Stuff I’ve been reading

  • RSS and the Greatly Exaggerated Rumors of the Album’s Death « Bandcamp Blog – Interesting observation on Bandcamp of how their artists are using "albums" as buckets into which songs go.
    "What exactly constitutes an album is rapidly evolving… Rather than treating albums as immutable collections of tracks, lots of you treat albums as open containers. Containers for song-a-day/week projects, explorations of particular musical styles, or just general works-in-progress."

    Reminds me of Flickr photo sets which people either use as one-off collections of photos which will never be added to or themed collections which build over time. Bandcamp have added RSS feeds to their albums, as Flickr have to photo sets. Seems counter-intuitive at first but actually makes perfect sense. Albums are dynamic things.

  • The Generation M Manifesto – Umair Haque – A manifesto that starts with "Dear Old People Who Run the World, My generation would like to break up with you." Like all good manifestos it's passionate, overblown and full of sweeping generalisations but that's not a problem as it serves to spark thought and discussion. Reads a lot like the Cluetrain Manifesto 10 years later which is no bad thing.

    In the comments someone says this is nothing new – every generation felt like this. True but I wonder if the networked nature of this generation makes a difference?

  • Hyperlocal News Wire – jon bounds – Jon talks through the process of building a Yahoo Pipe to intelligently aggregate local blogs. Amongst other things this helps answer the question "what are all these local blogs good for?"
  • Blackbeard Blog – You Don’t Have To Be A Mentalist To Edit Wikipedia, But It Helps – Respoding to a report of a study entitled "Wikipedians are a bunch of egocentric introverts" Tom Ewing picks up on a straw man and adds this gem:
    In fact this is one of the awesome things about Wikipedia – the fact that it’s a project which has yoked a lot of individual bads (egocentricity and pedantry) into a gigantic collective good. Wikipedia is unique in that it’s a community that actually works better the more nit-pickety and humourless its members are! God bless it.

  • Web 2.0/Social Media: Really guys, it’s pretty simple – Another bullshit calling article from a few weeks back that says "Social Media is people talking to each other", which is true, but then spends paragraphs and paragraphs explaining why, which kinda indicates "Social Media is people talking to each other" isn't actually that simple when you start digging. Still, I agree with the spirit of the piece.
  • Calling bullshit on social media – I loved reading this as he hits a number of things I've been thinking about, muttering about on Twitter or feeling unable to articulate in case they get misinterpreted (one of the perils of working in an industry you're commenting on…) I don't necessarily agree with his conclusions or opinions but it's a great codification of worries I've been having since SXSWi this year. (There's a counter argument here.)
  • City of Heroes character Twixt becomes game’s most hated outcast courtesy of Loyola professor – Curious story of a professor who played an online game exactly as the original creators intended and was rounded on by the long-term players who'd developed their own social rules. While his methods are questionable to say the least (there are some good rebuttals in the comments linked to here: ) it does nicely illustrate the phenomena of newcomers breaking "rules" on social sites which aren't anywhere to be found in the FAQ. (cf "You're doing Twitter wrong!")
  • Social Media Champions – Ginevra Kirkland – Short interview with the Community Manager at Six Apart (Movable Type, Typepad, Vox). Not massively illuminating but a do like peeks into the minds of people who work with this stuff on a social level. See also Heather Champ of Flickr whose experience is invaluable.
  • What’s wrong with Flips? – The Daily Grind – Nice look at everyone's favourite cheap and simple video camera, the Flip, which occupies that annoying space where it's good but not quite good enough. The Flip is now a good couple of years old and there are a lot of other budget cameras on the market. Should investigate really.
  • Technology Freedom in Metaphor – Acts of Volition – "If Twitter were a phone company, you could only call people who used the same phone company as you." Comments have discussion and links to the OpenMicroblogging standard. If Twitter were to adopt this they might survive and the world would be a better place. Unfortunately survival doesn't appear to be compatible with their investment strategy
  • Telegraph: Iran’s crackdown proves that the ‘Twitter revolution’ has made things worse – Discarding the journalist hyperbole and cynicism this does touch on a couple of useful points – questions about how representative the Iranian Twitter users are and implications for broadcasting controversial opinions in a public space, though I'd argue this is no different to participating in a protest march where you know you'll be photographed and investigated. But the Iranian situation is massively complicated which is why I've been reticent to comment on it.
  • Let’s All Buy Twitter – I suspect his is a hopeless idea and the solution to Twitter's scaling problems isn't who owns it. But you've got to love anything that starts "It's only a matter of time before Twitter is bought by bastards."
  • Creative Open Workshop’s blog – Great example of using Posterous as a blog. Posterous is built to be updated by email, taking attachments and formatting them nicely. Check out the mini-photo galleries. If you predominantly use email this is a quick and easy way to run a blog.

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One thought on “Stuff I’ve been reading

  1. glad you found some usefulness out of the interview with me and the Startup Success dudes. I've never interviewed for a podcast before, so I cringe a bit at the whole thing myself, but hope I'll get the next one done a bit better.

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