Friday Fun – New Video from The Research

So it’s Friday everybody and this week saw the first release of new material from Wakefield’s finest trio (and friends), The Research.

The single, I Think She’s The One I Love is an absolute gem of a track. Full of sacharine misanthropy (although that doesn’t do it justice), a catcy melody and all of it backed up with classy arrangements and fabulous harmonies.

But don’t just take my word for it….


The Research – I Think She’s The One I Love from This Is Fake DIY Records on Vimeo.

The ‘Search had one of the most critically acclaimed albus of 2006 (4/5, Mojo; Album of the Week, Sunday Times) but owing to record label hiatus it’s taken this long and a complete re-record of the second album to get here.

You can listen to more tunes on The Research’s MySpace page and buy the current single and album from Fake DIY.

Technorati tags: The Research, music, I Think She’s The One I Love, Fake DIY

Pictures from Duxford

Back from a client’s annual communications conference which was held at Duxford Air Museum near Cambridge.

It was the kind of place that reminded me of what it was like to be a 13 year-old boy again. Here’s a picture of a Tornado GR1.


More pics on my Flickr stream.

Technorati tags: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Tornado GR1

Throwing your license-fee into a hole….

I walked past the giant hole in the ground today that is/will be the BBC’s new Broadcasting House at the top of Regent Street.

I think it’s fair to say that’s one of the most immpressive holes I have seen in a long time.


Technorati tags: BBC, Broadcasting House, Big Hole

Best neologisms of 2008 so far…


We’re only two weeks into January 2008 and already Umair Haque is predicting the macropocalypse while Adam Tinworth is heralding the hackopalypse.

Put them on your buzzword bingo cards 🙂

Shopping centres as social network nodes


In the run up to Christmas, as my wife and I spent endless hours shopping, I noticed – perhaps unsurprisingly –  that a lot of young people seemed to just ‘hang out’ in shopping centres.

I suppose this has been an anecdotal trend in the US for a while, but I hadn’t ever really noticed it in the UK before, although I’m sure like the US this isn’t anything new.

But more than that I noticed ever vigilant security guards patrolling the shopping centres and young people clearly trying to evade them.

So it dawned on me that shopping centres had become the new parks. When I was younger (not that long ago) we met in the park and played/mucked around there. We had to watch out for the park attendents though – much in the same way that kids today have to watch out the for the security guards.

I raise these thoughts for two reasons:

  1. Today I saw a sales assistant in John Lewis shout at two young people to "Get out!" because his furniture department wasn’t "a play centre.". Nice tables though…
  2. In a prescient fashion, last week Danah Boyd publish some field-notes from the Digital Youth Project about technology and young people’s consumption. She has this insightful observation which dovetails nicely with the thoughts outlined above:

"When it comes to teen culture, consumerism is still rampant, although
shopping is primarily about socialization. Aside from how the mobile
phone allows groups to coordinate, technology is not really altering
the tradition of hanging out in consumer places. What it is altering is
the ways in which teens research and purchase things that they know
they want.

Technorati tags: shopping, consumerism, parkies

J.S. Mill on social networks


I love this quotation from J.S Mill’s On Liberty:

"In proportion to the development of his individuality, each person becomes more valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more valuable to others."

Ok, so it’s not about social networks. But the idea of giving individuals the freedom and responsibility to improve things, share that improvement and collectively make society better is surely a major part of the change in corporate culture and social behaviour underway.

It may be 150 years old but a lot of organisations could learn from it.

Technorati tags: JS Mill, social networks, corporate culture

*UPDATED* Do we do enough to encourage digital media innovation?

It’s been a busy old week so I’m now trawling through 1200+ posts trying to make sense of everything that’s been happening.

Anyway, a couple of posts one I spotted made me wonder what the UK is doing to encourage innovation and experimentation in the media industry.

Firstly, I read about the Knight News Challenge organised by the Knight Foundation (apologies to whoever blogged it – I forget where I first saw it). Now in its second year, the News Challenge is:

"a contest awarding as
much as $5 million for innovative ideas using digital experiments to
transform community news.  Last year’s winners
included a diverse collection of 25 individuals, private and public
entities, ranging from MIT to MTV.  The Foundation plans to invest at
least $25 million over five years in the search for bold community news

And then Jeff Jarvis blogs about the exciting CUNY Networked Journalism Summit which has been made possible by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

Where are the Knight and MacArthur Foundations in the UK? And where are the exciting digital projects? I admit I have done no research so they may exist… but if so, where?

As a footnote it is definitely worth plugging a new venture launched by Lloyd Shepherd, Messy Media.

MM is a UK-based blog network providing quality editorial. According to Lloyd:

"We believe there’s a clear opportunity in Britain to
use the blogging format to do proper journalism – to entertain and
inform. Proper design, professional editorial development and a serious
commercial proposition are all part of that."

Good luck, I say. Lloyd’s quote and more besides comes via an interview with Simon Dickson.

 *UPDATED* – More support for innovation announced by Jarvis:

"I’m delighted to announce that I’ve received a $100,000, two-year grant
from the McCormick Tribune Foundation to provide seed funding to news
start-ups developed by students in my course in entrepreneurial
journalism at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. A jury of industry
leaders from the media community in New York – experts in content,
revenue, marketing, venture capital and startups – are speaking with
the class, helping guide students through creating their proposals, and
at the end they will select the projects (if any) likely of success as
sustainable journalistic enterprises and deserving of investment from
the fund. The full announcement is here.)"

Why is the UK equivilent?

Technorati tags: media, digital, innovation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Messy Media

Monday morning news round-up

Work’s busy at the moment so blogging will definitely be light for the next couple of weeks.

In a final burst of activity here are’re a couple of good tidbits of enws fro a Monday morning:

  • UK tech PR gossip blog …theworldsleading… has set-up shop on it’s own website [screenshot above]. You can find the new jazzy site at The interesting news is that they may ditch their RSS feed claiming:

“It seems to have the same effect as bouncers; repelling intelligent people while attracting sink estate vermin donning black slip-on shoes and gelled hair. We’re thinking fuck RSS, fuck Technorati and fuck all those two-bob ‘influence surveys.’ We’d lose points for not having RSS, but perhaps we’ll lose the undesirables too?”

  • Hugh MacLeod has posted about why he thinks we’re all blogging less. Hugh cites one reason for less blogging as: 

“Some of us have better things to do than continually having to justify ourselves to a crowd of self-loathing, passive-aggressive, loser fucktards.”

Which is, I suppose, a less roundabout way of agreeing with …TWL…‘s comments above.

Technorati tags: …theworldsleading…; Hugh MacLeod; B.L Ochman; RSS; blogging

Oxford Internet Institute publishes UK state of the nation report

Most people know the US-based Pew Internet and American Life project but how many UK bloggers know about the UK’s Oxford Internet Institute?

The OII has today published it’s annual state of the nation report, The Internet in Britain: 2007, which looks specifically at internet uses and trends in the UK.

I’ve posted some key findings below, but a full copy of the report can be downloaded here [pdf].


  • Two thirds of Britons use the Internet and access it at home in 2007.
  • The great majority of those with home access use a broadband connection.
  • Internet users believe that individuals should play a role in regulating the Internet. Non-users see a greater role for government.
  • Internet users in 2007 undertake more information, creative and social activities than they did in 2005. The only area in which use seems to have stabilised is in entertainment-related activities.
  • Downloading music and videos and playing games are the most popular online entertainment activities of the Internet. According to a quarter of Internet users, the time they spend watching TV is reduced due to their use of the Internet.
  • Users have changed their information search patterns. In 2007, almost two thirds of users depended primarily on search engines to find information: up from one fifth in 2005.

Can intelligence agencies manipulate Wikipedia?

Rather fascinating but alarming article at OhMyNews about a possible case of Wikipedia manipulation.

Regardless of whether or not it’s true, Wikipedia and the Intelligence Services, offers some real food for thought as to whether intelligence services can influence or place trusted editors within sites like Wikipedia to shape news and information.

The argument that the crowd will resolve disputes with collective wisdom or ‘social knowledge’ holds true providing everyone is working from the same position – ie. sharing their genuine opinions.

Doesn’t this fall apart when someone is pushing a specific agenda?

Where you normally have a group of people sharing ideas to achieve an undetermined outcome of information, you have a someone with a clear and fixed idea of what the information should look like at the end of the process?

Worth reading the article by Ludwig De Braeckeleer which gives an overview of the debates raging about a particular Wikipedia admin over at Wikipedia Review and