Saturday, January 31, 2009

No Excuses

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

Recently I expressed my views on the effects of Facebook on relationships, I have also been considering ending my association with the social networking site as I feel it imposes at times. That aside I feel that for birthdays notifications the site provides helpful reminders to keep you informed of your friends and families special day.

If you use Facebook for this purpose then you’ll love the new feature Facebook added today. You can now send a virtual birthday gift to your friends up to seven days in advance of their actual (listed) birthday. My friend Amanda celebrates her birthday tomorrow and navigating to her Facebook profile I was presented with the below message -

All Facebook have all the details available on Facebook Pushing Early Virtual Gifts and they note that there are two delivery options -
  • Directly from your friend’s wall
  • Facebook birthday e-mail reminders, which contain a direct link to send your friend an early birthday gift.
Apparently the feature is being rolled out today so if you don't have access straight away it should be available shortly.
What’s interesting, and perhaps frustratingly enticing, is the fact that your friend will see that you’ve given them a virtual birthday gift, but they won’t be able to open it until their big day. That should ensure that the birthday gal returns to Facebook ON their birthday, right? No matter which way you look at it, Facebook is taking a few extra steps to encourage more virtual gift exchanges on its social network. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Chances are if you have a friend on Facebook and forget their birthday there is no excuses now and I am sure that your friend will want an application :)

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Web Celebrity 25

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  (EXCLUSIVE AC...Image by Getty Images via Daylife I associate with their publishing of well-known lists, they assemble lists based on the personal standings for those of significance around the world. For instance I have always associated the site with Bill Gates holding the title of richest man in the World although after 13 years he is no longer the richest. He has been replaced by Warren Buffett although it's believed that had Microsoft not bid for Yahoo then Bill Gates would have been as rich - or richer - than Buffett. I doubt there is any chance of myself ever featuring in such company but their latest list has relevence to what I follow -

The third annual edition of the Web Celeb 25:
Forbes - We track the biggest and brightest stars on the Web, the people who have turned their passions into new-media empires. From stay-at home moms to geek entrepreneurs, these are the people capturing eyes, influencing opinion and creating the new digital world.
#1 Perez Hilton

#2 Michael Arrington

#3 Kevin Rose

#4 Frank Warren

#5 Cory Doctorow

#6 Pete Cashmore

#7 Beppe Grillo

#8 Heather Armstrong

#9 Guy Kawasaki

#10 Jason Calacanis

#11 Robert Scoble

#12 Will Leitch

#13 Jeff Jarvis

#14 Wil Wheaton

#15 Nate Silver

#16 Om Malik

#17 Matt Drudge

#18 Owen Thomas

#19 Dave Winer

#20 Seth Godin

#21 Brian Lam

#22 Mark Frauenfelder

#23 Steve Rubel

#24 John Dvorak

#25 Leo Laporte

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Ships Passing at NightImage by OneEighteen via Flickr

Love is strong yet delicate. It can be broken. To truly love is to understand this. To be in love is to respect this. - Stephen Packer
To understand how another person truly feels is always difficult, maybe at times we take too much for granted and don't really feel that we're hurting someone. I know that if I were given the choice there are certain aspects of the last few weeks that I would definitely change.

I wanted to share the above poem from Stephen Packer that made me realise that being stubborn doesn't help any situation. According to many sources January brings more breakups than any other month, this could be that the new year signals new beginnings. A time for reflection on the previous year, probably the reason why Valentines Day in February is so significant...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Out of Our Heads...

Out of Our Heads album coverImage via Wikipedia

The working atmosphere has changed considerably in recent months, regularly I am hearing about redundancies and unemployment. We are in a recession and the impact is being felt now as the different sectors adjust to the economic conditions. I constantly worry about what would happen if I were to become surplus to requirements at my company and feel under pressure to perform.

January has been a difficult month but I feel people need to remain positive as conditions will improve. I know it's hard not to feel rejection but focus on what is important and try not to let worry dominate your thoughts. I know I need to focus on what's important and feel it would be a lonely place without the support of others...

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


365:055 Through the LetterboxImage by angelsk via Flickr

Tonight after considering many factors I feel that I have reached the point where my association with Facebook has to end. If you have read my blog lately you will know about the problems I have experienced with my relationship.

Yesterday I wrote about the difficulties we face online with how people act differently to how they would interact in the real world. The amount of exposure we're allowing of our lives for basically anyone to follow intently is a worry.

There are no boundaries anymore, what happened to privacy? Admittedly we're responsible for our actions and we're only using features available but there is still a line that is crossed so frequently! Behind a computer screen people change and it's not attractive. I'm disappointed and feel like I have my Back Against The Wall 'stuck here in between the shadows of my yesterday'.
Do you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain? [Dark Knight]
My events from the last two years are displayed through Facebook like a timeline covering every aspect of our relationship. Which makes it all the more harder in the current situation. It's ironic that everything that has occurred has now travelled full cycle!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Complicated...

Facebook, Inc.Image via WikipediaI'm compelled to write a post on why social networking relationships are really not worth the aggravation. My current situation feels embarrassing as the Facebook platform has become just that - a stage for our friends audience to observe as our relationship comes apart at the seams. This morning browsing through my Google Reader feeds I came across an entry by Alexander van Elsas - It is naive to think our online lives are not connected to real-life - which raises many of my concerns:
There seems to be a strange disconnect between our online and offline lives. Different rules, norms and values seem to apply. It is as if our online personality is not connected to our real life. We act differently and feel a sense of freedom online that seems to compensate for the restrains we might feel in real life.
The divide is affecting our judgement as the freedom we are granted begs the question where we draw the line in what's considered acceptable? I wouldn't feel comfortable having a disagreement in public but online we don't consider the consequences.
We are all actors in this massive online play and it allows us to do things we wouldn’t consider doing in real life.
Any person that changes their relationship status to 'It's complicated...' seriously has issues. Why announce that to the World? If you value your relationship then disconnect. Walk away from your online identity and address what's important in your life! I'm sure that your 'friends' will understand and respect you more for being responsible and doing what's right.

I met my recent partner of two years through MySpace with our introduction in the form of a Sneezing Panda. Drawn together as we both had children and were compelled to support each other through the difficulties we had to confront as single parents. The bond was strong and honestly if I was a wealthy person I would have walked her down the aisle. So where did it all go wrong?

Personally I feel that Facebook has been a factor in our problems. MySpace is reminiscent of a high school with all the different social cliques,
music industry culture and - back when I contributed anyway - you are protected to an extent by your alias but on Facebook you are represented by your name. Facebook has positioned itself as the essential form of interaction for our generation. Everyone you know is on Facebook and if you aren't available on the site then who are you?
As real-life and online behavior become more and more connected, entangled, you will find that it is less easy to separate them. Online and offline become the same life. While we see our online behavior as play now I doubt it will still be play in a few years.
There are many issues I would like to raise about my concerns with our online and offline identities but I will address those in due course. I admit to being despondent at the moment and feel that it's too soon to write my true feelings.

I recommend subscribing to Alexander van Elsas as he provokes thought and accurately discusses the effects of new media and technology on human behaviour.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Am I Worth?

Twitter's Update PageImage via WikipediaI am worth 42 dollars apparently, that's my value according to Robert Scoble with the rumour that Twitter has raised more cash. The value according to Tech Crunch is $250 million so if you are one of the six million people who use Twitter to tell the world what you are doing you are worth $42 like me.

Congratulations to the Twitter team, although with this being a rumour I tend to agree with Duncan Riley from the Inquisitr -
Sure, Twitter has become immensely popular, but so is email and sex, and not many people make good money from either, and at least there’s a clear revenue model.

The bigger question: what do they need another round for? They’ve raised $20 million already, with the last round being $15 million in June 2008. Either they plan on acquiring a revenue model, or they’ve run out of money already, and if that’s the case, why are they getting more exactly?

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Said NO!!

Christmas PlayImage by joedawson via FlickrToday has been one of those days, where I have found that I am continually telling my Son the word 'No!' I feel unfair on him but the bottom line is if he were to listen to what he was told then he wouldn't need to be pulled up for doing wrong!

He returned to football training today and he put in a good performance after the other week where he retired several times due to the cold. He didn't manage a goal but he was chasing around and making himself involved. Shame he spoilt himself several times for non related incidents over the course of the day though!

My daughter showed great composure at horse riding this afternoon, the horse she was riding appeared lively but she showed who was in control. She knows how to make the horses respond to her every action and looks confident. I was quite impressed when she weaved back and forth through the cones. Looking in my direction afterwards she could tell I was impressed and acknowledged my proud gaze.

Going to visit some friends this evening, hopefully Rugby won't feature :)
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New Twhirl Twitter Client

Image representing Twhirl as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase Robert Scoble has released a video interview following on from Loic Le Meur blog post detailing all the new updates which include the following -

Catch more tweets from people talking about you!

Post your messages from Twhirl to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Wordpress and a gazillion services with integration.

Now loaded with 100% humans inside: record a video and reply to your friends straight from Twhirl.

Follow in near-realtime any topic, brand or username with the new saved searches showing up in your main timeline

Shorten your urls with more options and now measure who clicks and where your visitors are from.

Here is the video interview:
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Most talked about website of the moment...

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseTwitter seems to be growing increasingly popular with the mainstream media. The free newspapers available in London regularly mention the service, tweets and mashups which I read when navigating through the Underground network. Sources have also indicated that the growing popularity of the Twitter service has seen it overtake Digg in overall market share. Many people expected Twitter to struggle during the Inauguration of President Barack Obama but that wasn't the case as the below statistics prove -
We saw 5x normal tweets-per-second and about 4x tweets-per-minute as this chart illustrates. Overall, Twitter sailed smoothly through the inauguration but at the peak, some folks did experience a 2-5 minute delay receiving updates. [Source]

According to Hitwise: UK Internet traffic to the site has increased 10-fold over past last 12 months. For the week ending 17/01/09 ranked as the 291st most visited website in the UK, up from a ranking of 2,953 for the week ending 19/01/08. UK Internet traffic to the website has increased by 974% over this period. TechCrunch also mention famous Twitter users and the impact that they have on the site. This friday should be interesting as Jonathan Ross on his comeback show is set to discuss Twitter with fellow Twitterer Stephen Fry. Will they be able to convince Tom Cruise to start tweeting, that would be interesting to follow! :)

Is Twitter on the verge of mainstream adoption?

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Friendfeed Friend Importer for Twitter

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseJust been checking out FriendDeck that I mentioned in the post on Monday. I am impressed with the functionality and that you don't have to download a desktop client to access the service. It works well and I feel it will there is a big event like MacWorld or like the Inaugeration taking place to follow the discussion.

On Tuesday the Friendfeed team released functionality similar to the Twitter-to-FriendFeed Contact sync tool by Carter Rabasa. To import your Twitter contacts first enter the Friends tab and then select Find + Invite alternatively the friend importer for Twitter is available here.

To find Twitter friends all you are required to do is enter your username and push the button. What's great about the importing of your friends is that it allows you to filter who you want to subscribe to and also place them into lists if you desire. The Friendfeed development team are looking forward to extending this capability to more services which I'm sure will be appreciated

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Things Will Never Change...

Some Things Never Change!Image by joedawson via Flickr
Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye, And where care lodges, sleep will never lie...
Is it true that the more things change the more they remain the same? I suppose to some extent as with everything currently circulating, the pressure that brings and working out the compromise.

Even with all the factors involved one aspect unlikely to change is that no matter what is occurring you are always going to fall asleep in the car...
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


US Senator Barack Obama campaigning in New Ham...Image via WikipediaAre you looking to watch the Barack Obama inauguration live online?

There are many sites available with extensive coverage of todays event. The Inquisitr has provided extensive live resources which is worth checking out for your fix on the latest as it happens including an embedded Hulu Webcast and links to other sources. I have been watching briefly and the turn out is incredible for what is going to be a memorable day...

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Listen to your heart...

Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBaseJust been trying to catch up on the latest news stories, events in my life have taken more significance these last few days but going to try get my head straight now. Firstly I would like to start off with the story I wrote about last week regarding the beautiful game and Manchester City's interest in Kaka.

Tonight Kaka has been quoted as saying he has 'listened to his heart' in deciding to stay at AC Milan, rather than accept a record-breaking move to Manchester City. This leaves City with cash to burn so it's likely they will again be linked with every player possible. I would love to see Kaka move to the Premiership but his decision I feel is the right one and shows that money isn't the deciding factor for everyone.

Later my Twitter desktop application of choice has been TweetDeck so it's great to see a developer take inspiration from popular Twitter client by releasing a version for Friendfeed called FriendDeck. A post on ReadWriteWeb by Sarah Perez details what the application offers including the follwoing workarounds;
  • See a user's likes - type in the query likes:{username}
  • See a user's comments - type in the query comments:{username}
  • See a user's friends - type in the query friends:{username}
  • A list of posts relating to a URL - type in the query url:{}
  • A list of posts about a domain - type in the query domain:{domain}
Finally for those who regularly use Facebook albums, you will be pleased to know that Facebook are increasing the 60 photo album limit. This will be great for events, birthdays etc when there are usually loads of photographs taken. For instance this weekend I attended a party with some friends and currently there are five albums available for the event.

According to AllFacebook it isn't known if the limit has been removed altogether as they have featured a Facebook album with 175 photos. They also believe that this may be the reason why the site has become unstable this last week and go on to note that the site is currently the largest photo site in the world, dwarfing the competition with the total number of photos. The site receives over 800 million photos to their site each month.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let's Go Round Again

Why so serious?Image by laverrue via Flickr
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos?

It's fair!
Quoting The Kooks Sway 'To hurt the ones you love you know you never meant to but you do...' I seriously have some thinking to do as I need my heart to be in the right places because at the moment I feel so confused. A communication ceasefire needs to be initiated but neither of us seem able to which is the problem with being so connected in the era of social networking and mobile phones.

Maybe being too connected is part of the problem here because in being able to liase with each other almost 24 hours every day surely that eliminates conversation at home. When we're together we have already discussed everything through the course of the day so arguments are the prevailing subject. Hopefully this will be addressed in Web 3.0...

Friday, January 16, 2009


Guest post from Kanye West;

In the night I hear 'em talk,
The coldest story ever told,
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless...
How could you be so heartless... oh
How could you be so heartless?

How could you be so,
Cold as the winter wind when it breeze yo
Just remember that you talking to me though
You need to watch the way you talking to me yo
I mean after all the things that we been through
I mean after all the things we got into
And yo I know of some things that you ain't told me
And yo I did some things but that's the old me
And now you wanna get me back
And you gon' show me
So you walk around like you don't know me
You got a new friend
Well I got homies
But in the end it's still so lonely

In the night I hear 'em talk,
The coldest story ever told,
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless...
How could you be so heartless... oh
How could you be so heartless?

How could you be so Dr. Evil
You're bringing out a side of me that I don't know
I decided we weren't gonna speak so why we up 3 a.m. on the phone
Why does she be so mad at me for,
homie I don't know she's hot and cold
I won't stop,
won't mess my groove up cause I already know how this thing goes,
You run and tell your friends that you're leavin' me
They say that they don't see what you see in me
You wait a couple months then you gon' see,
You'll never find nobody better than me

In the night I hear 'em talk,
The coldest story ever told,
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless...
How could you be so heartless... oh
How could you be so heartless?

Talkin', talkin', talkin', talk,
Baby lets just knock it off
They don't know what we been through
They don't know 'bout me and you
So I got something new to see
And you just gon' keep hatin' me
And we just gon' be enemies
I know you can't believe
I could just leave it wrong
and you can't make it right
Im gon' take off tonight
In to the night...

In the night I hear 'em talk,
The coldest story ever told,
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless...
How could you be so heartless... oh
How could you be so heartless?
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hot n Cold

Example of lolcatImage via WikipediaMy relationship has been strained lately and it's been difficult on everyone involved because we have struggled to resolve our differences. What hurts the most is that I love her very much and even though a resolution doesn't appear to be on the horizon I hope that we can remain friends.
There's a weight over me today, it's something I have to say. Love you too much to leave, don't like you enough to stay... Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
The children are my biggest concern as they are caught in the middle and deserve better especially considering what they have been through in the past. I'm not about to explain the underlining factors involved but I will say that I miss how things were in the beginning because it was so much different compared to now.

Maybe we can reach a compromise but that doesn't appear to be likely anytime soon. When you reach the point where your questioning the values of the relationship and what it is your actually fighting for then you know it's time to make a decision. Which will always hurt in the short term but is probably the best choice for both involved :(
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Beautiful Game

LIVORNO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Rahman Rezaei ...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeIt's been an interesting week for the Beautiful Game as with the transfer window open wider than Chelsea's defense there is a lot of speculation. As you would expect the most noise is coming from Manchester City with the financial backing of Sheikh Mansour they aren't affected by the global recession. Although even with the recession they still appear to be bidding over the odds for players.

I'm hoping that they come in for Drogba because he hasn't performed well this season. Just look at the Manchester United match at the weekend! :( Their primary target appears to be Kaka, who Chelsea themselves have courted in previous seasons. What makes this deal so intriguing is the staggering £100m offer being tabled for the player! An incredible sum and sources have indicated that they are prepared to offer £500,000 a week for his services as well. If Manchester City are prepared to approach potential players in this manner then what hope is there for the rest? At least when Chelsea were the big spenders they remained grounded to an extent. Although would I say otherwise having supported the Blues for as long as I can remember!

Tonight was a decent result for Chelsea coming after a week of negativity and press accusations about unrest at the club. With Didier Drogba axed from the squad and the pressure on following the crushing 3-0 defeat at Manchester United the FA Cup clash with Southend was always going to be tense. Pressure mounted as Southend took a shock lead - against the run of play - through skipper Adam Barrett from another set play which was disappointing!

The response from Chelsea was fantastic with Michael Ballack, Saloman Kalou, Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard insuring progress to the next round! The victory came at a cost as Joe Cole pulled up injured which will be a setback. Also in the Premier League Manchester United moved above Chelsea with a 1-0 win against Wigan to move within two points of leaders Liverpool. I'm enjoying the championship race and hopeful that a few results go our way over the coming weeks. With City likely to sign everyone in the summer I hope this will be a campaign to remember before they make the Beautful Game become less attractive!
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Times

BlogosphereImage by coyenator via FlickrYou may have noticed that my blog updates aren't always as consistent as I would like them to be on the site. Ideally I would like to be able to post several updates daily but obviously due to time constraints and a hectic family/work life it proves to be difficult. No excuse I admit! You can keep up to date with what I am currently reading by subscribing to my Google Reader shared items which are available publicly at this web page

My aim over the next few months is to set aside more time so that I am able not just to write but to be constructive and thought provoking. I would also like to return to photography and share with you the world I see through the lens of a camera! It's a jungle out there and I hope to catch all the action!!

Many sites I have read believe that blog comments will again become popular in 2009. The conversation currently is decentralized with our digital identity being fractured across many environments. It's slowly improving but we are still a distance from a solution but this could be the year, especially with the introduction of Facebook Connect which I am most excited about!

Stay tuned....

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Monday, January 12, 2009

I Like The Way You Move...

The Crunchies 2009Image by magerleagues via FlickrThe second annual Crunchies took place last week with Facebook securing the top prize for Best Overall Startup for the second year running. The majority of sites that I frequent were acknowledged through the catagories. Friendfeed secured the Best New Startup and the Friendfeed developers were runner-up in the Best Startup Founder behind Twitter. I felt that they should have been acknowledged in the Best Design catagory mainly because Facebook were impressed and borrowed heavily from the Friendfeed setup with their redesign.

It looks like they are at it again if you check out the recently uploaded instructional video posted by Facebook. A popular feature within Friendfeed is the ability to Like an imported item, in the Facebook video you can clearly see on an entry from Ronnie the option to Like -

Although this is likely for test environment purposes, if made available to the Facebook population I believe it would be well received. As stated by Steven Musil of CNet 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' and Facebook are clearly watching with interest as Friendfeed innovates the way we aggregate/regulate the information we share. Nick O'Neil from AllFacebook also comments on the potential of Facebook Connect -
It’s interesting to see Facebook duplicating some of the features provided by FriendFeed as they strive to continue working toward becoming the largest site for sharing information. While you can’t currently share all of your information via FriendFeed, you’ll soon potentially be able to share more information via Facebook if Facebook Connect can obtain a large enough reach! [Source]
I - Like - this development and I'm sure that it will only further the way we discover new information and interact with friends. Facebook Connect which finished runner-up in the Best Technology Innovation/Achievement catagory at the Crunchies does have massive potential. If widely adopted as expected then it's going to generate a lot more noise on the Facebook newsfeed. Maybe next Facebook should consider a - Best of day - especially as it's already a feature proving to be popular on Friendfeed :)

Let me know what you think, would you be interested in this feature?

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Camera Shy?

Enjoyed an eventful night out with friends yesterday in Bexleyheath, as usual the evening finished with us making our way home separately. Not sure how we achieve this but it's routine and I suppose it wouldn't be the same if we had it any other way. Arriving home I retired to bed where my children were asleep waiting for me.

I could have carried on the night at a house party in Bromley but decided to just get some sleep. Today has consisted of the usual phone calls trying to piece together the events of the night and finding out how we got separated from each other and travelled home.

I didn't get any photos from the evening - Apple for the third generation iPhone please introduce a flash for the camera - instead below are some photos that were taken over the Christmas period -