Hashtags are dead

The use of hashtags by brands and organisations is dead, is what I mean. We now know how trivially easy they are to weaponise. They’re big, slow-moving targets for propagandists and terrorists. Clouds of branded chaff, too easily turned bad. And brand countermeasures – closing accounts, removing content – are so ineffective, so after-the-fact, as… Continue reading Hashtags are dead

Feminism and me

As a young man, I got my feminism from three sources: first, mum and dad. Not radicals, not even feminists. Working class trade unionists who lived the struggle. Second, the academic stuff I soaked up at college: bracing, mind-altering stuff from Laura Mulvey, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous; teachers and artists like Marie Yates, Mitra Tabrizian,… Continue reading Feminism and me

In defense of Twitter

Top debunker Andrew Orlowski put the boot into Twitter and to poor old Rory Cellan Jones in a very entertaining way in the tech Private Eye The Register the other day. Orlowski’s kind of militant scepticism is useful. Everything new and especially fancy should be tested against an Orlowski figure (if you’ve got one handy).… Continue reading In defense of Twitter

Five nines? No nines at all, more like

A very long time ago I ran a web-based email service (allow me to tell you about it one day). It was moderately successful and, before the latter unpleasantness it had well over a million users and substantial traffic and brand awareness. I learnt one really big lesson from that particular experience, though: never run… Continue reading Five nines? No nines at all, more like