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ABC logoSo Twitter is closing down Vine, the app that shares six-second videos. I’m not surprised. I always thought Vine was a gimmick.

On 28 October I gave my feelpinions to ABC Radio journalist Brendan Trembath, and they ended up in a 3-minute story for AM. There’s also a written story, Vine video sharing app killed off in latest sign of troubled times for Twitter.

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The audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is being served directly from the ABC website.

UTS logoThis morning I delivered version six of my now-regular guest lecture to media students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble”. Here are the references and further reading.

The links over the fold start off with some background material that sets out my worldview, and then things are in roughly the same order as presented in the lecture — with the order becoming less coherent further down the page. There’s more material linked here than I mentioned in the lecture itself. Enjoy.

A recording of the lecture will be made available in roughly one week on Wednesday 23 September on Friday 25 September, as the change in Prime Minister has triggered the demand for some of my commentary. This page may be updated with further links at that time.

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"Politics of Social" panellists: see text for people's namesLast month I took part in the discussion panel Politics of Social at Social Media Week Sydney — and here’s a video, finally.

Yes, I’m dealing with my backlog of posts.

What was this discussion all about?

Trust, authority and credibility are arguably more crucial in politics than anywhere else. Social media is now an essential part of the political process for MPs, citizens, and lobbyists, but how does that change public perception, the end results, and their impact on society? Our political experts will dissect past and present political activity to determine what the evolution of social media has achieved in political realm, and how political communications is likely to continue evolving.

Joining moderator Kate Carruthers, co-founder of Social Innovation Sydney, on 24 September 2014 were (left to right): Alex Greenwich, independent Member for Sydney in the Parliament of NSW; political sociologist Ariadne Vromen, associate professor at the University of Sydney; myself; and Steph Harmon, managing editor of Junkee at The Sound Alliance.

It was a lively discussion, and the video is over the fold, immediately below. Enjoy.

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ABC logoThere’s something rather cool about being introduced with the Mission: Impossible theme, and that’s precisely what happened when I did a spot for ABC 702 Sydney on Friday morning.

The Heartbleed security bug was one topic, obviously, but I also spoke with breakfast presenter Robbie Buck about another story in the news that morning, about radio presenter and activist Vanessa Powell, who’d complained that Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) had been, as she put it, spying on her social media activities.

Or, as I put it, that they’d been reading what she published on the internet — just as, presumably, she’d been reading what they published on the internet. That they’d gathered her comments with some semi-automated process — and, presumably, she hadn’t gathered theirs the same way — to me says “naivety” rather than “victim of sinister conspiracy”.

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The audio is of course ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

As we approach the end of 2013, I’m going to do my usual series of blog posts looking back at what actually happened on this little planet. This is the first, being a list of the most-read posts on this website.

There hasn’t been a lot to choose from in the last couple of years, because most of my writing is done elsewhere these days. That means some rather mundane pieces of writing, such as Weekly Wrap posts, end up on the list. That’s possibly an argument for abandoning this little exercise.

  1. Catchup posts within 36 hours was the most popular post of all, which makes no sense whatsoever because it’s routine administrivia. I suspect the visitor count has been artificially inflated somehow, though supposedly the traffic generated by spambots has already been removed.
  2. My tweets from TechEd Australia 2012’s keynote sessions, a post that was linked to from news stories that reported me having been banned from attending Microsoft’s TechEd conference. My own blog post on this issue is coming up at number 5.
  3. Guardian Australia not the droid you’re looking for, being my reaction against all the excitement generated in January 2013 by the announcement that there would soon be an Australian edition of this news masthead.
  4. My fish are dead: the black dog ate them (an explanation?), being my rather idiosyncratic announcement and discussion of the fact that I’d been dealing with a severe depression episode, published in July.
  5. Microsoft has banned me from covering TechEd, which is self-explanatory.
  6. Choosing my next media directions: you’re doing it, OK?, from May.
  7. Vodafone Australia’s new 4G network ain’t bad, being the write-up of my trial of the network which led to that conclusion.
  8. Weekly Wrap 152: LulzSec, Optus, radio and thinking stuff, which I suspect is only in the Top 10 because it mentions LulzSec.
  9. Weekly Wrap 155: Chemtrails, elitism and much thinking, ditto, chemtrails.
  10. Sydney Harbour “giant gambling den” bullshit reportage, from January.

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ABC logoBack on 13 December I was a guest for the recording of the penultimate episode of Marc Fennell’s Download This Show for 2013.

Data privacy. What a year it’s been: 2013 will be remembered as the year we came to understand just how much our data was not our own. Edward Snowden might not have won Time magazine’s Person of the Year, pipped to the post by Pope Francis, but the former NSA computer specialist has forever changed the way we think about our information security as a result of his world-changing revelations. But has he changed our behaviour?

My fellow panellist was Karalee Evans, head of social for advertising agency DDB Australia, and we had a great time. Here’s the full audio.

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The audio is ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and it’s served here directly from the ABC website.

ABC logoEarlier this morning I took part in a conversation on ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra about the future of politics and political campaigning, given new media technologies and suchlike.

Also participating was John McTernan, the British Labour Party political adviser, political strategist and commentator, and latterly the director of communications for Prime Minister Julia Gillard here in Australia. Oddly enough, we seemed to be in furious agreement on many of the issues.

The piece was actually recorded on Friday afternoon. Host Jonathan Green had told us beforehand that he was after a 15-minute chat, but we ended up recording nearly 30 minutes of material. Much editing was done.

Here’s that edited version, as it was broadcast, taken from the full program audio on the item’s web page at the ABC.

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This audio is of course ©2013 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

AWStats screenshot: click to embiggenAs in previous years, the list of most popular posts for 2012 was rather disappointing, so I’ve hand-curated this list of eight stories for you to consider.

As usual, this does not include the material I wrote elsewhere, for ZDNet Australia, Technology Spectator, CSO Online, Crikey, ABC The Drum and the rest. That’s all listed on my Media Output page.

  1. Two casually racist encounters concerning Auburn, being the most recent of my essay-style posts.
  2. Insulted, ASIO? That’s not really the problem, surely?
  3. ASIO’s got it easy, says terrorism expert
  4. Consilium: Social media is destroying society? Good! This is the recording and transcript of my opening and closing remarks at Consilium, and I think I said some good things.
  5. iSpy: Talking total surveillance at Sydney Writers’ Festival, being the recorded audio of the panel discussion I did.
  6. Why tweeting my movements isn’t a safety risk, which is what it says.
  7. Stilgherrian’s advice to a PR student, uhoh, which is some useful if unconventional material.
  8. Twitter Discourse 1: Fuck off, swearing is my birthright. Because it is.

If you’d like to compare this with previous years, try these:

[Photo: Screenshot of AWStats from this website. It’d make more sense for this image to be on the most-popular story list, but I have my reasons.]

Monday 29 October to Sunday 4 November 2012 was a busy week, made slightly less busy by the need to recover from the throat infection identified last week and then, because I was run down, fatigue that was probably a mix of a cold and hay fever.

Hence the photograph of the wattle I’ve posted here. It is to blame.

Dear Plant Kingdom, if I spread my genetic material all over you the way you do over me, I’d be arrested! Please behave yourself.

[Update 1545 AEDT: I am reliably informed that the hay fever is unlikely to be caused by wattle pollen.]

Podcasts

Articles

Media Appearances

Also, the Sydney Opera House has posted the video of my Festival of Dangerous Ideas panel, I Share Therefore I Am. I’ll write more about that in due course.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday evening I had a few beers with Michael McKinnon from AVG Australia and New Zealand, which they paid for.
  • On Tuesday morning I attended the breakfast launch of Windows Phone 8 at the Blue Bar,level 36 of the Shangri-La Hotel, overlooking Sydney Harbour. Microsoft paid for that, obviously.

The Week Ahead

Next week is pretty much all about Singapore. On Monday I’ll head down to Sydney and get some writing out of the way. Then on Tuesday it’s Singapore Airlines flight SQ212 departing Sydney at 0905 AEDT and arriving in Singapore mid-afternoon local time.

Wednesday is Verizon Business’ APAC Media Day, a five-hour meeting followed by cocktails. On Thursday I’m visiting the hospitality tent at the Barclays Singapore Open golf tournament as Verizon’s guest. Friday through Sunday has yet to be finalised, but there’ll be at least two articles to write and a podcast to produce.

Oh, and a social life.

My flight back to Sydney SQ231 leaves Singapore at 45 minutes past midnight Sunday night — so technically that’s Monday morning.

[Photo: Wattle near Railway Parade, near Wentworth Falls, one of the causes of my hay fever this week.]

Last month I took part in a fascinating discussion about the impact of social media and related breakthroughs at Consilium [PDF], an invitation-only annual conference put together by the Centre for Independent Studies. Here’s part of what I said.

The panel was called “Social Creatures: How social media is changing the landscape”. I joined Iarla Flynn, Google Australia’s head of public policy and government affairs; Nick Holder, a partner at LEK Consulting; and Cassandra Wilkinson, co-founder and president of FBi Radio, and author of Don’t Panic! Nearly Everything is Better than You Think.

The full blurb and a scheduled duration of 1 hour 45 minutes gave us plenty of scope for discussion and, as became clear once we were under way, for this particular audience much of what we were saying was new.

Consilium was held under a modified Chatham House Rule, which means I can’t bring you the whole discussion. But I did record my opening remarks and my summary, and I have permission from those I namechecked to mention their names — except for one that’s redacted.

Somehow I managed to use the phrase “arse end of the bell curve” and mention Prince Harry’s pubic hair. It’s a gift.

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The full transcript is over the jump. Audio and text ©2012 Stilgherrian.

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