Features that make a distributed Internet based mechanism work – Understanding the success of Stack Overflow

27 October 2012 Posted by in category: Internet tools

The video Founders@Google Presents: The Cultural Anthropology of Stack Exchange discusses design decisions that make 'Stack Overflow' such a successful question and answer system. It is interesting because you can see how the combination of cultural, behavioral, and also technical considerations of the system make it work so well – compared to other systems with similar goals.


Watch these lectures to become a more effective negotiator – creating win win situations

16 September 2012 Posted by in category: Life Skills

Key points:

  • Prepare
    • Identify your objectives and goals.
    • Recognize things that are more, and less,  important for you (relatively to how they are for the other side). These are the thing you can trade.
    • Think of second and third alternatives, in case you “don’t get what you want” as first option.
  • Conflict resolution
    • Ask – Why? Many time the direct objectives are revealed (the ‘what’) – but not the reason for them. Knowing the underlying reason enables flexibility.
    • Generally ask questions – Why, What, How, When – same reason as the previous bullet.
  • Objections handling
    • Recognize if the objection is real. For example, ask what would happen if, hypothetically, the presented reason for objection was solved.
    • Remember that things don’t have real value, only perceived one in a specific context. What’s the worth of tap water? And when you’re in the desert?
    • In price negotiation, “the price is too high” objection can be answered with “compared with what?”

How to Negotiate so Everyone Wins, Especially You!

The Art of Negotiation

The Art of Negotiation – ecorner


Watch “The State of Cyber Security 2011 – Presented by Sophos and the National Cyber Security Alliance” on YouTube

29 April 2012 Posted by in category: Security

1 Comment

Lecture – take decisions and get to conclusions based on data, not opinions

20 March 2012 Posted by in category: Effectiveness

I really love items (articles, lectures) that talk about a certain topic, but actually if you were to replace the topic with another one you would still learn the same insight or knowledge. Gregory V. Wilson talks about processes, decisions and methods in software development. He talks about common beliefs in that area, but the lessons learned are applicable to many other fields: you should take decisions and get to conclusions based on data, not opinions. 

 What We Actually Know About Software Development, and Why We Believe It's True

You can read here a summery of the talk.


Lecture – on the importance of following a principle (with a technical twist)

19 February 2012 Posted by in category: Internet tools

Something about this lecture makes people say 'wow' when they watch it. I think it's a combination of a great technical demonstration and an inspirational, thought provoking lecturer.

Some reactions:

  • "Holy crap, that was a good talk. Thanks a lot."
  • "Brilliant."
  • "Just the best ever. Go go go."

Watch it.

Bret Victor – Inventing on Principle from CUSEC on Vimeo.


Use of the Internet in Crisis Situations – Video Lecture, Tools and Resources

01 October 2011 Posted by in category: Internet tools

In this one hour talk, two Google employees tell about Internet tools developed at Google and by other organizations to help manage crisis situations. When earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and other disasters occur, tools like People Finder and Ushahidi are deployed. These tools are used for data collection and retrieval about missing persons, visualization of places in which help and rescue is needed, better communication, and and so on.

Other tools and resources for crowdsourcing of emergency and disaster relief:

  • CrisisCommons and CrisisCommons Wiki – "CrisisCommons seeks to advance and support the use of open data and volunteer technology communities to catalyze innovation in crisis management and global development."
  • InSTEDD – "InSTEDD has a unique niche — we design and use open source technology tools to help partners enhance collaboration and improve information flow and knowledge sharing to better deliver critical services to vulnerable populations."
  • Ushahidi – "We built the Ushahidi platform as a tool to easily crowdsource information using multiple channels, including SMS, email, Twitter and the web."

Video – Google I/O 2011: Crisis Response 2.0 – Empowering Developers in Times of Crisis