Alphachimp scribes Paramore University

ABOVE: Diane Durand, Managing Director of Alphachimp Studio Inc. scribes for Josh ClarkParamore, the Digital Agency, presents bi-annual Paramore University events where friends of the agency learn from brilliant digital thinkers and doers about how to improve their digital marketing. In typical Paramore style, the events are fun, entertaining, informative, and savvy.
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Social Crisis, Social Mapping & Social Change

Social Mapping for Social Change from Alphachimp Studio Inc. on Vimeo.

This week at at the Graham Foundation in Chicago, PopTech brought together three speakers (and a smart audience in this city of news aggregators and social good organizations) for a special salon event on the current and future impact of social mapping tools.

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One Million Monkeys Typing


From Pop!Tech Blog:

The Theory: Given enough time, a hypothetical chimpanzee typing at random would, as part of its output, almost surely produce one of Shakespeare's plays (or any other text).lya Kreymerman and Nina Zito, creators of One Million Monkeys Typing, think so, too. On their new community story-telling site, members collaborate on writing a story (perhaps even a novel), without the pressure or obligation of ever completing the story by themselves.

Founded on the simple premise “read, write, publish”, the project encourages members to create new segments for “story trees”. Before beginning a new story, you must first contribute to a few existing stories. Once you’ve become part of the writing community, you receive permission (or in One Million Monkey terms, a “seed”) to start your own story tree.

The idea of one million monkeys typing is derived from the infinite monkey theorem. Community members are considered “monkeys,” with a designated number indicating the order in which they joined the site.

The Point: Web 2.0 tool for creating your own change


The Point brings together problems, people, and the pressure of collective action. The site allows users to create campaigns and encourage other people to join anonymously.

Using the principles of Gladwell's Tipping Point, once the number of members reaches a certain critical mass (10, 50, 2000) and action is triggered: a sale, a press release, a protest.

Campaigns are tools for people to organize a group action that occurs only when enough people join to make participation worthwhile. Campaigns can be used for any situation where people want safety in numbers, from planning a party to boycotting a corporation to saving chickens.

Check out the simple, clever animations used to demonstrate the types of people, the problems they want to tackle, and the resulting campaigns--that can use The Point to catalyze change.

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Make Something Happen.


The Point is a platform for group action, helping you make things happen that you couldn't accomplish alone.

The Melancholia of Social Networking

Even with the quantifiable explosion of social networking services--and the perceived multitude of ways to connect to other people--the feeling of isolation and disconnectedness continues to pervade our modern culture.

The disturbing results continue to be an increase in both depression and suicide.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that an average of 19 million Americans suffer from depression. Of these suffers, over 30,000 will take there own lives, with almost 20,000 of these suicides are aged 15 to 34-years-old.

Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.

Depression has, of course, many causes: economics, family history, neurobiology and microchemistry, physical or emotional trauma.

However, the most profound source seems to be a person's interpersonal relationship with their surroundings and the people around them.

More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites, according to a 2007 national survey of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. So why is suicide among young people rising?

From Sense of belonging a key to suicide prevention
Wed Apr 2, 2008 3:13pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of suicide among young people is triple what it was 50 years ago, and while it remains exceedingly rare for college students to kill themselves, it is always a tragedy -- and always preventable, according to a New York psychiatrist and authority on suicide.

Helping people who feel isolated to connect or reconnect with others is also important, he added. "Connection and a feeling of social belonging is I think the most important initial step in preventing suicide," Kahn said. "Once the person feels that sense of trust in belong to the community, they may be more receptive to suggestions that they seek help, if they haven't sought it already."

They can also look to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (, and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention ( for information.

Nokia's Nanotech Morph

The future may be here already (and just not evenly distributed) but I want to know where to buy i!
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Why is Nokia always trying to outdo everyone with its fancy-schmancy concepts and designs? Why can't they just get in line and keep it simple?

We may never know the answer to those questions, but what we do know is that the company is presenting a new concept device called the Morph that would be right at home... in the year 3000. The unit is included in the MoMA's "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition catalog, and boasts the ability to stretch and flex to almost any shape a user could think of.

The nanotechnology-based device would deliver transparent electronics, self-cleaning surfaces, and the malleability to transform into any number of configurations. Of course, the actual technology required to put this together is years or even decades away, though Nokia expects to see some of these innovations making their way into high-end products within seven years. See the device doing its thing in some photos after the break. - I Am Kenyan

Via Ethan Zuckerman:

A new project by David Kobia and crew, encouraging Kenyans around the world to transcend their tribal identity and affirm their identity as Kenyans. An interesting response to the difficulties of keeping message boards sane during the crisis.
Kobia also coordinated, a site that integrates GoogleMaps and SMS for citizens to report incidences of Riots, Deaths, Property Damage, Government Forces, Civilians, Looting, Rape, Peace.

It also has a running timeline of events, making it a powerful tool to trace the violence. Unfortunately, with some much violence involving so many impoverished people, this can't begin to give transparency to the chaos.

Although I am a Southern, American, white, suburban kid, I was born in Kenya and have carried hope and romance for this beautiful, passionate piece of the earth in my heart.

Ready to Ware

Clothes That Look Hip and Track Your Vital Signs, Too
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De Rossi, who has worked on robotic skin and motion-capture tech for Darpa and the US National Institutes of Health, began exploring the idea of fabric as a data-collection medium 12 years ago. Most of his designs employ thin, pliable strands of conductive steel spun with cotton or polyester fibers into yarn. The Wealthy suit has nine electrodes and conductive leads woven in, yet the fabric looks and feels completely normal.

The challenge in incorporating sensors into clothing — even skin-tight unitards — is that the fabric shifts when the body moves, resulting in sloppy, irregular signals. To deal with this, De Rossi's team developed software algorithms to clean up the data, along with code to reconstruct the wearer's movements. These programs are the real genius behind the company's work.

"Even when you are sick, if you have something that doesn't look nice, you don't want to put it on."