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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.


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

Amazon continues to make normal stores obsolete October 17, 2009

Posted by Nick in technology.
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Not that anyone reads this, but sorry for the delay between posts nonetheless. Hopefully that will be over now and there will be at least one pretty much every day. For today we discuss how amazon is awesome and how it is making actual stores increasingly obsolete.

Not only can you buy pretty much anything you could ever want at Amazon, but with Amazon Prime ($79 a year) you can have all that shipped to you for free, or just a few bucks for overnight shipping. Now with that same Amazon Prime account you can get your stuff shipped to you the same day for only $5.99 if you live in a major city. Yes, that’s right, the same day. Order early enough in any of 11 cities and you will get your stuff sent to you that same day. You can get this service even if you don’t have Amazon Prime as well but it will cost you a lot more. If you don’t need to try whatever your buying on, then there really isn’t any reason you ever need to go to an actual brick and mortar store again. Thank you Amazon.