Beyond MySpace: Next Gen Social Networks That Will Change the World, pg. 68.
Online social networks are changing the way companies communicate, make decisions, and develop and market products. While first-generation Web sites were all about human-computer interaction, culture now drives the Web and its design. Personal connections are the life of the new Web, bringing together an estimated 60 million bloggers, 72 million MySpace users, and millions more on single-use social networks where people share one category of stuff, like Flickr (photos) and Digg (news stories). These users have become a powerful force in influencing other users, hatching trends, and building interest in specific products. Instead of guessing what people would buy, marketers can now sit back and let the public tell them what they are interested in purchasing. An editor from Fast Company is available to discuss how online social networks can feed your business and possibly change the world.
Map-Based Web Sites That Are Transforming Shopping, pg. 90.
Imagine a map that could show you what houses were for sale, provide asking prices, videos, and the ability to chat with the owners. Internet-powered maps are quickly moving from simple directions to richly layered landscapes of living, breathing information. More than 1,000 new map-based Web sites that let users blend previously disparate data with videos, comments, or other content have launched in the past year, with 3 to 4 more debuting every 24 hours. VCs have taken noticed and are throwing money at any of them that promise to transform industries such as real estate and local shopping. An editor from Fast Company is available to discuss how today’s digital maps are transforming the real estate industry and shopping in general.
Next Technology: Robo-Zoo, pg. 36.
Could lobsters, snails, and other critters inspire machines that will fight future wars? No, we’re not talking about a science fiction novel. The June issue of Fast Company reports on the latest in soldiery: robo-animals. Outfitted with remote controls and high-tech gear such as GPS, listening devices, and chemical sensors, these theoretical bugs could be flown inconspicuously into nearly any hostile environment to eavesdrop and sniff out explosives or chemical agents. Federal funding has spurred research into bees, cockroaches, and dolphins, and Carnegie Mellon’s Biorobotics Lab is creating robo snakes and elephants’ trunks that could ultimately be used to inspect engines and bridges, disarm bombs, and search for victims in collapsed buildings. An editor from Fast Company is available to discuss how robo-animals will improve our lives.
The Greening of Goldman, pg. 40.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is playing a constructive role in helping to address the challenges facing the environment by linking environmental sustainability to profit. Thirty commercial banks have signed on to the Equator Principles, a set of benchmarks for calculating environmental and social risks of investments. It calls for world governments to tighten restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, commits to investing $1 billion in renewable energy, and proposes a Center for Environmental Markets, a research partnership that will explore how the free-market system can solve environmental problems. An editor from Fast Company is available to discuss the impact Goldman’s environmental stand will have on other investment banks and public policy.
Stop Standing By, pg. 102.
In their quest to find new sources of revenue most airlines have introduced an alternative to the stressful standby queue. Passengers of American, Delta, Northwest, United, Continental, and US Airways can now pay $25 to get a confirmed seat on an earlier flight the day they’re scheduled to travel. Of course, all their policies differ, and the fine print can make this more complicated than it seems at first glance. An editor from Fast Company is available to tell you what you need to know to jump the standby line and snatch the best seat on the plane.