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And once you add in our 14-year-old’s ransomware revenue…

And once you add in our 14-year-old’s ransomware revenue… published on No Comments on And once you add in our 14-year-old’s ransomware revenue…Purchase print

Maybe the new “My child is an honour student” bumper sticker reads “My kid charted in the App Store’s Lifestyle category”.

And maybe the new RRSP (or “IRA” for my American friends) is investing in coding lessons for your kids in the hopes that their royalties will allow you to retire sometime before the age of 80.


I drew this and six other cartoons about parents, kids and tech for Alexandra Samuel’s session at SXSW 2016, The Myth of the Family Tech Market. It’s based on her two-year study of how more than 10,000 North American parents manage their kids’ interactions with digital technology.

Find out more about Alex’s work around digital parenting here.

(Woman holds tablet displaying cover of Work Smarter With Social Media) Why not give it a shot? It's not like working stupider with social media has gotten us anywhere.

On working smarter

On working smarter published on No Comments on On working smarter

My wife and all-around genius Alexandra Samuel has just published her latest book from Harvard Business Review Press, Work Smarter With Social Media. You’ll find all the tips, insight and advice from her previous four books (on Evernote, Twitter and Hootsuite, LinkedIn and email) along with some brand new ideas on putting the social web to work for you, instead of the other way around.

And if this post looks like my way of plugging that self-same book, well, actually, yes. Yes, it is.

So is telling you that everyone who buys a copy before May 25 gets six free weeks of coaching from Alex, including:

  • 6 weekly e-mail newsletters with a day-by-day action plan for each week of the program, highlighting key activities and breaking each chapter into actionable steps
  • Feedback and peer support on our Work Smarter Facebook page, where you’ll be able to share your questions and achievements with Alex and  other readers
  • Members-only Google hangouts to check in on your progress and ask Alex your questions
  • Extra tips and content on a range of social media challenges

You can find it online at… oh, hell, almost everywhere. HBR, Amazon (where it’s currently half-price!), iBooks, Kobo, Nook and Google Play.

Woman with smart watch: In the long run, I want to hack it to deflect bullets. For now, it just plays the Wonder Woman theme.

Invisible airplane sold separately

Invisible airplane sold separately published on No Comments on Invisible airplane sold separately

Yesterday was Alex‘s birthday, and inveterate early adopter that she is, I figure she’s probably the kind of person who could push an Apple Watch (or any smartwatch) to its limits.

More to the point, she’s the kind of person who recognizes that whatever smartwatches are now, they’ll probably be something very different in a few years—not just in features, but in the uses we’ll have found and the ways we’ll integrate them into our daily lives. (The fact that “iPhone” still has the word “phone” in it already feels kind of like an artifact of history.)

Right now, of course, both price and availability are restricting this newest Apple product to early adopters and people who just must own the latest and greatest. (These are distinct groups, but a lot of eye-rolling directed at the latter is deflecting onto the former.) The same happened with the iPhone and Google Glass; the iPhone ended up with some much more affordable options, and although Glass is getting a revamp, it’s far from dead. For all the ribbing new Apple Watch owners are getting, chances are that a lot of us will be joining them sooner or later—if not with the Apple offering, then with something similar.

Are you taking the plunge? And are you going Apple, Android, Pebble… or something else?

SXSW, where the “W” stands for “Wait in line to get in”

SXSW, where the “W” stands for “Wait in line to get in” published on No Comments on SXSW, where the “W” stands for “Wait in line to get in”

If you’re in a line right now at SXSW, you really do have my sympathy. Especially if you don’t try to wave your Klout around to bully some poor employee who’s just doing their job.

The great and glorious Kris Krüg came up with this cartoon, and his idea was relayed by Alexandra Samuel (whose panel on going beyond social media metrics actually trended America-wide yesterday: wahoo!). Big thanks to them both!

You have been convicted of crimes against the algorithm.

You have been convicted of crimes against the algorithm. published on No Comments on You have been convicted of crimes against the algorithm.

And cue the Burn Notice theme music:

When you’re locked out, you’ve got nothing. No friends, no third-party apps, no timeline. You’re stuck on whatever social network you get dumped in. You rely on anyone who’s still connected to you. Your mouse-happy ex-boyfriends. An old friend who’s informing on you to the NSA. Google+…if you’re desperate.

Bottom line is, until you figure out who locked you out, your Klout isn’t going anywhere.

Until Michael Alex is reinstated, you can find her on Twitter and Google+.

(Yes, cheap shot on Google+. But it fits in so well there…)

Updated: She’s back!

Updated again: I just had to.

Avengers, aggregate!!

Avengers, aggregate!! published on 3 Comments on Avengers, aggregate!!

Few people felt the loss of Google Reader as keenly as Alexandra Samuel (and I say that as someone who has fantasized publicly about a code extraction team liberating Reader from the Googleplex before they can deliver the coup de grace.)

My wife and partner relies heavily on Reader as part of her workflow, so when Google announced that Reader is going the way of the dodo, the passenger pigeon and Wave, her anger and grief spilled freely – and eloquently – into her Twitter stream.

I’m not sure if Google’s leadership has any appetite at all for revisiting that decision – it’s not the sort of thing they’ve backed down from in the past. But I hope they’ll consider the fact that Reader can still inspire this kind of loyalty.

Meanwhile, these tweets inspired me to draw this. And while I drew it for her, it’s for everyone who feels this way.