Monthly Archive for January, 2010

Mental Links: TheSixtyOne, Sarien,, Controlled Serendipity, Keynote Tweet, Booki, and more

On My mind: This Week in Links (012510)

I keep having these aspirations to have my own daily video show, but until it actually happens (yeah right!), I’ll just share recent links I’ve enjoyed. I’ve heard from some of you that this is what you like best from my blog… less talkie, more linkies!

  • – Instant adventure gaming
    Welcome to, the portal for reliving classic Sierra On-Line adventure games. With its focus on instant fun and a unique multiplayer experience, hopes to win new gamers' hearts and promote the adventure game genre. (via @tiffchow)
  • “Socialgraphics” webinar slides « Altimeter Group
    Recorded webinar of Altimeter's “Understanding Your Customers’ Social Behaviors“. You can also download from (for slides) and (for the recording).
  • Get Glue: The Network That Sticks To You
    Glue is a service that helps you find your next favorite movie, book, music album or other every day thing (here's a list of supported categories). Glue shows you things that you'll like based on your personal tastes, what your friends like, and what's most popular on Glue.
  • Government posting wealth of data to Internet –
    Under a Dec. 8 White House directive, each department must post online at least three collections of "high-value" government data that never have been previously disclosed. All the new data collections will be added to the government's Web site,
  • ‘Controlled Serendipity’ Liberates the Web –
    Observational article on twitter users as content curators & human aggregators.
  • IDEO Labs » Keynote Tweet: Participate in the backchannel of your own presentation
    Enter Keynote Tweet, a simple open-source script that provides the capacity to participate in the backchannel by combining Twitter with Apple Keynote. All you have to do is add text wrapped in [twitter] and [/twitter] tags in the presenter notes section of a slide. When that slide comes up in the presentation the script grabs that text and sends it to Twitter on your behalf.
  • Conversations About The Internet #5: Anonymous Facebook Employee – The
    Samzenpus on Slashdot wrote: "A Facebook employee has given a tell-all interview with some very interesting things about Facebook's internals. Especially interesting are all the things relating to Facebook privacy. Basically, you don't have any. Nearly everything you've ever done on the site is recorded into a database. While they fire employees for snooping, more than a few have done it. There's an internal system to let them log into anyone's profile, though they have to be able to defend their reason for doing so. And they used to have a master password that could log into any Facebook profile: 'Chuck Norris.' Bruce Schneier might be jealous of that one."
  • The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures « OkTrends
    To write this piece, we cataloged over 7,000 photographs on, analyzing three primary things: 1) Facial Attitude. Is the person smiling? Staring straight ahead? Doing that flirty lip-pursing thing?,
    2) Photo Context. Is there alcohol? Is there a pet? Is the photo outdoors? Is it in a bedroom?, 3) Skin. How much skin is the person showing? How much face? How much breasts? How much ripped abs?
  • TheSixtyOne: Beautiful music listening + discovery + game service
    TheSixtyOne is an amazing way to discover new music online. It's chock-full of musical goodness — including lots of Creative-Commons licensed music that can be freely downloaded. It turns music discovery into a social game and lets you "heart" songs (you only get so many hearts to give out each day, depending on your level). If others then "heart" those same songs, it means you've helped them discover good music, and you get more "reputation" points (which in turn allow you to level up and "heart" even more songs, and so on).
  • iSites – Create your iPhone/Android app now
    iSites enables you to create and self-manage apps for multiple smart phones (iPhone, Android) from one place. Just $25!
  • Thwapr – Mobile To Mobile Video Sharing
    The easiest way to share videos and pictures from your phone to your friends' phones. All you need is text messaging and a mobile browser. Thwapr is free and requires no downloads.
  • An Illustrated History of Location-Based Technology – BlackBook
    As far back as 200 BC, humans have been busy inventing a variety of tools to help steer us in the right direction. This timeline is an informative look at just how far we've come when it comes to location based technology.
  • UK Launches Open Data Site; Puts to Shame has nearly 3,000 data sets available for developers to build mashups with. The U.S. site,, has less than 1,000 data sets today. When will we see
  • L+E Visual Thinking Archive – a set on Flickr
    This group of visuals has been designed and produced by me (David Armano). You are welcome to use the visuals for presentations, slideshows and blogs posts. Please provide proper attribution and a link is always appreciated.
  • Booki: CollaborativeFutures
    As we began the collaborative process of crafting this book on the future of collaboration, we realized we were all working from a set of assumptions, many of them shared, some of them divergent. We were talking about a specific form of collaboration, specific media of collaboration, and specific goals of collaboration. And we were talking about a specific history of collaboration, and a correspondingly specific set of futures.

Confessions of an Expatriate Singaporean Mom (turned Accidental Entrepreneur)

Foodies from
A tasty care package courtesy of Audrey’s online grocery store.

Audrey Lim Sipping on a nostalgic white milk tea Audrey Lim had kindly sent me, I ask this extraordinary expatriate mother of two what made her move to the States and how she got started with her online Asian grocery store,

As a working mother of two school-age children, Audrey Lim was constantly on-the-move. Being in the States, she craved for food from Singapore and Malaysia, yet wanted a easy way to fix up an authentic-tasting local meal without the required hassle. Seeing a need, the was created to help overseas Singaporeans and Malaysians re-connect with their heritage through simple-to-prepare delicious food.

Continue reading ‘Confessions of an Expatriate Singaporean Mom (turned Accidental Entrepreneur)’

Teacher Evaluation Forms for the LOL Generation

Abi Huynh's Teacher Evaluation Forms

As educators, teaching evaluations can sometimes make or break our careers as seen in this New York Times article. Artist Abi Huynh, from the Royal Academy of Art, the Netherland puts a new spin on the otherwise boring survey form.

Don’t bother. The image is too low-res to print, so we’re encouraged construct our own versions.

Source: New York Times “Judgement Day” // via worldfamousdesignjunkies

theorycast.64 :: Visiting Brandtology – an online brand intelligence startup from Singapore

During my Singapore vacation in October ’09, I caught up with Kelly Choo, co-founder of, to learn more about their online brand intelligence service.

While there are numerous online sentiment monitoring companies in the States, such as Radian6 and Omniture, this space is relatively new and growing in South-East Asia.

As mentioned before, my friend Ben Koe works at JamiQ, which differentiates from Brandtology’s intelligence suite with a straightforward, hands-on approach to social media monitoring. There’s also ThoughtBuzz, which I recently read about.

To better understand the strengths of each startup, check out SG Entrepreneurs’ interviews with Brandtology’s Kelly Choo, JamiQ’s Ben Koe, and the ThoughtBuzz team.

Businesses have traditionally (and still do) debated about the lack of proper social media metrics. As many in the online space would explain, there’s in fact a deluge of metrics which leads to a dilemma of choice. While concepts of viewership and circulation were somewhat sufficient for traditional media, social media affords a broader range of metrics. The real first step is really determining what we want to measure. Leveraging Social Media

For instance, as seen in MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide (PDF), it’s been found that social media is very effective at building brand awareness and reputation, while it’s yet to prove itself at driving online sales. There’s no silver bullet; every media has varying levels of richness, with leaner media tending to be more distributive. Our choice of media involves a host of factors, which is why media intelligence (social or not) gets more valuable than ever.

Did You Know: The music in the end credits comes from Starfish Stories’ latest album, Crystal Tears and the Dream Nebula. It’s track 5, “Stroke of Midnight v2.3″, which I bought for a dollar.

Download theorycast.64 :: Visiting Brandtology (.mp4 / 35mb), or watch this on Youtube and Feel free to subscribe to theorycast on iTunes.

NLB’s ‘myLibrary’ Facebook App is damn shiok!

Sivasothi (@sivasothi) and Ivan Chew (@ramblinglib) tipped me off on the Singapore National Library Board‘s new Facebook app, simply called ‘myLibrary‘. What’s interesting about the app is that it integrates much of our typical library transactions right into Facebook.

At first we might wonder, “What’s the big deal about a Facebook app? Can’t we already access the same services by going to the library’s web site?”

True that, but more than just a matter of accessibility, it’s about being “within reach” to users, and extending their library use into the third place. Allowing users to recommend books to friends or posting what they’re reading directly onto their Facebook profiles is very much for the library’s win (i.e. word of mouth).

Since the Facebook app does require an NLB account to play with, I’ve made a quick five minute screencast above for the benefit of our international librarian friends (also on Youtube for the kiasu ones). If you can’t or hate watching videos, you can also read all about ‘myLibrary’ at NLB’s Facebook FAQ page, which includes a user guide (PDF) complete with annotated screenshots.

So far, the tweets about the ‘myLibrary” has been largely positive (many of whom were surprised!), so I do hope NLB keeps up the great work. I love our innovative librarians, and this in turn makes me proud of Singapore.

UPDATE 1: Some folks have asked if NLB has plans for mobile apps, and while there’s no official word, my sources have quietly hinted in due time. Meantime, we can always point our iPhones to

UPDATE 2: If you’re so inclined, Ivan Chew (@RamblingLib) has shared screenshots of NLB’s myLibrary Facebook app.