A year in (not) blogging

Oh little blog, I have been neglecting you rather.

The latter half of 2013 I have variously spent having fun, buying a flat, and feeling that there is TOO MUCH content in the world and that I’m not sure I wish to add to it. (Though that’s another blog post to fully explain *facepalm*)

I have nonetheless written a few things this year, if mostly not here. Just two decent pieces at hautepop.net:

The Eton Scholarship Exam Paper
A scholarship exam paper for Eton, Britain’s most exclusive school, surfaced into the social web in May 2013. I did a close reading to find out what it meant.

“The exam paper feeds back to us (the Twitterati and the left) what we want to believe about Eton, the training ground for Britain’s political elite. It does really rather too neatly – Machiavelli? Nietzsche? Justifying the army’s suppression of protestors? As some people commented, it’s beyond parody.

The Cult of Big Data
“Data is quickly becoming the planet’s most abundant resource” – IBM
“The philosopher’s stone, the perpetual motion machine, cold fusion. We once dreamed physics or chemistry would offer the panacea, but now it is immaterial – data.”

One of my – let’s say more free associating, imaginative bits of writing, one of those ideas that just comes to you and you write it straight off in a couple of hours.

hautepop tumblr<

Google Glass is Hauntological
“With Glass, time is indeed out of joint, and what it is haunted by is the future.”

The stream, the archive, the problem of reading
“What are we meant to do with the things we read?”
A concern which stuck with me throughout the year.

On blogging, and opening the gilded cage of professionalism
“I think I want to start writing in a slightly different way here, on Tumblr.”
Sadly I didn’t manage to do so.

FACE research agency logo

How Stuff Spreads: Gangnam Style vs. Harlem Shake
FACE’s big research study of the year, by me and Chief Innovation bod Francesco D’Orazio (@abc3d). Contents is as it says on the tin. Our infographic was shortlisted for an Information Is Beautiful award, which was nice.

How Videos Go Viral, Part I
&
Part II
A research study for Twitter UK, building on our Gangnam work to explore the dynamics of viral content – and argue that Twitter’s really crucial in how video content spreads and reaches an audience fast enough to become viral.

Part I quantifies the dynamics of virality and identifes two patters: Showers vs. Growers. (Spikers vs. Growers. Whatever…). Part II does some social network analysis and discovers how activating communities is crucial to viral spread.

How Video Goes Viral II - Commander Hadfield communities
How Video Goes Viral II – Commander Hadfield communities

No limits to linkbait? Margaret Thatcher & the Brand Bandwagon Jumpers
No news events seem to be off-limits in the current media age. Of course, commenting on the marketing industry’s reaction to Thatcher’s death could be accused of a certain level of bandwagon jumpiness itself. Ho hum.

Why Researchers Should Learn To Code
I went on CodeMaker training and thought it was a good idea – thus an argument that people researching a tech-saturated world might want to learn a little about how it functions.

Map Of A Twitter Status Object by Raffi Kikorian (@raffi)
Map Of A Twitter Status Object by Raffi Kikorian (@raffi)

Fixing Abercrombie & Fitch: how socially intelligent research can reconnect them with their customers
This one was fun. Abercrombie & Fitch fucked up this year in terms of being connected to their customer base, and analysts responded with criticism. So I designed an ideal research programme to get them to fix that. It

Building social businesses: the role of research
Writing with MD Job Muscroft, I did some thinking towards the FACE brand positioning of  how we see social media research, qual research and technology as deeply interlinked.

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