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 all search queries. Google serves more and more...

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...

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.   To get a...

3 truths and a lie, career edition


I’ve titled this talk three truths and a lie, based on a game often used as an icebreaker. You share four things about yourself — three are true, and one, intuitively enough, is a lie. The goal is to guess which is which. If you ever play the game with me, watch for the one where I met my future mother-in-law after playing a darts game called cricket in a Scottish pub. In this game, I...

The skinny on startup accelerators


If you have a startup that’s launched but needs to grow, how do you choose, apply to, and make the most of a tech accelerator experience? Monday’s Rough Draft Ventures Sketch brought together four accelerator alumni and professionals to demystify the accelerator process — the pain and the perks. Several themes emerged: Accelerators are competitive, and can afford to be choosy...

5 lessons from Buzzfeed @ Harvard


Today, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith spoke to fellows, students, and a few curious onlookers at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center (Storify recap). Listen to the full audio above; below are my top five takeaways from the discussion: Headlines definitely matter — and if you’re writing headlines for catchy listicles, be sure to lead with the number. Headlines at BuzzFeed are a...

Morning prayers @ Memorial Church


Back in December I gave a brief talk at the morning prayers service, a Harvard tradition since its founding in 1636 (more here). Many thanks to Jonathan Walton, the Pusey Minister of Harvard’s Memorial Church and the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences for the invitation to speak at morning prayers. If you’re interested in the writer Flannery...

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