Blog

This blog rounds up my posts from around the web, including for the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal and Medium.

10 ways to save on hotels using your smartphone or tablet

I'm just back from a week-long family road trip to the Oregon Coast, Portland and Seattle. One of the great virtues of a family vacation is its ability to separate us from our screens: to wean the kids from their daily fix of PBS edutainment, to interrupt the staccato...

Facebook dating: 8 tips for pickup artists (or how to avoid them)

The slender brunette in the airport lounge had just ended a cell phone call when a young man with heavily gelled blonde hair sat down next to her. "Do you have Internet on your phone?" he asked. "I'm trying to find out the weather." "Sorry, I can't get a connection,"...

Creating a visitor’s guide to your home tech setup

One of the joys of living in a multicultural society is the experience of welcoming someone from a different heritage into your home, and introducing them to the various artifacts, practices and beliefs of your own culture. It is in this spirit that we sometimes...

13 essential ingredients for your blogging setup

Just like a city needs roads and sewers, a blog needs its own infrastructure. Until you've got the basics in place, there's no point in busting a gut to increase traffic: even if you succeed in bringing new readers to your blog, you won't keep them coming back. So...

10 challenging perspectives on social media & the Vancouver riots

The past week has been a laboratory in the power and limitations of online dialogue. While I have been troubled by the number of simplistic, hostile or unconsidered posts and comments about crowdsourcing the identification of rioters, I have more often been astounded...

Riot vigilantes speak for themselves

In the past couple of days I've heard from people who were initially enthusiastic about the crowdsourcing of rioter identification, but now see the concern with this kind of vigilantism. I'd love to take credit, but I'm not the most convincing voice in this argument....

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 can talk more...

On the dangers of crowdsourced surveillance

My blog post for Harvard Business today looks at the troubling online reaction to last night's riots in Vancouver. Reflecting on the widespread enthusiasm for using social media to track down criminals, I wrote: I don't think we want to live in a society that turns...

8 ways to beat the urgency trap in online communications

In a thoughtful post about The Pitfalls of social media, Aleksandr Voinov writes Social Media exerts pressure on us to do things immediately and respond to everything immediately. I'm not sure about you, but sometimes I like to think things through and discuss it with...

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