Monday, March 10, 2008

Great Sessions - Great Vibe in Austin

There have been some great sessions so far...and I've taken video of some. They'll be posted on which is The Conversation Group's video blog site.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

At South By Southwest in Austin

Just arrived late last night. The city is abuzz. Got my Flip Video Cam and am ready to interview some folks. Gotta go register now.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Is Facebook Making Our Brains Bigger?

Yesterday's Science Times (NY Times) reports on research that postulates that humans have such huge brains because of our social development.
Scientists have long puzzled over the enormous size of the human brain. It is seven times larger than one would predict for an average mammal of our size. Many of our extra neurons are in a region called the frontal cortex, where much of the most sophisticated thought takes place.

So by studying 4 different species of hyennas, scientists have discovered that the larger the pack (i.e. more social the species) the larger the brain. So, in essence, our brains are this big because of our social networking over time.
Brain imaging studies have revealed that when people think about other people, parts of the frontal cortex become active. Advocates of the social brain hypothesis say the frontal cortex expanded in our ancestors because natural selection favored social intelligence.

Add to that the coverage of another study that showed that blogging makes us happy...
A new study has found blogging regularly tends to make a person feel less isolated, more satisfied with their existing friendships and more part of a community.
- ostebsibly because socializing gives us a high - you can see why Facebook and other social networking sites are so popular and addictive. And why hyennas are always laughing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Simple Private Exchange -

Ever wanted to post something online - to share it, solicit feedback - with just a select few friends or colleagues? Well, is a cool, easy to use site that does that. But the cool part is that you can remain anonymous - there's no registration process. And the user interface is a calm respite from all those flashy, busy websites out there. So you can create this private space online (aka "a drop") and no one will know about it unless you tell them where it is. That's because the site isn't indexed by or by the search engines. And your private space can also be password protected. They handle all sorts of media types and have cool ways for you to get your files uploaded. For instance, there's a telephone number for every drop. Call the number, speak your peace, and the next thing you know, there's an MP3 file on the site. Or fax a document to a special number and the doc will appear on the drop as a PDF file. was nominated for an award as one of 5 companies in the South By Southwest Tech Achievement category. They're also a featured speaker at the Facebook "conference within a conference" at SXSW.