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Blog Roundup: Crowdsourcing, Product Placement and, of course, Barack Obama

The highlight of this past week at gnovis was our first post from Jason Turcotte, calling out the significance of Obama’s Web 2.0 presidency: “From his presidency on, Americans will come to expect superior communication and a more inclusive approach to governance.”

Jason joins us from the Media, Culture & Communication program at NYU, and will be contributing biweekly posts. We’re very excited to have him on board!

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Product Displacements as Catalysts to Engagement

Lately I’ve been noticing a trend of product displacements that are arguably more clever and memorable than even some of the most exhaustedly planned brand integration strategies.  During the product displacement process, any form of recognizable branding (i.e. logo or brand name) is removed or covered and essentially erased. This often occurs to avoid giving a brand free advertising or is requested by brands themselves if they sense that they will be presented negatively.

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Crowdsourcing Phenology: the Citizen Scientist

This summer, about a month into my research of rising land prices in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, I experienced a moment of profound clarity.  It came in the form of an answer to a question I had asked a million times: what changes have you observed in Vilcabamba in the past 5-10 years?  The answer hardly varied (more foreigners, more cars, rising prices, etc) and the question soon became simply a routine to get the conversation started, so much so, that when I heard a dramatically different response, it took me a minute to fully comprehend it.  Before she answered my question, this elderly Ecuadorian woman looked at me for a long time, until she finally said: “The sun is hotter…and the winds are stronger.”

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Let the Web 2.0 Presidency Begin

Remember the days when we elected politicians who didn’t know how to e-mail? While some candidates think they can still get by with rhetoric from the Stone Age (McCain, anyone?), those days of the not-so-technologically-savvy president are gone, thanks to Barack Obama’s administration. The Blackberry-toting Obama marks the country’s first president to adopt e-mail, despite the technology going mainstream some two decades ago. As a result of Obama’s Web 2.0 White House, we have a president eager to communicate through mediums neglected by past presidents and — for the first time in my generation — Americans have lent their ears to our new leader.

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Facebook and the Price of Privacy

Facebook Conference :: Facebook Connect

Late last year, Facebook launched a new system called Facebook Connect. Haven’t heard of it? Facebook probably thinks that is a good thing.

Facebook Connect is a system that allows third-party sites to access your Facebook information and post your web behavior to your Facebook account. Sound more familiar? Facebook’s first attempt to integrate with third-party sites via their “Beacon” system was received with such hostility that it eventually was disabled after Facebook was overwhelmed with privacy complaints. The most memorable case was probably that of a young man who purchased an engagement ring on Overstock.com, only to later find his purchase broadcasted to his friends via his Facebook newsfeed — including his girlfriend. Facebook Connect, however, promises to be different, if for no other reasons than someone thought it might be a good idea to ask users for permission to access their data and post on their newsfeeds. Still, there is a lot of buzz in the blog-o-sphere, comparing Connect to Beacon and weighing the probability of a reprise.

Yeah, yeah… so Facebook is awful at privacy. Am I a horrible person if I think we should cut Facebook a break?

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Blog Wrap Up: Inauguration, Rationality and the Ubiquity of Twitter

As everyone recuperates from Inauguration weekend, the blogosphere is buzzing with inauguration reflections, planning for the new administration and social media critique.

On Gnovis:


Reflecting on her Inauguration Weekend experience, Trish discusses embodiment and offers some reasons why being there in person, despite the giant screens, is still a more authentic experience than watching it online.

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