Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

Last week, I had lunch with Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Rednod, GigaOM, Human 2.0, the author of Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks) and Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven, LibriVox, Bite-Sized Edits, Media Hacks) and – as with all lunches like this – the conversation quickly evolved into something of a human linkbait game of ping pong where all of us wound up starting off every sentence with, "oh, you have to check this out…" Then it occurred to me, "why not share this great content with everyone and have you contribute to it?"

So, check this out…

Every week (or so), The three of us are going to share one link for each other (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  1. Can A Cognitive Surplus Re-ignite The Flynn Effect? "This is the name for a continuous increase in IQ over time – we don’t know why it happens, but theories include education, sanitation, and so on. We also suspect that it’s leveled out in developing nations. In our discussions of interactive textbooks and the Internet as a platform for education, it’s possible that we can rekindle (no pun intended) the Flynn effect through the ubiquitous access to broadband and Clay Shirky‘s Cognitive Surplus; certainly, with Wikipedia just a click away, we’re all smarter on demand. So here’s the Wikipedia entry for the Flynn effect." (Alistair for Hugh)
  2. The Future of Politics is Whose Infographic You Believe. "Green technology is both one of the biggest cultural and economic changes of the coming century, and one in which misinformation abounds. In the wake of the oil spill, people are receptive to that change, but communicating complex data on green tech is challenging, particularly with the greenwashing of terms like ‘clean coal’ and the highly politicized debates around nuclear power and ethanol. This illustration of China’s green power does a great job of communicating a lot of information simply. But I want you to look at it through the lens of legislation and politics in a democracy. After Roosevelt, you couldn’t get elected without radio. After Kennedy, television. Obama? The Internet. Legislators will have to resort to messages like this in order to convince people of their position, and the facts and figured will be ‘certified’ by various ‘independent’ groups." (Alistair for Mitch)
  3. It’s a Mindfield! – Natasha Mitchell interviews Lone Frank on All in the Mind. "Advances in neuroscience are fundamentally shifting our understanding how we humans think, how we exist. ‘All in the Mind’ is Australia National Radio’s weekly show about this shift, hosted by the fabulous Natasha Mitchell. For my money, it’s the best science radio series/podcast in the world. More or less at random, this is a favorite recent episode about the ‘chemical self,’ religious experience, and the ‘I’ in the brain." (Hugh for Alistair)
  4. "It Doesn’t Matter Which You Heard": the Curious Cultural Journey of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah" by Michael Barthel in "I don’t know if Mitch is a Leonard Cohen fan, but I know that he was a music journalist for many years before becoming a digital marketing luminary, so this is my choice for the week. It’s one of the best things about music I’ve read in ages, and is the sort of thing I like to point to when people complain about the Internet and blogs shortening attention spans, or making writing shorter and dumber. As always: it depends what you choose to read." (Hugh for Mitch)
  5. Win With Web Metrics: Ensure A Clear Line Of Sight To Net Income! "Alistair (literally) wrote the book on web monitoring, but Avinash Kaushik – the Analytics Evangelist for Google and author of both Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0 – had one of the most fascinating Blog posts earlier this week on what all of this data, monitoring and optimization should mean in terms of bottom-line revenue. As with everything Kaushik posts, it’s timely, super relevant and, above all else, entertaining. So, now you’re monitoring everything online… but is it making you cash?" (Mitch for Alistair)
  6. The ‘Subliminal’ Effects Of Banner Ads. "Hugh recently had an amazing Blog post titled, Death to Design? Death to the Banner Ad?, well, just this week, MediaPost ran this news item from a recent research report that states people may claim to hate banners ads and want them to go bye-bye, but they actually do impact purchase decisions and have a branding effect on the masses. So, as more and more people start using Readability and InstaPaper (like Hugh does), we may find a need for an additional marketing channel to build brand awareness and recall online." (Mitch for Hugh)

Now, it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.


  1. The first walkman came out when I was about 13 years ago and was just starting to really get into music, particularly “Paradise Theatre” by Styx. Rather than just listen to the music, the walkman allowed me to take the music to the family piano, where I gradually learned how to play piano by ear. Now, of course, I can hear a song for the first time and be able to play it instantly, a nod to the Outliers’ 10,000 hour rule.
    Now…there’s no doubt that the access to technology gave me the ability to do something unexpected. And for a long time, I used that example to show how novel uses of technology can yield unexpected results. But looking back, I see that it required that I would be at the age when I really liked music, that I had access to a piano, and that I would have the patience to see things through with no assurance whatsoever that something – anything – would happen.
    The whole conceit that the Internet is going to make everyone smarter is wishful thinking, following the exact same path as the “Long Tail” meme. Instead of fulfilling the utopian notion that the rising tide will lift all ships, in fact the smart are getting scary-smart and everyone else is using copy-and-paste to bluff their way through.
    I’m reminded of the people who complained when writing was invented — instead of memorizing stories, people would “read” them. Over time, people would get dumber and things would be forgotten. (That was before they built this little structure called the Alexandria Library, which was the last time that so much of the sum total of human knowledge was tied up in one structure.) Today, the cell phone has eliminated the need for us to remember simple telephone numbers.
    Are we smarter? The answer is a qualified ‘Yes’, so long as we have access to a computing device and a live connection.

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