What we read this week (1 June)

Our reads this week: the successful phenomenon of mobile money in the emerging markets, the advantages Google has over Facebook without having to push Google+, news on cyberwar (against Iran, once again), the case against share buttons in social media and some pretty nauseous reflections on the future.

Quotes of the week

More than a billion people in emerging and developing markets have cell phones but no bank accounts.

Beth Cobert, Brigit Helms and Doug Perk

Articles of the week

  • The Atlantic: How Google Can Beat Facebook Without Google Plus
    Alexis Madrigal’s excellent analysis of why Google Plus isn’t working as planned, and how it might find its way in social media by taking a completely different, more organic approach to community building.
  • Wired: Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers
    After Stuxnet and Doqu, we will apparently have to remember Flame (or Flamer) in the list of viruses/malwares that represent the state of cyberwar. Wired’s Threat Level has a detailed report on this one.
  • Robin Sloan: Pictures and vision
    Robin Sloan explains how the Google vs Facebook battle could evolve in a very different way from what we might expect right now. He points out that the concepts that drive the two companies’ success might come down to photos and what he calls ‘vision,’ or making sense of what we’re seeing.
  • Information Architects: Sweep the Sleaze
    iA’s Oliver Reichenstein explains why the now all-too-familiar share buttons that appear on the edges of so many websites only depreciate the value of content. He makes the case for removing these buttons altogether.
  • Ribbonfarm: Welcome to the Future Nauseous
    You don’t have to wait 10 years for the future to happen because the future is basically happening as we speak. The article takes us on a virtual time travel, asking us to reflect on the changes that have taken place. The environment changed, but we stayed all the same. How are we able to prepare for, plan and deal with the future, at the same time managing to deny it taking place right here and right now?