The Mobile Alliance for Global Good

by JenniferCobb on 09/28/2012

I have been a little quiet on this blog as of late.  And for good reason!  I have been totally heads-down on a new project, the Mobile Alliance for Global Good, the brainchild of Larry Irving, telco guru and all-around great guy.  Larry brought me on board to develop the strategy and business plan for […]


Big Data Meets Small Data

by JenniferCobb on 07/10/2012

I recently attended a day full of Big Data conversations at UC Berkeley. We heard from investors and startups, academics and technology professionals.  These people are thinking hard about the promises of Big Data.  I left with one overriding thought.  Big Data must remain deeply connected to the relatively small but very powerful element of […]

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Monetizing Privacy

by JenniferCobb on 03/20/2012

One of the first empirical studies about what we are willing to pay for privacy was released last week.  The study was conducted in Germany by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and included 443 subjects in both the field and a laboratory setting.  The study focused only on monetary transactions — not […]


In a few short decades, too much information has become a fact of life.  We are all drowning in it.  How we sift, filter and navigate the massive sea of information has emerged as a profound personal, political and cultural issue. This past year, Eli Pariser, in his book The Filter Bubble, picked up on […]


Online Censorship: Controlled by the Fuzzy Line

by JenniferCobb on 12/01/2011

Online censorship in repressive countries is a complex and often dangerous cat and mouse game, played in the context of a new digital co-dependence.  Most countries, even repressive ones, depend increasingly on the Internet as an engine of economic growth and have a vested interest in building a thriving online space. At the same time, […]

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Real Names in the Networked Global Community

by JenniferCobb on 09/09/2011

At the recent Edinburgh International TV Festival, Andy Carvin of NPR tweeted a question to Eric Schmidt — “How does Google justify its real names only policy on Google+ when it could put some people at grave risk?”  Carvin was referring to places like Libya and Syria where the government routinely uses the Internet as […]

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Social Media and Meritocracy: The Myth Reborn

by JenniferCobb on 07/10/2011

The roots of the modern meritocratic dream were planted in the 1950s by a British civil servant named  Michael Young.  His novel The Rise of the Meritocracy (1958) painted a picture of far-distant 2034, where society would be guided by near-perfect IQ tests to sort the more intelligent and gifted into positions of social power.  […]


The new Pew study out this week, Social networking sites and our lives, paints a very rosy picture of social networking (SNS).  SNS is associated with more trust, larger networks, more political engagement and greater social support.  Key findings from the study include: ♦  Facebook is the clear winner in the world of SNS.  59% […]


Ethan Zuckerman, writing today in his blog about privacy and the public sphere, states that in the digital world, “Ephemeral behavior becomes a permanent record.”  This simple statement gets to the heart of many of the issues we are facing as technology becomes a ubiquitous and permanent part of the fabric of our lives.   What […]


More Big Data: What Has Truth Got To Do With It?

by JenniferCobb on 05/04/2011

There is a debate in the Big Data world that hinges on the old conundrum – how can we know what we don’t know?  It sounds a bit trite at first blush, but in fact, it is a very hard problem.  When faced with massive data sets, which our guts tell us house veins of […]


The Innovation Paradox: Our Hopes and Fears

by JenniferCobb on 04/13/2011

Innovation is the lifeblood not only of much of our economic and personal well-being, but of our forward motion as a species.  Our capacity to grow and change is what makes us adaptive, what enables us to survive and thrive on a planet that is not always hospitable to our needs.  The human drive to […]


10 Principles to Govern the Internet

by JenniferCobb on 04/08/2011

The following principles were recently released by the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, an international coalition of stakeholders participating in the Internet Governance Forum, a group within the United Nations. What do you think? Universality All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights, which must respected, protected, and fulfilled in the online […]


Online Privacy: We are Far From Ready

by JenniferCobb on 03/25/2011

“People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.” Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google Did you know that when you visit a page with a Facebook “like” button while you are logged into Facebook, the social network is able to track your browsing history?  I have to admit, this one took me […]


Income Inequality, Anxiety and Facebook

by JenniferCobb on 03/13/2011

We have all heard the bad news.  Income inequality in the US has reached historic proportions. ♦   The top 10% of Americans now control 2/3rds of our national net worth ♦  Since 1983, 43% of the wealth created by the U.S. economy went to the wealthiest 1% ♦  The top 20% accrued 94% of the […]


Hillary Clinton, Internet Freedom and Values

by JenniferCobb on 02/16/2011

Hillary Clinton’s speech on Internet Freedom yesterday went a good distance toward addressing some of the most naive responses to the Internet’s role in the unfolding events in the Middle East.  Early sound bites labeling the uprising in Tunisia the “Wikileaks Revolution” or calling Mark Zuckerberg a modern-day “Moses” because of Facebook’s role in Egypt […]

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Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s article, Creating Shared Value, is intended to throw down a gauntlet for a more a socially-conscious form of capitalism.  “Capitalism is under siege” they proclaim, harmed by decades of practices and policies focused on short-term profits.  Guided by laissez-faire economic ideology, businesses have elected to ignore externalities that harm society, […]


Monetizing Berkeley

by JenniferCobb on 01/25/2011

Last night Berkeleyside, Berkeley’s independent local news site, hosted its first Berkeley Business Forum.  Why?   Berkeley has for years presented a conundrum.  We are home to one of the leading research institutions in the world and yet have not spawned our version of Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, Kendall Square.  Why do all the good […]