A status update from 1940

Brynn and I went poking around Alemeda this weekend and stumbled into Pauline’s Antiques, the kind of place where you can find thick-walled whiskey glasses that were once sipped from by people who wore yellow sweaters unironically. Of course, you can find such yellow sweaters too, but what caught our attention were the unremarkable postcards scattered around the store reminiscent of a simpler time.

But one must ask himself: was it really so different then?

Superficially of course it certainly seems to like things are quite different from back then: faster, bigger, and more connected for starters.

The hallmark of this change, it would seem, is the simple status update. As more people have taken to publishing online, we the group formerly known as the audience has invariably gravitated to consuming smaller and smaller bits of content, leading to a culture of snack-sized sociality. For many of us, the status update seems distinctly modern — a sign of the times, cut from the networked medium of the age:

Status Update from 1940

But hold on. Take a closer look there.

That tweet above? It’s a fake. It’s photoshopped. I took that content from one of those postcards I found in Pauline’s shop. It was post stamped in 1940:

Postcard Back

Postcard Front

Just goes to show that the more things appear to change, the more we prove what habitual creatures we are.

…Though I don’t doubt Miss Phyllis Epstein’s reply was terse, I reckon she was ever able to reply quite so immediately:


So maybe the drive to communicate, coordinate, and group hasn’t changed much, but perhaps our ability to do so quickly, cheaply, and at an unprecedented scale has? It’s surely no surprise, but only time will tell.

Don’t make me a target

Brightkite ARG
The augmented reality view in Brightkite’s mobile app.

Brightkite, a location-tracking service, recently launched version 2.0 of their service after merging with Limbo and taking $9M in funding this past April.

In recent months I’ve found myself using Foursquare more and more, though I still update Brightkite from time to time since it powers the location status on my personal homepage. In some ways, Foursquare is to Brightkite what Twitter was to Jaiku: a more personal, streamlined experience that builds on a core activity and dispenses will all other distractions. And, through game-like mechanisms, get you to perform the core activity more regularly (i.e. mayorships in the case of Foursquare, and, up until recently, follower counts in the case of Twitter).

I bring this up because I just stumbled upon Brightkite’s advertising section of their website, and there’s some extremely interesting stuff in there!

First of all, it’s very clear that Brightkite is one of the first (at least in my experience) to be pushing their location platform as a walk-up-and-create ad platform, much in the same way that Facebook is (you can start creating your own Facebook ads here).

Like Brightkite, Facebook gives you a considerable amount of control over the targeting of your advertisement as well, which leverages Facebook’s horde of user-contributed demographic information:

Facebook Ad Targetting

But here’s where Brightkite’s platform gets interesting: this class of mobile ads — which we’ve known have been coming for some time (so-called proximity marketing) — target the individual based on their location and real-time behavior. Thus, when a user engages in some kind of action or activity tracked by Brightkite, the system can respond with an “appropriate” ad in real-time, triangulated off of a number of aspects of the user’s situation. Brightkite has enumerated the current set of attributes that they use:

  • Location and place
  • Real world behavior
  • Time of day
  • Activity
  • Demographics
  • Language
  • Content and interests
  • Weather

The only thing missing, it seems, is friends, but they could easily fit into the “content and interests” category.

Now, as a user, if Brightkite is able to leverage all this information — presuming that I’ve provided them with accurate information — the ads in their app better be friggin’ awesome.

Indeed, Brightkite’s blog post on freebies (as in, “free beer”) suggests as much, and the example they provide shows that Brady (Brightkite co-founder), having checked into the Rackhouse Pub, has just been offered a free draft or well drink:

Location-targeted ads

Hard to argue with that. But this is where things get dicey, isn’t it?

Maybe I’m reading this image wrong, but since Brady’s already in the Rackhouse Pub, why would they want to give him a free beer? Unless Brightkite is underwriting such a promo (say, to counter Foursquare’s similar promos), Rackhouse Pub wants to get OTHER people in — not just give away drinks to their current patrons.

Of course there are countless ways to spin this — for better and worse.

Word of mouth for Rackhouse Pub could skyrocket, since people would virally spread the offer to their friends through social networks — amounting to a fairly cost-effective way to “acquire” new customers, especially if Rackhouse is able to recoup the costs of its giveaway on new dine-in guests.

But it could also backfire. For the price of a free downloadable iPhone app, countless single-drink seekers could take up Rackhouse on their offer and then leave, making for a costly marketing ploy with little upside.

Who knows. It all depends on how Brightkite “pushes” this kind of information to its users.

And Brightkite et al. aren’t alone in this space. Some companies are starting to leverage location and social networks in their own apps too. For instance, the 1.1 update to the Starbucks iPhone app adds Twitter, Facebook, and location-sharing features:

Starbucks 1.1 Features hosted by Ember

Now, with all these companies offering deals and incentives, I want a piece of the action! But I don’t want to be treated like some generic, disposable target. I want to be engaged with, and respected by, companies that want my business.

We have a long way to go to make this kind of engagement simpler, but longterm, I want to be the one who manages who does and doesn’t get the right to “target” me. I don’t want to opt-out — I want companies to request the privilege of showing up on my phone, in my activity stream, or in my inbox when I ask them to, at my convenience. I want to be able to put out a list of my desires and requirements, and then have companies bid for my business. And it’s fine with me if there’s a middleman broker in the middle that takes a cut, as long as I’m getting a better deal with better service than I would have otherwise.

Is that too much to ask?

Some months back, I wrote up a vision for what I call “connected commerce“, using Comixology as a preview of where I see this going, though that service is still far too manual, anti-social, and, critically, a bottleneck between me and my preferred retailer. This is a recipe for disaster, as Apple’s App Store continues to prove.

Attention brokers, like Brightkite, therefore, need to remember their place in this ecosystem: they need to first be the friend to and advocate of the individual (their customer), and second, to the advertiser or brand. Companies that don’t get this prioritization right will fail (and is why, in some respects, Facebook continues to change its platform rules while drawing the ire of developers, because, in order to keep their users, they must ultimately continue to make their environment a safer and more trustworthy space).

Doc Searls calls this consumer-driven leverage VRM or “vendor relationship management”. I’ve been a fan of the idea, but I think it falls down on the last word: management. Big companies are willing to devote thousands and millions of dollars “managing” their customers; individuals are not. But services like Brightkite and Facebook are beginning to change that by enabling us to leverage our real-time, real-world behavior as a gating apparatus, removing the “management” requirement of VRM, and allowing us to “flow with the go”. As we invite these attention brokers into our list of recipients to whom we release increasingly contextualized and precise information about ourselves, we stand to benefit a great deal. And privacy, then, becomes a rational, economic instrument that determines whether a company gets to serve us well (based on knowing us better) or clumsily (as they make presumptions about us through circumstance rather than intentional disclosure).

Implicitly, I am already benefiting from such opt-in vendor relationships. Through Twitter, I’ve “invited” several local vendors to send me real-time updates about their offerings to me via SMS, from Luna Park around the corner to Sightglass Coffee across town. They’ve earned my trust by not spamming me, instead offering actual value and insider information, treating me as a member of their esteemed coterie.

On the surface this model doesn’t appear to scale, but that’s just a failure of imagination. Scaling up is what the web does — if you know how to embrace it. By giving individuals more control over their experience and over the kinds of data that they can share, the need to “target” (in the military sense), recedes. Instead, opportunity emerges from being available, on-demand, and ubiquitous. Attention aggregators and identity providers can then broker relationships on behalf of their customers, and both parties will, ideally, end up with a better experience, and stronger, enduring relationships.

I hope Brightkite and Foursquare and the other location-based services keep this in mind. In as much as we let them broker our attention, they work for us — and not the other way around.

Umair Haque’s Awesomeness Manifesto

Umair Haque at Next ConferenceI don’t always agree with Umair Haque, a Harvard economist, though many of his ideas resonate with my own experience on the web. And I can imagine that much of his message comes across as rather radical to his audience, so I’ll cut him some slack if he has a tendency to wax revolutionary when he talks about the social web.

Still, I find his “Awesomeness Manifesto” actually useful, if only because it’s an argument against innovation as we commonly think of it.

His point echos a common refrain among many of the web’s independent progeny of late (consider Tim O’Reilly’s “work on stuff that matters” first principles, including the invocation to “create more value than you capture”, and 37 Signals’ recent rants on the “VC-induced cancer that’s infecting our industry and killing off the next generation“). As it happens, innovation for the sake of itself can really be rather damaging if we never arrive at a point of stability and equilibrium — enabling us to benefit from — or at least consider in a broader context — the advances we’ve made.

In other words, innovation at all costs is just that: at all costs.

To counter this myopic obsession with the superficially novel, Haque describes four pillars of awesomeness (which I won’t detail here — read his post):

These are much more squishy, feminine qualities. These traits show up where diversity and balance are valued. But, contrary to Haque’s implicit suggestion, I don’t believe that we should just pendulum in this direction. Instead, like kneading bread or stirring a risotto (can you tell Brynn and I’ve been cooking lately?), I believe that we need to constantly pay attention to and work at this mix. It’s not one or the other — we’re post-zero sum economics even if our definitions of success haven’t caught up yet.

Haque closes thusly:

Let’s summarize. What is awesomeness? Awesomeness happens when thick — real, meaningful — value is created by people who love what they do, added to insanely great stuff, and multiplied by communities who are delighted and inspired because they are authentically better off. That’s a better kind of innovation, built for 21st century economics.

I’ve talked to many boardrooms about awesomeness. Beancounters feel challenged and threatened by it, because it feels fuzzy and imprecise. Yet, it’s anything but. Gen M knows “awesomeness” when we see it — that’s why its part of our vernacular. It’s a precise concept, with meaning, depth, and resonance.

What makes some stuff awesome and other stuff merely (yawn) innovative? I’ve outlined my answers, but they’re far from the best, or even the only ones — so add your own thoughts in the comments.

You might be innovative — but are you awesome? For most, the answer is: no. Game over: in the 21st century, if you’re merely innovative, prepare to be disrupted by awesomeness.

Does Haque’s manifesto resonate with you? If so, how? If not, why not?

What can dogs tell us about the real-time web?

Ticka's nose by Jimmy
Ticka’s nose by Jimmy

Did you know that a beagle’s nose has 300 million receptor sites? Humans, in contrast, have about six million. And that changes everything in a dog’s perception of the world. It also explains why they sniff and snort as much as they do and have such a preoccupation with other dogs’ pee.

I discovered this and other fascinating doggie facts reading Cathleen Schine’s book review of Alexandra Horowitz’s “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know“, published in the New York Times.

When Marshall Kirkpatrick called me today to discuss his upcoming ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit and report, I used some of these tidbits to help explain the changes I see coming with the emergence of the real-time web.

Specifically, in the document-centric era of the web, humans largely adapted their behavior to fit the speed of the network, and chunked their thoughts into discreet, long-lived static blog posts and documents. But, as we’re seeing, Gutenberg’s reach into the web can only extend so far: the mores of physical media shall eventually give way to the seeping tendencies of data in the networked age.

If the speed of thinking — and the shape of our thoughts — have previously been confined to 93.5 square inches (the area of an eight and half by eleven sheet of paper), then our perception of reality must adjust to the scale of the web — to draw a comparison, as though we expanded our olfactory centers from 6 to 300 million.

Consider one consequence of “the mechanics of the canine snout”:

People have to exhale before we can inhale new air. Dogs do not. They breath in, then their nostrils quiver and pull the air deeper into the nose as well as out through side slits. Specialized photography reveals that the breeze generated by dog exhalation helps to pull more new scent in. In this way, dogs not only hold more scent in at once than we can, but also continuously refresh what they smell, without interruption, the way humans can keep “shifting their gaze to get another look.”

Imagine that we were able to interpret information at the scale and rapidity that dogs parse scent. That’s where we need to go.

To put this into perspective, consider how long it takes you to read one page of text; three minutes? Five? If we had the equivalent of a dog’s sense of smell for our ability to consume information, we’d be able to consume FIFTY pages of information in the same amount of time that it takes us to currently consume ONE. (For shits and giggles, if you printed the Internet, it would take up around 700 square miles of US letter-sized pages).

The dog’s nose, therefore, is perfectly adapted to consume vast quantities of information by scent. In order to cope with the real-time era of the web, we must imagine a similar augmentation of our own knowledge processing abilities if we’re to cope with the deluge.

In the real-time era, information is no longer restricted to an arbitrary number of words that fit on a page — let alone the kind of structures that were given to such proportions. Now, it is our capacity to consume and process information efficiently and effectively that limits us — partly explaining why we’re struggling to cope with all these “distractions”. Our brains are just doing what they were designed to do: process an intermittent flow of incomplete information and make rough cost-benefit calculations of possible decisions, while mitigating risk.

Lest we be overcome with information, we crave resolution and action. The crisis of the real-time web is how we confront an unending stream of undifferentiated information that all seems equally important and immediate, paralyzing us. In these cases, failing our own intrinsic resources, we look to surrogates (parents or other authority figures — celebrities suffice) to help us discard irrelevant information and get to the good stuff. We look to their reassurance to help us make a decision.

And this is why filters — natural, artificial, or social — will be so important in the real-time web.

As advanced as we think we are, our animal brains are just not adapted for this kind of environment. And we’re going to need help — as well as new thinking.

To reinforce this point, let’s return to our canine friends.

Contrary to what “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan claims, dogs are not pack animals — at least not in the way that wolves are. Schine writes:

[…] Countering the currently fashionable alpha dog “pack theories” of dog training, Horowitz notes that “in the wild, wolf packs consist almost entirely of related or mated animals. They are families, not groups of peers vying for the top spot. . . . Behaviors seen as ‘dominant’ or ‘submissive’ are used not in a scramble for power; they are used to maintain social unity.”

The idea that a dog owner must become the dominant member by using jerks or harsh words or other kinds of punishment, she writes, “is farther from what we know of the reality of wolf packs and closer to the timeworn fiction of the animal kingdom with humans at the pinnacle, exerting dominion over the rest. Wolves seem to learn from each other not by punishing each other but by observing each other.”

So just as we must shake such ingrained, patriarchic theories in animal biology, we must also reconsider the models we have for thinking about, understand, and relate to information in the flow of activity streams.

Dogs are able to consume vast quantities of information by scent — and that means that their perception of reality is fundamentally different from ours. Will we ever know what it’s like to smell a rose with 50 times more receptors? No, probably not — nor is it clear that we’ll be able to augment our native cognitive abilities to consume information 50 times faster than we do today. And yet the real-time web relentlessly marches forth, promising a massive shift in both our access and ability to cope with such huge amounts of data.

Presuming that we keep the brains we have, this has huge ramifications for interaction and user experience design. We cannot simply apply document-based interfaces to this new, more rapid and fluid space. Instead, we need to take inspiration from the field of game design (Halo would suck if it operated at anything less than real-time); we need to think about how social search fits in and can augment our ability to filter information and make better decisions; we need to consider how one can effectively project intentions onto the web to receive better, faster, automatic service, as Doc Searls’ Project VRM proposes; we need to take advantage of the always-on human network, as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Q & A service Aardvark do; and we should embrace the natural and native speed that comes with a more conversational and people-centric web.

If this review got me to realize anything, it’s that we should be careful about applying familiar and comfortable rubrics to the nature of information flows on the real-time web. Our brains are powerful and incredibly plastic, but the quantities of information available on the real-time web may bring us to the limit of our current cognitive abilities. Our challenge as designers, developers, and innovators, is therefore either to modify the environment around us, or build new tools and methods that make will us 50 times more capable of confronting this emerging reality.

I, for one, welcome our half-human, half-robot overlords in the cloud

Amazon RemembersI suppose every now and then you run up against some kind of technological experience and think, “Wow, that’s amazing.”

This doesn’t happen to me all that often. I’m so enmeshed in technology and the web that by the time some technology is deployed deep enough in the wild that I randomly encounter it, it’s already passé — old news — and entirely unsurprising. Rare is the moment when I think, “Wow, this really changes things.”

However, I had one of those experiences today, and it’s particularly compelling for two reasons: the realization of the alignment of so many different contemporary “advances” (technological, cultural and social) and the coincidence of a particular news story which I’ll turn to momentarily.

So what happened?

Well, Brynn and I went to a physical OfficeMax store, determined to buy some kind of corkboard or dry-erase board for our new home office (which we’ve dubbed “The War Room”). Simple enough, and you’d think that a place like OfficeMax would be able to help.

Apparently we were wrong. Between the shoddy made-in-some-third-world-country quality of the products to the clerks whose eyes screamed “I’m going to kill myself with a ballpoint pen in the eye if you ask me a question”, OfficeMax was at once the most depressing and hapless places I have ever shopped. Even worse than KB Toys. Yes, it was that bad.

Ultimately we found what we were looking for, except that every single board was damaged in some way. When we reluctantly asked the clerk if there were any more in storage, he seemed to shrug absentmindedly, as though such damage was par for the course.

Frustrated, I decided to take a picture of our discovery to see what Amazon might later offer us. I didn’t just use my iPhone’s Camera app — no no! — instead I launched the Amazon.com app and used a feature called “Amazon Remembers” — a clever little twist on their Wish List feature that lets you take a photo of something to remember it later.

And then the magic began.

You see, once you take a photo and save it, it’s automatically compressed and uploaded to Amazon. It’s saved for you to retrieve later, but lo, they also ship off a copy to Mechanical Turk, so some busybody on the interwebs can come along and complete what’s known as a HIT (or “Human Intelligence Tasks”) and identify the product that you’ve snapped, sending you a link to the product on Amazon.com. Within minutes.

Of course you can imagine who’s getting my business in this situation.

But let’s think about this for a moment!

What I find so incredible about this experience is how commonplace it feels — how downright banal it seems to me to be able to take a photo of a product (with a cell phone), upload it over a cellular network (EDGE no less!), have it be put into a queue where humans are waiting to do something to the photo (at pennies on the dollar, mind you), whose output — in a fraction of the time it might have taken me to perform the same task — will be returned to me in the form of a hyperlinked product that I can add to my cart and have shipped directly to my doorstep — free with Amazon Prime.

The cynical among us might call this the ultimate in instant gratification; others might think of this as merely modern convenience in a globally-connected, cloudy world. Frankly, it’s a bit of both. But I also think of it as the best example of what I’ve called “connected commerce” — with a splash of Web 2.0’s “networks get better the more people use them” adage thrown in for good measure.

So, let’s turn to that piece of news that I mentioned.

TerminatorAs it happened, on our drive over to OfficeMax, I heard a rather disturbing segment on the BBC that announced that Australia and the US have decided to jointly launch a contest to fund the development of autonomous military robots for fighting in tight, urban environments.

The MatrixAs the announcer put it: “the winning design must demonstrate the ability to neutralize the enemy.” Or as Zack de la Rocha said it best: And neutralize them. And neutralize them. And neutralize them.

I mean, we’ve seen this movie before, right? Did these guys not get the memo or something? (Or did they?!)

In any case, here is this personal encounter that I had— exemplified by leveraged social media against the commercial experience — starkly juxtaposed against a much more ominous, darkly situation — where robots fight in place of humans — doing the so-called “dirty work” — in situations where it is presumably becoming increasingly expedient to use non-human agents to neutralize human dissenters! What if such technology were brought to bear in China or Iran? What would the Twitterverse have to say then?

Any way you slice it, it is clear that the technology that we create — and are engaged in creating — remains ambivalent about the fate of humankind.

How we, as individuals, choose to apply the technology still makes all the difference. The consequences of our decisions resonate. Just like those who originally investigated, researched and developed the technology that made nuclear weapons possible — those of us who make possible robotics, neural networks, smart, geo-positioned social networks and sentient, sensing computing apparati will someday be faced with a similar dilemma: do we continue to doggedly pursue the modern, human-benefitting conveniences that many people increasingly and blindly rely upon? Are they worth seeing through to their logical, amoral conclusions — regardless of outcome on civil society — or do we, at some point, say STOP!, and leave well enough alone?

It should come as no surprise that my presumption is we are past the point of stopping — that Daniel Quinn wasn’t wrong — he just didn’t capture the spirit broadly. The rules change over time. More importantly, we will be forced to cope with what we have wrought — as part of the unconscious effort to realize the full potential of social and commercial technology.

Of course this alarms me greatly, but it’s nothing I didn’t already know.

In the meantime, I’m tickled pink to outfit “The War Room” with a new magnetic, dry-erase whiteboard, shipped in pristine condition and scheduled to arrive no later than Thursday of this week. I can’t even begin to imagine all the great ideas I’ll come up with on the thing.

Michael Moore’s advice to Obama on General Motors

Roger & meMichael Moore is a polarizing figure with a mild-mannered way of suggesting some rather far-fetched, ultra-liberal ideas. I find myself often feeling swayed by his emphaticness but more often than not, unconvinced by the logic of his arguments.

That said, he does from time to time incite a good deal of discourse and discussion, and on the cusp of the bankruptcy of General Motors, he sent around his suggestions to Barack Obama on what should be done with the company, and so I thought I’d reproduce his nine points here, since I largely agree with them:

  1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

    We are now in a different kind of war — a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call “cars” may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

    The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn’t give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true — that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

    President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

  2. Don’t put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars. Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce — and most of those who have been laid off — employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.
  3. Announce that we will have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in the next five years. Japan is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first bullet train this year. Now they have dozens of them. Average speed: 165 mph. Average time a train is late: under 30 seconds. They have had these high speed trains for nearly five decades — and we don’t even have one! The fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A. in 17 hours by train, and that we haven’t used it, is criminal. Let’s hire the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country. Chicago to Detroit in less than two hours. Miami to DC in under 7 hours. Denver to Dallas in five and a half. This can be done and done now.
  4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.
  5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.
  6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries). It will take a few years for people to get used to the new ways to transport ourselves, so if we’re going to have automobiles, let’s have kinder, gentler ones. We can be building these next month (do not believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories — that simply isn’t true).
  7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.
  8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.
  9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them.

Well, that’s a start. Please, please, please don’t save GM so that a smaller version of it will simply do nothing more than build Chevys or Cadillacs. This is not a long-term solution. Don’t throw bad money into a company whose tailpipe is malfunctioning, causing a strange odor to fill the car.

The open, social web

I was in Europe for the past week and half, ending up in Leuven, Belgium to speak at the Twiist.be conference. The topic of my talk was “The Open, Social Web.” (PDF)

At first I struggled to develop a compelling or sensible narrative for the talk — as there is so much to it that I could probably give a dozen or more 45 minutes talks on the subject. With some long-distance encouragement from Brynn, I eventually arrived at the topic I wanted to cover that lead to a conclusion that has largely been implicit in my work so far.

Continue reading The open, social web