Under the hood: Henri Matisse

I spent a fair amount of time this holiday break unplugged — reading physical books(!) and conducting entire conversations that didn’t center around mobile applications, online learning models, and digital strategy best practices. One of those offline activities was seeing the Henri Matisse show at the Met. The New York Times review called it a “thrillingly instructive exhibition,” and the way the works are juxtaposed offers up […]

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How class, poverty, and higher ed connect

The story of their lost footing is also the story of something larger — the growing role that education plays in preserving class divisions. Poor students have long trailed affluent peers in school performance, but from grade-school tests to college completion, the gaps are growing. With school success and earning prospects ever more entwined, the consequences carry far: education, a force meant to erode class […]

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2013 prediction: the human-technology bologna sandwich

The biggest trend in 2013 will be a business process shift to what I elegantly deem the “bologna sandwich model” of humans and machines. That means: this will be the year organizations figure out how to use employees not to replace technology (“Would someone please go find and count those Twitter mentions?”) but to envision and interpret it. In the bologna sandwich model, the people […]

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The antithesis to 10,000 hours

There’s a lot of reasonable thinking out there about how a skill is mastered, including the 10,000-hour rule popularized by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m the first to advocate for the value of persistence — in marketing analytics, software development, and countless other disciplines there’s tremendous value in chasing every issue to its core and in finishing the job, even down to the tedious, final 10%. Still, there are people […]

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Visualizing characters + action over time = magic

Excellent visualization of Game of Thrones characters and their events trajectory (spoiler alert: lots of killing) over time by Jerome Cukier (h/t Nathan Yau). Love the proliferating use of data visualization to understand complex character structures and plot lines in novels; see also Infinite Atlas and this selection from brain pickings.

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Creating a network for women entrepreneurs

…women-owned firms employ just 6% of the U.S. workforce and contribute just 4% of all business revenues. Women might be making overall progress in the rate at which they are launching new ventures, but are failing to launch and build high-growth ventures. — Jennifer McFadden, who proposes radically transparent networks as one possible solution to the high-growth venture gap

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The Tempest, digital humanities edition

We didn’t want this to be the authoritative version of the play to be admired or read in solitude; we want it to be a generative version of the play, one which sparks innovation and creates new knowledge. – Prof Elliot Visconsi, talking about his new iPad app supporting a social reading and learning experience of The Tempest

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Enabling IT for the digital consumer shift

Last week at a Boston-based CIO Summit, I spoke about the challenges facing traditional IT roles in a shifting enterprise technology landscape. Consumerization of IT is a foregone conclusion: employees are bringing not only their personal devices (BYOD-sanctioned or otherwise) but more significantly their habits and expectations born of living in a full-on digital world. The proliferation of well-designed, productivity-enhancing, cloud-based software means employees won’t wait. […]

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How universality benefits the web profession

We’ve spent two decades talking about a web that’s inclusive and flexible. We’ve devoted countless hours to creating spaces where conversations and relationships can thrive. The longer we tolerate a community that excludes others, the more we, as an industry, are defined by exclusion—and the further away we remain from the universality we’ve worked so hard to build. – Sara Wachter-Boettcher in A List Apart on cultivating […]

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