Author Archives: Michael Hammerstrom

Michael Hammerstrom
Michael Hammerstrom is the Manager of Marketing and Engagement at CuriosityStream, the world's premiere nonfiction streaming service. He previously led national community engagement efforts for PBS, focusing on K-12 education, as well as for the national nonprofit KaBOOM!, mobilizing high need communities to build playgrounds through competitive grants and grassroots fundraising. He holds a BFA in Theatre and Liberal Arts from The Boston Conservatory and started his career performing and teaching children's theatre.

You’ll Never Look at the Internet in the Same Way Again

DIGITS is available now in ultra HD 4k, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream. The worldwide exclusive, original 3-part documentary series takes viewers on a journey into the history of the Internet with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes insight into the remarkable technology that now permeates our lives.

Today marks a very exciting day for CuriosityStream, with the release of our groundbreaking new documentary series, DIGITS. We have been anticipating this series since it was included as part of our suite of original 4K content when our founder first announced CuriosityStream to the world. But today, the show’s relevance is even higher.

“DIGITS is a perfect example of the smart, deep dive programming we offer.  The series takes the time to delve into the past for context, and then it examines the present for implications affecting us now.  And finally, it taps into expert predictions to help shape our thinking for the future.” – John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of CuriosityStream.

 

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Originally described as “a history of computers and the Internet,” the final product delivers on that front, plus it has evolved into something heavily influenced by one major issue that we all face in today’s online world: cyber security. Viewers are taken on a fascinating look at the Internet, exploring the potential applications—and risks—of innovations like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 24/7 surveillance. The series is hosted by Derek Muller, who knows a little something about digital media and online engagement, as the creator of the YouTube science channel Veritasium, followed by close to 4-million subscribers. In DIGITS, Muller leads the conversation, which features interviews with co-founder of the Internet Vint Cerf and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“When you think about the fact that your washing machine is a computer and can be used to attack other computers within your own home network—your laptop, your tablet, your phone…or better yet, when your toaster gets connected to the Internet, think about who has the capability to turn that on. This brings us to this big question of, ‘well what do we do about it?’” – Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor

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With today’s headlines of hacked emails and cyber security attacks becoming the norm, it’s almost impossible to keep up with what is private and what is personal anymore. Just think about it. What if someone was able to recover a decade’s worth of private information and documents that you’ve submitted online? What could they do with it? Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that we are now relying on the Internet for everything – from our phones, to our entertainment viewing, to our watches, to our fitness trackers to our household appliances.  So, what happens to all of that information that we provide when we register and engage with these devices? And, how might the laws in different countries protect their citizens’ rights to privacy in different ways?

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DIGITS isn’t all dark – in fact, many moments in the series are quite fun and even humorous. But it also provides valuable information that we hope will spark conversations by everyone who tunes in about what it means to be an informed and responsible digital citizen in the 21st Century. Welcome to 2017, folks.

Watch the trailer below and experience the entire 3-part series here, only on CuriosityStream.

Michael Hammerstrom is CuriosityStream’s Manager of Marketing and Engagement. Follow him on Twitter @mhammerstrom.

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How ‘Deep Time History’ Just Got Personal

They say knowledge is power. If that’s the case, then I felt on top of the world after watching CuriosityStream’s new 3-part series Deep Time History. It stuck with me for several days because I couldn’t help feeling a little overwhelmed by our universe’s astonishing 14-billion year history. It got me thinking about how brief the human experience is in comparison. And yet, there are humans who have significantly impacted our existence throughout time. Julius Caesar. Christopher Columbus. Albert Einstein. Mother Teresa. Malala Yousafzai. The list goes on.

As a marketer, reflecting on the human experience made me curious about the history of CuriosityStream’s community of viewers and followers. That curiosity felt like a natural alignment to the very premise of Deep Time History. So, we put the question out there as a way for people to bring their personal history into the larger conversation about the series: “What’s YOUR story?” Centered around the hashtag #MYdeeptimehistory, we asked people to share photos from their past for the world to see. I’ve been inspired, I’ve laughed and I’ve reflected on my own history while scrolling through the responses.

I dug up my old family photos and stumbled upon a few gems that I couldn’t help but share, including the baby picture below of me (in a very coordinated outfit, if I do say so myself) standing between two vintage cars.

Little Michael

I soon expanded to my father’s photo library and the scenery he has captured on camera. You see, my father is a world traveler and a few years ago, he put some of his favorite photos on a disc so that my brothers and I could cherish them forever. I learned that one of the places he has been to is The Perito Moreno Glacier, located in the Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. I had no idea. But here is the photographic evidence to prove it.

Perito Morena Glacier

As the #MYdeeptimehistory hashtag started to spread, it wasn’t long before some people within my personal network got in on the game. While I hate to play favorites, it was my friend and colleague John’s post that took my breath away. John is an educator who has trekked across the globe and fortunately, he always brings his camera along with him.

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In summary, the three engaging hours I spent watching Deep Time History turned into something much bigger. I loved the series and by learning about the history of our universe, I was inspired to reflect on the history of my own family and friends, which has taught me new things about some of the people I am closest to. And I hope you will do the same. Check out the series for yourself and share your photos with our curious community by tagging them on Twitter and Instagram using #MYdeeptimehistory.

We all have some amazing stories to tell. What’s yours?

Michael Hammerstrom

Michael Hammerstrom is CuriosityStream’s Manager of Marketing and Engagement. Follow him on Twitter @mhammerstrom.

Deep Time History is available now in ultra HD 4K, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream.  The exclusive, original 3-part documentary series offers captivating insight into the links between astronomy, deep time geologic events and human civilization.

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