Its Ladies night

The Big Bang Theory

Always interesting to read Miss Geeky’s thoughts on woman in technology. She’s been thinking about a Ladies night at a Comic Store in Nova Scotia. Generally she says in the post, I wish we didn’t need things like Ladies Night to make it *not* intimidating for woman. But its the examples which I find really interesting…

Since moving to London, I’ve visited the Forbidden Planet tons of times. I love the place, it’s filled with wonderful geeky delights, and if I could I’d buy everything that caught my eye. And yet… almost every single time I go there by myself I get hit on. Okay, I kind of get that (geek store, geeky girl, chances of possible perfect match increases). But half of the time they open with something along the lines of whether I ”needed help in finding a present” or something else that completely neglects the fact that I might be there for myself. The thing is it almost always happens when I’m browsing the comics. If I’m at any other part of the store (like the fantasy/scifi books section or the manga section) that type of stuff doesn’t happen. It’s as if most geeks have accepted that girls are into geeky things, like fantasy and manga, but comics… then it’s suddenly “you don’t belong here”.

Seriously, guys? Why assume straightaway that a girl doesn’t belong there? I thought that by now it should be obvious for guy geeks that the geek girl does exist, but it’s moments like I’ve described above that some guys are completely oblivious to that fact. And it’s those guys that are making it difficult for new geeky girls to feel comfortable with being a geek and going to places like comic stores. I know there are tons of guys out there who do understand and don’t make stupid remarks like those above to girls, but it’s that small oblivious group that do that mess it up for everyone.

Its always the subtle stuff which does the damage I find. I’m not pointing fingers but I wonder if media like the Big Bang Theory and IT Crowd are doing much to counter this problem?

Manipulation of women or just a upper hand in the game?

Rules Of The Game – Episode 1: Be A D–khead

Add to My Profile | More Videos

I'm sorry but as far as I'm concerned its manipulation and I really don't like it. What am I talking about? Well shows like the one above (cheers Dave for the link). The weird thing is its not exactly the show aspect which is the problem, its the pure social engineering aspect of it to trick women into giving out there numbers, going on a date or getting them into bed.

Yes I know its a bloody complex issue because you could say well we all use manipulation to a certain extent but this is something else and the reasoning behind it is for pure personal gain which in my book is not cool. What I don't get is what do these guys think will happen in the future? Are they expecting to keep up the act, show or persona forever? Maybe?

So yes I've opened a huge box of topics in this very short post. And I keep rewriting rants about social engineering, confiedence, social control and ultimatly Neuro-linguistic programming. We should be teaching this stuff in schools so everyone can protect themselves from con artists and social hackers like some people I know. I made reference to the real hustle in a previous blog post educating the masses about these such topics but we kind of need a show to talk about protecting yourself from the opposite sex (or same sex if you prefer). Don't get me wrong I'm not a player-hater as such but I don't feel it fair someone holds an advantage over someone else, specially when it comes to the painful world of mating or dating.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

London Geekdinner Facebook group

Geekdinner london logo

After some minor issues with Facebook networks, I have finally sorted out a global geekdinner group on facebook. You can sign up here or search for geek dinner to find the girl geekdinner group along side the geekdinner group.

As you may have noticed in some of the blog comments else where (Regular Jen) not everyone could sign up to the previous group because I left the default network of London instead of setting it to Global. This was stupid because I even after I knew the problem I couldn't change it. So please makes ure you're signed up to the correct group (the one with the geekdinner logo not the red x).

I do make the joke that everyone is on Facebook but I won't be using Facebook as the official way to tell people about events and news. As Regular Jen points out.

The catch, as I see it, is that you still have to be a member of Facebook to view it. That is not what I would call open… it is open to members of Facebook only. That’s fine and fair and there is no reason to hold back from creating such a group, however, it absolutely divides the followers of London Geek Dinners (and London Girl Geek Dinners). You now have a group within Facebook and ‘the rest of us’

Total agreement and I expect to be using some sort of aggregation to allow good communication between the different spaces. This isn't the first time I've had this problem. It would be very easy for me to stop using our tradional geekdinner blog and setup some group on upcoming and urge people to use that instead but I don't. Instead I prefer the older comment system on the geekdinner blog and then allow sign up on upcoming.org. Ideally I would aggregate the upcoming results via there API back on the geekdinner site but this will all make sense hopefully in the near future.

I want to address something Jen talked about in the same post.

Making something very clear: this isn’t about London Geek Dinners, but the recent LGD Facebook group creation solidified a feeling I already had forming in my subconscious about Facebook dividing people. I posted about Facebook last week. I caved to social pressures and joined the service. I wish I hadn’t. I have only me to blame for that (well, and Facebook. Bastards. /images/emoticons/happy.gif.
What I hope I’ve brought forward more than anything is that every time a link is posted to a page within Facebook to the world outside of Facebook, that link (and its poster) excludes people. The ‘welcome’ page non-members get is a stark, uninviting login screen with no other content— it’s the equivalent of a giant, muscly body guard outside an exclusive club’s door. You aren’t welcome to the content within the Facebook walls unless you give up something in return, and in this case, it’s your data. Forever. I have never felt so unwelcome on a site. Even without the information brought to light by the video I linked to in another post, I felt this way.

This is not the way to start or nurture relationships. It’s high-level data mining wearing a social network cloak and at the same time subtly creates social outcasts out of the ones who want nothing to do with it.

I joined it and now I can never truly leave. Sounds dramatic, but Rachel called Facebook a new Hotel California. She’s right you know

 

 

 

I hate social networks for the sake of social networking, this includes Facebook. Facebook is the new roach motel as one of the gilmor gang use to say. I like Jen resisted till the bitter end but once they included a developer API and I started to see some applications being built I signed up.

I heard rumors that the facebook guys didn't sell to Yahoo because they are working on a operating system or something. Well currently you can certainly see how once your in facebook it would be easy to ignore most of the net if your thinking that way already. Its like the portals of the late 90's but with social networking layed through-out it. This may be all good for most people and at this very moment just about bearable for me too. I still can't find a way to put my blog rss into my facebook profile for example and I'm a sucker for owning my own data.

I think Facebook is almost unstoppable without some radical game changing from someone else. I'm hoping that other thing is open and decentralised (the first person to make the concept of FOAF work or the concept of FOAF work will bite a huge chunk out of Facebook) and puts a end to facebook but till then i'm forced to use it because thats where the attention and people are right now. Sad but true.

Please note I haven't mentioned Plaxo 3.0 or Plaxo Pulse which I'm sure will come up when I decide to do a post about lifestreams.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

ShareTV just needs a social network and a client

ShareTV.org is my hot tip for the future of TV online.

For a long time I've been wishing that Tioti.com (Tape it off the internet) would get its act together, but it never so I gave up on it about 6 months ago. Since then I've noticed ShareTV and TV nanny move closer into the area which Tioti occupied. TV Nanny I don't kow enough about because I don't really like installing clients on my desktop machine and its only windows based.

ShareTV features

Anyway, back to ShareTV. This bit torrent site focuses on yes you guessed it Television programmes. Its clean cut and lacks a style. This makes it super easy to navigate around its pages and discover new areas without feeling lost. Right from the start they included RSS feeds with direct links to the torrent files. Not only a global one but per programme and the last 30 shows feed. Both of these make it really simple to setup a TVRSS setup using Azureus, UTorrent Democracy or something else. Another key feature of ShareTV is it only selects one torrent of each episode of the programme. Aka you don't have to choose which version of the programme you want to download. This might sound like a disadvantage for those who really like downloading those 1gig 720p HD versions of Heroes but for the rest of us its fine. I'm sure in the near future they will build feeds with all HD episodes which can be used.

ShareTV also indexes currently about 100+ shows including UK shows like Jekyll and Doctor Who (which I'm currently missing due to be in Toronto). They rip the details for each show from TV.com so you can get the full details about a show before downloading it. Recently they have included previews so you can get a idea about a show using a streaming flash player in the page. This is being extended by it would seem them watching links in del.icio.us and Youtube pointing to episodes, so you can actually watch the whole show there in your browser if you choose to. I don't know how successful this will be but thats not the most interesting part.

Recently if you log into ShareTV you can do a whole bunch of new stuff. Voting for a show is new and interesting because you are able to gage per show what people thought of the show. You can vote either a thumbs up or thumbs down. Less interesting is the fact you can add comments to each episode. Tv.com has the same thing, so the duplication isn't  that welcomed. Now its possible to add your favorite shows to a personal list and keep a track of just those. I didn't notice a RSS feed for them yet but I'm sure thats coming soon. Another nice thing ShareTV does is a calendar view of TV shows like a 9 day TV listings, But it looks possible that this can be applied the shows you favorite too. Meaning you get a personalised TV listing guide.

Getting Social

So most of this is exactly what Tioti does but Tioti was a mess.for things like picking torrents. Whats missing from ShareTV is the social aspect. Now I have my personal schedule or TV listing of my shows. I want to share this with other ShareTV friends or buddies. I also want to share my schedule with the world. You know stick it in my blog or even in my facebook profile. Once you ShareTV allows RSS, this will be easier but I still want some simple to share widget too.

Something which bugged me about Tioti was the show tracker, it required you to say I've seen this episode, I've seen that episode. But it was a pain. I suggest ShareTV use that voting feature to assume people have also seen that episode at the same time. Ideally ShareTV would have a public API behind it but personalised RSS would be a start, so the feed would have up to date metadata about if you watched the episode or not. I was at one point thinking about using a iCal feed with the free/busy status switched if you've seen it or not but it seems over kill.

Points system

I forgot to add this to my first post. ShareTV now have a points system for your account. This level of participation is both playful and community building. Some of the core elements I would say for making the site more social.

You get points by participating in the site. The more points you have the higher priority you get when downloading off our tracker or streaming videos.

Action Points Given
Create Account +10 points
Rate Show +1 point per
Place Comment +2 point per
Upload new Torrent +3 points per**
Submit new video clip +4 points per**

** You also get plus/minus points for each vote on the torrent or video you submit, so make sure you submit stuff other members would like

Ideally it would still be great if your bit torrent client or mediaplayer device could say if you've seen the episode – You could imagine something like Last.FM for TV (last broadcast) with plugins for the Xbox Media Centre, Windows Media Centre, Apple TV, Democracy, BBC iPlayer etc. But thats a long way off and seems the demand won't be there till we get over the whole downloading TV shows thing. I actually think shareTV would be a great place to try such a service but even if ShareTV could consume someone elses service that would be great.

I mean it would only take ShareTV a while to add some kind of distributed Digg like system through peoples personal desktop widget engines. Or they could create some simple application using Xul or Air (formally known as Adobe Apollo). Geez if there was a API again, I would try writing the other part myself.

These are the things Tioti promised but never quite delivered (or at least got over complex on). I don't want to be harsh to Tioti and Paul Pod (who I hope to meet in Edinburgh)  but the illustrations of the features of Tioti were amazing and the result has been a big let down. ShareTV is closer to the vision of Tioti that it may actually know and it would be a shame if it went in a different direction now.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

I’m a founding member of the Media 2.0 work group

media 2.0 workgroup

I'm proud to announce I'm also a member of the Media 2.0 workgroup, along side people like Ben Metcalfe, Suw & Kevin, Steve Boyd, Chris Saad, etc.

The Media 2.0 Workgroup is a group of industry commentators, agitators and innovators who believe that the phenomena of democratic participation will change the face of Media Creation, Distribution and Consumption.

I think you will agree, this is certainly a noble cause. And when Chris outlines in detail the root of the group it just gets better and better. I like to think of this group being something like the mix of people who turned out the forever relevant Cluetrain manifesto

The term “Web 2.0” has become a little warn out lately, but it has had an important and dramatic effect on our industry. It has spurred innovation, driven investment and ignited the imagination of the entrepreneurial community.

The Web (2.0 or otherwise), however, is only part of the Media landscape. An important part of course, however Media includes the superset of people, places and things that can co-existing in and around the web to create participation experiences.

Radio, TV, Traditional Media Outlets, News, Entertainment, Movies, Music, Game Consoles etc all have an opportunity to innovate by 'getting social', and each will be impacted by and contribute to the transformative effects of Media 2.0.

There are underlying issues and opportunities however. Issues with fancy names like Aggregation, Attention, Convergence, DRM, Distribution, Engagement, Identity, Participation. These issues need discussion across the perceived Media boundaries and traditional disciplines so that we can all achieve real, integrated results.

To put it plainly, the visionaries, tool builders, emerging social media participants, 'old media' vanguard, investors and marketers all need to speak to each other to help create this opportunity together.

We call this broader ecosystem Media 2.0.

Like the Web, Media 2.0 is about shifting the power from the few to the many. We, the participants, are (or should be) the most important parts of the emerging Social Media. We each have a story to tell and connections just waiting to be made.

The challenge, however, is to help the unsocial media understand how to be social. To help advertisers understand the value of an engaged, trusting participant over a passive audience demographic. To help content creators understand that sharing and remixing is more profitable than DRM and to shine a light on the best innovations and ideas emerging from that very long tail.

Every community needs some help to grow. The long tail has a head, and every conversation needs a topic. So in this spirit, we have gathered a group of people who are passionate about the issues of Media 2.0 to help propel and focus the conversation.

These participants are from a cross-section of disciplines and agendas. Some merely comment, criticize and consult, some develop tools, some live the dream and have started their own Media 2.0 empires and some are fighting from the inside of established media to change the face of ‘business as usual’.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Dabbler, at last someones adding distributed to the mix

Dabble beta

At long last dabble has added distributed back into the mix. Dabble can be thought of yet another video hosting service but actually you would be overlooking its main feature. Its more like del.icio.us than anything else. Simply put its a bookmarking service for online video. So no matter where your video sits, google video, archive.org, youtube or even on your own site, you can bookmark it and share it with anyone via dabbler.

In the usual style you can also add tags and create playlists for other people and friends. Its such a simple idea and although dabble is very rough around the edges, I can see myself using this a lot. I actually rememeber this type of service being applied to Podcasts but it was so simple and clever, it actually is a shame it doesn't do audio too.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

@media social is still happening today

@media 2006

@Media 06 Conference is supposedly happening
The @Media 06 Conference (second day) is supposedly happening today. But it’s funny, I’ve seen very little mention of it on the blogosphere. If you ignore the Flickr photos that have crept into Technorati, a search for the tag atmedia returns just 3 posts from the last few days.

I have to agree its been pretty quiet in the blogosphere but Flickr does have a good collection of pictures from the days including the social events. I've been collecting a good range of pictures so I can project them around tomorrow at the social. But it would have been nice to have seen some podcasts too, maybe a special boagworld?

To answer some questions ahead of the Social which will happen in less than 12 hours now. Ben is right, I'm not being paid. Like geekdinners, I don't earn any money from the social events I do. I mainly do it for the fun and enjoyment of seeing other people enjoying themselves. Although if you would like to buy me a drink tomorrow, mine would be either a Redbull, Cranberry Juice or Coke. Also not being paid has its advantages, like not taking any risk with my own money, aka @media are paying for the beautiful venue not myself.
Second question is the timing. Yes we have the venue for 10hours plus, that does not mean you need to be there 10 hours with us. You can come along in the afternoon, go shopping and come back if you like. Which leads nicely on to question three.
People keep asking me if its really a free event and do you need to have gone to the @media conference. The answer is yes its free and open to everyone. We have things setup for certain times during the 10hours but generally I will go with the flow and see whos around and what people would prefer to do during the afternoon. But during the night, I'm expecting to stick pretty closely to the geekdinner style of party. Just rememeber to get your food in early because the kitchen closes earlier that usual.

And on that note, I'll hopefully see you all there tomorrow, don't forget to invite your friends and tag your media atmedia, geekdinner or atmediasocial.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Your network now available in Del.icio.us

Your network in delicious

Just spotted the your network option in del.icio.us. Nice idea, would like to do the same in Flickr. So heading over to the del.icio.us blog, I found a recent entry.

To make sharing easier, weve just released a new feature called your network. You can add other del.icio.us users to your network either by visiting their del.icio.us pages or from the your network page itself. Once someone is in your network, you can keep track of their latest saved public bookmarks. And when you save new bookmarks you can easily share them with people in your network just by clicking on their username.

In Flickr there is the ability to send pictures to a set of pictures but not to a group or person. Once you've uploaded it you can then send it to a group. But the nice thing about the delicious way, is that its using Tags instead of some other thing.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Geek and Geekhag podcast number five – Tesco too big for its boots?

My and Sarah's five podcasts now available online. Enjoy and please leave a comment if you've enjoyed it or simply hate it.

This time we talk about joint/partner websites, Sarah says sorry to Blojsom creator and how Tesco is becoming Walmart in the UK and it would seem trying to beat Walmart at its only game in America with Tesco Metro's (starbucks style?).

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Social networking your filmz

My Films

The man behind Reader2, myprogs and tagfacts is in the final phase of testing Myfilmz.net. Go check it out, same login applies if your subscribed to any of his other tools and it looks to have all and maybe more features than listal.

Its based on Amazon again, which is great but means you will have problems adding brand new films just out in the cinema. But I blame IMDB (i mean Amazon) for this. When is IMDB going to open there doors to Webservices and expose a ton of Webapi's? Even RSS would be a start.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Should you use social software at work?

Basecamp icon

Where’s the line start and end with social software?

Currently I'm using these and more social software services.

Flickr
Audioscrobbler
Eventful
Bloglines
Del.icio.us
Reader2
Myprogs
Ideabank
Listal

But just recently I've been testing out basecamp. Now basecamp is a product by 37signals camp and I was impressed by the talk which was given. But theres something different between the other social apps I'm using and basecamp. See the rest I use in my personal life and projects not at work. But Basecamp is a project management tool, fitting somewhere between a adhoc wiki and full on microsoft project ummm project? Where do I have to manage the most projects? Work of course.

So is it correct of me to use a online tool to project manage internal BBC projects which I maybe working on? Its a tricky question and I'm not certain of the answer. Some would actually suggest that I shouldn’t be discussing this in public on my own blog. But I'm not revelaling anything which is secret or private to the BBC, so I'm sure I'm on good grounds with this entry.

So back to the question. The only time I've come across this type of dielmma is when using del.icio.us. There are a lot of urls which I would like to store in my bookmarks and del.icio.us means I can access and store them anywhere but should I store internal urls in the public del.icio.us? Yes I know del.icio.us like flickr and a few other services have a private tag which means it will not appear in the public. But is that a good idea? Anyhow the question of bookmarking was solved for me when someone setup del.irio.us inside the BBC firewall. So all my internal urls are now stored there and external one's on del.icio.us.

But back to basecamp, this certainly quite a step up from storing bookmarks. Storing project metadata externally is a risk too far. The logical solution would be to download a opensource version of basecamp and run it inside the firewall but then you lose some of the flexibility of social software. I don’t believe basecamp is even available to download and the other project management tools in this area tend to be too structured (alas Microsoft Project) or too unstructured (alas a fancy wiki). If someone can suggest somthing they have seen which is dead in the middle please do add a comment.

The next step for me is look at the public and private aspects of Basecamp and of course the End user licence. I already noticed you can export all the data as one large xml file but it didn’t quite work for me. I got a lot of structure and no data except the actual project title. I'm sure its a bug or something. Theres also RSS and iCal data which can be subscribed and used as a restful api if the export is not up to the task.

I'm sure many other businesses use basecamp small and maybe large. But they may use the paid version which has more features and maybe a slightly different end user agreement? no its the same one. I'll check this out later but I'm actually writing this from my hospital bed and believe it or not there is no wireless and i'm not allowed to use my mobile to dial up on 3g (hint of cheekyness of course).

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

update – Socially sharing everything?

Ok I keep adding more to the previous blog entry, so heres an update.

I've been playing with Listal and BlinkList after the recent comments. There both pretty good, BlinkList is certainly a whole lot futher down the line than Listal or even Reader2 and Myprogs. But seems to be a straight replacement to del.icio.us, de.liri.ous, furl, etc. It lets you easily import thses too. I'm currently quite happy with del.icio.us and am thinking waiting till Yahoo's My Web 2 and other bookmarking services show something different they can do.

Listal is a little scatty because it can do so (maybe too) much? Flickr works because its all about photos, del.icio.us works because its about bookmarking resources online. Listal does Bookmarking, movies, books, music, etc. Its useful to have the ability to create a list about anything but you loose the fundmental social aspect of a social tool. Reader2 works because every resource must have a ISBN and del.icio.us because every resource has a URL. Listal has so many different types of resources to work around I cant see how it would be possible to keep track of them all. Its easier to match people together based on one common resource. I also dont get the artificial barriers it throws in. Talk about driving the complexity up! Why is there a difference between Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs? I assume because the database pull is different, but why display that to the user? Anyhow, I dont want to seem too harsh in my comments, as I've only played with it for a few hours.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Social software silos

Tim Idenifies the major problem with social software silos.

One thing that interests me in terms of is the fact that there are many sites offering social applications (different services rather than duplication) and it struck me that it would be really cool to have a sort of 'meta-social'software' service, that would aggregate all your social presence on the web into one place. That way you could take your blog, del.icio.us bookmarks, IM accounts, flickr photos, friendster profile, url and email (along with any other personal data) and make it accessible all in one place, meaning you only have to give out one userID to people, which would allow access to all these things.
Microsoft's solution is a great effort in that it tries to integrate all these services, but the fact that you have to buy in to using the same product for everything concerns me slightly; – it would be nice if integration was possible over multiple services. This should be possible with something like RSS, but to my knowledge has not yet been done. (Presulably a level of cooperation between teh providers of social web services would be needed, and since not all of these services are open source, this is probably fairly unlikely.)

Some thoughts on the issue myself, first I saw some information about LID – lightweight identity and I've been thinking about the whole issue myself. Recently I adopted the use of Keepass which is a open source light weight password manager. To have pretty much all my internet and computer passwords in an advanced 256bit encrypted, twofish algorithm database, makes you think twice about personal information. I mean for example I'm playing with Microsoft Wallop, using flickr for my public domain photos, relaying music taste to audioscobbler and busy weaving bookmarks and metadata for del.icio.us. But each one bar audioscrobbler I would say are pretty much deadend when it comes to getting personal information out. Not only that but what about all the other information which is generated from mass aggregation? Would be good to share that information with the people actually creating it wouldnt it? By the way I have not heard Doug Kay talk about Attention XML for ages now and digital identity was discussed by the gillmor gang a while ago. The reality of digital identity raises its head when thinking about social software, shame none of them will even take my foaf profile? Not to say that is the ultimate aim of digital identity and interopable social software.

Miles dropped me and Tim a email pointing towards the new Technorati Tags. And honestly I'm pretty impressed with the tag feature, I just wish there was a meta standard for blogging which would beat using the rel attribute in a link. The better default option of using the categories of blog entries is actually quite a good idea because it requires no extra effort from the blogger and its retro active, which gives technorati lots of data to analyse, if they have not done so already. Anyway to celebrate the technorati's step up in the aggregation market here's a couple of good examples.
Technorati bubble
Technorati ipaq tag | Bill Gates | Socialsoftware | Hacking | Xbox | Silicon | Flickr | xbmc. Now if only we could get this in xml?

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]