Sunday, March 6, 2011

Web Finds: Dirty Makeup, Annoying Email Signatures, and Do-It-Yourself Penance

Do you know how many chemicals are in your makeup? I’ve been fascinated with this video from The Story of Stuff, an advocacy video series that exposes some of America’s inner-workings in an effort to improve our daily lives. If you’ve ever needed convincing to throw out that old crusty makeup, this will do the trick. And maybe you will demand healthier products for your skin.  

Email signatures: You can love ‘em and hate ‘em. This post from Gigaom goes back to the basics. What do people really need to know every time they receive an email from you? Bottom line: less is more. You don’t need to brag about every social network you signed up for.

Moderating online comments have come a long way – even since I moderated comments for a year ago as an intern (NPR has since outsourced this task). Disqus is one solution I've read about that tracks a person’s comments across the web, which I think is vital to transparency and holds netizens responsible for their words.

While we’re talking about transparency, you need to know @DigiDave, the creator of crowd-funded news model, In his blog post and slideshare presentation, Dave argues for the ethics of journalism transparency. He says we need transparency in order for journalism to become more participatory. 

In college, Cassie Dull and I wrote for Dawgnet News, the online news site (which later merged with the print paper, The Butler Collegian). She now leads online communications for a private school in Indianapolis. In her post for Ed Social Media, Cassie explains how students, parents, and the community can be the “unofficial” voice of the school. But the first step is for the traditional messengers is to be okay with it. Yes, this means turning PR on its head (sorry, traditionalists...).

I’m obsessed with how technology is impacting one of the oldest institutions: religion. But what about an app for do-it-yourself confessions? The blogosphere’s been blowing up about these latest apps: Penance, Confessions, Bible Shaker, or the Ultimate Buddhist Library. The Mercury News, and the Religion Dispatches report on the growing trend of religion apps. It raises questions about the need for clergy - or even God - in the equation. (UPDATE 3/6/11 at 10 PM: I should underscore that an anonymous commenter, who is likely connected to the Confessions app, clarified that this app in no way replaces Reconciliation, but merely prepares a person for confession.)

By the way, the Pope is on Facebook. He wants to be your friend. (Maybe he’ll forgive you for not going to Ash Wednesday this week…)