Links of the day

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Go Home, Bill | PBS

Baskets / Fruit bowls / Centrepieces – Girotondo, Fruit Holder Alessi – wishlist item

How to protect your online reputation | Article | Homepage articles

How We Carry Our Mobile Phones | PSFK – Trends, Ideas & Inspiration

IT Facts

YaleGlobal Online Magazine

Yiying Lu – the creator of Twitter’s failwhale illustration to show when the service infrastructure is overloaded

Traffic map by the guys at Capital Radio – Many of the people who created this are former Yahoos

Survey Says 8 in 10 Businesses Now Use Macs – Switched

Edelman Digital – Orkut doesn’t seem so funny anymore

Digital Evangelist: Some quick thoughts

Microsoft to buy semantic search engine Powerset for $100M plus

Google quickly, quietly becomes PC to TV bridge builder » VentureBeat

Jargon Watch: Metabo

Metabo is shorthand for metabolic syndrome, a polite way of describing middle age spread. Under newly passed government rules, everyone from 40 to 74 must have a medical check up that measures their waist and if they exceed 85cm for men or 90cm for women they will be assigned a nutritionist who will give recommendations on diet and exercise. There is also potential financial penalties for companies who don’t reduce employee obesity. Thanks to Peter Payne and the crew at J-Box.

Links of the day

My M&M’s® – Get Your Favorite Faces on Your Favorite Candy – Upload a Picture and Message – I love this thanks to Mecca at Moo for the heads up

Sorry, — I Still Don’t Think You’re Focused On Core Search

Oprah Time: Convergence: Where new and old media collide by Henry Jenkins

In his book Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide MIT boffin Henry Jenkins takes us on a journey through modern culture, past the must-see television series and social networks to fan fiction, comics and internet forums. Great media properties like 24, Star Wars and the Matrix properties told told stories in a complex manner through various media. Consumers of the media got out of the property what they put in.

Jenkins then  takes his book beyond the most byzantine storytelling to point out that it is as much about discovery rather than telling the story. It moves from media to experience and relies on the media property staying ahead of large groups of people who use online tools to collaborate on this discovery process with each other.

From a marketing perspective, planning rather than story creation is going to be the dominant element as brands look to architect their own experience for consumers to discover.

Links of the day

How to Reduce Camera Shake – 6 Techniques

Intel won’t touch Vista – The INQUIRER

Tools to Evaluate Your SEO Competition

It’s easy to be critical

Scanr – copy and fax with your camera phone or digital camera – handy for pulling in business cards or the contents of a whiteboard

Bored With Web 2.0? Demand Change – ReadWriteWeb

ffmpegX a video transcoder for Mac OSX – very handy for posting on video sites | jonathan hopkins » Blog Archive » Faceparty to users: F*ck the Haterz

Yahoo: We’re Not Shutting Down Yet! (YHOO)

Modeling The Real Market Value Of Social Networks

The Petabyte Age: Because More Isn’t Just More — More Is Different

17 Mistakes Start-Ups Make

LinkedIn and The Strange Case of The Disappearing Market – ReadWriteWeb

Greetings Orange balloon racers!

Welcome to my site, feel free to have a quick look around. If you run into my balloon ‘Mr Splashy Pants‘ give him a nudge for me.

Thanks :-)

Event: London Bloggers

Hidden upstairs in West End pub (like an Victorian anarchist’s meeting in a Joseph Conrad story) is the monthly London Bloggers Meetup. The pub had an old world feel to it and still advertises Double Diamond beers (at least that’s what the in-pub signage said). Up the tight winding stairs and into a friendly room equipped with a plasma screen I felt like I had been transported back from the 1950s into the 21st century. I finally got to meet  organiser and marketing expert Andy Bargery in person. There was more familiar attendees including Annie Mole, Rob Hinchcliffe and SpinvoxJames Whatley.

New people I met included Improbulus who shared her emperical experience in developing a search engine-friendly blog with the rest of the group:

  • Think about key words  and make sure that they are in the post title and first paragraph of the posting
  • Configure your domain so that your posting title is in the domain
  • Include similes of words thoughout the copy (include language variation spellings like US and European English variants)
  • Tags
  • Outbound links to high-authority sites

Improbulus also is a die-hard Psion 5 user, but I may have tempted her to shop around for a Nokia E90. Other people included Pete and Julius who blogs about event management. There were presentations from Commentag which helps sort and browse comments on a blog Wordcamp UK (which is in Birmingham) and M3: a location aware social network for mobile devices.

Links of the day

The battle for the iPhone’s soul: handshake deals or hairy palms?

Berocca – Blogger Relief – nice campaign by i-Level I believe for Berocca. Simple, to the point and good for the Google karma as well as WOMM

The tortoise laid bare

I was watching an ex-colleague Imogen Bailey talk about her experiences working in the comms team at Skype via Thomson Reuters webcast (registration required) of the PRCA conference. Beyond a move to an undisclosed new job, there were no revelations in Imogen’s presentation. Instead what I was really surprised by was the elementary questions coming up from the floor.

If this is a yardstick of our industry ‘getting’ social media then there is a longer way to go than I had ever imagined and can fully understand why PR as a profession does not have the brand permission from many marketers to operate in the digital field.

Event: Interesting’08

Thanks to Jonathan Hopkins I went along with him to Interesting’08 at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square.  Here is my notes from the event, I took some videos of the afternoon session that I am struggling to get on to the interweb; but when they’re up I will put the links here as well.

Russell Davies, Lloyd Davis and all the rest of the people involved in making Interesting’08 a successful event.

The talks covered a wide range of topics, here’s my notes (where I can read them) and links to videos that I made with a Flip portable video recorder and pictures from the event that I took with my phone are available on flickr here.

If you can’t listen or read any further you have to check out a video of three dozen of the attendees playing the recorder including Bobbie Johnson of The Guardian and Ben Matthews of Hotwire (I don’t think a career in show business beckons for either of them yet).

  • Roo Reynolds, you can see his presentation on his blog here
  • Gemma Teed – who provided some insight into evolution and how it hardwires us for responses to everyday life
  • Jenny Owen – talked about a move away from authenticity to the fantastical to escape nostalgia and plundering the past for fashion ideas. It would also impact things like fly on the wall documentaries, UGC and solving some of the big problems out there by coming up with ideas from a place which is not grounded in reality
  • Steve Hardy highlighted the benefits of the creative generalist rather than an agency full of specialists. Basically its about ideas being open to them, being open to people and making connections happen and having a broader more rounded view of things
  • Daniel Raven-Ellison spoke about his concept of urban geography which mixes geographic understanding about places and spaces to highlight issues of importance such as poverty, inequality, the environment and the war on terror
  • Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks talked about the complex relationship between graphic design and popular music with the iPod being pointed to as the current black sheep for cover artists
  • James Wallis talked about a geophysical survey of the World of Warcraft, showing how the MMORG doesn’t conform to the rules of Newtonian physics
  • Matt Dent highlighted the work and process that his designs went through to appear on the back of UK coins including a long process that went from paper designs -> computer -> plaster mould that was scanned with a laser -> computer -> CNC machine to create a metal version -> craftsmen with hand tools -> dies for stamping out the coins -> coinage
  • Andrew Webb – highlighted the work he has been doing with Channel 4 as a roving reporter ferreting out culinary stories throughout the UK
  • Andrew Walkingshaw presented on the importance of names from genericisation of brands to being the backbone of the web from web 1.0 to the semantic web
  • Andrew Dick provided an insight into his sleeping habits and the secret of using bad audio books to help him get to sleep: not too boring, it needs a simple good versus evil plot, having an abridged version is best.
  • Jenny Owen talked about her facination with Winston Churchill
  • Lloyd Davis treated us to Noel Coward-like numbers on his ukele and a post-lunch meditation to get the neurons firing again
  • Younghee Jung provided an interesting presentation on culture and toilet habits around the world
  • James Bridle explained how humans were hardwired for alcohol because we needed an indicator to know when fruit was ripe enough to eat
  • Kim Plowright shared how the vacuum cleaner had progressed from a service to a luxury item and into being a commodity item seen in just about every household and how its design had modified to keep up with societial change. It reminded me of those ‘Secret Life of…’ programmes that channel 4 a number of years ago showing you how a particular domestic appliance worked and had changed over time
  • Jim LeFerve demonstrated zeotrope animation using a turntable and a video camera. Here’s my video with the explanation but Russell Davies has a better copy to the animations here
  • Someone else presented on how sounds are used to convey data about astrophysics to complement existing techniques in modeling and data visualisation, the video is here
  • Joel Gethin-Lewis shared with us a welsh zen story around the concept of hiraeth – a welsh word for being in the moment and his work at United Visual Artists, there is a video here
  • George Oates of flickr, with a talk that would have been complementary to Henry Jenkins work on media convergence media, the video here
  • Leah Becker provided some insight into what makes a video here
  • Leisa Reichelt gave an interesting talk on childhood development, there is a video here
  • Max Gadney shared his facination with world war two (yes I know that sounds a bit Max Mosley) and funnily enough there is a video too. You can watch the video of Max here.Check out Annie Mole’s write-up here

Links of the day

Berners-Lee lays in to traditional search

24% of Apple iPhone users upgraded from a Motorola RAZR

Coco Wang – cool comic strips based around the individual stories of the Sichuan earthquake

RT‽ News China – Lost in Translation

Schneier on Security: Eavesdropping on Encrypted Compressed Voice

Mail Online bumps off top spot – Brand Republic Login – Brand Republic

MediaPost Publications – McDonald’s Marks Big Mac’s 40th With Jingle Contest – 06/19/2008

Global balance of media power shifting | PRBLOGGER.COM – PR blog – Those number crunchers at professional services firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, have published some research which concludes that the global entertainment and media market is expected to expand by more than a third over the next five years.

China in anti-monopoly investigation of Microsoft | Channel Register – pricing differences

HNSA-Historic Naval Sound and Video – interesting sounds, very early UGC

China Journal : Saying ‘Hello’ to ‘Ni Hao’

Ballmer: Google Won – But It’s Still All About Search, Baby | Brands in your life  – I love this spoof, its given me an idea, more later

Blag artist extraordinaire

My former boss at Pirate Communications has always had an knack for publicity-grabbing stunts some of them were very clever. Though I used to tire of hearing a journalist pub quiz and look-alikes hosted press events at every brain storm. I recently got an email from him that managed to combine a great publicity-grabbing idea and one of his leisure time pursuits:

Subject: Slobbing about is a right old earner 

Date: June 19, 2008 03:06:01 PM BST


Dear all,

If you want to sponsor me I would be very grateful.  I recognise that this sort of request can be a pain in the neck so my apologies in advance.  But please donate anyway through:

Four blokes watch telly and eat take ways in intense fund-raising bid

When: 08.00 21 June 2008 – 08.00 22 June 2008.

If you’re fed up of receiving requests for sponsorship of mountain climbing, long-distance swimming, bungee jumping or other worthy exploits then don’t despair. Four gentlemen from Sidcup, who are attempting to raise money for research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND) have, after rigorous training for a number of years, decided to devote a whole day doing bugger all, supported by their sponsors. Well, nothing apart from watching telly, eating take aways and drinking (all electricity, food and drink consumed is separately funded) and having a barbecue cooked by someone’s Mrs.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. This leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. In recent years there is evidence to suggest the incidence of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is increasing. It can affect any adult at any age but most people diagnosed with the disease are over the age of 40, with the highest incidence occurring between the ages of 50 and 70. Men are affected approximately twice as often as women.

Mark Gately, who claims to be the laziest of the four, said: “My dad has just been diagnosed with MND and I’m determined to do all that I can to help him and other sufferers. Rashly, we agreed to do a sponsored cycle ride through France later on in the year but because of the target we’ve set ourselves we need to do more, or less, depending on which way you look at it.

“We’ll be starting with a full English, filling in up to lunch time with a film, maybe a pizza for lunch, afternoon tea with London Pride and maybe some footie, or a nap, in order to get ready for a barbecue or a take-away curry in the evening depending on if our wives are talking to us by then. This will go some way to helping increase fitness levels for our 300 mile ride in September.”

Anyone wishing to donate can go to

Editors’ notes Media wishing to obtain photography of this fast-moving event, or wanting to visit if they can hack the pace, can contact David Pincott on 0786X XXXXXX

Its good to see the creativity put to use for a good cause and worth the donation to charity. If you can support David click here to donate via JustGiving.

Links of the day

TileStack – Your Creative Playground – HyperCard for the 21st century, if it didn’t exist you’d have to maket it up. This is so cool

MagCloud – very cool magazine printing on demand programme by HP Research very cool idea.

How to nap –

Google easily extending dominance to mobile search market

Web 2.0 Asia :: Article on Naver and Walled Garden (for the OECD Ministerial Meeting)


EU stumbles on buying Microsoft alternatives – By David Lawsky BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission, a thorn in Microsoft’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) side for its antitrust campaigns against the software giant, is falling short in its own internal attempt to promote…

Three Truths to Help You Create a Life of Gratitude | Zen Habits AgencySpy: Web ads to overtake TV in the UK

Flickr Co-founders Join Mass Exodus From Yahoo – earn outs have kicked in. However there is still a wealth of talent over in Sunnyvale

TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | Markers of status: different, and yet the same – interesting article on online presence and status by Clay Shirky

apophenia: markers of status: different, and yet the same – danah boyd responds to Clay Shirky’s article

TechnoKimchi :: I think President Lee thinks of the Internet more as “poison” than “cure”. – online at the centre of Korean dispute over US beef agreement

Center’d – interesing social calendar and local search product

Yahoo Boardroom Brawl? | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD – on and on

Study: Videos Live Fast, Die Young On Web – interesting future traffic predictor for YouTube videos

Random acts of call centres

I am currently a T-Mobile subscriber. I have two phones with them. My voice phone is currently coming near the end of its contract period with T-Mobile. For the past week I have fielded a number of calls from independent T-Mobile dealer Fonehouse which those people on my Twitter feed would have known. The thing of it is that I have never bought a phone from Fonehouse or given my details to them.

So first stop T-Mobile customer services, they denied giving my details to anybody and suggested that I contact Fonehouse. In the meantime this letter arrived from Fonehouse that certainly looks like a T-Mobile-orchestrated upgrade programme. (The exclusive handsets on offer aren’t worth considering).


Now the letter like the call centre staff had my full address details and knew when my contract was up so how did they do it?

UPDATE: I called Fonehouse to get the skinny but couldn’t get through their voice-activated phone system navigation.