is there anybody out there? introducing Tweasier

Err hello,

haven’t been writing here much lately (not once in six months) but there is a reason for that. Not a good one, but a reason none the less: I’ve been writing for Tweasier.com, your number one source for Twitter tips.

Read it, digest it then sign up for the beta of the Tweasier app which launched today and aims to fulfil your every Twitter related need.

You may go back to what you were doing now.

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YouTube at Carnegie Hall

A few months ago I wrote about YouTube setting up its own crowd sourced orchestra. The orchestra performed and a mash up of their performance appeared on the orchestra channel earlier in the month. So for your dilectation I bring you the highlights of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (if you want to see the full performance its available on the channel).

 

YouTube Symphony Orchestra highlights

The internet make us smarter, so how long until they dumb it down?

I picked up a copy of Intelligent Life last night and was struck by the letter from the editor, Tim Delisle. The crux of the letter is that, no matter what we’re told, we are all getting smarter (wish I could agree) for a number of reasons, not least of all the internet. Delisle claims that because we have to actively sit up and interact with the internet and be selective in what we do as opposed to passively slumping in front of the TV it makes us more alert, more searching.

I think he might be right; the internet makes us think about what we are looking at, search for something that interests us. I said in my Room 101 post that one of the virtues of the internet is that you don’t go near the sites (except LolCats) you don’t like (Robert Putnam called something akin to this cyber-balkanisation). You can’t help but learn about a subject when you have to navigate to it to see it.

Originally though TV was on for about 4 hours a day and 3 of those were Watch With Mother (I’m just judging from my Dad’s complaints wwm1about the quality of modern television) so you’d sit down at 8 O’clock when you knew that programme you liked was on. You were selective and only saw the bits you liked, you invested a little more in those programmes. programming times got longer, TV sets more affordable more people tuned in and channel surfing became common: television became passive.

At the same time social media and what it can do is growing and advancing. The first social media (online, don’t get pedantic) was a MUD: strictly for uber-nerds who couldn’t buy Dungeons and Dragons anymore then much later there was MySpace and social media got a little bit cool. Finally Facebook made it a part of everyday life.

Earlier in the week, following Stuart Bruce asking what’s next for social media, we were talking about it in the office and I think social media on consoles is the next big thing. graphic chatrooms and world users can walk around in and interact in from the comfort of their sofa. Playstation 3 already have one. If this does take off I think the move from pc to living room entertainment will bring social media to the same level as television, passive and unselective designed to was over you as you lean back on your sofa and play virtual table football with your friend with a mindless flick of the wrist.

When people ask David Simon how he made The Wire so good he tells them he wanted to make a programme you had to sit up to watch, that is what the internet and social media does, but it could lose that very easily.

Online Room 101

Jed tagged me in a meme and dammit I intend to follow through, so here we go:

 

101room

 

I had a little problem with this one because the nature of the internet is such that if you don’t like something you just don’t go to it. However, i managed to scrape a few together and without further ado the websites I’d like Paul Merton to send to the room are:

Number One

LolCats.com (i refuse to link to these despicable and depraved sites)

Lolcats some how finds comedy in pictures of cats with poorly spelt captions. Its the online equivalent of Jackass: comedy for people who don’t really understand actual comedy. I wouldn’t mind if the pictures would just stay on the lolcats site but some how they spread, they are pandemic. They arrive in my emails, have appeared in posts on my RSS and even infected actually comedy websites (i’m looking at you, cracked.com)

 

Number Two

MySpace.com

I know Jed called this one but he was right, I never bought in to MySpace. My first friend on it was a pole dancer who added me (i was 14 for god sake, even I knew that was messed up) and once I’d found all of my friends that was it we never did anything with it, we just cruised other people’s profiles. The ‘blogs’ are filled with those crappy questionnaires people always sent to your hotmail account before MySpace came along and the music that plays every time you move on to a new profile is often horrific, always too loud. My sister is on it now and she loves it; lots of scene kids quoting Poe stories they haven’t read and filling their profiles with My Chemical Romance songs because it makes them look ‘deep’.  I suspect if i’d been young enough for Bebo this rant would have been about that. As it is shut down Myspace and het yourself a Facebook account

Number Three
MSN Messenger

Not a website and I’m sorry about that but MSN deserves to be sent down. I liked it when i was 14 because there was no better option: My friends had MSN so i was stuck with it, but there was also a whole bunch of people I knew but really didn’t like on there. These people would add me and it didn’t matter whether I accepted or not; sooner or later I’d be thrown in to a group chat with them. Now it’s even worse, my friends have refused to move on to Skype so i still get stuck with MSN and all the weirdoes who never moved on and still talk to me about that time i swore at the teacher. A few weeks ago my friend put her ‘personal message’ as ‘I can’t wait for march 13th 2009’, someone we went to school with messaged her asking what she “thought about April 2009 being the end of the Armageddon.” Such things shouldn’t happen on a private messenger service and MSN belongs in room 101.

 

Reckon I’ll tag Natalie Smith and Becca Caddy, enjoy

Some Cool Stuff

Just kicking about the internet and wanted to point y’all in the direction of some cool stuff.

The upcoming Watchmen film which I’ve waxed lyrical about before is putting on a heavy digital campaign. A few YouTube Channels connected to the film have appeared including one for Veidt industries (a company owned by one of the characters) and a few Virals from the Watchmen world have appeared. My favourites are the ‘Keene Report’ propaganda video made by rag newspaper ‘The New Frontiersman’ and a brilliantly authentic newspaper report about the godlike Dr Manhattan, Read the comments on ‘The Keene Report’; there are quite a few heroes posting. I love the way they’ve kept the theme going in the discussion and kept the videos completely free of branding. The only things identifying it as Watchmen are the characters and the taglines being thrown around; “Who watches the watchmen”, “Better blue than red”.

The Keene Act & You

NBS Nightly News with Ted Philips, March 11th 1970

Next order of business:
 Whoever is running 30 Rock’s PR has reacted brilliantly to the Christian Bale incident with a Tracy Jordan rant sparked by a camera man filming him whilst he was acting. TMZ has the exclusive recording. If you haven’t seen 30 Rock you probably won’t get it.

Will do Jeds meme eventually, honest. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Accuracy Vs Accessibility: The Wikipedia Story

I don’t know what it is about the Independent but they Love them a good Wikipedia story and I just love to have my two cents. Today the Indy have a big spread on how Wikipedia is crumbling.

On Obama’s inauguration day senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd had to leave a celebration dinner early. Kennedy left in an ambulance apparently having suffered a stroke, the live updating of stories on Wikipedia which often make it the fastest source for news resulted in premature reports of both senator’s deaths (both are still alive and kicking).

For Jimmy Wales, Mr Wikipedia, that was the last straw and it was time for measures to insure accuracy over accessibility. Basically from now on any editing of a famous person’s entry must be approved by someone higher up in the Wikipedia hierarchy, and they are considering extending it to all entries. Samurai_Pizza_Cats

This type of thing already happens on German Wikipedia and there are delays in updating entries of up to 6 weeks. On top of that it simply isn’t what Wikipedia does. One of the  key ingredients of the site’s success is that I can look up that cartoon no one remembers from when i was a kid and skip over to get a précis of Hobbes’ Leviathan. If I need to wait for someone on the Wikipedia staff to verify and approve an entry on Samurai Pizza cats it will never appear because it simply isn’t worth the time of the people who have to approve it in comparison to resurrecting Ted Kennedy. meanwhile my contract philosophy lecturer is cruising the entry on Thomas Hobbes and notices an error. How does a volunteer housewife in Arizona (because that’s what Wikipedia staff largely are) know whether he is right or wrong.

In order to moderate something the size of Wikipedia you would need an army of academics and even then they’d never be able to approve Samurai Pizza cats. Moderation isn’t needed; corrupt entries get fixed with an average of 3 minutes, physics students i went to Uni with never found a problem with the formulae it contained and it grows quicker than any moderated source possibly could. It’s better to suffer 3 minutes of inaccuracy on 100,000 articles in 100 million than massively restrict the available knowledge base.

I just noticed I’ve been memed by Jed so I’ll get on that soon.