Archive for December, 2010

Making The Leap

Courtesy of jhf of and Creative Commons


Time magazine recognizes Mark Zuckerberg as person of the year, Facebook adds its 550 millionth member, Facebook becomes the most active web messaging service, Twitter is valued at $4 billion, Groupon turns down $6 billion, and More than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community. I could ramble on all day about these shocking statistics that are becoming seemingly irrelevant. Relevance is instead being shifted to what we ourselves and our  network of friends find interesting.

We’ve reached the tipping point in 2010, and now we are seeing the explosive growth from the adoption of social sites by people of all ages and interests. Daily use of social sites to share media among our network of friends has reached critical mass. Virtually every business has been reinvented in the context of the social web. Take Groupon for example, they are powering the local deals of small business’s that was once dominated by coupon books. Tumblr has turned the traditional journal into a creative collection of digital media, which is manifested by the inspiration drawn from users with like-minded interests.  Flickr users have now amassed enough geo-located photos so that we can find a point of interest in Google maps, and see photos from the exact location. But there’s more, the social web has moved extensively into our professional lives. Understanding the distinction between personal and professional is of utmost importance to maintaining an online identity in good standing. Yammer helps address this problem with an enterprise level solution that people actually want to use; several multi-national corporations are encouraging employees to collaborate online using private company networks.

So, the question lingers: What’s next? How will I be able to own my future in this virtual world? My opinion on the answer to those questions is to find the right balance between offline and online. We are going to be carrying mobile devices with us everywhere now, therefore staying connected is not the issue. Instead the issue will be: what should we be connected with, and how relevant is it to our lives? does an excellent job of directing traffic at the intersection of offline and online media. I encourage you to start with their advice:

Do something • Learn something • Share something • Change something


12 2010

Asking The Difficult Questions

In the past few months, I’e been in the process of applying to several colleges. Anyone familiar with the process knows that usually the most important supplementary information in each application comes from the personal essay and college-specific supplement. Schools encourage applicants to reflect on their high school experiences and showcase their best achievements, thoughts, and experiences. The supplement part of each application is designed to challenge the applicant, and offer alternative information about the applicant that the admissions office might not learn otherwise. After all, challenges do not build character, they reveal it. So, take a moment, or two, and think about how you would answer some of these questions. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that you may learn something about yourself if you give the questions considerable thought. These questions have no “right” answer, just think about what best describes your thoughts and feelings.

  1. The Admission Committee members would laugh if they knew I…
  2. What five words best describe you?
  3. What is the most significant challenge that society faces today?
  4. Your favorite website?
  5. For some, it’s politics or sports or reading. For others, it may be researching solar power fuel cells or arranging hip-hop mash-ups. What makes you tick?
  6. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.
  7. Prepare a one-minute video that says something about you. What you do or say is totally up to you.
  8. In our ever-changing society, people have defined ‘equity’ and ‘community’ in many different ways. How do you define these terms and what are the implications of equity and community for our 21st century society?
  9. What outrages you? What are you doing about it?
  10. What final Jeopardy category would ensure your victory?
  11. Who is the person you dream of becoming and how do you believe (Insert Name) University can help you achieve this?
  12. Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful?

Please feel free to comment on this short sampling of questions, or feel free to comment on any other intriguing application questions.

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12 2010