London or Manchester? Wasn’t this technology meant to make geography irrelevant?


So I've been considering moving to Manchester (Salford) for a while. For those who don't know, the BBC is moving a good part of its workforce and operation to the Salford area. Most of it will be up and running by 2012 but my department is moving up earlier. So there's some serious benefits to moving up earlier including cheaper housing and more choice about where to live. The idea of MediaCity:UK hub is nice but these types of projects can go ether way. The new BBC Scotland offices at Pacific Quay is actually really nice, but some people I have spoke to don't like the location or building. Some people have already moved up to Manchester but the question that plagues me is, should I leave the amazing city of London for Manchester? What would you guys do?

Why does it matter where I work, when most of my job involves online presence? And would you believe it or not a future tense podcast got me thinking…

Why technology has not trumped geography


Economist Tim Harford argues against the notion that computers, the Internet, cell phones and other technology have made or will make geography any less relevant.

In his new book The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World, Harford argues that in some ways, where you work and live is more important than ever, thanks to the technology that was supposed to make the whole concept of place irrelevant.

I guess this is consistent with what Richard Florida and Paul Graham have been saying for years too. A long time ago I believed we could work remotlely and do meeting via im and video conferencing. I tried it and it didn't work, even for someone like myself. Hence social events are huge and there's little better that chatting to people face to face over a drink or a meal. Now I'm starting to rethink my thoughts about setting up hotspots of creativity in the middle of nowhere. Is setting up shop in the middle of Salford going to really pull the creative people? Or are we going to get a office of pension watchers? Who knows?

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Cory on the short life span of social networks

Adding friends at unhuman speeds

Cory Doctorow came to the BBC's Festival of Technology last week and during his short time there (well Alice is ready to give birth any moment now, good luck by the way) he mentioned his thoughts on social networking sites like Facebook. I didn't have my camera turned on but I remember the thrust of the talk which was something like this.

I certainly have got fed up of people asking to be a friend. And rather that flat out reject people, I've collected a good number of people who I haven't responded to yet. It is painful when I open facebook to see there are still 45 requests to be my friend, but I do after a while log on and start ignoring the requests – simply because there are too many and i'm in a bad mood. On Linkedin I'm less strict because the data on my profile is public anyway. While on Plaxo Pulse I'm super strict about tagging people because it affects what they can see about me. I don't watch everyone who watches me on twitter or jaiku because messages sometimes go to my phone or mostly pop up in my im client.

I was once believe it or not told off by someone for not “friending” them back on Twitter. I told the person, if they know anything about me they won't be offended. I follow currently 124 people and 585 people follow me. Thats almost 5x the amount of people following that me watching. So I started looking around to see what the ratio was like for other people I know.

I don't think this says much but its interesting that only scoble gets a 1x ratio, the nutter that he is.

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Xtech 2008 proposals

I have put in a couple of proposals for Xtech 2008 which is this year in Dublin. The theme for the year is the web on the go which actually fits in nicely with our thoughts about for over the air (more details about that really soon). So the way I see it is data portability is a type of movement like data on the go, in actual fact you can't have data on the go without some dataportability. Roll on the brief descriptions… .

The truth behind Data Portability
Data portability is in a way one of the greatest freedoms users and developers can have. Portability of data underpins the web of data, apis and the ability to move data to other services, platforms and devices. It is silo busting and is deeply weaved into the debate over social platforms, identity and mobile data. In this talk, I will explore the problems, solutions and gamut of policy decisions

The attention economy is only just around the corner
The attention economy was talked about at the end of 06 to death. Through all the hype, a couple of guys from down-under started to make sense of attention and proposed APML (Attention Profiling Markup Language).Unfortunately little is known about APML and there is a lot of mis-information on APML. As one of the working group members I will run through what it is, its purpose and why its important

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