Tim Longhurst's Blog

Big Ideas – James Harkin’s book – plus, what are your big ideas?

July 25th, 2008 · No Comments

Scanning the “Media” section at Blackwell’s bookshop is one of my favourite things to do in Oxford. Sure, I love the web, but being able to scan and access books in real-time using my eyes and hands is something I still enjoy, while I’m sure it seems a little quaint to many of my techno-futurist readers.

On today’s scan, I noticed “Big Ideas” a book of terms us futurists bandy about to give some of the trends going on in the world. Online resources such as urban dictionary or wiktionary are great starting points for such buzzwords and their definitions, but it was nice to see someone with a sense of humour and a great way with words spin these words into print.

For those of you without a copy of the book in front of you, here are the terms Harkin defines, complete with a Google-search link so you can explore their meaning. Sure, it’s not as comfortable as snuggling up in a sofa with the book, but it takes less trees, and let’s face it, digital is very now.

I’ll confess I don’t recognise all the terms listed below, so I’m going to do some clicking myself. James has left room at the back of his book for the reader’s big ideas, so it only seems natural that my “Comments” area is the perfect place for me to invite you to post your big ideas!

The Advocacy Revolution; Badvertising; Bare Branches; Boomergeddon; Brand America; Citizen Journalism; Compassion Fatigue; The Cosmetic Underclass; Cosmopolitanism; Crowdsourcing; Crunchy Conservatism; Curation Nation; The Cyborg; Declinology; Democratization; Digital Maoism; Digital Mapping; The Economy of Prestige; Electronic Frontier Justice; The European Empire; The Experience Economy; The Free Rider or Collective Action Problem and the Prisoner’s Dilemma; Futurology; Generation Gap; Good Business; Gotcha Politics; Happiness; Incentivization; Infomania; Libertarian Paternalism; Life-Caching; The Long Tail; Maturialism; The Menaissance; Muscular Liberalism; Neurotheology; The New Puritans; The New Utopisanism; The Paradox of Choice; Peer-to-Peer Surveillance; Pension Fund Capitalism; Philoanthrocapitalism; Playtime; Positive Liberty; The Precautionary Principle; Pre-heritance; Proletarian Drift; Protirement; Public Value; Regretful Loners; Resilience; Slacktivism; Smart Mobs / Flash Mobs; Social Jet Lag; Social Networking; Social Physics; Soft Power; Status Anxiety; The Support Economy; Synthetic Worlds; The Time Economy; The Tipping Point; Transhuminism or The Singularity Thesis; True Cost Economics; Urban Gaming; Urban Villages; Virtual Anthropology; Virtual Politics; War Porn; Wild Card Theory or ; Black Swan Theory; Worst-Case Scenarios;

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Category: Communication and connection

Search engines vs. social networks

October 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

How we consume media is important to Mike Walsh because the vast majority of the clients he lists are Australian media companies. In his most recent post, he links the growth of social networking sites to the future of Electronic Program Guides, but he’s at his best when he sums up the impact social networking sites are having on our experiences:

If Google solved the problem of finding things you were looking for, networks will help us discover the things we didn’t know we wanted.

What you know will depend on who you know.

Read more at Network Narcotics.

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Category: Communication and connection

If you post it to Facebook, who else are you posting it to?

October 2nd, 2007 · 8 Comments

A few of my friends have been talking about Does What Happens in the Facebook Stay in the Facebook?

The key messages of this video are:

  • Facebook has a very wide-reaching privacy policy that essentially means that whilst you retain copyright over your data, they can use it as if they owned it.
  • Facebook is a fantastic social research tool in that millions of people are posting personal data on a daily basis – they’re uploading it for their friends, but Facebook gets it too, and Facebook will share this data with third party organisations.
  • Facebook has a number of investors that have links to US government intelligence agencies, who are more than likely using data to track individuals and their communication, along with broad trends.

It’s a great case study of how a flash video can be used to convey ideas simply and effectively.

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Category: Corporate craziness

Social Networking futures – data independence, platform neutrality

October 2nd, 2007 · 4 Comments

In a recent post entitled “Timformation Overload” I lamented the being ‘attacked’ electronically from all angles. One part of the solution would be a single login for of all my social networking accounts – MySpace, WAYN, Bebo, Facebook, LinkedIn, del.icio.us, Twitter and Friendster.

I am convinced that most of the people I know would love to see this happen – log into one site and get the best of all of them. Now, most of these services are owned by competing enterprises, so I can’t see them being the driver toward an amalgamated account, but as is often the case, when consumer demand is not met due to a corporate closed-shop, open source may be the answer.

What I am describing here is not so much the amalgamation of social networking sites, but instead, platform neutrality – that is, your data – photos, video, audio, text – is your own and can be syndicated across your various social networking sites and beyond – including your blog.

I haven’t found any Open Source projects that aim to achieve data independence and platform neutrality, but if you know of any, please post a comment – I’d love to see what’s going on regarding this.

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Category: Communication and connection

Facebook activism – HSBC case study

September 19th, 2007 · No Comments

When HSBC made a policy change that would cost some customers more money, thousands of students used Facebook to organise, and threatened to take to the streets. The threat was enough to turn HSBC around. Activists 1, Bank 0.

For details, check out this Guardian article or the Facebook group where it all started (login required).

With thanks to KLM for emailing the Guardian article! :)

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Category: From the frontlines of the future