Design Inspiration: Brochure Design Showcase

Brochures are an important marketing material for many companies. A well-designed and professional-looking brochure can go along way towards an effective marketing campaign. In this post we’ll showcase 45 brochures from various designers (via the Behance Network). If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source. At the source, in many cases, you will see multiple images of the brochure.


Brochures are an important marketing material for many companies. A well-designed and professional-looking brochure can go along way towards an effective marketing campaign. In this post we’ll showcase 45 brochures from various designers (via the Behance Network). If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source. At the source, in many cases, you will see multiple images of the brochure.

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design

Brochure Design Leer más “Design Inspiration: Brochure Design Showcase”

Keynotopia Wireframing Set: Free Wireframing Templates for Apple Keynote

Lately, Apple Keynote has been gaining popularity among designers as a wireframing and prototyping tool. Features like multiple slide masters, styles, grouping, animation and hyperlinks make it ideal for crafting interactive prototypes and UI narratives. Today’s freebie, Keynotopia, is a free set of interface elements for Keynote that makes it possible for anyone to create these prototypes in minutes. All elements are hand-crafted in Apple Keynote, and organized in nested groups for easier manipulation and customization. The templates can be used in Keynote 09 and 08 and are designed by Amir Khella.


Lately, Apple Keynote has been gaining popularity among designers as a wireframing and prototyping tool. Features like multiple slide masters, styles, grouping, animation and hyperlinks make it ideal for crafting interactive prototypes and UI narratives. Today’s freebie, Keynotopia, is a free set of interface elements for Keynote that makes it possible for anyone to create these prototypes in minutes. All elements are hand-crafted in Apple Keynote, and organized in nested groups for easier manipulation and customization. The templates can be used in Keynote 09 and 08 and are designed by Amir Khella. Leer más “Keynotopia Wireframing Set: Free Wireframing Templates for Apple Keynote”

What Are BP, Apple, Amazon, and Others Spending on Google Advertising?

Much of the list, which covers the month of June 2010, will be of no surprise to anyone that uses Google Search regularly (which is pretty much everyone): AT&T spends ridiculous amounts of money, as do Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), Amazon, and Expedia. It’s worthwhile to note that some of AT&T’s $8.08 million budget was probably due to the launch of the wireless carrier’s biggest product of the year, the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple itself spent slightly less than $1 million, which puts the company in the upper echelon of Google spending but not all that close to the top. 47 companies spent over $1 million, so Apple was, at best, in the top 50. That’s indicative one of the more interesting revelations in the report: Google’s search ads revenue is the product of dozens of different advertisers, none of whom dominate. The top ten advertisers only accounted for about 5% of Google’s total revenue, and the biggest spender, AT&T, didn’t even snag 1% by itself.


BY Dan Nosowitz

Google is typically very secretive about the specifics of its search revenue. I can’t actually recall any other leak quite like this one, in which the budgets of specific companies are laid out–kudos to AdAge for snagging the internal document with such rarely seen information.

Much of the list, which covers the month of June 2010, will be of no surprise to anyone that uses Google Search regularly (which is pretty much everyone): AT&T spends ridiculous amounts of money, as do Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), Amazon, and Expedia. It’s worthwhile to note that some of AT&T’s $8.08 million budget was probably due to the launch of the wireless carrier’s biggest product of the year, the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple itself spent slightly less than $1 million, which puts the company in the upper echelon of Google spending but not all that close to the top. 47 companies spent over $1 million, so Apple was, at best, in the top 50. That’s indicative one of the more interesting revelations in the report: Google’s search ads revenue is the product of dozens of different advertisers, none of whom dominate. The top ten advertisers only accounted for about 5% of Google’s total revenue, and the biggest spender, AT&T, didn’t even snag 1% by itself. Leer más “What Are BP, Apple, Amazon, and Others Spending on Google Advertising?”

[ARG] Marcos Aguinis: “Hoy el mayor monopolio de prensa está en manos de la pareja presidencial”

Para Aguinis, la renovada embestida K contra el periodismo tiene un objetivo claro: “Los Kirchner quieren convertir a la República Argentina en una Santa Cruz, a la que robaron y controlaron sin pudor. Su talento no da para otra cosa”.

¿Cómo analiza la última ofensiva del Gobierno contra la prensa?
Es lamentable. Un retroceso del arduo camino hacia una mejor democracia. Manejado con prepotencia y mentiras. Fíjese que quien iba a “comandar la verdad” es nada menos que Moreno, quien ha degradado al Indec y se ha convertido en el funcionario más prepotente y desacreditado del Gobierno. Tras semejante papelón, ahora el Gobierno espera que el proceso legislativo vaya bajando la temperatura y las cosas empiecen a olvidarse.

Se esperaba que los Kirchner anunciaran la intervención de Papel Prensa. ¿Por qué cree que dieron marcha atrás y enviaron en su lugar un proyecto al Congreso para controlar la producción de papel?
Ante la imposibilidad de imponer su mentirosa versión, optaron por este largo camino, que no llevará a ninguna parte. El periodista (Jorge) Lanata ha dicho muy bien que en vez de dedicar 70 minutos a decir vaguedades e infundios destinados a socavar la libertad de expresión, la Presidenta se hubiera dedicado a analizar la pobreza. Pero la pobreza, para este Gobierno “progresista”, es una cantera de votos, por eso quiere que perdure… o que aumente.

Después de las desmentidas de Isidoro Graiver y la hija de Lidia Papaleo, ¿cómo quedan parados los Kirchner? ¿Pagarán un costo político por esto?
Ya lo están pagando. Pero no es muy grande, porque a gran parte de la población este asunto no le interesa. Es el mismo Gobierno quien dio al asunto demasiada relevancia. Hasta se han filtrado las graves disputas que dividen el mismo frente interno del kirchnerismo, que sigue en bajada.

¿El matrimonio presidencial quiere trasladar la política que aplicó a los medios santacruceños a los medios nacionales?
Tal cual. Su talento no da para otra cosa, quieren convertir a la República Argentina en una Santa Cruz, a la que robaron y controlaron sin pudor.


El escritor Marcos Aguinis asegura que los Kirchner pretenden imponer en la Argentina el modelo que aplicaron en Santa Cruz para silenciar a la prensa independiente. Y los acusa de usar la bandera de los Derechos Humanos en su propio beneficio. También insta a la oposición a comprometerse en un programa de consenso para ganar en 2011.

por Micaela Pérez

Irónico, mordaz, valiente, implacable. A Marco Aguinis no le tiembla el pulso -basta un rápido recorrido por su extensa bibliografía para comprobarlo-, pero tampoco la voz, a la hora de retratar su pensamiento acerca del particular momento institucional que atraviesa el país.

El prolífico escritor, médico y psicoanalista -autor, entre otros libros, de La cruz invertida y El atroz encanto de ser argentinos – prepara para fin de año el lanzamiento editorial de una recopilación de todos sus cuentos. Pero sus ocupaciones literarias, claro, no le restan tiempo para sentarse a analizar la compleja coyuntura local y responder a las preguntas de Weekend.

“Es lamentable. Un retroceso del arduo camino hacia una mejor democracia. Manejado con prepotencia y mentiras”, reflexiona, con fastidio, sobre el polémico informe “Papel Prensa. La verdad” que el gobierno nacional presentó con bombos y platillos la semana pasada en la Casa Rosada, en su intento por justificar, quizá, su jugada más audaz contra la prensa independiente desde que llegó al poder en 2003. Informe que, hay que decir, a las pocas horas de ver la luz quedó por lo menos en tela de juicio, tras la declaración de Isidoro Graiver desmintiendo ante la Justicia el “relato oficial” sobre la supuesta “apropiación ilegal” de las acciones de Papel Prensa durante la última dictadura militar. Leer más “[ARG] Marcos Aguinis: “Hoy el mayor monopolio de prensa está en manos de la pareja presidencial””

Belgian broadcasters try kneecapping DVRs, demand compensation

Belgians are probably most interested in knowing whether their country will survive its strife between the French and Flemish-Dutch speaking groups, or whether it will break apart into separate nations. Here at Ars, however, we’re more interested in the country’s peculiarities with respect to copyright law and broadband technology (and, of course, Belgium’s wide variety of beers and chocolate). We recently wrote about Belgian bandwidth hogs, and in the past on ISPs having to filter P2P and newspapers suing Google News. This week it’s Belgian broadcasters seeking to cripple Digital Video Recorders and get compensation for their introduction.

Ars got hold of a letter addressed to cable provider Telenet, a letter in which compensation and technical crippling of the DVR were demanded. A similar letter went to Belgacom, another cable TV provider. This letter, kindly provided to us by Inside TV International, was jointly written by the CEOs of the three Flemish broadcasters.


Belgians are probably most interested in knowing whether their country will survive its strife between the French and Flemish-Dutch speaking groups, or whether it will break apart into separate nations. Here at Ars, however, we’re more interested in the country’s peculiarities with respect to copyright law and broadband technology (and, of course, Belgium’s wide variety of beers and chocolate). We recently wrote about Belgian bandwidth hogs, and in the past on ISPs having to filter P2P and newspapers suing Google News. This week it’s Belgian broadcasters seeking to cripple Digital Video Recorders and get compensation for their introduction.

Ars got hold of a letter addressed to cable provider Telenet, a letter in which compensation and technical crippling of the DVR were demanded. A similar letter went to Belgacom, another cable TV provider. This letter, kindly provided to us by Inside TV International, was jointly written by the CEOs of the three Flemish broadcasters. Leer más “Belgian broadcasters try kneecapping DVRs, demand compensation”

10 Terminal Commands That Will Boost Your Productivity

Back in May, Nettuts+ ran a great article entitled ”7 Simple and Useful Command-Line Tips”; this was a great article for getting started with using the command line. But there’s a lot more you can learn about using a shell, and I’ll take you to the next level in this tutorial!

Getting Started

If you’re running Mac OS X, or your favourite flavour Linux, you’re all set. Just fire up the terminal, and keep going. If you’re on Windows, well, the default command set isn’t quite what a bash shell is. If you want some power, check out Microsoft PowerShell; however, the commands below won’t necessarily work there. You can get a bash shell on Windows, though:

* Install Cygwim, a Linux-like environment for Windows.
* Install msysgit; depending on the options you choose when installing, you’ll get a Git Bash that should work will all these commands.
* Try Windows’ subsystem for Unix-based applications. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I understand you can get a Unix shell with it.

All right, let’s hop in!


10 Terminal Commands That Will Boost Your Productivity

Back in May, Nettuts+ ran a great article entitled ”7 Simple and Useful Command-Line Tips”; this was a great article for getting started with using the command line. But there’s a lot more you can learn about using a shell, and I’ll take you to the next level in this tutorial!


Getting Started

If you’re running Mac OS X, or your favourite flavour Linux, you’re all set. Just fire up the terminal, and keep going. If you’re on Windows, well, the default command set isn’t quite what a bash shell is. If you want some power, check out Microsoft PowerShell; however, the commands below won’t necessarily work there. You can get a bash shell on Windows, though:

  • Install Cygwim, a Linux-like environment for Windows.
  • Install msysgit; depending on the options you choose when installing, you’ll get a Git Bash that should work will all these commands.
  • Try Windows’ subsystem for Unix-based applications. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I understand you can get a Unix shell with it.

All right, let’s hop in! Leer más “10 Terminal Commands That Will Boost Your Productivity”

Analyse your Facebook Friends with Friends Chart from Docs.com


by Nirmal

Recently we had covered a feature of Docs.com where you could create a simple resume with the work and education information on your Facebook account. If you have large number of friends in your Facebook account, you can now easily analyse your friend mix based on gender, age, and location. Docs.com allows you to create a Friends Chart based on the information of your friends available in Facebook.

facebook_logo

Docs.com will access your friends’ Facebook profile information to instantly create a formatted and editable Friends Chart. To create this chart, log into Docs.com and then select Chart your Friends option. Leer más “Analyse your Facebook Friends with Friends Chart from Docs.com”

Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?

Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application.

I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together.

I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it.

But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it.

The fire behind the idea had officially died.

***

There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head.

It can be draining to develop an idea from start to finish. Most people don’t understand that ideas truly become a labor of love after a certain point. Finishing isn’t a goal; it’s a quest.


by Glen Stansberry

Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application.

I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together.

I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it.

But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it.

The fire behind the idea had officially died.

***

There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head.

It can be draining to develop an idea from start to finish. Most people don’t understand that ideas truly become a labor of love after a certain point. Finishing isn’t a goal; it’s a quest. Leer más “Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?”

No Child Left Creative?

Newsweek recently drew attention to the “creativity crisis” in the United States. In fact, a look at the results of E. Paul Torrance’s well-known creativity test – or “CQ test” – reveals a startling downward trend. According to Newsweek:

“Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. ‘It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,’ Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America – from kindergarten through sixth grade – for whom the decline is ‘most serious.’”

Many of the professions that today’s younger generations will have don’t even exist yet. Which is why it’s so important to ensure that young men and women are versatile, confident thinkers who bring originality and insight to everything they do. That’s the goal of InspirUS, and it should be the goal of every school around the world.


by Kevin Roberts

No Child Left Creative?I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the idea of creative leadership. In a recent survey of 1500 CEOs conducted by IBM, a majority identified creativity as the most important characteristic for a leader to possess.

For anyone who has ever been at the helm of a large organization, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The world is increasingly complex, and the problems that we will face in the coming decades will be nearly impossible to anticipate. We need leaders who can turn on a dime and use what is available to them to construct successful, innovative solutions.

This is one of the many reasons that I’m such a proud supporter of the InspirUS program at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. As I’ve mentioned many times before, InspirUS is a 10-week educational program for gifted students. It emphasizes creative thinking, problem-solving and understanding over rote memorization.

As we often say in the InspirUS program, the world needs more innovative leaders and creative thinkers, not more trivia experts.

This philosophy is becoming more widely adopted across Europe. In fact, 2009 was designated “The European Year of Creativity and Innovation,” by the European Union. The initiative aimed “to raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation for personal, social and economic development.” Leer más “No Child Left Creative?”

11 Herbs and Creative Strategic Thinking

Kentucky Fried Chicken is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a promotional discount offer. A literally-oriented marketer (if they’re at least somewhat strategic), would be thinking about, “What can we do with 70 in a promotion?” 70 pieces of chicken? 70% discount? 70 cents off? None of those really work.

Another number important to KFC is eleven – the number of herbs and spices in its original recipe. Less literal than 70 in the context of this offer, it’s still a strategically and creatively important number for the brand. A literal marketer might get to 11 pieces for $11 because it’s direct and straight-forward. Yet, that’s not the ultimate offer. Instead, it’s 11 pieces of chicken for $11.99. Sure 99 might not be connected to the KFC brand. A strategic, non-literal marketer, however, wouldn’t be stopped by that because adding the 99 cents to the price increases revenue per item by 9%


by Mike Brown

11 Herbs and Creative Strategic ThinkingBuilding on a recent post on branding warning signals, in the Brainzooming world view, creativity and creative exploration are integral to developing successful strategy. Yet in the last few years, I’ve run across many marketers gravitating toward incredibly literal – not lateral – thinking. This may reflect a crappy economy and job market where people want to follow exactly what they’re told or pick the safest path to minimize the perceived risk of being fired for pushing beyond the status quo or implementing a strategy with some room for maneuver (and potential risk) in it.

The real downsides to literal thinking arise in ho-hum strategies and uninspired customers. It’s my firm belief literal thinking also results in inferior financial performance. Outside of direct marketing strategies, however, it can be tough to demonstrate the financial downside of play-it-safe marketing. Leer más “11 Herbs and Creative Strategic Thinking”

Look to Nature for a Creative Breakthrough

This is the first in a series of creative thinking techniques — simple ways you can spark new insights, ideas, and ahas. The techniques are excerpted from my award-winning book, Awake at the Wheel.

Leonardo DaVinci got his idea for the airplane by watching birds in flight.

The creators of Kung Fu developed many of their techniques by watching animals fight.

The pharmaceutical industry develops many of its “miracle cures” by studying the natural healing properties of herbs and plants.

Bottom line, nature is a great source of breakthrough ideas.

The secret for meeting your biggest challenge, in fact, may have already been worked out thousands of years ago by a cockroach.


by Mitch Ditkoff

Look to Nature for a Creative BreakthroughThis is the first in a series of creative thinking techniques — simple ways you can spark new insights, ideas, and ahas. The techniques are excerpted from my award-winning book, Awake at the Wheel.

Leonardo DaVinci got his idea for the airplane by watching birds in flight.

The creators of Kung Fu developed many of their techniques by watching animals fight.

The pharmaceutical industry develops many of its “miracle cures” by studying the natural healing properties of herbs and plants.

Bottom line, nature is a great source of breakthrough ideas.

The secret for meeting your biggest challenge, in fact, may have already been worked out thousands of years ago by a cockroach. Leer más “Look to Nature for a Creative Breakthrough”

Sun Tzu on Sourcing

Is there nothing new under the sun?

Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese general. His Art of War is the oldest military treatise in the world.

He thought spies were an essential part of war — and where is Sourcecon being held in 2010?

At the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. (on September 28 and 29).

When I saw that, it made me want to go back to Sun Tzu and see if there is anything he can tell us about intelligence gathering today.

Here’s what I found: economics.

This is the first thing Sun Tzu says about spies. (Chapter 13:1)

Raising 100,000 men and marching them a long distance will bring heavy losses and drain the resources of the state.

Men will drop exhausted on the highways.

It will cost 1,000 ounces of silver a day.

There will be problems at home and abroad.

Up to 700,000 families will be negatively affected.

Waging war costs money. It uses up your resources. It takes people away from their regular jobs.

So, one of Sun Tzu’s major goals was to avoid war altogether or reduce the cost and an essential part of his strategy was the use of spies.

He said that a wise general will use “the highest intelligence of the army for spying.” (13:27).

Here’s the reason. If a spy can identify the most important targets and tell you how to get to them, it spares you the cost of throwing a big army into the fray without knowing exactly where you’re going.

So, in effect the spy leads the army. She tells the generals where to go.

Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army’s ability to move. (13:27)

How does this relate to recruiting? Well, what are the options? If you put an ad on a job board, you’ll get a ton of resumes. Most of them are going to be irrelevant, but your recruiters will have to spend time sorting them out.

The person you’re after, however, might not even be looking for a job. She might not be searching the job boards and it’s likely that no one is telling her about the ad either. So, all of your time is wasted, the job remains unfilled, and the required work remains undone.

On the other hand, you can hire a sourcer who will go out and identify good people and then the recruiter can call them.

Which path is most likely to reach the right targets faster? And which is going to be cheaper in the end?

Sun Tzu says that:

Hostile armies can face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of 100 ounces of silver in honors and payments, is the height of inhumanity. (13:2)

And what is the most important kind of intelligence? According to Sun Tzu, names.

Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm a city, or to assassinate an individual, it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants, the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers and sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these. (13:20)

Cheaping out on the cost of a sourcer is only going to postpone, sometimes at great cost, your opportunity to meet the people you’re pursuing.
Types of Spies…


Sun-tzu

Is there nothing new under the sun?

Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese general. His Art of War is the oldest military treatise in the world.

He thought spies were an essential part of war — and where is Sourcecon being held in 2010?

At the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. (on September 28 and 29).

When I saw that, it made me want to go back to Sun Tzu and see if there is anything he can tell us about intelligence gathering today.

Here’s what I found: economics.

This is the first thing Sun Tzu says about spies. (Chapter 13:1)

Raising 100,000 men and marching them a long distance will bring heavy losses and drain the resources of the state.

Men will drop exhausted on the highways.

It will cost 1,000 ounces of silver a day.

There will be problems at home and abroad.

Up to 700,000 families will be negatively affected.

Waging war costs money. It uses up your resources. It takes people away from their regular jobs.

So, one of Sun Tzu’s major goals was to avoid war altogether or reduce the cost and an essential part of his strategy was the use of spies.

He said that a wise general will use “the highest intelligence of the army for spying.” (13:27).

Here’s the reason. If a spy can identify the most important targets and tell you how to get to them, it spares you the cost of throwing a big army into the fray without knowing exactly where you’re going.

So, in effect the spy leads the army. She tells the generals where to go.

Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army’s ability to move. (13:27)

How does this relate to recruiting? Well, what are the options? If you put an ad on a job board, you’ll get a ton of resumes. Most of them are going to be irrelevant, but your recruiters will have to spend time sorting them out.

The person you’re after, however, might not even be looking for a job. She might not be searching the job boards and it’s likely that no one is telling her about the ad either. So, all of your time is wasted, the job remains unfilled, and the required work remains undone.

On the other hand, you can hire a sourcer who will go out and identify good people and then the recruiter can call them.

Which path is most likely to reach the right targets faster? And which is going to be cheaper in the end?

Sun Tzu says that:

Hostile armies can face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of 100 ounces of silver in honors and payments, is the height of inhumanity. (13:2)

And what is the most important kind of intelligence? According to Sun Tzu, names.

Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm a city, or to assassinate an individual, it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants, the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers and sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these. (13:20)

Cheaping out on the cost of a sourcer is only going to postpone, sometimes at great cost, your opportunity to meet the people you’re pursuing.

Types of Spies… Leer más “Sun Tzu on Sourcing”

The allure of SocialNet’s features will catch, and please, anyone with an iPhone.

TNW Quick Hit

SocialNet allows one to manage Facebook and Twitter on the iPhone, while also aggregating a multitude of other internet information in one easy-to-use app.

Love It: Nice user interface. Ability to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously in addition to adding live feeds for a great deal of other web content is a deft move by the developer.

Hate It: Not for the Twitter or Facebook power user.

The Details:

If you follow applications of any sort, mobile, browser-based or other, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?, several things would become real clear, real quick. The first being that at least a few new Facebook or Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch are released every day. The second is that the same goes for apps that aggregate RSS and/or news feeds.

SocialNet ($.99) is an app that falls into both of the categories listed above, but also manages to add so much more in an easy-to-use, nicely designed, app.



TNW Quick Hit

SocialNet allows one to manage Facebook and Twitter on the iPhone, while also aggregating a multitude of other internet information in one easy-to-use app.

Love It: Nice user interface.  Ability to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously in addition to adding live feeds for a great deal of other web content is a deft move by the developer.

Hate It: Not for the Twitter or Facebook power user.

The Details:

If you follow applications of any sort, mobile, browser-based or other, and let’s face it, who doesn’t?, several things would become real clear, real quick.  The first being that at least a few new Facebook or Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch are released every day.  The second is that the same goes for apps that aggregate RSS and/or news feeds.

SocialNet ($.99) is an app that falls into both of the categories listed above, but also manages to add so much more in an easy-to-use, nicely designed, app. Leer más “The allure of SocialNet’s features will catch, and please, anyone with an iPhone.”

How Open Data is Used Against the Poor

As well, this is not to argue against ‘open data’ which in fact is a very significant advance and support to broad-based democratic action and empowerment but rather to argue that in the absence of specific efforts to ensure the widest possible availability of the pre-requisites for ‘effective use’ the outcome of ‘open data’ may be quite the opposite to that which is anticipated (and presumably desired) by its strongest proponents.

An ‘effective use’ approach to open data would thus be one that ensured that opportunities and resources for translating this open data into useful outcomes would be available (and adapted) for the widest possible range of users.

Thus, to ensure the effective use of open data a range of considerations needs to be included in the open data process and as elements in the open data movement including such factors as the cost and availability of Internet access, the language in which the data is presented, the technical or professional requirements for interpreting and making use of the data, the availability of training in data use and visualization, among others.

In a sector of the economy as dominated by political Libertarianism as web technology is, the idea that opening up platforms of data for innovation needs to include consideration of the unequal circumstances of potential consumers of that data is unlikely to be a popular argument. We tend to believe that the web and data are meritocracies, where anyone with enough motivation can create value and the tide will rise, raising all ships.

Maybe that’s not the case, though. Maybe data as a platform needs to be presented to society with the same care that technical providers of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) take in serving up their connection to a would-be community of independent developers. You want people to use your data? Then pay attention to what they need. Similarly, if you want all parts of society to benefit from the opening of public data, then simply opening it up and allowing the most ferociously competitive people in society to grab a hold of it may not be a good way to impact the world positively.


michaelgurstein%20Open data is all the rage these days, but is simply opening up aggregate public information for outside analysis enough to change the world for the better? A new article by Mike Gurstein, Editor of the influential Journal of Community Informatics, argues that open data may merely make the rich richer and the poor poorer, unless the “open access” paradigm is extended with what he calls “effective use.”

Here at ReadWriteWeb, we often write about the potential for innovation created by aggregate online and public data. Leading technology publisher Tim O’Reilly is a big, open data proponent as well (his newest conference is all about big data), but he called Gurstein’s article a “sobering account of how open data is used against the poor…” “We need to think deeply about the future,” O’Reilly said this afternoon.

Here’s a long excerpt from Gurstein’s post, Open Data: Empowering the Empowered or Effective Data Use for Everyone?

A very interesting and well-documented example of this empowering of the empowered can be found in the work of Solly Benjamin and his colleagues looking at the impact of the digitization of land records in Bangalore. Their findings were that newly available access to land ownership and title information in Bangalore was primarily being put to use by middle and upper income people and by corporations to gain ownership of land from the marginalized and the poor. The newly digitized and openly accessible data allowed the well-to-do to take the information provided and use that as the basis for instructions to land surveyors and lawyers and others to challenge titles, exploit gaps in title, take advantage of mistakes in documentation, identify opportunities and targets for bribery, among others. They were able to directly translate their enhanced access to the information along with their already available access to capital and professional skills into unequal contests around land titles, court actions, offers of purchase and so on for self-benefit and to further marginalize those already marginalized.Certainly the newly digitized information was ‘accessible’ to all on an equal basis but the availability of resources to translate that ‘access’ into a beneficial ‘effective use’ was directly proportional to the already existing resources available to those to whom the access was being provided. The old story about the pauper and the millionaire having equal opportunity to purchase a printing press as a means to promote their interests can be seen as holding equally here as in the 19th century. Leer más “How Open Data is Used Against the Poor”

¿Qué futuro le espera al Blu-ray?

La tecnología prometía cambiar la forma de ver las películas, cuando llegó a la Argentina hace tres años. Los especialistas analizan por qué aún no se popularizó y cómo debe evaluarse la reaparición de los reproductores de DVD.

por Julieta Schulkin

En 2007, llegaba a la Argentina, de la mano de Sony, el primer reproductor de discos Blu-ray, el modelo BDP-S1E, para uso hogareño. Se trataba de un equipo capaz de reproducir películas pregrabadas de alta definición, soportando formatos DVD, DVD+RW/+R, DVD-RW/-R, AVCHD, MP3 y JPEG; con una salida de video HDMI y una salida de video componente análoga 1080i (entrelazada), para los HDTV que no cuentan con HDMI.

Tres años después, la tecnología Blu-ray no se ha popularizado aún. Inclusive, la desaparición del DVD no es una realidad como muchos lo han pronosticado. Todo lo contrario. Al respecto, Federico Bersaiz, Marketing Manager Audio, Video & Multimedia de Philips Argentina, comenta: “El Blu-ray es la evolución del DVD. Yo mismo me pregunté en varias ocasiones si la desaparición del DVD era realmente tal. La respuesta que me han dado desde la central de Philips, en Holanda, es que el Blu-ray va a ser el sustento de la tecnología 3D y que el soporte tendrá continuidad”. Cabe recordar que Philips es co-fundador de la Blu-ray Disc Association y ha tenido una activa participación en el desarrollo de la tecnología y el desarrollo del estándar Blu-ray Disc.


Blu-Ray Disc logo
La tecnología prometía cambiar la forma de ver las películas, cuando llegó a la Argentina hace tres años. Los especialistas analizan por qué aún no se popularizó y cómo debe evaluarse la reaparición de los reproductores de DVD.

por Julieta Schulkin

En 2007, llegaba a la Argentina, de la mano de Sony, el primer reproductor de discos Blu-ray, el modelo BDP-S1E, para uso hogareño. Se trataba de un equipo capaz de reproducir películas pregrabadas de alta definición, soportando formatos DVD, DVD+RW/+R, DVD-RW/-R, AVCHD, MP3 y JPEG; con una salida de video HDMI y una salida de video componente análoga 1080i (entrelazada), para los HDTV que no cuentan con HDMI.

Tres años después, la tecnología Blu-ray no se ha popularizado aún. Inclusive, la desaparición del DVD no es una realidad como muchos lo han pronosticado. Todo lo contrario. Al respecto, Federico Bersaiz, Marketing Manager Audio, Video & Multimedia de Philips Argentina, comenta: “El Blu-ray es la evolución del DVD. Yo mismo me pregunté en varias ocasiones si la desaparición del DVD era realmente tal. La respuesta que me han dado desde la central de Philips, en Holanda, es que el Blu-ray va a ser el sustento de la tecnología 3D y que el soporte tendrá continuidad”. Cabe recordar que Philips es co-fundador de la Blu-ray Disc Association y ha tenido una activa participación en el desarrollo de la tecnología y el desarrollo del estándar Blu-ray Disc. Leer más “¿Qué futuro le espera al Blu-ray?”