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The web is transforming the future of our communities, on- and offline. Whether you’re thinking about how to build a better online support system for your neighborhood or workplace, or wondering about how networks are affecting our political system, you can find resources here that will deepen your understanding and help you make a difference.

How much sharing goes on in the “sharing economy”?

February 26, 2015

How much of the sharing economy really involves sharing? It’s a question that came up first thing today at the Collaborative Economy Conference, and it’s a question that came up in a number of responses to my recent post on picking the winners and losers of the sharing economy. What we call these new forms [...]

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Picking the winners and losers of the sharing economy

February 23, 2015

Who will be the winners and losers in the sharing economy? That’s the question that’s raised — albeit indirectly — by Jeremiah Owyang’s latest blog post for the Wall Street Journal. Jeremiah and I co-authored the Vision Critical/Crowd Companies study, Sharing Is The New Buying, so I pay close attention to his work as one [...]

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What’s wrong with the Ello backlash

September 26, 2014

My latest blog post for the Harvard Business Review argues that Ello — the “it” social network of the week — is a wake-up call for businesses to re-assess their social media strategy in light of growing public concerns about privacy and ad targeting. But what about the users themselves? How are they responding to [...]

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Choosing research methods for data-driven storytelling

September 4, 2014

This blog post does not represent Vision Critical. In fact, I think some of my colleagues are going to argue with me vigorously over this one. Rigorous data gathering and analysis can get in the way of effective storytelling by non-profits. That proved to be the most controversial part of my talk today on Telling [...]

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Yelpless: What kinds of reviews get squelched by Yelp?

August 26, 2014

I’m an ardent (some might say pathological) Yelp user, and since I am incapable of putting anything in my mouth without first validating its viability on Yelp, I try to contribute back to the community by sharing my own perspectives and information, particularly on the all-important subject of artisanal ice cream. But today I got [...]

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Is the Canadian media responsible for Western Canadian alienation?

August 25, 2014

What is the root cause of Western Canadian alienation? Contrary to common arguments, it’s not because the rest of Canada fails to understand the West’s “distinct history, economy and society“, it’s not due to the National Energy Program or even (as my friend and colleague Angus Reid once noted) to the under-representation in our electoral system and [...]

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Bumper sticker conversation guide: 2×2 edition

August 17, 2014

This weekend my mind got blown a tiny bit by this unexpected combination of bumper stickers. Naturally, I facebooked the photo, and my friend Steve challenged me to fit this phenomenon into a 2×2. But as with any 2×2, the structure of the table should be determined by what it’s helping you understand…so in this [...]

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NSF Political Science cuts fail to predict the unpredictability of research

March 22, 2013

On March 20 the Senate de-funded political science grants from the National Science Foundation “except for research projects that the Director of the National Science Foundation certifies as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.” Since political science research, like most scientific research, is seldom undertaken to promote national security or [...]

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Which Facebook updates could you live without?

January 19, 2013

The beauty of being married to a man with absolutely no interest in sports is that I would remain blissfully unaware of the start of hockey season, at least until I get to the office Monday, were it not for Facebook and Twitter, which are suddenly overflowing with Canucks-related blah blah blah. That’s a problem [...]

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How to talk about tragedy online

December 15, 2012

Time out, people. In the past 24 hours we have been have been inspired, informed, comforted and mobilized by the unfolding conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. But it’s clear that we have also had moments of feeling attached, horrified, angered and shamed. So let’s take a moment to stop and think about how we [...]

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The trouble with resilience

December 14, 2012

Today’s shooting is one of those moments when time, and our hearts, break. How can we go on? How will life ever feel the same? What should shock us is not only the moment of tragedy, but how quickly tragedy fades. I remember with icy-hot clarity the morning of 9/11, and the sense that the [...]

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