Must Reads: Online Account Hacking

This is my weekly list of what I most want to share. What have I read that was fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring. Catch up on some things you missed from the past week. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and be share to…here’s the list:


The school year has started back up this week for teachers. It will definitely be a challenge keeping up with the blog. For example, I only have one link to post today. But I am determined to keep going (even if the posts become too minimal)! I hope to get more reading done by next week to have a longer list for you.

One man’s story of having his Amazon, Google, and Twitter accounts hacked, taken over, and some even completely deleted. Amazingly, he was able to have some contact with one of his hackers and their reasons for doing it might surprise you. If you have not seen this yet you definitely should read it.

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Photo: Purple Flowers in France

This photo was taken at Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, France. This gorgeous hillside village is only a 45 minute train ride outside of Paris.

Purple Flowers – Giverny, France

Each Wednesday, I publish an original photo along with some of the technical information. You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page.

My photography is licensed under Creative Commons (see details below). In addition, I ask that if you use any of my images that you try to show me how you used them. I think it would be interesting to see and track how my images are being used. Thank you.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Why is Pinterest Powered by Women?

Photo By KEXINO from Flickr with CC license http://kexino.com/ 

When it comes to statistics about women users of the social network Pinterest I have seen numbers ranging from 50-97%. But the most recent numbers are interesting because they have some context. According to comScore (via PC World), “68 percent of Pinterest users are women, and that these women drive 85 percent of the traffic on the site.” For one thing, women are the power users of this network, driving its success and popularity. These numbers may also shed some light on why more women are using the site. The numbers suggest that men are not necessarily deterred by the site, but something about the network encourages more female participation or less male participation.

Regardless of why this is happening, the phenomenon of Pinterest is of interest to marketers. With most free services online we pay in some way. According to Forbes, marketers have a clear view of people’s interest on the site. Brands have also been finding ways to use the service to promote and engage with consumers – in many cases, women.

There has also been much talk about Pinterest as a resource for teachers. In my own experience, it seems that this applies mostly to elementary school teachers who are looking for project ideas for their students or clever DIY ideas for things around their classroom. This may go without saying, but elementary school teachers are predominantly women. As a high school teacher, I have a very active professional network online through blogs, nings, and Twitter. I have yet to add Pinterest to my network of resources, but I know there are some high school and middle school teachers who have.

Technically, anything can be pinned to a board on Pinterest. It is not as if only wedding dresses, crafts, and recipes can be pinned (these are some of the more popular categories). For example, there is “The Board of Man,” which contains pins that are particularly masculine (via NPR). (Side note: just for the record, as a male, I am also very interested in cooking and DIY projects, but maybe that’s just me). Leaving the anomalies aside, could it be that since women populated Pinterest first, that more things of interest to women began to dominate the site, which in turn prevented more men from joining? As Pinterest’s popularity was exploding 6-8 months ago, media reports of Pinterest as the woman’s social network were widespread. Was this another deterrent for new male users who did not want to associate with this girly site? While Pinterest might be known for its ease of repinning items within the network, its rise in popularity has brought with it the “pin” button on most websites and mobile reader apps. This makes it just as easy to pin a new article as it is to tweet about it. This means that men (or women) joining the site are not limited to what has already been pinned.

Could there be a more psychological explanation?

Even without science, and just from our daily life experience, we understand that the brains of men and women operate differently. It doesn’t matter which is better. In fact, it would be reductive to claim one gender psychologically superior, because they are both complex in different ways. Could something about the layout and functionality of Pinterest be more attractive to the female brain? I do not have an answer to this, but we can look at this infographic (via Huffington Post) for the beginnings of some clues. This analysis considered all things social, but I consider Pinterest a social bookmarking service, so I will compare it to another service in that category. According to the graphic, Pinterest has the largest proportion of female users. Let’s compare it to del.icio.us, another popular social bookmarker, which has the scale tipped the other way, with 64 percent male users. Clearly social bookmarking is loved by both genders. So, why the different proportions?

The thing that really sets Pinterest apart, is its clean, visual interface. It begs the question, is there something about the visual layout that not only attracts women, but allows them to really benefit from the site. Is there something about the text based world of del.icio.us, diigo, and others that allow men to thrive in their world of social bookmarking? Or is all of this hype for nothing? Is it just a coincidence, the way the cards fell with Pinterest? Is there something real here, or are we just creating a narrative to sell papers and drive traffic to our blogs and news sites?

I will continue to use diigo for bookmarking, and I don’t have plans to join Pinterest anytime soon. I’m just not sure why.

Must Reads: A Cool Microsoft Project? Olympic Limelight, Airport Radiation, What’s Worse than Having Cancer? The Human Jukebox, and More…

This is my weekly list of what I most want to share. What have I read that was fascinating, exciting, puzzling, or inspiring. Catch up on some things you missed from the past week. Maybe I dug up a few obscure gems that are totally new to you. Check out the brief ones now and save the more lengthy ones for later. Share and be share to…here’s the list:

Tech and Media

How Steve Jobs Created Jobs

Very cool visual art project from…Microsoft? Shame on Google for not getting there first 🙂 this seems like their type of project. Props to MS, although it is a bit hard to navigate at times.

Excellent essay on the effect of The Media and The Limelight on Gabby Douglas, and our other young olympic athletes.

Health and Politics

I am continually in awe of the human body. When we lose one of our senses, parts of the brain get repurposed to our other senses.

Scanners at the airports have always worried me in terms of radiation exposure. No matter your political position on domestic security, it is scary how little is known about the risks of these machines.

This is a small but powerful step in the right direction for supporting people exposed to chemical/industrial contamination.

Hear from a young woman battling cancer on the detrimental impact of health insurance and medical bills on the lives of patients and their families. As if the disease was not enough to deal with…

Must Watch

Amazing short talk on epiphanies and creative solutions to poverty, the economy, and environmental concerns.

The always creative and entertaining, CDZA Music brings us the human jukebox, this week. One of their best. Just plain old fun.

Photo: Track and Field – Hurdles

In honor of the Olympic Games and to signal the near end of the summer vacation, here is a photo from last year’s district track meet (I coach track at the high school where I teach).

Track and Field – Hurdles

Each Wednesday, I publish an original photo along with some of the technical information. You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page.

My photography is licensed under Creative Commons (see details below). In addition, I ask that if you use any of my images that you try to show me how you used them. I think it would be interesting to see and track how my images are being used. Thank you.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.