On digital natives

Using the term digital native to describe all netizens born after 1980 is way too general.  I found this interesting article discussing various findings:

Only a minority of students actively created their own content or used emerging technologies such as blogs, social networking and podcasts. And a significant proportion of them had lower levels of technical competency than would be expected of ”˜digital natives’

via Myths of age and digital capability.

Firefox Add-ons

Besides iPod Touch apps, another apps marketplace that has really grown is the one for Firefox. There’s an add-on for everything, it seems.

Here’s a break-down of Firefox add-ons that I am using:

Delicious
This a Firefox add-on I can’t do without. Very stable. Useful. Mark a text on a webpage and hit the TAG button to add a Delicious bookmark.

Save a Bookmark 3292010 83450 PM

DownThemAll!
A Firefox Downloads utility especially for low bandwidth. I’ve used it to download videos, many Word and pdf files. Useful.

download them all

Echofon
I installed this recently cos I don’t like Twitter’s and Brizzly’s AJAX-laden, slow, error-prone web interfaces. I like the iPhone version of Echofon. I really haven’t used the Firefox add-on enough to form an opinion. It looks promising. An intermediate step while I look for an AJAX-less, text-only web interface for Twitter.

FastestFox
I really like the page loading function that enables endless pages. Very cool. Works for Google, WordPress blogs, Friendfeed and many other apps with pagers. I don’t use the other functions as much.

Firebug
Essential for every web developer and internet project manager. It’s either this or Web Developer. If you don’t have hands on experience with either of these, I will sincerely doubt that you have adequate web development experience. Very useful and highly recommended.

FireFTP
I don’t use this add-on much. I prefer Filezilla any day. But for completion’s sake, I’ve left it in the list. I haven’t uninstalled it yet. But Filezilla in combination with Notepad++ are hard to beat.


FireShot

Take screenshots within Firefox. I am comparing this tool with Screengrab.

Google Analytics Watcher
Links to my Google Analytics and shows the current no. of visits in the Firefox status bar.

iGetter
A Firefox Downloads utility especially for low bandwidth. I’ve used it to download videos, many Word and pdf files. Useful.

Integrated Gmail
I am testing this. You can switch to Google Reader from Google Mail within the content area.

Adblock Plus / NoScript
This is supposed to help block advertising and malicious scripts, but I haven’t really figured out the best way to use this add-on. Tips?

Screengrab
Like FireShot, this add-on takes screenshots. Sometimes it doesn’t work and you need to re-start Firefox. Not good. But it takes screenshots of the full page not just the visible area.

TV-Fox
I like this add-on. It lists and links to free online TV streaming from around the world.

YSlow
This add-on provides a measure of website speed.

The Browser Highlighter
Skype when it still belonged to eBay, automatically installed The Browser Highlighter. There is no easy way to uninstall it either. I can only disable it. #Fail

Link captions in WordPress

There is a plugin for WordPress that simplifies adding hyperlinks to captions

Many thanks to {a.} of Handmade 2.0 for sharing this info.

Link captions simplify the attribution of Creative Commons photos shared in the public domain.

Before using any photo, check the licensing conditions first.

At Flickr, these are listed in the right sidebar under the sub-heading Additional Information.

add-info

Please don’t just take, but contact the photographer and ask for permission. If you are using Creative Commons photos and graphics, which are free for non-commercial use, please follow the attribution conditions listed in the license. Usually this is the name, nom de web, or website address of the photographer and a link to the photo used. Contact the photographer to ask how he or she would like to be listed.

CMYK JPEGs

JPEG not displaying in MS Internet Explorer 7 or 8 ? I was puzzled. I checked the src link, re-uploaded the image…

Well, then I learned that JPEGs saved in the CMYK color model will not display in MS IE, while they do display in Firefox 3.x.

I guess saving JPEGs in CMYK is unusual, esp. for screen use. I assumed the file was in RGB, given that it was intended for the web.

More:
CMYK color model
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 does not display JPG images with CMYK color mode

Rules, guidelines, research and more

hmmm…

70% of your tweets should share resources- sharing others’ voices, opinions, quotes, blog posts, articles, content and resources

20% of your tweets should engage in conversations with others, responding, connecting, collaborating and connecting with others.

10% of your tweets can be chirping, chitchat as Angela calls it, on trivial details or self-promotion.

via 10 Tips For Managing Twitter As Your Usage Increases | Blog of Mr. Tweet.

All these rules, guidelines. Not sure I endorse any of them. I assume their target audiences are people tweeting for business reasons.

Twitter is many things to many different people. What works for you may not work for the next person. Or do you plan your conversations to include “70% of resource sharing”?

But by quoting this guideline, I am showing that this kind of article works. 10 steps to success… Follow this method and success will be yours.

Research on Jaiku:

Apparently… who knew… Research has found… Microbloggers are really boring… The article shows 3 things: either there were no linguists on the research team, otherwise they would know that a lot of content that is sent across the communication channel is “meaningless in itself” but serves the purpose of keeping the communication going. Or secondly if there was a linguist on the research team he or she failed to make this connection. And thirdly the amazing culture of searching (errr… by default gooogling) for everything. I entered the new disclaimer of this site as a search phrase “This is a very boring personal website” to find the article on Jaiku research.

In was für einer Welt lebe ich eigentlich.

Personal projects:

The MBA project is moving along. It was quite an experience to be on-campus at a large state university.  One thing that struck me most was the vast expanses of ruralness. When I think of the US from my Euro-centric perspective, it comprises sprawling big cities like San Francisco, New York, Miami, Chicago. Influenced by visits and movies. But 2 weeks in West Lafayette have changed this image. Lots of farmland between O’Hare International Airport and the uni.

143 cities in china

I learned – during one of the cultural classes – that China has 143 cities with a population of over 1 million. Compared with the US where there are about 52 metropolitan areas with a population of over 1 million.

Somehow I find it both comforting and scary that the superpower of the world is based on large expanses of small and mid-sized towns that depend on farming.

Compare this with the increasing pressures of urbanization in many parts of the world.

The big three: Land, water, food.

Blue collar wage rates

Another amazing fact from a euro-centric perspective: The wage rate in Indiana dropped from $30 to $15 within one year. That number alone shows the crisis.

New cam: Going to get an S90 to replace my overexposing Ixus 900 Ti.

Flickr wall: I want to build a Flickr wall based on this example. Wish me good luck…

Free advice for a Twitter/Google/Facebook/Friendfeed world…

And a finally word of advice: Remember that all of your precious UGC data that is stored at external, commercial sites may be gone tomorrow. Don’t take 5 years to learn this.

Return on involvement

How do you master a new skill and become an expert? How do you leave mediocrity behind?

I am thinking a lot about how to cross the so-called suck threshold.

I have experienced crossing this threshold for some topics, and that’s where I want to be.

How to get there? John C. Maxwell writes:
If you invest one hour into a topic or skill every day for the next 5 years, you will be an expert.

Not always feasible. And getting involved is the hard part.

I particularly like Henriette Weber’s term “return on involvement” – ideas for marketing campaigns.

The 3Ps of News Distribution

Via Cyberwriter, here are the 3Ps of news distribution:

  • Portable : 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
  • Personalized : 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
  • Participatory : 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

See Overview | Pew Internet & American Life Project.