Published in Online Spin, August 17th 2012
We are permission-seeking creatures. We want permission to act, to pursue, to create, to engage. We look for permission from bosses, civil authorities, spouses, parents. The concept of social proof has at its core the idea of permission: that seeing someone like us behave a certain way gives us permission to do the same.
Published in Online Spin, February 10th 2012
Tonight, I am a virgin.
I’m in attendance at Kiwi Foo: the New Zealand iteration of the seminal un-conference whose agenda is created entirely by its attendees and whose value, therefore, lies in the caliber of its guest list. As you can imagine, I felt pretty honored to get an invitation -- and tonight, as festivities kicked off, I also felt the way about-to-be-deflowered people have felt from time immemorial, wondering: “How exactly are we expected to behave here?”
Published in Online Spin, November 11th 2011
I read an article this week about email etiquette. Although, infuriatingly, I promptly misplaced the URL, and have been unable to find it anywhere in my Web history, the gist of it was that social smoothing in business emails is a total waste of time -- in fact, it can hold you back. Forget the “I hope you’re having a good day,” or the “Thanks for your reply.” Kind words are not only useless, the article postulated, they very quickly get seen as insincere and discounted if used all the time -- presumably the exact opposite of the intended effect. Instead of encouraging people to like us, we give them permission to walk all over us. People who get ahead are focused entirely on results; if we have to ruffle a few feathers along the way, so be it.
Publishing in Online Spin, September 9th 2011
New York City. The school playground. I was 12 years old. I looked across at Leslie. Wow, I thought. She's beautiful. If only I were friends with her, I bet people would like me more.
Publishing in Online Spin, September 2nd 2011
When my father died four years ago, we wanted -- as you would with your relatives -- to honor him properly. We wanted to give him not only the sendoff he deserved, but also the sendoff he would have wanted.
Published in Online Spin, August 5th 2011
My nephew is 9, and my niece has just turned 7, and I think it is fair to say without the least bit of bias that they are clearly sweet angel geniuses and the embodiment of perfection on earth. Seriously, anyone would say that; it's not just 'cause I'm their auntie.
Published in Online Spin, July 8th 2011
This week's column comes to you live from Sheffield, England, where I'm attending the annual Children's Media Conference -- and where I've been surprised and delighted to hear about multiple initiatives that are truly pushing the envelope for digital engagement and consumption.
Published in Online Spin, June 24th 2011
You cannot hide anymore.
Your fetishes will be exposed, says Brian Stelter in the New York Times this week. Your hoaxes will be outed. Your secrets will be laid bare. The Interweb's combination of ruthless inquisitiveness and infinite access to information will reveal you if you are a fraud, exonerate you if you are a hero, let your cream of wheat rise to the top and leave your chaff by the wayside.
Summary: This post has nothing to do with Missing Link. It's a contest entry that I wrote some time ago, originally posted on the VortexDNA blog, in the hopes of winning a Google-branded beer fridge. I publish it here for your entertainment.