Nerds Make Money, Geeks are Cool [Best of May '08 #4]

Some of the most interesting posts this week (May 19-25 2008):

  • Robert Scoble writes about the real PR secrets: "PR now stands for 'Professional Relationships'." That is, you should build personal relationships with influential bloggers and journalists to be successful in PR. Obviously this doesn't scale, and is out of scope for most people. Luckily, as Robert writes: "You don’t need PR at all if you have a great product." Loic Le Meur points to the importance of participation and building a community.
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  • A serious security flaw was recently detected in the OpenSSL library of the Debian an Ubuntu Linux-based operating systems, affecting several applications involved in secure communications across the Internet, the Apache web server included. The flaw was introduced in the key generation code, effectively reducing the key length from 128 to 15 bit, making a brute force attack very feasible. The flaw has been around for about two years, affecting millions of systems which ever have used the key generation mechanism of the affected operating systems.
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  • On the distinction between a nerd and a geek writes Brad Feld, who concludes that "nerds are geeks who make money." David Brooks outlines the history of the words nerd and geek, dating nerd back to 1950, and writing that "At first, a nerd was a geek with better grades." But later, geeks got higher status: "A nerd was still socially tainted, but geekdom acquired its own cool counterculture. A geek possessed a certain passion for specialized knowledge, but also a high degree of cultural awareness and poise that a nerd lacked." Coolness seems to be a characteristic of a geek, which might explain why you so often see people describe themselves as geeks, but less frequently as nerds. Brad Feld, by the way, describes himself as a nerd. Geeks are cool and Mac users for the most, I guess. I'm a PC guy, and probably more of a nerd than a geek. It just remains to make some serious money to become a real nerd (like Bill Gates).
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  • Dave Winer says that to him "Twitter is a publishing medium." Having 9644 followers, Twitter is obviously a useful publishing medium, not so useful however with just a handful of followers.
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  • Steve Rubel presents 9 future trends, broken down into three categories based on the likelihood of hitting: Faint Signals (more likely): The Cut and Paste Web, The Attention Crash, Digital Curators, Super Crunching and Collaboration. Watch List: Living Room 2.0 and Geek Marketers. Hallucinations (less likely): Digital Nomads and Data Leaking.
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