Here Comes Everybody bigger (and smaller) than ever before

Back in May I blogged about Clay Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody". I was torn: I wanted to believe that social media could indeed make the world a better place, yet my inner history graduate protested that people are people, and have communicated and interacted for good and ill since time immemorial. In "Television may … Continue reading Here Comes Everybody bigger (and smaller) than ever before

Even on paper, the immediacy is the message

Adam Greenfield posts on Speedbird about British Airways' current ad campaign to rehabilitate Heathrow Terminal 5. The ads run across print, radio and digital, and confront low expectations of T5 based on its highly-publicised teething troubles. They break new ground in their use of near real-time statistics, such as the number of yesterday's flights arriving … Continue reading Even on paper, the immediacy is the message

Old / new media mash-up – first impressions

Old / new media mash-up part 2 Here's the proof (geddit?) that the worlds of inky fingers and fat thumbs can coexist. Last week I purchased a 1.5 inch type-high zinc block of the QR code for this blog, http://matt.me63.com. I wanted to see what happens when the beautifully tactile letterpress of my boyhood meets … Continue reading Old / new media mash-up – first impressions

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse

Two recent news stories continue my theme that social media doesn't so much change people's behaviour, as expose pre-existing behaviours for all to see, often with unexpected consequences. Exhibit 1: 'Dumbest criminal' records crimes A Leeds man has been dubbed the city's "dumbest criminal" by a councillor for posting videos of anti-social behaviour on the … Continue reading Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse

In the future, people will think it strange…

... that the internet was ever tethered to wall sockets and floor boxes. Now obviously the participants in a Mobile Internet Portal Strategies conference are a self-selecting bunch of enthusiasts, but last week there was a distinct sense of confidence that our moment has arrived. People who've spent the best part of a decade expounding … Continue reading In the future, people will think it strange…

Erm, excuse me, but I think Everybody was here all along

It's taken me a while (and 83 more pages of Here Comes Everybody) to understand my unease with the "technology changes everything" discourse around social media, and now to reach an alternative hypothesis. In my last post I questioned whether the advent of the internet in the place of television could, as Clay Shirky suggests, … Continue reading Erm, excuse me, but I think Everybody was here all along

Television may be the gin of the information age, but that doesn’t mean the web is pure water

The new media revolutionary in me so much wants to believe Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody" hypothesis, that the web heralds a new era of mass participation, collaboration and creativity. With our mobile phones and broadband connections we remade society, so that my five-year-old son cannot conceive of a world without the web ("Daddy, if … Continue reading Television may be the gin of the information age, but that doesn’t mean the web is pure water

Note to future historians: We know it doesn’t look good, but we weren’t really shallow time-wasters in the Noughties

Greetings from 2008! I'm really pleased you've picked the Early 21st Century Social History module this term. You're going to love it. But before you dive into the wealth of primary evidence we've left on the net, there's something we need you to understand. We know it doesn't look good, but we weren't really shallow … Continue reading Note to future historians: We know it doesn’t look good, but we weren’t really shallow time-wasters in the Noughties

ШITH TШЗИTУ-FIVЗ SФLDIЗЯS ФF LЗДD HЗ HДS CФИQЦЗЯЗD THЗ ШФЯLD

Thus somebody - and nobody quite seems to know whom - said of Johannes Gutenberg. But even with the belated arrival of the "w" to make up the Latin alphabet to 26, this once mighty army now seems barely enough to log into Bebo. There are forces at work. Web-based services demand that users have … Continue reading ШITH TШЗИTУ-FIVЗ SФLDIЗЯS ФF LЗДD HЗ HДS CФИQЦЗЯЗD THЗ ШФЯLD

Social Minds – learning technology for virtual worlds

Please excuse this shameless plug for my brother's new venture, Social Minds. Back in 1997, Edmund went to work in Japan for a year. He stayed, got married, and has gained a wealth of experience in distance learning and educational technologies. Now he's taking that experience into virtual worlds, including Second Life. As his shiny … Continue reading Social Minds – learning technology for virtual worlds

By Their Words You Shall Know Them

Recently I've been spending time around online advertising people and I'm starting to wonder: if they're so smart at communicating, do they ever listen to themselves? For some reason this industry has adopted the most aggressive and unattractive jargon - targeting, eyeballs, cut-through, impressions, and so on. It doesn't have to be this way. The … Continue reading By Their Words You Shall Know Them

Capturing the rainbow

Out shopping on an Autumn Saturday afternoon, a spectacular rainbow appeared over Islington. And on every street corner there was someone taking a picture with their cameraphone. A perfect example of how convergent technologies create brand new behaviours, as well as enhancing existing ones. Most of those people taking pictures probably didn't explicitly choose a … Continue reading Capturing the rainbow

I have seen the future and it folds

Ten years ago I worked in a declining industry. Regional newspaper readerships were aging, as papers struggled to connect with their communities. Staff cuts and inflexible new technology at the paper I worked on meant we had a 9:30am press deadline for some localised editions - which rather made a mockery of the word "Evening" … Continue reading I have seen the future and it folds