Old media, meet the new

I had the unfortunate experience of attending last nights bad-tempered football match between Hearts and Celtic. The match will mainly be remembered for the moronic actions of one person who saw fit to invade the pitch and attack the Celtic manager. Think what you will of Neil Lennon but this disgusting act can not be explained away easily. The rioting and sectarian singing by the Celtic fans will be soon forgotten.

For reasons I can only guess at, The Scotsman pixelated the images of the idiot attacker’s face whereas every other newspaper I saw today decided to forego this and published them without any censorship. However, the individual did remain unidentified — in print at least.

Meanwhile, circulating on Twitter for all to see, was not only his name but his home address and mobile phone number too. I’d wager that — as well as a lifetime ban from every football ground in the country — a custodial sentence awaits. I certainly would have grave fears for his safety were he allowed to return to his home. That said, prison may not be the safest place for him either.

This comes after the fallout of the Twitter super injunction revelations is still to be fully realised. This privacy-for-those-who-can-afford-it has usually been circumvented and spread by word-of-mouth and in topical forums but now the message can reach literally thousands of people in an instant.

This viral nature of social networks can serve to highlight current global issues. Case in point: the Ugandan homosexual death penalty that has actually been around for years.

Over 150 million messages are now sent on Twitter every single day so active monitoring is not feasible. If things are somehow made more restrictive we must obviously be extremely careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Feature requests

I’ve talked about emergent development before but the evolving nature of Twitter is self-evident.

Many “features” of Twitter are things that are not official concepts designed by Twitter but devices that were adopted by users. The use of the @ symbol to indicate a user had been common practice on blogs for years. The practice of grouping Tweets on a common theme together using a #hashtag springs from the days of IRC. The act of ReTweeting — or forwarding — a message only became an officially supported idea in the latter half of 2009.

Continue reading Feature requests

Facebook workaround?

Facebook is to face questions from the Information Commissioners Office here in the UK. There is some concern about what information about you Facebook keeps on its servers even after you close your account. It seems that simply deactivating your Facebook account does not remove your wall posts or other such items you may have posted and you have to do this manually which can be a long process if you’ve been a user for any length of time.

I got to thinking about the kerfuffle that erupted when Scoble got himself banned after breaking the Facebook terms of service. You did read them when you signed up, right? All traces of Scoble were removed after his account was suspended. His wall posts and photos were gone and he also vanished from friend lists and groups.

So, if you want a quick way to totally remove yourself from the pages of Facebook (although maybe not their servers) then the answer is simple: break the rules.

A nice start to the day!

Today’s (and probably the last of the year) Edinburgh Coffee Morning was the busiest it has been for a good while. The cryptic promise of some gifts that Ewan McIntosh left in a Facebook message last night turned out to be some really nice signed Hugh MacLeod posters for Stormhoek. The season of goodwill and giving continued with some warmed Panettone and some chilled Prosecco courtesy of our hosts at Centotre. Many thanks to the aforementioned for their generosity.

A couple of stand out things from this morning before the conversations paired off as things are wont to do in group dynamics. Ewan briefly demoed Seesmic which seems to be some kind of video Twitter. I’ve never sent a “tweet” in my life and do have difficulty of seeing the point of it if I’m being honest. At least with Seesmic, there is an element of a two way thing going on.

Via Will Richardson, I found this video of Johnny Chung Lee turning the tables on the light sensing aspect of the Wiimote to produce an interaction whiteboard for around £40 much more interesting: