Friday, February 5. 2010
Gawker on a TechCrunch Teen Journoblogger who said he'd write about a startup in exchange for a MacBook Air:
Now, before we all castigate a 16-year-old, let's note that "asking for shit in exchange for publicity" is incredibly common on the internet. No less an internet legend than Julia Allison will tell you how far "asking for a MacBook Air" can take you. Most flacks know that bloggers are basically fine with bribery—you just have to be discreet about it! And Daniel, on at least one other occasion, apparently did get a computer in exchange for a post.
Quite - prizes for pimping is a well established rule in the Noo Meedja as in the Olde (just follow the hooha about Mommyblogger swag), and - one may suspect - it's not entirely rare among the big tech blogs. Or was he the Obligatory Bad Intern in the Barrel and made it up all on his own?
TechCrunch is shocked, shocked, I tell you.
Tuesday, February 2. 2010
I don't know why, but for some reason perfectly sane people go to Davos and then write a curious type of article - not quite sure how to describe it but words like smug, supine, surface level and subservient all come to mind. Its like biting the hand that feeds, but without teeth, and giving the fingers a grateful little lick at the same time. These two articles are typical of the genre - I had them on the spike for shafting, as it were - as to my mind they show this particular issue off quite well.
First, Alan Rusbridger on "Google is another country":
Google is not unlike many other countries (Britain, say) which turn up at Davos with half the cabinet. Schimdt was flanked by his senior team – including David Drummond, Nikesh Arora, Marissa Mayer, and Chad Hurley. All presidents or vice-presidents, and worth a few billion between them. They are sitting on mountains of cash and no debt. So, not very much like most countries.
It goes on to outline a basic fireside chat Google had with the star-struck, with no real information. It must be the Davos effect, but surely the obvious points to be made in such an article were:
(i) If Google were a country, the interviewers would not be soft soap firesiders, but hard hitting types like the BBC Today and Newsnight hounds. (Its in times like these that you see the difference between independent and dependent media)
And then there was Jeff Jarvis, on "The disrupted of Davos"
Last year when I arrived at Davos, I wondered whether we were among the problem or the solution. This year, I wondered whether we were among the future or the past. Well, actually, I don’t wonder.
I mean, FTW? Soundbites production is the main industry of Davos, we know that, but blogging allows one un petit snark, an opportunity to call it out there and then. And there is always the regulatory Angry Youth that the Old Farts can smile benignly on and say "ah, we were like that once" (though they never were, they know people on the barricades get shot - often by their own side) and believe they are handing on the baton. Jeff's article goes on to detail his herculaean labours at Davos, and ends with:
I'd love to know who is actually rethinking et al, Jeff. I saw far more evidence of retrench, retain and refute. It would be interesting to look at the Davii over the last 10 years and ask what actually got done there of any value. One chap on BBC radio 4 opined that Davos was basically the collection of all the people who have f*cked up our world (I paraphrase). And as another wag pointed out, most people were there checking out what it would be like to live in Switzerland as its the only rich country that looks like leaving them untaxed.
In short, what - what, guys - changed? What evidence did you see that there is any understanding that the world is in an unsustainable place? Those that ruined it are still in power, ordinary people are still paying an extraordinary price for those at Davos. And what did you Tigers of the MediaSphere do to highlight this while over there? Where were the bloggers taking up the lance and tilting at the (massively subsidised) Windmills - I heard more useful critique from the BBC than from a roomful of blogmonkeys.
Do you guys remember the Halcyon days? When Social Media, the Internet, the Web was supposed to be a force for change, a force for Equality? When we could believe that Google tried hard to Do No Evil. When bloggers would tell The Truth, unlike the Olde (spit) Media? When YOU had the power, and soon the glory. Our kingdom was about to come, here, for everybody. The long tail was soon to crack the whip. What happened?
This year was more piquant than those to date, given the sh*t we are in - I couldn't help feel that this was the Animal Farm year for Big Blog Media.
Or as Umair Haque may say (I may be putting words in his mouth here), Davos is the Call of Ctulhu for Zombienomics
Normal technology Strategy Postings will now be resumed, just remember to set your BlogRadio Controls to Pirate from now on
Paul Carr on the unsubtle art of Tech Blog headline writing:
Next comes the important task of picking a title. Remember, a good title serves two important functions: 1) to attract comment trolls, and 2) to amuse Gabe Rivera from Techmeme. One tried and tested format is the “Why X will be the Y killer” construction, or the even more popular “Five tips for…” meme. The latter is especially recommended for authors who are working against a tight deadline: readers will tolerate any shit as long as it’s in a numbered list (the so-called ‘Mashable Rule’). Note: there is no need for the title to actually relate to the body of your Guest Post: the two are quite separate entities.
He's right of course.
I don't know how much SEO Goodness has leaked from this blog due to a near ban on the Mashable Rule here, and we never use the "killer" one. But its a sad indictment of Teh Internetz As They Is Today that a witty headline is deemed bad SEO and a Mashable Rule one is good.
Sadder still is his next point, which is once you have got your SEO friendly title, and the reader has clicked through, they are of little further value to you, hence his sanguine advice on the content:
Write any old crap
Is that the Mashable 2nd rule?
Update - useful comment from Mat Morrison that I've republished up here:
Saw an excellent presentation on how SEO had changed headline-writing at The Times by Tom Whitwell at Social Media Camp London a couple of years ago. Argues that witty headlines have been dropped in favour of clarity and impact - not just because of Google's content analysis engine, but also because of feed readers.
Thursday, December 24. 2009
So folks, here it is for your Bumper Christmas Holiday Edition- the 10 Best (as in most visited) Broadstuff stories of 2009. In its own way its a good log of some of the ZeitGeist in the Digital Ecosystem space. In order of popularity they were:
1. Stuff White People Don't Like #2 - Real Geeks (#CabinetForum Redux) - Cabinet level consultation on future of Digital Britain wss mainly a media-political class fest, no techies who actually understand the stuff were allowed at the table. This story logs an overall story about the general view that Digital Britain is an opportunity that has gone begging (mainly due to lack of cash....)
11. SXSW Journalists need to get out of the beer tent and see real world (Shock, Horror) - It would appear that Real Digital Age Journalists are as lazy as Our Man in Havana ever was - no surprises there then. Big story is that even on the digital media, the message is being moderated by middlemen, so tune your channels with care.
The Mashup Social Media Firehose - a rather good Mashup Event towards the end of 2009 did a rapid fire expose of many of todays trends including one of the starkest expositions on how your data is being mined
Its quite interesting looking over these, as they give a good review of the big themes of the year, which were by and large the chronicling of the Chrome of Web 2.0 tarnishing (to the extent that it even got a makeover to Web-Squared - we will see if that takes off):
- the recantation and/or downright disproving of early Web 2.0 New Economics and Economists
On the other hand, there is still hope - "Web 3D" is not over yet, people are starting to care about quality in their feeds, and other stories not hitting the Top 10 as they are too recent include the beginning of a fightback against privacy invasion, the increasing realisation that losing quality content is too big a price to pay for a Free-for-All internet, a belated realisation that women are 'Netpeople too, and the fascinating new-network effects of social networking that are emerging (such as Twitter being used in conjunction with TV watching).
So gather ye mince pies while ye may and gird your turkey loins, for next week we shall publish the Broadstuff Top 10 Predictions for 2010.
Friday, November 20. 2009
Broadstuff was one of the nominees for the BIMA Best Blog Awards 2009. We didn't win (some other no-good dun rotten b*stard did ) but it was great to be there. The champagne sparkled, the conversation sparkled, the women sparkled, the big ball on the KoKo club roof sparkled, the Compere sparkled, the men had at least changed their underwear - most excellent evening, all in all.
And a bonus - it was at Mornington Crescent tube station!
Quite a few people whose opinion I respect said Broadstuff was Quality. Congrats to the winners - and there is always next year
Tuesday, November 17. 2009
So this last weekend, finally, the first and most famous bonkblogger Belle de Jour outed herself as Dr Brooke Magnanti, PhD (or was possibly neo-outed, as Paul Carr suggests)
At SXSW earler this year there was a panel on Scandals in Social Networks, hosted by Techmeme's (nee Valleywag's) Megan McCarthy. Girl with a One Track Mind's Zoe Margolis was telling her post-outing story. So now, with Belle’s ringing in my ears I realised there may be a pattern here, and started to get interested in the underlying Game Theory of what makes up a Scandal.
The payoff table seems fairly clear - a racy blog gets lots of readers but little money, a book gets paying readers but there are limits to what marketing (and thus sales) can be achieved if you are anonymous - no book tours, signings, lectures etc. But an outed, scandal grade celebrity - now that really shifts sales into another dimension.
In other words, its a fairly predictable, repeatable process, with differing outcomes based on the decisions made on how far to push it, and thus it can be modelled as a rational Game. This is fairly easy to do as a decision tree flowchart (pro/am, blog/don't blog, book/not book etc), with varying payoffs and costs at each decision point, and you can even put optimal timings in. (How long should one wait before getting outed, for example, to optimise revenues?).
(Fascinating update here - Belle pretty much confirms this in an interview with New Scientist)
So far so good - but it doesn't take long going down this line of thought before the bigger question emerges - why should anyone even find it even vaguely scandalous that a woman indulges herself with multiple males, even for cash? Its hardly news that women have wandering appetites, after all. Scratch any suburban street, biography or sociology study and you are likely to find many Dangerous Liaisons. And there is a time honoured tradition of students putting out to put themselves through college – besides, cash for services is the cornerstone of our capitalist system (and most others) anyhow, and this particular stock has been traded since the beginning of time.
Well, one traditional adage is to Follow The Money - or in this case, the Social Capital - or Makin' Whuffie by Makin Whoopee
I read something implying modern Celebrity culture - is driving changes to what constitutes "fame" - aka Whuffie - in medialand:
Welcome to the twenty-first century where the days of celebrity status are assessed by breast size, amount of marriages/divorces, and the number of tabloid covers appeared on. Long gone are the legitimate celebrities. The best of luck to you if you're trying to find a famous Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, or Lucille Ball in today's world, as it is a much-desired rarity. What has society morphed minds into? Has the media really lost control of what is deemed as newsworthy? What about global warming? The Bird Flu? When did these lose priority to Lindsay Lohan's alcohol addiction and Pamela Anderson's latest divorce?
There is something interesting in this, I'd argue that we are looking at the emergence of new definitions of what "winning" means, in that you can now make a decent income from being famous for being famous. Money comes from media attention, regardless of how its attained.
But then – I hear you ask – if its all about Whuffie, why are there so few bonkbloggers, and not so many?. Why are all those other Dangerous (ly Liaising) Housewives not blogging it all like billy-o if its such a good Whuffie generator? The answer, clearly, is that it is still considered very rational game theory not to yell to the rafters that they've been swinging from them. So, the really interesting bit about The Scandal comes from the fact that only a very small % do write about it publically.
So Scandal is therefore not a Whuffie game, Whuffie is more a result of Scandal and most players of this game still choose not to take the Whuffie. Why?
Its worth looking at that other favourite, the game theory of male vs female procreation. Sociobiologists explain the breeding game theory between our sexes as something like this:
In both cases above, the male inputting the genes and the one bringing up the offspring need not be the same male. Unfortunately other bits of reproductive game theory also says that males are not particularly motivated to bring up other males' kids (most child homicide is by male partners of females with other males' children, for example - and that's true across many species, not just ours) as there is no payoff, genetically speaking, for their investment.
So the female traditionally, to ensure male resource has to either (i) stay faithful or (ii) hide the activity of her optimal gene selection activity. (Stable, Open relationships being very rare in all species)
And if option (ii) is the game being played (which is the case, statistically, in between c 20 and 30% of all relationships apparently), then a key part of option (ii) - hiding the activity - is to keep quiet about it. Hence the army of Mommybloggers out there are by and large keeping schtum on any extra-curricular schtupping.
This is Nature’s Old Game – but there are two very important modern shifts to this:
Firstly, reproductive independence - today human females can still catch and match, but – thanks to the Pill etc - not necessarily hatch. Biologically speaking this is a huge gamechange as no longer does male male input define female output.
So, looking at this emerging game board layout, I would thus hypothesize that most of the bonkbloggers do not have kids - or if they do, are single and either do not require economic aid or wish to get it independently, as that reduces the self-censorship requirements considerably. But I'd also hypothesise that even then most women would also find this strategy risky, as:
- if they are in a relationship but are also otherwise elsewhere engaged, then broadcasting it essentially removes the connection between having cake and eating it, and will in most cases guarantee loss of
In fact, listening to Zoe Margolis at SXSW both these issues came up post outing, and I suspect that - going back to the Payoff Table mentioned waaay up top - the true costs of bonkblogging are only seen way down the line and are thus not properly costed in by these particular (smalll set of) bloggers. Thus it is likely that this strategy of public disclosure will never be undertaken by more than a small % of women, though many more are engaging in it under covers, as it were.
But even so, why is it a Scandal? Why the prurient fascination with some girls writing about who comes naturally, given that they are just the tip of an iceberg? It's quite interesting looking at what makes a Scandal in sociological theory:
1. (Alleged) behaviour breaches the rules of conduct in a given community.
In other words a Scandal is not just about What, but is also about How The Game is Played. I would hypothesize that, in Game Theory terms, the dynamics of a Scandal can be re-written as:
To this I'd add two further hypotheses from observation, that for it to be a Really Good Scandal, then The Game in question must:
So far so good - we know How this could be seen as potentially scandalous stuff, so Why is this particular issue so resonant. One thought is that the process of a good scandal is quite predictable, and thus it also gives us that thing all humans love - a Narrative structure that allows us to set things into context and retell it. A good Scandalous Narrative must have a:
1. Breach - 'a social drama first manifests itself as the breach of a norm, the infraction of a rule of morality, law, custom, or etiquette, in some public arena’ [Aka Game Defection]
Fascinating how the rules of a good story and that of Scandal have strong parallels. A very good point made about a Really Good Scandal is that the Rules of the Original Game (ie the "values and norms") should not be clear initially:
values and norms are often contested features of social life, adhered to by some individuals and groups and rejected (or simply ignored) by others. Hence scandals are often rather messy affairs, involving the alleged transgression of values and norms which are themselves subject to contestation.’ (Taylor, Scandal and Social Theory)
Echoing this, on the way back from SXSW I read a fascinating book called "The Bolter", about the life of the "Between the Wars" 1920's Scandal Girl Lady Idina Sackville, who married 5 men and had scores of part time partners etc. But the thing that fascinated me was the reason why she was scandalous. Consider the scandal of her first marriage:
To set the scene, upper class Edwardian society marriages were, like M&A deals, mainly to secure todays assets tomorrow. True Lurve was a nice to have, but not essential component. Consequently it was considered quite normal that there was infidelity, so long as the heir and spare belonged to the correct husband. After that it was anybody's game, but the risk was by and large shared among the in-crowd by ensuring all further offspring were hatched within the married upper class set - ie all offspring (official, that is - there was a whole 'nother ruleset for unofficial ones) were in the extended familial system.
Idina's scandalous behaviour was essentially to actually marry for love and demand fidelity, a very new-fangled idea in that set. So when hubby started playing Edwardian away games, she eventually wanted out and divorced (via elopement- the only real way of a woman getting a quickie divorce then) said hubby when he was not prepared to only play the home fixtures.
We immediately now know why this was a Scandal
She also did it at a time when the underlying "values and norms" were under great pressure. Due to the First World War, women were having to compete for far fewer men (so many men having been killed). In these situations, game theory predicts that women will have to be more competitive to win men and men will be less likely to marry them, and a win will be a fleeting win at best - so the woman will now more likely remain unmarried or frequently dumped. Today's Trophy Wives (many women chasing small numbers of very rich men) and The Underclass (many of the men are in prison / on drugs / etc so not ideal partners) are in similar Game situations.
In other words, to stand above the crowd, women had to resort to "more outrageous than thou" behaviour (hence the Roaring 20's). Also, the general shortage of men meant, for the new and unmarried debutantes in the Edwardian Upper Echelons finding a shortage of beaus, other people's husbands were increasingly fair game (and boy were they game), rattling the foundations of the previous order which pretty much demanded a wedding band as an entry stake to play the hand.
However, at the same time women had tasted economic and social independence from working during the War, so had emerged far more self confident and prepared to go for what they want. Thus Idina and her ilk are hardly unpredictable - the husbands see more candy, the wives are less prepared to let them taste it and also increasingly believe they can do better for themselves anyway, some kick the trend off – and bingo, someone has to be first starter bolting out the gate and you get Idina.
The other thing Idina did was to do it all extremely openly, necessary for The Scandal - she was a typical Celebrity of her day, so her every doing was reported in the toff red tops of the era - Tatler etc. If blogs were invented then.....
The rest of the book is fascinating as what it really describes is the trajectory of a woman just a few years ahead of a general trend curve (divorcing, remarrying, wanting independence for herself in all things including going after what and who she wanted). In other words, she was a Scandal mainly because she was an early adopter, as it were - behind her came a wave of social changes which blew away the Old Order completely.
Summing it all up, a good sex Scandal – when all is said and done – can be seen as a marker of early adoption of new social mores in the larger culture. So – are Belle de Jour, Girl with a One Track Mind etc just the early swallows in an increasing migration? It seems fairly predictable that as women's economic emancipation increases so will the frankness of their blogging and general honesty about their real feelings - but will it be perfectly normal for girls to work at being working girls for a few years in future too?
Update - I got interested in the payoff economics when a friend pointed me to the Sunday Times article which gave £200 ARPB (work it out...) and her operating 2-3 x a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, over 14 months. A quick calculation, rounding up to 200 events at £200 a go is c £40k. Thats how much you make without going public, and thats not a particular high, um, utilisation - you can see that its probably not too hard to reach 6 figures. The blog generated a column in the Telegraph, so economically probably nowher near the original activity. The next step is The Book, which allegedly had a "six figure advance" - can't get total sales, but its sold c 150,000 in 2007 alone so - assuming c £1 for the writer and several years running - its an order of magnitude above the original activity (and pays back for considerably longer). But you don't get that book selling that sort of number without the blog, I suspect.
*The game theory of cheating for humans is fascinating - we as a species really, really don't like it - numerous behavioural studies have shown we will take "irrational" actions (ones that make us poorer / get hurt / are long term destructive ) if we feel we've been cheated by someone. We prefer to cut off our nose to spite our face rather than have our noses rubbed in it. In other words, the risk of a poor (and probably unpredictable) payoff of being outed for infidelity tend to be more negative than the game player necessarily wants to face. Another reason for keeping schtum!
If you liked this post, don't forget to vote for Broadstuff for the British BIMAs 2009 Best Blog Award
Friday, November 6. 2009
In other words, its All Quiet on the Digital Front.
Of course, there were the standard corporate barrages of [Company A] pimping [Product B] by paying bloggers to PR across the blogosphere, a few sniping [Ludicrous Claim C] aimed at [Well know Target D] to linkbait, there were advances as [Tinpot Company E] breathlessly announces [Deal F], and retreats as [Mr or Ms G] throws PR smoke over [failed effort H]. And of course the consolidation of long running skirmishes into new battle lines as [Douchebag I] settles a dispute with [Dumbass J]. And of course there is always leaflet dropping of pinups over the troops in the trenches
Its all on the cover of Techmeme.
The Twittersphere was the standard fare of "Look at Meeee - I'm doing" [Insert latest Project / Thing to Be Seen Doing / Place to Do Lunch] plus Retweet the [Person I worship / Cause I support].
So, its not to say that there was "no" news, just it was all same old same old - the "official" news curating organs for the "New" media are increasingly trumpeting "mainstream" news that they looked to be so samey that I really couldn't get excited about anything to write about.
For a bit I thought about commenting on the rather limp claim that Microsoft is the New General Motors (rather than the New IBM) but it just fits into [C/D] category I noted above, and, well....yawn.
Or, I could comment on the session on Privacy vs Datamining at Telco 2.0, but its Old News, its just the standard sordid story of the commercially interested trying to scrape the dumb punter's data for nowt while trying to stop the powers that be restricting their activity. That's been going for years and merely falls into the Douchebag/Dumbass camp.
So where is the real stuff going on, where are the next big fronts going to be opened up, I wondered? The main curating organs tend to be increasingly taking news from the Big Battalions, the Twitterstream is increasingly filled with people pimping.
So I went back to Doing it Myself. I did this in three ways:
Firstly, I set up some Twitter Lists (private only) of people who say or point to interesting things, and started to read what they were saying
There is, of course, a whole wellspring of new ideas - but the New Media runs the risk of increasingly looking like the Old Media by repeating mainstream News. Its what brands and advertisers want (volume) but its not what I want (variety and value). The whole point of teh blogosphere was that it was not a broadcast media, and it increasingly seems to be turning into one, which begs the question....
But of course, this being the InterWebs, I can configure them to get what I want. The New news is I've felt the need to do it for the first time in about 3 years.
Wednesday, October 28. 2009
It would appear Broadstuff has been shortlisted for the BIMAS (British Interactive Media Association's) "Best Blog of 2009" Award.
Now those sceptics among you (and readers of this blog are probably mainly sceptics) will no doubt assume someone was bribed to put us up for it, but I promise you it came as a complete surprise to me too. Investigation of the Broadstuff PR budget shows it is unspent (the 2p piece and half a tin of freebie peppermints from TED remain intact in the shoebox) so the only conclusion we can come to is that.... someone actually likes what is done here!
To say one is therefore pleased is an understatement .
Anyway, at this point it is customary to yell "Vote For Me"!, so here, in order not to disappoint you, is that instruction. To ameliorate the cringe factor, I offer the video above, from M. Python esq, on elections and voting.
But, on perusing the list, I see some blogs from people I know and like, so in the finest tradition of netpotism, I would also say (if you don't like Broadstuff ) how about voting for Kerry, or Robin & crew.
Or, you could vote Silly Party.....
Tuesday, October 13. 2009
This is quite interesting - in a nutshell, a large oilibusiness - Trafigura - is accused of being less than careful with what it dumps into the environment. They have money, so they have friends to help them bury the bad story. However, in most countries the state organisations have so far given them short shrift, but in the UK, where libel laws are so "injured party friendly" that the rest of the world's wealthy beat a path to the door to get cases heard here, its apparently gone so far that newspapers cannot even report these issues in Parliament.
The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.
The interesting thing is that this story is being picked up and rapidly spread on the Internet, and the above gag is being linked to said oilibusiness, with the result that bloggers of every hue are getting curious and starting to dig into the back-story - and growing increasingly incredulous at what they see, in terms of:
- The non-ecological behaviour of a large corporate
(Update - the Liberal Democrats have had the courage to call for a debate, parliamentary spokesman David Heath tabled an urgent request to Commons Speaker John Bercow to ask Justice Secretary Jack Straw for a statement on the prevention of reporting of parliamentary proceedings. In fact, what became clear over the morning was that the other mainstream media also craved in and stayed very quiet as well.)
Anyway, Twitter is being used to get the message out (#trafigura) and I suspect that by trying to bottle up the "official" channels, the outcome will actually be far more damaging to the company. (A bit like the BBC banning the Sex Pistols guaranteed their popularity).
The real scandal however in my view is the UK libel laws, but somehow I think we will find that the 'Net is already proving those laws are an ass.
(Update 2 - the law firm, Carter-Ruck, has withdrawn the gag, which was to try and suppress reporting of a report (see wikileaks here) . Question of course is why there was any risk of one in the first place. As you can see in the comments here and elsewhere, no one is quite sure how a learned MiLord got to issue such a wide ranging gagging order, even with Britains flexible libel laws - this could be an interesting story in itself. I understand the parliamentary reporting issue will be aired on BBC Newsnight tonight.
Professor Gary Slapper, director of the Open University law programme, said: “Parliament, already tainted by the hubbub of MPs trying to excuse their endemic financial misconduct, is now under a more sinister spectre.”
Is this a roundabout way of saying the law is also for hire?
Also, seems to me some Olde Worlde companies have just learned about the New Media the hard way. Also, the Mainstream Media have looked decidedly slow on this one today)
Friday, September 18. 2009
Yesterday saw the TEDxTuttle event held. It went by without any major glitches, and those that did occur were marvellously covered by the presenters and our superb Front Of House team, Tuttle members Joanne Jacobs, Janet Parkinson and Julia Shalet. Kudos also to Stewart Townsend and the Sun Startup Essentials team for the help, venue and sponsorship.
A bit of behind-the-scenes for you all: in organising this we chatted to a few people at Tuttle about the sort of things they might like as a conference theme, and one of those that came up was a view of trends into the future. There were others, but when Tomorrow's World* presenter (and Tuttle member) Maggie Philbin agreed to kick it off, the die was cast. Again, we had asked around about themes people were interested in - Digital Technology and Social Media are Tuttle's raison d'etre, but there is also a strong interest in Sustainability so we decided to run with those 3 broad themes and look at what was happening in them in the near to medium term future
In the sign up process, we asked people to list areas they were interested in within these themes. What we found was that there a number of "clusters", quite inter-related in many ways, and we used those to select topics for videos and speakers.
So the program resolved itself to:
Maggie then closed with some hilarious videos of daft inventions from times of yore.
The TED videos you can watch for yourself, here is a precis of the talks (Adam Tinworth wrote a great liveblog yesterday over here on One Man and His Blog, I've borrowed some of that and added what I recall):
Maggie showed a timeline of when inventions were first aired on Tomorrow's World. What really hits you is:
- How long a lot of the stuff that we think of as "modern" actually first emerged onto the market
Maggie also ended off a very good Q&A piece with teh observation that people were far more interested in science and technologies then, today a lot of kids see "media fame" as their future path
Rachel is working on what I would consider one of the most imporatnt (and probably valuable0 emerging areas of technology - Living Architecture. In other words, building materials with living organisms (simpel microbes) in them. The two key benefits are:
You've read about it in the Science Fiction, Rachel showed the state of the art in today's science
Lloyd looked at his experience of curating teh Tuttle club over the last 3 years. Its main claim to fame is it is still growing in size and capability after this time and has yet to be perverted from its (lack of) specific purpose As he points out, its major claim to fame is that it is an open club (its fervently open to anybody, but its not for everybody) . Some key points were:
My own view is that Tuttle is functionally the modern equivalent of London's famous coffee clubs of the Age of Reason, and in my opinion could possibly also become like the Groucho Club for the digital media tribe.
Ben is famous for his funny song "You're nothing if you're not on Twitter" (penned in a lazy hour at Tuttle, by the way) but gave us a hilarious, thought provoking and musically adept guide to twitter as he set various people's tweets to different types of music. Some takeaways were:
- You can never look at a tweet again after hearing it set to music - from then on you look at every one from the point of view of "what sort of soundtrack is this tweet"
One cannot do Ben's talk justice in words and I was too busy laughing to remember most of it - you will just have to wait for the video (we will do this one first, I promise)
Mat has spent a lot of the last few years on the mathematics behind social networks (The first time I met him we spent a very enjoyable 2 hours in a late night nightclub talking system dynamics and network maths) and gave a talk on some of his analysis work. Some highlights:
- Companies are increasingly trying to use social media to make people do what they want them to do, people are increasingly using social media as a filter. thsi means that the obvious influencers (eg thsoe with the most Twitter followers) are not, except for the most banal, low risk things
Anyway, the feedback so far seems to be very positive, and most everybody had a good time (a relief for us Broadsight Boyz, as we did all the back end CMS, website, audio visuals etc. It was quite fun gettin' dirty with all the wires and cameras again too).
I will put up the key feedback learnings for any next time in a separate post.
*Tomorrow's World was a BBC TV show that ran from the 60's to the 80's and on which she was a presenter. It was to look at new technology, and with people like Maggie on, it was the start of the meme that geeks can actually be cool.
(Cross posted on the TEDxTuttle blog)
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