Very occasionally

chrismccrudden:

The open source newspaper: a Maine paper’s whizzy content management process integrating Google Docs, Wordpress and In Design. Someone give these people an award.

From The Economist’s debate on whether we’re living through another tech bubble. Steve Blank, who is arguing for the motion, reckons we are and that we’re now in the mania stage. I’m with you Steve.

From The Economist’s debate on whether we’re living through another tech bubble. Steve Blank, who is arguing for the motion, reckons we are and that we’re now in the mania stage. I’m with you Steve.

awesomepeoplehangingouttogether:

Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould and Igor Stravinsky
(submitted by Tom)

awesomepeoplehangingouttogether:

Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould and Igor Stravinsky

(submitted by Tom)

David Brooks, author of “The social animal” and man of the moment, talking at TED earlier this year. His theme is our misplaced faith in the rational and the undiscovered importance of the emotional.

Facebook’s levelling out

That Facebook’s growth in countries such as the UK is slowing is no great surprise. Not that the network is declining in popularity, simply it is reaching the saturation point. 

What’s more interesting is consumers very rapid falling out of love with brands. I’ve long been of the view that, in the main, people don’t want to engage with brands, they don’t won’t to interact or have a relationship. The exception is when there’s something in it for them; an offer, discount or competition for example. 

The following is from the Digital Entertainment Survey, media law firm Wiggin’s much respected audit of the consumers’ behaviour and attitudes towards digital entertainment:

Over half (55%) of Facebook users agreed that they usually ignore brand updates on social networking sites and 22% said that they read brand status updates less frequently than they did a year ago. Additionally, 38% said that they never visit a brand’s social network page after liking that brand, while the vast majority (70%) said that they had never purchased a product/service after seeing a brand status update showing the item.

People were also far less likely to mention interacting with brands as a benefit of using social networks, while four in ten agreed that brands are intrusive on social networks and 30% agreed brands should not be allowed on social networking sites.

There’s definitely something in this. 

Data is the “new oil”

This is the view of Gerd Leonhard, celebrated futurologist, expressed at the Digital Entertainment Summit today. He’s not alone. My favourite take on the future as about data is that put forward by tech entrepreneur stroke academic Vivek Wadhwa, Here’s a brief summary of an article he wrote for TechCrunch, in which he builds on LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s theme of web 3.0 being all about generating massive amounts of data.

Wadhwa, rightly in my view, contends that there already exists huge amounts of data. We’ve moved beyond the gathering phase and are now challenged with how to make sense of it. We’re also now beginning to understand the potential of data analysis: what once may have seemed random can now (or sometime soon) be explained. Take the example of the human genome: 

We only learned how to sequence this a decade ago at a cost of billions of dollars. The price of sequencing an individual’s genome is dropping at a double exponential rate, from millions to about $10,000 per sequence in 2011. More than one million individuals are projected to be sequenced in 2013.  It won’t be long before genome sequencing costs $100—or is free—with services that you purchase (as with cell phones).

Now imagine the possibilities that could derive from access to an integration of these data collections: being able to match your DNA to another’s and to learn what diseases the other person has had and how effective different medications were in curing them; learning the other person’s abilities, allergies, likes, and dislikes; who knows, maybe being able to find a DNA soul mate. We are entering an era of crowd-sourced, data-driven, participatory, genomic-based medicine.

So to refine the data is the new oil idea, the future will be about data analysis not data.

The British Museum early morning (Taken with Instagram at The British Museum)

The British Museum early morning (Taken with Instagram at The British Museum)

Fire in Baylon: the story of the greatest sports team the world has ever known. 

The NYT’s project Cascade: how news flows through the social web. Fabulous visualisation of how content becomes viral.