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Happy Friday! And happy birthday, Instagram! Ten years old already. You’re growing up so quickly.

Every quarter I keep a Spotify playlist of the songs I’m playing on repeat. It’s like an aural time capsule of sorts. It’s a new quarter this week, so here’s Q3 2020:

I was doing an interview for a college capstone class this week and was asked if I ever worried about running out of creative ideas. I recommended reading James Webb Young's A Technique for Producing Ideas, which sells for $5 on Amazon and lays out some fantastic constructs about what constitutes an idea, the process to develop them, and the fact that not everyone is creative (GASP!). It was written in 1939, can be read in under an hour, and contains one of my favorite all-time quotes: 

Every really good creative person…whom I have ever known has always had two noticeable characteristics. First, there was no subject under the sun in which he could not easily get interested — from, say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet of life had fascination for him. Second, he was an extensive browser in all sorts of fields of information. For it is with the advertising man as with the cow: no browsing, no milk.

Lastly, based on your feedback about my 13 year-old Twitter account from delivering pizzas, I curated some of the best tweets and some takeaways you can read here!

And if you order pizza this weekend, be sure to tip at least 20% and minimum $5. You never know when your pizza delivery driver may be tweeting about you and your tip from an anonymous Twitter account.

See you on the internet!


Every week I keep tabs on what's trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. Here's what I'm tracking this week... and have something you think should be shared? Drop it here

New Emoji Are Coming: The Unicode Consortium (the organization responsible for global emoji standards) announced 217 more emoji will be available next year. Expected new emoji include a bandaged heart, heart on fire, a head in the clouds, bearded faces, more diversity, and three gender-neutral characters. Unicode said this is a 'minor release' before an even bigger one in 2022. See the new emoji here.

Minecraft Live this Weekend: Minecon, an annual Minecraft fan event, has been rebranded as Minecraft Live and will be held as a live stream Saturday, October 3. The event will introduce new game updates, mobs and activities across the hugely popular game. Watch the trailer here. And tune in here.

Texting with Barry: “All right, let’s try something new. Send me a text at 773-365-9687—I want to hear how you’re doing, what’s on your mind, and how you’re planning on voting this year.” That’s how former President Barack Obama announced he is the latest public figure to join Community, a mass-texting app that allows anyone to text with folks like Ashton Kutcher or the Jonas Brothers. This “dark social” technology allows celebs, and now politicians, to bypass algorithms and send messages direct to their stakeholders. To check it out, simply text Obama at the number above!

Pay with Palm: This week Amazon publicly introduced technology we started anticipating last September – using people's palms to identify them and combine that with details of the palm, such as lines and ridges, to build a “palm signature” you can use for touchless checkout. It’s called Amazon One, and in a post-pandemic culture, could see rapid adoption at retailers, stadiums, and office buildings. More here.

Podcast of the Week: 99% Invisible’s latest podcast covers the implications of our physical addresses, a fairly recent invention that has shaped our cities and taken on great political and cultural importance. And alternatives, including what3words, which maps geographic coordinates based on three random dictionary words. Listen here.

Business Reads of the Week: To Be More Creative, Schedule Your Breaks; The Early Pitch Decks Of 21 Startups Before They Became Billion-Dollar Companies; How (And Why) to Budget Now for Strategic Foresight in 2021

Yada Yada Yada: More than 31 years since ‘the show about nothing’ was introduced, the internet is keeping the spirit of Seinfeld alive with Instagram meme accounts, including ones dedicated to product placements, artistic interpretations of key scenes, ambience, fashion, Elaine’s outfits, haikus, quotes, memes, more memes, and Newman holding your favorite music album. Newman!

Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Alphabet (Google) has a patent for conversational auto-replies, where the system can understand what's in photos or messages sent to someone and generates a response based off of the content. Amazon has one for storing your body measurements to better make clothing recommendations. Apple has new watch patents for monitoring blood pressure and braille. And Facebook has one for a smart mirror camera. See more here.

App of the Week: This one comes from reader Patty Radford Henderson, who used the new handy Drop A Link to share a cool app called Puppets World to to animate any photo of a person, a portrait painting, or even a hand-drawn sketch – effectually turning them into your puppet. Super fun use of deepfake technology. Download it here on iOS

Ghosts = Aren't Funny: Last week I shared trending news about everyone dressing as ghosts on TikTok, with more than 2 billion posts tagged #GhostPhotoShoot. Since then it was brought to my attention that this trend has had legitimate criticism from Black people about teens walking around in groups wearing white sheets. There have been lots of Part 2’s and updates from the initial trending reports. This criticism is valid and wasn’t on my radar whatsoever, or I would have included it. I apologize. As a white man on the internet, I am trying to learn from my privilege and share work from creators and inclusion of POC each week, but I will admit there are blind spots and I make mistakes. This was one of those. Thank you for flagging. Let’s all help each other do better. I insist.
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