Lindsay Bell

The Three Things, Edition 47

By: Lindsay Bell | September 8, 2013 | 

The Three Things

By Lindsay Bell-Wheeler

Welcome to the 47th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from  Michael Schechter (A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and yours truly, Lindsay Bell.

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

This week we look at the latest trends in web design, the never ending debate about Big Brother, and an amazing book about living with autism.

Web Design Book of Trends 2013-2014

Michael on Web Design. Despite having a limited skill for actually creating them, I have a deep love and respect for a well executed website. For those who appreciate recent shifts in web design, this is a really well curated collection of the latest trends. It does an excellent job of identifying the latest shifts, and showcases those who are using them well.

Much of the design featured in the book is on the bleeding edge, but it’s a great indication of where things are heading. It’s also an impressive look at what’s possible when creativity and technology are thoughtfully blended together.

Be sure to go beyond the ebook and actually visit the sites that catch your eye. It’s one thing to hear about these trends, it’s another to see them in action.

The Multiplexed Metropolis

Howie on Big Data. Big Data is one of those fancy jargon terms of the moment. It means taking a mass of data, and using computers and people to sift through it for value. This could be for the good of the people as this article mentions, like a smart power grid. It can also be the genesis of the totalitarian state aka Big Brother.

While in the United States, we are seeing a fast path to Big Brother. For example NSA spying, cameras in cities everywhere watching your every move, the police photographing your car everywhere and keeping a database of your movements (oh you didn’t read that was happening?!). But when a terrorist is found, Big Brother screams ‘Vindication.’

Obviously there are many examples of Big Data having potential to improve city life. Time will tell if this leads to better cities and more democracy, or to us hiding from the CIA/M16/FBI/KGB so we can speak in private. What are your thoughts?

A Peek Inside My Son’s Head

Lindsay on Autism. This week, I’m sharing with you a book review. Yup, a book review. But not just any old book review. This book review reads like a finely crafted, Booker Prize worthy short story. It’s by author David Mitchell. If you’ve read Mitchell’s acclaimed 2004 book Cloud Atlas, then you’re already familiar with him. But you may not know that Mitchell has an autistic son. He’s also been the driving force behind the English translation/publication of an astoundingly raw memoir, The Reason I Jump, written by a 14-year-old autistic Japanese boy.

As Mitchell says in the review “It is no exaggeration to say  The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship with our son. Naoki Higashida’s writing administered the kick I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start thinking how much tougher life was for my son, and what I could do to make it less tough.”

I don’t have an autistic child, but I have friends and family who do. And I applaud Mitchell’s efforts to bring this book to an English speaking audience.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?

About Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

  • Where to begin? I did get the e-book but am going to have to read it/visit the sites later. My skills for creating websites are also limited (OR nonexistent) but I find the whole process fascinating and as a user I know what I like and what will cause me to click somewhere else in an effort to have a pleasant/easy experience.  The data article was interesting …. we are getting used to sharing so much of our personal “stuff” (which I know is a slightly different topic ….) but frequently when I check in to FourSquare, my inner monologue is “why again do you think everyone wants to know where you are?” Will definitely put the book about the autistic boy on my list. I have so many friends in the autism community and I learn from them every day. Now for my contribution — for once it’s PR-related as opposed to a complete Big Green Pen tangent! It’s a two-linker. It started with a Twitter user posting a racially offensive picture and using the hashtag of one of our local universities. The university, admirably, sprung into action with a response. I thought it was a GREAT example of an appropriate proactive message in the light of an incident like that. THEN the young woman stated that she had been hacked and reported that to the police. As an aside to whether she was hacked or not, there’s been discovered related to all the discussion of this a site that is a forum-type board where lots of this awful racist stuff is spewed and that young woman may be part of. Not linking to that one – it doesn’t deserve the light of day. I’ll send you via an email the image that started the whole thing but this is the university’s response:  and this is the report of the student’s allegation that she was hacked (which you may or may not be able to access b/c our newspaper’s crazy firewall is crazy but:
    Thanks for a great three this week!

  • I was just discussing autism and vaccines this morning with I guess a foremost activist on the subject TannersDad . My wife is all natural. Never even taken an aspirin. Our daughter is too. I myself when I get sick i run for the chemicals. But our daughter has had only one shot so far as of 2 yrs 3 months. Our doctor is a natural path. One shot I forget which one he said ‘It has a 50% success rate. And oh at 3 she has to get it again’ so we declined not wanting to risk. But we live in woods. Soon we will be in a town with people so that might change. I think often we all feel like we are the one’s suffering when we have to care for someone who is sick or disabled forgetting how it is for them.

  • rdopping

    Interesting piece Howe. I just listened to Mitch Joel’s convoys with Jeremiah O. something. ( me forgotten). The discussion was about his research into the sharing economy and the disruption smaller business is having on the economy (i.e. AirBnB). The idea that a cities people can make a city art by developing apps to share information is an interesting idea. It seems to be happening.
    I guess we need to take the good

    • rdopping

      with the bad. It’s really unfortunate that we have to worry about being watched when so many cool things can come from the annals of big data.