Be Sure to Bookmark: youngdigitallab.net

  “Formal education will no doubt make you a decent living;
But it’s self education that makes you a fortune.”
–Jim Rohn

Courtesy of YoungDigitalLab.net

Try to name one person not smitten by Italy’s charms … go ahead … no rush.

To quote Shrek’s endearing pal Donkey, think about it …
“Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s go to Italy,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no Italy?” Italy is delicious!”

You had me at delizioso Donkey; you’re preaching to the Convert.

Ah Italia!  Of course the fashion, food, and fascinating art scene emit such intellectual stimulation that it manages to seduce the world’s most prominent academics using barely any effort.  It’s a long revered home-town stomping ground to the legendary Innovative Entourage members: Galileo, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and one impressive Dodge dynasty. But when I came across the Padua-based (or Padova as the Italian language spells it) website … YoungDigitalLab.net … well only two words came to mind: Così Impressionante.  Translation: YDL features such amazing contentcentric media discussions, that it’s now Safari marked as an ‘official’ new friend.

Chris Andersen’s new book (Oh, need his credentials?  He’s Wired magazine’s current Editor-in-Chief; but it’s not yet public knowledge if he also prefers to go by the Godfather, I’ll make a fact check note.) Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, he speaks to three specific characteristics that ‘true Makers’ exhibit unlike the majority societal public.  Anderson acknowledges with confident authority how “[Real Makers instinctively] default to thinking in public…sharing…and collaborating with people they don’t know.”  YoungDigitalLab.net isn’t a spotlight textbook case study, but at the very least it deserves an Honorable Mention medal.

Most importantly, the YoungDigitalLab.net project demonstrates that when discerning, expressive minds come together to build an online community that fosters a celebratory spirit supporting collaborative learning – I think a fairy procures their wings.  Well, something magical happens because this renaissance continues to unfold both on and offline, in HD, 3D, BluRay, and flatD to the North, South, East and West -worldwide.  It’s truly admirable that YoungDigitalLab.net refuses to tolerate geographic borders; and the resulting content they publish justifies why they stick to this decision.

It’s never only about ‘the numbers’ (Connection, Fan, Follower, Tumbles, Pin counts, etc) when one analyzes what really makes a brand’s emerging media campaign successful.  That said, YDL’s numbers highlight a reputation that already includes a lengthly achievement list including: supporting 19 speakers under 30, across an eight-city Italian tour, adding to a blog archive that currently stores 289+ articles posted by 25 unique authors.  Data drives everything a communications practionier does; to live by data is to die by data.  Thankfully, ever since graphic designers began popping out data visualization charts, (R/GA’s Bob Greenberg deserves a huge thanks here), marketing professionals now look forward to reviewing significant data collections meditatively not anxiously – no Valium necessary.  To celebrate turning 2, check out the below visual summary YDL put together as a birthday gift to their site:

Courtesy of YoungDigitalLab.net

Obviously unwilling to go against any fellow social media channels, it’s impressive that YoungDigitalLab.net’s Editorial Team maintains such a genuinely engaging presence between three channels.  Take a moment to visit their LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Facebook accounts.  Each platform reiterates the Young Digital Lab brand’s ability to deliver content elegantly and eloquently.

Hence the reason this site earns a well-deserved A –  
Pros: International subject matter addressing major industry concerns/trends, Check.  Responsive authors willing to converse with worldwide audience, Check.  Aesthetic -yet also- Navigable site design, Check.  ‘English On’ button, Check.
Cons:  Their currently following 0% of their Twitter audience, that’s just bad manners.  Still, there’s an argument to say nothing is ever truly perfect.

Courtesy of Facebook.com/YoungDigitalLab

Now let’s assume, ‘hypothetically’ of course – that you’ve saved up some airline miles; because for several unspoken reasons (no judgement), it’s vitally important that at least for this season, you’d prefer to avoid a 96 hour family holiday rotation.  Well if you enjoy lasagna, meeting new industry colleagues, and attending lectures that discuss sometimes unorthodox business philosophy then it’s highly recommended that you book a trip to Rome – pronto!

Our friends at YDL are hosting a little seasonal get -together and you’re invited!  So pack those bags, arrive a few days early to spend a little time sight seeing, and plan to enjoy November 8 / 9 learning about what’s changing media relations, journalism, advertising, and social networks just before Christmas hits.  It’s a unique event but not to fear if you can’t make it – YDL will post a live update stream online capturing the conference highlights.

If you’re an avid fan, new follower or just a friend to the folks running YoungDigitalLab.net – by all means please feel free to sing their praises, opera style or no, in the comment section below.  I look forward to your site reviews!

Ciao for now dearest friends and speak soon!  I hope everyone enjoys a trauma-free, treat-filled Halloween holiday.

Amanda // @acmontgomery
E acrawfordmontgomery@gmail.com
LinkedIn.com/in/AmandaMontgomery

TR35 & L.America Universities promote innovative competition to future leaders

“Always act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”  — William James

Courtesy of Comunidad.cic.ipn.mx

The ‘Natural Selection’ process possess a certain, exquisite talent that somehow manages to merge at least two seemingly, unrelated ideas together and magically ends up creating something wonderful.  Peanut Butter + Chocolate, Simon + Garfunkel, ‘LOL’ + Cats; they’re all unique, unpredictable combinations that enrich our otherwise mundane livelihood.  In a similar capacity, MIT’s prestigious TR35 award -a 13 year old program which every year rewards 35 tech-savvy innovators who are all under 35- also possess a natural ability to select only the most promising, forward thinking endeavors that once given a green light, will optimistically make the world better.

This year, in an effort to bring even more awareness about this program internationally, organizers will partner with specific Latin American markets in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay to stir interest and participation amongst each country’s exceptionally talented young professionals.  Given the award’s nature, it’s only logical that TR35 leaders will seek support from select universities in these areas.  In the same turn, the academic communities readily supports this type of opportunity which gives students the ability to experience real fieldwork before, during and after finishing their degree tracks.  It’s a text book example showing how natural selection builds symbiotic relationships that’d even make Darwin smile.

Courtesy of Technologyreview.es

Entering this innovative competition begins throughout Latin America in the following six countries but the main stage event takes place later this October, when the 2012 Global TR35 inductees will travel to this year’s EmTech conference in Boston, and present their work to top industry leaders.  As these ambassadors continue to promote their creative projects and pick up support, it’s equally important to praise the higher education institutions that support TR35’s efforts and bring awareness about the program to their campus community:

TR35 Spain & Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School)
Inaugural Winners announced October 2011

TR35 Mexico & Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey
Inaugural Winners announced May 2012

TR35 Argentina & Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires
Inaugural Winners will be announced in August 2012

TR35 Brazil & Universidade de São Paulo
Inaugural Winners will be announced in November 2012

TR35 Colombia & Pontificia Universidad Javeriana y Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Inaugural Winners announced June 2012

TR35 Uruguay & Universidad ORT Uruguay y Universidad Católica del Uruguay
Inaugural Winners will be announced in August 2012

Courtesy of TechnologyReview.com/emtech

While this year’s EmTech conference promises an excellent speaker line up and a myriad of learning opportunities, your Fall schedule fills up fast when trying to coordinate all these conferences.  If you’re unable to make the Boston trip, not to worry because there’s plenty of ways to connect and support these amazing finalists online through social media.  Feel free to connect with the EmTech community and this year’s TR35 inductees on their LinkedIn group, video channel or at:
Facebook.com/emtechMIT ; Facebook.com/techreview.es
Twitter.com/TechReview ; Twitter.com/Premiostr35 ;
the conference will also produce a live stream here.

A heartfelt congratulations and best of luck (¡Felicidades y Buena Suerte!) to the entire 2012 TR35 Global roster!

#YoSoy132 – Mexico’s Students & Media Use

“The educated youth of a nation are the trustees of it’s posterity.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Courtesy of DallasNews.com

If we measure news traveling down a grapevine exchange between Dallas, Texas and Mexico City- each headline journeys 1,135 miles every time these neighbors trade updates. But several weeks ago, the Dallas Morning News wire (one of today’s numerous digital grapevines…) released Alfredo Corchado’s fascinating story describing a student-driven movement that uses the name ‘#YoSoy132 as a way to identify/raise awareness about their cause which they hope will bring permanent change to a corrupt education system plaguing the current and future Mexican student community. It’s a genuinely inspiring article that lends a unique perspective to research investigating how Latin American university environments employing emerging media platforms deal with the consequent implications- both positive and negative.

Corchado’s reporting and other field accounts from major news networks like CNN and the BBC World News, all documenting the passionate activity surrounding #YoSoy132’s student protest movement coincidentally began to receive coverage just as this research project began; therefore it’s critical to read, analyze and monitor this story’s ongoing online development and how Mexico’s university campuses will or will not advocate relevant discussions.

At the end of 2012, Mexico will induct the newly elected President at the conclusion of current President, Felipe Calderón’s term. That said, ever since the election’s beginning numerous reports continue to debate the country’s transition and also question several broadcast media platforms who’ve allegedly given selective endorsements supporting the Institutional Revolutionary Party that presumptive president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto represents.

Courtesy of CNN.com

As a result, when Peña Nieto made an appearance on the Ibero-American University / Mexico City campus earlier this summer, students formed a heckling protest voicing their opposition toward the government’s passive reforms, Peña Nieto, and other responsible leaders (i.e. Elba Esther Gordillo, leader of the national teachers’ union).  According to Corchado’s observations, “The candidate’s team tried to play down the incident, saying that the crowd had been infiltrated by supporters of rival Andrés Manuel López Obrador who were posing as students.

Courtesy of YouTube.com

The protest retaliation took a viral turn three days later when a YouTube video featuring 131 students introducing themselves while presenting their school identification card as proof, received 1 million+ views in a 10 day period.  #YoSoy132 also circulated on Twitter as a hashtag discussion and news about the movement spread worldwide.  #YoSoy132 and the  students, parents, and other individuals wanting to help spread awareness about education conditions failing to help Mexico’s student community use an expansive arsenal of emerging media platforms to generate dialogue, organize committee meeting strategies and designate spokespeople.  Beyond Twitter and Youtube, wikipages and of course other university Facebook accounts all offer information about how to help those supporting the movement.

In the coming weeks, students everywhere will begin a new Fall semester at their respective universities but it’s undeniable that 100s of universities throughout Mexico will continue to discuss events surrounding #YoSoy132.  More importantly, educators, administrators, and students will also converse about what significant changes will impact their country’s future students socially, economically, politically and culturally.  But not surprisingly, a select percentage feel concern that creating a lasting impact to ensure permanent, enduring changes will require more than a strategic albeit dynamic social media effort which supports #YoSoy132.

Courtesy of CNN.com

Raul Trejo Delarbre, a professor who studies social media at the National Autonomous University of Mexico observes that indeed, “Social media savvy isn’t enough to maintain a movement… the leaderless group — accused by critics of lacking direction — must better define its main demands.”  And to his point, Reforma newspaper columnist Carmen Aristegui F.  asks “Are we or are we not before an authentic Mexican Spring?  Depends, of course, on students believing it themselves and on many other sectors of society … finding in them the creation of a space where their own hopes and concerns are reflected.

Yet even considering these daunting aspirations, there is a confident optimism delicately circulating amongst the student masses and those who support them.  As Angel Rodriguez, 19, a student at a music school run by Mexico’s City’s cultural ministry shares, “There is a spark, but if we leave it apathetically, it will dissolve.”  What an incredibly earnest observation but imagine the detrimental consequences if this discussion never even caught fire?

Connect with Amanda Montgomery || @acmontgomery