Posts filed under ‘News’

$1Billion Annual Spending on Virtual Currencies


“Castronova says people transfer at least $1 billion into the virtual currencies each year, with most of that money going into online games. The actual amount could be much higher, he said, but the market is hard to quantify.” — John D. Sutter, CNN

Virtual currencies are a popular feature of many online gaming and networking sites, but even I was surprised at the amount of annual spending devoted to virtual currencies as disclosed by CNN.  If you’re new to the social media space, the article also provides a strong overview on the traditional features of virtual currencies on many sites.  Virtual currency utilization is not a primary revenue means for most sites, however the $1Billion+ in annual spending validates that youth and adults are willing to spend their real-life-dollars for virtual products and services.  

(Image found here)

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May 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Local Students Document Hurricane Ike’s Aftermath

Hurricane Ike tore through the Texas coast last September, completely devastating many families and leaving OneSeventeen Media’s Houston headquarters with minor damage, but without power for many days.  (The blown over back fence pictured below).


Neighboring Galveston Island endure the brunt of the storm as Ike overtook the island and left total destruction in his wake.  While the community continues to rebuild seven months later, local students at Ball High School have made what looks to be an incredible film about the experience called Ike: A Documentary.  

We’re all looking forward to an opportunity to see the film ourselves, and we applaud these students for opening themselves up and telling the stories of their community’s strength and sorrow through Ike’s aftermath.  

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April 21, 2009 at 8:57 am 2 comments

10 Years Since Columbine; Pausing to Remember

Today marks the ten year anniversary of the tragic Columbine High School shootings.  At OneSeventeen Media, we have all paused in our work today to remember the lives that were lost that day and to think of the countless families affected by this violence.  This anniversary also renews our call to action to provide kids with the tools they need to effectively work through social-emotional stresses of growing up without turning to violence.  

I’d been very interested in a promo for this afternoon’s Oprah show detailing what lead to the tragedy, but late yesterday I received an email announcing a schedule change from, and this morning Oprah’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter both announced her decision.


While I have wanted to see what her show had to say, I consider her decision a compassionate one, and I do hope at some point she will choose to share the episode to help us all better understand what lead to such a tragedy.  

Today’s anniversary also coincides with the beginning of National Volunteer Week 2009.  In honor of the young people lost on April 20, 1999, consider volunteering your time to begin mentoring tweens and teens to build the valuable, caring relationships that help kids grow into caring adults.  One of the biggest ways to stand up to violence is to take action out of love to invest yourself in the young people of your community.  

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April 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm 2 comments

OneSeventeen Media <3′s Teachers!

Our friends at Ypulse have partnered with Dell to offer an awesome award for a Totally Wired Teacher.  

“The Ypulse 2009 Totally Wired Teacher Award (sponsored by Dell) will honor a public school teacher from grades 3 to12 who is successfully using technology (the internet/social media, mobile technology, gaming) in the classroom.”

The submission deadline is May 15, 2009, so get your nominations in now!  This is a fantastic way to honor a teacher you see doing outstanding work to with kids and technology.  

“We will select three finalists and choose this year’s Totally Wired Teacher to be honored in person at the Ypulse Mashup. All three finalists will receive an IT solution from Dell to use in their respective schools. “

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April 17, 2009 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Financial Crisis Ripe For Social Investments

moneyboxFrom the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Financial Crisis Opportunity for Social Investments:”

The fallout from the financial crisis represents an extraordinary opportunity for businesses and investments that seek to combine financial returns with benefits for society, Jed Emerson, a long-time proponent of such ventures told participants at the Social Enterprise Summit.

We couldn’t agree more!  Now is the time to invest in mission-driven companies committed to giving back to their communities.  

(Image found here)

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April 17, 2009 at 10:42 am 1 comment

Police Use Social Media: Break Barriers, Build Trust


Posted by Amy Looper, Co-Founder & Chief Engagement Officer

I saw last week where Facebook’s membership is now 200 million strong, but what caught my eye as I read through Mark Zuckerberg’s post was where they have created a space for people to share their stories of how Facebook has “helped them give back to their communities [and] effect change.” The story of a Toronto Constable Scott Mills, who is using new media to prevent as well as solve crimes among youth, is a particularly a worthy read. 

The story was originally reported in the Montreal Gazette and pointed out that at a recent South African Interpol Conference, 170 law enforcement delegates from 70 countries gathered to talk about tracking international fugitives. Constable Scott Mills presented how he is using social media tools and his 1,700 Facebook “friends” to reach out to youth and to encourage them to report potential crimes before they happen.

 It’s working.   Among a number of successes listed in the article, it was reported that his YouTube video appeals have had more than 1.4 million views since February of 2007. He has trained an additional 30 officers assigned to Toronto schools on how to use new media to engage teens. He’s also joined online memorial groups for murder victims offering condolences as well as contact information to send anonymous tips.

 This is a huge “doing good” story that I’d love to see replicated here in the States. It’s reaching out in a way that meets kids in their technology based culture to provide a bridge for them to do the right things as well. 

We’d like to hear your stories of kids who you know that are doing good with social media.

(Image found here)

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April 14, 2009 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

Social Media Required for UK Kids?

ukFrom Net Family News:

UK kids may soon be taking a big leap ahead in media-literacy training. A proposed overhaul to Britain’s elementary school curriculum – the biggest in a decade – was just leaked, The Guardian reports. The draft does include “traditional areas of learning, including phonics, the chronology of history and mental arithmetic” but also requires British students to be “familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication.” It divides the curriculum into six core learning areas instead of 13 subjects – a little closer, it seems to me, to what education reformer Sir Ken Robinson proposes .

What a progressive proposal!  The UK would be leading to way in preparing even their youngest students with valuable 21st century know-how.

(Image found here)

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April 10, 2009 at 9:29 am 1 comment

US Teen Girl Saves Life of UK Facebook Friend


Facebook friend saves life of suicidal teenager from the other side of the Atlantic,” reported by The Daily Mail.  

This story is encouraging on several fronts.  First and foremost, this young man is still alive, and will hopefully get the professional help he needs.  Beyond the averted tragedy, this story is a great example of a teen girl doing the right thing and acting compassionately.  We’ve been plagued in the last year by some high profile stories of teens and parents who were silent bystanders, or worse, encouragers of teens taking their lives, and this is a refreshing example of compassionate responsibility on behalf of this girl and her parents.  This is also strong evidence of teens being willing to “self-police” in online spaces and knowing when to engage adults for additional support.    Kudos to this teenage heroine for taking action and saving the life of her Facebook friend!

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April 8, 2009 at 10:35 am 1 comment

Recession = Good News for Tweens & Teens?


At least according to this UK Telegraph story, the recession might be a great opportunity and change of pace for maturing tweens and teens everywhere.  

“I think this recession is a good thing,” says Lee Ambrose-Brunskill, mother of 15-year-old Brandon. “People have had a wake-up call – children used to be given absolutely everything.”

With their disposable incomes drying up and fewer handouts from their parents, teens are turning into entrepreneurs as they generate revenue streams to find the flexible cash they crave.  

OneSeventeen Media’s co-founders are all entrepreneurs themselves, and our team loves the idea of an an entrepreneurial wakening among youth.  The world’s best ideas come from the type of innovative thinking required for successful entrepreneurs.  I can’t think of any paradigm-shifting ideas that arose from “thinking inside the box.”

(Image by Clara Molden and found on the Telegraph website here)

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April 2, 2009 at 10:51 am 2 comments

Teen Tackles Transportation and Triumphs

danny-moraffAt OneSeventeen Media, we always love a great story of teenage triumph with technology, and Lexington, Massachusetts’s Danny Moraff does not disappoint.  As an ambitious, 15-year-old transportation enthusiast, Moraff spent 100 hours of his free time mapping Lexington’s public transportation system and coding his data for integration with Google Transit. 


Moraff’s incredible service puts Lexington’s modest public transportation system far ahead of many larger cities only beginning to consider their strategy for utilizing Google Transit.  You can see an example of his work in the Google Transit screen shot above.  Not only is Moraff an impressive young man because of his tech-know-how, but he’s also provided an incredible public service to the people of Lexington.  Hats off to Moraff, and I’d venture to guess this is not the last we’ll be hearing of him! (Thanks to Ypulse for sharing Moraff’s story!)

(Top image found here)

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April 1, 2009 at 9:51 am 1 comment

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The OneSeventeen Media Blog provides the most recent information about our pursuit to provide kids with innovative solutions to help them navigate the complicated process of growing up. In addition to news, as social venture entrepreneurs, our blog also shares resources about the power of social media and highlights how other individuals and organizations are choosing to harness the power of business to solve social issues. Consider joining the conversation with us by subscribing by blog reader or email below.
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