Friday, 30 April 2010
"Hello,"As I was trying to find out more about each of you as candidates for the General Election, I went online. I was hoping to find out where you'd been campaigning, what you think about issues that affect the area, if you were an optimist, if you had any faith or opinions on fair trade, what you though about justice. About Al Megrahi. Or even just what you think about the place we live."I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't find these things out."So, I wrote about it on my blog. You can read it here if you like (blog.andrewweir.co.uk). Not too many people read that, but it's perhaps endemic that you are all disconnected from people like me who work hard, pay our taxes, do our best to bring up our family well and respect the place we live. Yet we can't connect with you other than by email. Come on."Email is great, but there's maybe 76,000 of us in this constituency, 38% voted at the last election. Surely you could reach out to SOME OF US by sharing what'd happening online?"I might have a question, but it would be different from my neighbour's question. He might think of something that's relevant that i would never think of. By engaging with many people, we build up this clearer picture of you are. And that matters."If there's anything recent events in Westminster have taught us, it's that authenticity matters. That being relevant is crucial."It's just a thought. Or two."I want to vote. I still don't know who I'm going to vote for. I don't know who any of you really are."Grace & Peace,"Andy"PS - please don't think that a flat website with a biog is anywhere close to revealing who you are... That's like me telling you my LinkedIn profile is everything about me. Nonsense! ;->"
Thursday, 29 April 2010
"I look forward to a continuing conversation with you – whatever your age - through the website"
"I’ll also be glad to hear from you about issues that matter to you and I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org"
" As we develop the site I’ll be highlighting important issues at Westminster as they affect Scotland and the Livingston Constituency"
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
A funny thing happened earlier today. I received an unsolicited email - that we would normally describe as spam. Nothing new there, given that 97% of all email is the aforementioned spam.
However, this one wasn't picked up by my mail provider's spam filter. It was titled "Hi". Like this post.
Then I read the content of the message.
I simply HAD to share it. It's too funny. Let's all be clear before you read tho. I have never used, joined, subscribed to - or even looked at - an online dating site. Or any dating service. Ever. Are we clear? Good. Carry on...
Below is (verbatim) the text of the email. I have added some reflections to help you understand my reactions as they unfolded.
Hello dear friend ..
[we're off to a good start, I am neither your friend; nor dear]
I see your structure on a dating site
[sorry!? my "structure"]
And both decided to write to you.
[both of whom? Are we talking about a split personality here?]
My name: Svetlana
[nope, back to singular]
I want you warned, I of Russia, and I have a woman who just do not want a deception. As I heard a lot.
[now I get a bit concerned - as I wasn't already, you understand. "I want you warned, I of Russia". So, we're dealing with the Mafia now...]
I wish you had warned once. I search for serious attitudes. I am looking for marriage and love. I do not play games.
[pack up the house, Jenny, we're on the radar of Russians with "serious attitudes"]
If you want to play with me, then do not write for me. If you are looking also for true and pure attitude then I shall
[now you're just confused. "if you want to play...do not write for me". are you expecting connection by semaphore?]
wait with impatience your letter. I send you as pictures, and I hope to receive your replacement.
[c'mon, you're playing now. you want a letter now. by your own logic, that means if I write to you, I don't want to play. But wait - what is this about sending me "as pictures"? Is this the 21st Century equivalent of sleeping with the fishes? And you're talking of my replacement? Am I to expect a replicant coming to live life in my place? Oh dear, this is email from another planet now...]
I hope we learn that the friend, best friend about the future. I will study, so you can help me, even with what we should do
[eh? you what now? you want to study the best friend? so it's refinatley alien, and we're looking at abduction now. JINGS!]
Overall, it was easier for us.
[back to plural again, there's more than one of them...]
I am a happy person love life and desire to be happy.
[define: "person" and "happy" for me, Ms bi-polar Russian?!]
I of Russia, the city where I live, St. Petersburg, I am very beautiful city. I do not really talk about the city. I love the city. I hope you, I of Russia should not be confused.
[now it's the city speaking. but it doesn't talk about itself. Then it does. "should not be confused". Too late.]
My birthday in February, 19 1980. I anniversary, it is very beautiful day to be happy again.
[now we get an insight into the emotional state of the correspondent. She wants to be happy again, but only on her birthday. which is 10 months away. Sorry about that. Maybe it's not the city after all, St Petersburg has been around since 16 May 1703]
It is pleasant for me, I wish that we continue our friends that we have not lost our interest in us.
[I'm not sure we're friends, but there's no chance of loosing interest]
Dear friend, that our desire was great fun. It is nice to know we talk about a friend of a friend.
[enough with the friend & dear chat, but who is the "friend of a friend" we've been talking about? erm...]
Forgive me please, but I should go. I wish you wrote for me more than I knew more about you.
[you are forgiven, bewildering and very, very confused.]
[is that your real name, or are you just playing games again?]
And that's it. No really, that's it. There were some pictures (*not* indecent), which added considerable more intrigue to the piece.
Perhaps this was a real person. Perhaps this was really the City of St Petersburg, demonstrating (badly) it's first attempt at AI. Perhaps it was some alien observers trying to get their paws on another victim.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's a spammer with a real sense of humour.
No matter what, it's pretty funny.
My favourite part?
It has to be "I see your structure on a dating site". You can't see that as anything other than the work of a comedy genius.
What's your favourite part?
Monday, 12 April 2010
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Now that's a daft question.
Of course there isn't.
Or is there.
Privacy, rights and permission are in the focus at the moment:
there's the gay couple being turned away from a home-run Bed & Breakfast
There's the US preacher who was stopped from speaking (and arrested) because he was "anti-gay".
Then there's apple's drive to open up a new market - and control it.
Reading this about the iPad (Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing), I recognised a lot to agree with. I also read this about the iPad (Stephen Fry in Time magazine) and was taken by the quest for engineering purity. And this is worth a read too.
There's two worlds colliding: freedom & control.
Both Doctorow & Fry talk about both ideas.
Doctorow wants freedom to tinker/understand, control over what his devices can do (and what content he can use them for.
Fry wants freedom from glitch-laden hardware & software, allowing him to control how he interacts with content.
Those who run a B&B from their home want the right to say who they welcome into their home. Others want the right to stay in any place that makes itself available as a B&B.
A guy who passionately believes something wants to respond with his views (non-violently) when people ask, others want to be able to silence people who disagree with them. Whether he's right or wrong in your view - the fact he was locked up for answer people's questions and expressing his opinion - without violence. Hmm...
Clearly, there's a ton of detail being missed here, and I'm not coming down on one side of the other, but I think there's a link.
The iPad is beautiful (I'm told). It's functionally amazing and heralds another shift in how we interact with content.
But that it's locked down - which means there's limitations on what can be done on the platform. It's controlled. Not that is an entirely bad thing. Infact, it may help prevent our children who are fast becoming users of these tools & technology.
But this is one to watch. Particularly given that Apple have announced a new form of advertising on their mobile devices - and "ads will have access to location, accelerometer, and a lot of other stuff."
I ain't preachin' fear, but do you think we should have our eyes open and be aware of what's going on around us?
Friday, 9 April 2010
Many people social networking is a fad.
Plenty others say that's nonsense and it's the future.
I'm becoming more aware of the need to be an active part of a community. I'm thinking that this is where it's at.
Whatever the community - a family, a student flat, your colleagues, the guys in the pub you see every night, the parents you spend more than a passing second with - these connections enrich our lives, or at the very least give us something to talk about!
Back to this technology stuff. Whatever happens in the months and years ahead, we're unlikely to end up back in the dark ages of having to phone a bank - never mind go into it - to find out how much is in our account. But that's not really social.
As the network effects start to infiltrate how we consume content (has anyone else found that following the twitter feed relating to a TV show or live event while watching said show/event) the experience becomes richer, albeit a little nosier. Sure, we've still got to learn how to filter and how to find space to reflect and form our own conclusions, but there's something in the connectedness that can add such depth.
Finance is typically something we don't talk about much. Well, we probably do, but it's generally in abstract.
What happens when some of the walls come down and we can feel comfortable sharing our financial experiences with our (genuine) friends?
I work for a Financial Services company (please don't unsubscribe now...).
What does it mean for our organisation to embrace this change - how can we lead it?
I'd love your thoughts!