links for 2010-09-08

  • "we built everything on echoecho to optimise speed, elegance and utility to the USER – but never at the expense of the user’s privacy. The trouble is that many other social networks are optimised to give maximum value to the NETWORK (or in the case of Foursquare and Facebook Places to a venue/brand/advertiser). That’s a hell of a way to design a user experience – which is supposed to be about maximising value for the user."
  • "The latest traffic memo arrives from Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton: in it, Comscore shows that his network of sites is bigger than any newspaper online but the New York Times. That being said? "The newspapers are now the least of our competition. The inflated expectations of investors and executives may one day explode the Huffington Post. And Yahoo and AOL are in long-term decline. But they are all increasingly in our business."
  • "this month’s Tech Salon (on Thursday Sept. 23rd) is themed “Mobiles for Women & Women in Mobile” – calling attention to the growing role of mobile technology in development, and particularly the role and needs of women in this field.

    Through a mix of short presentations on projects & research, we will take a closer look at:

    How do we respond to the societal needs of women, help improve women's livelihoods, and reduce barriers to mobile phone access?
    What can we learn from the latest research and projects focused on providing services to women over mobile?
    How are gender issues represented in policymaking and design of programs in the ICT and international devlopment community?"

  • " the purpose of our contests weren’t to generate apps, but to build community. It’s to create a sustainable community of support and connection for the people who are eager to help out. The contests were an incentive model to build a long-term community of developers.

    Fortunately for government, there obviously are already communities of developers starting to form around this data. The Sunlight Labs community, for instance is ripe and open for government participation. But in my days at Sunlight Labs, there was only one .gov address subscribed to the Sunlight Labs google group (though admittedly this could be because of agency policy, and more than one agency has participated in list discussions). There will be more. But just like there is no “The Government”, there won’t be a monolithic community of developers either."

  • "Earlier this year, at TEDxSeattle, Sapna Cheryan gave a great talk about some of the stereotypes about computer science and computer scientists that may dissuade women and girls from pursuing academic and career work in the field. (You can view her talk here.) Cheryan speaks of “ambient belonging,” the idea that you can walk into an environment, look at the objects and the setting, and get a sense of whether you will fit in with the environment and with the people you imagine frequent there, of whether the environment is one in which you think you can succeed.

    Sometimes the things that tell you “you don’t belong” and “you won’t succeed” can be very subtle. Sometimes, as the comments aimed at Michelle Greer in Arrington’s article demonstrated, they are overt — and overtly hostile, at that."

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