The Obama Administration showed us how government can use digital tools to communicate effectively with citizens.

Note: It’s been a hot second since I put out a new post, mostly because I’ve started a graduate program in government/public policy (while working full-time), which hasn’t given me much time to publish. But I’m here today to talk to you about something some observations after finishing a recent course on digital governance.

If you can, try to remember what 2009 was like in the world of social media, blogs, technology and political discourse. …


Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Announcements about the future of the platform from the F8 conference signal more harassment, more misinformation and less accountability.

Call me a jaded cynic but at this point I have no faith that any social media platform will do the right thing anymore. So, it follows that with every update, every announcement of change or added feature will be the worst case scenario of said change or feature. Which brings me to the F8 announcements and what I believe it will mean for the platform, online discourse and safety.

Back in March, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was about to become a “privacy-focused” company. …


Comiskey Park, err…U.S. Cellular Field, err…Guaranteed Rate Field

Why attending a baseball game means joining a tech ecosystem

One of my favorite memories with my grandfather was going with him to a Cubs game back in the mid-90s when I was probably 11 or 12. We drove up to the big city in his roomy minivan from his small “just a little too far away to be a suburb” town south of Chicago. It’s a drive that gets significantly more interesting the further north you drive, passing by empty, endless farmland, through suburban sprawl, to eventually seeing the Sears tower peek out in the distance and watching it and the rest of the skyline move behind you as…


Notre-Dame in 2006, taken from this camera.

On Monday I received a breaking news ping on my phone about the Notre-Dame fire — minutes after the first pictures in Paris were taken, uploaded and re-shared throughout Twitter.

Anyone who has ever been to Notre-Dame would immediately be distraught, it’s one of the most ornate and breathtaking places in the world. The knowledge that after 900 years of history, such an important world landmark could burn down in 2019 was obviously distressing but also captivating — I wanted to follow the drama to see if the firefighters could save the cathedral and in doing so got sucked into…


Or pick them all

Disney recently announced their new streaming and original content service Disney+, will follow Apple TV into a very crowded group of digital content providers this year. By my unofficial count we have the following services offering both subscriptions AND original content (price included because that’ll become important later…):

Sling ($15–25/month)
YouTube TV ($50/month)
Hulu ($6/month)
Netflix ($9-$16/month)
Amazon Prime Video ($9/month)
Disney + ($7/month)
Apple TV (unannounced)
PlayStation Vue ($45–80/month)
ESPN+($5/month)
HBO Now ($15/month)
Showtime ($11/month)
Starz ($9/month)
CBS All Access ($10/month)

Not to mention the other entertainment subscription services out there. Gamers have a lot of choices between PlayStation…


Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

That Buzzfeed essay on why Millennials are so burnt out is really lighting up the “are Millennials entitled, lazy and ruining society?” conversation this week.

It’s a must-read.

It explains the seemingly irrational — why an entire generation could struggle to go to do something as simple as registering to vote despite the fact that outcomes of elections directly affect their livelihood.

One of the points the article touches on which has particularly resonated with me is “decision-fatigue.” It’s a major contributor to our lethargy towards mundane but important tasks. …


Photo by Justin Main on Unsplash

Have you heard the news? Google+ is getting sent to that server farm in the sky. “Oh no! I use it every day to maintain social connections,” said no one. Boy, what a disappointment. I remember when Google+ was announced back in early 2011. Being a Google fanboy and lifelong technophile, I desperately wanted to get in on this exciting social network. Google was going to take Facebook’s concept of a social network but Google-fy it — make it work and clean up the interface. After asking around, a buddy sent me an early invite. I joined, set up my…


Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

Or is it?

The U.S. Census Bureau recently put out some encouraging news for the quote-un-quote middle class. Average household income rose above $61,000 for the first time in history and the national poverty rate has declined as well (at least as far as the U.S. has defined the poverty rate).

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that households with middle-class earning still harbor significant anxiety about money.

In a newly released MassMutual study, 48% of Americans aged 25 to 65 with an annual household income of $35,000 to $150,000 said they worry about money at least once a week. …


Photo by Rock’n Roll Monkey on Unsplash

News of Google Inbox shutting down hit the presses today and has certainly opened up the debate among those who found it useful and folks like me who hated having their mail/updates pre-sorted and pray Gmail won’t eventually turn into Inbox. But that’s just me, a lot of folks really loved Inbox and probably feel as betrayed as I did a few years ago when Reader was put to sleep.

But if I had it my way, I’d eliminate all presorting and algorithmic decisions made about what information I see first. One important email gets missorted and overlooked and I…


Tesla 3: The future of automobiles is a giant iPad.

As a casual technophile, I’ve been following the coverage of the new Tesla 3 — the mass-market priced, electric alternative to gasoline cars. In other words, the car of the future!

But based on early reviews related to the enormous touchscreen and its problems with the software and future implications for centralizing all car functions in one huge tablet, I’m convinced that the car UX of the future is going to suuuucckkk.

Before I dive in, a couple of caveats. First, this isn’t a Tesla 3 review. I haven’t driven one and this isn’t a car review publication. Second, this…

jonesey

Web and communications pro. Millennial. Occasional Medium writer.

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