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March 30, 2009

Shiny Media hires Mike Poole as creative consultant

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UK-based new media network Shiny Media, currently undergoing significant transformation, has announced that it has hired Mike Poole as creative consultant.

Mike has previously worked on projects for a number of UK companies including retail store Debenhams, hairdressing salon Toni & Guy and supermarket giant ASDA. read more

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March 27, 2009

Twitter enables SMS delivery for Vodafone UK customers

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Last year Twitter withdrew a number of its Twitter-to-SMS services, citing the charges levied upon it by mobile operators in order to send messages as the reason.

The UK was one country hit by the change, but Twitter has announced at least a partial return to receiving tweets via text message, even if it is a bit stingy.

For a start, you have to be a Vodafone UK customer. Granted, that’s a pretty large number of British mobile users but hardly exhaustive. read more

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March 25, 2009

British kids to be taught blogging, podcasting, tweeting. What about the parents?

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The British government is embracing the world of online communication and wants to ensure that children get a head start in the world of blogging, microblogging and podcasting, amongst other things.

In plans leaked to a UK national newspaper, teachers will have increased freedom to choose what should be taught in their classes.

Traditional skills such as mental arithmetic, spelling and handwriting will still be taught, but children will also learn how to type and use spell checkers. read more

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March 13, 2009

TweetMinster lets users track the hot political topics on Twitter

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tweetometerTweetMinster.co.uk, the service that shows which UK politicians are using Twitter, has just launched a “tweetometer” that will allow people to compare and track what the hot topics on Twitter in real time.

Of course you could put any terms in to the system (predictably, I tried “apple” versus “microsoft” – sorry about that) but the service is no doubt hoping users will try “Gordon Brown” and “David Cameron”.

It’s a nice little Flash application, and though you can get similar statistics using other services it does at least lighten up politics a little.

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March 2, 2009

Asus competition to Brits: blog about our computers

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Asus, manufacturer of a number of desktop, notebook and netbook PCs, is offering Brits the chance to blog about one of its products in a new competition.

In association with Mobile Computer, Asus will pick six bloggers who will each author a month-long blog about a particular machine. At the end of that time, the person whose blog has received the most visitors will win the machine they’ve been blogging about. read more

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February 27, 2009

Political blogging to be recognised by Orwell Prize

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Britain’s prestigious political writing award, the Orwell Prize, will include blogs for the first time.

There are 83 eligible entries.

The BBC has some interesting interviews about blogging, its role in politics, and what Orwell may himself have made of it all. read more

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February 25, 2009

British MPs informing but not engaging with constituents: research

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Perhaps vilifying the British government’s planned recruitment of a director of digital engagement, a recent study by the Hansard Society suggests that MPs are only using the Internet to inform their constituents rather than engaging with them.

The research suggests that, while 92% of MPs use email and 83% have a personal web site, just under a quarter use any form of social networking tools, and just one in ten blog. Many of these blogging MPs don’t enable reader comments. read more

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February 23, 2009

UK government plan to recruit director of digital engagement ridiculed by opposition

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The British government’s plan to appoint a director of digital engagement, with responsibility for overseeing a move to engage more with citizens through social media and other digital technology, has been ridiculed by the main opposition party.

The central government job has been created “in recognition of the huge increase in the use of the internet, digital communities and social media” and “will work across Government departments to encourage, support and challenge them in moving from communicating to citizens on the web to conversing and collaborating with them through digital technology.”

The circa £120,000 ($174,000) per year salary for this three-year contract is probably the most questionable aspect of the role, and warrants some accusation by the Tories of it being a “grotesque amount of public money”. However, to brand it a “pointless job” and to devalue it by suggesting it’s simply about “ministers… faffing around on Facebook and Twitter” misses the point. read more

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February 20, 2009

NUJ “effing blogs” email link sparks comment furore

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When I first read this on One Man And His Blog I just had to blog it, even though I couldn’t really claim it to be news. However, that was before I read the ensuing comments left on the post. It may still not be “news” but it’s pretty interesting reading.

What am I talking about? Well, Adam Tinworth wrote a blog post, presumably with the intent of being humorous, entitled NUJ: “effing blogs”. In it, he shows that he’s been linked to from an internal email from the UK’s National Union of Journalists entitled “effing blogs”. read more

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February 16, 2009

UK’s Sunday Times newspaper publishes “the 100 best blogs”

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As far as I’m concerned, putting together a “100 best blogs” post is potentially very easy (there are hundreds of millions of them) and yet extremely difficult — how do you narrow that list down to just 100 even in one genre?

The Sunday Times is the latest one of the established media to have a go at creating a list of jumping off points. The article is definitely aimed at those for whom reading blogs is not a current pastime — feed readers and blog directories are explained in a side panel.

Here we have a handful of blogs in each category — world affairs, celebrities, style, words, original thinkers, cult, comic relief, domestic politics (UK focused) and visual aids. That’s just 50 blogs, with film, science, art, the home, theatre, pop and classical coming next week. read more

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