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Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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That Twitter Share Offer: Robbing Your Free Content to Pay the Rich

Quite a few news outlets have been covering the news that Twitter is to be floated on the stock market today, with a valuation of $18bn. Shares will be offered at around $26. A couple of these recent flotations – I’m thinking of Facebook and, in the UK, the Royal Mail – have given me [...]

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Speaking Publicly to Myself | Social Media as Therapeutic Chat-bot | Digital Prayer

I’ve been writing a piece about Alan Turing – who was born 100 years ago in June and was the godfather of artificial intelligence. His ‘Turing Test’ still endures as a fascinating ongoing game between humans and computers, whereby a computer can pass the Turing Test if it can convince a human interlocutor that they are conversing [...]

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Integrating Facebook, WordPress and Twitter

WordPress is fantastic, but a lot of people are using Facebook now as their portal into the rest of the web, so I thought I’d share some stuff for other bloggers I’d found on integrating the two, with Twitter too. I’ve recently come across the WordPress plug-in WPBook. I think it’s great, and if you [...]

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Emerging Revolutions | Fighting the Power | The Gospel and Twitter

I want to retain a healthy skepticism about the power of Twitter and other social networks to bring about substantive change. There has been a lot of hype about the Green revolution in Iran, and whether it was tweeting that caused it, and I’d be tempted to side with Malcolm Gladwell – substantive change comes [...]

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Apple 8 – Social Media and Social Action – 13th October

Connected to the previous post about Gladwell’s article on ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,’ I’m really excited about the next Apple event, which is coming up on 13th October. Dr Luke Bretherton will be leading a discussion on social media and social action, asking whether Facebook and Twitter have anything to add to community [...]

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‘The Revolution will not be Tweeted’ | Real Sacrifice will never happen online

Excellent piece by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker, casting a sceptical eye over the optimistic view that social networks can and do lead to increased social action. His argument is not that they cannot have a good impact, but that the sort of impact they might have is very different from the hard work [...]

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Twitter Procession

I’m not normally impressed by Web 2.0 mashups, but there’s something very beguiling about this Twitter procession, something of the human touch in it…HT Jenny Brown. Works best in full screen… click here.

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Can Social Networks Finally Make #Socialism Work?

Very interesting conversation last night between Steven Johnson – author of brilliant books such as The Ghost Map, Emergence (for which I owe him a huge debt) and The Invention of Air – and Brian Eno – who defies description or categorization. They covered a lot of ground over the evening, but perhaps the best [...]

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UK Election ‘in a few weeks’? | It was until…

Oh dear, things don’t get any better for this calamitous administration. Seems like he didn’t understand how Twitter works – replies are viewable by everyone. The account is now deleted, and we can probably assume that date in the diary has been too. Oops. HT ToryBear via DizzyThinks.

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Critiquing Social Networks | Technological Bad Faith

Nic and I have been having some good exchanges recently around issues of our relationship with technology. It’s something that’s prominent in the forthcoming book, but I wanted to introduce a few of the ideas here and hopefully provoke some debate to sharpen my own thoughts. My view is that while we do create tools, [...]

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