Garry Reynolds from Presentation Zen shows how the seminal General Dodonna briefing on how to defeat the Death Star in the original Star Wars IV – A New Hope would look if he had used Powerpoint slides….

Garry says “nothing inspires like a thank you slide”!! I love it!


According to the personas website, this is how the Internet sees me. I find my name doesn’t deliver accurate search results and is quite often flooded with links to actress Cameron Diaz and director James Cameron. “Cameron’s best film” is a common search result.


Posted: August 19, 2010 in Module 2: Web 2.0
Tags: , , , , ,

This has just taken the Internet by storm!  Musician Nick Pittsinger slowed the Justin Bieber song “U Smile” by 800% and it sounds incredible!  (A lot better than the original!)

J. BIEBZ – U SMILE 800% SLOWER by Shamantis

Very interesting lecture by Tama on digital shadows. Interesting to hear how someone can be literally branded for life and never truly able to step out from a digital shadow that they may have had no role in creating. (See Star Wars Kid). I read on recently that Ghyslain Raza slipped into depression as a result of the ridicule and harassment suffered because of that video he shot but never had any intention of sharing.  Despite the fact he is now President of a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the heritage of the town of Trois-Rivières, a Google search of his name results in page after page of references to the “Star Wars Kid”, only recently interspersed with the “Where is he now?” stories.

Similar story about the “Dog Poop Girl”.  In reporting the story in 2005, The Washington Post said using the Internet to settle scores or issue public complaints is commonplace.  In recent years, the Internet has also spawned the rise of “citizen journalism”.  The Post asks: “But what happens when the two converge, and the Internet populace is stirred to action against individuals?” It becomes a cyber-posse and quite often the punishment does not fit the crime.

I know someone who went through a similar situation.  I won’t go into the details but suffice to say he was harassed and even had death threats stretching over many months.  He was labeled as a conspirator via YouTube and on blogs and the mob turned on him.  Years later, the digital shadow of that incident still hangs over him.

I found this introduction to the Semantic Web very informative.

Syntax is how you say something whereas semantics is the meaning of what you say.

(msporny, 2007)

Computers not only reading data but being able to understand it.  Knowing what we like … and, more importantly predicting what we want before we even have to ask is the true value of the Semantic Web.

I believe an example of this is the data detectors in Apple’s OSX, which I utilise on my MacBook just about every day.  If I get an email from someone – say, John – who has asked for a meeting “at 3pm tomorrow in the board room”, the computer sees  the time, date and location and can automatically add an appointment to my calendar, using that data.

Pulling the threads of the Web together and making meaning of the chaos will  revolutionise the way we use the Internet.  Berners-Lee, Hendler & Lassila (2001) predicted the “eventual creation of programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs.”  This is something websites like Facebook have done for some time now.  However, embracing a public-driven Semantic Web has proven somewhat troublesome.  Following Facebook’s “Open Graph” announcement in May 2010, which included a vision of a consumer Semantic Web, people are sceptical of the company’s intentions.  Read Write Web writer Alex Iskold blogged on May 6 201o that on close inspection “Facebook’s intent is not to make the Web more structured, but instead to engineer a way for more data – mostly unstructured – to flow into Facebook databases.”  It seems Facebook doesn’t want to create a better, more structured Web – Facebook wants to be the Web.

As a postnote, I watched the Google Wave overview ( explaining what Google Wave is all about … or should I say was all about!  Only this week Google announced it was discontinuing Wave (  I must admit, I got an invitation to Wave back in December 2009 but never used it.  Watching this video, I can see some of the collaborative benefits of Wave and how it could have changed the way people communicate online.  It was probably a little too complicated.  I have heard a number of smart people saying they didn’t know how to use it, which is possibly why the adoption of Wave has been lower than Google’s expectations.  I think it would have been a much better way to hold Web101 discussions than the hard-to-follow Blackboard Discussion Forums.


Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., Lassila, O. (2001). THE SEMANTIC WEB, Scientific American; May 2001, Vol. 284 Issue 5, p34. Retrieved from on August 7 2010.

Isklod, A. (2010), Does Facebook Really Want a Semantic Web?, Read Write Web, Published May 6 2010. Retrieved from on August 7 2010.

Sporny, M. (2007), Intro to the Semantic Web. Retrieved from on August 7 2010

Some interesting predictions made by a British online marketer.  It was posted two years ago and some of his predictions have come to pass.

10 Twitter Future Trends

I like the categorisation of three types of Twitterers – Blabbers who “continue to bla bla bla about what they had for lunch”, Sifters “use Twitter to check the word on the street and news” and Broadcasters “will keep pumping out tweets, possibly losing followers long the way”.  I would consider myself a sifter and I believe the future for Twitter is its ability to deliver personalised news.  I’m not interested in what Ashton Kutcher said to his wife over dinner – I’m interested in news from people who affect my world.

A report by American research company Edison Research says there has been an explosion in the awareness of Twitter from  5% of Americans 12+ in 2008 to 87% in 2010 and is now as well known as Facebook but “Twitter is yet to articulate its value to mainstream America.” (Webster T, Twitter Usage in America 2010 Webinar, 29 April 2010, Retrieved 20 July 2010,

What do people think of this effort of social networking….

Step 1 – come up with a brilliant ad campaign which has had more than 13 million views on YouTube (and counting).

Step 2 – personalise the message to more than 100 different people including influencers and watch the world fall in love with your product – even if it is the fragrance your Grandfather used to wear!

As of 15 July 2010, @oldspice has 60,000 Twitter followers and 589,000 fans on Facebook.  Is this an example of an advertiser bridging the gap between “old” and “new” media?

The question has been raised: ” Do social networking sites open us up to new perspectives, or help us reinforce our existing prejudices?”  I think this gets back to the notion that mass media has been replaced by a mass of niches.  Rather than opinion being shaped by the person with the biggest microphone, there’s a cacophony of little voices vying for attention.  But even though I know the Internet is now full of different perspectives on just about every subject imaginable, I find I gravitate towards the communities I have an interest, passion and (yes) prejudice for.  As humans, we tend to identify with like-minded people.

As for a difference between social network sites, I once heard someone quip that Facebook is for the people you used to know and Twitter is for the people you want to know!  That’s very simplistic, I know, but there’s an element of truth in there.   I’ve found I’ve drifted away from Facebook.  It’s great to catch up with old school friends but I don’t really want to know what they had for breakfast day after day.  I find Twitter more valuable as a news and conversation source.  I don’t worry about how many followers I have but I find I can tailor the news I want to receive by following the people I’m interested in and I can join conversations whether I know people or not.