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September 2, 2009

UK: Twitter Overtakes MySpace, And Why It Is Not Important

Hitwise claims that Twitter has overtaken MySpace in the UK. That’s probably true, but the stats are completely uninteresting. While there obviously are a lot of people using the web interface, the numbers won’t show how many are actually using the service from an application of any kind. You know, like TweetDeck, Tweetie or Twhirl. Third party services are huge with Twitter, it’s as simple as that.

So yeah, Twitter overtook MySpace in the UK. Thing is, it probably happened a lot earlier than the graph suggests.

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September 1, 2009

Defamation, Libel and the Internet

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Bruce Everiss is a well-known video game marketer who writes a blog on the topic entitled, quite appropriately, Bruce on Games.

In recent weeks Everiss has been very critical of the online role-playing game Evony, perhaps most famous for it increasingly sexualized ads, and highlighted what he saw as misconduct by both the company behind the game, Evony LLC, and the software itself.

Everiss was always careful to support his allegations with research, either his own or referencing work performed by others, but he nonetheless found himself on the receiving end of a threat of a defamation lawsuit.

While this is not completely out of the ordinary in and of itself, what made Everiss’ case more unusual is that the threat was coming from an Australian solicitor and was threatening action in an Australian court. This is despite the fact that Evony LLC is, by all accounts, a Chinese company and Everiss is a UK-based blogger.

Other authors who have written about Evony, including the UK newspaper The Guardian, have received similar threats. The case is controversial because much of what is being disputed as defamatory is widely viewed as being true, with at least some evidence to support it, or appears to be personal opinion. However, clearly Evony disputes this and calls Everiss’ statements “clearly defamatory” in their letter to him.

But as interesting as the case itself is, it highlights another threat to bloggers, one very similar to what I reported on with copyright and jurisdiction, since works published to the Internet are distributed all over the world, you can defame the reputation of a company and/or a person in any country or jurisdiction. That, in turn, means you can be brought into almost any court in the world for a defamation suit. read more

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August 28, 2009

Fourth annual Manchester Blog Awards open for nominations

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manchester-blog-awards-webBlogs may be a global affair but there’s plenty of room for recognizing local talent, as is the case with the upcoming Manchester Blog Awards.

Now in their fourth year, and held as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, the awards seek to honor the British city’s best bloggers.

Nominations can be made until September 18 in the categories Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog, Best Arts and Culture Blog, Best City and Neighborhood Blog, Best Writing on a Blog, and Blog of the Year. read more

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August 22, 2009

UK Teenagers Sentenced to 3 Months for Death Threats on Facebook

Keeley Houghton, 18, has been sentenced to 3 months in a young offenders institution after pleading guilty to harassment. Keeley had bullied Emily Moore for 4 years already when she wrote the death threats on her own profile.

Keeley is going to murder the bitch. She is an actress. What a ******* liberty. Emily ****head Moore.

Keeley was also given a restraining order banning her from contacting Emily in any way, already had 2 previous convictions for bullying Emily Moore. In 2005 she assaulted the victim on the way home and was subsequently expelled from school. Two years later, in 2007, she was convicted after she kicked the door at Emily’s parents home in.

According to the Daily Mail Keeley is thought to be the first person in the UK sentenced for cyber-bullying.

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August 20, 2009

RadioWaves school podcasting site revamped with new features

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radiowaves-logoRadioWaves, the British podcasting site aimed at school kids, has had a makeover and new features making it easier for children to share their thoughts with others in a safe, moderated environment.

The new “friends function” brings an element of social networking to the site, allowing students to connect and send secure messages to one another, bookmark other pages and access a news feed so they know when friends pages are updated. Not new features for anyone used to blogging and other social networks by any stretch of the imagination, but good to have them added to this more secure, niche educational site. read more

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August 6, 2009

London is Twitter’s top city

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twitter-logo.jpgThe UK is second only to the US in Twitter usage, with London topping the chart, according to Evan Williams, interviewed for BBC2′s Newsnight program.

Although official statistics aren’t available, the BBC’s research suggests that an estimated three million Brits joined Twitter in the past year, with as many signing up to follow friends as to keep tabs on their favorite celebrities.

Williams played down the accusation that Twitter could lead to the breakdown of community, saying that anyone who believed that obviously hadn’t used the service. read more

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July 28, 2009

British government issues Twitter guidelines for its departments

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TwitterFive months ago the UK government advertised for a director of digital engagement, and while that position is yet to be filled it’s clear that a lot of politicians are already using Twitter. Perhaps that’s why the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has drawn up a set of advisory guidelines on how to use (and importantly, avoid misusing) the microblogging service.

Neil Williams, head of corporate digital channels at BIS, has blogged, “Micro-blogging [has] a low barrier to entry [and is a] low-risk and low-resource channel relative to other corporate communications overheads like a blog or printed newsletter… I was surprised by just how much there is to say and quite how worth saying it is, especially now the platform is more mature and less forgiving of mistakes.” read more

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O2 Users in the UK Gets Twitter Over SMS

Twitter has announced that users of the mobile operator O2 in the UK can activate Twitter over SMS, with no extra fees or anything. Nice for them huh. Incidentally, that’s apparently a good thing for anyone trying to get in touch with a broadband carrier in the UK… Activate the whole thing in your account settings if you want to use Twitter over SMS via O2 in the UK.

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July 27, 2009

Twitter is fastest way to get UK broadband support

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virgin-on-twitterBritish broadband providers are just one set of users harnessing the immediacy of Twitter to communicate real-time service information and handle customer support queries, according to the Top 10 Broadband web site.

While telephone customer service experiences often leave a lot to be desired, companies that have embraced Twitter conversations are finding themselves more able to deal with issues quickly as they arrive.

The other benefit is that consumers switched on to Twitter may well think to check the official status pages first rather than phoning a dedicated support desk. read more

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July 14, 2009

Survey: UK PR companies slowly embracing blogging

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British public relations companies are still lagging behind in their use of blogging as a communications tool according to the Digital PR 2009 survey carried out by Bigmouthmedia.

Looking at the 100 leading British press and PR agencies, interest in social media and networking has improved over the past year and the number of agencies publishing blogs has doubled. read more

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