Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Google + Twitter = Facebook?

July 28, 2011

As Google + launched almost a month ago, now seemed like a good time to blog on how our first few weeks playing around with its latest attempt to crack social networking has gone.

Although this isn’t Google’s first time when it comes to launching a new social platform, the first impressions suggest it is taking this one very seriously. For such a massive company that never makes a habit of coming second at anything, it has been a very slow and cautious start. So far Google + has only been accessible to those with an invitation and Google itself has said that it is still very much a work in progress.

Having said that, early reports suggest there are around 20 million users on the network already…which isn’t really very slow, especially considering it took Facebook 10 months to get its first 1 million users (in very different circumstances, I know). After the issues Google encountered launching Buzz to its Gmail user base, it seems that it is really trying to get things perfect before it sets about attracting the rest of the web!

Anyway, at first glance Google + seems instantly familiar. You can work out where everything is and how you can edit, change and get things the way you like them pretty quickly. Credit has to go to Google for creating a very clean and simple layout, but I think the real reason comes down to a familiar interface. Its looks and feels very much like Google + is trying to sit perfectly between two other very popular social networks that I already use. It’s almost like Google did it on purpose!

Once you get going you will find you can put people in circles (friend/follow them) although they don’t have to put you in one of their circles if they don’t want to. This feels a lot like Twitter. Your home page is laid out in a very familiar way too, with a stream (news feed) down the middle, info off the left and right and photos/profile information along the top.

Like millions of others, I’m on Twitter and Facebook. I also happen to be a Gmail user, so I guess it’s little wonder that Google + felt so familiar so quickly. At the moment it’s just geeks and cool kids that are the early adopters using Google +. The real questions will come over the next few months when the whole platform opens up. That’s when we will get to see if Google can persuade the rest of the world that they need another social network, or better yet a completely new one.

“The Lying Down Game”

July 14, 2009

I may have been a bit slow on the uptake with this one, however I was fascinated and amused to read about the new ‘craze’ that’s taking the nation by storm. Aptly named the Lying Down Game, it basically involves players lying down. That’s it. The Metro Online reports that “Participants are told there are two aims: it should be as public as possible and as many people as possible should be involved.”

I think it’s hilarious! If you fancy a little rest, why not just have a casual lie down?! If you get any funny looks, you can just tell passers-by that you’re playing the game…perhaps throw in a sincere look and they really will think you’re mad and walk on.

This is just another fantastic example of a viral campaign – similar to recent work seen by T-Mobile and their numerous ‘spontaneous’ dances in famous London locations. This one, however, appears not to be motivated by a

Here's hoping he has good aim...

Here's hoping he has good aim...

company striving to push their product, but for genuine fun. Some of the photos taken of people playing the game include someone lying down in an aeroplane’s jet, a little boy lying on an ironing board, and a cabbie having a quick lie-down out of the window of his cab!

I think I may take myself off for a quick rest now…oh, did I say rest? I mean I’m off to play the game. Whatever.

Online journalism today…

June 22, 2009

I just read a post on Twitter that’s linking to a diagram depicting online journalism as it was 10 years ago, and how it is today.

How online journalism looks today..

How online journalism looks today..

My question is this however – does its current layout dampen our enthusiasm for what we’re reading? I suggest that the content of the articles is just as stimulating, but perhaps some people find it harder to access, due to the amount of ads being placed around said article.

Furthermore, the comments box isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, readers have pertinent things to say on a subject, especially if they have an interest in the topic being covered. Of course you get the occasional idiotic comment – but that’s what moderators are for, they can simply delete any irrelevant comments.

Finally, the recommendation box telling readers to ‘share the story’ – via Facebook, Digg etc, is, I would argue, a way of increasing awareness of a story by sharing it with those who would be most interested. Sure, it may be cluttered, but as intelligent human beings who are choosing to read the story in the first place, we’re quite capable enough of picking out the salient facts on a page.

Can social media organise real life events?

May 8, 2009
I was watching The Gadget Show on Channel 5 the other day. One of the features on this particular episode was pitting site du jour Twitter up against long standing fave Facebook, and sought to answer which was the best tool to use to organise an event.
On a personal level, I use Twitter to keep up to date with journalists and other PRs I respect, as well as finding out daily news as and when it happens. I use Facebook for staying in touch with my friends and family who I don’t get to see very often.
Bradbury rallies the troops...

Bradbury rallies the troops...

But is it realistic to use social media to organise real life, actual events? I’d like to tentatively suggest no – for the following reasons:

  1. Lack of RSVPs – if you’re a hardcore party planner such as myself, you want to know exact numbers. Although Facebook says when friend have “confirmed to be attending”, and sites likes Twtvite are popping up on Twitter, there’s just not the same effort involved as actually replying to an RVSP.
  2. Lack of commitment – sure, you say you’re coming, but if you actually turn up or not is a whole different kettle of fish.
  3. Reliability – things can go wrong on sites – the wrong date or time can be posted and go unmissed, thus ruining the entire event! I’ve been there, done that but didn’t even get the T-shirt.

Of course there have been very successful events via social networks – this year’s Twestival is just one example. And we can hardly forget about the ‘the biggest water fight’ organised by Facebook in Leeds last year – which was promptly shut down by police.

Speaking to my friend Mike (@litmanlive), he had this to say about the Gadget Show event:

What fascinated me about this was over 200 people attended on the Twitter side vs a small handful in support of Facebook. 200+ people who read one of @jasonbradbury’s tweets online and made a pledge to attend an event offline during their lunch hour for which they knew very little about. The on and offline worlds transcended into one and it was actually quite exciting to be a part of. Do I think social media can be used for greater good? Without a doubt. Meaningful, thought provoking and engaging communications ala this, twestival, the digital red nose online recently for comic relief or any of the whole host of meetups, tweetups, or anything it seems that ends in -ups = WIN. 

So there we have it. A self confessed geek (his words, not mine) who thinks social media can organise real life events. And as for me – I think it’s a good starting point, but I’ll need a little more convincing.


April 23, 2009



After hearing my father has become Twitter’s number one fan, I have since learnt that the latest craze in social media is apparently becoming a firm favourite with the older generation. ComScore, the internet market researchers,  have released some surprising statistics showing that 45 to 54-year-olds are 36 per cent more likely than average to visit Twitter. It has rapidly become a voice for business as well as pleasure, which most likely explains its attraction to older users like my father, who have probably explored every other traditional form of business networking there is.


However, I have noticed that the younger generation have not yet fully embraced it. My guess is that the typically tech-savvy, younger users of Facebook and MySpace don’t really know what to make of such a simple concept. They can easily create an identity by filling a whole page with photos, videos and various other widgets, but without actually saying very much for themselves. They have become brainwashed and spoilt by the endless technology applications available. Perhaps the simplicity of Twitter stumps them, invariably making it more difficult.


I have to admit, myself being an occasional tweeter from the ‘younger generation’, I sometimes find myself a bit stuck for things to ‘tweet’. It also seems the most popular tweets to follow are those of the more mature users such as Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross. This gets me thinking that their worldly words are simply more interesting and that maybe they just have more to say?


Perhaps we are all wrong to think kids are the only ones jumping on new technology!


Sony Ericsson PlayNow raises DRM debate

September 24, 2008

News today from Sony Ericsson unveiling its mobile music platform, PlayNow Plus, has re-sparked the debate on DRM (digital rights management) for music


Now, I’m not saying that I LOVE DRM,  but it is interesting that people don’t get in quite such a lather over DRM when it comes to their own images.  Perhaps it is because the public can so easily produce their own images that they are so intensely into a version of DRM for their own property – just look at the furore over privacy rights (DRM by another name?) in social networking sites like Facebook.   


Anyway, back to music. 


I blame the disastrous anti-mixtape campaign of the 1980s, ‘home taping is killing music’, for musos’ desire to ‘stick it to the man’ and flout the law when it comes to music copying and distribution. 


Home taping didn’t kill music in case you were wondering.  In fact, many say it revitalised the sector, helping to spread music and recommendations far beyond what the radio stations were able to do at the time.  For a modern day equivalent, using the radio function or scrobbling your music through a site like is brilliant to expand your musical horizons.


Anyway back to DRM.


The thing is, any business will charge as much as it possibly can to as many people as it can to make as much money as it can – that’s just business.  Wrapping digital music in DRM looks to me like the industry is yet to really pin down exactly what all this music content is worth so they are hedging their bets with restrictive DRM.  After all, once DRM free music is out in the open, there is no bringing it back.

%d bloggers like this: