Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice Fun

This has been a strange week... At the beginning of the week, schools closed and ice storm came through town. Today, it's 80 degrees and bar-b-que weather. I trimmed the bushes, raked leaves and walked on the trail.

Here are the critters with our neighbors enjoying sledding on ice.

Ice Fun!!! from Bob Bobo on Vimeo.

Thanks for sharing Bob!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Project Pic365 - day122

No place like home

Posted by ShoZu

15 seconds of fame

Using TwitterFox, I am able to get quick Twitter updates on my browser as they come across the twitter pipes. I came across this very short post from Chris Pirillo.

Curious as to how my avatar would appear in his video, I (jcostilla) replied to his Twitter post. And there it was, 15 seconds of fame on his live Ustream Internet broadcast.

So what's the point? Not really sure, but during the call, one Twitter follower watching the live broadcast was singled out for having a certain number of Twitter followers. A simple request by Chris to his audience of viewers to help get her number of follower up and it happened. Just like that. This is truly a case of grassroots viral movement. I am so amazed by the many aspects of social media. All of this from a simple click to a curious post.

Genius. After listening in to the live broadcast for a bit, I learned that Chris basically attributes his work and entrepreneurship to "hard work" every single day. No magic pill, just tenacious drive to succeed. I believe it's grassroots marketing efforts like this that will help propel your brand in a social media play. Always fascinated by Web 2.0 and Chris Pirillo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Wisdom of Crowds

James Surowiecki
Mr. Surowiecki gives a compelling talks about the power and collective wisdom of crowds. He believes we can arrive at superior decisions by aggregating our collective intelligence in groups.

Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

A basic summary of The Wisdom of Crowds.

Project Pic365 - day120


Posted by ShoZu

Monday, January 26, 2009

Social Media in 2009

It is becoming more evident that as marketers, companies will have to move beyond their own corporate website and beyond search engine optimization to gain in 2009. With the boom in social media, it will mean more than creating a Twitter account, adding a group on Facebook and posting Google Ad Words. The key will be to engage and sustain your audience with the many pushes and pulls that social networks and Web 2.0 tools have to offer. WeAreTeachers is working to leverage these resources to add value to members and affiliates alike.

The Unforeseen Consequences of the Social Web

Search Engines Are No Longer Enough

With Internet usage growing at a remarkable pace it comes as no surprise that comScore recently rated Google as the most popular Internet property in the world, attracting over 777.9 million visitors as of December 2008. Not surprising either is the growth of social and news sites. According to Compete some of the top social sites attracted visitors in the millions during December 2008:

  • FaceBook: 59 million visitors
  • MySpace: 59 million visitors
  • Digg: 33 million visitors
  • Twitter: 4.4 million visitors

This growth can be contributed in part to the media as they realize the benefits of instant access to an enormous well of information that the Web provides. As media folk are becoming increasingly tech savvy, they're realizing results from search engines are often lacking. In an effort to gain as much insight into specific topics they are now turning to social sites for research.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Project Pic365 - day117


Posted by ShoZu

More Adults on Social Networks

More Adults Than Ever on Social Networks

The share of adult internet users who are involved in social networking online has more than quadrupled in the past four years in the U.S. In 2005, only 8% of adults had a social network profile. As of December 2008, that number was 35%. What motivates those in older generations to go online? Is it the opportunity to professionally network with their colleagues? The answer may surprise you.

More Adults Than Ever

A majority of teens, percentage wise, join social networks, but it's the adults that still make up the bulk of these web sites. That's because adults make up a larger proportion of the U.S. population than teens, reports Pew Internet & American Life Project. So the 65% of online teens actually represents fewer users than the 35% of adults who participate online. Of course, out of that 35%, the adults that tend to join social networks still skews younger: 75% of those 18-24 use these networks, but only 7% of the adults 65+ do.

It's Not About Professional Networking After All

You may think that many adults have joined the online trend mainly to network professionally with others in their field. However, that turns out not to be true. Instead adults, like teens, are there to socialize with their friends and people they already know. Nearly nine in ten social network users (89%) say they use the networks to stay in touch with friends, and 57% say they use it to make plans with friends. Under half (49%) use the sites to make new friends.

Surprisingly, those on social networks for professional purposes are not as common as you may have thought. Only 6% of adults use LinkedIn, the online social network dedicated to professional networking, but 72% use other social networks (50% use MySpace, 22% use Facebook) for both professional and personal networking purposes. The most interesting finding is that less than a third of social network users are using them for professional purposes, regardless of which site they use.


Support reading by making your own poster.
ALA's poster-maker to support reading.

Word Cloud Presidential Speeches

As seen on ReadWrite Web

Word cloud speeches from current and past presidents using tag cloud generator

Obama's Speech


Bush's Speech 2005


Bill Clinton's Second Inauguration Speech


Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Speech


Lincoln's First


Lincoln's Second


Project Pic365 - day116

Jewelry for your earbids. What next?

Posted by ShoZu

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Put the Camera Down! Enjoy the moment.

This image says it all. So many cameras; same exact picture. We get so wrapped up in capturing the image on our camera or cell phone that we don't get to enjoy the moment. I did this exact thing on a trip to Europe with my family. I spent most of the time with a camcorder in my face and did not enjoy the beauty of the moment. Lesson learned. I'm so guilty of this.

Put the camera down!

Blogs I Google/Read.

I was doing some cleaning up today of my morning blog reviews. Keeping those I follow and getting rid of those less interesting or less updated.
Here are the many blogs that I follow using Google Reader. I mostly follow tech types, education and general Web 2.0 content. Add these to your blog roll.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Project Pix365 - day115

By the gallon

Posted by ShoZu

Innovations @ CES 2009

So after a two week hiatus from my blogspot, I thought I would share my review of CES 2009. If you have never been to the CES show in Vegas, to say it is overwhelming would be an understatement. I met lots of interesting folks and even had an opportunity to take a quick photo with The King himself. CES is the largest conference in the world and is commonplace to many of top innovations and technology manufactures throughout the world. Everything from car and stereo technology to the lasted in flatscreen and HD televisions to video cams and Web 2.0 gadgets. It was like being in a BestBuy store x 1000.

Although the show was loaded with exhibitors and providers of various technologies, I'm not certain that I saw much of anything really new and innovative. Additionally, the keynote speakers really just shared a commercial spot with the audience about their brand. I wasn't too impressed with them.

As we arrived into Vegas fashionably late in our private transportation, we made our way to badge central and quickly strolled to the Hyatt Las Vegas where we joined in on the keynote session by Anne Sweeney from Disney Media Networks/ABC Television Group. The 30 plus minute session was a very nice plug for Lost, Disparate Housewife and the Apple iPhone. Really no new innovation that didn't already exist. Nonetheless, a nice production.

After the session, we joined the thousands more walking the exhibit floors. This was by far the largest event I have ever attended. There were exhibits throughout the convention center and across a span of several hotels. There were exhibit halls dedicated to auto stereo technologies featuring the latest in auto/audio enhancements.

A complete stereo unit and sound system in the back of a truck - very practical. A Rockband / Guitar Hero system in the back of an SUV - must have. To sum up all the buzz at CES, here is what I gathered to be the talk of 09.

1. Custom Content - F.A.M.P.S. (Feelings, Attitudes, Moods and Personalities) is a custom software application that allows the end user to visit a website, paint and design a character and then have the mini character you created shipped to your address. This along with other innovative technologies that Mattel was featuring was a hit.

2. Digital robots of all types were in full force this year. One of my favorites was a research project titled "beatbots." This cute little "peeps-like" character is a unique robot that follows your movement and rhythm/patters as you move about. It also leverages the Wii controller to move about. I wanted one of these little guys so bad, but quickly learned that to date, only 4 or so have been made and are not currently in production. Each of is individually handmade.

3. HD 3D Telivision - No question about it, Sony was a hit with it's innovation in 3D. At their booth, they were demonstrating the quality of video and game interactivity using a 3D rendered television offering. This view shows you what it looks like with and without the 3D glasses. This was absolutely amazing... and to think, this can be in your home theater someday soon.

4. Pocket size camcorders were plentyful at CES. Everyone from every country had their version to showcase. No big deal here. I am perfectly content with my FLIP camera. It was good to see that these are more common with better quaility / HD capabilities and even underwater versions.

5. Micro Projection units - This has to be one of the best innovations at CES, next to the 3D TV. There were several leaders in the pocket-sized projection units. These devices are so small and compact, you can take them along with you anywhere. And best of all, you can connect them to your iPhone or cell device and deliver your presentation with very little hassel. Absolutely awesome! Companies like and Butterfly were showcasing their versions.

6. Netbooks - What would CES be without its "netbooks?" Of course everyone and their neighboor booth were showcasing their version of a low cost netbook. What was nice to see is many no-names or unknown brands coming about and also featuring Linux operating system as their OS. Very cool. The 9" Lime notebook and Lime OS was a hit starting at roughly $249.

7. iPhone cases - It seemed as though every other booth was a plug for the iPhone. There were hundreds of providers that showcased their version of the iPhone case and earbuds. Seems to me that there is going to be a big consumer push for cases for all type of mobile devices. Many of these from various companies start their pricing at about $20 bucks. Here's our new friend Read showcasing his own design - my favorite.

BEST OF SHOW: I think the big take-away is that flat screen televisions and every variation of them are here to stay. Every major brand had their version and this is good news for consumers as competitive pricing will make them more affordable for you and me.

By far, the one technology that stood out was Intel with a virtual screen similar to what you would see in Mission Impossible or a virtual hologram screen.
This was no gimmick, folks were able to touch and manipulate items on the flat glass pane. Not sure if this was a research product or hype on new technologies. But it was definitely something to see.

CES 2009 was a good experience for WeAreTeachers as we found a number of potential partners and products to offer out teachers in the Knowledge Marketplace. We hope to have many of these CES parters available for you soon.

Until then, that's my CES review along with a sighting of Stevie Wonder at the Venetian hotel.