He who plays with a cat must bear its scratches


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The upcoming mayoral election in Rome, Italy has taken a rather unexpected swerve towards animal rights, at face value.

Ignazio Marino, the candidate for the Democratic Party, is being accused of cruelty towards animals. He’s a surgeon, so at some point in his education, chances are that he did dissect a stiff cat.

Current mayor and right-wing candidate Gianni Alemanno lost no time and jumped right into this fray. His communication team released a photo of Mr. Alemanno holding an adorable cat.

The problem is that the cat looks like it might have preferred a shower to this.

And this, presumably, was the best photo of the lot.

Epic Fail.





Gamification Gamut


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Gamification is defined as the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. However, while gamification is almost unanimously associated with the digital revolution, this is not necessarily so.

A recent report by the global research company Gartner suggests that gaming with purpose increases user interaction, helps with behavioural change and stimulates innovative thinking and the generation of new ideas. It is a breath of fresh air blowing into the increasingly stale world of employee engagement initiatives and environmental improvement programmes. (The Guardian)

Indeed, that’s exactly what this 21st century charity seeker has developed by grafting a competition for religious righteousness onto a gamification-based request for alms.

Clochard Gamification

Extra Omnes, Extra Social Media


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pope alarmLiturgies may be steeped in ritual mystery and millenary tradition, but the Vatican is certainly no novice at communication, digital or otherwise. Most recently, in fact, the Vatican inaugurated the @pontifex twitter account on December 12, 2012.

The Conclave, however, will not be broadcast in real-time. Indeed, the word itself derives from the Latin “with key” implying a locked door. Violating the oath of secrecy is punished by excommunication.

Tomorrow, when the Master of the Papal Liturgical Celebrations utters the Extra Omnes, all those who are not Cardinals will leave the Sistine Chapel. The doors will be locked and the cardinal electors will be barred from newspapers, television, telephones and all forms of digital and social media.

Technicians have installed mobile signal jamming devices to keep the world out of the Sistine Chapel. John Thavis, a longtime Vatican correspondent and author, has reported that Vatican security forces will even sweep the chapel for hidden microphones and other listening devices.

Thus, the election will be communicated in the traditional manner: via a white smoke signal.

It goes without saying that millions of eyes will be focused on the old copper chimneystack. As of today, 5600 journalists have been accredited for the event and the number of bloggers, tweeters and social media users that will chronicle the event is probably ten times that, at least.

Now, a new web service – popealarm.com – promises to inform you instantly of the Vatican smoke signal via an SMS alert, a service that – one day – will most certainly be provided directly by the Vatican.

Is all that glitters video?


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VideoApproximately one hour of video is uploaded onto YouTube every second.

That’s about 3 hours more just while you read that first sentence.

From an industry perspective, more video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.

Video is entertaining – an element that makes it highly viral.

It can be used to promote products, to divulge highbrow TED Talks or to deliver easily understood “how to do that” tutorials. Video and animation can cheaply and efficiently purvey a huge quantity of information in just a minute or two.

Nonetheless, our minds are not video-oriented. We are easily distracted.

The blink test asserts that if we do not identify what we are looking for in 3 seconds, chances are we’ll abandon our pursuit.

What can you do with a three-second video?

The Luddite Paradox


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Content is always real. It will never go out of style.

Innovation is clearly moving from disruption towards dissolution.

Devices will no longer require our full attention to deliver content. They will be seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives. In fact, mankind will be at the very heart of a new super-organism aggregated by digital signals.

It’s not very different from what happened during the Cambrian explosion when cells began to aggregate together using chemical signals and then became organisms …

Not a Luddite Manifesto


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The Internet of Things is rapidly gaining ground as an ever-greater number of objects around us – ranging from refrigerators to medical devices – are becoming capable of exchanging data not only amongst themselves, but also with other intelligent devices.

Technoliquidity, a new book published by two Italian psychology experts, postulates that entertainment technology, such as video games, has triggered an evolutionary leap, just like the written word did 3,000 years ago.

”It has changed our memory, our brain has lost certain connections. Some circuits have been lost and others have developed, circuits that are more closely linked to perception.”

Indeed, in today’s world of complex systems, big data and massive analytical capability, we should remember to step back and remember that innovation can – and often does – arise from simple human ingenuity.

Millennial Media


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A beloved science fiction series told us – Generation X – that our mission was to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Today, the baton has been handed to a new generation. This is Media a la Millennial!

Item #1 – Pope Benedict XVI now has a twitter address – @pontifex (or eight if you examine his first seven followers) – and is gearing up to promote Christian dogma to infinity and beyond!

Item #2 – UK daily The Guardian has announced a new *live* blog: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting baby – live coverage.

All in all, quite a day.

December 3, 2012


Have you changed your routine today?


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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. – Albert Einstein

We are biologically and culturally afraid of disruption; yet, without it there would have been no evolution, progress or innovation.

Indeed, our fear of disruption is clear in the very definition of the word:

Disrupt (transitive verb): to break apart; to throw into disorder; to interrupt the normal course or unity of …

Failure is ingrained in our corporate culture, because routine is deeply rooted in human culture.

Routine produces a sea of constant noise that drowns out signal reception.

Have you changed your routine today?

When’s the last time you did something for the first time?