Social Media vs. the law

December 22, 2010

The AFL ‘dickileaks’ scandal has been unfolding for nearly three days through mainstream news and of course, social media. Where it all began.

Ahh, social media. That sinister, loud-mouthed influencer of the digital playground where content goes to become viral, get blown out of proportion and break all the rules. Or does it?

The controversial story about St Kilda FC player, Nick Riewoldt and his team mate Nick Dal Santo has been flooding the Twitter stream since Monday night when the naughty photos were posted by an unnamed 17 year old teenage girl on her Facebook page. The pics have since been hidden (I feel that ‘removed’ is too strong to use when referring to anything on the Internet), but social media is still buzzing and amping the hype. Since the ‘dickileaks’ hashtag went viral yesterday, it has been mentioned over 1800 times by more than 970 contributors and been repeatedly mentioned in mainstream news reports. It is also still trending in Australia. nick riewoldt 2

Hours after the material was posted, her Facebook profile was closed down and the Police had been contacted. So with the photos, she took to Twitter where her follower count exploded from 200 to 8200. Talk of legal action has been thrown around but in Oz, Social Media and the law meet at a very blurry line. An article on theage.com.au has suggested that she could be charged under the Surveillance Devices Act or the so-called Upskirting Law (prohibits the visual capture and intentional distribution of photos of another person’s genitals) if it is proven that she did take the photos. It also carries a two year jail term.

So, should Social Media be bound by the same legalities that is abided by, by other media types through communications law? Why isn’t it already?

Copyright, Libel and Slander, Liability and Deceptive Acts and Practices have been identified online as areas where social media needs to watch it’s back. In the UK, privacy laws would apply to this situation and in the US, the ‘right to privacy’ could be brought into play. Should we follow suit?

This is the 3rd nudey Australian celebrity incident to circulate, escalate and Twitter-late this year.

This. Year.

In March, we saw Lara Bingle’s ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ naked shower photo appear on the Internet (but not before Woman’s Day reported it) and in early November, (then) Canberra Raiders player Joel Monaghan was snapped in a compromising position with a Labrador while celebrating Mad Monday festivities with his team mates. (See the censored pics below)…

Read the rest of this entry »


Legally stream (almost) all the music you want in Australia – for free.

December 16, 2010

We all like music, right? I mean, some of us profess to enjoy it more properly, appropriately or adequately than others – this here Superior Hipster for example:

…but when you get down to it, pretty much everybody likes it.

So, we all want more of it, right? Thus the dawn and success of the iPod, and various other MP3 players. We could carry our thousands of tunes with us everywhere we went, beautiful.

Read on through my rambles to find out what I think the best music streaming service available to Australians is (so far). Read the rest of this entry »


Have you ever wondered what a tree would say if it could talk?

September 30, 2010

… no.

Today I feel ashamed of the the industry in which I work. Although I love this idea and the experimental spirit of the project, it somehow feels wrong. Is nothing safe from the internet? Leave the trees alone is what I say.

@handypearce


Steve Jobs’ Thoughts on Flash. Boom.

April 30, 2010

Today, in an open letter published on Apple’s website, Steve Jobs shared his thought on Adobe Flash and its place (or lack thereof) on Apple devices such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Steve’s “Thoughts on Flash” can be found here. I break down his points after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »


Enter the Jelli

February 10, 2010

The clever music nerds over at http://www.jelli.net have just made internet radio a wee bit more interesting.

You sign up, pick a tuner, there’s a ridiculously long list of tracks (and you can place suggestions to add more) that each have a vote count. Cast your vote, and move your favourite tracks up the playlist.

Need to hear something ASAP? Use a precious power-up (a Rocket) and shoot that tune into the public view, call for votes, team up with other listeners, and get it on the air. See something you desperately need to never hear again? Use a Bomb, send that garbage to the very bottom of the list.

It gets a little more interesting than that, if you Rocket a song into the player, for all to hear – and The Majority are loving your choice, they’ll click the “Rocks” button, should the rock metre fill up, you’ll get your Rocket back, giving you the power to choose again. If not, too bad, at least you got to hear your song.

If the track is filling the listeners with bile and rage, they’ll hit “Sucks” – enough suckage and that track is pulled off the air, immediately.

After a week or so of testing, Jelli has proven to be addictive through the game-ish aspect, but also excellent for discovering new music through the choices of fellow listeners. Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough.

That should be reason enough to take it for a spin, but there’s one more tidbit that bears mentioning. They’ve managed to ally themselves with 2dayFM via http://www.choosethehits.com.au – and this occasionally leads to Jelli voters controlling the 2dayFM radio waves for various timeslots.

So if you like the idea of having a say in what the radio plays, and forcing everyone to listen to the music you like… then you probably want to head on over and exercise your right to vote.


Feed43 for turning pages and odd feeds to a valid RSS feed

January 8, 2010

Snippet of Feed43's homepage Have you ever looked at an html web page and wanted to get the content of that page in a feed? Or maybe you use a service like the Google Calendar that has feeds but not in a standard format?

I was recently asked internally to find a way to feed that content in as an RSS feed so it could be loaded into a WordPress.com site – out of the box, they don’t support Google Calendar – and I stumbled upon a tutorial for converting that feed into RSS using Feed43.

The tool works by entering the feed you want, and then setting up some regular expressions to pattern match the data you want, and then outputting that into a feed – believe me, it’s easier than it sounds.

The service allows you to take any site the outputs a structured document – an XML feed, html, etc – and make that into a useable feed. It’s ideal for sites where you want to make an RSS feed, but don’t want the overhead of creating an RSS feed on your server – one less page to maintain.

It even works for those pesky non-standard RSS feeds that people seem so fond of creating (still don’t understand why it’s so hard to stick to a simple standard like that given the benefits of doing so).

The only downside I can come up with is if the source document changes, the feed will stop working until you modify it. Oh, and you might want to make some of the feeds private for your own use. You don’t want to start infringing on copyright do you?

It’s a free tool – they say in the FAQs that it will always be free – but registration gives you an opportunity to manage your feeds more, and the paid service gives you more control and faster updates.

Feed43 is well worth checking out, even if you want an RSS feed for one of your pages without the overhead of actually making the feed.

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Historical Moments of Internet Social Power Changes

October 27, 2009

I was just checking my folder where I keep interesting screenshots of stats (ok, I admit they’re probably only interesting to me but hey… I just like sharing). So here’s some ‘interesting’ moments where power shifts occur in the world of social and UGC. (Note: Stats are from the publicly available Alexa site). Note that I screen grabbed these at the time and saved them because there’s not always a guarantee you’ll be able to get the data in the same state in the future. Currently Alexa now only goes back 2 years since they changed their data analysis so the first screenshot below is something of a collectors item (if you collect screenshots of stats that is).

~ @eunmac

Below: Jan 2007 YouTube clearly passes MySpace.

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Below: What has happened since (in a little under 3 years)

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Below: Another change in global domination in 2009. Facebook passes YouTube in July.

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Below – What’s next? Despite the hype surrounding Twitter it’s got a long way to go to catch Facebook which continues to grow at a phenomenal rate with YouTube appearing pretty solid – although interestingly Twitter appears to be now on par with MySpace and looks set to pass it next month.

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The world’s biggest online choir

October 7, 2009

Great little idea. Dell are attempting to create the world’s biggest online choir: The Dell Amplichoir. My friend Richard has already got involved (see fig 1) so I’m off to record mine now.

 

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Fig 1.

Get involved


Did you know? 4.0

September 21, 2009

There has been another update to the ‘Did you know?’ series. As always the information is fascinating and provides an inspirational look at convergence and the pace at which the digital shift is accelerating. I would recommend taking some of the individual stats with a grain of salt but it is a great presentation for communicating the bigger picture to clients and colleagues.

@JoelyRighteous


The Key Features of Social Media and Networking Sites

June 5, 2009

Smashing Magazine comes though again with a brilliantly in-depth article about the user interface design of social networking sites and what makes them good user experiences.

keyfeat

They’ve chunked them down to 9 key points:

1. Simple Interface Is The Key

2. Prominent and Functional Search
3. Prominent Call-To-Action-Buttons
4. Calm Separation of Elements
5. Treat text as User Interface
6. Simple and Usable Forms
7. Real-Time Updates
8. Word-Of-Mouth-Advertising and Personalization
9. User-Centric User Interface

The article is a must read for any web designers or social media gurus, its very in-depth and definitely one to bookmark and pass on.

Read it here

 

*note: image by Kleinmania


BooneOakley decides YouTube Works Best (for them, for now)

June 2, 2009

First there was Modernista, then that Skittles fiasco debacle thing, not to mention the Snkrz! kerfuffle. Now BooneOakley (a creative agency in Charlotte, North Carolina who do work for clients like HBO and MTV) has gone and replaced their website with a YouTube channel.

The execution is clever — homespun, unapologetic illustrations that seem to be the zeigeist of late — and they’ve gained a respectable 18K+ views in four days on their “home page” video. The male voiceover is a cross between soothing and sexy, which is something I personally find both problematic and highly attractive.

At first I was struggling to see the longevity in such a move. I was definitely enraptured for a solid ten minutes, clicking around and getting lost in the McDreamyness of the commentary and the Billy/homicide storyline. Plus, it’ll be an offbeat, obscure reference I can bring up in conversation to make me look smart (at least, for a few days anyhow). I like things that make me look smart.

I know that, if i wanted to engage with them, there’s the option to comment on the videos, and the relevant contact information is there. In that sense, it ticks all the boxes and says to me “Hey, we do cool s— and think outside of the box. Let’s have a chat.” In that sense, I’m a huge fan. the fact that I can subscribe to their videos, in a channel I use for both work and play, on a more than daily basis? That’s pretty dang smart.

What do you guys think?


Using Twitter to Apply for a Job

May 11, 2009

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Energize, a Dutch marketing agency is taking a bold (pronounced odd) step in recruiting applicants for positions within their business.
They’ve created an application page that looks just like a twitter page and expect applicant to submit themselves for a job within 140 characters or less. Apparently their looking for candidates who actively use social media such as twitter, but I can’t help thinking its a little bit silly, gimmicky and unprofessional.

I guess though, that they’re trying to get more candidates, and put themselves in front of more eyes and well, I’m blogging this aren’t I??

Think you’re capable of getting a job in 140 characters?
Apply Now


Twitter Dating – A Reality (and not soon enough)

May 8, 2009

It was bound to happen I guess. With all the jokes and ‘stories’ about people finding dates on twitter, a company – Radaroo – have finally decided its time to devote way too much time to making it happen.

Users sign up by sending a tweet to @radaroo, specifying their gender, the gender(s) they’re interested in, and which activities they’d like to participate in on a first date. See below:

radaroo_tweet

I don’t know about you but I love mystery in a woman, and in 140 characters or less… could be just a little too much mystery for me.

Radaroo (good luck to you)


The internet running out of room?

April 29, 2009

Yesterday morning whilst eating my breakfast I heard the Sunrise team ask the question…is the internet runing out of room? well, I was obviously bemused by this interview

 

http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/index.html?autoplay_id=13190117#embedded-video-top


Can creativity be crowdsourced?

April 19, 2009

Razorfish Group VP of Experience Planning, Garrick Schmitt, posts on this topic to AdAge here: http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=136019

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Noteworthy among the services mentioned is FFFFound! which Garrick refers to in this context as “crowdsourced inspiration”.

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Interesting read.


Lynx Effect Website Archive – Webby Award Winner

March 20, 2009

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http://lynxeffect.archive.amnesia.com.au/

Original Lynx Effect website (which won a Webby in 2008 created by Amnesia Razorfish) is now in it’s archived glory state in our portfolio. Clean the “Dirty Girls”, tattoo your name on some unmentionable body part – the list goes on.


UK’s Guardian opens up APIs; Launches ‘Open Platform’

March 13, 2009

In what may be a watershed moment for old media, The Guardian has announced this week their APIs will now be available for third parties to develop applications using ‘full fat’ feeds and complete articles, dating back to 1999.

The move has been explained by MD Tim Brooks as a ploy to “invite the developer community in”, to keep inline with the Guardian being a “value-driven and not a profits-driven” company and to build an ecosystem around its brand.

Detailed information about the release of Open Platform can be found on the Guardian’s website. They’ve even explained how you can use the Data Store for you, should you be interested in such information.

This news comes just after the New York Times unveiled Times Extra, which features integration of related news and blog feeds alongside their online news coverage.

Expect to see more of these moves by old media who are, by all accounts, struggling to fit into a world being progressively dominated by the digital medium.


Your brand should be on Twitter too…

January 22, 2009

twitter-bird-5

Thanks to Mashable.com for this really in-depth article on: 40 brands on Twitter and the People Behind Them.
A follow up to their article last year on Why Brands ABSOLUTELY do belong on Twitter, Mashable gives us insight into exactly why Twitter is so super useful and effective for getting in touch with customers and being a part of the Groundswell, not just a spectator.


Google adds themes to Gmail. Ninjas spotted.

November 21, 2008

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Gmail users will have noticed a bit of a change to Gmail in the last couple of days as Google rolls out the latest version of its hugely popular webmail client. The delicate blue border has been replaced with a brighter version, but that’s just the start. Just into your settings and you’re greeted with an extra tab for selecting visual themes.

There’s a lot to pick from but, really, they’re mostly a bit tacky. Standard themes with oceans, trees and clouds are predictably in abundance. The cartoony style of ‘Bus Stop’ and ‘Tea House’ are a bit cute and if  you’re a nostalgic geek and/or no longer wish to have functioning retinas, check out ‘Terminal’ for some eye-searing ascii art goodness.

There’s a ninja theme, but it’s a cartoony ninja theme – not a silent-dealer-of-death-ninja theme, which is a bit disappointing. It’s understandable though, because as we all know, real ninjas are invisible.


Monitor coverage and issues online with Perspctv

November 5, 2008

Perspctv is a web service that shows and compares online coverage of up to five issues across twitter, news and the blogosphere.

Currently the site is automatically tracking coverage of the US Election going on right now, but users can make their own dashboards by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

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That’s the first one I made, comparing "android”, “blackberry” and “iphone”. Coincidentally, that’s the first one that TechCrunch tried.

Check it out at http://www.perspctv.com/