Top Thought Posts

Breaking my personal record for Craziest Apple Store Visit

Breaking my personal record for Craziest Apple Store Visit

Yesterday, 10 minutes into my flight to Toronto, my MacBook Pro's screen died. completely and dramatically. So when I hit the ground in TO, the first thing I did was called the nearest Apple store to see if I could get into the Genius Bar for a short-term fix. All...
6 crucial police guidelines for stopping social media vigilantes

6 crucial police guidelines for stopping social media vigilantes

Yesterday, Vancouver was treated to the first court appearances by alleged participants in the 2011 Stanley Cup Riots. It was a snapshot of one of the most profound and valuable institutions in our society: a system of justice to which we have collectively delegated...
Got a pregnant friend? There could be an app for that.

Got a pregnant friend? There could be an app for that.

If you have never been more than 39 weeks pregnant, you may be under the impression that the human gestation period lasts 40 weeks. Hah!  40 weeks, it turns out, is kind of a rough overage. Some babies need to cook for a bit longer. Some babies need to cook a bit...
6 questions about the impact of social media on think tanks

6 questions about the impact of social media on think tanks

Can think tanks make a difference? That is the question framing a one-day conference at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), where I was part of a social media panel chaired by CBC’s Peter Mansbridge. My fellow panelists were Chad Gaffield...
An online cure for an unsustainable model of leadership

An online cure for an unsustainable model of leadership

Jack Layton’s death has me thinking back over many years of NDP activism, going back to the very first campaign I ever worked on: Dan Heap’s 1984 election campaign, when one of the most tireless presences in the committee room was that of Dan’s young...
Crowdsourced repression: Could it happen here?

Crowdsourced repression: Could it happen here?

The debate that is unfolding online about crowdsourced surveillance — what Christopher Parson referred to as Vancouver’s Human Flesh Search Engine — rests on two implicit assumptions. It’s time to get clear about what they are, so that people...
The Core Tenets of the Social Web, 25 years in the making

The Core Tenets of the Social Web, 25 years in the making

This post originally appeared on the Harvard Business Review. We like to think of the social web as green fields in which we are just now sowing best practices and first principles. After all, if there are no hard-and-fast rules, then anything goes. We get to come up...
Honoring the debt Canada’s connectivity owes to Chinese workers

Honoring the debt Canada’s connectivity owes to Chinese workers

When you choose a historical metaphor, you make claims on conscience as well as imagination. Canada chose to complete its national network of connectivity in November 1985, on the 100th anniversary of completing a national railway built on the hard work of ill-treated Chinese workers. The Canadian – and global — Internet is in danger of repeating that sad history.

Dittos remind us of the pleasures of obsolescence

Dittos remind us of the pleasures of obsolescence

In 1976 I was in kindergarten, and like any five-year-old looked forward to the high point of each day: the arrival of our latest ditto-ed handout. For those of you under 30, let me explain that a ditto (similar to a mimeo) was a purple-inked paper used to...