Personal blog of Alicia Fowler, aka @aliciaef, senior strategist at FutureBrand. Topics covered include brands, branding, technology, and space, and more!

Social links roundup – 20 July 2013

Since I have quite a few social media accounts, and this nifty blog, I thought I'd give a weekly roundup of the links I've shared and a bit about why I shared them.


Sitting in circles breeds collaboration


I'm always fascinated by how our environments affect our behaviors and moods, so this little gem amazed me: a recent study shows that when sitting at circular tables, people are more likely to be collaborative, than when sitting at rectangular ones. Our office has two rectangular conference tables and four or five small circular ones, and beyond just more collaborative dispositions, I've noticed we're more productive at the round tables. The combining of their small size, circular form, and openness (these tables are not boxed in four walls), does lead to a better working environment for us.


Childlike wonder inspires imagination


Growing up, I was nothing short of precocious. (And was I short!) Innately curious with a bit of a flare of arguing, I loved asking "Why?" for hours on end. I've not lost that sense of wonder, but I do feel, as this articles points out, that curiosity can get left behind as I age and succumb to a slow death by PowerPoint. This article is a beautiful reminder to get in touch with our wonder and curiosity to boost the imagination and creativity that our success demands, and our world depends upon.


Hackers make Google Glass creepier


I'll not go so far as to call myself a privacy rights buff, but I am a wee bit concerned with the direction of privacy in the connected age as intrusions from government, business and even our fellow citizens erodes both our right to, and even understand of, privacy. Google Glass freaks me out. With the rise of Instagram, and well the internet, voyeuristic photos are becoming normal, even lauded. I have a hard time with the logic that being out in public means anyone has right to snap a photo of me, but at least when I can see the camera or hear the shutter I can stand up for myself, as I've done before. With Google Glass, that won't be the case. At best, I can hope that as Google Glass enters the mass market we'll find cute puppy photos or neat first-person cycling videos or even civic journalism. But I suspect we'll also find our fair share of detestable recordings that test our limits of acceptable behavior. I just hope our legislatures aren't too late to the conversation.


Sweating to hydrate a community


Access to potable water should be a basic human right, but unfortunately according to WHO and UNICEF, around 11% of the world's population still does not have access. One Swedish engineer teamed up with UNICEF to create a water filtration system that creates drinkable water from the sweat expired while cycling. That. Is. Awesome. 


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