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Video skilled the Radiohead March 18, 2008

Posted by James Warren in marketing, music, social media, web 2.0.
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A while back I wrote about the Radiohead and NIN music distribution developments.  I still maintain that it’s only already established big bands that can do this and still make megabucks, but anyway…  Came across this just now.  User generated video production, courtesy of Radiohead.  You can make a video for Radiohead.  And you can win some cash.  Don’t know about you but this doesn’t sit terribly comfortably with me.  Can’t quite put my finger on it.  Are marketers beginning to try the patience of the ‘produsers’?  What’s the difference between harnessing creativity and exploitation?  I have been pondering on such matters for a while and my discombobulated thoughts may well manifest themselves in a post in the next day or so.  In the meantime, I refer you to this quote from Bash.org:

Q: Please describe web 2.0 to me in 2 sentences or less. 

A: You make all the content.  They keep all the revenue.

BetaBC December 14, 2007

Posted by James Warren in media, pr, web 2.0.

Been looking at the beta of the new BBC home page.  As you’d expect, it’s all leaning towards greater personalisation, allowing each user to specify the news that’s relevant to them.  And this ‘MyNews’ aspect will only get more sophisticated, I opine.  Which begs the question – does that make a splash for a client on the BBC web site more or less valuable…?  Discuss.

Sky Pea December 12, 2007

Posted by James Warren in social media, web 2.0.
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The boss has blogged brilliantly this morning – lots of talk about the Ofcom report which states the Brits are the most socially-networked nation in Europe.  By way of affirmation, as I sat on the train this morning among the Christmas shopping daytrippers (I drop my youngest off at school on a Wednesday, so head in post-rush hour) I heard a charming old lady tell her companion about the wonders of Skype (which she pronounced Sky-pea).  It seems she had to persuade her daughter to install it so she could talk to and see her grandchildren in the West Country.  She was quite an advocate though, detailing all the product attributes (calls are completely free!) and features (wonderful clarity of picture, no delay, it’s wonderful).  Unwittingly – because she was talking in that wonderfully loud way women of a certain age do – she had the covert yet rapt attention of half the carriage.  As a result I’m certain there’ll be a few fellow passengers that will be trying Skype this weekend (although I wonder how many will try to access http://www.skypea.com).  Advocacy in action and a timely reminder that it’s not just the young ‘uns who are digitally fluent.

Of course, work November 5, 2007

Posted by James Warren in social media, web 2.0, work.
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I want to go back to University and do stuff like this.  Although I don’t consider myself to be old, this kind of further education is unrecognisable even to me.  Admittedly Mr Wesch’s course seems exceptional, but whether they’re learning or not from their lectures, the fact is that all today’s (developed world/middle class) students have access to technologies that allow them to collaborate, to experiment, to learn.  Students have always had a hunger and passion for development, of course, together with time to invest in the process.  But I think the value of being a student these days is not so much what they learn as how they are learning, how they use information and how they exist as part of a community (whether that’s a group of mates, a class, a fan forum or a continent).  Today’s students will come into business with an entirely new perspective on not only communication and interaction, but also ‘doing stuff’.  They won’t accept no as an answer.  They have free and immediate access to tools that can make things happen.  In the (recent) past you had to join a company to gain access to the tools required to make things happen.  That’s a significant wall, torn down.

This is going to come across as overbearingly pompous/arrogant/ridiculous and indeed, it probably is misplaced, BUT I’m going to say it anyway: I feel genuinely sorry for people that aren’t working/playing in the digital space.  I really do.  Not being deeply immersed in this stuff would scare me, quite a lot.  I think the changes we’ve seen in the past two years is as nothing to the changes ahead.

But then, my dad probably said the same thing about calculators.

RIPTWL October 31, 2007

Posted by James Warren in pr, web 2.0, wine, work.

So TWL has hung up its boots.  Shame.  It had really begun to make its mark.  As far as I was concerned, TWL was all about fun.  The kind of fun that’s like a hand grenade rolling around without a pin, sent from heaven to toy with our minds…  You were never sure when it was going to go off.  Or something.  I’ll miss it.

In other news, my very good chum Pinny’s started a new blog, to go with his wine one.

Amazong October 5, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, books, web 2.0.
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It’s been a while since my last post.  It’s also been a while since I visited the Amazon web site.  So I was taken aback by some of the great stuff that has cropped up there, without my knowing.  To cut an already very short story even shorter, I was thinking of buying this book.  On the product page I was able to watch a video of the author talking about the book in a ‘related videos’ section.  Needless to say, it was great and made me want to buy the book even more.  Great example of providing additional product information to potential customers in a convenient and engaging way.  I like.

It struck me that although much has been made in some quarters about the danger of the internet to publishers of text, in fact it is book publishers who are some of the most innovative users of online marketing gubbins.

Only a few books seem to have the amazon video service, and most are American – but I wonder how long it’ll take for other product types/regions to catch up.  I noticed there’s also a new ‘customer discussions’ function too, which (incredibly) allows customers to not just write a review of the book, but have an interactive discussion about it.

In other news, yesterday I saw a man in a bowler hat, which pleased me greatly.  I also saw an (apparently fully loaded) Apache helicopter hovering over the Thames, which pleased me slightly less but was still pretty cool.  And on Monday I saw a man in a three piece suit with ‘Diana, I love you’ written on his face in permanent marker.  He had a very high-pitched voice.

It’s all about Facebook August 15, 2007

Posted by James Warren in social media, web 2.0.
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Astounded by some of the stats swimming around about Facebook, Shel Israel decided to get the info straight from the horse’s mouth.  Here’s what Facebook told him:

  • Over 150,000 registrants daily. That’s 1 million a week since January.
  • 35 million users today.  Of course that number will be off a million one week from today.
  • Half of users are outside college.  That number was zero in Sept. 2006.
  • 0ver 40 billion page views in May 2007
  • The average visitor stays 20 minutes
  • Most growth is among people over age 25
  • 47,000 Facebook groups.
  • #1 photo sharing app on the web. 2.7 billion photos on site.
  • More than 2,000 applications. The Top 10 are: Top Friends, Video, Graffiti, MyQuestions, iLike, FreeGifts, X Me, Superpoke!, Fortune Cookie & Horoscopes. The smallest of these has over 4.5 million users.

Hat tip: a note on Andrew Smith’s profile on, you guessed it, Facebook.

You can have it in any colour you like, as long as it’s Blackle July 25, 2007

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, web 2.0.

Simply had to share this piece of genius.  It was pointed out to Google that it takes more energy to power a white screen than a black screen (74 versus 59 watts, fact fans) and that if Google changed its home page to a black background then it would save the world 750 MegaWatt hours per year.  So Google did.  Introducing Blackle.  All the functionality of Google, but in black.

UPDATE: As James points out in the comments, Google didn’t.  Heap Media did.  Thanks James, I stand corrected.

Mappa Mundi 2.0 May 3, 2007

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, social media, web 2.0.
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This is great (click for original).  The compass is what does it for me.  Very clever.


Via Apophenia.

Bebo yay, MySpace boo August 8, 2006

Posted by James Warren in social media, web 2.0.
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In the UK Bebo spanks MySpace’s bottom, according to Hitwise (courtesy of some weird blog called TechCrunch that none of you will ever have heard of).