Why do you describe Facebook as a “social utility” rather than a “social network?”

I think there’s confusion around what the point of social networks is. A lot of different companies characterized as social networks have different goals — some serve the function of business networking, some are media portals. What we’re trying to do is just make it really efficient for people to communicate, get information and share information. We always try to emphasize the utility component.Slideshare is an incredible resource for learning about a variety of topics, particularly those in the web 2.0 realm. The principle is simple: upload a presentation to share with others and find/download any presentations you connect with.

Being part of the powerpoint whizz-kid team I know how lengthy a process it can be to create a stunning deck, not just in terms of sourcing the right imagery, but developing a structured presentation that flows from start to finish. Slideshare is great for that upfront research stage when you need to be broad in your thinking. Once you download the presentation it’s essentially yours for the formatting, but in the creative commons honest world that we live in, it just doesn’t feel right “taking” another person’s work and presenting it on as your own. So, stay true to the social web values and use Slideshare to inspire and stimulate ideas, but create your own original deck to really wow not just your boss, but clients.

If Google had a black screen, taking in account the huge number of page views, according to calculations, 750 mega watts/hour per year would be saved.  In response Google created a black version of its search engine, called Blackle, with the exact same functions as the white version, but obviously with lower energy consumption.

In principle, I think it’s a great idea although I have to admit the black screen takes a little while to get used to and according to the main man Mr. Ben Lord, “the data supporting the claims of it saving much energy is actually supposed to be fairly weak”. Not only that, but Google aren’t even behind this eco-conscious idea. It’s the brainchild of from Australia.  What am I talking about? The recent Coco Juice packaging by [Blue Marlin Brand Design Group]. Coco Juice is an intriguing new product on the market, coconut water.

The creative brief:

“Dr. Martins is a real person – a Brazilian nutritionist with an entrepreneurial spirit. Armed with the knowledge that coconut milk is loaded with healthy electrolytes, and the fact that this milk is very easily absorbed into the body, Dr. Martin’s set out to create a new brand.  The briefed focused on the exoticism of Brazil, where the product was born, as well as the natural essence of the product itself. (Typically electrolytes are delivered in “sport” or “science” oriented packages.) Blue Marlin focused on the origin of the product and with the mode of absorption, water.”

Like I said – simple, yet striking. And lush too for that matter. I want to taste it….and that’s when you know a good design – it motivates a change in not just attitude, but behaviour.  Users simply type in their address and get a rating out of 100, (based on the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.), side by side a map that highlights local points of interest to WALK to. My Brooklyn hood came in at 80 (not bad, not bad, although [Patrick] leads the Brooklyn posse at 98).

The best thing is you actually discover new places to check out, (hello, I live near a cinema – news to me!), while simultaneously registering that these places can be WALKED to and WALKING is good for your sole (soul) – [you’ve got to love their section.

Get your walking boots on.

“In the past, people could just share information with their neighbors, but now people can influence the global village by sharing their experiences on the Internet.”

OK, all you travel lovers out there. It’s August which means holidays.

And as fun, joyous, relaxing, wonderful (you get the drift) as adventures to foreign lands may be, there is always the mad panic beforehand – did I get my malaria shot? Did I pack seasick tablets & plasters for the million cuts my flip-flops will inevitably throw my way? Lots to think about, right?

Well, chill out – you’re going on holiday, remember? Or rather, you can chill NOW thanks to a rather nifty set of travel tools just launched by [STA Travel], all available for download to your PC or Mac, or upload to your personal page. The Travel Checklist widget is essentially a check-list (pre-formatted with the essentials, but you can add your own TO-Do’s) where you can tick-off items complete as your trip approaches. In a word, handy.

Desktop Of course, some tools are darn useful and others are plain and simple fun. Like the countdown widget I downloaded last week. As per the screen-grab visual of my dashboard I now have 12 days, 11 hours, 6 minutes and 36 seconds to go till my return to the Emerald Isle. The orange color and the picture of the Irish cottage? Customized by me! Another cool one to upload to your blog and remind friends and family you are off to the sun is the weather comparison widget – i.e. it’s 8 degrees C and rainy in Ireland, it’s 35 degrees C and sunny in Spain. Talk about building anticipation for your holiday – love it!

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