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Plainview : software : the barbarian group

Online Pinboards – Is This the New Way to Facebook? With news this week that Facebook is beginning to roll out its new Timeline feature, it reminds us that so much of what’s captured on the world’s most popular social networking site are our fondest memories. And if you look at your newsfeed in any given day, it will often reflect the present – what’s happening in the world around you today. Typically, however, there isn’t a lot of discussion about more aspirational topics, and what people are hoping for in the future. A new social networking phenomenon appears to be taking off that just might fill this need. Online pinboard sites, led by Pinterest, represent your wants, desires and the future memories you wish to create. If this trend hasn’t yet appeared on your radar, online pinboards are basically shareable scrapbooks that you create using online content you find around the web. I heard about this emerging trend from a colleague, who used Pinterest as a central component of her wedding planning. Pinterest: The New Player in Town

Creative : Clients We love working with visionary organizations to communicate their pioneering ideas - from startups with a breakthrough new service, to corporations with a powerful product or non-profits with a vision to improve the world. We are especially passionate about empowering clients who are working to improve health. “Ultravirgo was an indispensable partner in our successful effort to build awareness and engagement around 7 Billion Actions. The Ultravirgo team combined high-level strategy, superb creative and hands-on project management to make this highly complex, multifaceted global campaign effective and compelling. They contributed a number of ideas for maximizing the impact of 7 Billion Actions, with creative execution that brought a sense of excitement and optimism to the campaign.” — Alvaro Serrano, Senior Online Communication Adviser, UNFPA - The United Nations Population Fund “Ultravirgo provides timely, creative and strategically focused concepts and solutions for our firm’s website.

Brenda Laurel Interview Why is design research important? Perhaps the single most pernicious sort of folly I have seen over nearly thirty years in the computer field is the belief on the part of engineers, designers, and marketing people is that they "just know" what will work for their audience. For extremely observant, experienced designer, this may indeed be true, but such people are exceedingly rare, and those who are most successful have "trained" their intuition by carefully observing and reaching deep understanding of certain kinds of people, cultures, and contexts. Full-blown ideas for great, innovative products do not come from research subjects. You've said that good design needs to understand "deep, roiling currents of our dynamic culture." Well, "research" is a pretty broad term. As Henry Jenkins' work demonstrates so well, it is also extremely useful to delve into the currents and eddies of particular "fandoms" or subcultures. What should designers look for when doing research?

Exclusive interview with Brenda Laurel: We "brought girls roaring into the online game space" Brenda Laurel spoke at TED in early 1998 — at a watershed moment. In 1997, she launched Purple Moon to make smart computer games aimed at girls. By 1999, the company had come to a much-publicized end. But between start and finish, Purple Moon marked a sea change in the girl-game market. The TED Blog interview Laurel via email last week, to get the rest of the Purple Moon story, and to talk about how the experience changed her and (just maybe) changed the world. Brenda Laurel: Games for girlsFrom the interview: I adored those [games]. Can you talk a bit about Purple Moon’s development in the two years after this talk — you mention more Rockett titles, for instance. Yes, but in a more general way. Then we developed a series based on soccer (The Starfire Soccer Challenge), because women’s soccer was such a big deal to girls in that time period — during the time when American women were getting close to winning the World Cup. You bet. And then — what’s next for you?

Urgent Evoke - A crash course in changing the world. Games that launch companies, games that heal: Q&A with Jane McGonigal Jane McGonigal is a game designer with an apparently simple idea: some of the billions of hours we spend playing games can be used to solve real world problems, and it can be done by playing games. Her new book, Reality Is Broken, explores the power of games to change people’s lives. It’s just out this week. The TED Blog caught up with her in the middle of the release to talk about games, saving the world, and the simple power of Angry Birds. Since your TEDTalk, you’ve managed a full run of Evoke, you social entrepreneurship game. It was really exciting! The most eye-opening outcomes were how many real-world businesses, real-world social enterprises were founded by players of the game over the course of the ten weeks, and then actually launched in the summer following the game. One example is this great project called Libraries Across Africa. That’s fantastic. The subtitle is “Why games make us better, and how they can change the world.” Exactly. The reception was great. Right.

Candy Chang Fellows Friday Q&A with Candy Chang In her public art pieces, Candy Chang uses low-tech tools such as chalk, Post-it notes, and stickers to help people make their cities more user-friendly. We sat down with Candy to ask her more … Candy asks: If you could ask one question to all of your neighbors, what would you ask? Click here to respond on Facebook now! You have so many public art projects going on. Well, my Civic Center colleagues and I just launched Neighborland. I created fill-in-the-blank stickers that say “I Wish This Was _____” and posted them on vacant storefronts. Some of these conversations needed to move to a more constructive space. As a complement to Neighborland, we’re also developing a public art project called How to Start a Business. Where do your projects come from? I think my background in street art, design, and urban planning have shaped a lot of what I like to do. Looking for Love Again, an interactive public installation on a vacant high-rise in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Breakthrough solutions: Fellows Friday with Juliette LaMontagne Juliette LaMontagne’s Breaker offers millennials a unique, hands-on alternative learning opportunity — working on projects with serious social impact. Breaker teams take on such challenges as illiteracy and feeding the city, while gaining valuable real-world social entrepreneurship skills. Take us through the Breaker process — how does it work? Each three-month Breaker project convenes a multidisciplinary group of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 to design product or service solutions to a global challenge. Over three months, the Breaker team works with a series of collaborators — leading innovators in the field inform the research; industry experts guide the team throughout the process. Majora Carter presents a talk to the Breaker team and project collaborators to kick off the UrbanAg Challenge at the TED amphitheater in NYC. Tell us more about the Urban Agribusiness Challenge. What do you look for in applicants? We look for tenacity as well as a proven ability to collaborate.