Previous month:
November 2010
Next month:
January 2011

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions & Change Your Behavior

2011 It's that time again.....time to un-deck the halls, stop eating so much and make those (dreaded) New Year's Resolutions.

But wait, before you jump into that new healthy eating routine or start that gym membership, arm yourself with some practical advice, strategy and tools developed by the smart folks at Stanford University.

Set in the context of the Fogg Behavior Model developed by the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, these videos will show you how to create new habits and change your behaviors and help you avoid the common mistakes that may thwart your good intentions.

Now that you're armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to face those resolutions head on and succeed at your new goals!

Happy New Year!

Got Facebook? New Study Investigates What’s Social About Social Media

Facebook.button.round A new national survey titled “Got Facebook? Investigating What’s Social About Social Media” reveals how people spend time on Facebook--the world's most popular social network. The study was based on a survey of 900 current and recent college graduates each of whom has an average of 254 friends.

Top.Facebook.Activities The study, conducted by S. Craig Watkins and H. Erin Lee at the University of Texas, Austin, presents some of the key findings in regards to the social, cultural, and political activities that young, college-educated Facebook users engage in; the individuals and communities they interact with; and the types of media and information they share and consume within the social networking site.

Got Facebook? Investigating What's Social About Social Media

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

• Of all the media content young people share via Facebook — photos, videos, links, quizzes — sharing photos is common with 87 percent of respondents reporting that they post photos on Facebook. However, less than 20 percent of these people post photos weekly or more frequently.

• Facebook has evolved into a social gaming platform with 58 percent of respondents reporting they are likely to play a game or take a quiz on a typical day, whereas 33 percent reporting they are not likely to. Of those who participate in gaming, 52 percent are college graduates and 44 percent are college students.

• In the transition from high school to college, individuals share significantly more personal information and “friend” more people, but don’t spend more time on Facebook.

College-educated Facebook users still frequently rely upon more traditional news sources, such as television and radio, and turn to those sources more frequently than online news sources.

Men tend to use Facebook more than women to post links to pop culture, current events and news-related topics.

A summary of the “Got Facebook? Investigating What’s Social About Social Media” study is available online at

LG Launches Text Ed with 'Glee' Star Jane Lynch

LG.JaneLynch.TextEd The LG Text Ed program, which was launched in early 2010, offers parents a number of articles, tips, videos and other content so they can educate themselves on the dangers of mobile phone misuse, employ strategies to help protect their children from potential problems, and discover how they might be modeling their children’s mobile phone behavior.

In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, presented during the Federal Communication Commission’s recent Generation Mobile Forum, 40 percent of teens said they’ve been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.

LG Text Ed with Jane Lynch

Jane.lynch.mug.shot Bringing her trademark intensity and flair to the LG Text Ed campaign, award-winning actress Jane Lynch is working with LG Mobile Phones to raise awareness about risky mobile phone behavior.

In a series of comedic vignettes, which can be viewed on, Lynch tackles issues such as sexting, texting while driving, mobile bullying, and other questionable teen behaviors. 

At the end of each video, Lynch directs parents to where they can find professional advice and guidance to help promote safe and responsible mobile usage among their text- and tech-savvy families.

In the texting while driving video, Lynch confronts a classroom of parents about their own texting and driving bad habits and urges parents to model good behavior for their children.

Using humor to get to the heart of the issue, Lynch helps parents help themselves by putting the phone away in the car and encouraging their kids to do the same.

Parents can find additional information on the LG Text Ed initiative and mobile phone misuse (mobile bullying, sexting) by visiting You can also connect with LG Text Ed on Facebook.


Related: 'No Phone Zone' Lesson Plan: Teaching Teens the Dangers of Texting & Driving

How To Influence On Twitter: Research Results from HP Labs Algorithm Give Guidance

image from

Using an algorithm they devised called the IP (Influence/Passivity) algorithm, a team of researchers from HP Labs continuously queried the Twitter Search API for 300 straight hours for all tweets containing the string of letters 'http'.

Finding this string in a tweet would indicate the presence of a URL, and demonstrate that a web page was being shared or retweeted by means of a link.

In that time period, they acquired 22 million tweets with URLs present. This accounted for 1/15th of the entire activity of Twitter at the time. The URLs were checked for validity, and by revisiting the Twitter API they could determine who the user for each URL was, and in particular who their followers and followees were as well.

From that information, a complete social graph was constructed from the dataset generated by the users sampled.

Influence and Passivity in Social Media - HP Labs Research

Trend Watch: Election 2010, Youth & Mobile Politics

Pew.logo In a post-election nationwide survey of adults, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 82% of adults have cell phones.

Of those cell owners, 71% use their phone for texting and 39% use the phone for accessing the internet. With that as context, the Pew Internet survey found that:

  • 14% of all American adults used their cell phones to tell others that they had voted.
  • 12% of adults used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics.
  • 10% of adults sent text messages relating to the election to friends, family members and others.
  • 6% of adults used their cells to let others know about conditions at their local voting stations on election day, including insights about delays, long lines, low turnout, or other issues.
  • 4% of adults used their phones to monitor results of the election as they occurred.
  • 3% of adults used their cells to shoot and share photos or videos related to the election.
  • 1% of adults used a cell-phone app that provided updates from a candidate or group about election news.
  • 1% of adults contributed money by text message to a candidate or group connected to the election like a party or interest group. 

If a respondent said she or he had done any of those activities in the last campaign season, we counted that person in this 26% cohort. Throughout this report we call this group “mobile political users” or the “mobile political population.”

Pew Internet Project: Election 2010 & Mobile Politics

Some 71% of cell owners say they voted in the 2010 election, compared with 64% of the full adult population in this survey who say they voted. (Note: The overall reported turnout was about 40% in the election. It is common for post-election surveys to hear from a greater number of people who say they voted than was actually the case.)
There was no partisan tilt in the makeup of the mobile political user population. They split their votes equally between Democratic and Republican congressional candidates – 44% to each.

About 2% said they voted for other candidates and 10% didn’t answer the question or said they didn’t know. Generally, there were few partisan or ideological differences in way this group used their cell phones for politics.   

In most cases, those ages 18-29 were more likely than those in older cohorts to use their cell phones for getting and sharing political information.

Infographic: Chinese is the New Dominant Language of the Internet


China gained 36 million additional internet users last year meaning there are now over 440 million internet users in the country.

English has long been the most widely used language on the internet but with Chinese Internet growth rising at the rate it is, it could be less than five years before Chinese becomes the dominant language on the internet.

Trend Watch: Gen Y Affluents

Digital media is trouncing traditional channels with Gen Y, the largest U.S. consumer group. Deft marketers are recognizing the value of investing in their own sites, social media platforms, and mobile apps.

“It’s the ‘end of the beginning’ of a dramatic shift in ad-spending from traditional formats to digital. Power will shift as brands cultivate authentic relationships via social media, creating cohorts whose size dwarfs media brands’ subscriber bases.” ~L2 Founder and NYU Professor Scott Galloway

L2 surveyed nearly 1000 high-achieving and high-earning Gen Y adults for this study. Refined to a panel of 535, on average this sample set is on a trajectory to earn more than $80,000 in the short-term and double their income within the next five years.

Gen Y Affluents: Media Survey


  • Facebook, hands down: 81 percent of millennial use Facebook every day—nearly twice as many as watch TV or read newspaper content.
  • Blogs scale the gates of the fourth estate: 45 percent read blogs every day, as many as those reading newspaper content.
  • News brands thrive—it’s paper that’s dying: Nearly half read a newspaper every day, but 79 percent access that content digitally on a daily basis.
  • Digital killed the TV set: 42 percent watch TV shows online; 27 percent watch movies online.
  • The upwardly mobile go mobile: 25 percent use mobile to access social media, and one in eight watched a video on mobile in the past 24 hours.
  • Digital branding is paramount: 63 percent use social media to engage with brands, and more than 50 percent say that Facebook, blogs, and brand videos affect their opinions about products.
  • Websites are flagships, too: Websites are as influential as physical stores in shaping Gen Y sentiment, second only to friends’ opinions.

Blackawton Bees: Eight-Year-Olds Publish Bee Study in Respected UK Science Journal

image from Royal Society Publishing science journal Biology Letters is releasing a paper about the way bees use color and space to navigate between flowers. It was written by 25 co-authors, all of whom are between the ages of 8 and 10.

Really: The 25 kids, all from the Blackawton Primary School in Devon, England, designed the experiment from the ground up, and wrote every word in the paper.

The students who published the paper were participants in "i, scientist," a project set up to engage kids with science in a hands-on way. A very hands-on way.

I Scientist film from Storymakers TV on Vimeo.

With help from neuroscientist Beau Lotto (whose son is in the class), the 25-person team began by thinking about the way animals—in particular, bees—perceive the world. You can read more about the Blackawton Bees study and other projects by Lotto by clicking here. The Blackawton Bee paper is available here.

This is a briliant and hands on way to teach kids science. Instead of sitting in classroom and listening to a teacher, these kids are getting a hands on experience that makes science move from theory into actual practice and proves that anyone can do science.


Get Your Geek On! 2011 Facebook Hacker Cup Competition


The Facebook Hacker Cup is an annual Facebook programming competition where hackers compete against each other for fame, fortune, glory and a shot at the coveted Hacker Cup.

The Hacker Cup is Facebook's international coding competition. The contest consists of three online rounds and a final round held at Facebook's headquarters.

This is your chance to compete against the worlds best programmers and potentially win the title of world champion and other awesome prizes.

Many will enter, but only one will claim title as champion and take home the $5,000 USD cash prize and be immortalized on the Hacker Cup. The event kicks off on January 7, 2011 and ends on March 12, 2011.

You can find all the information you need to register, along with Hacker Cup FAQ's and some practice puzzles, over on Facebook.

Indie Video: 'Immersed'

Flickr Remember back a few years when Flickr introduced video and everyone freaked out and lamented the "YouTube-ization" of Flickr?

Well thankfully indie media artist and photographer Matthew Parsons ignored the weeping and wailing and got to work creating videos that prove short form video does indeed have a place on Flickr.

Matthew, who goes by Fanboy30 on Flickr, RedBubble and Twitter, has created a short film titled "Immersed" that is nothing short of amazing.

Lean forward and watch this mesmerizing bit of indie filmmaking.


The Giving Pledge: Mark Zuckerberg Pledges to Give Away Billions

image from
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg joins 16 other billionaires by signing the "Giving Pledge," a Bill Gates and Warren Buffet project to pressure the very wealthy to give away "a majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death.

Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg also made news with his announcement on The Oprah Winfrey show that he would donate a $100 million challenge grant to the schools of Newark, New Jersey.

Vodaphone Digital & Social Media Guide for Parents


In this Vodaphone Digital Parenting Guide, you’ll find in-depth information and advice about everything from cyberbullying to mobile costs, your child’s reputation online to Web and mobile security, excessive use of technology to online privacy.

Vodaphone has spoken to digital and parenting experts around the world to bring you the latest advice and information from the people in the know.

Vodaphone's goal is to help parents' make sure they’re up to speed on the very latest issues and challenges, such as location services and sexting.


Vodaphone Digital Parenting Guide

So, if you’ve never played a game on yourchild’s Nintendo Wii, signed up to Facebook,checked out Wikipedia, downloaded a ring tone or stayed in a virtual hotel, have a go.

And, if you’ve never sat down with your son or daughter for a chat about the good things and the difficult things they might come across in the digital world, pull up a chair.

Indie Video: Merry Christmashup! "Rudolph" vs. "Roxanne"

image from It's that most wonderful time of the year: Time for '80s rock hits to get mashed up with Rankin/Bass stop-motion classics to create new Christmas carols for the Interweb age.

Enter "Roxanne Versus The Red-Nosed Reindeer," a new viral hit combining two beloved odes to crimson illumination into one singalong that's suitable for all seasons.

Sure, one of the original songs is about a lady of the evening (the Police's "Roxanne") and the other is about a quadruped of the night ("Rudolph," of course). But somehow this mashup just works.

Shout it out with glee: Let the reindeer games begin!

via Yahoo! Music