Free speech

Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia was in Oxford yesterday at the launch of an Oxford project which aims to generate global debate about free speech. Along with Wikipedia’s blackout in protest of SOPA, which I don’t know enough about to comment, it seems the citizens of the internet are feeling the ground start to shake with rumble of tanks rolling into their territory. I guess it’s always the nature of government to want to control the people, and without a government for the internet, governments of countries will attempt to fill that gap and control the people on the internet within their geographic boundaries.

And then today, Megaupload and Megavideo have been shut down for piracy with the sites owners facing court and most likely jail. But I wonder what the charges will be against them? If it’s not paying tax on their earnings from the site, then that’s justifiable in my book. But it’s the piracy bit which is more messy. I think it comes down to a clash of world views.   Virtual vs. real. Trying to apply the way the real world works to the online world is never going to succeed in any clear or satisfactory way.

I think this realisation is going to have to be one of the big things that comes out of the information age. The online world that we exist in as online citizens is to all intents and purposes a separate country from the geographic countries we live in, and as such has it’s own language, customs, cultures, currency. Not accepting this and dealing with people as if they are only physical entities, and not virtual ones too, is not only an out-dated way to consider a human being, but is also destined to fail because of that. Maybe the UN needs to look at and recognise the Human Rights of the virtual aspect of the citizens of the world.



Turns out only displays content it found today and if it doesn’t find any, it doesn’t display anything. Blank spaces aren’t good so that puts in the ‘of-not-much-use-at -the-moment’ box. Guess I’ll go back to messing about with Yahoo Pipes and generating aggregated feeds that way.

Just started experimenting with, the content aggregation service that you can use to pull content from rss feeds, facebook, twitter, and keywords. Will be interesting to see what it brings up over the next few days to see whether it’s worth implementing on any websites.

My darling clementine

Second session of my Diploma in Digital Marketing. Looked at segmentation, which I found really interesting. Wondered about the threshold of how many customers would you need in your database to bother segmenting your marketing, and also is there any company out there that does successful marketing without segmenting? Just got to get down to doing the reading now.

About The Domino Project

What happens when a publisher has a tight, direct connection with readers, is able to produce intellectual property that spreads, and can do both quickly and at low cost? A new kind of publishing, the brainchild of Seth Godin, and powered by Amazon.

The Domino Project is named after the domino effect—one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person. The Project represents a fundamental shift in the way books (and digital media based on books) have always been published. Eventually consisting of a small cadre of stellar authors, this is a publishing house organized around a new distribution channel, one that wasn’t even a fantasy when most publishers began.

We are reinventing what it means to be a publisher, and along the way, spreading ideas that we’re proud to spread. Our core beliefs:

  • Exceptionally high quality ideas, created without regard for what bookstores and middlemen want.
  • Ideas packaged with cogency and urgency in mind, not a word wasted, no filler.
  • Permission at the heart of the model. Ideas for our readers, not more readers for our ideas.
  • Virality first. An idea that requires a direct sale won’t thrive in a world where the most powerful ideas spread from hand to hand. Create content that works best when spread, and then package it so it’s easy to spread.
  • Reward the sneezers who stand up and spread these ideas.
  • No patience for obsolete institutions. Bestseller lists are not worth compromising for.
  • Speed triumphs. Rapid time to market, rapid evolution, rapid response to reader feedback.
  • Format agnostic. Kindle, audiobook, paperback, collectible… all good.
  • Different products for different customers. A variety of price points and formats to match audience desires.

OxCOM Day 1

Had my first session with the Oxford College of Marketing for my Diploma in Digital Marketing. The session was really good, and I was impressed with their professionalism and seriousness. The sessions all have learning outcomes attached, the powerpoint slides have a bibliography, and there is a strong focus on making sure you know what needs to be included in your assignment. They also seem to make good use of web-based learning materials with webinars on each topic and all the course material available online.