UK ISPs forced to name names

By on Jan 30, 2006 in law |

The House of Lords has reportedly ruled today that ten internet service providers (ISPs) must hand over the details of 150 UK based internet users who have allegedly broken software copyright law by illegally uploading software and sharing it online.

win a free flickr pro account

By on Jan 26, 2006 in social software | 40 comments is giving away a free one year flickr Pro account*. But why?! Oh you sceptical readers just don’t know a freebie when you see one, do you? There’s no catch and no, flickr isn’t paying me to say that they aren’t paying me to do this. I’m feeling generous because, as I’ve explained in previous months, the whole point of having a few fairly harmless ads on this site was to pay for the hosting services and not to make a profit. Think of this as my buying a beer for my website friends if you like… Here’s how you enter to win: Post a comment below with a) your name and b) what city/town and country you live in. Make sure you fill out the bit where it asks for your email when you’re posting the comment otherwise I’ll have no way to contact you. That’s it – your name will go on a piece of paper in a hat and you’ll have the chance to win. (Please please please only post your comment once. It goes into a moderation queue when you do and your name might not appear but trust the software – it works.) It would be *really cool* of you to also post the image above (it’s at on your blog or photo sharing account (flickr, myspace, etc) and link back to this blog entry. In fact, do that and post the link in your comment/entry below and I’ll put your name on two pieces of paper – giving you double the chance of winning. I’ll draw the lucky winner’s name on Valentines Day so that you can have your flickr pro account up and running in time to post loads of photos from your date, or post loads of photos trying to get a date. Sorry, contest closes at 250 entries OR at noon GMT on 14 February 2006, whichever happens first. * If flickr happens to change it’s fee (currently US $24.95 for a year) you’ll get the account or a cheque in the post, whichever is less. You’ll need to have a flickr account, or sign up for when if you win, before I can “gift” you with the pro account. One entry per person using method prescribed above. Your name and any other information will not be used, stored, manipulated or otherwise messed about with by me and I’ll never ever ever sell it, trade it or barter it for anything. And of course I reserve the right to close the contest for any reason although it’s almost outside the realm of possibility that I will do so. And just to re-iterate: this contest has nothing to do with...

NUJ publishes Witness Contributors Code of Pratice

By on Jan 26, 2006 in citizen journalism | 4 comments

The National Union of Journalists (UK) has published guidelines for organisations publishing or broadcasting photos, video, text and other audience contributions. The Witness Contributors’ Code of Practice sets down ways in which organisations and individuals can maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in the new media environment. It covers concerns about accuracy and checking sources, payment to contributors, copyright and moral and legal rights. (spotted on

new study looks at strength of internet ties

By on Jan 26, 2006 in academic studies, online community, social software | 1 comment

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has published a new paper about the effect of the internet on social ties. In my own MPhil thesis, I looked at the implications of internet use upon one’s friendships and pre-existing communities. Back then (1999) a lot of people thought that the internet would destroy pre-existing “offline” communities, primarily because observations of some early adopters, and hype surrounding the internet itself, suggested that people who used the internet and, in particular, participated in online gaming became “addicted”. That is, spending time online was thought to make users increasingly distant from their neighbours and friends. My data seemed to show almost the exact opposite, with people using the internet to actually increase the number and strength of offline social ties. This most recent study from Pew, The Strength of Internet Ties, is yet more evidence that the internet actually increases the strength, number and depth of one’s social ties. In particular, the study found that many people turn to the internet at times of crisis as a way of finding the support they need from friends, family and contacts. The report talks about the rise of “networked individualism” which Sociologist Barry Wellman, co-author of the report and whose work I highly recommend for those not familiar with it, told the BBC: “creates a new basis for community. Rather than relying on a single community for social support, individuals often actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for different...

myspace to launch UK site

By on Jan 24, 2006 in online community, social software |

BBC News is reporting that myspace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Interactive Media, is to launch a UK site “within 30 days”. Although there was a backlash when Fox purchased the site last year, with reports that some users chose to leave, that appears to have done little to dent the success of myspace which currently claims to have 32 million active users on it’s US site, around a million of which are based in the UK. The site allows users to share photos, video, and text. One of the keys to it’s success has been that unsigned bands, and increasingly big name bands, are using the service to increase their listener base at the grassroots level. The effect is similar to that of gigging: creating a buzz around a new band, sound, or label and giving users the sense that their a part of that success. Coming soon to the...