This post touches on issues of measurability of the worth of Twitter and the branding versus personal argument. Left me wanting more though.
The latest in a long-line of misinformed articles about Twitter but this time from my home patch in Manchester. How Do defines the micro-blogging platform: “Yes, the craze, which is kind of free text messaging for grown-ups, who want to be like kids, but with Blackberries, has exploded over recent months”. I’m thinking there needs to be a new term for this genre as it’s so commonplace at the moment.
A list of dos and don’ts including “Plan for more people to show up than you think. It’s Twitter. These people do know how to spread the word better than anyone.”
Useful getting started guide to Twitter written in an accessible way. “If you only follow one Twitterer you are probably a stalker rather than a member of a community This stuck me when one (female) colleague decided to test Twitter by following me (and only me) and having my tweets delivered via SMS. I hate to think what her husband made of the frequency with which her mobile phone beeped when she received my tweets ”
Archive for February, 2009
So Futuresonic will soon be over – but long live FutureEverything.
At last night’s Northern Quarter launch party for the 2009 festival of art, music, ideas and events, artistic director Drew Hemment unveiled the fact that, after 14 years, the festival is to be launched under a new name for next year to more accurately reflect the event.
And he also revealed some of the line-up for this year’s event to the assembled crowd at Café Cup which includes for the first-time reaching out into Liverpool with a rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine ringing out from the cathedral bells.
It’s such a diverse programme with art events such as singing trees, music coming from 2D graffiti barcodes and even a commission to prospect for oil across Manchester from artist Jonathan Cohrs, that it’s impossible to include everything in one short blog post – check out the official website for full details.
The highlight for me will be the Social Media Summit. Again we have broad themes – Environment 2.0, Digital Futures, Identity and Trust, Mobile and Semantic Web: Cultural Algorithms.
Keynote speakers include inventor of the term ‘social tools’ Stowe Boyd and Adam Greenfield who is an expert on next generation mobile and human-friendly interfaces.
There’s plenty more at the official website www.futuresonic.com and there’s also regular updates via Twitter @futuresonic09
The festival runs from May 13-16.
This is a very interesting development. In an editorial titled Media Dinosaurs Continue Death Cry, one of the editors of this hyperlocal site for Santa Cruz explains: “In reality, these fresh news sources are necessary to fill a growing void. That’s not to say professional journalists have no role in the future reporting of news. To the contrary, trained writers are essential in deciphering the nuances of the country’s daily news. But there’s no question that as the void grows we’ll need new and innovative ways to cover the news.”
Good notes from a community management session. I found point two particularly pertinent:”2. Ask yourself these questions:
Who do you think the site is for?
What is it they are going to be able to do? (individuals, collaborative, sharing information?)
Why will they want to do it? What will they get out of it? If you can’t answer these questions, don’t build the site.”
On his Countervalue blog, the Telegraph’s Justin Williams is mapping independent news sources. Via the blog and Twitter (@justin_williams) he’s collecting examples of local news websites not produced by any organisation with a newspaper, radio or television company and has so far plotted the providers below.
What struck me was how few sites have been identified in the north (and Scotland).
I’ve a feeling that maybe as more to do with the knowledge of those providing the initial information as the situation on the ground.
I’m hoping that by publishing it here and tweeting it about, some more sources from the crowd will continue to build on this fascinating insight into the current state of community journalism.
This issue just runs and runs………..and with every comment, the NUJ supporters succeed in widening the gulf of understanding. As soon as people start posting “grow up” in response to comments and coming up with inspired(sic) insults such as “dumb blog millions’ heir” *sighs* – it’s probably time for us bloggers to take the conversation elsewhere.
More reaction to the most recent Twitter-bashing article from the Times. This from long-time user Duncan Riley who makes the point that the platform has changed a great deal in the past 18 months: “Stars bring in followers, and the picture painted by The Times for a sizable portion of the new comers isn’t inaccurate. Nor is it for the stars themselves; no doubt some are manipulating Twitter for self promotion.”
It’s clearly a great time to be involved in the Creative Industries in Bury, with first Elbow, and now Danny Boyle winning all the prizes. For all the talk of what makes a creative economy – the truth of that matter – it requires talented individuals, and a supportive environment, remains the same over the years. No man is an island, wrote John Donne, and certainly no creative spirit.
I think if we want to know why Factory Records happened for instance, you have to look further than the existence of Joy Division, and look at that supportive environment. Some of that is accidental; the art schools were never built to develop the British music industry, but from the Beatles to Roxy Music to punk, they certainly helped.
I’m guessing that its our digital environment as much as our physical or educational one, that will help nurture any future Danny Boyles – after all, the industry he works in is increasingly digital. Sure, the BBC move to Manchester, and New Media City might be the “flagship”, and the BBC remains a key commissioner of new talent – but I’m guessing that it is outside of the mainstream that the next anything, whether literary, musical, or visual, will really shine – and that’s why I’m so supportive of things like the Social Media Cafe.
So its pleasing to hear that “The Best of Manchester” is being repeated at Urbis this year. Nominations are now open, and though there’s not a digital category I’d like to think that the best in art, music and fashion will be increasingly different to categorise, like one of last year’s winners, the somewhat uncategorisable artist Naomi Kashiwagi. Awards aren’t always the best way to nurture talent (Danny Boyle didn’t become a good director because he won the Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire” – he won the oscar because he was already a good director), but where they celebrate new talent such as this, or the best newcomer and freelancer awards at the Big Chip Awards, then they show Manchester in a good light.
As for me, I once was a runner-up in the Northern Short Story Contest, and it’s been downhill ever since!
Even after 6 years working as a “digital development officer” at the MDDA, friends, parents, you name it, have a real problem understanding what it is I do. My shorthand answer is that I advise organisations, companies and individuals about digital technology. All well and good, but there’s many a time I’ve been asked to fix someone’s PC, or get rid of a virus, or help connect various peripherals together. When I go, “ah, I don’t actually know how to do that,” you can tell that my position as a digital expert goes down a notch or two.
In fact, when most people ask about technology, they’re wanting a solution to an immediate problem and don’t know where to turn. Luckily, though I may not know how to do everything with computers, I do tend to know a man (or woman) who does. And the last few weeks my job has been made a lot easier – since there’s so many things going on in the city that I can suggest that people attend. So, although I won’t be there in person, I will be there in spirit for Friday’s inaugural “speak to a geek” event – where you should find the Mancunian Way’s Paul Robinson, alongside half a dozen other experts in the bits of computer wizardry that I profess to know very little about. The aim is to provide a bit of free advice for community groups and similar organisations. It was mentioned here a few weeks ago, but I thought it worthwhile to give it another mention – after all, how often is there a geek around when you really need one?
(And in case you’re idea of technology stops with the TV remote control don’t worry – one thing that geeks rarely admit to is that they actually quite like helping non-geeks out!)
Avoiding for a moment the predictable “Twitter is silly and vain”; “Oh no it isn’t!” debate that seems to be doing the link-baiting rounds in the UK at the moment, this interesting take on the topic from the Counter Terrorism blog offers something different to the debate.
“One argument regarding the long-term use of Twitter, in the National Security space at least, is that Twitter in conjunction with other tools, continues the trend of making ordinary citizens active producers of potentially actionable intelligence.”
It’s an interesting experiment but in its own way seems to miss the point in the same way as those ‘Twitter is for obsessed celebs’ pieces.
The tweets Jones describes have all been created from an automated feed. He says:” If users join Twitter they can chose to ‘follow’ the In_Terrain feed and receive the same information and potentially reply to specific tweets they find interesting – thus creating the ‘conversation’ Twitter, desires. Similarly, if other security and intelligence focused twitter feeds become apparent the In_Terrain twitter feed can ‘follow’ those conversations – thus beginning the network effect.”
All well and good but will anyone from the security services actually be entering this conversation? It smacks of using Twitter as a one-way distribution channel – an output and a listening post but little real engagement. I shall follow and find out more.
Meanwhile back to that Times piece (which meant I left my usual copy of the ST on the newsagent shelf this morning because I really couldn’t be bothered), A load of Twitter.
But as is the norm now for this type of article, the writer fails to ask any of the experts who find Twitter so useful what they think.
Perhaps the author of this week’s other big online debate (and his own misfortune), the NUJ’s Chris Wheal could have a word when he’s finished bashing bloggers for their low standards.
After all doesn’t representing both sides of a story count as a core journalistic skill?