I stumbled across this short Flash movie from the Adbusters website and remembered that when designing social software:-

1. Forget about the technology

2. Keep to simple rules

3. Forever remind yourself you are doing this work for the people around you.

Make ‘meaning’ first, and they (the business) will follow.

Check out Shariff Ezzat’s website for more karma based media..


Google thrives on data, not advertising revenue. It’s that simple.

Sure they make a good wage out of context driven advertising – but this a mere mechanism compared to the possibilities of abstract indexing.

The forthcoming Google Checkout is bound to upset those already in the transactional businesses arena (ebay/paypay being the darling duet of the day), but Google’s desire to work in this area is not focused on the 20c / 2% of transactions – that’s just running costs and a bit of ‘smoke and mirrors’ to cover their main interests. No wonder they are about to under cut the competition.
Being able to put meaning to purchase patterns, mapping the value of objects (consumables and services) and track the worth of objects to society will give Google far more data to enable them to model the world as humans ‘see it’.

So will merchants use the service? Well, if Google are offering advertising discounts in exchange for participation – of course they will – that’s good business sense.

So will there be any benifit to the consumer? Google doesn’t have the brand trust for the users wallet – it’ll be interesting to see what customer support they will offer. But can the consumer get their data records from Google – will they be able to plot their spending habits. Will we see mashup ups of spending vs. bank acocunt details vs. Google Maps?

So what will Google use this data for? No one knows – I bet they don’t either. But if you’re a company that likes to get creative with data then what you want is real time human input, and nothing is more interesting that peoples spending habits, is there?

Google have to learn how to give all three parties (merchants, consumers and themselves) equal equity in services – the internet is about collaboration and they know that…surely.

London bombing - citizen photojournalism
The photo above is the image that reminds me of the London bombings. I was on a bus heading towards Kings Cross when this shot was taken.

Speed and exclusivity of the citizen-photojornalism outmatched all the UK news teams – there is just no way reporters can get to a site faster than a member of the public whip out their camera phone.

Same goes for bloggers in general; when events happen – the breaking news is online first, broadcast second. Yet, I expect when people heard about the blasts, they reached for the remote control before the computer keyboard.

The reaction time is scarey – no way can any company repond to events faster than a quick witted blogger. With a blog you tend to get the informal, chatty tone (ahem) – which has been the alure of markeeters to the technique of ‘comvincing consumers’.

But I think it’s the reaction time that has more to offer the communications industries than the informal tone of a blog. Sure – libraries of media can be tagged, so anyone searching the web for information will get something back thats been sitting in an archive, but where is the company blogger – responding to world events? What better way to keep a brand ahead of the competition than ride alongside the breaking news..

Just-in-Time media anyone, or something from the archives?

Above photo by Alexander Chadwick : from BBC.co.uk

I’ve little intention to blog about web2.0 here as so much has been written about it what it might be already.

What does interest me is how video is leading people through to social/collaborative software.

It’s a icebreaker, a catalyst for conversation and so in turn builds the community, which is the structure of ‘online’.

YouTube is full of copyright-infringed video, rendered in low quality flash and forever buffers. The User Experience is not in the watching, but in the community of sharing. The business model is not the use of pre or post roll adverts; it’s the collection of metadata – specifically – tags. It’s the same reason why Yahoo! are so enthusiastic about Delicious and Flickr. The media assets are a lure to collect metadata from users.


Because the ‘big indexers’ such as Google and Yahoo! have relied upon AI to cross reference data to deliver meaning. This works to an extent, but it does not deliver meaning in human way. Folksonomy is key to index services. It fills the gaps created by AI systems.

So, using media to lure user into a community (and give them some tools to work with data), and you should have a compelling ‘sell it to google’ business model sorted.

But, commercial media is wrapped in complex copyright paperwork and user generated media (sorry, authentic media), on the whole is low quality – at least not even to the acceptable level of ‘least objectionable television‘.

Open(ish) licence models such as Creative Commons go some way to enable EVERYONE to share media, reuse for their own purposes, but it’s only the oil in the gearbox. What is required is collaboration between experts and domestic producers of media.

So why isn’t this happening?

Well – it’s starting to here, here and here.

The area to watch is where language and code work together. Being ‘digital’ or ‘online’ is meaningless without the freedom to talk to whoever and mix data as you see fit.

The anxiety displayed by publishers across all markets, who try and hold onto the copyrighted media are missing the creativity opportunities that consumer participation brings. Sure – the business model changes from licencing media to users, but the economics of a fluid market, how ever difficult it may seem to track and report on, will bring diversity and if that’s not what the consumer markets want, then what is?

It’s for the experts in media (commissioners, producers, actors and writers etc) to state what they want from their craft. Those who entered into these careers for money are the ones that will be most stubborn to change. The public will reward enthusiasm more than ‘on brand’ media.

Video media will step aside as the desination of entertainment, in favour of being a support medium for something we’ve not yet had the pleasure of experiencing. This is what web2.0 projects should be trying to seek – it’s something Google will never find.

Collection of re-worked classics done beautifully.
God Bless YouTube.

Must love jaws

10 Things I Hate about the Commandments

He-Man versus the Big Lebowski

Teenage Mutant Ninja Lebowski

Brand Vs. Brand

June 26, 2006


I’m curious about which brand is the most popular across all markets, so I built Brand Vs. Brand.

Try it out here:-


Read about the application here.

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