I like: Kid Adrift – Oxycotin

Music videos to me are generally a thing of the 80s, it puts visions of MTV station idents and piles of VHS casettes into my head. But I love this video, I won’t explain why because that would spoil it for you. Enjoy:

Big shout to my mate Si for flagging this one up to me. Courtesy of the High Contrast blog and more details on the shoot here.

Links of the day

GameCrush Lets Guys Pay Money To Play Online Games With Women (Seriously) – they should rake it in: its an escort agency for losers

EconPapers: Trust network sclerosis: the hazard of trust in innovation investment communitiesshared identity and experience serve as proxies for trust in influencing decisions, and subsequently how trust can serve as a proxy for thorough due diligence

British ISPs open door to paid prioritization | Benton Foundation – of course this assumes that their networks aren’t as impotent as boiled spaghetti

The eternal antitrust case: Microsoft versus the world – good overview

comScore Gives Twitter Traffic Victory Over MySpace | WebProNews – just goes to prove the analogy that social networks are like new hot restaurants or nightclubs and when you’re out you are out

Study: Microsoft has ‘fallen off the mainstream media’s radar’ – interesting survey findings given Microsoft’s slick media machine and PR measurement methodology. I wonder what’s happening?

David Segal: Stop the Internet Blacklist – interesting moves in the US, it affects the open nature of the web and means that the west can’t point fingers at other regimes over web censorship

BSkyB to challenge requests for customer information from ACS:Law | guardian.co.uk

HP: No Android Smartphone or Tablet | AllThingsD – it makes sense given that they’ve invested in WebOS

It’s time to reap the context-aware harvest – PARC blog – PARC’s contribution to the web-of-no-web

Q&A: When Ping Is Not Your Thing – NYTimes.com – turning off Apple’s new social network

MediaPost Publications Boomers And The New (Normal) Economy 09/27/2010 – being frugal and the challenges that it poses to marketers

Echo Sonar: Whose opinion matters? – not sure I agree with this appeal for the mainstream media. Are journalists really experts?

Canvas8’s keeping TABS (September 2010) – nice PDF on trends

MediaShift . How Aftonbladet Varies Paid Content with Clubs, Micropayments | PBS – are you listening Mr Murdoch

A Detailed Look at Apple and Google’s Fight for Mobile Developer Attention

Gawker’s Denton: Twitter’s Audience ‘Too Elite’; Blogs Look Ludicrous | paidContent – as ever a source of a good soundbite

2010 acquisitions–Microsoft: 0 Google: 23 – CNET News – interesting pace of acquisition

FT relaunches Weekend Magazine with ‘Smart but Casual’ campaign – Brand Republic News – is it me or does feel very Economist in its campaign tone?

Econsultancy roundtable: CRM is dominating the social media agenda | Populate Digital

Joint statement by CIPR, ASA and CAP – by the looks of it social media community management and direct-to-consumer activity still falls into ASA. Blogger relations and online press release distribution don’t

The Social Media Words & Phrases Most Retweeted – social power words

UK Med School Students Get a New Prescription: iPhones – iPhone increasingly becoming embedded into healthcare

48 Hours In: Tokyo – 48 Hours In, Travel – The Independent

東京の観光: Tokyo Tourism Guide

Gawker Founder: The Future of Online Media Is Video – is it? Really?

Sony Ericsson LiveView acts as a 1.3-inch remote control for your smartphone, requires Android 2.0 — Engadget – interesting move, Sony Ericsson’s device looks very similar to the MIT vision of wearable computing from a number of years ago

AOL-TechCrunch Deal: Pros and Cons | AllThingsD – there is a certain irony in this deal if it goes through

Time Life: The last digital holdout – Fortune Tech – following a demographic

Obama administration wants encryption backdoors for domestic surveillance – Boing Boing – of course this means that criticising other governments on having a surveillance state

Deal Profile: Unilever to Buy Alberto-Culver for $3.7 Billion – WSJ – interesting move that strengthens Unilever by taking out a competitor. It does make me wonder about all the brands that Unilever sold a few years ago though

A press scholar explains how the New York Times op-ed page got started. – Slate Magazine – the history of the op ed

FT.com | China puts healthcare under scrutiny – interesting that they got NICE on board

What are the best blogs about data?  – Quora – interesting set of blogs – gnarly geek stuff here

22 Social Media Marketing Management Software & Services Reviewed – Online Marketing Blog – some familiar and new stuff here

Next generation haptic displays

Haptics are about the touch aspect of user interfaces. We’ve been used to them for a while in cellphones with a vibrating alert, the PlayStation2 rumble pack hand controller, but Nokia Research have been showing New Scientist how they would take it to the next level…

Great interview with Profesor Tim Yu on net neutrality

The US arguments over Net neutrality is interesting especially since the EU is now looking at net neutrality guidelines. Tim Yu at Columbia University did a lot of pioneering work around this in the US. It is interesting when they get on to discussing Google’s moves on net neutrality.

Thanks to Engadget. You can check out Tim’s academic papers here.

Amazing MIT Media Lab video

I found this MIT media lab video via Marc Ecko, much more intuitive than Adobe Photoshop – it could bring a whole new level creativity from kids to artists.

Links of the day

Hearst CEO: Bullish on Tablets, Not on Paywalls – I guess Murdoch won’t get a unitied media front then

Welcome Windows Live Spaces Bloggers — WordPress.com – interesting move, Spaces blogging platform sucked.

Meshin brings semantic smarts to organizing your email (video) | VentureBeat

Licorize – for the web worker tribe – a kind of mix between Huddle and delicious

Score One For Tech Workers: 6 Firms In Pact On Hiring Practices – Barrons.com – not that this would ever happen in the creative industries…

Six Reasons Why I’m Not On Facebook, By Wired UK’s Editor | Wired.com – it all goes back to the don’t write, do or say anything you wouldn’t want to see in the following day’s newspaper as we used to tell spokespeople getting media trained when I start off in PR. The key difference is that you are that newspaper publisher. I find the capacity for reinvention aspect very interesting however.

Great interview with Jack Ma of Alibaba

I love this interview that Jack Ma did with American talk show host Charlie Rose. Read more about it from TechCrunch.

The new Twitter: documentary evidence

When the new Twitter was first previewed I put down my initial thoughts on this blog post. Having had a chance to play with it and take some screen shots, I managed to confirm my concerns that:

  • The new Twitter would affect delivery of brand messages and depersonalise consumer accounts
  • The new Twitter would adversely affect current Twitter accounts (particularly customer service accounts) efforts at personalisation

Let me show you.

I have a close-up shot of a flower as my background on my Twitter profile currently. In the old view there is clear real-estate either side of the Twitter activity area.
old twitter JPG
In the new Twitter view the image is sufficiently diminished at the edges that you couldn’t really meaningfully say what it was.

new twitter JPGSo the profile customisation has effectively been depersonalised in terms of the background image.

Ok moving on to existing corporate accounts: I am a fan of the @vodafoneuk and @vodafoneukdeals accounts and that way that they use Twitter for customer service.

I had taken a screen shot of the old Twitter view of @vodafoneukdeals which is fine for illustrative purposes:
Vodafone twitter customer servicesOne the left you can see a mini-profile of each of the main participants on the @vodafoneuk account. This gives you a bit of a feel for the person that you would be dealing with. In contrast, on the new Twitter view their profiles are almost completely obscured:

vodafone new twitter JPG
This adversely affects the personal feel of the tweeted responses and the perceived customer empathy with the team. However I noticed one piece of silver lining from this image: it looks like the colours of the activity area can be tweaked, lighter colours provide a more translucent looking background so brand imagery on the right-hand side would appear like a watermark. So whilst brand ‘humanisation’ is diminished, brand identity can be reinforced.

Thinking about the designs of future background images and settings, using light colours for the activity area seems to make the most sense: use simple bold high contrast background images and typography with an emphasis on the right-hand side of the screen to maximise brand visibility to your audience.

Social CRM talk by Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah was speaking at an Edelman Digital event about social CRM. Some good (frank) stuff about the challenges faced and the limitations of the technology out there and thoughts about privacy, particularly as it relates to the lack of social norms currently hammered out with (I think) Steve Rubel talking about a likely future privacy event that will change attitudes in a similar way that 9/11 did for Islamic-inspired terrorism (his analogy, not mine).

Edelman Social Media Summit – Jeremiah Owyang from EdelmanDigital on Vimeo.
Jeremiah references the Altimeter Group’s social CRM report which they have released under a creative commons licence, more details here.

Links of the day

nginx – alternative to Apache, apparently better for heavily loaded sites

Anorak News » Paul Chambers And The Twitter Police: Freedom Of Expression Under Attack – we have cases like this and then the government tries to point fingers at countries like China regarding censorship? It beggars belief and common sense. It makes the west look stupid and tells Islamic extremists that they have won because they have the government apparatus on the run

ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails | TorrentFreak – interesting that 4Chan turned on ACS: Law and interesting allegations coming out about the internal business workings at the company and its owner Andrew Crossley

More Options for Importing Files into Google Spreadsheets

Google and Apple Extend Search Deal for iOS | Search Engine Journal – so no Bing deal then

Google Releases Updated Keyword Tool, Explains New Volume Counts – it will be interesting to see how it compares to the old version

Asiajin » Yahoo! Mobage In Abeyance By User Account TroubleDeNA‘s Mobage Town is a mobile gaming, m-commerce and mobile social network popular in Japan with over 11 million users. Yahoo! Japan is a popular Japanese web destination and their auctions are comparable to eBay or TaoBao elsewhere. This security issue is serious

Which global brands do well in Korea and which do not. And Android? | TechnoKimchi – really interesting article about how global brands are ‘used’ in Korea

Yahoo: Is Carol Bartz in the process of being replaced? – Quora – insightful answer. Possibly yes as part of a process to take Yahoo! private. The critique of Bartz is telling:

  • She has not articulated a coherent product or vision for the company
  • She wasted over $120M on an ad campaign (no material impact on any user engagement metric)
  • She promoted executives like Hillary Schneider after failing miserably with APT (Yahoo ad exchange system).
  • Yahoo left between $500M to $1B of value on the table as part of the search agreement with Microsoft (Carol made Hillary the POC for the Yahoo deal team – lets just say that Microsoft had their way with the Yahoo deal team)
  • She used odd (my gentle way of saying they didn’t work) PR tactics to recast Yahoo in the tech and business community

Brain scan: The virtual curmudgeon | The Economist – interesting take on social media, increasingly valid as a community scales – thanks to my former colleague Ana Mangahas for this

Pharmaceutical Social Media E-Book by SHIFT Communications – Free Download – interesting stuff from Todd Defren & Co.

Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: The Death of the Book has Been Greatly Exaggerated – geeks not letting the truth get in the way of a good story

MediaShift . A Guide to Rising Public Media Networks in the U.S. | PBS – interesting the way public media is structuring itself in the US to take advantage of new technologies

Leaving Microsoft | Artificial ignorance – interesting post by Anand Iyer. In an age of technology where location is no longer important, why do the savviest of companies lose people by insisting on a meat-space geographic location for people to participate fully and gain the full benefit of their careers? Retarded.

Riding Asia’s digital tiger – McKinsey Quarterly – interesting comparison between Malaysia, India and China

Fan Fiction 2.0

Fan Fiction has been around for decades from the Tijuana bibles of the early 20th century to the Wold Newton genre of fiction pioneered by Philip José Farmer which combined different fictional characters in a common time-line. Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series of graphic novels has renewed interest in the Wold Newton idea.

The internet radically reduced the cost of publishing and fan fiction flourished, firstly in the written form and then later in video. From parodies like TROOPs

…to major productions like the Lord of The Rings prequel The Search for Gollum.

I became conscious of a next iteration after watching the first episode of the new series of Spooks. I started to notice fictional accounts for some of the present and former characters from the show. At first I thought that it was a badly executed social media campaign on behalf of the programme production firm or the BBC publicity department. Some of the tweets were so tongue in cheek they were more Frankie Howerd than Jason Bourne. But it wasn’t a BBC or Kudos sponsored campaign; instead it was a real-time fiction created by fans, 140 characters at a time.

The Twitter fiction existed in an eco-system as it depended on interaction with what I presume where other unrelated but fellow fans of the series. The closest thing I can think of to this is people who re-enact famous battles or a World of Warcraft guild, however these ‘missions’ are often well-planned and prepared for in advance. There is usually a leader or a minority cabal who provides leadership. When that leadership goes awry you get situation like Leeroy Jenkins.

I find the way Twitter is being co-opted for fan fiction very interesting; there is no cabal, no definitive adherence to rules as each of the Twitter characters gets ‘into’ their character to varying degrees and its a complete adhocracy. There doesn’t seem to be hate from ‘true believers’ who know the entire Spooks canon inside out, in the same way I would expect it from Star Wars, Star Trek, The X Files or Lost.  Its improvisional like jazz and I think that its the birth of a new chapter in fan fiction which is why I called the post fan fiction 2.0.

Keep up with it by following some of these Twitter accounts:

UPDATE: Thanks to Stella Wong for pointing out NBC’s pioneering use of Twitter to create a ‘Twittersode‘ of their comedy programme featuring Chevy Chase. It looks like the entertainment industry has had similar ideas about extending stories and characters on to Twitters that fans have.

Really nice short discussion about ethnography in virtual worlds

More great content from PARC

I like: Burger King’s exploded view

The whole route of food photography is pretty jaded in terms of trying to convince you how good a burger is, so I loved the way Burger King printed this Haynes-Manual-esque exploded diagram of one of their burgers on the side of their take-out bags.
Exploded burger view on a Burger King bag
It is so simple, but kind of cool.

Links of the day

Has the Times paywall killed its blogs? | The Wall Blog – so what does this mean about paying Times Online readers being more ‘engaged’? By sounds of it, it didn’t extend to blog conversations

EU Parliament calls for pan-EU copyright law | Pinsent Masons LLP

EU Funds “Universal Apps” Project

PARC Forum – Ethnography in Industry – PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) – I can highly recommend this series of talks from PARC, in particular Gentry Underwood from IDEO talking about the six key factors in designing social software

Alibaba and Yahoo quagmire: a battle of the wills | FT.com – the FT is very slow to this story

FINALLY: Microsoft Just Stopped Pretending It’s A Growth Company – smart move from a comms point-of-view. Hopefully they can get away from beating the innovation drum and go for something more sales-centric like trusted supplier, established yada yada

1 Million iPhones Sold in South Korea | John Paczkowski | AllThingsD – that’s a success in Samsung’s backyard

RIM Is Finally Ditching The BlackBerry OS, But Not For Android – using QNX underpinnings is smart, it is probably the best realtimeOS out there

How to install the Facebook Support TabSocial Studies Blog | Social Studies Blog – Get Satisfaction tutorial

Guest Post: How Google Instant Can Help (And Hurt) SEO

How The Nielsen Company Uses Idea Management Software to Drive Innovation – filtering and channeling innovation

Digital minds: 60 seconds with Reuters’ Tim Faircliff (Digital Knowledge Centre – Thought Leaders) – interesting interview

The Scribd Archive, an Apology and Immediate Changes « The Scribd Blog – worthwhile thinking about if you are using Scribd in a campaign

Flickr: Can You Feel My Pain? – interesting campaign by Pfizer, worth keeping an eye on this and the corresponding Facebook page

Digital Agencies of the Future: UPDATE 1 – the point trying to be made here is that digital agencies aren’t ready for mobile, a secondary point could be that agency buying decision makers probably look for agencies on a laptop or desktop screen

McKinsey urges rethink on Chinese launches – Warc – get the culture and the market right

THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: More Analysts Turning Bearish As PC Sales Head South – PC market is cyclical, I wonder how much of an impact the iPad is having though?

Yahoo Patents May Cover Google Instant – just like Yahoo!’s Overture patents covered Adwords: this is is why a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo! would have been Google kryptonite. It also might make Yahoo! worth more than 14USD per share?

VideoEgg Will Acquire Six Apart And Rename Itself SAY Media – woah that’s a piece of web 2.0 history gone. Merging businesses like this was something that happened during the dot.com boom as investors tried to salvage some value