HopeLab Launches “Sticky Notes” Blog To Make Their Thinking Visible

stickynotesMay 31, 2009 I know our friends at HopeLab have been active on Twitter and their own Facebook group and use SlideShare and all that, but as I’ve said many a time, microblogging and 140 character sound bites don’t quite get into the ‘deep dive’ I’m seeking when it comes to solutions-based thinking.

Richard Tate has just announced HopeLab’s new “Sticky Notes” blog which will open up a Web 2.0 dialog for those who really want to ‘keep up’ with their innovations and use of ‘crowdsourcing’ like they did with the fabulous Ruckus Nation contest to get kids active…and their groundbreaking ‘serious games’ like Re-Mission that empower kids in their own fight with cancer and work effectively by helping kids understand what’s going on with their bods!

HopeLab will share their process, product development and ways they’re spreading the word via ‘open source’ dialog, which bodes well for collaborative teamwork among those of us trying to use the power of media for positive change! (e.g. just look at the tween rewards-based mashup of  conceptual thinking between SmartyCard and HopeLab’s new gDitty!) It renews my ‘hope’ that media will not be dominated by commercial ventures over change agents, and heartening to know those of us working in the same spheres can ensure we’re using collective knowledge to BUILD rather than duplicate efforts.

sports4kidsSome may scoff that ‘a blog’ is going ‘backwards’ in social media utilization, but I’m sure not one of them…

HopeLab’s decision to embrace blogging over data nugget updates will add richness, context and depth to the Age of Conversation in an era where media munchies have been preferred over meals.

This post on ‘Playing it Forward’ was already immensely helpful to me as I got a quick glimpse of last week’s Sports4Kids power of play discussion which I couldn’t attend. It consolidated a big chunk of the info I was looking for in HopeLab’s one post, furthering my own work and saving me tons of time.

ypulse2009Another example? Last year at the Ypulse Mashup, HopeLab’s Liz Song hosted a Kids’ Health 2.0 roundtable over lunch discussing their ‘gDitty’ to get kids moving.

I’m hoping she’ll be there tomorrow to discuss new players on the field too and save me some ‘compare and contrast’ points of differentiation. (Ypulse starts tomorrow! Join me w/your S.Y. 30% off code at left?)

I’d like to be able to assess all the different devices with kids’ movement potential…whether it’s FitBit, or MuveIt’s new Gruve hoping to start a new ‘muvement’ (with ties to Mayo Clinic research and “muvologists’ being trained to deploy these cool gizmos that we’re interested in partnering with…) or any of the other accelerometer and exergaming online to offline interplay.

ei-gq-nutritionOpening a dialog with HopeLab on “best practices” and using the blog for ongoing feedback could sure save us trial and error time and help Shaping Youth’s own experimentation!

The Elf Island tweens’ virtual nutrition GoodQuest is going on right now, and we’re looking at adding some ‘movement’ components to the research data gleaned from the gnome game. (we’d like to shift towards refining the ‘playing at learning’ fun factor elements in an overhaul down the line)

It’s all great stuff…Between advances via RWJF, HopeLab, Playnormous/Gaming4Health, Humana, Games for Change, and so many other cool organizations in this sphere, we’re  RIPE for transformation into doability if we all put our heads together and knowledge share to ‘build a better mousetrap’ with form and function that works on behalf of the kids!

There are so many encouraging online to offline active fitness bridges to get kids up, out and about and moving…

Speaking of ‘mousetraps’ and building innovative solutions…


After being at O’Reilly’s Maker Faire yesterday (the largest Do-it-Yourself mashup of cool concepts and bright minds) I witnessed the gigantic “Life Sized Human Mousetrap” demo again this year in classic Rube Goldberg style (created by engineer Mark Perez; imagine an 18 piece 50,000-lb. interactive kinetic sculpture set atop a 6,500-sq. ft., 2,000-lb game board)…The whole time at the Maker Faire, I kept thinking:

How can we engage kids to get active using their minds AND bodies in fun ways like this?

How can we use the lifelong learning spark of ‘how stuff works’ to integrate play into our homes, schools, and even physical ‘body as machine’ so that kids WANT to learn? (preferably sans carrot & stick rewards)

Seriously. Think of how we might prosper as a nation by recapturing the joy of learning by playing and “playing AT learning” if we integrated this kind of thinking into schools (instead of the ‘teach to the test’ snore city being served up in some of the Ca. schools here).

I definitely see some ‘StickyNote’ collaborative potential here!

sticky-notesPlus, as I went from hall to hall at the Maker Faire, I noticed people adding their two cents in open-source style on ways to improve the thinking or refine the concept in any given project using…(yep) Sticky Notes!

My friend Betsy Burroughs at Future Catalyst (Bring Your Insight Out!) does this every month at her free “Brainstorming Salons” and it never fails to attract thought leaders from all walks of life playing with ideation at various stages! Anyway, it made me connect the dots to see just how perfect HopeLab’s new name is for their blog…


In fact, I stopped by another favorite set up where Stanford’s d-school was ‘crowdsourcing’ design needs soliciting comments and creations from youth using STICKY NOTES to playfully paper an entire car which became an art piece in itself! (lousy iphone photo of the concept, sorry; I was hoping to find some lighting ‘hacks’ there to improve same) More on Maker Faire and the kid conquests with hands-on learning fun soon…

Meanwhile, congrats, HopeLab on Sticky Notes, and on ALL of your amazing work, can’t wait to hear updates tomorrow.

I’ll be hunting down the HopeLab crew at the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup for a conversation and an interview with my Sticky Notes at the ready.

Hope you’ll all be there!

Visual Credits: Mark Perez’ Lifesize Mousetrap.org, all other visuals/logos from their respective sites as linked.



  1. Hi Amy
    Are you interested in hosting the Homeschooled Kids Blog Carnival? I would love to hear from you if you are.

    Julie’s last blog post..May 29, Homeschooled Kids Carnival #8

  2. Hi Julie…I don’t have a ‘homeschooled kid’!!! Plain ol’ public school here, which ironically, makes ‘homeschooling’ a repeat performance for me all too often. sigh. 😉

    Amy Jussel’s last blog post..What Will Kids Learn About Dr. George Tiller? And From Who?

  3. Hi Amy! Thanks for the info on the HopeLab blog. They always have great data to share so this will be nice to get a day-to-day update from them. I’m really enjoying the open source style on our new blog healthGAMERS (http://www.healthgamers.com). Would love for you to put in your two cents in once in while.

    Melanie M. Lazarus, MPH’s last blog post..Bust-a-Myth: Eating Late Makes You Gain Weight

  4. More news from HopeLab’s Liz Song today…exciting pairing here!!!

    “Big news! HopeLab and Virtual Heroes today announced a collaboration to develop the next version of Re-Mission, our video game for young cancer patients. We’ve learned a lot since launching the first Re-Mission in 2006, and we’ll be applying those insights to boost the fun factor and enhance the effectiveness of a new version of the game. And we’re doing it with the support of great partners, including Vivendi, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

    Check out our Sticky Notes blog for more details and the “official” press release! (http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://blog.hopelab.org/2009/06/11/a-new-re-mission-in-the-works/#more-274)

    Have a great rest of the week!

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