Parenting and Voice Search. December 2014. One stroke of good luck in my life is that my youngest son is a terrible liar. So when he approached me with this question, "Dad, is it okay if I join a public Minecraft server?" I knew from his body language that I already wasn't getting the full story. Read more.
Retail Is Dead Long Live Retail. December 2012. More than ever this Christmas season, the news is full of stories about the death of "brick and mortar" retail and the triumph of online retail. Best Buy and JC Penny's have been singled out as examples of companies fighting for survival, and Amazon is everyone's clear winner. While I agree with the assessment of winners and losers, I disagree about the cause. It isn't brick and mortar versus online. Its an information battle between consumer and retailer, and the consumer is winning. At least that's my personal experience. Read more.
Kid Memes. October 2012. The Internet meme - those viral photos, videos, or sly bits of humor that spread through social networks. We think of the Internet meme as strictly the province of adults and teenagers online. But what happens now that we have children who were born into the social networking world? What happens when kids are online even before they can read? Is the meme even possible for this demographic? If you think the answer is "no" then either you don't have kids, or you aren't paying much attention to their online activity. Read more.
White Listing the Web. November 2011. I had just stepped out of the room for a moment, but when I returned Nathan had a look of terror on his face and his hands clamped firmly over his ears. On the screen was a great white shark, bursting out of frothing water. Nathan is five. He doesn't know any better. The charming whale video we had been watching had ended, and he had simply clicked on a link for another "related" video. Such are the risks of letting your kids watch YouTube unsupervised, even briefly. Read more.
Where Facebook and I Disagree. August 2010. Good to see some progress today from FaceBook on the privacy front. I certainly have no idea how to get half a billion people to show up to a site of my creation, much less make them happy enough to come back regularly, so I try not to be too critical. But I have also tried to be fairly conservative with how I share information, and it really frustrates me to see my own approach to privacy undermined by changes that are almost invisible to me. So today's news looks like real progress. Read more.