My writing on Medium

I’ve written a couple of pieces on Medium and it’s only just occurred to me that I should have shared them here.

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

As an aside, it must be said I love how the embed codes show up here. On WordPress.com, we just have to paste a Medium link and it shows up like above; instructions on how to do that elsewhere can be found here:

View story at Medium.com

So Disruptive their information is inaccessible

Edit 2013-08-08: Popsop have today posted a better summary of this story, with a much better “infographic” (of HTML and CSS, rather than a big inaccessible image).

Yesterday, I was sent a relatively interesting infographic entitled “What customers hate about your brand in social media”.

Missing from this infographic was an item I’d have put near the top of my list — bloody infographics. Infographics are great for visualising information, but far too often they have inaccessible text, in small point sizes, with poor colour contrast. And don’t even get me started on angular data visualisations like pie charts and curvy line graphs.

What makes this example all the worse is that Disruptive Communications are apparently not yet competent enough to have posted a blog piece talking about the information in the infographic. (To be fair to them, they only have three blog posts, the second of which is them officially launching themselves as a new “UK social media, content marketing and digital PR agency”.) The nearest I could see is a piece on Wallblog, which appears to be down at the moment.

So, as several of my friends have commented that they can’t read the text, and I’m struggling to do so too, and without apology to Disruptive Communications, who could perhaps focus a little more of their attentions on doing things well, here is the content from the infographic.

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ORGcon 2013

ORGcon 2013 logo So it was ORGcon 2013 a few weekends ago. There will be a couple of posts about the day, because there were some aspects of the day I need to comment on separately, without any hint of my ORG Board Member hat on, but this post I shall restrict to discussing the day itself.

The tone of the day was helpfully set by the revelations about the NSA’s Prism programme:

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How does one buy films these days?

We were watching a quiz show Jen likes, before going to bed last night, and there was a question about the nationality of Victor Frankenstein (born in Naples, described himself as Genevese and built his monster in 1790s Ingolstadt, in Bavaria, since you asked) and I realised that, shamefully, I don’t own a copy of Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).

We’ve been digitising our DVDs (so that we don’t have to devote quite so much shelf space to plastic boxes containing media that’s inconvenient to use), so it would be stupid to buy a film on DVD when I only really want a digital video file.

So I googled buy film "The Curse of Frankenstein". And I googled download film "The Curse of Frankenstein" "buy now". And I looked on Amazon.

Now I don’t know if this film is available digitally anywhere else or not. But the only place I could see to buy it online is iTunes. We can’t play it on iTunes on our TV (which is hooked up to an Ubuntu machine); there is no way of playing films bought from iTunes on Linux (though you can authorise up to five computers to access your iTunes media). If there is anywhere else to buy this film as a digital download, they need to spend a lot of time looking at their SEO; and, whilst Google didn’t mention it at all, Netflix does have the film (and we do pay for Netflix), but not in their UK catalogue. Lovefilm, of course, we can’t use on Linux, and they only carry it as optical media anyway.

I spent substantially longer than my patience would normally allow looking around for this; most users would type, click twice maybe, and give up. I have no way of legally purchasing a copy of this film.

And they wonder why people pirate.

Poster image served directly from Amazon UK, copyright © Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and is used without permission, ostensibly for the purpose of criticism and review under section 30(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Wolfram Alpha personal analytics for Facebook

Yet again, a post I wrote several days ago but didn’t publish. Sorry about that.

Wolfram Alpha have launched personal analytics for Facebook.

It’s really quite impressive. You log into Wolfram Alpha and into Facebook, then grant Wolfram Alpha permissions to scour your Facebook data and it generates a host of information for you.

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