About four weeks ago, I went for an annual physical and had standard blood work done. I was told to call back in a week, and of course I forgot. Today I had a message that said: "Hello, this is Dr. XX's office, please call us back at xxx-xxx-xxxx." That was it--the person didn't identify herself and also didn't say what the call was for. When I dialed the number, I was expecting to be told that I owed them money. But actually, the woman on the phone had no idea why she had called … Read more
New inspiration always floods in after a speaking appearance is over. Kicking myself for not highlighting a couple of things that were right in front of me @ my SXSW panel. Perfectly timed gifts as usual, in this case foursquare and tweetluck. Let me explain: in the world of social cohesion messaging rules. So, any conversation around behavior change needs to respect that role. Successful behavior change requires immediate feedback, and social relationships offer the best form of encouragement. But messaging platforms are direct, not directED. We spend a lot of time in them because they are … Read more
How many contracts have you signed without even checking to see whether you've agreed to donate your spleen and other entrails to a Bulgarian vulgarian who lives in Krk, Croatia?
Well, those clever professors at DePaul University thought that "hundreds" might be your answer, because they did something very strange. Yes, they brought about an interesting piece of research.
It was not inspired by the raising of voices and emotions about Facebook's terms of service. But it might now be dedicated to it.
They dragged 91 students in from various interesting corners of the campus and … Read more
It could be argued that security vendors are losing the battle with online scammers whose programs sneak onto computers and drop malicious programs, opening the computers up to remote attacks and turning them into zombies in botnet armies.
The problem is that most computers today rely on antivirus software that blocks malware by checking the code in a file against a database of signatures of known viruses. With thousands of new viruses arriving each day, many of them encrypted in part or otherwise disguised with modification, the signature lists require frequent updates and many new viruses slip through undetected.
As … Read more
As part of its effort to make its core revenue engine more powerful, Yahoo introduced new ad targeting features Tuesday, including the ability to select advertisements based on what a person has searched for.
The technology, called search retargeting, is one of three new features designed to tailor ads based on user behavior. The other two are enhanced retargeting, which lets advertisers tune ads according to what users have done on the advertisers' Web sites, and enhanced targeting for search, which lets advertisers adjust ads shown next to search results according to user age and other factors.
Yahoo has argued … Read more
I just got back from Vancouver IxDA. Had a great time but seem to have kicked up a bit of a controversy by declaring that, as interaction designers, our medium is not technology – it's behavior. I must admit to a certain amount of surprise at the strong response, and I appreciate the immediate back up from my cohort, Jon Kolko (you can see my slides - mostly visuals - here). It is very interesting to me that this statement would seem controversial, even novel in this community. And I think it says a … Read more
"I had lunch with my kids at our local Middle Eastern restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, yesterday. It has been there for a long time in a neighborhood that has exploded with cool cafes. The smell of warm pitas, fresh from the oven, practically brought my kids to tears. This place is getting more and more attractive to me these days. They provide good, cheap, fresh food – I can stuff the whole family for less than $30. But that's not all: at the end of the meal they always bring … Read more
What do your email habits say about you?
Do you feel fine when you wait a day or two to reply to an email? Do you feel driven to reply within 30 seconds of the message hitting your inbox? Or are you one of those people for whom email has simply become a source of stress akin to, oh, traffic on the 405? Or marriage.
Some recent research by Dr. Karen Renaud at the University of Glasgow and Dr. Judith Ramsay of Paisley University suggests that for some people the emailing thing has become all too much.
38% of people … Read more
A stealth start-up on Monday plans to take the wraps off a new advertising data exchange designed to connect publishers and advertisers so they can target ads to Web surfers. The privacy pitch: consumers can tweak the advertising data held about them.
The start-up, Bellevue, Wash.-based BlueKai, is taking a novel approach in an otherwise crowded new market for Internet advertising technologies. Many start-ups, ad networks, and Net media giants are honing technologies to leverage vast troves of data about people online so that they can tailor ads to their behaviors, preferences, or demographics--so-called behavioral ad targeting. One targeting … Read more
Lotame, a targeted-ad start-up that focuses on social sites, announced Tuesday that it has raised $13 million in a Series B venture round. The lead investor is Emergence Capital Partners, and existing investors Battery Ventures and Hill Crest Management also contributed. The money, per a release, will be used for "product enhancements, marketing, and business development efforts." Nothing surprising there.
The company's primary offering is a technology called "Crowd Control," which pinpoints discussions on social-media sites related to a particular brand or its niche, and helps that brand get its name on the relevant discussions.… Read more