Thursday, January 22, 2009

Guantanamo To Go

Great change is already afoot in the United States as our newly minted President, Barack Obama, ordered the shutdown of Guantanamo Bay, saying the orders reflect "an understanding that dates back to our Founding Fathers: that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct not just when it's easy, but also when it's hard."

You can commend Obama on his action via Amnesty International's prepared message, which also encourages him ensure that an independent commission to investigate abuses committed by the U.S. government in its "war on terror" is set up and to ensure that anyone responsible for human rights violations is held accountable."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Minding Your Microblogging Manners

My new article "Mind Your Microblogging Manners" is live on Slant, Razorfish's newsletter on the intersection of marketing and technology. (Link to PDF.)

The opening couple of paragraphs follow:
If you have any doubt about the impact of Twitter as a powerful forum for communication, talk to the folks at Motrin. In mid-November, Motrin pulled an ad aimed at mothers – or Motrin Moms – from the homepage of its Web site after scores of angry moms protested on Twitter that the ad slighted them for using baby slings. As a result, Motrin had to restructure their site after taking it down for part of the day.

Arguments followed as to whether Motrin should’ve pulled the ad or not. Perhaps, some argued,
they overreacted to a vocal, if highly organized (thanks to Twitter), minority of voices.
Regardless, the episode is another milestone in Twitter’s growth and proof of the economical
power it affords. Instead of smarting at the impact of the medium, companies would do well to
embrace it, as a powerful and economic means of Social Influence Marketing™.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Thaw - A Playlist

Trying out 8-Tracks. Not sure whether I'm a fan or not yet, but it's a replacement for Muxtape, which the RIAA put the kibosh. Of course, Favtape still lurks, which does remarkably the same orientation as Muxtape.

The 8-Track selections seem to all fade out after a sample, which quickly proves annoying. There's no explanation on the site for why this is happening. Am I missing something? Maybe they've had to scale back their functionality due to complaints from RIAA as well?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I Feel New York

Love New York, but not know what to do with her? I Feel New York is a great place to start. The site, currently in Beta, encourages you to select a mood - Naughty, Manly, Girly, Hungover, Energetic, Broke, Romantic, etc - and then offers you a few things to do, via a mashup of Google maps and some cute little icons. You can ask for invitation if you'd like to contribute to fleshing the maps out.

Cavalcade of Quotations

Doing a little winter cleaning tonight and happened to come across a string of quotations, which meant a lot to me at different times in my life. So, here they are then:

The only kind of dignity, which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others. - Dag Hammarskjöld
I place the struggle for the victory of reason and of moral values above a peace brought by their loss. - Václav Havel in Memorandum
The voice of intelligence ... is drowned by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all, it is silenced by ignorance. - Dr. Karl Menninger
Values must be acted on to incite change. - me, I think, in grad school

Friday, January 02, 2009

U.S. Department of Paranoia

Via Reuters: A Muslim family was kicked off an AirTran flight yesterday after passengers heard them talking about safest seats.

What's unclear to me is: why weren't the complaining passengers the ones kicked off the plane? After all, they were the ones creating the ruckus, not the Muslim family. Apparently, to be Muslim is to be guilty by default.