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David Plouffe on how technology+people helped elect Obama

This morning at Convergence 09, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe took the stage. His message: technology helped connect people in a way that's never happened before, to elect a candidate who might never have been able to win before.

Here are my notes from the session.Notes from David Plouffe keynote, #1

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Travel by cloud

Social media tips for business travel, today in Harvard Business online

Harvard Business

My business travel begins long before I get on the plane. By making the most of social networking and other social media tools, I get the most out of each business trip -- finding new business opportunities, learning from new people, and building my network.

Today, Harvard Business online has published my top tips for using social media to get the most out of business travel.

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ChangeEverything.ca gets a Webby nomination... and some big-league peers

ChangeEverything.ca, the online community we conceived and built for Vancity, read full article

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Is Facebook trying to kill you?

What robots in popular culture tell us about our technology nightmares

Cyborg hand

My new TV addiction is "The Sarah Connor Chronicles", which brings the Terminator franchise to the small screen. There's nothing like watching robots kick ass to make me think about the big issues in life, and this week's man-versus-machine showdown got me thinking about our widely-noted anxiety about the possibility of robot or cyborg takeover.

From Blade Runner to the Matrix, from Star Trek's Borg to Battlestar Galactica's Cylons, we've spent a lot of time imagining the day when our super-strong, super-smart robots get tired of vacuuming and decide they want to rule the world. You can even buy a witty and informative manual on How To Survive a Robot Uprising.

As a sci-fi fan and insomniac I've spent more than my share of hours staring at the ceiling and wondering whether our house is about to be stormed by robots who've made their escape from the Honda assembly line. That's given me an opportunity to consider a more immediate threat: Facebook. Not just Facebook, actually, but all the social networks and online communities to which we give our eyeballs, braincells, hearts and dollars. Could these online communities constitute the machine threat that sci-fi has taught us to anticipate?

Mom! He's poking me!

Mom! He's poking me!(parent reprimanding child, who is in front of a computer) No 'but's, young man! You log in and friend your sister right now!

Friend friend

Friend friend(woman to another woman, looking at a man) He's the kind of guy you want as a Facebook friend, but not as a friend friend.
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Where do the cool kids hang out?

Cartoon of three young people: cleancut (Facebook), menacing (MySpace) and an operator (LinkedIn)

If you follow this stuff, then chances are you've at least heard about danah boyd's blog essay looking at youth participation in online social networks through the prism of class. It's an excellent read with some valuable insights, but I don't think it's the best piece on her site.

Dig a little deeper, and you'll find a remarkable perspective on online participation by young people, one that cuts past the paranoia and panic that too often color public discussion on that topic. She starts from the radical premise that kids are people worthy of respect and dignity; her posts regularly take on political and commercial hucksterism with a rare combination of passion and rigour.

Her interests and insights range beyond youth as well. If you'd like to check out her blog, have a look at some of her greatest hits – and then let me know what you think.

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Falling for Facebook

How social networks (especially Facebook) bring value to your online outreach

I'm besotted with Facebook. I can see it becoming the primary way that I -- and many other people -- interact online. So if you aren't on Facebook already, join now. Now.

Still here? Don't tell me, you need actual reasons to join. Fine, here goes:

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Twittering to myself

Twitter seems to be the new addictive social networking app on the block. (For those new to the phenom, it's a site that lets you tell your friends what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and to see what they're doing, too.) But I haven't been able to get into the addiction cycle, because I don't have any friends. :(

Why? Because unlike other social networks -- Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster spring to mind -- Twitter doesn't provide a way to mine your address book for fellow Twitter-ers. As far as I can tell, if I upload my address book to Twitter, EVERYONE gets an invitation to be my Twitter buddy, whether they're Twittering or not. I can see how this helps to spread Twitter, but since I don't want to annoy my entire contact list with invitations to all the social networks I check out, it makes it very hard to get up and running on Twitter.

So consider this a triple request:

  1. If you're using Twitter, ping me or add me to your friends list.
  2. If there IS a way to make Twitter scan my contact list for fellow Twitterers, please let me know.
  3. Twitter, if there ISN'T a way to scan my contact list for fellow Twitterers, could you add it? Or could you at least allow me to scan my buddies on other social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook -- not just LiveJournal, which is the only one you currently connect to?

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.