Digital Thinking

social software :: community localisation

Plazes is getting a lot of attention from the social networking galaxy – specifically Tim O’Reilly’s campus (reported by Wired) – and full plaudits to Julian Bond on whose site I first noticed it a few weeks back (he was on it months ago!)

6 months on from that, there’s signs of momentum building…and there’s a number of things going on here under the hood – and it’s producing an interesting mix:
geotagging to place folk on the ground
– local information resource from the folk on the ground
– social networking through transparency
All part of the web’s shift from ‘on screen’ to ‘real life’
Link: plazes.beta.

Happy Christmas!


Now that was a long year… with some
interesting developments:


Online, blogging met politics & fundraising,
with real impact in the

USA –some UK MP’s are blogging
too: if privacy regs don’t stop them MP’s might save on postage




UK Broadband boomed –dialup is now in a



..which creates markets for  ‘next generation’
products – that assume a broadband connection. They’re always-on, networked & have community
embedded in the product’s ethos. Importantly, it’s cool to be seen using them.


And they change customers from readers to
writers, dj’s printers and broadcasters.


’05 will change how we search. The gap between
web & desktop has gone. Results lists go next, replaced with folders, maps & fly-throughs. Geotagging might just be a big thing in ’06.


Have a fantastic festive season.

It’s been a  pleasure working with
you  this year.


Oh, and try this for a
bit of relaxation.

marketing transparency

There’s a new plan for media-neutral marketing:
it’s here.


Except it’s not there at all.

No matter how smart the model is (and I don’t know, because I haven’t seen it), it won’t change anything unless folk use it. And if they don’t know what it is, they can’t use it. Too much marketing is based on the notion that the industry is a dark art: it’s high time that it was shown to be a set of simple decisions – which take skill and judgement to make for greatest effect.

So ‘open source’ this model – share it, for the greater good of the industry.

Because you can be sure of one thing: trying to keep the model hidden is an industrial age attitude. At some point it will escape onto the web. Don’t fight that – work with it. Anything else is simply rearranging deckchairs on a submarine.

social blog searching

In parallel to the social side of search, there’s similar stirrings in blog directories.

Kinja users cluster/summarise their blogs & share that summary… easier to see than explain – here’s Kinja’s editors take on food. One step beyond a simple blog directory & search, like technorati.

It’s a natural maturing step. You might even say ‘legitimisation’!

I’d expect these pages to rank well with engines – they’re focussed on one topic, and updated regularly, which should make them a valuable space to advertise, or snag the attention of target interest groups in some other way.


invisible tech under the hood

Dana Blakehorn’s ‘clue’ this week makes smart points on the evolution of the USA’s mobile business, & its threat from WiFi.

For me the winning hand goes to the industry that hides their technology. Ask most folk to day how their car works, and they can maybe just about start to tell you. Which is a sign of mature technology that ‘just works’. When WiFi gets as easy to use as a phone, it’s in with a chance.

Though WiFi’s main chance may be the sheer complexity of your average mobile phone – as soon as you dig beyond simple tasks their usability falls apart.

spam talk & agreement

An international action plan to communicate and cooperate on enforcement action to tackle spam has been agreed by 19 bodies from 15 countries attending the workshop.

The meeting took place in London: full details and list of signatories here.

While welcome, it does read like snow in hell… the two examples of ‘success’ quoted are small & old – spam is a growing daily problem. The safety tips are basic self-defence for anybody with a networked computer.

Shouldn’t this be the meeting where ‘they’ cry out

“for heavens sake people, don’t encourage spammers – you only make things worse…. get filters, firewalls, anti virus, and most of all, don’t open this stuff!”

Spam is costing the networked world a fortune. Where are the tv commercials and (heavens to betsy) the tabloid coverage of the war on evil spammers?
In the meantime, even this meeting noted that “90 per cent of spam in a user’s inbox is traceable to a hardcore element of 200 organisations, with those in the US being the clear leader.”
er, what’s so hard about finding and shutting down those 200 souls?