Online Politeness – A Glimmer of Hope

There are lots of horrendous stories in the media each week at the moment of people suffering awful abuse on Twitter at the hands of trolls.

I’m a middle aged, middle class, white, educated guy. So the worst offences I tend to experience on Twitter is their advertising algorithm occasionally getting things a little bit wrong and showing me something I’m not interested in a few too many times. Read More

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Social Media Is

When people ask me, “How did you meet so and so?”, increasingly the answer is now, “via Twitter”. I know a lot of the people that I follow and met many of them on Twitter first. I have a kind of a mental list of twitter folks with whom I’ve broken bread.

For me, social media has been social in the offline sense. Whether or not social media made us more or less social was big debate back in 2008 when Twitter was still in its infancy. Advocates defended it for its ability to be participative and accessible.

If you’re still cynical or just need an occasional reminder of its awesomeness just check out this amazing conversation that developed  around Hyperloop the other day between Elon Musk, John Gardi (?) and numerous others who felt able to chip in. Needless to say, there’s no TL;DR here. Take some time and enjoy.

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Containerization as a Metaphor to APIs. Great Video

I’m always banging on about APIs. If you’re wondering what an API actually is and what it’s benefits are then this film reveals all in such a great way. 6 minutes of your time well spent I’d say.

This is a short film by MAYA Design created to put some perspective on one of the most powerful yet under appreciated design patterns for large scale resilient systems.

Want to learn more about the future of the future and how we’ll not only survive but thrive? Order the book!

Trillions, the book is now available in hardcover and kindle versions at Amazon, at Barnes and Nobles, and on iTunes.

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Realtime WWII. The most interesting use of Twitter so far

72 years ago today, Brussels, the capital of my adopted country, fell to the advancing German army. It was declared an open city to save it from the ravages of bombardment and the Government retreated to Ostend on the coast.

In the days prior to this, the neighbouring countries of Luxembourg, the Netherlands and  France had also been invaded. My home country of the UK went on full alert, recruiting volunteers for home defence and would soon be evacuating any remaining  troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. For the next 5 years war raged in Europe and longer in Asia. We all know how the story ends.

“What does this have to do with Twitter?”, I hear you ask. Read More

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Remarketing AdWords campaigns are a crude sledgehammer to crack a nut

You’ve probably noticed them. The same advertisement following you around the web, site after site after site. It gets a bit tiresome doesn’t it.

Chances are, if you see the same ads again and again on the web, it’s not that the company is blowing its way though millions of dollars of venture capital spending it on ads, but rather, that it is is using a smart tactic called remarketing.

Smart for the advertiser, presumably profitable for the ad broker such as Google, but kind of annoying for us. Ads are shown to visitors who are known to have visited the website of the advertiser recently. That sounds like a good idea, but it’s slightly flawed and here’s why. Read More

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