that successful founders seek to create a monopoly. Thiel contends that all the most successful startups, from Google to Facebook, carved out a niche market under the radar of the established players.

Facebook, for example, started off with a maximum user base of 10,000 Ivy League students. After growing like wildfire, it opened up registration to all universities, then to high school students, then to the world. “You want to go after small markets if you’re a startup,” he concludes.

“You want to be the last company in a category. Those are the ones that are really valuable.”

You don’t need to create an entire new genre to compete. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone. Plenty of phones, from Windows to Palm, had Internet and app-capable devices. But Apple aimed to be the best. Likewise, Facebook and Google each eventually went after a larger market and are aiming to be the last of their kind.

Thiel is also not a fan of defining yourself in relation to something else, like the ‘Uber of dog sitters.’ Claiming to be the Stanford of North Dakota doesn’t mean that the school is good. “The something of somewhere is mostly just the nothing of nowhere.”

“I am personally skeptical of all the Lean Startup methodology. I think the really great companies did something that was sort of a quantum improvement that really differentiated them.”

Thiel fielded a question about author Eric Ries’s famous “Lean Startup” method of shipping often and constantly improving. Thiel seems to imply that this creates an undue obsession with user taste. Instead, he says, create something in a small category that is levels above everyone else. Google’s PageRank algorithm was far superior to anything that Alta Vista or the big names were doing at the time.

You can check out the full curriculum for How to Start a Startup on the class website here.

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Paul Hudnut 4 hours ago
A libertarian that doesn't believe in competition? I guess that's another example of the opposable mind of an entrepreneur. 

The crux for me is at 29:15 ish when he talks about all the innovations and scientific advances, and then says "these can be extremely valuable innovations… but the people that come up with them do not get rewarded for this." And then he says scientists are delusional. Then he appears to say that there is something tragic about Einstein not dying a billionaire? Delusional and tragic? Maybe not… perhaps they value something besides money. Perhaps they just like inventing things and helping society. To use Thiel's equation, they seek to maximize X, not the sum of X times Y. I am very grateful to live in a society where there are those that invent for public good as well as those that invent for private gain. And I am glad that I don't judge success by how much money someone has made. I hope some of those Stanford students just maximize X. 

I do like his comments about valuing the durability of a company. But he seems to view this more as a function of industry structure than culture and ownership of the company. 


Muhammad Saad Khan 9 hours ago
I certainly agree to the first point mentioned above to go in niche and conquer it fully. Because that will let you know what you are capable of. Who are the people interested in using your product/service/technology. The most important thing is how to scale. Scalability determines the profitability. Facebook had all the idea when they reached to the college students that in next 5 years these people will be known as Millenials (the most hyper-connected individuals). They determined that its going to be an epidemic and they know its going to scale from US to around the world.

Be the last mover? really? I don't understand that analogy. How can a person would know that its the right time?

I strongly agree with Eric Ries's "Lean Startup" movement. Why because I believe that its THE most important part of any company to get to know who their customers are...not assumptions but really who they are, where they hangout, talk, drink, eat, listen. Every single idea is relevant. Feedback helps innovation and doing the things the way its going to get accepted by the customers. At @Cloudways, my ultimate focus is on knowing the early adopters of the company. Who they are, who are the influencers, how to reach them, how to engage them, how to get a feedback from them, vice versa. And its been phenomenal 6 months of growth, product innovation and happy customers.


ronaldmulder @ronaldmulderfrom Twitter10 Oct
@rutgervz Well ... he's rich, so he must be right ;)

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rutgervz @rutgervzfrom Twitter10 Oct
@ronaldmulder he is spot on.

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ronaldmulder @ronaldmulderfrom Twitter10 Oct
@rutgervz Off course he is. Every entrepreneur wants to be a monopolist. Whether that's best for society is a different matter altogether.

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hvandenbergh @hvandenberghfrom Twitter10 Oct
@rutgervz reading Peter Thiel's book right now. Fascinating how he promotes monopolies and goes against 'minimum viable' and 'lean'

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Beta Start 21 hours ago
This video has kicked off a new tumblr:


Richard J. Scully 1 day ago
great book.


John Quinlan from Facebook1 day ago
working together, not against, is the answer. #failproof


Sandra Capponi 1 day ago
how do you reconcile last mover advantage and monopoly/ non concurrence? Google would not have started with Thiel line of thoughts... Competition is natural, that's what we have been surviving from the beggining of the human race. Competition is Darwinism and its through darwinism that we thrive... Thiel is just a fat cat do just want to keep the statut quo of the companies he has invested in...


Suresh Kumar from Facebook1 day ago
this guy is something...


Trollacharya @Trollacharyafrom Twitter10 Oct
@Tamseji Stanford of North Dakota lol.

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GreggKennelly @GreggKennellyfrom Twitter10 Oct
@markoscalderon @VentureBeat Amen!

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luisloaiza @luisloaizafrom Twitter10 Oct
@markoscalderon Buen post sopta!

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Azm Dar 1 day ago
I think both of them are right (Eric & Thiel) and are talking about companies of different scale. While the companies who dominate and become really big like google & Facebook, needs to start like Thiel & Paul graham said and cannot result from the continuous improvement process, there are lots of other companies who are not monopolies but doing great in their own domain. It is these companies that comes up with sitcom ideas and then continuously improve with feedback to make something viable. 

So if someone wants to make a company like Facebook & Google then Paul Graham's blog on "How to get ideas" is the perfect guide but if someone is not the noticing type and wants to make a few millions then Lean startup can work great. 

My understanding so far 


Pierre-Jean Cobut from Facebook1 day ago
Not anymore! Ce cours n'existait pas malheureusement...


Justin Nahin from Facebook1 day ago
LOL, just take over!!!


Mistah Mahgreygah from Facebook1 day ago
This is cool ... if you don't mind throwing out your users, your developers and anyone who works for you (except for your lawyers). While I'm tempted to invoke Godwin's Law at the moment, I will refrain. However, people should be wary of powerful speeches, with powerful words, that evoke emotion, but contain no real content. Three very powerful statements are made that only sound good because they invoke a sense of entitlement. But, much like a kid stealing all the candy, they may have all the candy, but no one wants to be their friend because they won't share. You may say business isn't about friendship, but I don't agree, there are plenty of examples of successful, profitable companies that based their success on the notion of community .. including Google. Also, Walker Thompson, I'm talking to you specifically, we both worked for a company that threw out the need to manage development expectations, and that didn't keep the process small and directed, and we both saw how that worked out.


David Levich from Facebook1 day ago
Wow .. This one was good


Andrew Huffman from Facebook1 day ago
All monopolies (and trusts a.k.a pesuo-monopoloes) starts screwing over their customers because they stop having a reason to care about them. Unless your monopoly is government backed (like cable companies) then it'll inevitably fail.


Philippe Dsmt from Facebook1 day ago
Pierre-Jean Cobut cest un prof a toi?


Justin Mandly from Facebook1 day ago
Was a great talk. I'm a big fan. Bought the book as well.


Alex Soejarto from Facebook1 day ago
free market lol


Laurie Sukis Borland from Facebook1 day ago
this is so powerful…i'm reading #zerotoone and I finally got it through my thick skull what it means to do one thing and do it well…build a monopoly. so smart #peterthiel. it's finally clear as mud. ha. it really does make genius sense. don't chase. lead.

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Two cool things that Amazon (might) be doing

I bought my first kindle about two months ago. I don't use it daily, but when I do, I am impressed.  One day I was riding on a train through Korea reading my Kindle.  About halfway through the 10th tunnel, I realized how well-lit it is. Normally, I had to pause and wait until we passed through the tunnel to continue reading. My Kindle was perfectly lit with the sun shining in the window and when under a big mountain.

There are two things that I like about my Kindle that I did not know about until I bought it.  


1) I love the social bookmark function. it is great for previewing a book. It is interesting to see what hoards of other people felt was worthy to bookmark.  
2) I am not certain if they are actually doing this one.  I think that my Kindle is learning from me based on both my Amazon book browsing history as well as what I search for on (owned by Amazon) It seems like the screen saver suggestions are getting more tailored for me.  Again, I am not certain if this is true.

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How One Startup Found Success by Making an Obsessive User Its CEO | WIRED

How One Startup Found Success by Making an Obsessive User Its CEO | WIRED | An Eye on New Media |
Jess Lee was once an obsessive user of the fashion hub Polyvore. She soon talked herself into a job, made the company profitable, and was promoted all the way up to CEO. Her next task: Helping turn Polyvore's army of fashion nobodies into power players in a notoriously snooty industry.
Ken Morrison's insight:

I believe that this is my first fashion post.  This is a great example of a young person following her passion and skills to success, while knowing how to ask for help along the way and hire people she needs to build her successful business.

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Woman Leaves Bad Online Review, The Owner Finds Out And Responds

Woman Leaves Bad Online Review, The Owner Finds Out And Responds | An Eye on New Media |
Now this picture is something else...
Ken Morrison's insight:

If you like logic and love sarcasm, This Yelp response is for you.


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Restaurant Owner Hunts Down Negative Yelp Reviewer

Restaurant Owner Hunts Down Negative Yelp Reviewer | An Eye on New Media |

A restaurant owner tracked down a Yelp user who gave his restaurant a negative review.

Ken Morrison's insight:

It is going to be a very long weekend for this guy as he tries to clear up his name after his pathetic private messages went public.  

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The 'Chinese Google' Is Making Big Bucks Using AI to Target Ads | WIRED

The 'Chinese Google' Is Making Big Bucks Using AI to Target Ads | WIRED | An Eye on New Media |
Deep learning can do many things. Tapping the power of hundreds or even thousands of computers, this new breed of artificial intelligence can help Facebook recognize people, words, and objects that appear in digital photos. It can help Google understand what you’re saying when you bark commands into an Android phone. And it can help…
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American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist | WIRED

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn't Exist | WIRED | An Eye on New Media |
Being dumb in the existing educational system is bad enough. Failing to create a new way of learning adapted to contemporary circumstances might be a national disaster.
Ken Morrison's insight:

I am sharing this post because I feel that it fits well with my earlier scoops regarding Project Based Learning (PBL)

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Here Are 97 Books, Articles, And Movies That Will Make You Smarter

Here Are 97 Books, Articles, And Movies That Will Make You Smarter | An Eye on New Media |
Here's a great list of titles that will test your brain and challenge the way see you the world.
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Top 10 Hidden Features of OS X Yosemite

Top 10 Hidden Features of OS X Yosemite | An Eye on New Media |
Yosemite is here with a bunch of new features, but a few of the best things are hidden away. Here are 10 hidden features you might not have noticed yet.
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How to avoid delusional thinking with your startup company.

How to avoid delusional thinking with your startup company. | An Eye on New Media |
[Andrew: Trying to build and launch dating apps is a favorite pastime of 20-something tech entrepreneurs. However, dating products are notoriously hard to grow because it requires people to be "in-market" and also they don't necessarily want their friends to know they're online dating. Today, we have a great piece from a veteran of the space. Earlier this year, IAC bought HowAboutWe, a new dating product that was trying to reinvent the entire experience so that it'd focus on activities rather than dating profiles. The cofounder, Aaron Schildkrout, contributed the following essay below, enumerating the difficulties of the various growth channels, and also more generally, how to be realistic about your growth strategy. You can follow Aaron at @schildkrout on Twitter.]

Aaron Schildkrout:
How to Avoid Delusional Thinking in Start-up Growth Strategy

So, you have a consumer internet idea you think could be big.

The statistics say you’re are almost surely wrong. There is a 95+% chance you will fail for one of the following five reasons: a) your product idea is shitty; b) your market is small; c) your execution or team is weak; d) you are undercapitalized; or e) your growth strategy belies a belief in magic.

In this piece I’ll focus on this fifth demon: Magical strategy for growth. My primary case study will be the online dating industry, a petri dish for delusional startup growth strategies.

I co-founded @howaboutwe in 2010 and was co-CEO until its recent acquisition by IAC. Like everyone who has ever built an online dating company, we started off with a growth strategy that looked a lot like a manual of magic tricks. Most online dating startups never escape this; the number of historical failures in the dating space is staggering — the vapidity of magical thinking coming home to roost. We succeeding to an extent in transcending these challenges; I’ll speak about our small victories against delusion.

Magical Thinking

When I ask pre-launch or very early stage founders about their customer acquisition strategies, they invariably think they have a plan. They might share a document or slide with a list of tactics like “press,” “word of mouth and friend invites,” “biz dev,” and “content.” They may even thoughtfully quote Andrew Chen.

But when you really dig into their ideas and predicted results, the defining characteristic of such plans is almost invariably an uncanny belief in magic.

Here’s a basic overview of why magical thinking is so pervasive in early stage online dating distribution strategies, organized by acquisition channel:

Virality: The only two dating sites in the world that have attained true virality are Badoo and Tinder. A few others have attained rapid exponential growth through some complex dynamic including a large advertising spend. But in every one of these cases, the result has been a massively degraded experience verging on soft porn, disturbingly spammy tactics, and a userbase with very low lifetime values relative to With the unicorn exception of Tinder, the only way to attain virality in dating (discovered thus far) is to aggressively (read: deceptively?) capture the user’s email address book and spam the entire list. Basically: block the feeling that the user might find love (or, more to the point: sex) with a tricky address book capture. If your goal is to create a dating site that isn’t solely about finding sex and that has the potential to become a well-respected national or international brand with high subscription revenues, virality has, to-date, been nearly impossible to achieve. I’ve met with two or three dozen people in the last few years thinking about starting dating sites. Of these, maybe 90% have believed in some magic virality system. Of these, none have achieved magic.

Press: About 3 months into launching HowAboutWe we had a full-page front-page print article in the New York Times Sunday Styles section. It was literally the best non-TV press we could have gotten. It drove more traffic than we’d ever had by about 10x. It was an awesome achievement at that stage. Four years later, while an article like that would have been great, it would have driven a nearly indiscernible increase in traffic. It would be a cool, small, irrelevant bump. For early stage startups we were probably in the top 2 percentile for press converge. And this was key for branding and so on. But it was categorically NOT a business-creating source of traffic. This is very hard to understand for new entrepreneurs. They imbue press — like most things — with a magical aura of inexplicable growth creating powers.

BizDev: The problem here is distorted ideas about how much traffic other entities can drive. For instance, with HowAboutWe we had the idea that we would feature venues as great date spots and that, in return, they would drive their lists to us. But small venues don’t really have meaningful lists. We didn’t understand this at all — we believed in a magical conception of biz dev. Ultimately we found a biz dev strategy that has worked to a much more significant extent (see for an example of how we worked with much larger traffic sources to drive growth); but it is fairly rare to find such a tactic. Many — if not most — early BizDev ideas are rooted in delusion about the traffic-driving potential of proposed partners.

Content: Content is wonderful for branding. And if you have a product with high lifetime values, it can easily pay for itself. But it does not provide a business-supporting customer acquisition channel unless content is your product. HowAboutWe has a highly successful blog strategy rooted in and But as a pure traffic-driver into our dating product, it was never, well, magical. Let’s say (none of these are real numbers) 100,000 people visited our articles each day. The conversion to the dating site is basically a glorified advertising system — so let’s say 1% of visitors click-thru. That’s 1,000 visitors. If we get a 20% conversion rates off those visitors, that’s 200 sign ups. If we have a 10% conversion to paid, that’s 20 paid users per day. Let’s say paid users are worth $100 to us. That’s ~$2,000 per day. That’s a bit over half a million bucks per year. Not bad; but it’s not a significant business. Content is cool, but not magic.

SEO: Yeah right.

Paid Acquisition / Direct Marketing: For dating, this is by far the most interesting category. It is the ONLY strategy that has ever worked to build a truly mainstream dating brand over time, with the sole exceptions of OKCupid (whose primary strategy was being free and which took nearly a decade to attain true scale) and possibly Tinder (tbd). Very few consumer web companies talk in their very early stages about buying traffic as a core part of their customer acquisition strategy (though this is changing). This relative absence is indicative — more than anything else — of the belief in magic. Advertising is the only reliable, scalable, predictable way of acquiring users for mainstream dating sites.

For those who do include direct acquisition in their strategy, there is usually a massive underestimation of the amount of work required for hardcore funnel and LTV optimization. Building a truly effective CRM alone is years of work, and this is just one piece of the optimization required to even begin to compete for positive ROIs with the major dating advertisers in the world (, for example, spends hundred(s) of millions of dollars each year on ads; you can be sure their conversion funnel is fairly well-optimized).

So, either the absence of a paid acquisition strategy or the presence of one that underestimates what optimizing a conversion funnel really takes both echo the magical beliefs that pervade most early distribution plans.


Delusion about customer acquisition is incredibly understandable, particularly for first time entrepreneurs. It’s painful to truly understand how hard attracting users is, and pain is hard to face.

Enter: PainMath, my antidote to blind magical thinking.

PainMath: An exercise in anti-delusion

a. Imagine you are building a new product. Magic aside, describe very clearly and mathematically a scenario in which there is genuine, business-validating, detectable desire for this product? Specifically, how many people will have to enter the top of your funnel daily for you to get to an annual revenue run rate of $10mm or a user base of 10mm? (This number/metric will be different depending on your business — but pick something that would be a significant achievement, that would leave you firmly outside of very early stage company building.)

b. Figure out from where you think these will people come. Include in your description conversion rates at every stage of your funnel plus virality coefficients.

c. Now, cut to a bare minimum all unexplained “organic” traffic (this includes press, unexplained word-of-mouth, any nondescript biz dev strategy, and content), cut your projected conversion rates by 50% at every stage of your funnel, and do the math again.

d. If you have included virality in your traffic sources, really do the math about what the virality coefficient will have to be to achieve what you are predicting. If it’s over .3%, you are likely deceiving yourself. Do your math again.

e. Then remember that almost every single startup, of which almost all have failed, had a reasonably smart but prideful person at the helm thinking their idea would work — a reasonably smart but prideful person like you and me — and do your math again.

f. Then, as you
Ken Morrison's insight:

This read comes highly recommended from Seth Godin.

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SEO Teaching: Should SEO Be Taught at Universities?

SEO Teaching: Should SEO Be Taught at Universities? | An Eye on New Media |
Despite the popularity and importance of SEO, the field has yet to gain significant traction at the university level other than a few courses here and there offered as part of a broader digital marketing degree. The tide could be turning, however slowly.
Ken Morrison's insight:

This is my favorite find of the week MOZ (formerly SEOMOZ) shares this article and list of pros/cons of teaching SEO at the college level.


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The trailer for this Edward Snowden documentary is absolutely chilling

The trailer for this Edward Snowden documentary is absolutely chilling | An Eye on New Media |
"Citizenfour," the closest look we'll ever have at how the largest leak in U.S. government history went down, is about to premier at the New York Film Festival. While most of us have to wait until ...
Ken Morrison's insight:

This is going to be interesting.

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Start an Online Business - Build a Business Competition by Shopify.

Start an Online Business - Build a Business Competition by Shopify. | An Eye on New Media |

fShopify has teamed up with five world-class entrepreneurs to help you create a million-dollar business in just months. Sign up for Shopify today.

Ken Morrison's insight:

If you are an entrepreneur or if you know one, this looks like an amazing opportunity.

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Behind Comcast’s truthy ad campaign for net neutrality

Behind Comcast’s truthy ad campaign for net neutrality | An Eye on New Media |
It would take a close reader to understand the difference between what Comcast is advocating to the public and what it's advocating to the FCC.
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10 Browser Extensions You Won't be able to Live Without | #SeriouslySocial

10 Browser Extensions You Won't be able to Live Without | #SeriouslySocial | An Eye on New Media |

Are you addicted to browser extensions?

It would seem that I am! Over the years, I’ve discovered some amazing extensions that enhance my productivity and effectiveness, and I thought it was time that I share them with you.

Via Jaana Nyström, Luigi Cangiano
Ken Morrison's insight:

#1 Friends+Me#2 MightyText#3 Buffer#4 Riffle#5 CircleCount#6 Evernote Web Clipper#7 Sidekick#8 RiteTag#9 Klout#10 Circloscope 

Jaana Nyström's curator insight, October 1, 2:40 PM

Great additions to your Chrome!