For Storyteller Branden Harvey, Changing the World Sounds Good

image from static1.squarespace.comMeet Storyteller Branden Harvey

I'm a big fan of Branden Harvey. He first popped up on my radar during the early days of Snapchat, er, Snap Inc! At that time he was a crazy kid from Portland with a awesome hair cut and unbridled good energy and positive vibes. 

Then he traveled to Africa, using Snapchat and Instagram to share his adventures. And what adventures did he have! It was then I saw that Snapchat really was a powerful *storytelling* tool. Branden is a talented storyteller who combines his infectious brand of optimism, digital skills and social media presence to spread good in the world!

At a time when there's so much negativity and, frankly bullying on social media, it's so refreshing to have someone like Branden use his storytelling gift, passion for social media and photography to lift spirits and challenge us to look for the silver lining and good in other people, places and things. 

Sounds Good Podcast

He has a new podcast called, "Sounds Good." Every Monday he talks to people in the creative fields about their process, living authentically and sharing their advice and knowledge. It's fantastic. You can find "Sounds Good" on iTunes, SoundCloud and other podcast networks.

Every week I listen to "Sounds Good" and think, "That was my favorite episode." But this episode featuring Jessica is just a wee bit more special.

This week Branden sat down with Jessica Hische, an amazing lettering artist and author, who has worked with creatives like Wes Anderson, New York Times, American Express and many, many others. 

Trend Watch: Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook & Twitter Friendships [PODCAST]

FacebookForEducators When the tornado devastated the town of Joplin Missouri, teachers turned to Facebook to help locate students. A new measure could make that a bit more complicated.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently signed a bill into law that would ban exclusive contact on social networking sites between teachers and students. Senate Bill 54 passed with unanimous support.

A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.

It was meant to prevent teachers from developing inappropriate relationships with their students. But to use Facebook parlance, not everyone is clicking the like button.

NPR's All Things Considered's Michele Norris spoke to an eighth grade teacher from Joplin, Mo., who opposes the new law. Randy Turner, who teaches English, said as teachers your job is to reach out to students and that means going where they are and now a days students have shunned e-mail and are using social networking sites to communicate.

But Turner argues instead of protecting children, this new law may be hurting them. "We may be preventing them from talking to the very people who may be able to help," he said.

Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship by barkingrobot


Related Links

How To Write A Hit Song: Think Like A Teenager (But Keep Parents In Mind) [PODCAST]

According to Jerkins, making hits depends on understanding how kids see themselves, right down to how they talk. "How can I make the kids say this [thing] they've never said before? That's very very important," he says.

But all three songwriters are aware that the young people who drive the culture are only half of the equation. To be successful, Riddick and Daniels must, after all, spin fantasies for consumers. But those fantasies have to remain in the realm of tweens and young teens.

They toss around ideas for a new song, bouncing from concepts like Facebook friend requests to first kisses, always trying to walk a line between risque and corny.

Ultimately, one of their goals as hitmakers in today's music economy is not only to create songs kids love, but ones that their parents will buy.


NPR How To Write A Hit Song

Listen to the NPR Podcast



Berkman Center for Internet & Society: Building and Managing Online Communities [podcast]

This Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University panel looks at the challenges, both legal and journalistic, facing media organizations that seek to build and maintain online communities, from article comments to community forums and blogs.

Issues include the role of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, content strategy, dealing with and protecting anonymous commenters, and concerns regarding defamation and privacy.

Building and Managing Online Communities: Anonymity, Defamation and Privacy, Oh My! by barkingrobot


  • Patrick Carome - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Bill Densmore
  • Eric Goldman - Associate Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Jeff Howe - Contributing editor at and author of Crowdsourcing
  • Barbara Wall - Vice President/Senior Associate General Counsel, Gannett Co.
  • David Ardia (moderator) - Director, Citizen Media Law Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

This panel is part of the Online Media Legal Network's 2010 conference "Journalism's Digital Transition: Unique Legal Challenges and Opportunities" held at Harvard Law School on Friday, April 9, 2010.

Trend Watch: Pew Study Finds 75% of Teens Own Mobile Phones, Teen Texting Takes Off

For America's teens, cell phones have become a vital social tool and texting the preferred mode of communication, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

The report finds that 75 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 now have cell phones, up from 45 percent in 2004. And the number who say they text-message daily has shot up to 54 percent from 38 percent in just the past 18 months.

The survey, which was conducted with scholars from the University of Michigan, finds the typical American teen sends 50 texts a day, and a sizable number send double that or more. Some teens text their parents, though most youngsters say they prefer to speak with them by phone.

The Pew report finds that most schools ban texting in class, but allow it in the halls or at lunch. A small minority ban phones outright, but the study finds that neither that, nor parental controls, seem to have much influence on the amount of texting teens do.


Related: OMG! Study Finds That Texting Does Not Affect Teens Spelling Skills

Weekly Wrap: Ning Goes Bust, Seacrest Speaks, Breakfast Club Turns 25, The 'Digital Natives' Myth, Growing Up Gaga, Poking is Not A Media Plan & More!

Barking.robot.iconAxe Falls on Ning: It has just announced that it is killing off its free product, forcing existing free networks to either make the change to premium accounts or migrate their networks elsewhere. Related: Posterous commits to building a Ning blog importer. [TechCrunch] [Posterous]

Seacrest Speaks: So what’s going on with TV’s leading multitasker? Is he overwhelmed? More like overjoyed. After nine years of hosting America’s most popular singing competition, he still love his job -- correction: jobs – though he is contemplating letting one of them go. [LA TIMES]

Sesame Street Video Helps Military Kids Cope with Loss: Elmo and a slew of other Sesame Street characters arrived at the Pentagon Tuesday to help debut a military-themed episode of its series called "When Families Grieve." [CNN]

The Breakfast Club Turns 25: This week in Critics’ Picks, A. O. Scott looks at the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club,” an exploration of suburban teen angst — and detention — directed by John Hughes, who died last year. Related: NPR Podcast > The 'Brat Pack' Grows Up [NYT Video] [Barking Robot via NPR]

The Myth of the Digital Native: One of the monsters is the "digital native" – the term, not the child. Coined by author Marc Prensky in 2001, the phrase has its usefulness in helping us adults grasp the major media shift we're experiencing and embrace young people's openness to it.

But two leading new-media thinkers – Sonia Livingstone of the London School of Economics and Henry Jenkins at the University of Southern California – both have concerns about the phrase becoming too definitive. [NetFamilyNews]

Is Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Making Kids Smarter?: According to a recent story in The Guardian, Oliver's Feed Me Better campaign, which he launched in 2004, has helped cut the number of absences typically attributed to illness by 15 percent in an area of southeast London. It also improved the number of students who reached proficiency on English standardized tests by 4.5 percent. [Good]

Poking and Tweeting Are Not A Media Plan: Social networking is more than setting up an online presence, and social media is more than just blasting out press releases. Until brands understand how to authentically join, rather than crash, the conversation, they will continue to throw their money away. [AdAge]

Producers Guild of America Adds Transmedia Producer Credit: This is a modest but important step toward officially recognizing where the entertainment business has been heading for some time. The major blockbusters across all media — film, television, gaming, music, and the rest — have been transmedia affairs, though the term transmedia has not necessarily been used. [Chris Rettstatt]

Gen Y Celebrates Diversity: Embrace our acceptance of diversity by showing Gen Y that your brand is diverse.  Brands and products that once only fit into a certain group or niche have now spread into many groups and niches. We will take your brand and make it our own. Take advantage of this and engage a larger group of the 20 somethings and teens. [Premise]

Why You Have to Understand Video Games to Understand Gen Y: Gen Yers love to keep score. They’ve been keeping score their whole lives. They keep score in their personal relationships, in the workplace, and even with the companies that advertise to them. It all started with video games. If there were no scores, nobody would have ever kept playing them. [GY Joe]

Growing Up Gaga: The self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose New York creation of the world’s biggest pop star. [New York Magazine]

NPR Podcast: The 'Brat Pack' Grows Up, But Doesn't Grow Old

'When you grow up, your heart dies' ... Or does it? It's been 25 years since Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy, center) made that prediction in The Breakfast Club.

The actors who played the angsty adolescents in the 1985 film — from left: Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall — have all grown up, and some now have teens of their own.

The 'Brat Pack' Grows Up, But Doesn't Grow Old by barkingrobot


Related: John Hughes Tribute at the Oscars

[podcast] User Generated Online Content for Kids Freedom vs Safety

User Generated Online Content for Kids Freedom vs Safety by barkingrobot

Podcast recorded at Engage! Expo 2010, features Joi Podgorny [Director of Community Engagement, Smart Bomb Interactive], George Zaloom [Founder & CEO, FaceChipz], Pierre Le Lann [Co-CEO, TribalNova] and Tamara Littleton [CEO, eModeration].

This podcast is a must listen for anyone working in the education, youth media, marketing or strategy space. These are the trends that will impact your ability to effectively connect with youth on various levels. Plus it's a great opportunity to hear from some of the leading voices in the youth media space.

The user-generated content phenomenon prevalent on social networks and web sites like MySpace, Second Life, and YouTube hasn't yet trickled down to kids, but that isn’t because they aren't craving it.

From designing clothes and objects, capturing gameplay on video, to designing games inside of virtual worlds, kids and tweens yearn for self-expression and creation the web makes possible – and in many cases are being handed the tools to create.

Primarily, it is concerns of security, safety and COPPA compliance that toy creators going online and virtual world creators must address. This session will look at how virtual world companies and brands can harness the power of user-generated content -- giving kids as much freedom as possible without putting them at risk.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with Digital Media

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth’s social and recreational use of digital media.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings-at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces.

This project was one of many funded by the MacArthur Foundation to explore digital media and learning. New projects in this area are being aggregated through the Digital Media and Learning Hub.

Razorfish Digital Mom Report

A new report published by Razorfish & Cafe Mom finds that beyond email and search, digital moms are active users of social web technologies. More digital moms are interacting with social networks, text messaging, and instant messaging than with news sites, and just as many are gaming online or via a gaming console.

According to Razorfish, digital channel usage can be divided into three tiers:

  • MAJORITY: channels used by more than 50% of digital moms include: social networks (65%), text messaging (56%), instant messaging (55%) and gaming (52%). These channels join email (94%), search engines (74%) and news sites (51%) as staples in the media diet of digital moms.

Media Usage & Consumer Spending: 2004 to 2012

Estimates for time spent were derived using rating data for television and cable television, survey research for radio, mobile, out-of-home media and yellow pages, and consumer purchase data (units, admissions, access) for books, home video, in-flight entertainment, Internet, newspapers, magazines, box office, recorded music, video games.

Adults 18 and older were the basis for estimates for newspapers, consumer books, consumer magazines, in-flight entertainment, out-of-home media, yellow pages and home video.

Persons 12 and older were the basis for the estimates for box office, broadcast TV, cable TV Internet, mobile, radio recorded, music and video games. Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States/US Census Bureau

Related: 2008 Multimedia Audiences Summary

Weekly Wrap: Bing Rocket Contest, School Bake Sale Ban, iPhone & Teens, Brands, Content & Youth, Mobile Augmented Reality, Tween Summit Wrap Up, South African Youth Trends & More!


Interest in iPhone High as iPod & iTunes Dominate Teen Market: The of the 18th bi-annual Piper Jaffray teen survey shows that Apple's share among teen consumers continues to grow. Apple's smallest market among teens -- the iPhone -- is poised to greatly expand. While 15 percent of those surveyed currently own an iPhone, 22 percent intend to purchase one in the next six months. [Apple Insider]

Brands Must Accept Young People Expect Control Over Online Content: A lot of marketers are really just wrapping up the old-fashioned method of control and broadcast and making it look young. What teens want is to be given something and allowed to do anything with it, which is particularly hard for corporate marketers to grasp. [New Media Age]

Mobile Augmented Reality Booming in Australia: There’s some momentum building in the mobile-based augmented reality space in Oz. [TechNation Australia]

2009 Tween National Summit Wrap Up: Amy Jussel and Debra Moffitt (aka @pinklockermom) have put together a great round up of the first ever National Tween Summit to see what’s on the minds of preteen girls. Lot's of great info and insight here folks! [ShapingYouth]

Do Good!: Nominate Mr. Youth for Best Social Media Agency in Mashable's 2009 Open Web Awards!

Pepsi, Stay The Hell Away From My Daughter (and my niece too!): Any sweet-talking kid who thinks he will outsmart this girl with a stupid iPhone app could find himself on the mean end of a double-sided axe. [Mobile Insider]

Social Media as Content Gateway: In a nutshell, there is a segment of the online population that uses social media as a core navigation and information discovery tool — roughly 18 percent of users see it as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure. [Nielsen Wire]

Laptop for Every Student in Uruguay: This is not simply the handing out of laptops or an education programme. It is a programme which seeks to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge. Hat tip @SarahNewton [BBC] [Gen Y Guide]

Schools 'Ban' Bake Sales: Say What?!: The New York City Board of Education has implemented a new policy banning bake sales in all of their schools. Well, mostly. [MomLogic]

Bing Launches 10,000 Rockets: Bing is asking 10,000 students to submit the rocket design of the future. They’re assembling a pretty cool panel of scientists from across the nation to help them judge which of these designs best exemplifies how space travel might evolve. [Bing]

Twitter Adds 100 Million Potential New Users: Twitter, in an extensive announcement detailing its vision for making a global impact, announced that it had secured an SMS deal with India’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel. This opens the service to 110 million new people can tweet via SMS, all from the second-most populous nation in the world. [Mashable]

Speed Round: Vodafone has a parents' guide to help you protect your family on mobile phones, Instant Grass has a new report on South African youth trends, Josh Shipp kicked off a new contest to win 1 of 5 FREE COPIES of "Josh in a box" and a $500 scholarship, UK-based Indie Screenings partners with film creators to allow anyone to buy a license to screen their films, several cult shows get a boost from recorded viewing and finally......Yo Television, Meet Twitter! [Vodafone] [Instant Grass] [Josh Shipp] [Indie Screenings] [The Wrap]

CTIA Research: 4.1 Billion Text Messages Are Sent Daily

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced today the findings of its semi-annual industry survey, which includes numerous metrics on the industry’s continued positive growth and popularity.

The survey also found that more than 246 million data-capable devices are in the hands of consumers today. More than 40 million of these devices are Smartphones or wireless-enabled PDAs and more than 10 million are wireless-enabled laptops, notebooks or aircards.

Among the other findings:

  • Text messaging continues to be enormously popular, with more than 740 billion text messages carried on carriers’ networks during the first half of 2009—breaking down to 4.1 billion messages per day.
  • Wireless subscribers are also sending more pictures and other multi-media messages with their mobile devices—more than 10.3 billion MMS messages were reported for the first half of 2009, up from 4.7 billion in mid-year 2008.
  • There are currently more than 276 million wireless users. This represents a year-over-year increase of nearly 14 million subscribers.
  • Wireless customers using more than 1.1 trillion minutes in the first half of 2009—breaking down to 6.4 billion minutes-of-use per day—and six-month wireless service revenues of nearly $76 billion.
For additional results of the mid-year survey, you can listen to a podcast with CTIA’s Vice President of Research, Dr. Robert Roche, as he discusses highlights of the survey results.

Indie Culture: Christopher Dallman "Subterranean" Free MP3

Christopher Dallman knows how to use music to tell a story. His lyrics are incredible and his voice is melodic and sweet. He's an all around talented guy. You can stream his first album, Race the Light, over on The Highway Girl.

Christoper is working on a new EP (yes!) and “Subterranean” is his first single off that project. The song is yours to spread as you see fit. Email it, Tweet it, share it on Facebook, post it to your Myspace page.

Help spread his music to new ears!

Visit Christopher's official website to download the single and sign up for his newsletter! You can also follow him on Twitter too!