Calling all chocoholics

Just when you thought there weren’t enough niche social platforms out there – the Swiss have launched a social network for chocolate lovers:

 “Modeled on successful precursors like Facebook and MySpace, myswisschocolate.ch, based in the small town of Pfaeffikon near Zurich, provides a virtual platform for people who share a love of the sugary treat that is the country’s trademark.

[ . . . ]

The virtual balance of the chocolate-lover’s account can then be converted into real chocolate — handmade by myswisschocolate.ch and shipped to 15 countries worldwide.”

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Putting a value on happiness

A pair of articles highlighting polls about the happiest places in the world showed up in the news today.

Vanuatu chosen by Lonely Planet as world's happiest placeFirst, the Huffington Post posted a (completely unscientific, totally subjective) poll published last May by Lonely Planet listing its version of the World’s 10 happiest places. Much to the excitement of the locals, Montreal placed second, just behind Vanuatu.

Then, Israel Insider highlighted a (slightly more scientific, but still totally subjective) Gallup Poll published by Forbes on the World’s Happiest Countries. The top spots on the list were dominated by Scandinavia. But the news was that Israel was tied with Canada and Australia in eighth spot, making Israelis the happiest people on the Asian continent.

Really, now?

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Anonymity, compartmentalization or multibranding?

Are we seeing a trend towards more anonymity online? What are the implications of increased anonymity? Does being anonymous necessarily mean having something to hide?

These are some of the questions that Mitch Joel asks in today’s blog post: The Next Big Thing Online Could Well Be Anonymity:

The knee-jerk reaction to anonymity is that the person creating the content has “something to hide.” It’s logical, but it’s not the entire story. Some people simply feel more liberated to speak their mind knowing that who they are will not become a focal point within that discussion.

(Full disclosure: I’ve been working for Mitch and the team at Twist Image for a little over three years now. You’ll likely see quite a bit of content from the folks at TI on this space. That’s what happens when you’re lucky enough to work with smart people who write thought-provoking content.)

I think an excellent point has been raised here. And it occurs to me that we may be talking about the wrong thing. Instead of “anonymity” versus “transparency”, are we really not simply talking about compartmentalization? Or, to put it another way, a personal version of multibranding?

In fact, I think this is a particularly appropriate topic for the inaugural post of a new blog, launched by a person with a digital presence in quite a few arenas. So here goes:

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