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I used to write a lot of things here.  Now sometimes I write a lot of things here.

The Dalai Lama Joined Instagram

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The Dalai Lama Joined Instagram

Today marks the first day that Dalai Lama is on Instagram.  Thought I would memorialize the event with a few of his quotes about technology.  Seems incredibly poignant considering how much the internet, technology and access to it are at risk at the moment.

“It depends on how you use them,” the exiled leader said, when asked whether social media hurts or harms happiness. “If the person, himself or herself, has a certain inner strength, a certain confidence, then it is no problem. But if an individual’s mind is weak, then there is more confusion. You can’t blame technology. It depends on the user of the technology.”
— Dalai Lama
Within the short space of my own lifetime, the impact of science and technology on humanity has been tremendous. Although my own interest in science began with curiosity about a world, foreign to me at that time, governed by technology, it was not very long before the colossal significance of science for humanity as a whole dawned on me—-especially after I came into exile in 1959. There is almost no area of human life today that is not touched by the effects of science and technology. Yet are we clear about the place of science in the totality of human life—-what exactly it should do and by what it should be goverened? This last point is critical because unless the direction of science is guided by a consciously ethical motivation, especially compassion, its effects may fail to bring benefit. They may indeed cause great harm.
— Dalia Lama

 

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An innovative use of Snapchat to engage fans.

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An innovative use of Snapchat to engage fans.

This one didn't get much play but I think it's an incredibly innovative use of Snapchat.  

ASP, the Association of Surfing Professionals, has been doing some really innovative stuff - and experimenting with their social strategy.  Take this idea for example: Last month they had the 2013 ASP Rookie of the Year, Nat Young, running a digital autograph session on Snapchat. Nat (and apparently a few other more famous surfers) personally replied to fan's snaps with a selfie and signature, drawn on the picture using one of Snapchat's built in features.

Of course happy fans then posted screenshots of their individual autographs on Twitter, sharing their Snapchat experience with friends across other social media platforms. Boom.

What a Simple, Smart and Social way to engage your audience.  Easy too! 

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watch this space

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watch this space

Is pay to play the new way? We might be headed in that direction. 2013 will be the year of locked feeds, pay as you go distributed content, and more “subcompact” publishing than you can shake a stick at. Pretty exciting times. I for one am watching Pheed. It seems like it could be the most “bite sized” of the entrants.

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our MoMA project has been nominated for a WEBBY!

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our MoMA project has been nominated for a WEBBY!

Heyho. I am thrilled and honored to tell you that POKE has been nominated in the Mobile and Experiences category of this year’s Webby Awards. We want to win and we need your vote!

Vote here.

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The online community, determine the winners of The People’s Voice by voting for the nominated work that you believe to be the best in each category. That’s where you come in. Thanks for all your tweets, shares and votes!

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Kiwi-Crate Rocks

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Kiwi-Crate Rocks

As you well know by now I way in to all kinds of innovation when it comes to kids education and entertainment. So I was pretty stoked to find KiwiCrate recently. For $19.95 a month (includes shipping), KiwiCrate will send you an age-appropriate craft project for your child complete with all the materials and detailed instructions. The crafts are developed by a panel of experts in child development, science, art, and education and tested by the ultimate experts: real kids.

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

Careless about the data you provide on your profile without the proper safeguards in place? Meet Take This Lollipop - a site that preys (in good fun) on people that underestimate the power of social networks and the information that can be obtained from them.

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bring on the internet of things

The more real world objects pop up that connect to the Internet, the more demand there is for network infrastructure like sensors and routers. 

Cisco has designed an infographic that offers a simple example of how Internet of Things will affect you in your everyday life. It also states that by 2020, there will be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet - everything from your body, car, alarm clock and even cows.

The number of things connected to the Internet has already exceeded the number of people on earth. So this is a big trend - and big business for Cisco and other technology companies.

via readwriteweb

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It's not what you SAY. It's what you DO that counts

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It's not what you SAY. It's what you DO that counts

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Otherwise titled:

If you’re going to a Cage Match, bring a Wrestler.

Otherwise titled:

King Kong Bundy + Social Media Week = #smwSMACKDOWN.

You may have heard a thing or to about The Social Media Week Cage Match I was involved in yesterday. In it, two teams of Social Strategy Experts (whatever that means) were asked to square off and compete on a panel by bringing strategic recommendations to 4 real-world brand-related Social PR problems in need of a good strategy and timeline for remediation..  (I’ll post a link to the case studies later today, sorry!).

Easy enough. But was baffling me was the amount of Buzz Word Bingo and Rhetoric flying around rather than practical, substantive, innovative thinking. If you follow my stream, you probably know by now I have little patience for this kind of—ahem—addouchery. It gets in the way of solving real problems, and frankly makes you sound pretty silly. So I asked my friend King Kong Bundy to come along to said Social Media Cage Match and put the #smwSMACKDOWN on anyone who got out of line. 

Dear brands, nerds, social strategy experts, agency types and people of the diginet:

Your next magical social strategy has little to do with what you execute IN social media, but rather what you do OUTSIDE of it (online or otherwise)!

The web is a mirror. A mirror that celebrates what you DO. Not what you SAY.

It imitates what people are doing and saying because it’s made up of, well, PEOPLE. Do something interesting and relevant to your target and social channels instantly becomes the place people congregate discuss, promote, applaud, and despise what you ve done.

“Twitter solutions”, “Facebook ideas” and “Influencer Strategies” Oh my! 

Blech. Social media is all too often viewed and talked about with only hyper-focus on the tools we use within it. Yes you need a “social media plan” full of “influencer programs” and “tactics that engage your target” but for the love of God, those words are no better than the Buzzword Junkie you sound like if they’re not part of an integrated approach. Execute a “Twitter Strategy” in a vacuum and you’re likely to be sitting there staring at over zealous fellow Tweeters (not your target)—or worse—an empty stream.

You want to get social? Then you better bring a gun to a gunfight…err…Wrestler to a Wrestling match. And it might not hurt if you put a tshirt on him with #smwSMACKDOWN either.

Do something relevant for your target worth talking about. That is all.

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markup any webpage - and share

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Meet MarkUp.io It lets you draw on any webpage with a variety of tools to express your thoughts, make a point or just simply edit. Just grab and drop the bookmarklet from the site to your bookmarks bar to use any time. Yes, no downloading needed! When you want to make notes on a webpage, click your bookmarklet to load the MarkUp toolbar. Publish when you’re ready to share your thoughts.

Seriously rad.  Lucky you for knowing me.  :)

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Foursquare on steroids

Psst! I Tweeted about this one today, but loved it so much I thought it was worth a post. So here y’aar. :)

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Assuming you haven’t been tweeting under a rock recently you’re prolly aware of Google’s aggressive run at the local business market. (Its Places offering and Interior store view endeavor for example). And as geolocation departs from trend to basic need and digital desire many a digerati have found themselves hunting for more out of the geo-apps they rely on. (Personally, I’ve been using Foursquare by proxy through Instagram because of its robust photo sharing feature, for example).

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Well get ready peeps! Local is heating up fast and Google isn’t the only one looking to give a simple, smart and social kick in the arse to the run of the mill location model. Meet What Spot Now. It’s bound to be on the tip of your tongue a few times this year. (And lets face it, I’m right about these things.  :) )

Unlike any other location-based app on the market, What Spot Now? combines software and hardware to help patrons both save money and discover new places to hang out – discovery not based on hearsay, but reality — through its trademarked “SpotCams” mounted inside neighborhood venues. (How flippin’ awesome would it be to get a quick stream (or photo set, even!) of a potential spot on your hit-list?) You can! If you live in Portland. :)

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WSN currently has 11 Portland locations you can view from your phone before leaving your home. Portland residents will recognize such names as Saucebox Café & Bar, Bridgeport Brewing Company: Brewpub, 23 Hoyt Restaurant & Bar, The Someday Lounge, Schmizza Pub & Grub, Backspace, On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, Bo Restobar, Bailey’s Taproom, La Costita on Barbur, and the Crown Room.

Im big on this one, Portland. You’re privy to exciting technology that might very well change the way patrons and venues think about the age-old concept of “happy hour”.

Kudos to Spotlight Mobile. WSN is a slick way to discover nearby venues and a practical alternative to the location-sharing services offered by Foursquare or Facebook. Its a sure hit if you can keep that WiFi network in place. Keep it comin’.

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Your music in the cloud

While Microsoft is trying to convince you that they actually have anything signifigant to do with the “cloud”, real apps are popping up all over the place that are changing the data crunching, access, and storage game - all remotely.

Lord knows I’ve had lots to say about music in the past.  And much of what I loved about personal music on the interwebs continues to get finger blasted by The Man.  But there are a few great apps still out there. One such app came across my radar yesterday called Mougg and it’s awesome.

With Mougg, you can upload your music to their web server and then access it from wherever you are in the world, provided you have an internet connection. With 1GB of free storage space, which is likely to grow, but even in the short term is a pretty big deal. It literally lets you access your music from anywhere. And its so easy to use, moments after you’ve created your account you are already uploaded and listening to music almost instantly.

Great, so they do “data” well. What about the interface? First of all its browser based (AND NO FLASH) - so this means you can access your library anywhere you’re connected to the internets including your IPants.  But even beyond that - the interface it kick ass. Technically speaking.  It’s beautiful to look at an use and if you’ve played with Spotify or Itunes or Rad.io (how do you say Rad.io anyway?) you’re ready to rock. If that’s what your into.

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shameless self-promotion: Tegu is LIVE!

 

Hey! Thought I’d take a quick moment to introduce you to a pet project of mine.

Meet Tegu. A startup Toy Company that I have been involved with since 2010. Tegu “the blocks that click” are green, sustainable, beautifully design pieces of art - loaded up with magnets inside. They are unassumingly cool and once you pick them up you can’t put them down. Tegu LIVE is the first outcome of our journey together as business partners.

Think of it as an online playmate and owner’s manual. Full of ideas and instruction to inspire you to create with Tegu. Having given the block to my boys, I can attest to their quality and beauty. But I can also attest to how challenging they can be! Tegu LIVE aims at helping people through the learning and creation process by making the entire think interactive.

Would love your thoughts. There’s quite an operation behind the scenes at POKE making it all happen. Stop by sometime and we’ll show you!

- Tom

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The two coolest things you'll find online today.

1. Turntube

Cross fade YouTube videos and create playlists. ‘nuff said.

2. KickAss

Bored? How about turning any webpage into an awesome time-killing totally nostalgic asteroids game. In seconds. Thought so. Try it on my site, here. Just click this: Kick Ass!

Rad, right?  Want to blow up any webpage? Drag those same words to your toolbar. Head to your favorite site. Hit the button. Bam. Yer Welcome.

<3,

me

(thanks @neonarcade for the tip on Kick Ass.)

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the coolest friggin' way to find music.

Alrighty. I was browsin’ the interwebs looking for a few new ways to discover music because welp, my collection sucks. And after a pile of usual (and not so usual suspects) I found a few that are pure awesome. Longer post on the lot of them coming, but for now meet my new favorite way of discovering music - Shuffler. Internet-radio made by music blogs. (Think Blip.fm but (you do know what Blip is, right?) but across the internet instead of locked in one site.

Huh? Think of it this way. You’re channel surfing the music web. The web is your player, bloggers are your dj’s. It’s rad. I wish I thought of it. It leverages the Mesh. It’s Simple Smart and Social. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve have some new music to go listen to.

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