So my inbox is getting nailed with flickr friend requests. It turns out flickr is featuring one of my sets. Flickr was actually my first social network I truly embraced. At one point, I was one of the top 100 photographers on flickr. It’s still the social network I use with the most followers (6,604 as of today but tumblr is quickly catching up) and, besides my tumblr-powered blog, my social site with the most unique hits, 2,870,305.

In the interest of journalistic integrity, I went on Chatroulette this morning to verify its obsolescence. Time it took for someone to show me his unit: 10 seconds. I clicked the “next” button. There, in extreme close-up, was a penis. I clicked “next” again. And there was no one there at all. Just vast, empty nothingness. All that’s left of a once great civilization is dead air and a bunch of guys sitting around with their pants off. It was a wild ride, a magical, you had to be there time in human history, when it seemed everyone in the world was as close as a mouse click. We’ll remember you as you once were, young and full of song. But the party is over. And you can’t build an empire on dicks.

R.I.P. Chatroulette, 2009-2010 – Internet Culture – (via heyitsnoah)

I think the Chatroulette phenomenon is a perfect example of the state of the internet today. The problems the tech scene is trying to fix today aren’t real problems. In fact, they’re solutions to problems that the internet has created. Humans have existed for hundreds of thousands of years with relatively little social and communication needs. We need our friends, we need our family, and we need to put our skills to work and make money. Some of us also need ideas. But all of us need (and only need as a basic fundamental human necessity) friends and family that we emotionally connect with in person on a daily basis. The pub solved that problem hundreds of years ago. The telephone solved that even better as our families moved apart. And now we have email in addition to the telephone and personal blogs for those of us who want to be public.

We’ve solved our basic fundamental need of intimate communication with friends, family, and colleagues. Anything more than this is going to be gimmicks and micro-solutions to the last 5% of a problem. And I’m even lumping Facebook into the gimmick section due to the fact that only a small fraction of us want to be public within the confines of one company in everything we do.

We, as social animals, are actually relatively simple creatures with relatively simple needs. Technology is moving much, much faster than our brains and social needs can evolve.

Panera Co. to open more pay-what-you-wish eateries




The idea for Panera’s first nonprofit restaurant was to open an eatery where people paid what they could. The richer could pay full price — or extra. The poorer could get a cheap or even free meal.

Its cashiers tell customers their orders’ “suggested” price based on the menu. About 60 to 70 percent pay in full, Shaich said. About 15 percent leave a little more and another 15 percent pay less, or nothing at all. A handful have left big donations, like $20 for a cup of coffee.

(via brokelyn)

Thanks, Radiohead.

Incredibly cool stuff.

Panera Co. to open more pay-what-you-wish eateries

“We are creating the Freelancers Insurance Company from the ground up. It is designed to meet the portability needs of independent workers…By building an insurance company that works, we can show policy makers how they can help build the next safety net…and by doing that, we are showing that we are a powerful political constituency…FIC is a new model that gives us control of our own future…we want to innovate and pioneer new ways to get the healthcare you need…this is the first step in building a new social safety net that will enable independent workers to maintain high quality and affordable health insurance without corporate sponsorship.”

Do you see why I’m extremely excited about working with the Freelancers Union?

This isn’t a union founded on a factory floor in 1889. This is a technology platform started in 1995 that currently connects 140,000 members to portable benefits. There are 43 million independent workers in America. We’ve got room to grow.

For the past month, I’ve been meeting with health professionals all over NYC to hear their stories, their ideas, and their desires to create a more meaningful professional life. 

For the next month, I’m meeting with freelancers to hear their stories, their ideas, and their desires for health insurance that truly meets their needs. If you would like to meet up in NYC, please email me.