Solution Revealed: Economist Ideas Economy Cyberschool Challenge Winner – Andrew Deonarine

In locations such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, children, teens, and adults do not have access to education. Many are illiterate, and cannot make use of books and other learning material. While some technologies, such as inexpensive laptops and tablets have been proposed to address the educational needs of this population, the devices are too expensive, require some degree of literacy, and are difficult to implement in resource poor areas. However, cellular phones have significant penetration in the world’s poorest countries, since they provide a means to make a living. In essence, they comprise a global, untapped computer network. [Más…]

In this solution, I have presented a cellular phone based technology called EduCell that develops and distributes educational material using a method called PhoneCasting. PhoneCasting allows someone to write their own educational program using their phone and distribute it to other devices. EduCell consists of a piece of software that that runs small multi-lingual “scripts”, easily developed by local teachers in developing countries. Scripts are then assembled with multimedia to create interactive modules that teach reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. Modules can then distributed (PhoneCasted) to millions of other phones via an Internet server, or pre-loaded, at no cost. The benefits of the PhoneCasting technology are significant: a software programmer or knowledge of English is not required to produce content, which democratizes software development. This would, for the first time, make basic literacy and educational material accessible to hundreds of millions of cellular phone users, and their children, around the world.


http://blog.innocentive.com/2010/09/30/solution-revealed-economist-ideas-economy-cyberschool-challenge-winner-andrew-deonarine/

I’m a Solver | Andrew Deonarine

Andrew Deonarine is the winner of the first Economist-InnoCentive Challenge, 21st Century Cyber Schools.

Earlier this month, The Economist announced a winner in the 21st Century Cyber Schools Challenge.  There were many strong submissions, and the team decided that the two runners up also deserved recognition for their outstanding solutions.  We will be posting solution summaries from the Challenge winner, Andrew Deonarine, as well as the two runners up in this Challenge, Tristram Hewitt and Daniel Rasmus.  Congratulations Andrew, Tristram and Daniel.

Below is a summary of the winning solution from Andrew Deonarine.  To see a larger version of the image, right click and select “view image”

CyberSchools Schematic for Blog

In locations such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, children, teens, and adults do not have access to education. Many are illiterate, and cannot make use of books and other learning material. While some technologies, such as inexpensive laptops and tablets have been proposed to address the educational needs of this population, the devices are too expensive, require some degree of literacy, and are difficult to implement in resource poor areas. However, cellular phones have significant penetration in the world’s poorest countries, since they provide a means to make a living. In essence, they comprise a global, untapped computer network. Leer más “Solution Revealed: Economist Ideas Economy Cyberschool Challenge Winner – Andrew Deonarine”

Looking for Entrepreneurial Tips in ‘The Social Network’

“People want to go on the internet and check out their friends, so why not build a website that offers them friends, pictures, profiles — whatever. You can visit, browse around, maybe it’s someone you just met at a party. I’m not talking about a dating site, I’m talking about taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online.”

Just like you, it all started with an idea — a concept that perhaps no one has ever come up with before, finding a niche that needs filling or a service that your customers can’t do without.

So before you dismiss The Social Network as inaccurate or a work of fiction, consider what you can learn from Facebook’s rags-to-riches story. And if you really don’t want to see the movie, read one of the books about Facebook’s rise to prominence. Check out Mezrich’s book mentioned above or The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, written by David Kirkpatrick.


The Social Network opens in theaters nationwide on Friday amidst a deafening buzz about Facebook‘s co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg. If people aren’t questioning the veracity of the film’s storyline, they’re speculating about it. Is it fact, fiction or just a dramatic, narrative account pumped up with a little extra Hollywood juice?

Controversy erupted months in advance of the release of the Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher film. Zuckerberg has publicly dismissed the film and the book it’s based on as works of fiction and has said he has no plans to see the movie. That’s certainly less extreme than William Randolph Hearst‘s alleged attempt to halt the distribution of Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane to curtail viewing of that “biographical” film — but it’s not much of an endorsement, either.

Of course, not all the folks at Facebook are happy with the depiction of their founder as a conflicted, ambiguous, untrustworthy visionary. The film portrays a character desperately trying to fit in with his Harvard surroundings, but lacking the social skills to do so. His coping mechanism is to develop a tool that enables him to interact with others at a distance and which now encompasses more than 500 million enthusiastic members.

Whether fact, fiction or a combination of the two, this film is a “must-see” for entrepreneurs — if for no other reason than the volatile emergence of Facebook is the story of every person with entrepreneurial ambition. This holds especially true for those of us who choose a level of personal, professional or financial risk in order to pursue an opportunity or a concept. That’s just what an entrepreneur does.
Leer más “Looking for Entrepreneurial Tips in ‘The Social Network’”

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: October 2010

Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use some specific wallpaper for a long period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers over 12 months. And to make them a little bit more distinctive from the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you need to look up some date, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?

This post features 45 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

* all images can be clicked and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
* you can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our desktop wallpaper calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?

So what wallpapers have we received for October 2010?


Smashing Magazine

Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use some specific wallpaper for a long period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers over 12 months. And to make them a little bit more distinctive from the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you need to look up some date, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?

This post features 45 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

So what wallpapers have we received for October 2010?

Liquifly

Designed by Nicolle Marie from USA.

Liquifly in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: October 2010

Any Browser

“I just wanna spread the message, “Use any browser, it doesn’t matter. But use the latest version!”.” Designed by Minhaj Mohamed from Sri Lanka.

Any-browser-wallpaper in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: October 2010

October 2010 Wallpaper

“For October 2010, still with the summer in the head, I wanted to imagine a magic place where I can go sometimes far from work, far from the Earth.” Designed by Benoit Chartron from France.

Wallpaper 99 in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: October 2010

Take Your Web Designs to the Next Level

When you start out as a web designer, you do all you can to grasp the basic design principles so that you have a solid foundation to start your journey on. As you become more proficient in your craft, you start to learn techniques that are more advanced, and you begin to implement bigger and better things in your work until you reach a point where you feel pretty comfortable to step outside the bounds of the ordinary. What else can you do to take your web designs to the next level?

Here are just a handful of ideas you can consider if you’d like to take your web designs the next level.

Delve Into Design Details

If you look at most beautifully designed websites, you’ll notice that they are often set apart not because of big things, but the little details that let you know the designer took great care and attention of even the smallest of things. These small touches don’t need to be in your face to be powerful and effective; details can include a hairline stroke for additional depth, a faint gradient for more interesting surfaces, small icons for added visual appeal as well as to aid visual cognition, and so forth.

Here are three good examples of web designs that delve into the details.


by Shannon Noack |  Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

Take Your Web Designs to the Next Level

When you start out as a web designer, you do all you can to grasp the basic design principles so that you have a solid foundation to start your journey on. As you become more proficient in your craft, you start to learn techniques that are more advanced, and you begin to implement bigger and better things in your work until you reach a point where you feel pretty comfortable to step outside the bounds of the ordinary. What else can you do to take your web designs to the next level?

Here are just a handful of ideas you can consider if you’d like to take your web designs the next level.

Delve Into Design Details

If you look at most beautifully designed websites, you’ll notice that they are often set apart not because of big things, but the little details that let you know the designer took great care and attention of even the smallest of things. These small touches don’t need to be in your face to be powerful and effective; details can include a hairline stroke for additional depth, a faint gradient for more interesting surfaces, small icons for added visual appeal as well as to aid visual cognition, and so forth.

Here are three good examples of web designs that delve into the details. Leer más “Take Your Web Designs to the Next Level”

Building your brand (and keeping your job)

By Josh Hyatt, contributor

FORTUNE — Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer. “I’m not somebody who can be accused of using Ford’s brand to benefit my own,” says Monty, the car giant’s first global digital and multimedia communications manager. “If anything, the opposite is true.”

Is somebody’s thinking due for a tune-up? Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) is, after all, the 107-year-old industrial brainchild of the iconic Henry Ford, birthplace of the Model T, originator of the modern assembly line. Scott Monty? He’s a 40-year-old father of two who coined the word used to describe a gathering organized on Twitter: tweetup. (Okay, so it’s hardly in the OMG category. But it beats “staycation.”)

As a former employee at a B-to-B ad agency and at a social-media strategy firm, Monty spent about three years making a name for himself in social networking by blogging about the convergence of marketing, advertising, and PR. When people at Ford approached him in December 2007 he waved them off, saying he didn’t want to leave Boston. Five months later he made a U-turn. By July, he had moved to Detroit. “I knew that I had the ability to leverage my personal brand on behalf of the company,” he says.

When Monty joined Ford, he brought with him 3,500 Twitter followers; he now counts 41,000, conceding that many of those came with the blue oval logo that now accompanies his tweets. But it has been a two-way street. Last year Ford CEO Alan Mulally signaled as much by joining Monty and taking questions from Twitter. “I brought with me a degree of credibility,” Monty says. “I was somebody who wasn’t going to be looked at as a corporate shill.” And he’s kept his Twitter handle as @scottmonty rather than adding the Ford brand. “I was Scott Monty before I came to Ford, and I’ll be Scott Monty after I leave Ford,” he says.


http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/30/news/economy/building_your_brand.fortune/index.htm

By Josh Hyatt, contributor

FORTUNE — Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer. “I’m not somebody who can be accused of using Ford’s brand to benefit my own,” says Monty, the car giant’s first global digital and multimedia communications manager. “If anything, the opposite is true.”

Is somebody’s thinking due for a tune-up? Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) is, after all, the 107-year-old industrial brainchild of the iconic Henry Ford, birthplace of the Model T, originator of the modern assembly line. Scott Monty? He’s a 40-year-old father of two who coined the word used to describe a gathering organized on Twitter: tweetup. (Okay, so it’s hardly in the OMG category. But it beats “staycation.”)

As a former employee at a B-to-B ad agency and at a social-media strategy firm, Monty spent about three years making a name for himself in social networking by blogging about the convergence of marketing, advertising, and PR. When people at Ford approached him in December 2007 he waved them off, saying he didn’t want to leave Boston. Five months later he made a U-turn. By July, he had moved to Detroit. “I knew that I had the ability to leverage my personal brand on behalf of the company,” he says.

When Monty joined Ford, he brought with him 3,500 Twitter followers; he now counts 41,000, conceding that many of those came with the blue oval logo that now accompanies his tweets. But it has been a two-way street. Last year Ford CEO Alan Mulally signaled as much by joining Monty and taking questions from Twitter. “I brought with me a degree of credibility,” Monty says. “I was somebody who wasn’t going to be looked at as a corporate shill.” And he’s kept his Twitter handle as @scottmonty rather than adding the Ford brand. “I was Scott Monty before I came to Ford, and I’ll be Scott Monty after I leave Ford,” he says. Leer más “Building your brand (and keeping your job)”

Personal Branding = Principles Not Ego

Josh Hyatt wrote an article about personal branding and working at a large company on money.cnn.com. The piece has caused a lot of controversy because Scott Monty, the social media guy at Ford, was featured in the article. To some, the article appears to paint Scott Monty as an egotist, and because they have so much respect for Scott many people have criticized Josh’s article.

In fact in reading through 5 pages of comments on the article, not one, except a piece of link bait is positive about the article or the writer, rather, overwhelmingly people are positive about Scott.

I must admit when I first read the article I had to read it twice to understand the nuance of what Josh was getting at. I was also slightly put off by a picture of a name badge stating, “Hello my name is Mr. Awesome.”

I reckon the first paragraph about Scott Monty soured the audience to Josh Hyatt the writer. Here’s is the first paragraph.

“Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer. “I’m not somebody who can be accused of using Ford’s brand to benefit my own,” says Monty, the car giant’s first global digital and multimedia communications manager. “If anything, the opposite is true.””

Let’s dissect this paragraph step by step:

“Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer.”

This could mean that Scott cares so much for his ego, that he thinks he is more important than Ford.


My Photo

http://pr.typepad.com/pr_communications/2010/08/personal-branding-principles-not-ego.html

Josh Hyatt wrote an article about personal branding and working at a large company on money.cnn.com. The piece has caused a lot of controversy because Scott Monty, the social media guy at Ford, was featured in the article. To some, the article appears to paint Scott Monty as an egotist, and because they have so much respect for Scott many people have criticized Josh’s article.

In fact in reading through 5 pages of comments on the article, not one, except a piece of link bait is positive about the article or the writer, rather, overwhelmingly people are positive about Scott.

I must admit when I first read the article I had to read it twice to understand the nuance of what Josh was getting at. I was also slightly put off by a picture of a name badge stating, “Hello my name is Mr. Awesome.”

I reckon the first paragraph about Scott Monty soured the audience to Josh Hyatt the writer. Here’s is the first paragraph.

“Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer. “I’m not somebody who can be accused of using Ford’s brand to benefit my own,” says Monty, the car giant’s first global digital and multimedia communications manager. “If anything, the opposite is true.””

Let’s dissect this paragraph step by step:

“Scott Monty’s personal brand doesn’t take a back seat to anyone else’s — not even that of Ford Motor Co., his employer.”

This could mean that Scott cares so much for his ego, that he thinks he is more important than Ford. Leer más “Personal Branding = Principles Not Ego”

Social Media Reinvents Social Activism For Strong Relationships: My Critique Of Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker Article

Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker states that the new tools of social media have failed to reinvent social activism. He wrote a long piece explaining why he believes that relationships formed within social media are weak relationships, and used examples from the Greensboro sit-ins, and the crisis in Moldova and Iran to support his position.

He argued that without real commitment social activism cannot exist because there’s no real commitment to other individuals involved in a cause, and without that commitment in the face of the higher costs of getting involved people will drop out of a cause.

High Stakes Require Strong Relationships

Gladwell uses the sit-ins from Greensboro, NC as an example of social activism where high stakes were involved, people had to make strong commitments to the cause because the consequences of being involved were as high as physical danger and even death. And that those most involved in the sit-ins were supported by small networks of people who were connected through close relationships. Gladwell argues that because relationships formed online are loose relationships those relationships are not highly committed relationships, and any real requests for social action will fail because of the weak relationships formed within social media between people and organizations.

I agree with Gladwell, he was right, social media can be a medium where your ties to people are weak, but I also believe he misses an important factor with the use of social media. Most people have strong ties with a small group of friends, colleagues and family within their social networks. Those relationships are just as important today as they were in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression, or in 1960 during the Greensboro sit-ins.


My Photo

Posted by John Cass | http://pr.typepad.com | © 2003-10 John Cass

Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker states that the new tools of social media have failed to reinvent social activism. He wrote a long piece explaining why he believes that relationships formed within social media are weak relationships, and used examples from the Greensboro sit-ins, and the crisis in Moldova and Iran to support his position.

He argued that without real commitment social activism cannot exist because there’s no real commitment to other individuals involved in a cause, and without that commitment in the face of the higher costs of getting involved people will drop out of a cause.

High Stakes Require Strong Relationships

Gladwell uses the sit-ins from Greensboro, NC as an example of social activism where high stakes were involved, people had to make strong commitments to the cause because the consequences of being involved were as high as physical danger and even death. And that those most involved in the sit-ins were supported by small networks of people who were connected through close relationships. Gladwell argues that because relationships formed online are loose relationships those relationships are not highly committed relationships, and any real requests for social action will fail because of the weak relationships formed within social media between people and organizations.

I agree with Gladwell, he was right, social media can be a medium where your ties to people are weak, but I also believe he misses an important factor with the use of social media. Most people have strong ties with a small group of friends, colleagues and family within their social networks. Those relationships are just as important today as they were in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression, or in 1960 during the Greensboro sit-ins. Leer más “Social Media Reinvents Social Activism For Strong Relationships: My Critique Of Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker Article”