Tag Archives: Social software

Honk if you don’t blog

There are still a few non-bloggers left in the world. I’d like to hear from them.

I’m writing a piece for a DCMS web site called Projects Etc. Working title: ‘Autobiography is the new rock ‘n’ roll’. Thesis: ‘self telling’, autobiographical writing, journalising, blogging, diary keeping, confessional media etc. are taking over. We’re obsessed. We can’t get beyond ourselves. We’re technology-mediated egomaniacs.

So, in writing about the developed world’s obsession with autobiography, I’d like to talk to people who don’t participate, people who don’t blog, don’t keep a MySpace page, don’t obsessively update their flickr photostream. If that’s you I’d really like to hear from you. I’d like to understand why you don’t blog and what you think of your mates who do. If you’d like to help, drop me a line. I’ll come back to you with some questions in an email and I’ll credit you if I use your material. Thank you!



John Risby has brought to my attention his clever new service Stampster, which allows you to do… well… the kind of thing I’ve just done to my picture at the top of the page and here in this entry (you can also send them to your mobile phone, of course, which is where I guess they’re going to make their money). I think all that heavy copyright stuff and the big ‘preview’ watermark might cool people’s interest in the idea a bit, though. A bolder, more open approach to promoting this idea might do the trick, I think.

What I hate

I hate the way NTL’s proxy servers hijack my web site. When I post a new entry to this blog it can take my own ISP (NTL) up to 48 hours to allow me to see it. They have hardware proxy servers in their network which hold an old copy of the site and won’t allow me to see a newer copy until they’re good and ready. This saves them money but means their customers can never be sure of getting the latest version of the sites they visit. If you’re an NTL customer you’re already experiencing this, whether you know it or not. If you’ve ever wondered why favourite web sites don’t appear to change even when you’re sure they should have done, you’re experiencing the malign effect of NTL’s proxy servers. I suggest you call them and complain.

What are you doing next Tuesday afternoon?

So I’m looking over your shoulder as you finish off this morning’s third vanilla latte and fill out next week’s diary. I can see that it’s all coming together nicely: lots of cleverly interlocking meetings with top industry figures, up-and-coming talent and nicely-placed suppliers (plus that appointment with your probation officer)

But… hold on… is that a huge gap? An entire afternoon in the West End with nothing to do? Tuesday 28th June? Surely not! But don’t worry. Remedy this catastrophic calendar oversight by slotting in a stimulating afternoon of blogging wisdom from the nice people at New Media Knowledge.

60 quid buys you privileged access to Mink Media’s Sabrina Dent, The Observer’s Online Editor, Rafael Behr, Fjord Media’s Mike Beeston, blog consultant Suw Charman, interesting marketing type Johnnie Moore and Adriana Cronin-Lukas from The Big Blog Company (plus me, chairing – and maybe a cup of coffee). Read more about it and reserve a place here (or I suppose you could just sit in Soho Square and drink cider with all the other new media types).

Lawyers and tailors

My undeniably sharp-suited lawyer Mark Lloyd is finally blogging properly. He writes nicely and his entries are varied. I only mention his dress sense because he links to this really compelling new blog from Saville Row tailor Thomas Mahon. If Mark is right and Mahon is really winning lots of new business through his blog it goes to prove something I’ve been saying for ages: blogs are going to be good for marketing distinctive and expensive consumer goods but not FMCG or commodity stuff. A bespoke suit has to the perfect item for blog marketing: expensive and unique and hand-made. A Saville Row suit always has a back-story, a narrative – and the maker is important – he’s part of the product. Can’t think of a better way of telling the tailor’s story than a blog.

Looking for a simple survey tool

I’d like to be able to run the odd survey here for my esteemed sponsors so I’m looking for a free (preferably) survey tool that could be installed by a technical wizard (that would be Robin) and used by a technical pygmy (that would be me). I suppose a plugin for MT might be handy but anything reasonably easy to use that will install on Robin’s Linux/Apache server would be cool. Any ideas?

A blogging mini-conference in June

Listen, if it’s raining in the afternoon on Tuesday 28 June and you’re in the West End, drop into this NMK blogging conference. I’m chairing the event, divided into two themed parts: ‘Is nano-publishing a new communications paradigm?’ and ‘Are blogs the new voices of authority?’ which would seem to bracket the blogging debate nicely. Bring 60 quid with you and you’ll hear some prominent and interesting speakers and probably get a free cup of coffee.


On 14th September I will be having dinner at The Ivy. I tell you this, of course, purely in the interests of the kind of accountability and transparency that we responsible bloggers keenly aspire to. I’m going to be there because I’m helping to judge the Guardian Student Media Awards this year. I think I’ve been chosen because I am now so far from being a student (about half way between graduation and interment I’d say) that I can bring some distance to bear on the topic. I’ll be judging Best Student Web Site with Emily Bell who runs Guardian Unlimited.

There are two kinds of blog

There are obviously more than two kinds of blog. I suppose I mean here are two kinds of blog. Anyway, there’s the kind that’s so stuffed with actionable nuggets, little (and big) things that you can actually try out and that make you go: “Oh shit. That’s another thing I have to figure out (like I don’t have enough things to figure out).” Ben Hammersley‘s is that kind of blog. There’s nothing on this page that isn’t interesting and worth a few minutes of your time (except maybe the skirt). Then there’s the kind that represents a throughly engaging worldview and provides lots of entertaining evidence for its validity. Russell Davies‘ is that kind of blog.