NESTA: Social Media with Stephen Fry

I followed this on Twitter at the time – I wasn’t able to go unfortunatlely, but a friend has just drawn the video to my intention, so no need to entirely to miss out. Really interesting debate with: “Stephen Fry, actor, journalist and celebrity ‘Tweeter’ and self-confessed technophile; Biz Stone, Founder and Chief Executive of Twitter; and Reid Hoffman, Founder and Chief Executive of LinkedIn discussed the future impact of social media.”

Sleep Talkin Man

Curious as to how SleepTalkinMan suddenly took over Twitter yesterday – apparently his wife has been keeping a blog of his weird nightly sleep-ramblings since April 2009, so why now. Partly, I guess to do with the press coverage (we keep talking about the death of the newspapers, but online newspapers…), including Daily Mail and the Sun. If something’s funny it either goes viral and/or generates debate!

Social Media Plays a Big Role in Helping Haiti

Retweets from the States has meant that Red Cross has been trending for around 24+ hours, as people are asked to donate $10 each via text messaging. My tweet 9 hours ago: “Red Cross have been using amazing text campaign for Haiti in the States, but in UK, can donate online:“. ITV ‘This Morning’ has started to appear on Twitter this morning: “RT @itvthismorning: Haiti Emergency Appeal Red Cross 24hr Donation Line: 0845 053 5353.” Interesting to see comments people are making – in the States, reflections on how easily $10 is throw away, and how much difference each individual can make… inspiring stuff.

"The Monster Devouring Us…"

Old & New Technology“It is a Britain, indeed a world, where the private individual has ceased to exist, and one in which an unholy alliance of the state and Mammon rules our lives with powers that would have made Stalin sick with envy.

This dystopian nightmare is a distinct possibility thanks to what is probably the most significant invention of the 20th century – the internet.

And although this nightmare is set in the future, much of it is starting to happen.

The net, which turned 40 years old last week, is often touted as the ultimate tool of freedom and knowledge.

But in another 40 years’ time, will we still be celebrating this extraordinary electronic marvel – or rueing the creation of a monster? That is the troubling question being asked not just by technological luddites, but by the founders of the internet itself.

Although most people became aware of the net only in the early Nineties, the global ‘network of networks’ has a history stretching back to the earliest days of computing.

The first network connection was made on October 29, 1969, when an undergraduate called Charley Kline attempted to make a computer in  communicate with another computer at Stanford up the coast.”

Read the full story. I’ll be really interested to see what my history students make of their assignment to decide whether the invention of the internet was a landmark, and whether they pick the “official” anniversary as the landmark date… let’s hope their presentation is full of interest!

Blog Action Day: SFDO

Blog Action Day: Super Fun Days OutSuper Fun Days Out snuck in at the last minute (literally, in UK time). I’d done my blog entry for this blog, and then thought – there’s quite a lot of adrenalin/extreme sports that people can undertake without impacting too much upon the environment, so I pulled together an entry that went live at 11.59pm on the 15th October, for Blog Action Day, although as it’s still 15th October in other countries, they’ll be new entries for a while yet!

Super Fun Days Out: AdrenablogBlogs don’t always need to be complicated, and are often a great space for pulling together your ideas… and see, within minutes we’re appearing on here: Blog Action Day

And Twitter, of course, has made a great impact on this campaign – check under #BAD09 for posts related to this – unfortunately I haven’t spotted it as a trending topic at any point today… would have thought it would have been!

twitterbad09If you just read a handful of the blogs produced today, there would be plenty of new ideas and tips swimming around!

Super Fun Days Out (SFDO) (2009)

SuperfundaysoutLove Life, Live It!

In 2008, Yaz El-Hakim, Hugh Bassett-Jones and Dominic Northcott, all staff at the University of Winchester, had a vision for “the best, most comprehensive, most intuitive and free of charge directory for anyone wanting to take part in any extreme or adrenaline sports anywhere in the country.” . Facing stiff  competition from others at the University of Winchester, Super Fun Days Out was one of only two successful businesses in the November 2008 rounds for new business start-ups, and the funding has been put to good use.  Read more.

In April 2009, I checked over the website and gave the guys some advice on how it could become more interactive, and the potential for using social media to encourage repeat visitors! In July 2009, I was asked, along with Helen Owten, to come on board as social media strategist, with a particular responsibility for Twitter (at that time standing at 11 followers), setting up a blog (which is gradually coming to life), and bookmarking through sites such as a Delicious (which is still really awaiting its turn!), whilst Helen was responsible for Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. I’m really enjoying the challenge of being more structured in my approach to a blog, and looking for ways to encourage engagement… and using that knowledge in improving my other social media strategies!

Read more:

The Gathering, Church in a Pub (2009)

The Gathering WebsiteThe Gathering: An Experiment in Church

At North Winchester Community Church we’ve been discussing the idea of a ‘new’ type of service, once a month, on Sunday evening’s, around the theme of a Pub Church (within the style of Fresh Expressions).

So, welcome to “The Gathering“, to which you can find out more details on the website, launched last night! I am naturally a night owl, and gained inspiration after our inaugural test-run on Sunday, as to where I could see this website fitting in a bit more… not that any of us really know how this service is going to turn out, as the whole point is that it’s experimental, and ready to be shaped by its members! The website is therefore fairly experimental and more explicitly a ‘work in progress’ than other sites that I have done.

Blog Content

The blog is structured with 3 basic pages for static content: what is the gathering about?; who can people contact to find out more?; where can people continue the discussions? For the remainder of the blog, the expectation is that the remainder of the entries will be blog/diary entries, listed in reverse order, with strong use of keywords/categories (although as we’re so experimental, these aren’t entirely clear, but we will monitor their evolvement) to allow visitors to filter the content that they desire. Of course, it wouldn’t be one of my sites without search (apparently the online world used to be 50% search, 50% through navigation… I think that balance has tipped in favour of searchers!) Theme

Pressrow by Chris Pearson, a nice clean design, which allowed me to design my own header (using a collage of images from, and appears to have the features we need. The current NWCC site is moving across to self-hosted WordPress, so this may end up upon here, we’ll see how transferable it is, but I think it shows up the stunning pictures well!

Multi-Author Blog

This is my first attempt at using WordPress for a multi-author blog, but we want to get at least the organising group involved in blogging on the site, and then encourage others to engage and comment upon the site – maybe we need a touch of the polemical topics!

Social Media

Other than the blog itself, we have set up a Twitter feed, a Facebook group,  YouTube (no content yet) and Delicious (also no content), which seems approrpriate for a church which plans to not base itself around ‘sermons’, but other styles of discussion and interaction – including mix/match of online/offline…. as we said, all very experimental!