More thoughts on when to RT, FWD etc

Some time ago I wrote a blog post on “My thoughts on when to FWD, RT, re-post etc” it got a lot of hits and RT’s. In light of recent high profile viral causes (not least Kony2012) I felt it needed an update.

Yes the power of the internet is changing the way we as individuals can collectively bring about change…  but…

“with great power comes great responsibility” Voltaire
(not Uncle Ben in Superman, as most people seem to think)

There was something that bothered me about the Kony 2012 video that I couldn’t put my finger on. So as I usually do (I’ll admit I’m human, not always) I looked deeper into the issue first, before RTing it or FWDing it on.

Without getting into the detail of the Kony issue (no doubt he is a bad man) it made me view the video differently and that’s when I realised my post needed an update.

There is a trend, I’d almost call it a fashion, to believe that which is contrary to established thinking… just because. Often these views come from edgy “thought leaders” who are often trying to sell books, sometimes (not always) this is deliberate. To be controversial is a form of link-baiting.

Another great example of this is a TED talk buy Derek Sivers who claims that sharing your goals makes them less likely to occur. Great headline, quick forward it! But wait, if you read the paper he refers to it simply doesn’t say that. (I’m not saying he deliberately mis-represented the paper btw)

I ask you this: is it better to be convinced by a slick viral video, or main stream press… by unknown figures (or organisations) than politicians or celebrities?

Of course the answer to this is, it depends.

Do some research, read around the area and make your own decisions, then FWD / RT / re-post it.

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Events, conferences and meetups

Regular readers will know that I’ve been passionate about trying to build more of a scene locally for some time.

There is now so much going on (some I’m involved with, some I’m not) that I thought a round up was in order, so in date order… I present:

Bar Camp Bournemouth 4

A weekend un-conference, if you’ve never been to one you really should – anyone and everyone is encouraged to give a talk on any subject (loosely tech/web/gadget/apps etc) and it’s continuous from Sat 3rd March 10am to Sun 4pm (yes, overnight geekery) at Bournemouth university.

Sessions I’ve attended in previous years ranged from:

  • How I built a jet engine in my garage
  • HTML5 wizardry
  • The Failure Swapshop
  • Geo-caching
  • Designers vs Developers – can’t we all just get along?
  • A discussion on digital death – what happens to your online assets when you die?

Meetdraw 13 – The Student Takeover

The next meetdraw is being run by students, showcasing work and publishing the results of Matt Desmier’s state of the union (agencies) survey infographic.

It’s on March 21st at the Sherbet Lounge – all creative / tech / web / agency folks should go and meet other local fellow internet folks over a pint or three.

B&W Meet

A get together held quarterly at the Slug n Lettuce (with free drinks thanks to Campaign Monitor) for any developer students/graduates – they’re also very welcoming of older folk like me.

The next one is in “early April” (their words, not mine).

Phew! If I missed any, please leave me a comment below or @ me on twitter.

Dorset Digital

An informal community of web and software professionals who meet in the pub once a month.

The next one is 15th March at Tom Browns, Dorchester

UPDATED:

There’s also the Linux Users Group on March 6th at the Broadway – thanks Ralph!

UPDATED 2:

Added details to Dorset Digital

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Notes from the TLK panel discussion

Yesterday I took part in a panel discussion for students from the AUCB looking to get into the world of freelancing alongside Gellan Watt and Hayley Potter, for those that weren’t there here is a copy of the question slides:



I promised to write a quick blog to link to some of the things I mentioned
(in no particular order…)

Networking events locally for web/creative folks:

 

Software that I love and use:

 

Books I mentioned:

The top tip of what interviewers are looking for from Ernie Robinson my old boss at Eldridge Pope:

“Can you do it, Will you do it & Will you fit in”

- wise words that stuck with me that I’ve kept in my mind as both an interviewee and interviewer!

If I’ve missed anything, please leave a comment and I’ll add it!

UPDATED 14/12/11: A handy set of bullet point notes from Phil Hawkins

*affiliate links

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Facebook to become the new MySpace in 2012?

No I’m not years out of date… I’m pondering if Facebook has gone too far with privacy, over-sharing and continual changes that it’ll go the way of MySpace i.e. in decline and then mass exodus?

This is a post I started on Feb 15th (originally titled “Is 2011 the year Facebook goes into decline”), I wrote a post about the life-cycle of social networks but wasn’t bold enough to publish it – I wish I had.

The recent changes (and impending change of profiles into timelines) on Facebook for passive sharing (read, listened) from explicit sharing have generated a lot of debate:

Is Facebook’s seamless sharing wrong or not?
(both from RWW amusingly)

…and there are plenty more discussing these changes in minute details, I’ve added my thoughts to the second of those posts in the comments.

There is a more philosophical question here that I haven’t seen asked yet – what are the factors that make people change social network?

Let’s think about MySpace vs Facebook and some of the factors that caused the exodus:

  1. MySpace had the critical mass, it was the clear leader until a couple of years ago.
  2. Facebook offered a simpler, cleaner interface that made connecting with your friends easier.
  3. MySpace got bought by News Corp and was seen as a big company rather than a cool young upstart.
  4. MySpace “got old”.

How do these stack up with Facebook?

  1. Facebook is the clear leader, that could change.
  2. Facebook is rapidly getting more cluttered and the volume of information is creating, in some, a feeling of information overload.
  3. Facebook is now seen as a big scary, privacy dismissing beast.
  4. Facebook has your mum, gran and aunty on it… it’s “got old”

If people leave Facebook it will be because:

  • They feel they’ve lost too much control
  • The signal to noise ratio gets out of balance
  • There is another big privacy issue
  • As a business user, they change the rules of the game too many times
  • The early adopters move to somewhere else and people follow

So where next?

Google+ ?

No, I don’t think so – It won’t be to go to more-of-the-same and whilst some wrote it off too early (before they launched business pages, was too early to judge in my opinion) Google+ doesn’t have these key differences the next big social network needs to become the new #1.

Who does?

I thought Diaspora could of been a candidate, it needs some muscle behind it to grow into those shoes. One thing I’m certain though is that the game is changing, users are uneasy and if I was Facebook I’d be worried.

As ever, I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Social media for events at LiveTech

I was honoured to be asked by the wonderful Tiffany St James and Dan Bowyer to speak at the LiveTech event as part of LondonLaunch:LIVE this week.

Here are my slides:



I spoke about Brand and Reputation Management, Social Media Amplification and adding the magic to your event.

And, as a good summary here is an interview I did afterwards to WinkBall.

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First thoughts on Diaspora – the distributed social network

What is Diaspora?

Diaspora is a “privacy-centric distributed social network”, anyone can download the source code and set up a pod on their server meaning they have control of the information and user data on that site.

Every pod can talk to each other seamlessly, thereby creating a distributed social network.

What if I don’t want to set up my own social network server?

You don’t have too, there are publicly available ones, including joindiaspora.com and diasp.org.

Think of the pods/network as a bit like the way email is distributed, in that anyone could have an email server of their own or use a public one (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…) and you can seamlessly email other people.

What does it look like?

It’s minimal in feel, uncluttered and most things are obvious after a short look around.

Diaspora Stream

Once I had an invite, it didn’t take long to set-up the account and connect it to my other sites (Facebook, twitter).

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