Rob Cottingham's blog

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From blocking to botnet

Censorship isn't the only problem with China's new Internet blocking software

Robot hands on computer keyboard

There's chilling Internet news out of China. And as bad as it seems at first glance for human rights and privacy advocates, there could be something more disturbing in the wings.

The Chinese government has announced that, starting in July, it will require all computers sold in China to come with Internet blocking software. The goal, authorities say, is to protect children from pornography.

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Integrating the new hotness

Getting to know a tool before pigeonholing it


A few days ago I got a super-special birthday present (xoxo, Alex!): a new 12" Cintiq, Wacom's combination graphic tablet and display.

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N2Y4 in pictures

Photos from NetSquared Year Four

We had a great two days at Net2 this year. There's always a feeling of homecoming when Social Signallers arrive at the Cisco conference centre in San Jose: the Net2 online community was one of our very first projects, and its extraordinary success is a tribute both to its participants and to the visionaries at Techsoup Global.

For folks who weren't able to make it this year, or who are thinking of coming next year, here's a little taste of what went on:

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From DC to Vancouver, open data is catching on

Doors are finally opening to public data

Cartoon on information wants to be free

Yesterday was a big day for anyone who cares about opening up government, especially when it comes to publicly-owned data.

The Obama administration launched, making taxpayer-funded data available in machine-readable form to the public. While the service currently offers only a limited number of feeds, the plan is to have it grow dramatically in the coming weeks and years.

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David Plouffe on how technology+people helped elect Obama

This morning at Convergence 09, Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe took the stage. His message: technology helped connect people in a way that's never happened before, to elect a candidate who might never have been able to win before.

Here are my notes from the session.Notes from David Plouffe keynote, #1

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Blog ROI: Homemaking

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 10, giving your online conversations a home base

House key (red)

Visiting someone else's place is great. You eat their food, drink their imbibables, and meet their guests.

But eventually to host a gathering at your own place takes hold. You want to choose the hors d'oeuvres, cue up the playlist and invite your own friends -- in your own home.

It's no different with blogging. True, your organization can go quite a ways in engaging the online world by commenting on third-party blogs. But if you want to be serious about joining the conversation, you'll want a place of your own: an online home for the conversations you want to have.

And while you have no more control over where those conversations ultimately lead and what other conversations may start than you do when you're hosting a party, you're the one who sets the agenda. And it's your voice that sets the tone and pace for your audience.

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Blog ROI: Open wide...

10 ways to maximize your blog's ROI: Part 9, Embracing openness


There's a convergence going on: some big social and business trends that have one thing in common - the word open.

Whether it's open-source software, or enormous information repositories that are open to be accessed and sometimes even edited by anyone, or the growing requirements for transparency on the part of organizations and governments, your customers, supporters and audience are expecting you to be open to them.

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@SFUWoodwards, here's your camera

Winner in our Twitter contest gets her Flip HD


Turns out it really is better to give than receive! We just handed Julie Ovenell-Carter, a.k.a. @sfuwoodwards, her brand new Flip MinoHD video camera, her prize in Social Signal's first Twitter contest.

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Social yardsticks: how do you measure social media?

NTEN panel explores social media metrics

I'd been looking forward to catching the session on metrics that Beth Kanter was going to facilitate at NTEN/NTC, and it didn't disappoint.

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Here comes Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky on crowds, the web and success through failure at NTEN

Pizza by the slice

Here Comes Everybody author Clay Shirky manages to jam in more ideas, pithy quotes and gripping stories in one half-hour keynote than some speakers could man

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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