No post today due to #inaug09

If you’re wondering what #inaug09 means, it’s the hashtag for people tweeting about the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

So aside from keeping an eye on Twitter stability, I’m taking a break.

Strangely it was actually coping well until the moment before I started blogging when an ominous 4 minute lag appeared – if it survives at 4 minutes considering the huge amount of usage it’s experiencing I’ll be mightily impressed!

Just one last thought – the experience of being able to share in the event through Twitter and throughout the web is definitely affecting other UK tweeters, and other people around the world. It seems that the convergence of technology and Obama is connecting people in a new way – perhaps because previous large scale events tended to be around nation-specific sports (e.g. The Superbowl), or large scale tragedies as occurred in Mumbai.

This time it’s a positive event in the messages of everyone I’m witnessing. And that can only be a good thing.

Viral of the wrong sort – consumed by colds!

My son has only just started going to nursery, but has already picked up the first of the inevitable stream of colds he’ll get over the next year or so – and not only is he suffering, but he’s kindly passed it to both parents!

Hence a bit of a lack of blogging, but some interesting conversations with his mum about how how we think he’ll consume information and entertainment in the future.

For instance, her belief that children’s books in print will be just as prevalent in 5 years time because he’s already turning the pages of his books.

My belief that might not be the case, because he might not be ‘turning the page of a book’, but simply trying to interact with something in front of him.

I’m not suggesting either of us is necessarily right – but it’s interesting comparing the different views – me as the web geek who spends his work and spare time talking about blogs and Twitter, and her as the more practical mother who only gets a few minutes each day to catch up with friends via Facebook and a couple of mothering messageboards.

When the likes of Oprah recommend something like a Kindle, there’s definitely big changes coming, whether or not the eventual mass-adopted solution looks anything like what’s out there.

Having said that, I’m currently indulging in more dead treee reading – re-reading Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges for the 21st Century and thinking about smartphones and convergence. If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth catching up with the blog as well, at Communities Dominate Brands.

Right, back to the group huddled on the sofa sniffling…

One response to the threat of big brother…

I picked up an old-fashioned print copy of Wired the other day when I was at Stansted Airport. I quite enjoy reading about web topics in print, mainly because it gives my eyes a rest from the glow of the VDU. Strangely though, I find the American style of breaking up articles into two section, as Wired does, to really detract from the experience.

Anyway, one article caught my attention, in the current climate of internet ids and convergence between online personas and offline identities. Hasan Elahi was detained by the FBI after stepping off a U.S. flight due to suspicions he was a terrorist. Luckily, he’s actually a Rutgers professor and artist, but it led to a web-based project for him.

On TrackingTransience.net, Hasan details everything he does, and everywhere he goes. Meals, purchases, flights, it’s all there. And it allows him the perfect alibi, should anyone question his whereabouts and motives. And funnily enough, his server log shows hits from the Pentagon and the Secretary of Defense among others.

He predicts a day when so many people are posting so much online it puts Big Brother out of business.

it’s an interesting idea. Particularly when there is such a threat of identity theft and fraud online. But if your bank can see you’re in the newsagents in Cambridge when your card is being used online from a PC in New York, or in person in Manchester, it’ll make innocence easier to prove – if banks etc accept the evidence, which will take time for them to grasp the concept.

The only flaw is that it requires you to be absolutely honest. And that’s the case with all this convergence. If you’re in a relationship, for example, and you get approached by someone online who flirts, having all your info in one place could lead to huge problems. If you record anything that has broken any rules, then you’ve invited yourself to be caught. And what happens if you’re an attractive 17 year old girl rather than a 35-year-old male, and you try the same technique?

There will always be risks to every decision, and there will always be flaws. But Hasan has shown that rather than worrying about having your privacy invaded and spending your life paranoid and trying to cloak yourself, perhaps it’s more effective to just put everything on show and take what comes.

Always act on your ideas…

It’s good to be back at a PC after a few days of illness. It means I’ve got a bit of catching up to do (thank God for Firfox Live Bookmarks), so I better get started.

A while back i signed up my Xbox 360 Gamertag to the www.360voice.com service, which posts a daily blog ‘written’ by your Xbox about what you’ve been playing.(Mine’s here btw).

Combined with the likes of Amazon and Last.fm, that got me thinking about how cool it would be to share everything you’re doing. Websites viewed, applications used, music listened to, videos watched etc, all in one place, and all automatically presented, so you don’t have to blog about it.

My only concerns were around whether an audience would put sharing above any privacy issues, and what happens when I accidentally click on a naughty web link and all my friends and colleagues can witness it…

Well, Slifeshare is taking that risk, and allowing users to share sites, music, video and whatever live app is running. Plus you can invite friends and track groups as a whole, with charts for top artists, sites, feeds etc.

I’ll be intrigued to see if this is a convergence step too far…

My own convergence…

I’m slowly, but surely, taking the web 2.0 mantra of convergence on board, and finally organising and converging my many web outlets and identities.

So if you’re on Myspace, feel free to add me at:
http://www.myspace.com/thewayoftheweb

And make sure you also add:
http://www.myspace.com/motorcyclenews
and
http://www.myspace.com/disposable media.

You can also find motorcyclenews on Youtube. Go to http://www.youtube.com/motorcyclenewsdotcom

Obviously I’m also on MyBlogLog, but it’s interesting that Jason Calcanis has suffered from some alleged MyBlogLog hacking. Thank God my obscurity should keep me safe from harm!