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February 6, 2009

UK’s Shiny Media cuts staff; co-founder Katie Lee leaves

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Shiny Media is to cut back on staff, including editorial director and co-founder Katie Lee, according to an official press release initially sent to TechCrunch UK & Ireland. Chris Price remains in place as the last of the company’s founders.

The full statement, copied below, talks of the current tough financial climate and the toll it has taken on the new media company. Shiny Media has “held on as long as [it] could without restructuring the business” but that long-term stability has now forced its hand. read more

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January 27, 2009

British celebrities pile onto Twitter: beware the fakers

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Twitter is getting some serious celebrity support in the UK at present, with a number of high-profile figures (mainly from popular TV and radio shows) now using the microblogging service.

The likes of Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Philip Schofield, Alan Carr and Andi Peters are definitely confirmed, while Adrian Edmonson, Rik Mayall and a host of others are either unconfirmed (by me, anyway) or are impostors (update: the “RikMayall” account is fake). (Apologies to non-UK readers who may never have heard of many of these names)

Therein lies one problem: plenty of people are happy to set up “fake” accounts and pretend to be a particular celebrity. Presumably it gives them some kind of buzz, and it’s much easier to fool at least a small number of fans online that in real life. read more

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November 6, 2008

British politician slams political blogs as “spreading corrosive cynicism”

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Compared to the US, the state of British political blogging tends to receive far less attention, yet it hasn’t stopped a prominent politician in the British government slamming the UK’s political bloggers for “spreading corrosive cynicism”.

Wrapped up in a speech which called for politicians to come from a wider social base, Hazel Blears accused political bloggers of fuelling disengagement by “unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy” and having “disdain for the political system and politicians”.

“The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes,” she said.

“Unless and until political blogging ‘adds value’ to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism.” read more

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October 31, 2008

Blogger.com Dominates U.K. Blogosphere

A ComScore study shows that Google’s hosted blog servicer, Blogger.com, is dominating the blogosphere in the U.K. The study anticipates that there were 14,456,000 unique visitors to blogs in August, with Blogger.com getting 9,019,000 of them. That’s more than half of all blog readers in the U.K. WordPress is a distant second with 4,807,000, with Six Apart’s services at about half of that.

Another interesting note is that Engadget is the largest individual blog in the U.K.

Read the press release for more.

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October 7, 2008

British teachers see educational value in blogging and social networking

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Three-quarters of British teachers believe that blogging and social networking can help their pupils learn about the environment and greener living, according to a recent survey by EDF Energy.

Marking the start of an ambitious project called “Greener Schools”, and tied into the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the programme aims to reach 2.5 million children by 2012.

Schools can blog about their environmental projects, share images, movies, podcasts, and written work via The Pod. read more

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August 12, 2008

Number10.gov.uk Launches

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Overheard via Twitter and Donncha today: the British Prime Minister’s office has recently launched its official site, number10.gov.uk. The site reportedly runs on WordPress, and the blog format was intentional on the design team’s part.

The site aims to bring interactivity to governance, by allowing readers to field questions and submit electronic petitions to the Prime Minister’s office.

Our new site aims to keep you up to date with all of the developments of the PM’s activities through news stories, videos, Flickr images and our Twitter channel.

There are also plenty of interactive features available, including the opportunity to post your video questions directly to the PM, submit e-petitions and take part in webchats with ministers.

Readers reported slow loading and a few errors during the first few hours of operation, but that was attributed to traffic spikes; the caching plugin supposedly did its job in optimizing for speed once the static files were in place.

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June 22, 2008

Identify London Bloggers With LocalMouth

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If you’re in England, Scotland or Wales, you can now locate blogs covering your area. Local community Website Localmouth has just launched a Google map mashup that pinpoints the location where folks are blogging from.

Looking for a blog in Sheringham where residents are rallying against the opening of a supermarket? Maybe you want to know all about Royal Tunbridge Wells. Or perhaps news in the village of St.Mabyn in North Cornwall suits your fancy? Find them all plotted on a map.

Visitors to the site who are from that area can submit their own blogs to be included.

If blogging ain’t your bag, Localmouth also provides some comic relief, making “50 Funny Limericks about Villages, Towns and Cities in the UK” available to all.

London-based Localmouth launched in May 2007 and continues to add new features and bring folks together.

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