"I just don't get social media"

Was her simple claim. We had been talking at a reception and exchanged the usual "and what do you do ?".  My portfolio of assignments was  confusing to her. I can understand that it is tough because if you don't experience social media firsthand then its value is questionable. For me, Facebook is the glue for the Nordic Horizons think tank. The Lesley Riddoch Podcast is pumped worldwide by Libsyn and iTunes to a grateful audience. Twitter is the most up to the minute source of news and excellent moderated comment. Blogs introduce me to new insights, thinking and opinion about a range of topics. It would be tough for me to imagine a world where I didn't have this level of interaction now. The vast majority of this interaction is digitally based and biased. 

But here is the question reframed;  'I don't see how social media is relevant to me'. I think that is the key; relevance.

An aside, I get bombarded by the SEO jargon factory, social hype machine - "manage the klout density of your demographics in real time dwell bounces". My response is the same as my friend - "I don't get it".

However, if you are able to demonstrate relevance; like  "writing a blog will get you more customers", "being on Twitter will open up new networking opportunities", then I think you are on a path towards a solution and some understanding.

Apologies...for any raised eyebrows

Over the last couple of days all of the web sites I look after have been subject to a concerted spam attack. The comments on the Lesley Riddoch web and blog sites clogged up with invitations to buy lots of different branded goods. Most of these invitations were easily spotted; bad English syntax and even strange character sets. This morning, my personal email was stuffed with 'Postmaster Delivery Failure - Notification'. It seems sometime last night I 'sent out ' emails  with a variety of links; all of them spurious.  As a matter of principle and practice, I would never send anyone a link with admonishments to buy products or services.

I am working thorough the security procedures to establish whether my email has been hacked  and I am scanning all my computers for viruses. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Twitter and augmented reality

I am just starting to get it. As the floods of information come pouring over the digital ramparts, we need tools to prioritise, discriminate and just plain manage the deluge. Remember, back in the day, the proud boast was "300 emails today ", sigh. There was a dream of the 'zero inbox'. Well, today with Twitter is different. If you succumb,even for a second, to the thought Twitter is some hybrid form of email; you are lost , destined to drown. Enough of the warning baloney. 

Tools are arriving in short order to assist...Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and so on. But there is one I really like; Thirst. It is a great App and go check it out. It's like Flipboard for Twitter. Thirst is a start.

I suspect the future is going to be more augmented reality. The Muppets and plasters are a good example - view the video and note a couple of things. The users get it ( without RTFM ) and enjoy the two "realities" ( reality and virtual 3D ). My guess is when they are old enough to enjoy the pleasures of Twitter, their portal into that world is not just a keyboard and mouse.

A conference from your desk.

Virtual Summit
Check out the venue

Cool conference title; "Virtual Summit 2012". Loved the idea of the 'create your own avatar now' and the 'Venue;Your Desk'.  But what really impressed me was the idea security experts, cyber threat specialists and other top industry features were going to meet 'online'. This must be one of the most gold plated endorsements of an emerging technology any company could hope for; like mechanics driving your car or chefs eating in your restaurant.

Having slogged around enough industry shows and exhibitions in my time, this seems like an interesting new development. All the value of the keynotes and interactions without the lugging luggage, standing in line for tepid coffee, fighting to get a decent seat at the session(s)...and so on. Great to see Haymarket thinking ahead of the curve. Book here.

Death by powerpoint

Recently, I turned down the opportunity of broadcasting a series of executive powerpoint presentations to a grateful nation. I think I did the right thing. Part of my rationale was, given the media choices we have now, powerpoint may have a limited appeal. Then I chanced upon this video clip which says it all. Having sat through and probably delivered my share of such pitches; I would like to say - "there is a better way". Get in touch.

Human rights and personal video

This was an interesting piece I picked up via Digg. It strikes me that considered use of video with purpose and intent is the future. Having seen so many fads, think about CB radio and chatrooms; adoption is poised between novelty and sustaining usefulness. Are YouTube and handheld video moving away from dogs on roller skates towards something more relevant long term ? Difficult to say and an added factor is the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. It's high production values and scale makes me wonder whether 400 x 264 pixels could do the justice to the audio and visual treat that Moscow provided. Tacky content but amazing staging. So the question in my mind is how do you select and shoot in the right scale with the right subject matter? We are not there but the journey has started.

Podcasts and the train

I am now a regular commuter to Glasgow. As everyone who knows me will testify, I am a big fan of public transport. It's possible to work and travel. Sitting on a train listening to an interview and making edit notes is a real benefit to a freelance podcaster. But, I also note that I am sitting amongst my audience. Sure, you can hear the percussive beats of Megaflangedeathbunnies from the young guy with long hair and R'n'B classics from the young woman sitting next to you; but there are an awful lot of people of 'certain years' who seem to be listening to something that might be audio books, might be intelligent speech or might even be plain old podcasts. Hugely reassuring when you consider the market this could represent.

Is the world ready for more TV...and less news

Last weekend I turned on the TV at midnight and heard the dreadful news about the shootings in Northern Ireland. Having spent some time in Belfast a couple weeks ago, I could fully understand the impact these events would have. Interestingly enough even then, our friends had been full of dark warnings about the possible escalation of violence and attacks. My surprise was this. The events took place around 9.40pm about 16 miles away from Belfast. The news coverage I was watching two hours later was still studio bound 'Breaking News". There was no coverage from the location. Not on BBC nor Sky News. The explanation from a media insider on Monday; "Everyone had the night off". Very soon, I won't be able to buy a newspaper. Very soon, I will have more digital content available to download at a time that's convenient to me. But it seems already today - here and now, I have news services that take the weekend off or just aren't there until the news has become history. Colour me worried.