My Week in Twitter 2012-07-22

  • Eheu! With fasting bloods tomorrow morning, I am allowed no food *nor even tea*! after 2000 tonight. #
  • My Top 1 #lastfm Artists: Cascada (1) #tweeklyfm #
  • @MikeNolan streaming looks fine on ADSLMax (8m); running on XP! with latest Firefox. in reply to MikeNolan #
  • Excellent snarky reply to a private health recruiter #
  • @mccartc3 welcome back mate. Pleased to see #btot working again. So, thought about how you could do it with Wave 15? πŸ™‚ in reply to mccartc3 #
  • @niksargent sorry, mate: in reply to niksargent #
  • @niksargent @JCT_WoodPad I have multiple domains, all handled through Google Apps Mail, and Google spam defences are good… in reply to niksargent #
  • I just got my Search Score on BrandYourself and got a B+! Can you beat that? #
  • β€œUse social networks all you like, but continue to publish content through your own site. ” +1 #
  • Rise of the Indie Web – cast off your silo chains #btot #fb #
  • BBC lawyers consider formal appeal over court ban on riots drama via @guardian #
  • Morning coffee before a high bandwidth day in the office. (@ Red Pepper) #
  • An unusual day; working in a corporate office, while the rain falls on Inverness (@ Fraser House) [pic]: #
  • An epiphany at work today, as I realise sharing inside the firewall benefits neither me, nor the company. And as I stop, I relax. #
  • @mccartc3 thanks, Clyne. Just seemed a bit, well, self-indulgent so I pulled the internal blog, too. But redside? All cool πŸ™‚ in reply to mccartc3 #
  • @mccartc3 I think that's the problem πŸ™‚ I've been wasting too much time (years) shouting into a cavern and I weary… in reply to mccartc3 #
  • RT @Hfuhs: CLOUD – Can't Locate Our Users Data
    / Love it! /ht @9600 #
  • – amazing! #
  • Stolen from elsewhere: If Atheism is a religion then 'off' is a TV channel. #
  • End of another day as I go to walk the dogs, then slope off to the pub.*Must* have overshared at work πŸ™‚ More than 1k (2yrs) posts removed #
  • @shezza_t I took the posts (& blog) down; stuff that interests me I have records of; not really a sharing culture internally. in reply to shezza_t #
  • Having watched the astonishing TdF timetrial, time for a beer in the garden, then start seafood chili pasta #

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How much email do you really get?

Blue Glass on Sand

Someone was giving me their war stories about their personal email, and I wondered about mine. I have email coming in from 5 or 6 domains and a couple of gmail accounts. I handle it all through Google Apps For Your Domain, which does a very creditable job of icing SPAM for me. I did a quick check and in the last 30 day I received 1295 emails, no spam. Call it 40 a day.

The vast majority were notifications from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, or communications from suppliers I have a relationship with [usually tagged and filtered]. I got 16 from contacts in the Coastguard; 20 from a fraternal organisation; 25 as email output from a Yahoo Knowledge Management Group. The last three could all be handled via blogs/wiki/groups.

Personally addressed email to *me*? Only for me? I got… none.

My personal contacts come to me via Facebook; via Twitter; via Skype messaging, or by SMS. I guess in those terms I really am “Thinking Outside the Inbox” as Luis Suarez would say.

I only wish my work email was as simple πŸ™‚ – about 20 a day, about half of which requires me to do something… and about 80% of that could be dealt with better. Will SharePoint 2010 help address that? I do hope so.

How much of your email is really personal to you?

Image Credit: Owen’s

What drives you to share?

sharing fruit

In a typically erudite post from David Cushman, he asks “What makes you share?”

While he discusses the virtues – or otherwise – of taking deliberately contrary positions, I think the highlight of the post for me is the following:

…the only way we can find others who care about the same things we do is through one or other party expressing that concern. Until you share your thoughts they have no value to you or your network. They contribute nothing to making your life better or the world a better place.
But the simple act of sharing what you care about can make change. When you share you allow others to access your thoughts and to discover you…

I mostly share to learn. The old saw is “the best way to learn something is to teach it”. I also think it’s better to make your views, interests and experience open to your peers – as it adds value to your interactions. I’m a remote homeworker, and reading my social media/shared stuff will give people a better idea of what I’m like – for good or ill…

To explicitly answer David’s questions

So what drives you to share?

The fascination of discovering what other brighter people have learned or thought – and how easy it is to learn these things.

What would make you share more?

The improving of the technology; for me it went something like delicious, blogs, my ongoing love – Twitter, and latterly posterous, and Facebook with Selective Tweets.

So, what makes you share?

Image Credit: wlodi

Do you quote Twitter in your blog posts?

Sad to say, a change in my work and a move in focus has meant that I’m blogging rather less now than I used to – with most activity coming via my Posterous mini-blog, or from my rather eclectic twitter stream. I regularly retweet interesting things, and using a combination of and Selective Tweets, share links I’ve found with my Twitter and Facebook friends.

wpbeginner’s post on using Twitter Blackbird Pie shows an interesting plugin to allow the easy embedding of tweets into your actual blog, which adds nicely to your options.

How did I discover this?
[blackbirdpie id=”59428383074947072″] naturally enough.

I tried it and liked it.
[blackbirdpie id=”59893661156126720″]

How about you?

Will you miss libraries?


In the UK, we have a huge budget deficit; the coalition government have decided to tackle it and public spending is being reduced. Local authorities have to choose where to spend the money they have, and currently a number of them are planning to close libraries.

Save Our Library Day has just finished and it made me think about how I use libraries.

As a youngster, as a teenager, and into my twenties, I used libraries a lot. Somewhere quiet to study, somewhere to get hold of books to read for relaxation or for reference. In my thirties, as the father of young children, I took my children to the library, so they learnt about the wonderful world of books, and they could choose books that at first I would read to them, later read with them – and eventually that they would read themselves.

What’s changed for me? Well, for reference, the internet makes research and finding reviews much easier. I can read fiction and comment in blogs from around the world.

Most of the books I read now are those in which my my interest has been piqued by hearing others discuss it. Yes, OK, the internet is the biggest book club in the world. Now, I can get that book by going to the library and seeing if it is in; my local library, is lovely, but small, and open 4 sessions a week maximum. The other thing I can do is got to my Amazon account, and have the book delivered the following day.

If I overcome my distrust of the technology and the DRM issues, I could have it delivered to a Kindle in minutes. Why would I need a library?

But, of course, that’s not the point. It was a library that formed my life long habit of reading, reinforced by my parent’s book-filled household. [They took me to the library, too]. It was going to the library that helped my children form a reading habit, and learn the joys of reading. If libraries aren’t there for others, how will they get that experience, and learn that reading is for everyone.

I’m fortunate in that I can buy pretty well any books I want; I wasn’t always so fortunate, and as a student, and in initial low paid roles, I could always find books to read and learn from for nothing.

I won’t miss a library for myself.
I’d miss libraries for the damage their loss could cause to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people yet to come. I’d rather pay more local council tax than lose my library – even if I don’t use it.

How will you miss libraries?

Image Credit: lisabatty – and no, the British Library isn’t at risk, it’s just a lovely image of a library

WikiLeaks: Amazon kicked them out. Should they have?

Andrew McAfee thinks so.

In his post Bravo, Amazon, for Kicking Out WikiLeaks he makes his view very clear. In my comments yesterday I thought I’d made my disagreement clear. Perhaps I double posted, for my comments don’t appear there this morning.

I posted there again, but just thought I’d highlight my personal view here.

AWS can choose to whom they offer service; customers are now aware that Amazon can close down their services as soon as they like, for whatever specious reasons they have. I understand that it still isn’t clear on what grounds they terminated WikiLeaks hosting. I’ll be closing my S3 service, although I’ll still buy books from Amazon.

So far, we’ve seen nothing like My Lai; in this set of releases.
WikiLeaks did release the Collateral Murder video, which while not My Lai did show connivance and carelessness in the deaths of civilians caused by military action. Was that a good thing? Yes, I think it was.

I suspect that it meant we got the truth about what happened to Linda Norgrove more quickly than we would have done otherwise. I wonder if the fear of WikiLeaks may make another Pat Tillman event less likely.

Is it inconvenient that information like this leaks? Yes.
Does th US have “embarrassed and angry allies”? Yes, but many of those are probably angry with themselves for things like believing their own intelligence reports about WMD, to worry too much about US diplomats say; I’m sure British diplomats are at least as cutting.

You wonder why other countries cables haven’t appeared yet? WikiLeaks haven’t got hold of them. It’s easy to find a variety of countries and companies that have been previous WikiLeaks targets; the US is obviously a big target – but then, they do a lot of… things in a lot of places.

Should this information have been released? Ask me when I’ve seen it all.
Should Amazon have sacked WikiLeaks? Up to them, but many will think less of them.

How much of you to share?

masked man

Who is this masked man?

According to a work colleague, it probably should be me.

Why should you hide your identity?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. One of my colleagues said they’d like to separate their updates depending on the audience, their facebook feed being different to linkedin for example.

I was fine with that – after all, I use hashtags in Twitter to decide whether I send an update to Facebook(#fb), LinkedIn (#in) or Yammer (#yam) or none of them. Where I was puzzled was when another senior colleague said he thought most folk would probably choose to maintain different identities and say different things to different audiences.

I said

I talk differently to my wife, and about different things; my persona is authentic, which is important so that people can build trust…I’m friends/contacts with differing groups of folk [on] Twitter, FB, LinkedIn. All bleed into each other, so I need to be “real”.

What do you share?

I’m a moderately open sharer, and you can find links to my Twitter, Posterous and Friendfeed on the blog. I’m also on LinkedIn, Flickr, and you can see loads more on You’ll see different things on each of them, but you’ll find the same tone. I’m me, wherever I am.

I don’t share all my KM stuff on Facebook; it would bore my Coastguard friends rigid. I don’t tell people on Yammer about a recent shout where we went to a casualty on a beach; it might not interest them. I don’t usually “friend” work colleagues on Facebook, because they are different audiences; but some I do, and I’d look pretty odd if my tone wasn’t authentic.

How many identities do *you* have?

Sorry guys, I just have this one. What about you?

Image Credit: P!XELTREE

The Guardian lets you redistribute content

Not only is the Guardian making a positive effort to attract readers barred by the Times/Murdoch paywall – they are inviting readers to redistribute Guardian content through their WordPress blogs – and it seems to work

I am indebted to @jennybee for this who retweeted

“RT @AndyBold: just as the Times paywall is fully raised, Guardian says “Please republish our articles on your blog!””

So, as an initial trial, here’s an example.

Powered by article was written by John Crace, for on Friday 2nd July 2010 12.53 UTC

And a very warm welcome to all our readers from The Times. We’re very sorry you awoke to find you could no longer read your newspaper online without a credit card and we feel your pain.

We couldn’t get into the Times site either last week when it was supposed to still be free as the registration system had crashed. But we can help you through this trauma. Call it a belief in an open internet or care in the community if you like, but here at the Guardian we can offer everything you ever wanted from the Times – and more – for nothing.

I suppose I ought to start by introducing myself. I write the weekly Digested Reads, among other things. As this is a sales pitch, I’ve been asked to mention that the new Oxford Book of Parodies says I’m one of Britain’s best parodists, dead or alive. You can work out which.

To many of you, much of our website may seem a bit unfamiliar. We’re not going to try to hide the fact that on certain – make that all – issues we tend to be the teensiest bit liberal.

But don’t let that scare you. We don’t bite. Very hard. And we do have a few of our very own Tories writing for us, though apparently they don’t like being called Tories so I’m not allowed to say who they are as they have friends in very high places and could get me fired.

It’s possible you last read the Guardian when the sports coverage ran to a single line – “Last night England lost 4-1 to Germany in a game of Association Football”. Well just check it out now. We suspect you’ll find it rather more interesting and fun these days.

And the same goes for all the other subjects we cover – politics, comment, education, environment, books, film, music, TV and a whole load more.

There’s no need to miss your favourite columnists either. We know you like Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch but excellent though Caitlin is, check out her inspiration: Marina Hyde’s Lost in Showbiz. (Sample quote: “Until Wednesday, Madonna had appeared to be dealing with the Guy-shaped hole in her existence the best way she knows how: by frotting a couple of nuns on stage every night in a crowd-thrilling tableau that hints at both the eternal fragility of the human heart and the recession-proof nature of amyl nitrate.”)

We’ve never quite understood your fascination with Giles Coren, especially as his much more talented sister Victoria writes for us twice (yes twice) a week, but each to their own.

And look, we’ve got loads of other great writers β€” Patrick Wintour, Gary Younge, Polly Toynbee, Amelia Gentleman, Zoe Williams, Simon Hattenstone, Michael Billington, Simon Jenkins, Alexis Petridis and dozens of others who will knife me in the front when I get back into the office for not giving them a namecheck.

We can also guarantee to be a 100% Melanie Phillips-free zone – although we are happy to count her as one of our most avid readers. She’s always moaning about us on her Spectator blog.

To make you feel right at home, we run a selection of interminably dull pieces by the great and the good that no one but the commissioning editor ever finishes, but I’m not allowed to mention who they are for much the same reason as I can’t name the Tories.

But if you stick with us, you’ll soon work out who they are and stop reading them for yourselves.

There will of course be a few very noticeable differences. We don’t always write about Rupert Murdoch in the way the North Korean media reports Kim Jong-il and we have occasionally made a critical remark about Sky and News International.

You may however find it refreshing that we do also criticise the Guardian Media Group when they step out of line.

We’re told that most of you read the Times online just for Jeremy Clarkson. But look, he’s here too! Or rather his avatar is. But we don’t think you will be able to tell the difference …

What’s the point of Norway? On the night I stood having a cigarette outside Lillehammer’s equivalent to Piccadilly Circus, I didn’t see a single car. I felt like a lonely fat poof hanging around outside a public lavatory, while my friends George and Michael were inside getting it on with an Eskimo in salmon-pink, reindeer-skin chaps. And talking of which, here’s the Mazda MX-5, the gayest car ever built.

Fighting my way past the scores of Hungarian paedophiles and Muslims wearing waistcoats packed with explosives whom Tony Bliar and his multicultural cronies have personally invited into this country brings me nicely on to the Lexus. Here’s another piece of foreign rubbish we could do without. If we filled every Lexus with Germaine Greer and her bunch of dungaree-wearing lesbians and sent them back to Japan, the country would be a far better place.

OK, so it was me who wrote that.

And if you get fed up with too many words – as I’m guessing you might well be by now – then catch up with all our podcasts and videos. So don’t be shy. Have a look around wherever you fancy. We can guarantee you’ll have fun and it won’t cost you a penny. Come on in. Thirty million online readers can’t all be wrong. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Does Knowledge Management matter?

This is the question posed – but not answered – in the brilliant post On whether Knowledge Management matters by Brad Hinton. I was alerted to this by a timely tweet from @johnt

He posits:

Based on my own observations and discussions with people, perhaps the only people who care about KM are the KM-ers in the industry itself.

He suggests that we perhaps celebrate the odd success of bottom up initiatives, rather than recognising that they symbolise general apathy from the executive.

In as poignant comment, he adds

I really doubt that senior management has any interest in KM because KM is often about empowering a workforce, or at least flattening the structure via networks and network platforms. There is a perception that this weakens the authority of β€œthose in power” and it also permits workers to have greater freedom to make choices

I think he’s probably painting a gloomy picture, but I wonder if KM – with its ability to stimulate and empower people in the team – is seen by some seniors as challenging their “command and control” approach.

My firm is revisiting our KM strategy, and I’ll be watching carefully.

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What does your website look like to me?

a blob of Flash

The image above is what the website of Inventory magazine looks like, to me.

Like many others, I generally block Flash using Flashblock. Most Flash is an intrusion, and it slows up my machine and uses resources I could use to keep more tabs open… Yes, I can choose to see what is in Flash. Why does this site not want me to see anything?

If I can’t instantly get something from your site… I’ll likely move on, and any chance of sharing knowledge will have gone.

My attention was drawn to this site via a posting from Paul Downey entitled Polite Comment, about Web Design. He’s started looking at Web Design and is trying to encourage

standards based Web sites which work in any browser and which are truly inspirational and from which we can learn from using view-source

I fully support Paul’s campaign, and encourage others to support this.

As I said in Lessons from Jamie Zawinski

You don’t need stuff to be unreadable to be attractive.

One of Paul Downey‘s erstwhile colleagues, Phil Hawksworth, (@philhawksworth), is a passionate advocate of Unobtrusive Javascript and Progressive Enhancement – and made an explanatory site about this. You can see the site at, and read how unobtrusify works.

So, you can make stuff look good and read properly.

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