General

noble

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Noble or lazy gas: language and perspective

Last week I was speaking to a Chinese-speaking colleague when the concept of  ‘noble gas‘ came up. Initially, translation was a problem, because it turns out the Chinese phrase is ‘lazy gas’ or  惰性气体. The difference made me wonder enough to go back and check where the English phrase came from. It was translated directly from the …

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knowledge graph

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What Google knows to show you

Google has come a long way from the user experience of “ten blue links.” Today, Google pulls in a vast amount of the information it searches, has a keener understanding of what you are looking for — and serves it up to you directly. Google’s organization of the world’s data, called ‘The Knowledge Graph,’ affects about 25% of …

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mobile motorbike

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Quick takes on Southeast Asia digital

I began 2015 with a few weeks off the grid in Vietnam and Cambodia. The trip was all about learning and exploration — touring, reading, reflecting — and a break from the hyperconnected day-to-day. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but pay attention to the rapid encroachment of technology, and compare digital behaviors to those back in …

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Galapagos mockingbird

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Check your normative defaults

Your software has opinions — here’s how to spot them In July of this year, Facebook made a small design change that reflected a large shift in perspective. On both the desktop and the mobile app the globe icon in the blue bar became dynamic rather than static, reflecting your position on the planet. If you were …

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responsive web design

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How to lead a responsive web design

Web thought leaders and authors Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte now publish a popular responsive web design podcast. Each episode features an interview with the people who make responsive redesigns happen, and covers the various complexities from change management and organizational readiness to design optimization and monetizing mobile. You can see my interview here, which talks about the current content strategy shift toward mobile, and …

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cdo inbound

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Future M and Inbound

Last week, well over 10,000 digital marketers and technologists arrived in Boston for MITX’s Future M, and Hubspot’s Inbound. For Future M, I was fortunate to participate in a fireside chat led by industry pro Sarah Fay on how to cultivate a digital team. Smart question from the audience: who are the three members I would bring …

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Setting the Stage for Digital Engagement: A Five-Step Approach

Today, people don’t simply replicate offline activities online; rather, they create and engage in new mobile and social behaviors. This article was originally published in EDUCAUSE Review, a bi-monthly magazine on current developments and trends in information technology, how they may affect the university as an institution, and what these mean for higher education and society. …

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cake

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Happy birthday, cherished LinkedIn professional acquaintance!

Whether you use LinkedIn on a laptop, the traditional mobile app or the new Connected app, you’ve no doubt encountered the LinkedIn birthday phenomenon. I don’t know how well LinkedIn thought this user experience through, but here’s how it plays out in practice. Remember that slightly sweaty but affable guy you sat next to at …

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dog wearing Germany lei
france mobile

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5 ways Google delivers winning World Cup results

If you can’t watch every game live, you may be spending a lot of time surreptitiously tuning into the World Cup via search. Google serves up a clean, selective summary on the search results page above the organic news and web links. A search today for “France World Cup” yielded the interface below on desktop …

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