Tag Archives: Twitter

#oneaday 47: Internet killed the video star

I must admit I do like to see nature weaving it’s influence in our every day lives. Spring is an amazing time, after months of dullness, we all get a lift when the days get longer, the temperature rises, the sun shines more, the plants start to grow and the dickie birds start to
tweet. You just know that things are changing and the world is literally  growing.

I also like that phenomenon called entropy.  I have always been fascinated by the constant battle between man, and the animal kingdom in general, to create structures only for the elements assisted by the plants to fight back to prove who or what really has the power. We build, but if we do not keep our wits about us, those structures start to unpick and return to dust.

Man has constantly learned about the forces of nature, both constructive and destructive, through adversity. The in built need to
survive drives us not only to seek shelter but to maintain it. We have learned though that design and maintenance without savvy thinking leads to failure and that is what drives us forward and keeps us vital as a race. The survival gene also means we are both fearful and greedy in equal measure, but nevertheless it does mean we are forced to learn. Learning is merely adapting to the power of nature
and using it in a way which allows a better standard of survival. Who really wants to struggle each and every day in their lives merely to survive? Some people in this world, through accident of birth or oppression face that hell daily. Most people in the West don’t face a life and death struggle unless they are badly ill. Our struggles are relative, our pain controllable.

So when the established order, namely that order imposed by man on man, becomes subjected to man’s nature, some call it progress and
others chaos. It is therefore rather amusing that the old order can expend loads of energy trying to push back against ‘progress’, when it should embrace change and use the natural energy to enjoy our very existence more. Teachers of the Martial Arts talk utilise their opponents’ energy to defend themselves. In short they think smart and actually aim to avoid conflict.  But I digress, getting back to building a house, if you build it in a place that just gets flooded all the time, you don’t build flood defences or even pass a law to stop the floods, you move and find somewhere else to live. Or take the risk that one day nature will take it’s course.

So when I read, hear and see that the law makers are getting in a tizzy about so called ‘superinjunctions’ being broken on Twitter
and the old, established media often known as the Fourth Estate, are equally riled because their right to ‘freedom of the press’ is compromised, I do laugh. After all these ‘superinjunctions’ are seemingly  the  vestiges of the rich, allegedly costing £50,000 to implement (son if you want to make a fortune work in money or in the law) and seem to be exclusively
used to keep so called celebrities out of the press, gutter or otherwise,

If our society has learned anything then our politicians and law makers will  learn to embrace these things rather than fight them. The genie came out of the internet bottle years ago. Social networks have allowed us all to chit chat and gossip and exchange information, a bit like we have always done down the pub, but on a globally connected basis. No longer is the dissemination of ‘news’ the divine right of the media. You could argue that newspapers such as The Sun, The News of the World, The Star, The Daily Express and The Daily Mail have blurred the lines between truth and rumour so much in recent years that citizens cannot be blamed for amplifying these stories or indeed making them up for themselves.

As fascinating however, is that the members of the traditional press and media are all calling for these ‘superinjunctions’ to go away, after all some corners of the media relish the power to ‘report freely’. The constant wrangle between what is in the public interest and what is interesting to the public, have blurred the lines. They really don’t want to be held back the poor loves. Equally, their knight in shining armour is not the law makers or law enforcers, but those very same citizen journalists who are held in contempt by some members of the traditional (and regulated) press.

Through the power of Twitter and those who Tweet for fun not money, parts of the Establishment’s legal system has been made to look out of date and completely out of step. Plenty of lawyers are arguing for the right to privacy and plenty are arguing for the right to freedom of information. You just know that if you leave lawyers in charge, you end up with big bills. Meanwhile, it’s Spring time and the birds are tweeting, nature is using entropy to return our man made laws to dust.

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#oneaday 42: A wedding for ‘friends and followers’?

Friday 29th April 2011 and the big day is here. Up with the lark, this time though no trip to London for me, today it’s a family affair, like weddings should be. Mum, Dad and Mother in Law are all round our house to watch the royal wedding.  Nearly 30 years ago, I went to London with my mates to see Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. We partied all night, got absolutely wasted and soaking wet in the fountains at Trafalgar Square, the next day we stood on the Mall, bleary eyed and ‘watched’ the whole occasion play out. It doesn’t feel this generation have painted London red, white and blue like we did when we were boys. Maybe the kids today are either not interested or simply have too many occasions to get on it?

This is the first time that an major occasion of state has been covered not only by the BBC and ITV in Britain, but by social media. No longer will ‘viewers’ only get the official line. Now swapping between BBC TV, Facebook and Twitter depending on who your friends are or who you follow, the tone can lurch from BBC reverence to Twitter refusenik. For once I have put my natural scepticism aside and am just going to enjoy the day.  A royal wedding is just a very big version, some would say bloated, others simply dignified and laced with traditional pomp and circumstance.  For today only, Great Britain or the UK as we now refer to ourselves (I think that dates back to Jeux Sans Frontiers  or It’s a Knockout as we used to call it 30 years ago) will be the centre of the world’s attention. For today only, Great Britain will be the centre of fun and celebration. I have to admit, I am pretty proud of that fact. And the family are all in the lounge, wearing their hats and getting terribly excited.

After all weddings are for friends and  family and occasionally followers, if you are a royal. Having said that, the definition of ‘friends’ is a little different today, so maybe it is apt that this is the first royal wedding of the Facebook and Twitter age. I am enjoying the Ying of the BBC and the Yang of Twitter. Facebook is squeezed in between, almost like a drunken aunt.

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#oneaday 9:Twitter Cricket

Whoooooooooaaaaaa.Yesterday had the most excellent 5 minutes of the year so far. Amazing. Unique. Fun. I am a huge cricket fan, but not completely bowled over by the 20:20 game if Iam honest. So when I saw, on Twitter that England were playing their first match against Australia, I wasn’t really that bothered. It was about 9.00am (UK time) when I found out we were playing. On the tube journey into the office, I picked up from various Tweeters, including the ex England skipper, Michael Vaughan and injured all-rounder Stuart Broad plus a few Twitter mates who were watching at home on ‘home husband duties’ that Australia had decided to bat. They got off to a flying start accumulating runs via Shane Watson, whilst we were travelling through Earl’s Court. Then my District Line train went into the underground section of the London Underground and my signal was lost, along with my Twitter feed.

As I exited Temple station and came up into the daylight, Australia were making very decent progess at 92-2 (per the @ECB-cricket). By the time I got to the office, around 9.45am, Australia were on 122-3. Then work kicked in and Twitter was put away in the box whilst I got my day planned, dealt with email and talked about West Ham’s lucky victory over Birmingham in the 1st leg of the Carling Cup semi final.  Three phone calls later, I thought I would check back and saw via @junioroufc that Australia were 140/4 with 12 balls left. Then the phone went and I was off Twitter again for 20 minutes.

When I checked back Australia had ended their innings on 157-4  and then settled down with my iPhone and watched events unfold – i was behind the timeline, but through Twitter, I caught up so that the result was actually in real time, complete with the suspense, tension and anxiety.

@junioroufc felt it was 25 runs light. Ex England captain @VaughanCricket felt the score was ‘just below par and Tait would be the key’ whilst @homeofcricket stated ‘ Majority of you think England are on top. Potential record breaking chase coming up in Adelaide then! Hope to see @eoin16 in action at last!’

Here’s the prize parts of my Twitter feed – many Tweets have been left out, but I have included ones that tell the story as well as just appear in my timeline to add some bizarre twists to this wonderful game.

@VaughanCricket then started the innings off with ‘Bell and Davies walk out to you look good on the dance floor…arctic Monkeys.. Sheffield legends..Music Mecca’

(Mr Vaughan being from Sheffield and a legendary Sheffield Wednesday supporter)  and then the game really started….in between other real world things happening:-

@junioroufc ‘Bell Dropped 1st ball!!! #T20 #EngAusT20’

@guardianfilm ‘How best to win and Oscar – try female oral sex! Hadley Freeman’

@timloveljoy ‘ How long do butterflies live? How about we set up a business sending boxes of live butterflies to people’

@gamersvoice ‘The hashtag for Gamers’ Voice Parliamentary Games Day is simply #gamesday’

@cidergirl ‘I wonder if postie can be arsed to deliver my CDs today’

@leongreen ‘A snap election says @tomwatson a move that would blind-side Labour and end the Lib Dems?’

@patlike ‘HAVE IT – source – Sony to announce PSP2 in Tokyo on Jan 27th’

@timlovejoy ‘ I don’t want to send bugs, I want to send butterflies’

@guardiannews ‘UK trade deficit hits record high’

@oneadayaproject ‘Hi everyone! On this grey miserable, rainy moring why not read some entertaining blogs to cheer yourself up? oneadaybloggers.wordpress.com’

@johnnyminkley ‘Twitter! I want to speak to gamers (ideally London based) who regularly buy pre-owned games. Is that you? Tweet me pls!

@ECB_cricket ‘England 85-3 and need 73 to win from 59 balls #T20

@PaulHayward_gnm ‘Avram Grant says he’s lived with rumour since Day 1’ Will the club beat this and push it to Day Minus-1 ? ‘

@junioroufc ‘Classy stuff @Eoin16 great placement #T20’

@GrahamBM RT @jamesclay; ‘Blog post; Learning Without Frontiers, some thoughts http://bit.ly/eG2Ar9 #lwf11′

@cidergirl ‘As a completist should I get the complete Star Wars on Blu-Ray or continue my stance that ignoring the prequels will make them go away?’

@StauartBroad8 ‘Gonna be a real tight finish this’

@ Homeofcricket ‘Rats. @eoin16 gone in the #T20 – big wicket for the Aussies. 28 runs needed from 28 balls. Come on England!’

@pinotblush ‘RT @BenWinterArt: New Bond film to reflect government cuts as Daniel Craig returns to the role of 005’

@Arusbridger ‘Who is paying Glenn Mulcaire’s six-figure legal fees as he fights demands to reveal all? #coulson’

@fletch5live ‘England on a right wobble now!!!’

@MayorofLondon ‘Been doing my bit this morning planting some of the 20,000 new trees for our RE:LEAF campaign.Well done too the volunteers’

@timlovejoy ‘If you can, get this cricket on, its getting v exciting’

@jimrossignol ‘I wrote an article for design/architecture mag Icon, and it’s in the February edition. It’s about videogame cities. Looks snazzy.’

@ECB_cricket ‘ 21 needed from 22 after that 6 from Woakes’ #T20 #Eng/AusT20

@junioroufc ‘Poop’

@PennyRed ‘I actually have too much to write this week, which is a problem, because whenever I’m working on something I’m thinking about the next thing’

@Batsphinx ‘Technologhy historians and/or wise elders. Was there a price difference between VHS and Betamax? Or were they level pegging?

@PaddyOrrell ‘anyone got a electronic/techno spotify playlist? Anyone?

@timlovejoy ‘England 15 to win off 12 balls’

@junioroufc ’12 from 9 needed’

@junioroufc ‘Yes’

@junioroufc ‘6 from 8 keep calm’

@junioroufc ‘8 from 8 even’

@ECB_cricket ‘England need 4 runs from the last 6 balls’

@junioroufc ‘Bowled him! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 4 from 5’

@junioroufc ‘Hero time’

@timlovejoy ‘No run. 4 from 4 ‘t20 this is too tight!!!’

@timlovejoy ‘No run! 4 from 3 #t20′

@SarahPalinUSA ‘ America’s Enduring Strength http://fb.me/PfjWdUip

@junioroufc ‘2 from 2 …Come on!!! Woakes!’

@BBCBusiness ‘Mince pies help lift Greggs sales http://bbc.in/h5YYje

@junioroufc ‘Yes!! Can’t lose’ #T20 #EngAusT20

@timlovejoy ‘Scores are tied, last ball #t20 f*ck me

@nesta_uk’ In Scotland, over 50 and have an idea to improve your community? Apply for Age Unlimited Scotland before 7 Feb deadline’

@Peston ‘Exclusive: Eric Daniels of Lloyds is to receive £2M bonus and more than £2M from long term incentive scheme’

@ECB_cricket ‘Scores level! England need 1 from 1 ball  #T20′

@junioroufc ‘Come on stick it up em again boys!!! Run your Bollocks off England!!! 1 from 1 #T20’

@timlovejoy ‘Yeeeeeeeees we got the run. Brilliant #t20’

@ajmurray ‘That was never in doubt. ha ha #T20’

@HomeofCricket ‘What a #T20 match in Adelaide! Scores tied with 1 ball left..Woakes hits winning runs from it. Great  #cricket’

@daraobrian ’20/20 really is a brilliant format’

@ECB_cricket ‘That’s England’s 8th #T20 win in a row’

@daraobrian ‘And I know I’m supposed t o write t20, or something. But if 20twenty teaches us anything, it’s that tradition is bunk’.

And there we have it. A thrilling match followed and ‘watched’ on Twitter in amongst some other great Tweets from a mixed bag of people, some wonderful and some clearly just mad. Phew. Twitter what a novel thing you are. Utterly unique.Sometimes special. Often compelling. Most of all mad.


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#oneaday 7: Who’s the Twit?

Skimming through The Guardian (a UK newspaper for those non UK residents reading this)  online tonight, I couldn’t fail to notice that there seems to be a growing amount of heat both official and otherwise for celebrities who are being paid to push products, ie sponsored Tweets (see Twitter endorsements face OFT clampdown http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jan/09/oft-clampdown-covert-twitter-endorsements) .

 There are a few issues here, connected of course, but as usual associated with freedom and choice.

Firstly, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has a point, sort of. They maintain that PR company Handpicked Media who run a commercial blogging network,  must state when promotional comments have been paid for. I get that, again sort of. But surely this approach does not credit the readers or followers any intelligence? I may only speak for myself, but one of the many really amazing things about the internet is that it kind of works things out, wisdom of the crowds or otherwise. Over in old fashioned TV ad land, or even older fashioned print ad ville, do we really need to know that the celebrities, famous people, recognised people, personal brand pushers or whatever we call them, are paid for endorsing and pushing products? Of course they are, it is a given.  Surely the same is true now that  the Ad and PR people have taken their place within Twitter and Facebook and for that matter Amazon? I mean hearing a celeb Tweeting endlessly about a product, in a series of 140 character tomes, is both transparent and ultimately boring, unless it is genuine. The power is with all of us, not some of them, and by them I mean  I mean the marketeers and their mules.

Secondly, the OFT are only following what their American cousins at the US Federal Trade Commission (USFTC)  insist on. The USFTC want transparency in this area and  insist on such Tweets carrying ‘ad’ or ‘spon’. I have no idea how this is or will be policed, I am sure it will be a mix of a tech solution and some ordinary people doing some ad hoc, sorry intelligence led,  snooping. Anyway, who cares as long as it does not effect out freedoms and ability to chose. Censorship should always be questioned, especially on the internet.

According to The Guardian article, “Celebrities can be great influencers, whether they’re on TV or tweeting,” Arnie Gullov-Singh, chief executive officer of Ad.ly, which pairs celebrities and companies, told Business Week in a recent interview. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who has more than 5.6 million followers, can collect up to $10,000 for tweeting, Gullov-Singh added. “Her price keeps going up. The most effective ones can get six figures a year, and in some cases six figures a quarter.”

Launched in 2009, Ad.ly uses more than 5,000 celebrities and experts to promote products such as Coke, Toyota and Microsoft in the US. It now plans to launch the service in Britain.“A year ago, celebrities were wary about their reputation, about selling out, but when they saw how easy it was to earn up to $5,000 a tweet, they flocked on board,” said Gullov-Singh.

Thus finally, it should not really be a  surprise to read Mr Gullov-Singh’s comment about some celebrities, after all fear and greed are all part of the human condition and let’s face it how many of us would refuse to take a fee to endorse something? Even if we were taking the moral high ground and wanted to preserve a reputation (darling) and push a product or service  that we may even use, love and could not bear to be without? Tough call, moral dilemma ahead! Therefore we should all be free to make our own decisions. If we are lucky enough to be offered money for Tweets, then we should weigh up the deal and decide for ourselves. If we value our judgement and reputation, we should tell the truth, however hard that can be sometimes, especially when filthy lucre is around. Equally, if we want to follow what celebrities tell us, that should also be our choice and one that should not leave us as individuals open to mockery. Ultimately crap products or services will get found out and the internet will spread that news quicker than a paid for Tweet or Facebook post.

The internet gave us many things, but for me, it gave freedom of choice.

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