Pinterest has become my favorite way to curate, communicate, consume, and categorize. Along with Instagram which satisfies my mobile documenting impulses, it replaces traditional blogging software for me. When I’m sitting at my desk and not doing project-specific research or writing, but still being productive, (i.e. not looking up haircuts, why my ankles hurt so much after yoga, how to do a ‘burpee’, if Army Wives is right wing propaganda, the acting career of Zosia Mamet, etc.) my preference is to be on Pinterest.
This is why I find Pinterest such a revelation:
- A picture’s worth a thousand words. The trend sites will have you believe that everyone’s wearing mint green and buying tufted chairs but people’s tastes are really, really different. People just ‘have to have’ all kinds of things. They build a world of what interests them, what compels them, in a visceral intuitive way and it is so much easier to decipher when it’s visually laid out in a grid with just short notes if any, attached to them.
- Even though I’m a writer, I’m definitely a visual person. I make mind maps with clients and for myself. I pin up images of projects I’m working on in my office so I can see what I’m dealing with. Pinterest helps me to see what I like, see what I’m doing, and visually organize current projects as well as the future I want to have. It’s a digital visualization tool - another reason why I find Pinterest so effective.
- Blogging sucks up hours of my time. In the past, when I used to have girlonthestreet.com, I would be at my computer for 8 hours writing, rewriting, finding accompanying images, coding in html, formatting, reformatting, etc. I don’t have time or the desire to do that anymore because there is so much more I want to accomplish in my life (and so much more real world adventure and learning to be had!) When I started blogging again with What Women Make, it’s the thing I dreaded the most and it did eat away a lot of time for, to be honest, not the kind of pay-off I would really want.
- Pinterest is meditative. It doesn’t stop and start. It is not process heavy. Sometimes blogging began to feel like a smoking habit. you had to stop to smoke and it would weigh you down and zap your energy and your time. But I still like to share, curate, illustrate for myself and for others and I like to leave my writing for bigger ideas I’m developing both in fiction and in my work as half of Show Love. I find Pinterest the least taxing tool to use and the one with the most immediate gratification.
I’m on WordPress right now and know it’s the most robust, best blogging software but this post has taken me a lot longer than I want it to take and I’m busy running a company and can’t blog my day away anymore. I now have a What Women Make board on Pinterest which is so much more efficient and visually compelling than laboriously adding images to a post that take 30 seconds to load. Visit me on Pinterest and visit the (fledgling) Show Love Pinterest board.
Lauren Cornell has been the Executive Director of Rhizome since 2005. Rhizome is “dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.”
Cornell On Why The Art World Is Slow to Embrace Technology
Thoughts from her 2011 article *In the Nostalgia District (recommended read)
- Art stands outside the economic pressures the Internet wrought on other culture industries. ‘You can’t download a torrent of a sculpture’
- “Objecthood” of art makes art world resistant to embracing the ephemeral nature of the Internet.
- “Physical exhibitions still remain the way that art is (most commonly) named, seen, reviewed and converted into a saleable asset.” Rhyzome’s apparent raison d’être.
- Art is vertical (elite, exclusive). The horizontal nature and opportunities of digital is its most dominant asset.
Great simple actionable point: “Institutions could amplify their educational and social role by publishing – daily and online – a great deal more history, opinion, context and anecdote around their activities, rather than just issuing press releases and visitor information.” This is precisely the way we feel and we feel.
Our Rhizome Pick – By artist Myriam Thyes:
WATCH the EU flag morphing into all EU member flags, then possible future EU countries’ member flags. Concept and realisation by Myriam Thyes of Dusseldorf, Germany with contributions from several artists around the world.
….”While the EU expands eastwards, the wolves return to the west.”…. (from artists statement)
“What would happen, say, if Bloomberg were to erect–-or allegedly erect–a Nike Swoosh monument in Central Park? I think there’s a possibility it might have been given a much warmer welcome than the Gates ever were. Or what about in the Tuileries? Total upheaval perhaps?” -Lauren Cornell, Gothamist 2005
Cornell is also adjunct curator at the New Museum. Find Rhizome here0 Comments
We’re cheating a bit because the only technology in the first two picks is Kickstarter itself which as you probably know enables ideas to become reality in a democratic open forum for proposing your work to the public but the third one well makes up for it as I’m sure you’ll agree. A lot of successes have sprung from Kickstarter’s crowd-sourced funding platform and once you start digging, you find some real gems. Here are a few worth a look this week:
1 / Nice Cream
Local, sustainable, ethical Nice Cream of Chicago needs help. They were happy, cozy, comfortable as a small business employing local growers but now they themselves are growing and dealing with big-time regulations that might just close them down if they don’t raise enough money to comply. We need more of these businesses that support local community and use whole delicious non-chemical foods – so all we are saying is give Kris a chance to keep her company up and running. Check Kris Swanberg out on Kickstarter.
2 / Domestic Construction’s Urban Lot
I was instantly a fan of Maureen and Trish when I found them and their design skills on Kickstarter but I guess I’m not the only one. They were chosen as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 “Most Brilliant Companies to Watch of 2010”. I found them kickstarting their plan to till the soil and make something beautiful out of a plot of land in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Judging from the output of their company, Domestic Construction, they are definitely equipped to do the job. I had to embed their kickstarter video too. It’s irresistible especially until 4:13:
3 / Bionic Eye
Self-described as the media haven for transhumanism, Tanya Marie Vlach sought to recreate the functionality of her lost eye by placing a camera in her ocular prosthetic. With this mission she overcame post-trauma depression and is creating a graphic novel, game, web series, and performance. She’s fully funded and has just had events in NY and SF.
We will bring you a dose of Kickstarter goodness and picks from any future funding platforms monthly right here on whatwomenmake.com0 Comments
The following is copied from a letter I received this morning about a crime committed on Airbnb’s watch. The CEO has sent out the following explanation and apology and even gave the public his email address. He’s instituted a solution that is honorable and necessary. My only question is how to ensure in the users a sense that they will be accountable if they vandalize or bring harm to guests/hosts.
Technology facilitates our lives and is not apart from our lives. So while everything becomes easier because of our capacity digitally to simplify and make contact, it does not make human error or human folly go away. Trying to solve these problems are a constant learning process. Here’s Airbnb’s solution. The CEO is not a woman but this is a good lesson for all of us using technology as our primary tool to learn from:
Last month, the home of a San Francisco host named EJ was tragically vandalized by a guest. The damage was so bad that her life was turned upside down. When we learned of this our hearts sank. We felt paralyzed, and over the last four weeks, we have really screwed things up. Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post trying to explain the situation, but it didn’t reflect my true feelings. So here we go.
There have been a lot of questions swirling around, and I would like to apologize and set the record straight in my own words. In the last few days we have had a crash course in crisis management. I hope this can be a valuable lesson to other businesses about what not to do in a time of crisis, and why you should always uphold your values and trust your instincts.
With regards to EJ, we let her down, and for that we are very sorry. We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure she felt safe and secure. But we weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball. Now we’re dealing with the consequences. In working with the San Francisco Police Department, we are happy to say a suspect is now in custody. Even so, we realize that we have disappointed the community. To EJ, and all the other hosts who have had bad experiences, we know you deserve better from us.
We want to make it right. On August 15th, we will be implementing a $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee, protecting the property of hosts from damage by Airbnb guests who book reservations through our website. We will extend this program to EJ and any other hosts who may have reported such property damage while renting on Airbnb in the past.
We’ve built this company by listening to our community. Guided by your feedback, we have iterated to become safer and more secure. Our job’s not done yet; we’re still evolving. In the wake of these recent events, we’ve heard an uproar from people, both inside and outside our community. Know that we were closely listening.
Today we are launching a new safety section of the website (www.airbnb.com/safety) with the following offerings:
- Airbnb Guarantee
Starting August 15th, when hosts book reservations through Airbnb their personal property will be covered for loss or damage due to vandalism or theft caused by an Airbnb guest up to $50,000 with our Airbnb Guarantee. Terms will apply to the program and may vary (e.g. by country). This program will also apply retroactively to any hosts who may have reported such property damage prior to August 1, 2011.
- 24-Hour Customer Hotline
Beginning next week, we will have operators and customer support staff ready to provide around the clock phone and email support for anything big or small.
- 2x Customer Support Team
Since last month we have more than doubled our Customer Support team from forty-two to eighty-eight people, and will be bringing on a 10-year veteran from eBay as our Director of Customer Support next week.
- Dedicated Trust & Safety Department
Airbnb now has an in-house task force devoted to the manual review of suspicious activity. This team will also build new security features based on community feedback.
- Contact the CEO
If you can’t get a hold of anyone or if you just want to contact me, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve also added several other safety-related features to strengthen the trust and confidence of our community:
- Safety Tips
Suggestions for both guests and hosts on how to utilize our tools to better inform your decisions.
- Verified Profiles
Our updated user profiles chronicle their public history on Airbnb, giving you more insight than ever about a potential host or guest. Along with standard social information, you’ll also see if a user has verified their phone number, connected to their Facebook account, and whether the majority of their reviews are positive or negative. And as always, you can read their reviews and references.
- Customized trust settings
We now give hosts the ability to set custom trust parameters for bookings; those who don’t meet the specified requirements will be unable to make a reservation. Selections for Trust Settings include: verified phone numbers, profile descriptions, location information, with more coming soon.
- Product suggestions poll
Have more ideas on improving safety? Now, you can submit and vote on the best ideas through our new product suggestions poll.
Many more product updates will be released in the coming days. In addition to these new features, there are safeguards already in place to protect the community. These include over 60 million Social Connections, private messaging to screen before booking, a secure reservation and payment system and transaction-based reviews. We also provide verified photographs, fraud detection algorithms, and flagging capabilities.
These steps are just the beginning. Improving the safety and security of our system is ongoing. Although we do have these measures in place, no system is without some risk, so we remind you to be vigilant and discerning. As a member of the community, you have invaluable experience that we hope to draw upon to improve our system. If you have any constructive ideas or feedback, please share them with us at www.airbnb.com/safety.
What’s made us proud during this trying time is the response of our community. Emails of support to EJ poured in; many hosts offered her a place to stay in their homes. It’s been inspiring to see that Airbnb can really bring out the best in people. Like Airbnb, the world works on the idea that people are good, and we’re in this together.
When we first started Airbnb, I told my mom about our plans for the business and she said, “Are you crazy? I’d never do that.” But when I told my late grandfather he said, “Of course! Everyone used to stay in each others’ homes.” We’re bringing back this age-old idea with new technology. Now each day, you and the rest of the community are creating meaningful connections around the world.
Thank you for being part of Airbnb.
I’m been working on a long, big, involved writing project since January 2007. And not one that can be done via tweets, posts, or powerpoint but instead in chapters employing reams and reams of paper crisscrossed into piles and filed with ink markings.
I started in Paris and two years later ended up in Barcelona in a markedly less charged, less anxious environment than New York. I grew my hair long, stopped getting highlights. I stopped wearing high heels and stopped shopping on Saturdays. (Shopping-as-hobby in euros and without a corporate paycheck, in a markedly less consumerist environment, feels absurd). I live in an ancient building with uneven stairs. Wearing heels would be impractical to say the least. . Instead, I’ve become quite the chefette. Fresh fish at Boqueria (and later Santa Caterina market) has led me to Google searches with alarming news of overfishing and the politics beyond my dinner table. Yikes.
But I left to cut the chatter out. To smell the sea and know thy butcher. The longer piece of writing is still not done (now it is!) but it is a living breathing thing that I will sorely miss when it is done. It’s what I do mornings. It’s my real and tangible life.
Afternoons, now back in the drink of digital and work life in the form of What Women Make and planning curriculum for teaching and workshops in branding and ethnography for the fall (done!), I am swimming deeper into digital space, a place where I find no up, down, or center, just endless self-perpetuating time. Time to infinity if you let it. As part of this, I have nestled myself deep in Twitter-land.
Sitting here in Barcelona, thinking about one of my characters, I scribbled in my notes, ‘are we all building concentric circles and burying ourselves in the middle of them?’
I began my dive into Twitter by looking for women makers online and swimming down that path I ended up finding scores upon scores of tech heroines – connectors, doers, investors, travelers, oracles – and I’m amazed at the female talent, passion, and community that’s showing it’s face.
I haven’t done that much writing outside my book ever since I started working on it but I realized this question has nothing to do with my book and everything to do with my digital observations. We are blowing bubbles of concentric circles every time we add a twitter connection. We float in our bubbles and we seek out: The Conference. Conferences seem to be a crucial oxygen seeking mission in all this. We come up for air there. After all, people want to speak, laugh, see one another, share the same carpet.
After the conference, we all go home, follow one another on twitter and go on building our concentric circles. But hopefully that’s not all.
How often do our circles land in tangibles?
When do they form intersecting points that lead to applications, products, services, marriages, babies, and all that good stuff?
They do, I know they do, but I’m interested in those stories. The ones grafted on the page of social networking that come alive in physical space.
I want even the physical space tinkerers or artisans to have a foot in both without compromising their craft.
I love this rapid evolution. As it changes life itself, I’m pleased with the slippery easy online glide. I remember when it was so much more cumbersome.
I think of what it can and will look like – the synergistic evolution going on in the ever widening half of our life that is lived online also happening in equal measure in physical space. To me, that is the ultimate and most critical pursuit.
-Chauncey Zalkin0 Comments
- The intelligent craftsperson is the visual world’s thought leader.
- A challenge to the primacy of traditional currency – a resurgence and innovation in barter.
- The most useful and most simple exchange of goods and service wins.
- Learning how to continue to trade, create value and be compensated in the face of the creative commons shift. People will not pay for things they can get for free therefore creativity that is spreadable through the ether (music, movies) must find a new way to be supported, through networks of supporters. The contract will be implicit. Just not sure yet how.
- Living life as a combination of your online identity and brand and your offline interactions, enriching both through the recording and refining of both to its bare essence of what matters most to us.
- Consumers are empowered with increasing control over the shaping of the things they surround themselves with. Products we consume must be refined to their ultimate utility. The consumer is too savvy and stretched too thin to tolerate poor design and unnecessary steps in service. New creative challenges result in more innovation in design, higher mental processes up the ante, more inventions result and inventions that matter, that speak to our current concerns of climate, sustainability, environment, crowded spaces, creating more time for our hurried society to enjoy life.
- Remember that sustain means creating something that allows us to stay on this planet longer, to enrich future cycles in the life of a thing, allow for continuous improvement, continued harmony.
- As technology is further and further integrated into our mobile lives we will become untethered to our computers again and our interactions will exist in a third space, now forming.
- As more exciting innovative materials are being created and light sources are redefined and evolved, the raw organic materials from metal to wood to vegetal fabrics will be prized and cherished and treated with respect. Nature the new ‘love mark’.
- Finding ways for us to live for a common good instead of an increasingly alienating individualistic and ephemeral satisfaction. Individualism will be more and more about satisfying both social and common needs and finding time and space to recharge. Rampant selfishness and egoism is now subsiding.
- The end of the traditional fashion magazine. A centralized authority defining what we should love, follow, wear, is falling to the wayside as more diverse voices share the stage and fashion moves so quickly as to be as unremarkable as yesterday’s lunch special.
- Design is integrated into utility. Design means organization of principles. Ordering. Prioritizing. We will have to take the most time and care at this stage because competition is fierce. Homogeneity is a constant threat. And for the process to be invisible, it must be thoughtfully considered beforehand.
- Simplicity is king but that doesn’t mean dull.
- Scent and color become design elements.
- Everything has a purpose but that purpose might be visceral, might be emotive. We have to listen to culture and hear the shifts.
- We must stop saying ‘consumer’ and say ‘people’ ‘person’ ‘citizen’. As marketers and developers, we are on the same side. We must not work to ‘trick’ people into buying. We must respect their needs and serve up the best solution, the best most enjoyable experience or product.
- Create whimsy. Create pleasure. Get people to think. Promote expansiveness. Promote progress. Promote sharing.
- Time is a luxury. Time will be a currency. We will ‘pay’ in order to have more time.
An agency in Barcelona asked me what I thought about the future and this is how I answered in an email. It came off the cuff and still holds true for me more than a year later.
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Research shows..the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls….
Girls eclipse boys when it comes to building or working on Web sites for other people and creating profiles on social networking sites (70 percent of girls 15 to 17 have one, versus 57 percent of boys 15 to 17). Video posting was the sole area in which boys outdid girls: boys are almost twice as likely as girls to post video files.
…The “girls rule” trend in content creation has been percolating for a few years — a Pew study published in 2005 also found that teenage girls were the primary content creators — but the gender gap for blogging, in particular, has widened.
…even though girls surpass boys as Web content creators, the imbalance among adults in the computer industry remains. Women hold about 27 percent of jobs in computer and mathematical occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In American high schools, girls comprised fewer than 15 percent of students who took the AP computer science exam in 2006, and there was a 70 percent decline in the number of incoming undergraduate women choosing to major in computer science from 2000 to 2005, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Scholars who study computer science say there are several reasons for the dearth of women: introductory courses are often uninspiring; it is difficult to shake existing stereotypes about men excelling in the sciences; and there are few female role models. It is possible that the girls who produce glitters today will develop an interest in the rigorous science behind computing, but some scholars are reluctant to draw that conclusion.
“We can hope that this translates, but so far the gap has remained,” said Jane Margolis, an author of “Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing” (MIT Press, 2002). While pleased that girls are mastering programs like Paint Shop Pro, Ms. Margolis emphasized the profound distinction between using existing software and a desire to invent new technology.
..The girls are much more into putting something up and getting responses.”
via New York Times 20080 Comments
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