It was an incredible honor to have been asked to speak at TEDxUMKC. Personally, the TED Talks series is something I feel like I’ve grown up watching. I try to watch at least 2-3 per month. It’s one of the ways I challenge my own status quo of beliefs. And how I continue to gain perspective in this filter bubble world we are living in. To have been asked to speak at a TED event was humbling and yet incredibly intimidating. While I’ve done my fair share of presentations, knowing this was a TED Talk certainly elevated the pressure to share the best of my ideas I want to share with the world.
For those of you who know and follow me online, you know that I’m passionate about social technologies and the power + impact they can have for people, brands, and businesses. When sitting down and thinking of what I wanted to share at TEDxUMKC, I reflected back on my experiences and acclimations of using social networks. These social technologies are embedded into our day to day lives and culture. The world uses these popular social technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram- but yet, most have not been educated to the basic frameworks and the behavioral science of communication that exist these when using these social networks.
On the surface it may seem that only people with careers in the digital + advertising + marketing business would enjoy this- but I believe this is something parents will appreciate and many others who just want to better understand the cultural shift that has happened. And I really appreciated the section regarding YouTuber’s (for years, I’ve tried to explain the norms within this network, it’s a fascinating sub-culture).
Here is the official description of the documentary: Thanks to social media, teens are able to directly interact with their culture — celebrities, movies, brands — in ways never before possible. But is that real empowerment? Or do marketers hold the upper hand? In “Generation Like,” Douglas Rushkoff explores how the teen quest for identity has migrated to the web — and exposes the game of cat-and-mouse that corporations are playing with them.
The premise of this documentary supports my TEDx talk/thesis I gave last year (in that we should be educating kids throughout their tenure of school/university about these social technologies, to understand the cultural norms that exists within these networks and to understand more about the social science/behavior online). And thanks to Mitch Joel who gave me the heads-up to watch this! I had set this to DVR (they keep re-airing) it or you can watch it online here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/
photos by me — Ramsey Mohsen @ Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 - 6:21 pm
Today was a very snowy day in Kansas City. It seemed like the majority of the city worked from home, 5″-8″ of snow is enough to cause some organized chaos, even for us midwesterners. That said, here is a little bit of what my day looked like.
I tried to make the best of it- simplicity for my desk to focus.
It was gorgeous watching the snow fall through our windows.
The streets around my neighborhood are fun to walk down.
HiHat! (everyone’s favorite neighborhood coffee shop, although closed today)
photos by me — Ramsey Mohsen @ Monday, February 3rd, 2014 - 11:13 pm
For my bachelor party, we went to Scottsdale, Arizona (which I had never been there before). Turns out, this time of year the weather is incredible there. While the rest of the country is bracing for snow and ice, temperatures are in the 70′s and 80′s. Of course, no Arizona bachelor party would be complete with out hitting the golf course. We stayed at a great hotel/casino called Talking Stick Resort.
#iPhoneOnly photo, the view from the hotel hallway of the course.
I used the ProHDR App on iOS to take both these photos.
tech news — Ramsey Mohsen @ Friday, January 31st, 2014 - 10:09 am
Yesterday Facebook announced a new mobile App it’s releasing next Monday called “Paper“. At first, I wrote it off as just a Flipboard App knockoff. But when you inspect it a bit further, this more than just a glorified visual finger swipey news article reader. Yes, there is more of a focus to highlight articles- but there is actually humans curating what you read in each topic/category (which is surprising, i’d be curious to know whom and how they are selecting articles and why they’re not using a derivative of EdgeRank?). Also a bit surprising, a 1-button RT (retweet) feature exists (rather than Share) which prompts a text box before you share.
What’s more interesting to me, is to observe is that Zucky and team are not trying to be ‘the next AOL’. Meaning, their attitude of a closed data ecosystem is starting to change. With this release, in a sense, they are starting to bring the web inside their “walled garden”. Meaning, they are in a sense replicating the web, through various Apps and interfaces- but within and controlled by themselves (hence making their network just a platform, similar to how Twitter was setup a la 2009/2010 but 3rd party developers were creating the experiences). And the numbers show from the earnings call show it, the world is here- everyone is heavily using Facebook: 1.23 billion monthly active users, of which 757 million are daily active users.
Depending on the adoption and usage of this App across it’s massive user-base, in a sense, Facebook will become the next ABC/NBC/NYTimes. Given they are hand curating (and not using any Edge Rank algorithm) the news articles and outlets you see under each topic, they have influence on what you read. An interesting thing to think about in terms of their influence on the world if this truly does become the ‘preferred’ Facebook experience for it’s billion with a ‘B’ plus users.