Three of a kind [280713]

Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is

Feels like I’m linking to something like this every week šŸ˜¦ Another story about the threat to the freedom of the internet and how it is fragmenting in to a series of smaller, censored networks where privacy is non-existent. Scary days.

On a related note: Sleepwalking into censorship – ORGs response to the UK governments ridiculous anti-porn nonsense.

‘Only pizzas are delivered’

It is funny how these stories break when they do because I am sure this list of ‘banned’ words has been available from GDS from months. Still it is all good publicity and as it has been pointed out to me recently that I have increasingly started to write in manager-ese I am going to try and avoid using all the words mentioned from now on in my blogposts and briefings!

The Internet map

Brilliant visualisation of the big players on the web – especially as it lets you see the **world** wide web beyond just the English speaking world. It is easy enough to spot Google, Facebook etc but the real fun is delving in to some of the smaller ‘circles’.

Three of a kind [210713]

10 Rules of the internet

I think Mr Dash misses one of the big rules. The internet loves a list šŸ™‚

This is a mix of the fun, serious and very true. I actually think it is amongst the bonus rules where the real gem is hiding “Never argue against logic with emotion, or against emotion using logic.”

Mozilla comes under attack – and of age

There is some quote about ‘being judged by the quality of your enemies’ – maybe from Wilde? Anyway it seems like more and more Mozilla is upsetting the right people. This latest attack from a group of online advertisers about the ‘do not track’ options in Firefox is a prime example of that. In recent years Mozilla have (it seems to me) started to move from an open source company mainly focused on preventing a browser monopoly to something much more interesting – they have becoming a leader in the wider fight for an open web and that is why I support them.

Nine behaviours for a modern digital comms team

This was a great post from Tim Lloyd and I saw him expand on it a bit at a talk this week as well. I agree strongly with the majority of it – apart from the final point as I still believe there is room for specialists as long as they are aware of the wider landscape around them.

Tim is very much a digital **communications** person. Whenever I speak to him or read his posts I realise how much I still have to learn about doing that aspect well and not getting too caught up in the digital of it all.

Three of a kind [140713]

How we are losing the war for a free and open internetĀ 

It seems like every week I am reading another blogpost bemoaning the changing face of the internet & web. It feels like there is something building but towards what I am not sure. Here Sue Gardner from the Wikimedia Foundation talks about being ‘in the trenches’ in the fight to keep the web open.

Code Developed by the People and for the People, Released Back to the PeopleĀ 

This all seems a bit familiar. It seems the new website for ObamaCare has taken a leaf out of the GDS book and built a website in the open on Github, using a mix of in-house and SME skills and putting the user first. Hopefully this approach will continue to build momentum – increasingly it seems like the only sensible approach to building big, scaleable, complex .gov websites – which is on my mind a lot!

[Prose seems interesting as well – its rare to see one of these style sites not relying on Markdown.]

Comic book heroes get the info-porn treatmentĀ 

This went straight on the pre-order list from Amazon. A book full of infographics based on comic book ‘data’ – what is not to love šŸ™‚

Three of a kind [070713]


Great bit of writing from Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper. It reminds me of the post from Anil Dash ‘The web we lost‘ and I’m not sure there is much greater praise I could offer at the moment. Marco rails at the way Google has treated RSS and how they have damaged the promise of an open web. You won’t be shocked to read that I agree.

Computer Visionary Who Invented the Mouse

I hadn’t heard of Douglas Engelbart until he passed away this week (I don’t really know much about ‘computing’ before the birth of the web). I feel bad about that now as I have found myself amazed by the impact he had on the world in which I make a living these days. The more I read about ‘the mother of all demos‘ the more impressed I am. A true visionary.

Teaching Computers Shows Us How Little We Understand About Ourselves

Lovely essay from Cory Doctorow that in particular focuses on the issues around ‘real names’ on the internet and what that really means. My opinion has changed on this over the years as I have become more aware of some of the real issues especially as I met people who had real concerns. His example of how even a ‘real’ name can evolve over time was interesting and the section on attempts to try and ‘encode’ the definition of families demonstrated just how futile that is these days.

Three of a kind [300613]

Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionaire

This is a great article/profile on Jimmy Wales. I am a big fan of Wikipedia and I pay my membership to Wikimedia UK each year to stay involved. The relationship between Wales and Wikipedia itself has always fascinated me though – it is a pretty unique dynamic and this article covers that nicely. Plus it highlights Wales and his semi-soft porn search engine past which seems to have been air brushed out in recent years.

Ethiopiaā€™s tech hopefuls

I’m going through a bit of a stage of being fascinated by the rise of internet activities in Africa. I know so little but it seems like there are some amazing things happening over there and that the opportunities and challenges are equally massive. I had a couple of good friends do VSO in Ethiopia for two years so I have heard quite a bit about the country which is probably part of the reason for this article really catching my attention.

Introducingā€¦ dxw security

This is a great idea. The amount of organisations using WordPress just gets bigger and bigger but as I found to my cost in the past it can be deceptively simple to set-up but incredibly easy to leave gaping great security holes! Plug-ins are a long standing mine-field and someone as switched on as dxw essentially offering a validation service is going to be a god send to many people.