Do we really need to teach digital skills?

Forgotten Classroom by ne* photostreamEvery where I turn there seems to be a foundation, organization or center developing curriculum to teach kids how to develop their digital skills. I confess I’m very skeptical of whether we really need this, though I’m recognize that there are tremendous divides among the different social, economical and mental abilities among young people and perhaps this is the main reason why we need to develops new educational standards that include digital skills. Not everyone can pick up a computer and figure out how to blog…

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Make me laugh

Lately I’ve been wondering why is entertainment so successful on the web. It seems to be the magic formula to making something viral or getting a lot of hits (that or pure controversy). You wouldn’t be sending your friends product recommendations (lame) but you sure will send them a little funny video like this:

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Manga does UGC

“We don’t employ translators as each and every user is a translator.”

John Maeda announced in his blog this new website for Manga (Japanese comics) where users can create their own translations of the books (after buying them) and then sell them on –although you get paid in points, which you can only use to buy more Manga.

Interesting use of ‘social media/user generated content’ by appealing to manga fans. The site says this is to help ‘everyone’ enjoy Manga, but it sure look like a strategic attempt to help break into new markets or increase Manga’s market share (in Japan Manga is a + $400B industry).

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Can UGC change production models of goods?

Last year, as I was researching UGC (user generated content) I starting to observe that some physical goods manufacturers are adopting a form of user-generated content. They allow consumers to create (at least to some extent) the goods they purchase. Instead of having factories produce mass articles determined by a few producers, could factories become on-demand production houses based on the individual designs of their customers? calls this trend MIY “make it yourself”, where users can design their own furniture, jewelry, and other goods, while the business serves as the production center, converting the digital information to actual products. An interesting example of this is , an online factory in New Zealand, where you can design your own furniture among other goods. This one goes beyond the standard t-shirt and mug design shops like