Recommended Reading

I appreciate this avalanche of links is somewhat overwhelming. Sorry about that! You might want to revisit it when you have more time.

  • Network West Midlands' Travel Map – is a marvel and not just because it's lightyears ahead of anything they've produced before. It's an interactive Google Maps mashup that hooks into live timetable and travel information. The only downside is it's desktop bound but I can see this being on mobiles very soon. Fantastic example of taking data and making it work. 10/10
  • Manage your online reputation – Michael Grimes has adapted the US Airforce blog assessment chart into plainer English "more suitable for UK Third Sector organisations" and provided a high resolution PDF to print out and stick on your wall. A handy, level headed guide for when someone writes something about you online.
  • Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes – Quick guide from Chris Brogan on using Google Reader to gather and filter much more information that you might have thought possible. Nothing radical here but that probably makes it all the more useful.
  • Blogger-in-residence – Chris Unitt raises the idea of extending the artist/writer/poet/dancer-in-residence concept to blogging.
  • The Hole-in-the-Wall Project – Chris Unitt picks up on and develops an item on Radio 4's Thinking Allowed about how Indian slum children, left to their own devices, interacted with a computer built into a wall. "After 7-8 hours they were teaching each other to browse. After a few days or weeks they were operating everything in Windows. Between 3-6 months the children were capable of using a computer to the standard of the average user in the West. School results jumped spectacularly when the children discovered Google."
  • Learning to Think Like A Programmer – Useful advise to anyone looking to work with online tools. I can't write a computer program but my understanding of the fundamentals has helped me no end.
  • 40 must-reads for extraordinary bloggers – Yes, it's a big pro-blogger list post and I was skeptical, but a quick skim reveals a few items I found illuminating so there's a chance you might too.
  • Seriously Civic Social Media in Brum – Nice overview of what we're up to in Birmingham at the moment featuring an interview with Nick Booth.
  • Why I'm finished with 'social media' – Bobbie Johnson has a righteous rant concluding with "Social media is people. People talk about stuff. The end." I agree wholeheartedly. But I also think there's plenty of work to be done in this area. The issue, I think, is that most studies of "social media" miss the point and do so annoyingly loudly. This is also why I'm currently looking for a term to describe what I do that isn't "social media"…
  • How the fanzine refused to die – Interesting and in depth article by Simon Reynolds. I disagree with parts (specifically I see blogs and zines as fellow travelers not in opposition) but that's just quibbling over details.
  • How the internet supports friendships – Michael Grimes touches on an issue I've been thinking about for a while now. There's much more to think about here but it's a good starting point.
  • Interactive Cultures – is the "research centre of the Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University" which comprises a bunch of interesting people. A blog to keep tabs on.

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