Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What's Twitter?

I flagged a few interesting things to blog about over the last few days, and I realised there were very different views and news on Twitter. What's Twitter?

It's a social media platform where anybody can leave little messages of 140 characters. You follow the tweets you want in your feed, and then there's hashtags, @mentions, and retweets.

You know all this. But what is Twitter?

Is Twitter a published medium (like a newspaper) or a public conversation (like you and me talking and being overheard at a bus stop)? Does it have, or is it a responsible publisher? Is it censored or free? Is it social media or a marketing tool? Can it also be a payment method?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Crowdsourcing moderation

I work as a moderator of user generated content and when I first spotted this link: http://www.contentmoderator.com/ in my twitterfeed, I had a short moment of panic. Was this automated moderating software? Would I be replaced by a robot? I shouldn't have worried, because the link was tweeted by @Crowdsourcing_ so it's all still all about people. Contentmoderator works via ScalableWorkforce, which in turn is a platform enhancing Amazon's Mechanical Turk. The service Contentmoderator provides to companies, brands, or anyone hosting content online, is that their content will be moderated against their own choice of guidelines by trusted moderators. The system seems to be that the

Monday, 16 May 2011

Gamification is the future, but not as we know it.

Dr Richard A. Bartle, Senior Lecturer and Visiting Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, UK is often quoted by, well pretty much anyone involved with gamification... And I'm just about to disagree with him. I just read Will Gamification be Ubiquitous in 5 Years? on Gametuned, and although I believe Dr. Bartle makes a few good points, he's missing some important new developments. Either that, or his and my definition of gamification just don't agree.

In the slides for his recent talk, Dr. Bartle seems to focus on the type of gamification that is often used by marketing departments to bribe people into behaviour they like to see (buying things or free advertising). This sort of gamification is not made by game designers and is driven mostly by extrinsic rewards. He explains quite correctly why this sort of gamification does not work in

Friday, 13 May 2011

Sock it to me

My vintage sock puppets.
Prepare to work your socks off at Socks Inc., the factory where we make believe. Socks Inc. is the largest employer of sock puppets in the world and if you play your cards right, you too could be hired, today! All you have to do is make your own sock puppet (you can find a tutorial here), go the website and get started. Socks Inc. will send you on countless storytelling missions that will keep you on your toes.

To begin, you log in to the website using either the Facebook login button, or an off-Facebook login for younger players, and enter the factory. This game is not played in real time, which means you can play whenever you like, for as long as you like, and even replay your favourite missions. The main storyline is explored in the boss’, Mr. Barnsworth’s, office, with other themes, stories and missions available in

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Don't extinct, excel!

I recently got into a discussion with some people on Facebook. A friend had posted a link about the impact of humans on the environment and some of his friends mentioned being supporters of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. I couldn't keep quiet even though I generally know better than to argue with extremists on the internet. To my mind, anyone who advocates human extinction is depressed and suicidal on a species-wide scale and needs some mental health care. Obviously, I do realise humans haven't been taking very good care of their environment, but to extinct us just isn't normal and natural behaviour. The VHEM has a lot of arguments for their case on their website, and a lot of them are fallacious or at best one-sided half-truths. My two main arguments in favour of the presence of the human race on this planet are featured as well.