Public notebook

Clinton: No Tweets while I’m talking


“I hope you’re not Tweeting this…” Image (cc) Marcn.

Bill Clinton has never been attention-shy, but apparently he isn’t keen on Twitter-based attention, at least not during his speeches.

Some commenters on the RWW piece where I heard about this suggest he wants everyone in the room to give him their full attention. From the Primary Colours caricature, that would be a palusible explanation, but since no explanation has been offered by his team, we don’t really know.

Maybe as an exemplar of the the pre-web communications arts, he fears the backchannel?

Or now that Twitter and Facebook posting are so main stream are we seeing the beginning of a bit of a backlash as we go through a norming process about how we pay attention and communicate during speeches?

I wonder if we will see more policies like this for speakers? Who would be able to get away with it? Will there be anti-Twitter goons on patrol to enforce it?

All very odd. All very interesting.

Via ReadWriteWeb

Public notebook

Defending the web for today and the future


For anyone interested in the web, Tim Berners-Lee’s article in The Scientific American about its future is of course required reading.

Let’s begin by quoting the closing sentences of the piece:

The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

It is useful for us to reflect on what the web is and what it will become and see it, in this light, as presenting not just opportunities and threats, but responsibilities as well. As participants, we are all stewards of the web, not just users.

Despite what Maclom Gladwell may say, I agree with the web’s creator when he says:

The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium. It brings principles established in the U.S. Constitution, the British Magna Carta and other important documents into the network age: freedom from being snooped on, filtered, censored and disconnected

Berners-Lee’s article examines many of the threats to the continued evolution of the web based on its original approach:

Several principles are key to assuring that the Web becomes ever more valuable. The primary design principle underlying the Web’s usefulness and growth is universality. When you make a link, you can link to anything.

He focuses on a range of issues that could undermine the evolution of the web, including net neutrality, even on mobiles (which is where net neutrality advocate Google draws the line) and the walled garden instincts of social network giant Facebook. In fact, he says the web is endangered by any search engine or social web service that commands a near monopoly.

It is good to see that he broadens what access to the web means to include not shutting out large numbers of citizens, e.g. those with disabilities.

On this topic, take a look at a fantastic idea called Fix the Web, which crowdsources the process of checking the accessibility of websites ad sending helpful emails to administrators telling them what they need to fix. It’s supported by Citizens Online, a charity which campaigns for internet access as a human right, and for which I’m proud to serve as a Trustee.

Always the mantra for the web’s continued success has to be view it as a common resource, one which no one should own and everyone should defend.

Public notebook

Facebook vs. websites: sometimes Facebook is better

There’s a kind of web media theologians’ debate that goes on at the moment over whether brands should ditch their websites and move their web presence to Facebook wholesale.

So far, I have mostly been an advocate of the teeth-sucking “Ooh, you don’t want to do that…” side of the argument. Reasons being control, wider network presence, not wasting attention, lock-in to Facebook as a platform and the openness/future of the web

Now, I’m not throwing those arguments away, I stand by them in fact. But…

…as well as advising brands on their digital strategy, I am also an author. A time-poor author without his own marketing team, who wants the best for his published book and future books.

So Guy Kawasaki makes a really compelling case for why he has opted for a Facebook-only web presence for his new book, Enchantment. He goes into some detail about his reasoning, and it is worth a read. For instance…

I’m busy. Designing a website is a big deal. I can’t create one by myself so this means I’d have to find a company to do it or impose on my friends. A template or canned package would never make me happy, so I’d end up spending mucho time interacting with whoever is building website for me.

For my new book, I am considering going down the same route. I created a website, centred around a blog, for Me and My Web Shadow, but keeping a blog going is hard enough work without creating a second.

A better strategy for me will be to use Facebook for the web presence and continue to focus on posts and pages on my main domain