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Category Archives: web 2.0

web 2.0

The world is obsessed with Facebook

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Last month, Mashable presented a very neat infographic demonstrating that, especially in the USA, Facebook is becoming the kind of internet portal that AOL and Compuserve dreamed of being in the 90s.

It was a bit tl;dr though so some bright spark made it into a snazzy video.

Et voila…

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.

News from the Withington front line. Voters turned away.

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I’m glued to my telly at the moment watching the election coverage. Reports are coming in all over the country of polling stations overwhelmed by voters. My constituency, withington is not only a vital marginal seat (labour/lib dem) but also one of those that has had voters turned away.

Personally I had no problems voting. My polling station was fairly quiet at 6pm. However, a friend of mine, @mikeedge who voted at the more central Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South station, West Disbury witnessed queues all evening.

After deciding the queues were getting longer not shorter he took the plunge at about 8.30pm.

Mike estimated there were 150 people queueing when he joined. It took approx 45 minutes to get through these people. 3 people per minute.

As he left after 9.15pm the queue was longer than when he joined, about an hours queue at the pace he experienced with more people arriving.

The BBC is reporting more than 200 people were turned away from Withington as a whole. No indication if this is at multiple polling stations or just one.

Some constituencies are blaming large numbers of students turning up without polling cards or without having registered but although Withington has a significant student population this situation was not observed at the Barlow Moor road Parkfield Road South polling station.

In such a critical seat, this story could run and run. We could be the Florida of the 2010 UK election.


Or not. Incumbent Lib Dem MP John Leech held withington and actually extended his narrow lead from the last election.

Social Media tsar’s criminal use of twitter.

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Sharing is good right? Well not always. As with all parts of life, a huge part of any organisation’s social media strategy is knowing when to shut the hell up.

Labour’s so-called and much lauded social media tsar,  yesterday committed a potentially disastrous gaffe when she tweeted results of postal votes for the upcoming election.

Kerry McCarthy (@kerry4MP) is the twitter evangelist who was responsible for training up Labour politicians in the art of teh interwebs. Oops.

Under the Representation of the People Act it is illegal to reveal details of votes cast before the polling day as it may influence those yet to vote. Avon and Somerset police are now investigating this potentially criminal act.

Other twitter users pretty quickly realised something was amiss and let Ms McCarthy know. Blogger Darren Bridgman was first on the scene.


After briefly trying to defend her position, and presumably consulting with those who know better, @Kerry4MP deleted the tweets. But as we all know, news travels fast and word had got out. Here was her response to the BBC.

On hearing the results of a random and unscientific sample of postal votes, I posted them on Twitter. It was a thoughtless thing to do, and I very quickly realised that it was not appropriate to put such information in the public domain.

“Quickly realised” but not quick enough. At its heart, this is not a social media error. Kerry McCarthy made a simple mistake. She should have known it was illegal to share that information with the public and not done it. This error could have been made when talking to a journalist or writing a press release but in this case she is not only the source of the information but the editor and publisher. What this incident proves, if more proof be needed, is that in this world of instant communication, you have to be really sure of your message and in control of the information you choose to share.

Acrossair iPhone 3GS Augmented Reality browser

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One of many Augmented reality iPhone apps that are in the pipeline. I really think that AR represents the future of mobile location-based services.

I want contact lenses with this ability so I don’t miss a drop of metadata that might whizz by!

Kutcher wins – the video

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Further to my last post, Ashton Kutcher has won the race to a million followers. In true web2.0 style he live streamed his victory experience on ustream. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Kutcher wins – the video“, posted with vodpod is the app that delivered the news. He also raised a lot of money for a very good cause, so good on him.

Ashton Kutcher vs CNN – should I care who wins?

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At the risk of sounding like Social Media version of someone’s grandad, do you remember the days when Robert Scoble was top of the Twitter charts? Do you remember? You kids don’t know this but at the time his 25,000 followers were blamed for service outages. 25,000 was a lot in those days and Twitter couldn’t handle the load of all his followers looking at his updates at the same time on Twhirl. You won’t remember Twhirl. It was like those “Tweetdecks” that you kids use now but more green and with smaller text.

Ah May 2008. I remember it like it was only last year. How things have changed since then.

The battle for 1,000,000 followers is on.

Currently, the CNN breaking news twitter feed is Top of the Twops (not ‘arf) with 967,979 followers. Hot on the heels of this broadcasting giant is one man who likes to tweet. So which wit, which philosopher, which inspirational human being is deemed so important by the new Twitter masses that he or she has 959,259 followers and is challenging a global news corperation?

Ashton Kutcher.

(Note to self: try, really try not to be snooty)

So now Ashton, aided by Electronic Arts, is campaiging for followers so that he can overtake CNN and win the race to the big one oh oh oh oh oh oh.

Says Ashton:

“When I saw that I was approaching a million and that CNN was too, I thought this was really significant for social media. For one person to have the ability to broadcast to as many as people as a major media network, I think signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social news outlets.

“Because with our video cameras on our cell-phones, on our picture cams, with our blogging, with our twittering and our posting and our Facebook accounts we actually become the sources of the news, and the broadcasters of the news and the consumers of the news. We have the potential on this day to turn the tide.”

Ashton Kutcher’s stance as the ‘everyman’ is a bit galling. As one YouTube commenter rather crudely put it:

He’s not the “everyman” you c**t muffin. He’s a fu**ing celebrity. His dumb face is all over every printed media.

Quite. Thanks to interestingperson121 for that quote. I added the asterisks.

I do like the fact that Ashton Kutcher seems to care about social media as well as the promotion he gets out of it. He obviously does all his updates himself and he also gets involved with video blogging on Qik and YouTube and… well I admit it: I dislike him a lot less then I used to. At least I don’t have to watch him acting when he’s on Twitter.

But I don’t really agree with him that his having 1,000,000 followers is a triumph of social media. It’s still a single source broadcasting to many. So it doesn’t matter if that source is CNN or Ashton Kutcher. In fact, if I had to pick one as the only twitter stream I could follow I’d plump for CNN. They really do have a lot of content. That’s why they are a news network.

The point is I don’t have to choose. I can follow as many people as I like and get content from them all. Whether it’s the BBC or a mate from work doesn’t really matter. I pick my crowd from which to source my wisdom.

And you know what? It goes two ways. I can tell people stuff I find interesting. It might be stuff i’ve found on the web or even thoughts that have formed in my own brain.

That’s many to many broadcasting. Throw in a dollop of conversation and that’s social media.

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Sing when you’re tweeting

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There comes a time in every young man’s life when he realises he’s not actually that young anymore. It happened to me when I discovered Radio 4, that long-time favourite of middle-aged, middle-class, middle England. Specifically I like the today show and the comedy.

Those of you who don’t subscribe to the Friday Night Comedy podcast really should.

The Now Show is on at the moment and among others it features regular contributor, Mitch Benn. If you don’t know Mitch, he makes up funny and topical songs all the time, which is great on the radio but must annoy his wife.

Anyway, Mitch is one of many comedians/broadcasters to have recently embraced Twitter (@mitchbenn if you’re interested). A couple of weeks ago I saw him tweeting that he had written a song about Twitter. It’s a funny commentary on how minor celebrities become obsessed with gathering as many followers as they can with no thought as to what conversations they should be having.

At least, I hope he’s joking – he might mean it.

Mitch Benn on Twitter – Download MP3

Here’s Mitch’s take on the ridiculous “schools to teach Twitter instead of history” story. I’ve got a post on this topic baking in the oven but for now I’ll leave it to Mitch. Here is his 1 minute lesson on ‘teh interwebs’.

Mitch Benn on teh Interwebs- Download MP3