La Strada Verso Olympia — A Crowdfunding Project That's Come to Life

In 2012 I wrote a three-part series on crowdsourcing for the IBM Social Business Insights blog:

Crowdfunding: Harnessing the power of social networking to raise money. 
(Part 1 of 3)  (Part 2 of 3)  (Part 3 of 3)

I enjoyed researching and writing it, and have been following various crowdfunding projects (and even funding a few).

In Part 1, I reviewed Kickstarter, a US-centric platform. In Part 2, I took a look at ulule, used mostly in Europe, and brought to my attention by an IBM Italy colleague, Nicola Palmarini (@nipalm).

While working on an IBM project in Nettuna, Italy, Nicola met and was inspired by a woman named Eleonora, and decided to crowdfund a personal project on ulule to help Eleonora travel from Nettuno to Paris to attend the concert of The Pooh, her favorite band, at the Olympia.

The way to Olympia: A documentary on barriers between dreams and reality is a wonderful documentary about dreams, disabilities, and accessible travel. The project received 109% of funding, and the documentary is complete and will premiere on Wednesday, April 24, as you can see by the screening invitation below (click on the image to enlarge it).

Translated, the invitation reads:
The road to Olympia
A film (fully funded from the web) by Claudia Di Lascia, Michele Bizzi, Federico Monti
Wednesday, April 24, 2013-12:00
At La Casa del Cinema a Villa Borghese/ Deluxe Room
Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1-Rome
Presented By: Professor Gioa Di Cristofaro Longo, Cultural Anthropology, University "La Sapienza", Rome
Authors and protagonists will be present on stage
The film will be followed by refreshments.

Congratulations to all involved with this labor of love, and maybe I'll have some photos of the screening to share next week. :-)

Follow @olympiafilm on Twitter.

From Advertisers to Teenagers: Facebook's Widespread Reach

Facebook is frequently in the news. Okay, almost daily. Or, if you follow, multiple times a day. I follow many of the news stories since I'm a frequent Facebook user / contributor, but today's news seemed especially relevant and broad based, since it races from a new advertising tool to privacy controls to more user functionality to teenage usage statistics. And interestingly enough, I found three of these articles on Twitter, and one on Facebook.  I think the breadth of these four articles shows just how integrated and ubiquitous social networking, and specifically, Facebook, has become in the daily lives of so many of us.

Wall Street Journal: Buy Signal: Facebook Widens Data Targeting

Facebook is officially rolling out a new tool for advertisers that combines Facebook's treasure trove of information about its subscribers and their likes with data partners who will provide information about the items and brands a consumer buys through sources such as loyalty card programs, email lists they subscribe to, and how they're spending their money.

Not surprisingly, privacy advocates are not thrilled. "There's no place to be left alone," said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington, D.C., policy advocacy group. He said Facebook's relationship with data partners could become more worrisome if Facebook leverages the location data it passively collects from mobile devices to sell ads.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article.

Time Tech: Facebook Privacy Settings Guide

As the old adage goes, there really is no such thing as a free lunch. You pay for a "free" social media application such as Facebook with your personal data. People either are unaware of the exchange, or are comfortable with it.

Time Tech has put together a thorough little primer that walks you through the latest retooled privacy settings, such as who can see what posts, setting your timeline and tagging settings, blocking, app customization and more.

So now, if your friends post this inaccurate meme on their Facebook walls:
 You can refer them to the Time Tech article, or to the Snopes Urban Legend correction for accurate information.

Fast Company Design: Facebook Opens The Door To Dislikes, With Emoticons

 Image courtesy of digitalart
Everyone will soon have access to the new Facebook feeling/emoticon combinations — all 200 of them — on a drop down menu.

Having an alone, angry, or lost day or emotion? There will be an emoticon for it.  Feeling especially loved or great? You're covered.  Read all about it here.

Tech Crunch: Facebook Still Reigns Supreme With Teens, But Social Media Interest Dwindling

The results of the Piper Jaffray study quoted in this article are contrary to my experience. They claim that out of their survey group, 33% of the teens chose Facebook as their most important social network.  The teens I know (including the one who lives at my house) loved Facebook at the beginning, friending hundreds and hundreds of casual acquaintances, posting photos, liking statuses; all the things the rest of us do. And as soon as their parents and grandparents started flocking to Facebook, that was the kiss of death for it as far as teens are concerned. There is some hope that the new mobile Facebook app in the works may bring these younger users back, but we'll see.