Community Spark

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Questions are vital. Asking questions keeps community discussions alive. Asking questions keeps a community manager in touch with the community. You should never stop asking questions – especially when you don’t know the answer.

Recently, a member of Female Forum complained about some of the jokes that were being posted in the ‘Just for Fun’ section of the forums. The jokes in particular were ones that poked fun of specific nationalities and political systems. As jokes go, I didn’t find them offensive – but I could see how they may be to some.

The problem with humor is so much of it is based on issues that, if spoken about seriously, would be offensive to one or more parties. I recognize this fact, but I didn’t want Female Forum to become a place where jokes could no longer be posted, or members wouldn’t want to post jokes for fear of upsetting members or getting their content removed. Furthermore, I didn’t want to add stipulations for the kind of jokes we would or would not allow in the community within the community guidelines.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like seeing long community guidelines – especially when they’re hidden within terms and conditions, disclaimers or other legal mumbo-jumbo. First, it’s impossible to cover every single potential ‘infraction’ or word you don’t want to see in the community. Second, nobody will read the guidelines if they’re too long or too hard to find.

So, I reached out to the member that was reporting the posts with the following message:


I’ve noticed that you have felt uncomfortable with a few of the jokes being posted to the forums of late (I know you’ve hit the ‘report’ button on a couple of them).

To be honest, I’m not sure how to proceed – normally I immediately delete all posts that are reported, but I am not sure how far to take this when it comes to jokes and other forms of humor.

Do you think we should be censoring or disallowing certain types of jokes? I’d appreciate hearing your opinion.

– Martin

Instead of making a decision as one person without consultation, I asked the member in question what her thoughts were. We had a discussion about the issue, and came up with the compromise of adding a ‘Sticky’ post in the ‘Just for Fun’ forum with the following copy:

The Just for Fun forum is a place for you to share jokes and other humorous stories or anecdotes. When it comes to humor, everyone is different – what one person may find funny, another may find offensive. Therefore, please think carefully before sharing them in this forum.

We won’t be banning or chastising people who post jokes that may be seen as offensive but we may remove these type of posts (at our own discretion).

As a general guideline, consider this before posting your joke or story:

If you were the individual/group being poked fun at would you still find the joke funny?

Generally speaking, it may be a good idea to avoid posting jokes that are political in nature. It’s also worth reminding yourself that we have members from all over the world here at Female Forum, so jokes that make fun of particular nationalities or ethnic groups may not go down too well.

We don’t want to stop people sharing jokes – humor and laughter help to bring people together, and that’s what Female Forum is all about. All we ask is that you think twice before posting some of the more potentially offensive or risque jokes.

Thank you!

In the end, I was satisfied, the member who complained was satisfied and we didn’t have to complicate the existing community guidelines. I was initially unsure how to proceed, but by asking questions, a solution was found.

A satisfactory conclusion, then – all because a community manager reached out and asked for input from a member, rather than acting in an arbitrary manner.

Remember – you don’t have all the answers (not all of the time, at least). Recognizing this will make you a better community manager.

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‘MINIPRENEURS’: a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs


First published: September 2005 | Increasingly, consumers are participants instead of passive audience members, and this mega-trend manifests itself in a variety of ways. In fact, the more we hear about GENERATION C making money from its creations, and the more we focus on the financial rewards consumers are reaping from participating in CUSTOMER MADE projects, the more the myriad of other entrepreneurial undertakings by ordinary consumers makes sense.

We have dubbed this trend ‘MINIPRENEURS’: a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs; including small and micro businesses, freelancers, side-businesses, weekend entrepreneurs, web-driven entrepreneurs, part-timers, free agents, cottage businesses, seniorpreneurs, co-creators, mompreneurs, pro-ams, solopreneurs, eBay traders, advertising-sponsored bloggers and so on.

Want numbers?

 According to a July 2005 survey conducted by eBay, more than 724,000 Americans report that eBay is their primary or secondary source of income. In addition to these professional eBay sellers, another 1.5 million individuals say they supplement their income by selling on eBay.
 Over 50,000 people in the UK draw a significant portion of their income from selling goods online. A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the average household boosts its earnings by GBP 3,000 through online trading.
 And Mastercard and Warillow International published a research study on a new class of small business: the ‘Web-Driven Entrepreneur’, estimating that there are 5 million of these businesses in the United States, representing 25% of all small businesses.

So what are the drivers behind the MINIPRENEURS trend, and what does the ecosystem sustaining it look like?

1. Multinationals of one 

(Re)sources once exclusively available (and exclusively affordable) to multinational firms, from access to marketplaces to partnering with top talent, are now at the fingertips of experienced, entrepreneurial individuals. Consumers are discovering that besides being the buyer in the capitalist equation, they can now also make a buck (or yen or pound or euro or dinar) by doing a bit of manufacturing, enterprising, venturing, selling, trading, or auctioning themselves.

2. Being in control of one’s destiny

Building on the above: human beings forever fantasize about control, independence and being in charge. Let’s face it, being one’s own boss, even if it’s only for three hours a week, is just too tempting to forego, as is the extra income. As we’ve discussed before, trends are often manifestations of something that unlocks existing needs and wants in a new way. The MINIPRENEURS trend certainly fits that mold.

3. Enterprising is chic

Gone are the days when ‘entrepreneur’ equaled running a small store, or conducting shady ‘import and export’ transactions. From Jones Organics to 21st century barbershop Sharps to German Sparschwein to Danish TrioBike to the slew of online success stories like Flickr and Weblogs, Inc: there’s an explosion of hip, admired ventures, online and offline, around the world (accelerated by the tech revolution, and the truly exceptional entrepreneurs with vision and skills that started it; a far cry from the Old Boys networks in the past). It’s Traditional Big Business that’s now often seen as unsophisticated, at best. MINIPRENEURIALISM can actually be chic, allowing one to think big while implementing small.

4. Experience rules, and so does less risk 

For decades, consumers in mature consumer societies have been training to become experts in business, marketing and advertising (read: seeing right through it, and understanding the workings beneath it). The business of business is something that now interests producers and consumers alike. No wonder MINIPRENEURS are confident enough to try their hand at businesses of their own. Added benefit: the risks they’ll take as MINIPRENEURS are in no way comparable to the gut wrenching stress that comes with managing listed corporations. And neither is the cost structure! (More on that below.)

5. A need for the unusual

MINIPRENEURS, including commerce-minded members of GENERATION C, are providing other consumers with more choice and variety (which is the holy grail in aNOUVEAU NICHE world). They’re offering something that’s different, that’s special, that’s vintage, that’s quirky, that’s customized if not beyond personalized, that’s fringe, or that’s just not profitable enough to be developed by big corporations instead of well-meaning enthusiasts. The long tail depends as much on GENERATION C as it does onMINIPRENEURS

Today’s aspiring and established MINIPRENEURS truly have a highly-developed network of intermediaries, tools, resources, and processes at their disposal. It’s an ecosystem on a much more elaborate scale than anyone foresaw even five years ago when entrepreneurialism was all the rage during the .com boom. MINIPRENEURS have access, for peanuts, if not for free, to:

A. Hardware, software, ICT and skills
B. Design, production and manufacturing
C. Monetizing existing assets
D. Marketplaces
E. Advertising
F. Travel
G. Talent, finance, payment, logistics  Leer más “‘MINIPRENEURS’: a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs”

10 Lessons For Innovation Leaders and Intrapreneurs | 15inno

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What should innovation leaders and intrapreneurs know about innovation projects and new ventures? I have had the pleasure of working with such people for many years and I begin to see a pattern that I have summarized into 10 lessons for innovation leaders and intrapreneurs. Let me know what you think.

1. Know that innovation and intrapreneurship is about teams = build a team of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (team definition by Katzenbach/Smith)

2. Work with passionate and persistent people = nothing goes as planned in new ventures. Passion and persistence help overcome most challenges and they are essential for making great things happen.

3. Use recognition and stories = recognition if often a better rewarding tool than money. Explore ways of recognizing people and use it to develop compelling stories that sells your company better than cold facts.

4. Define your target markets and eco-systems = well-defined target markets are key to crossing the gap between early adopters and the main market. You also need to know that all markets are networked and that you need to break the current set of behaviours of many stakeholders within the eco-system before you can establish a new market equilibrium.

5. Understand the value proposition = build a clear and concise statement that outlines your value-creating features to customers and stakeholders.

6. Craft an elevator pitch = you always have something to sell; learn how to craft an elevator pitch that captures the very essence of your value proposition in terms that focus on the recipient of the message.

7. Define your values, personal brand and relationships = know what you stand for and which messages you send to others and know the structure of your network and relationships; learn how to adapt to fit your strategic goals.

8. Define your team brand = learn how to use values, personal branding and relationships as a team discipline to penetrate and win new markets.

9. Bring depth, breadth and empathy to the table = all team members should have depth in an area that is critical to the company as well as breadth and empathy for the other things that make or break the company.

10. Combine internal and external forces = on development issues it is important to make “reapplied with pride” just as important as “invented here.” Remember that the wealth of external knowledge outscores your internal knowledge and you need to turn this into an advantage. Get on board the open innovation movement.

Let me know what you think.

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Qual é a forma certa de se colocar um rolo de papel higiênico no banheiro?


60% das pessoas têm a certeza absoluta que o certo é o estilo “cachoeira”, com o papel saindo por cima. É mais fácil achar a ponta, dá pra rasgar certinho no picote, não fica raspando a mão na parede (menos bactérias!) e hotéis podem sinalizar aos seus hóspedes que o banheiro foi higienizado, com dobras elaboradas ou colando selinhos.



Os outros 40% acham esses 60% uns loucos e estão certos que o melhor é por baixo. O “caimento” é melhor, o papel não fica sobrando, gatos e crianças não conseguem desenrrolar um monte de papel e basta uma puxadinha para rasgar um quadradinho, porque para baixo tem mais tração.


¿Estaban los dinosaurios en decadencia antes de su extinción? / Noticias / SINC – Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas

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La extinción de los dinosaurios a finales del Cretácico como consecuencia del impacto de un asteroide es una idea bastante aceptada, ¿pero estaban ya antes en decadencia? Según un estudio liderado desde el Museo Americano de Historia Natural, la biodiversidad de los gigantescos herbívoros estaba disminuyendo, pero no así la de los dinosaurios carnívoros y herbívoros de tamaño medio.

Los Tyrannosaurus rex forman parte del grupo de dinosaurios carnívoros cuya biodiversidad se mantuvo hasta la gran extinción. Imagen: AMNH/J. Brougham.
SINC | 01 mayo 2012 17:00
Algunos grupos de dinosaurios ya estaban experimentando una disminución “a largo plazo” antes de su extinción hace 65 millones de años, al final del período Cretácico, según informa esta semana un estudio publicado en Nature Communications.

Se cree que los dinosaurios se extinguieron en esa época debido a la actividad volcánica y al impacto de un asteroide, pero si esto sucedió en el mejor momento de estos animales todavía es un misterio.

Ahora un estudio internacional coordinado desde el Museo Americano de Historia Natural (EEUU) proporciona evidencias que sugieren que al menos algunos grupos de dinosaurios no aviares ya se estaban reduciendo antes de su extinción.

Un equipo dirigido por el investigador Stephen Brusatte ha calculado la variabilidad de la anatomía y el cuerpo de siete subgrupos principales de dinosaurios durante el Cretácico Superior, a escala mundial y regional, para analizar los incrementos o disminuciones en la biodiversidad.

Los resultados muestran que el número de grandes y corpulentos herbívoros, como los ceratópsidos y los hadrosáuridos, estaban en declive durante las etapas finales del Cretácico. Sin embargo, los datos de los dinosaurios carnívoros y herbívoros de tamaño medio no mostraron esta tendencia.

Estos hallazgos muestran que la evolución de los dinosaurios durante el Cretácico Superior es compleja y no se puede establecer una tendencia universal en su biodiversidad. Los datos sugieren que al menos algunos grupos de dinosaurios soportaron un descenso a largo plazo en su variabilidad morfológica antes de la extinción final.

Referencia bibliográfica:

Stephen L. Brusatte, Richard J. Butler, Albert Prieto-Márquez, Mark A. Norell. “Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction”. Nature Communications, 1 de mayo de 2012. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms1815.

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‘Dirty Hands,’ the Bollywood analog FX company

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“Indian By Design: How did it all start?

“Dirty Hands: The company ‘Dirty Hands’ was founded three years ago by Rajiv Subba and Mamta Gautam, both students of National Institute of Design (NID), specialists in ceramic and Glass design. Rajiv Subba graduated from Chandigarh Art College where he perused sculpture and Mamta graduated from School of planning and architecture from Delhi where she graduated as an architect. During their academic course of two years at NID, they realized they had complementary skills and collaborated to help each other in their assignments. It was in 2008 they further collaborated to form ‘DIRTY HANDS’ at National design Business Incubation (NDBI). The team comprises of friends from their college days. The design house is a collective of skilled and specialized architects, designers and artists under the same roof. Our team comprises of fifteen talented and skillful individuals.

“Indian By Design: Were there any precedents in India that you could learn from? What is the process like?

“Dirty Hands: The material was new to us and there was no organization in India where we could go and take coaching or workshops to gain information on the material. It was each individual’s effort put in together that resulted in the art pieces that you see today.

“The process is time consuming and demanding. We gathered all the details and data from the Internet and brainstormed to find solutions to bring out the best. We took two years to master the material. The entire journey was magical, there were days and nights when we did not sleep and just explored the material and its various possibilities but as the saying goes no effort is ever wasted. The credit goes to each and every individual working in the company, we couldn’t have reached where we are without their hard work and support.

“Indian By Design: The general understanding of realistic mannequins is more in terms of Madam Tussauds and the wax works. How is what you do different from that?

“Dirty Hands: The mannequins in Madam Tussauds are in wax and the mannequins we have made are in silicon. Silicon material has a longer life than wax. Our material shelf-life is more than fifty years. Secondly the look and feel of wax is very different from that of silicon. Wax is high-maintenance as it’s a soft material and is not heat resistant. Silicon is low-maintenance, you can clean the dust by just spraying some soap water.

“Indian By Design: Artists like Ron Mueck, Evan Penny and Carol Feuerman have turned hyper-realistic mannequins into collectible art pieces. Have any of them been inspirational in your work and do you plan to exhibit on your own any time?

“Dirty Hands: The entire team consists of skilled artists and we plan to exhibit in a few months time….”

*Can diegetic prototypes be far behind?


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Google’s Engineer Doe Known For Wi-Fi Hacking Tool

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The author of a software program credited with bringing war-driving to the masses was Google’s Engineer Doe, the author of the company’s controversial Street View Wi-Fi logging program, according to a report in the New York Times.

The Google engineer who built the software, identified until now only as “Engineer Doe,” is Marius Milner, the Times said, citing an unnamed former state investigator working on a Street View inquiry.

The practice of driving around cities and logging open wireless access points is known as war-driving, and that’s essentially what Google ended up doing with its Street View program. In the early days of Wi-Fi, it was a way to find open connections that could be used to get online for free.

Milner, a software engineer with Google since 2003, is well known within the wireless hacking community, according to Brad Haines, an independent security consultant known as RenderMan who has spoken on wireless hacking.

In an audit made public in 2010, Google called its Wi-Fi logging software Gstumbler. In retrospect, that should have been a tip-off.

Back in the early 2000′s, Milner wrote NetStumbler, a Windows tool that could be used to pinpoint wireless networks. Netstumbler was the first relatively easy-to-use Windows war-driving tool. “You still needed a very specific [wireless] card but it had a nice GUI (graphical user interface),” Haines says. “It was that iterative step of making it more accessibile to people.”

What Google into trouble, though, was its practice of indiscriminately logging wireless packets with its Street View cars between up until 2010. Google recorded any data traveling on unsecured wireless networks at the moment the car drove by, which included full emails and passwords.

Ironically, Milner’s NetStumbler software wasn’t up to the task of war driving at Google-scale. It simply didn’t do the packet sniffing Google needed to grab information. So instead Google and Milner based the Street View system on a more powerful Linux program, called Kismet, that could.

Google needed more powerful software to log the unique identifiers of routers — even ones with faint signals — to help it build its geolocation services. Doing so does not require logging the contents of the packets.

Street View engineers intentionally stored the content on Milner’s hunch that it could be useful to know what websites people were visiting. That’s what attracted the attention of government authorities, including the U.S.’s Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Data privacy authorities in France, Germany and South Korea, among others, also investigated the company.

The FTC, the FCC and the DoJ all cleared Google of violating federal wiretap laws with the program, though the FCC did fine Google $25,000 for impeding its investigation.

Google has said that it didn’t know exactly what was being logged by the Street View cars until two years ago, when German authorities asked for details. Google immediately said the packet logging was a mistake. However, the FCC document makes it clear that Milner informed his superiors about the data he wanted to collect and that someone should talk to Google’s privacy lawyers about it beforehand. That conversation never happened and the project manager told the FCC that he did not read the design document.

Milner’s lawyer declined to comment.

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