My Favorite Readings in March: Crowds Everywhere, Academic Discussions & Some Awesome Videos

Old Pictures of Shanghai in 1949 (click to see more)One of my favorite French blogs, InternetActu, offers a bi-monthly selection of articles, studies & papers which I always love to browse through. Despite being a little long, it offers a condensed view of the latest trends, beyond Mashable’s or FastCompany’s trending articles. In order to share more and better about marketing, design & other exciting subjects (the title of this blog), let me do the same on my side, sharing some of my preferred readings on a monthly basis. To start, here are some articles and links I have enjoyed in March, or tweets I’d like to share again.

Above, it’s the Panthéon, a building right next to the Sorbonne (hence the name of Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne) originally built as a church and now functioning as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. This beautiful building is now being restored, part of which (65,565€) has been crowdfunded via MyMajorCompany. Here we see the signs that display some of the funders’ face and names. The dome will also have some faces of the crowd on it, but these faces will be from JR’s art project “Au Panthéon.” The crowd is everywhere, and I think it’s great!

French computer scientist Cyril Labbé (Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble) found out that computer-generated papers can make it into published conference proceedings. Crazy, right?

This is a very cool video telling the story of an Indian grassroots initiative. It’s about people who want to open up their slum to foreigners through technology, offering them a different view on India’s poorest parts. The video communicates the message that some beautiful things often hide in unexpected places… would you guess what brand sponsored it? Have a look.

An interesting article about academic work and its relative absence in public debates. It says that academics and journalists should work together to get some interesting knowledge out to the world, leveraging their complementary roles in the value chain of information. He says that academics should blog about their work. Agreed.

These are some critical thoughts about Getty Images’ decision to allow embeds of their photos anywhere in the web. The author, a tech reporter writing for The Guardian, criticizes the fact that Getty will leverage the massive amount of photography contributed by photographers without compensating them. In fact, by running ads on the embedded images, Getty might even make money out of it – without sharing any of the revenue. Another stab at the creatives of this world, he says.

That’s just a tweet about a really weird crowdsourcing project on the Swiss platform Atizo. What would you answer?

This video is quite long, but it’s really really interesting. The CEO of Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, talks about how he would like to fight against Verizon and AT&T in the United States, how he believed in Steve Jobs before the iPhone launched, and how he sees investment opportunities in the future. I’m not particularly interested in the teco business, but this interview le by Charlie Rose is really worthwhile being watched.

This Norwegian advertisement is a bummer. It plays on stereotypes that we can have about poor populations and the way we should (or should not) help them. It’s actually very funny (that boy rocks!) but gets a good point across: our stereotypes can be quite ridiculous.

This video shows Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner talk about the present and future of Linkedin. He has a bold vision for his company: create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce to fuel growth globally. Compelling presentation supported by great visuals.

I saw some articles talk about this consumer-created Tesla ad as crowdsourcing. Well it’s not crowdsourcing at all (Tesla didn’t ask for this video to be produced) but it shows that creative individuals can make great thinks for brands they like. Elon Musk tweeted this ad created by two college grads, and that’s how everyone know about it. But it’s not crowdsourcing (and the two are not Tesla clients/consumers neither, but that’s part of the myth).

The Italian city of Firenze has crowdsourced its logo on Zooppa, an Italy-based crowdsourcing company (with offices in Seattle). This article makes a familiar point: crowdsourced designs are bad, and it hurts designers. I think the visual identity is actually pretty good, and the winner is a seasoned designer himself. The city of Firenze probably benefited from the cost-effectiveness, scale and speed of crowdsourcing. But I think the debate about the ethics of crowdsourcing will live forever. And it’s a healthy debate.

Jonathan L. Wai, PhD, about the race for prestigious publications. A familiar debate in academia today, but a good article anyway.

The craziest thing is that they had to be silent and discrete not to get caught. It’s insame, but I think it’s also awesome to see people taking the freedom to some crazy stuff (without hurting anyone) in NYC. Start watching at 02:49.

To push its connected devices to the masses, Google has done 2 significant announcements this month. They partnered with stylish & well-known companies: Fossil (Fossil brand) and Luxottica (Ray-Ban, Oakley etc.) to push their technologies or smart watched and glasses. That is very smart of them.

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