Aug 21, 2010

The funnier side of politics...

As Australia goes to the polls, I'm reminded of this gem from a few years back.  Sure George W was a bit of a joke, but I don't think anyone could ever really accuse him of being boring.  I think our own pollies could do with a speechalist of their own - just after they get a personality implant ;)

Aug 20, 2010

Aussie election goes social - but still isn't interesting

Australians are getting ready to go to the polls to decide who gets to call the shots for the next few years.

In the past few weeks we've been bombarded with political ads and the requisite debates by what has to be the dryest, stiffest and most boring set of politicians I've ever heard.  (I thank the powers that be that Gruen Nation keeps us awake throughout the process).

This time around, both major parties have taken a leaf out of the Obama campaign book and embraced social networking as part of the campaign strategy, so I thought I'd take a quick look at what they've done.

The incumbent ALP has integrated a custom built platform into its website that provides a range of tools to help visitors rank, comment and share information throughout the site.  However, there is a lack of ability to be able to share any content directly from the home page as we'd normally expect.

The Labor Connect feature is a walled community (built by a social networking software provider, Community Engine) where you can form groups, connect with local representatives and chat to other community members.  It doesn't seem to enable connectivity to other networks such as Facebook.  The things that I don't like about this feature is that it firstly keeps the community locked away and in doing so, puts up a barrier to participation - why do users have to register and provide so much information just to collaborate?  Annoying.

The Liberal Party site has a very similar approach minus the 'Connect' type tool.  In what I think is a  slightly more subtle implementation of social tools, their site keeps all the collaboration on the top layer and not hidden away in a private network.  They connect with Facebook well and unlike their opponents, have the ubiquitous 'Like' button.  It also has a cleaner feel and appears a little less cluttered.  A reflection of their policies perhaps?  Who am I to say?

I think at the end of the day, even though the ALP has put in place what is probably a first in Australian politics with their custom community feature - my vote goes to the Liberals and their softer, more familiar and more accessible implementation.

Remember kids, there's nothing social in a walled community.

Aug 11, 2010

Old Spice Case Study

Here's a great video that shows the results of the fantastic Old Spice Guy campaign. At the end of the vid there's a bunch of interesting stats on site visitation and views - but the most important at the end of the day is the whole point of the exercise; the massive increase in sales over the previous periods.

Check it out.  This post is now diamonds!

Aug 5, 2010

Google Wave Wipes out

Funny how things go - a year ago Google Wave was being touted as the next big... something in collaboration, instant messaging, twitter and pretty much everything else you could think of.

Well I, like many others, always doubted exactly what it actually was and what practical use it had.  Some found it useful as a collaboration tool but it seems that a bunch of Aussie comedians and a group of Google employees does not a market make.

So it's no real surprise that it was announced yesterday by the Google VP of Operations (and Google Fellow no-less??!!) that Wave is to go the way of the dodo.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

Sorta good to see that even the big boys can admit that not everything they touch turns to gold.

Aug 3, 2010

Where is spam originating? - Google Postini

Google Postini has a great feature that shows you in real time where spam messages are being born.  Each red dot on this map shows where spam messages are originating in real time. Saturated areas show high concentrations of malicious IPs. 

The surprising thing is that countries with spam legislation in place like the USA and Australia (where penalties are in the hundreds of thousands and up to the millions for repeat offenders) are still generating spam.  But the most surprising aspect is the fact that France, Spain, Brazil and the UK are still major spam sources.

And here I was thinking that China, Russia and India were the main offenders...

Aug 2, 2010

Who's in the Blogosphere?

I'm a big fan of visualising data, and I also happen to blog occasionally - so this article from Flowtown based on data from a Technorati survey breaking down who does what in the blogosphere is right up my alley.

Especially when there's pretty pictures to compliment it.

Slightly ironic that I'm blogging about blogging...

Aug 1, 2010

Shutterbug Photography contest winners

The Shutterbug Photography Festival is an annual event held in Sydney for up and coming photographers.  This year's winner is Mark Tipple with his collection called The Underwater Project.

Mark created a great collection of underwater photography that reminds me quite a bit of the stuff that Eugene Tan produces each day with his fantastic Aquabumps updates (join his mailing list or Facebook).

The two runners up also created some impressive works, check out the collection over at the Shutterbug website.