Foursquare Aussie Style

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Internet | Posted on 21-12-2010


Is Foursquare big in Australia? Not really (yet), but it’s surely growing and getting a push in-store:

Foursquare and Cricket in Australia

Snapped this photo yesterday in a Vodafone store at Cronulla beach, Sydney, Australia. A cricket wicket and a Foursquare blimp – I’m sure this is an unfamiliar vista for the Foursquare team back in NY, NY!

The Decline, And Rise, of Charity

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet, Life | Posted on 20-12-2010


Google just launched Ngrams, a really cool tool that allows you to search for the occurrence of a word in the 500 year history of millions of books.

The first word I searched for: ‘charity

The occurrence of the word charity hit a peak around 1800 after hundreds of years of high-frequency. Then, as the industrialized world grew charity dropped away, hitting real lows in the materialistic 80s.

What inspires me? The current upwards trend. Is it any wonder that we’ve seen the word charity occur more frequently over the past 10 years? I like to think that this is a sign of society moving forward.

charity: water on ABC 20/20

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, charity: water, Current Affairs, Life | Posted on 19-12-2010


Friday night was a really cool moment for charity: water as our story was told on ABC 20/20 – check it out here (RSS readers click through for video):

A great way to close out 2010!

In personal news, tomorrow I’m flying home to Australia for Christmas. I’ll be in Sydney December 23 to January 9, if you’d like to catch up comment, email me or send me a tweet!

charity: water september campaign on ABC 2020

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Current Affairs, Life | Posted on 16-12-2010


This Friday at 10pm ET ABC 20/20 will feature charity: water and the 2010 September campaign as part of a special global healthcare series.

The ABC team visited our charity: water offices in NYC and spent a bunch of time with our founder Scott Harrison, and then headed to Central African Republic to film Jim Hocking and our partner ICDI drilling one of the 200 water projects funded by this year’s September campaign.

Check out this awesome video of Jim at work in CAR

And this clip with Scott filmed in our office in NYC

If you can watch the show live at 10pm on Friday join us on Twitter with the hashtag #2020 – the whole charity: water team, Scott and Jim will be watching it live and live-tweeting during the show. If you can’t catch it live set your DVR or check out the full episode online later on (I’m not sure if you’ll be able to watch it outside the US though).

I’m excited for Friday – I hope you’ll help us spread the word!

Case Foundation & charity: water

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Internet | Posted on 09-12-2010


Some great folk from the Case Foundation visited our charity: water offices recently and wrote this great recap of our mission.

The Case Foundation is a really interesting social good organization established by AOL Founders Jean and Steve Case. They’re trying to use their funds and brain power to push the cause space forward online and drive more innovation in the non-profit sector. So a natural fit with charity: water.

They also filmed a video interview with yours truly, check it out:

Many thanks to the awesome team over at the Case Foundation, in particular my mates Sokunthea Sa Chhabra, Emily Yu and Allie Burns.

Instagram Makes iPhone Photos Purty

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Internet | Posted on 07-12-2010


Instagram is the coolest app on my iPhone right now. It’s a simple photo-sharing app that takes the photos on your iPhone, turns them into art, and makes it easy to share with your friends.

Here’s a photo of the Statue of Liberty I shot while on a bike ride Sunday morning:

Lady Liberty

It’s everything a great app should be:

  • Simple: a 4 year old could use it. You choose a snap (or take one), add a filter with a simple menu, then choose where to share it when you publish.
  • Does one thing well: Instagram is a photo sharing app. That’s it. You make your photos look cool, and you share ‘em.
  • Expands existing functionality: the iPhone takes great photos already, but it’s a bit of a chore to share them and they lack focus and bells and whistles.
  • Cool: the product makes your photos look cooler – further motivation to share, and thereby virally spreading the app
  • Integrated: Today Twitter announced support for Instagram, photos shared via the app will show up directly within the Twitter user interface

And here’s a before and after of a shot a rugby teammate sent from Afghanistan. His pic:


Then the same pic through an Instagram filter:

Sent by a mate in Afghanistan

Cool right? If you join Instagram be sure to look up paullyoung and follow me!

My name’s Paull, and I’m a Quora-holic

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Internet | Posted on 06-12-2010


There is one social media site I’m enjoying more than all others right now: Quora. And I’d love for you to connect with me there.

Quora is Yahoo Answers… if it was full of extremely talented people writing detailed, intelligent answers to deeply interesting questions.

I find one of the greatest battles in social media these days is signal-to-noise. As I scan through Facebook and Twitter there’s always a bunch of irrelevant or boring crap surrounding the interesting updates and links. Quora (at this stage) is different. You can choose which people and topics to follow which tailors the content. Because of this, I find that any time I dig into Quora I wind up opening multiple tabs and getting hooked on interesting info.

The biggest asset of the site right now (as with all social sites) is its people. I’m following stellar folks like Facebook heavy Andrew Bosworth, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, Flowtown founder Dan Martell, early Twitter investor and star angel investor Chris Sacca and even Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix!

My big question mark with Quora is if it will be able to maintain it’s signal ratio as it scales. As more and more people will surely flock to this service, will it be as common for questions and answers to be as interesting and valuable, or will it be consumed by the same crap that you’ll find on Yahoo Answers? This note I found on Quora via Amazon’s Ian McAllister does a great job of outlining this potential concern.

All in all, I really feel that Quora in its current position reminds me of the early days of Twitter. Most people haven’t heard of the service, there’s a small (but rapidly growing) audience heavy with intelligent early adopters, and every time I log in I find myself absorbed with great content.

If you’re a Quora user, I’d love to here your thoughts. If not, I hope you’ll join – we could use more smart people like you. And either way, I hope you’ll follow me so I can connect with your knowledge!

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