Saturday, 19 May 2012

Who owns my wall? Social media: Personal or public space?

There is a growing problem with bullying on social networks and as the father of an almost 7 year old son I am aware that in the next 5 or so years (or less I suppose) this matter may raise it's head in my world.

It is important for me to help my son understand that tolerance and respect for other opinions is healthy and vital but when it comes to people trolling / sledging / bullying him etc on his facebook wall, personal blog, tweetstream and so on, presumably we'd accept he has control to remove such material from his own personal spaces without fear of being accused of censorship.

So the question for discussion and exploration is as follows:

Do I 'own/control' my social media instance (facebook wall, tweetstream, personal blog etc) or are they public space and so subject to the normal rules of public space?

Please do share this and help fuel the debate. Curious to hear thoughts on this. I suspect it's an issue that's going to get bigger and more of an issue over the next few years, for all of us. Parents and otherwise.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Never forget

There is rarely a day that goes by that I do not remember, how could I ever forget? It is part of our family fabric. But today I make an extra special effort to tell people (and remind those who already know) about my Dad and what happened to him. 

My dad was snatched away from his family aged 13 and imprisoned and enslaved for 6 years. Sadly his family, along with many others, we're murdered :(

Think about that. 13. Take a minute to imagine its you aged 13. Taken. Never to see your family again. Imprisoned. Alone.

'Never forget!' to me means don't sit idly by whilst evil exists.

'Never forget' means choose to be kind to people every day.

As Ghandi said: we must be the change we wish to see in the world, we must light our little corner and together if we all light our own corners we will bring light to the entire world.

'Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.' Hailie Selassie I

'First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me'

Pastor Martin Niemoller

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Thanks for reading and helping me remember...

Love you dad :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A message to Arsenal fans

Dear Gooners, despite the years of abuse from some of you, I shall not mock any of you. I too have felt the sting of the pain you felt tonight, the knowledge of the cold winter ahead, the knowledge that blood must be let to cleanse what is rotten. I know the despair you feel to see something you love turn old and withered, disrespected and belittled. I know that only with death can there be new life. For now it is our turn to enjoy the sun and whilst you shiver out in the cold I know that these things come and go, that one day it will again be our turn to be cold. So I offer you only the warmth of a fellow footie fan in the knowledge that it's the football I love, not your suffering. You will be great again I;m sure. I only hope you will reciprocate when the seasons shift once again and I find myself outside shivering. Perhaps then we can move beyond this immature bullshit and can all just enjoy the skill of the game we love without the tribal need to conquer each other. Al

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tweeting with Rupert: impact on sentiment?

Rupert Murdoch's recent arrival on twitter has sparked off a thought in my head regarding sentiment. You can read it here on Google+ and please do comment there as well to maintain a singular flow of conversation.

Enjoy :)

Tweeting with Rupert: impact on sentiment?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

What I think about Google Plus

Well, it's happened. I just blogged publicly for the first time on Google Plus. A blog about what I think about Google Plus, natch. Says it all really. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Post Murdoch? Post Newspapers?

An esteemed writer that I once had the brief pleasure of working with has written an article arguing that what may come next post-Murdoch may be worse.

He is of course absolutely right in such a heated mob-driven climate to tell such a cautionary tale and full kudos to him for having the critical thinking capacity to even consider such a scenario whilst most lose their heads (perhaps including this writer) around him.

But I see more of an opportunity, I think, than he does.

As a function of delivering daily news, newspapers are just clung on to for the wrong reasons. They are becoming entertainment because that's all they really are now. Entertainment. Not news. Not anymore. If you want news you go online for it. You get it on your mobile whilst waiting for the bus, train, at the lights etc. Ubiquity is eating into the very soul of newspapers and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

I would even go so far as to say that in a world post Murdoch, with a freed up polity, a more disloyal digital readership, a more level playing field, with lower barriers to mass communication, with a stronger and more powerful watchdog, with stricter rules on what it means to be fit and proper in relation to owning mass print media, that perhaps the shoring up of the newspaper industry, the subsidy-led survival thus far of said dinosaur may yet yield to a newer, more interesting, more competitive, more live, more transparent source of information for people.

Witness the birth of the Huffington Post in the UK. Clearly timed to perfection. Witness the birth of thousands of credible niche blogs drawn together seamlessly by the search box on Google.

Most news online is free because it's mostly ubiquitous. Why fight that? Add value if you will and charge for access to premium content but let's accept the basic fact that in a post-google, post-iphone, increasingly mobile world (it's often said that most web activity in 2014 will for the first time be via mobile not desktops), content and thus news, especially for newspapers, is basically marketing collateral to attract ideologically interested readers, who can then be sold a plethora of other relevant content, products and services. Charging for easily-available content, in any format to be honest, is not an option.

Cynical? Too soon?

So, whilst this might not suit many, in reality, it is a massive opportunity for those able to see and grasp it. The death of Murdoch allows the UK, yet again, to leapfrog the world and especially the US. First we moved faster than all or most in terms of broadband adoption. Let's be first again and move faster in the move to a post-newspaper and even perhaps, post-news, society. What dreams may come!