You May Already Be Rich. Socially.
What is the currency of influence and good will worth? Social currency can come in many forms, such as a reputation score, a collection of badges and followers, or the amount and quality of content generated. Social currency is an important part of online communities such as Quora, StackOverflow, Reddit, and Pinterest. These communities all have content consumers and producers (not unlike buyers and sellers) that trade insights and knowledge, not for money, but for the satisfaction of contributing and building up their own reputation or social currency. It’s no surprise that all of these companies have experienced exceptional user growth and engagement. As new forms of currency evolve, they will significantly change how we interact online.
Teeny, Tiny Grocery.
Pocket-sized grocery stores, Stockbox started as a graduate school project for Carrie Ferrence and Jacqueline Gjurgevich in 2010. The mobile-grocery-store-inside-cargo-container model seeks to serve people in "food deserts"--low-income neighborhoods with limited access to supermarkets, where around 10% of Americans live, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Traditional chewing gum was formulated to repel water, allowing us to masticate until our jaws fail. But that formulation also prevents rainwater from washing it off the sidewalks, and cities around the world use harsh chemicals and spend millions of dollars each year trying to wash off the carelessly discarded gobs of gum, which eventually amass enough dirt to become black spots dotting the pavement. A new non-stick gum hopes to change that.
You Are What Your Friends Eat.
Your friends are why you’re fat. The Eatery, an app from health technology startup Massive Health that lets users take pictures of their food and then asks them to rate photos of other users’ food based on perceived healthiness, has yielded lots of data since it was launched last year. The key factor? Your friends. If they’re obese, you’re 57% more likely to be obese. The lesson: Watch what you eat, but watch what your friends eat, too. This works both ways, though. Pick healthy friends and you’re bound to get more healthy. A study found that while women with unhealthy friends also start to make bad food choices, women with healthy friends eat better.
Saving Energy: as Simple as a Game.
Researchers at Delft University of Technology recruited 20 student households in Rotterdam, offering prizes to teams that used the least energy over a month-long period. The teams got an energy meter to tell them their real-time consumption, as well as access to a website where they could see their cumulative usage, and how they fared against each other. The results were striking, at least on the face of it. The winning team cut its energy use by 45%, and the average reduction across the teams was 25%.
Eating Yogurt Gives Mice Big Balls (You Should Try It!).
Here's a way to get young males to eat healthy: a new study found that eating yogurt has some surprising benefits (at least in mice) including making their testicles, er, quite impressive. First, the scientists noticed that the yogurt-eating mice were incredibly shiny. Using both traditional histology techniques and cosmetic rating scales, the researchers showed that these animals had 10 times the active follicle density of other mice, resulting in luxuriantly silky fur. Then the researchers spotted something particular about the males: they projected their testes outward, which endowed them with a certain "mouse swagger." We kid you not.
No More Hooky.
In what is either the slippery slope into a survellience society, or an easy way to prevent kids from playing hooky, the Brazilian city of Vitoria da Conquista is embedding student uniforms with trackable radio tags. Yay (insert exclamation point here if you're a parent; insert a question mark here if you're a student).
How to provoke action in your audience.
One of the most powerful tools of social media-- of any media-- is the ability to activate your audience, but it's often easier said than done. Here's how the Adventure Project activated their audience, on a shoestring budget, in five easy-to-understand ways, for a project that brought jobs and clean water to India. The methods are easy, but the process can sometimes cause you to pull out your own hair. The results, though, are often worth it.
© dieste, inc. 2013