A FEW MONTHS AGO, while walking the streets of Copenhagen, a friend rang to ask if I “had found Wagamama yet”. Not only did he know where to find the best noodles in Denmark, he also knew I was close by the restaurant. That’s because I was carrying a Series 60 third edition Nokia phone with a Jaiku add-on. Months later, Google bought Jaiku and now whenever I use my Nokia phone, Google can log my steps. For some people, Google is their best friend, helping them keep track of their teenagers. For others, Google is getting to be more like Big Brother.
If you plan events involving more than 50 people, you probably want your event to continue generating a buzz for months. That is all the more likely if you establish an event back channel.
AS COLLEGE LIFE gets back into full swing, online social networking might have replaced e-mail as the primary reason college students want to get online between classes. A few years ago, the closest thing to web-based social networking was online dating or discussion threads at boards.ie but during the past two years, social networking has added more than a few bells and whistles. When you log on and connect with friends today, you share links to videos, music playlists, gig guides and bookmarks. Social networking has become one of the most effective ways for people of all ages to keep in touch with friends, find long-lost acquaintances, locate a flat, and ultimately to find a proper job.
THOSE WHO WATCH Irish bloggers have noticed a decrease in the web page activity by the most active writers. The drop in page activity often means some of the most active web writers have started microblogs. Business communicators and marketers should read on. This is not about navel gazing. This is about the emergence of micromedia, now well into its second year of existence.
AFTER READING yet-another e-mail from a friend who bemoans my lack of blogging, I get no respect when I explain I'm microblogging. The lack of respect comes from people who are not impressed with the rise of Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and the fenced meadows of MySpace and Facebook. Many of my friends grew up before dial-up. Some grew up as teens without colour television. At least a dozen of my regular readers played video games powered by their cassette players. These readers feel a little put off by the banality rampant on Twitter but they often make time to flick through the short takes offered up by a more literate--and private--Jaiku community. It's time to share a secret.
CONN O MUINEACHAIN (at right interviewing Nyle Wolfe) has sparked conversation among social networkers in Ireland concerning the impending fatigue sure to occur if everyone adopts Yet Another Social Network (aka Facebook). Conn and I talked during last week's OpenCoffee in Limerick and then I summarised some of my thoughts in a Greenfields Report [4-minute 96 kbps MP3 file] for Six Pixels of Separation.
DAMIEN MULLEY gave over a half page in the business section of the Sunday Tribune to Ireland's newest official back channel. That would be Twitter, the most viral communications widget of 2007. It is basically the "status" feature of Facebook with textable and subscribeable capabilities that work with straight SMS or instant messaging of all flavours. It treats those with continuous partial attention malady. It has an A-List. It has enabled microblogging for the masses because its simplicity facilitates easy answers, quick synopses, friend-sourcing, and treatment for those with short attention spans. It has also wormed its way into the Irish back channel. Appropriately denigrated for its banality, Twitter also delivers some clever 140-character pointers to breaking events, important cross-tell, and eureka moments. Twitter isn't for everyone and some people despise anything that pre-empts their in-box with superficial mutterings. But if you fancy easy text blogging, Twitter is right up your street. In fact, it is part of your street since you live in the Information Age.
IN MID-OCTOBER, while reading a mailing list about an upcoming college reunion, I received an instant message from a long-lost roommate who told me that he was listening to me on the internet. The podcasts from Ireland, perhaps? Yes, he stumbled upon them while Googling to hear Irish accents. He was a little surprised when he heard my voice on some of them. I don’t sound very Irish at Googling to hear Irish accents. He was a little surprised when he heard my voice on some of them. I don’t sound very Irish at podcasting.ie but Google tags me otherwise.
It took several instant messages to understand that our podcast voices from Ireland were playing in the fire suppression control room of the US space shuttle programme. I didn’t believe that was possible because friends have told me about tight restrictions placed on computer usage by NASA. No worries, said Getz, the listener. “I listen on our conference phone.”
I HAVE NEVER had an easier way of snapping and saving photos than with my Nokia N70 cameraphone and Zonetag. The Nokia phone takes two megapixel images. But what is more important is that I can upload the images in a press of a button on the phone. It's so simple, so dependable, so sorted--for Nokia Series 60 phone users. In fact, the ease of use will probably cost me dearly when the end-of-month mobile phone bill drops like a thud through the letterbox. That will be the only negative result of the two weeks I have played with using zone tags on my cameraphone images.
JEREMY CLARKSON likes the Mazda MX-5 (€35,000) because it "feels gay, in both the new and the old sense of the word. The balance, the poise, the gearchange, the exhaust note; they're all spot on."
Clarkson recalls the old model. "The best-selling sports car the world has ever seen. Probably because it always felt just a teensy bit gay. Yes it was a modern-day and reliable incarnation of the old MG--they even recorded and then copied the sound of the British sports car's transmission whine--but you just knew that given half a chance this little car would be off to the gentlemen's public lavatories with its friends George and Michael. That's why we all liked it so much."
Jeremy Clarskon -- "This is the kind of gay I adore" in The Sunday Times, Februart 5, 2006.