Monthly Archives: June 2012

JUNE 2012 // SPECIAL WOMEN’S EDITION // ISSUE 29

STATE OF AMERICA

The Richer Sex: Women Overtaking Men As America’s Breadwinners – By the next generation, more families will be supported by women than by men. Not since women entered the workforce by the millions after World War II has America witnessed economic change on this scale. Some of this is driven by the dramatic rise in single-parent families, but it is increasingly true in two-earner families as well. Women today make up almost 60% of U.S. college students and earn the majority of doctorates and master’s degrees. Some experts predict that in 25 years law and medicine will be female-dominated professions. Their rise as breadwinners in more households is changing the assumptions about how households work. A Pew Research Center study found that in households where the husband brings in more income, buying decisions are made equally, but in households where the wife earns more, she typically makes twice as many buying decisions as the man. Women’s earnings have given them more economic influence both at home and in public.   

Via Huffington Post

BRAVE NEW CONSUMER

Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech – If you’re a man between the ages of 18 and 35, you used to be the tech industry’s most coveted prize. You were the one who decided what products failed and what products succeeded. But things are changing according to Intel’s cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell. Bell found that women are the heaviest users of today’s widespread technologies: the Internet, mobile phones, Skype, e-readers, GPS and all social networking sites except LinkedIn. The most surprising finding is that the majority of technology users are women in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Further validation of Genevieve’s findings comes from Nielsen’s latest study on the American Media Mom which notes mothers are above average smartphone users, big fans of Facebook and Pinterest. Nielsen shows that they are some of the most engaged consumers online. It turns out women are our new lead adopters.           

Via The Atlantic

SMART BRANDS

The Girl Effect –  In the past five years, the list of companies that have made girls’ and women’s issues a special priority reads like a Who’s Who of American business: Nike, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Avon, ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, HP, Bank of America, Dell, Google, Walmart, LinkedIn and more have all found a relevant way to wade in. They’ve all joined the fight for one simple reason: investing in girls and women pays off.  New thinking and a growing data set suggests investing in girls and women creates measurable economic benefits for all. A woman trained in a particular skill and given a microloan or a way to build up some savings is more likely than a man to use her income to educate and care for her family and invest in the community. Therefore the most effective way to accelerate a nation’s economic productivity and prosperity is to enable women to participate which opens doors to new markets and new investments that equates to as many as 1.4 billion new customers with growing income.   

Via Fast Company

BRIGHT IDEAS

Half The Sky Movement – A Multiplatform Approach To Women’s Oppression –  The Half The Sky movement is cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of girls and women worldwide. Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, Half The Sky brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to raise awareness of women’s issues and to provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women. The project includes a four-hour television series for PBS shot in 10 countries following the journalists and A-list celebrity advocates introducing girls and women living in the most difficult situations and fighting bravely to change them. The Facebook game experience turns game play into real-world activism as digital actions translate into real world actions that keep the girls and women safe. Mobile games will be created for developing countries to inform women on issues from healthy birthing practices to highlighting the values of girls in families. The transmedia project includes more than 20 short advocacy and education videos on a variety of issues and a television series to engage local governments, communities and opinion leaders to build their operational and outreach capacities.

 Via Half The Sky

ON THE RADAR

Follow Me: @LizStrauss – Liz Strauss is a social web strategist who focuses on connecting with customers in a fun and meaningful way. She’s listed as a ‘must follow’ on Forbes Top 20 Business Women to Follow On Twitter and is ranked amongst Huffington Post’s 10 Breakout Influencers of 2011. For business insights and a fresh source of ideas, be sure to follow @LizStrauss, or check out popular entries in her aptly titled Successful Blog.

Know This: Girls Who Code is an eight-week intensive summer program aimed at turning promising high school girls into tomorrow’s engineering and technology superstars. Founded with backing from Twitter, General Electric, Google and eBay, the program’s mission is to help close the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics gap between boys and girls.

Watch This: This week Nike released a video celebrating female athletes who were pioneers in their sports and who triumphed in the face of sexism. The tribute spot ‘Voices’ marks the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon signing into law Title IX of the Education Amendment – the law best known for prohibiting discrimination against women in sports. Since its passing, participation by women in high school sports has grown 979% and 545% at the college level.

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JUNE 2012 // ISSUE 28

STATE OF AMERICA

Meet The New Immigrants: Asians Surpass Hispanics – For the first time, the influx of Asians moving to the U.S. has surpassed that of Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants. The wave of incoming Asians pushed the total number of Asian-Americans to a record 18.2 million, or 5.8% of the total U.S. population. The Pew Research Center study on the Asian-American population reveals that they have the highest income, are the best-educated and are the fastest-growing racial group in America. “Like immigrants throughout American history, the new arrivals from Asia are strivers,” said Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Center and co-author of the report. “What’s distinctive about them is their educational credentials. These aren’t the tired, poor, huddled masses of Emma Lazarus’s famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty. They are the highly skilled workforce of the 21st century.”   

Via Pew Social Trends

 

BRAVE NEW CONSUMER

Mourning Becomes Electronic – Technology is changing the way people grieve. In this new era, the bereaved light virtual candles on memorial websites, upload video tributes to YouTube and affix adhesive-backed QR code chips to the tombstones of their beloved so visitors can pull up photos and videos with a scan of a smartphone. This is Mourning 2.0. Technology has pervaded all aspects of people’s lives and the honoring of the dearly departed is no exception. The Internet has had the ability to facilitate traditional mourning rituals such as honoring a loved one as well as providing mourners with support through online groups and “grief recovery” webinars. While the digital tools may be new, they still have purpose in soothing age-old emotions.      

Via USA Today

 

SMART BRANDS

PepsiCo Puts Design Front And Center – In installing Mauro Porcini, formally of 3M, in PepsiCo’s newly created role of Chief Design Officer, the brand is committing to their belief that design and design thinking is a significant area for innovation and growth.  The hiring of Porcini is part of a strategy to expand its 12 biggest brands – like Pepsi, Gatorade and Lay’s – provide a more cohesive global vision for the brands and instill a design culture. He’ll have a key role in creating everything from a design language for the company’s portfolio to redesigning of vending machines and delivery trucks. Taking a page from Apple’s book, Porcini firmly believes design should pervade every aspect of consumers’ lives. Nothing is too small or mundane to have a design ethos.

 

Via AdAge

 

BRIGHT IDEAS

MD247 Puts Doctors At Patients Fingertips 24/7 –   MD247 is a smartphone telemedicine system that connects patients with physicians 24/7.  Instead of dashing to the ER when a crisis arises, members call MD247and describe their symptoms to a nurse. Within minutes, a board-certified physician calls back with a diagnosis, and if needed, phones in a prescription. Eight hundred doctors nationwide belong to the MD247 network and are licensed to practice in all 50 states. Basic service ($20/month) covers the entire household and includes discounts on prescription drugs and smartphone apps that track vital signs like blood pressure.

Via MD247.com

 

ON THE RADAR

Know This: This week Twitter rolled out new features designed to extend the reach of the Twitter experience. Expanded tweets allow content partners to embed story previews, images, videos and audio without the user having to navigate away from their Twitter feed. The Wall Street Journal, Breaking News, and TIME already use expanded tweets, but new partnerships, such as one with SoundCloud, will now allow users to embed music and make audio playable directly from the original tweet.

Watch This: Coca Cola has a new ad campaign that takes a creative approach to the company’s feel good “Open Happiness” slogan. Focusing on the idea that security cameras can capture more than criminals, the commercial shows footage of anti-crimes ranging from “honest pickpocketing” to “friendly gangs.”

Watch This: This week Microsoft unveiled the Surface tablet, which will compete directly with Apple’s iPad. The Surface will be powered by Windows 8, is thinner than the iPad 3 and has a larger screen. It also comes with a full-sized keyboard that doubles as the device’s case. The release date is still unconfirmed, but you can whet your appetite for new gadgets by watching their promo video here.

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JUNE 2012 // ISSUE 27

STATE OF AMERICA

Men Infiltrate Pink-Collar Jobs – Over the last decade, men have begun flocking to fields long dominated by women. Young men are graduating in a desolate job market, one in which traditional opportunities like construction and manufacturing have dried up. As opportunities open up in female-oriented occupations, more men are taking advantage of jobs their fathers might never have considered. This trend began well before the crash and appears to be driven by a variety of factors including financial concerns, quality-of-life issues and a gradual erosion of gender stereotypes. Turning the tables on a time-honored feminist creed into: anything a woman can do, a guy can do, too.    

 Via New York Times

 

BRAVE NEW CONSUMER

Lifelogging –  If you wear a heart rate monitor, you do it. If you track your finances on online, you do it too. Lifelogging is the practice of gathering personal data about oneself using technology, essentially breaking the details of one’s daily existence into graphs and statistics. With the explosion of smartphone use and new, portable and affordable technologies people now have the tools to check, track, monitor and manage their personal data like never before. Self-tracking is expected to grow further as technology continues to get more frictionless and invisible.  Knowledge is power especially when it revolves around oneself. 

Via LA Times

 

SMART BRANDS

Apple Announces It’s Becoming More Digital, Social & Integrated at WWDC- Apple’s WWDC 2012 keynote this week revealed how much more seamless the brand will integrate into a person’s digital life through a Facebook integration, a smarter Siri and a move to convert iPhones into mobile wallets. With the new iOS 6 upgrade, iPhone users will now be able to post pictures and videos directly to their Facebook accounts without using the FB app. The App Store will also become integrated to allow people to ‘like’ apps, TV Shows and movies all while being able to see what their friends have liked. Siri will become smarter and more indispensable by having the ability to post FB updates and tweets, launch apps and become integrated into cars through an Eyes Free feature that will be activated through an Apple button in a car’s steering wheel.  Lastly, Apple makes an even bigger play for a person’s wallet with its Passbook feature – a tool that aggregates a user’s boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons and loyalty cards. While not revolutionary, it’s Apple’s first baked-in commitment to converting the iPhone into a digital wallet.

Via Wired 

 

BRIGHT IDEAS

Voxy Makes Language Learning Social, Local & Mobile – If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language and questioned the usefulness of some of the lessons, Voxy is for you. Voxy turns everyday experiences into language learning opportunities. It operates as an aggregator of foreign-language content, serving up the kind of news stories and other media that you would consume during your daily routines (except in a different language). The platform then quizzes you on vocabulary and reading comprehension based on each selection. But Voxy is more than just Rosetta Stone meets The New York Times. It also provides location-based lessons about a person’s immediate surroundings. For example, if a person snaps a photo of a cool bicycle on the street, Voxy will identify the object in the language they’re learning and create an audio flash card. Voxy can also tap into a person’s mobile GPS to find nearby locations so that if they tag themselves at a nearby bar, Voxy can provide relevant phrases like how to order a beer. This service essentially gives each of their million and a half users a lesson that is personally relevant to them.

Via FastCompany

 

ON THE RADAR

Follow This: @sweden Sweden has set up the world’s most democratic Twitter account, @sweden. The government-run account, the brainchild of the country’s tourism bureau, is handed over to a different Swedish citizen each week. The goal is to increase tourism by showcasing the diversity of its people’s thoughts and opinions.

Try This App: Dabble is a location- based photo journaling app that lets users pin virtual “postcards” on a map. Users can leave memories right where they experienced them by attaching photos and notes to locations they have physically visited. People can use Dabble to see where their friends, or friends of friends, have been and get an intimate look at what their experiences were like.

Try This: Airtime, the new startup from Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, is a real-time browser-based video chat similar to 2010’s popular Chatroulette. Unlike Chatroulette, Airtime uses Facebook Connect to ensure people’s real identities and hopefully keep chats PG-rated. Connecting with Facebook allows people to talk with friends they already know or pair up with strangers who share similar interests.

 

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JUNE 2012 // ISSUE 26

STATE OF AMERICA

State Of The AppNation – Nielsen, for the second year in a row, summarized the state of smartphones in the US for the AppNation Conference. According to Nielsen, it’s the year of the app once again, driven mostly by the rise of Android and iPhone users. These two brands have doubled users in a year, with those users accounting for almost 90% of those who’ve downloaded an app in the past month. The average number of apps per smartphone has jumped from 32 to 41 in just a year. As the 2012 smartphone owner downloads more apps, they are increasingly spending more time using them vs.using the mobile web. As we noted in our first CultureFlash issue – Surfing Is Dead. Long Live Apps.

Via Nielsen.com

BRAVE NEW CONSUMER

Amanda’s Million –

Last week Amanda Palmer became the first musician to raise more than a million dollars on Kickstarter. While pre-orders for her album made up most of the project’s activity, more than $300,000 was pledged for rewards offering experiences rather than things. Palmer offered a variety of experiences from playing a show at a pledge’s house to joining her for dinner to having their portrait painted by Palmer.

Whereas traditional marketplaces seem to restrict fans to being consumers, the success of Amanda’s project came from inviting people to be part of her process.

Via Kickstarter.com

 

SMART BRANDS

Headphones With Swagger – When Beats by Dr. Dre debuted in 2008, the size of the $100-plus headphone market was a faint $92 million. Four years later, the good doctor’s “b”-emblazoned earpieces have achieved near ubiquity and the $100-plus segment has been cranked up to $512 million. Beats have revolutionized the high-end market. They’ve redefined the lowly headphone, made sound quality important to the average listener and changed the notion of how much people were willing to pay for a pair. Beats have made headphones fashionable and, ironically, larger in a culture championing devices getting smaller.


Via The Washington Post

 

BRIGHT IDEAS

5 Ways to Smarter Ideas By Atari Founder – Atari founder and serial innovator Nolan Bushnell imparted some wisdom at Mindshare’s event that explored the future. Considering his tech-crazed audience and that Bushnell is arguably the prototype for the modern tech entrepreneur, his advice for the technorati was surprisingly and refreshingly analog:
1) Be Uncomfortable – Learn something new as you’re always challenged to have a beginner’s mind.

2) Look For Beauty – You’ll be surprised how differently one can perceive and experience places and things they’ve seen a million times if consciously looking for beauty.

3) Move Your Body – Exercise is Miracle-Gro for the brain.

4) Go (The F***) To Sleep – Brains can handle more items when asleep than awake. Think about a problem before you sleep and chances are it can be solved by the next morning.

5) Trust Your ideas – Innovation is hard because most people don’t get it. If people tell you your idea is crazy, stick with it.

Via FastCompany

ON THE RADAR

Know This: The New York Times published a list of 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow.  Check out this list and see which innovations could soon be making their way into your daily routine, from underwear that reminds you to hit the gym to computer screens that alert you to over-slouching.

Watch This: In a move against the pervading sexism in Hollywood, YouTube announced a new channel called Wigs that will feature short scripted dramas about strong female characters. Stars like Jennifer Garner, Julia Stiles, America Ferrera and Dakota Fanning have already announced their involvement in Wigs to work towards increasing the number of strong female roles on screen.

Learn This:

We at CultureFlash often encounter new buzz words and lexicons that are entertaining and telling of current behavior in culture. In this new section we’d like to share some of those fun finds.

oversharenting – (verb) the parental act of sharing too many personal photos and information regarding one’s children on Facebook or other social media

 

 

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