Category Archives: Blog

We’re having a special Freelance Friday meetup on Dec 16th 2011. FFX is the ‘office’ Christmas party for freelancers.

It’s actually the 8th meetup, not the 10th which is a shame. But what the hell, it sounds good.

In line with the micro-sponsor model we ran for FF5, we’re inviting companies to sponsor a pint (or 10). Starting at £4, we’re placing their logo on our wall of sponsors. The bigger the pledge, the bigger the logo.

You can even embed the sponsor widget on your own blog, as I’m doing here. (Get the embed code).

So, if you’ve gone the extra mile for your clients this year (and not billed them for every minute of every phone call like a solicitor), then embed the widget, send them the link, and ask them kindly to buy you a pint.

Oh, and half the money raised will go to charity.

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or – A feature agnostic look at F8 2011; steps in the same direction

Another F8, another set of powerful new features, and yet I’m not surprised by any of them. I’m not saying I predicted them (I didn’t) but the announcements are typical of what I see as a clear pattern in Facebook’s evolution.

Without discussing specific features, the pattern of Facebook’s ‘progress’ typically adheres to these traits:

  1. More connections;
  2. Less friction;
  3. Deeper integration.

That’s Facebook marketing language. I interpret these traits follows:

  1. More data;
  2. Less opportunity for users to think;
  3. Placing Facebook at the centre of the Web.

Yes, I’m a cynic. Did you not know?

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For the past few months I’ve been working on a start-up with my business partner Dan Leach.

Our goal with Brandfeed is to connect brands and the media more effectively. There are similar efforts on both sides of this fence, but our approach is to provide a centralised database of pressrooms with a journalists’ dashboard all under one roof. The idea as that our pressroom format will become familiar to journalists, so they always know where to go when the they need a media contact, logo asset, or hi-res photo of a CEO. Additionally we offer discovery and notification features so journalists can ‘follow’ the brands they’re interested in, receive content and suggestions in a low-noise environment that they control.

With Dan’s experience in brand communication strategy and my background in tech and creative, we think this is going to be pretty special.

We’re not ready to launch yet, but yesterday we went public. It’s great to be out; I no longer have to say “I’m working on this thing I can’t tell you about yet“. I’m a great believer in transparency and not keeping ideas to yourself, but that’s another blog post

We’ll be giving private previews of Brandfeed to industry friends very soon. After we iterate from that round of feedback we’ll be running a more public beta programme. If you’re a journalist, brand representative or PR you can register for the beta now.

Update – 06 Aug
We are now in a public beta phase.

This week I gave a presentation to London’s Twitter Developer Nest (DevNest), and soft-launched a new app that is currently in a prototype stage.

Spoiler alert: The project I demoed is a Web of Trust for community-verified Twitter accounts. The site is called – it’s invite-only at this very early stage.

You can see my less-than-beautiful slide deck here. As it has no bullet points, there are notes for each slide below.

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I recently came across this research into risk reduction strategies for using Facebook – particularly by teenagers. The main article talks about “Super-Logoff“, but it was a comment below the article that educated me about “Whitewalling“.

This page is left intentionally blankI love this. The simple idea that yesterday’s wall posts are yesterday’s news. Not only may they be irrelevant, but once forgotten who knows how they may come back to bite you? They’re still there, discoverable by other users and of course by the API.

These insights challenge my assumption that the next generation of adults won’t care about privacy. Teenagers may not have quite the same concerns as I do about these issues, but it’s fascinating to see how a website (designed by adults) leaves them to solve their own problems their own way.

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I recently saw this paper: “Facebook Tracks and Traces Everyone: Like This!
(download the PDF)

Short version

Every time you merely visit a site that displays a Like button, data is sent to Facebook which includes the address of the site you are visiting. Assuming you’ve also logged into Facebook, they have all the information they would need to associate these external page views with your Facebook identity.

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My geek friends are up in arms about Yahoo! shutting down

Apparently it falls into the category of “underperforming or off-strategy” products. The echo chambers are ablaze with calls to save it, or open the source code. Of course, my non-geek friends ask “What’s Delicious?” – and there’s the rub.

I’m not qualified to examine Yahoo!’s original business strategy for, but one thing is pretty clear to me — the masses don’t use bookmarks; not even the browser toolbar kind, let alone a Cloud solution – sorry, I mean Web-based solution.

Remember this? (view comments oldest first). Meet the masses.

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