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NYU ITP May 5, 2010

Posted by Nick in education, technology.
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Ah, only a few short weeks from graduating from Georgetown I have finally decided what to do next year. I decided to turn down both of my job offers and go back to school. Crazy? I don’t think so, not when the school is as awesome as the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU (ITP). This program is a combination of everything new media and technology, I will do some physical computing, hopefully a lot of programming, and learn about all types of new technologies. This is not only awesome and exciting, but ITP is also very well regarded in the NYC startup scene where I hope to be working in the future. ITP graduates include founders of a number of businesses, including Dennis Crowley the founder of Foursquare. I’m looking forward to the move to ITP and looking forward to what I will learn there.

On a side note, I haven’t posted here in awhile and will be shutting this blog down to start a new one with more frequent posts that are more in-depth. I also plan on spending more time on each post ensuring that the writing is much better. I will post a link here when I get it started.

Location Based Apps Taking Off and I’m Finally Getting On Board March 16, 2010

Posted by Nick in social media.
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With SXSW taking place right now, the location wars are in full swing and Foursquare and Gowalla are going at it. With the wars heating up I thought I’d give it a shot also and I’ve started checking in on Foursquare, Gowalla and also occasionally on Yelp! in order to check out these systems. So far, Foursquare and Gowalla are very similar and it seems like they are both getting heavy usage down in Austin this week. The one feature I like about Gowalla right now is that it uses GPS data to guarantee a person’s location and not allow false check-ins. This keeps someone from checking in at places they have never been and getting a bunch of undeserved mayorships. I’m not really sure the intrinsic value of checking-in yet, that’s still something I’m trying to figure out. However, I have noticed that I’ve been finding some good deals from bars, restaurants, etc. for people who have checked in. I’m also waiting for these companies to start making more money, they have certainly started with major partnerships starting to line up-I’m just curious to see if these are lasting and continue to expand. Not to mention will these services continue to be successful if Facebook and Twitter roll-out similar location based services…why add another app if you can just do the same thing on Facebook. If location services are implemented similarly on Facebook or Twitter, either of these platforms may be able to seriously damage the traction of Foursquare and Gowalla…I guess we will see.

A Thesis and What the Fuck Am I Going To Do With My Life? February 24, 2010

Posted by Nick in education.
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I’m a senior at Georgetown and one of my majors is sociology, of course this is one of the few majors at Georgetown that requires all students to write a senior thesis. This thesis is due at the end of April and I haven’t started, fuck. My thesis is about whether or not the internet, specifically web 2.0 tools, are capable of building a strong oppositional civil society in non-democratic countries. Using China and Iran as case studies I will examine how the internet is used by traditional forms of civil society like NGOs to mobilize people and how social media has been used to build grass roots movements. Of course I will also be looking at how the governments of these countries use the internet as a form of social control in an attempt to atomize any oppositional civil society as well. Hopefully, I can figure some of this shit out and get it down on paper before its too late…

Really, this entire thesis is indicative of a bigger problem for me. Do I continue on to graduate school in sociology next, I’ve already heard from some PhD programs and I am waiting on several more, or do I leave school to pursue a career in internet or social media? I see no reason that I can’t write about technology and work for (eventually run) a company, but grad school and full-time employment are two different paths for sure. I don’t have much time left to decide, but until I do I’ll just keep pursuing both paths so I hopefully have numerous options.

More will come about the details of my thesis as well. Until then wish me luck figuring out my life.

Mint Helps Manage Your Money February 18, 2010

Posted by Nick in technology.
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With Kublax, a British clone of Mint, recently entering deadpool because it couldn’t find another round of funding (*a new letter from Kublax CEO says that Kublax may be bailed out by SimplyFinance) I thought it would be a good time to write about Mint. Mint is a website that links with your bank accounts and credit cards to monitor your spending and bill paying. It allows you to set up budgets that can range from one time things or can reoccur monthly for things like your cable bill or grocery budget. Mint is now owned by Intuit (turbo tax guys) but it is still an awesome, free service that helps you keep your money in order. For anyone, but especially for young people not used to budgeting for all your own bills, I recommend you give Mint a try and see just how much money you have to spend.

Who Are Social Gamers? February 17, 2010

Posted by Nick in social media.
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Who plays video games? Usually its young males. Who plays social games? How about women in their 40s…check out this article at Mashable

The future of making money on the internet February 1, 2010

Posted by Nick in technology.
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So I haven’t been here in a long time and soon I’d like to be back writing regularly, I haven’t written anything about my experiences navigating the technological challenges I faced in China (blocked emails, proxy servers, etc.). But, the thing that really wanted to get me back on here was a blog post that Dave McClure just wrote. Check his article about how the future revenue model for the internet will be paid content and subscription services. He says that Facebook, Google, and Apple are all poised to be a huge part of this move for a very specific reason…you use them a lot so you remember your password. McClure says that one of the biggest problems he experienced while at PayPal was that people couldn’t remember their passwords. Check out everything he has to say on his blog 500 Hats, the guy may be a little crazy but he is extremely smart