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For Business
November 21, 2013

Uncovering the internet’s hidden gems

Sometimes the internet feels like a vast sandpit full of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. Or, to put it another way, we’re working every day knee-deep in the world’s largest needle-filled haystack.

However, by putting a little mobile mastery into practice, the technology in your life can become a brilliant guide: knowledgeable, curious, and eager to please.

The knock-on effect is that you can become more informed, more up-to-date, and more innovative than your competitors, because you never know which nugget of information could lead to the next big leap forward in your field.

A large part of becoming a mobile master lies in fully grasping the difference between an open mental state, in which your mind is ready to receive input, primed for accepting new information, and a closed state, when you’re ready to focus on producing output of your own, be it a piece of writing, a complex plan, or even just being certain of an important decision.

As we have discussed in our ebook on the subject of all things Mobile MasterySlate’s Evan Selinger writes of the vast cognitive advantage that the internet has afforded us:

“If we know information is available online, we’re inclined to remember where it can be found, rather than struggle to retain the facts. This evolutionary tendency to off-load taxing aspects of cognition into the environment – natural or built – extends beyond using devices to recall information we’re already familiar with.

This is called “extended cognition,” and it plays a crucial role in a controversial view called the “extended mind” thesis. Advocates argue that data-management technologies, from low-tech pads to high-tech computers, don’t always function as mere memory-prompting tools. Sometimes, they deserve to be understood as parts of our minds.”

Beyond just improving our memories, this has resulted in a new age of the ‘community of ideas’. It’s never before been this easy to pass ideas to one another, and pick up on the interesting notions of people who are outside our normal social circles.

The rise of the meme as a unit of social currency shows the speed and distance with which ideas can traverse the globe. This doesn’t just apply to viral videos; it’s equally true for charitable causes, technological breakthroughs, or left-field business opportunities.

One excellent example of a global corporation harnessing the power of digital discovery to quite literally unearth buried treasure is the case of Canadian gold producers, Goldcorp.

Launching a project known as the Goldcorp Challenge, CEO & Chairman Rob McEwen called on the internet community to crowdsource plans for exactly where the company should focus its next large gold-digging operation within a specific 55,000 acre portion of land.

More than 1400 contributors submitted dig pitches in hopes of claiming the $500,000 cash prize, with detailed proposals flooding in from every conceivable field of work, and from mining industry stalwarts and rank amateurs. The winning selection pointed Goldcorp to a spot they had not previously thought of, which is now considered one of the richest gold mines in the world, and Goldcorp’s stock market value has increased more than thirty times its previous value.

Obviously the scale of the Goldcorp Challenge is an extreme example, but it does demonstrate the startling possibilities that are available when we indulge our curiosity in the digital sphere… although sometimes The Harlem Shake is discovery enough.

There are of course a plethora of excellent tools and apps available to help to you discover more in your working life, and if you are truly feeling like a playful mobile master then the best course of action is to just dive in and try them out! However, a few of my own personal favourites that I’d recommend to you are:

ProxApp – an app that recommends apps… it’s so meta you can’t not love it.

Nokia App Pusher – a free alternative to ProxApp, with app recommendations and update information at the touch of a button.

Nextgen Reader – previously discussed in our article about reading and bookmarking, Nextgen Reader is a paid Windows Phone app that synchs beautifully with your Feedly account to bring all of your RSS feeds together in a simple mobile display, making it easier than ever before to stay abreast of the latest tech developments and breaking news.

I hope you take the time to explore some of these ideas, and as always, if you’d like to learn more on the topic of becoming a mobile master, then why not download our Mobile Mastery ebook here?

This article is part of Nokia’s Smarter Everyday programme, which aims to inspire you with the latest ideas on productivity, collaboration and technology adoption. To download our latest ebook Mobile Mastery visit

Image credit: Johny Dollar