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I Is For iPod; P For Progress

So me and Hayley (well, it was me) came up with the idea of guest-posting on eachother’s blog; mine being located at the “it means nothing, honest” foshiznik.com.

Once this was agreed and WordPress account set up, the problems begin: what to write about? Should it be my take on something on Ceriselle – shoes, maybe, or Bristol – or something common to my site instead?

How about a link to both. Me and Hayley are both Apple geeks. She has, as I am sure you know, an iPhone, and iMac, a Hackintosh or two. I’ve got a MacBook, two old G3 iMacs, a just-about-retro 2nd gen iPod Nano, and a hankering for the rather pointless big-iPhone-without-a-phone iPad.

So. iPods. And progress. Recently, Google introduced us to Google Wave, and Google Buzz (“Twitter but Shitter”). Neither of these have taken off brilliantly fast, especially in the case of Wave, and I point the finger of blame firmly at progressing too fast.

Think about it. Things need to come in stages so we get used to them. Look at Facebook. Every time it has changed to “the new Facebook” it has introduced a few changes that they could have done all at the same time, but didn’t. You may think this is because they hadn’t developed it that far, or hadn’t had this or that idea yet. But if they have, they still would have had to do it step by step, because too much progress in one go scares the fuck out of us.

Back to the iPod. Remember when iTunes store didn’t exist? And when it did they added each function one at a time and told us “soon you can do this, but not yet.” It’s because Apple know that if they had bombarded us with the full functionality straight away, we would have mostly been baffled by it and it would have failed.

If, when you got your first AOL account back in 1997, you could have had 20meg broadband you would have thought “I don’t need this”. If YouTube and Facebook and iChat and Twitter had all been launched on the same day, with all their current full functionalities, we would have balked at it – remember that at this time, AIM was “well futuristic”.

So they like you to think that each innovation is a natural progression. This is where we round off nicely with iPods again. I’ve noticed recently that my 4 year old Nano has developed an alarming propensity to know exactly what tune to play, when. On the way to my brothers it played Dragonforce; when I arrived at his Dragonforce was on in the house. I have a bit of lady-related grief and it plays all the songs we both love. I lit a fag just before exiting the Grafton Centre the other day and was treated to Eminem telling me he’s a criminal. I met my uncle so he could give me a birthday present and as he drove away, his iPod shuffled to the number one from the day I was born.

Where am I, and indeed Apple, going with this? It’s pacing and mirroring, basically. iPods are learning to react to us. And eventually they will start controlling us, little bit by little bit.

Then, Steve Jobs will be able to put an Apple logo on an actual brick and sell it to us for £349.99. And we’ll love it. It’s going to happen. Mark my words.

Tweet Tweet!

For those of you who haven’t yet used Twitter, or don’t know what it is, I guess the best way to describe it to most people is a combination of blogging and updating your status on Facebook (in fact, you can do that via Twitter anyway). There are so many ways to “tweet”, such as using the website iself, sending a text message (who the hell says SMS anyway?) or using a third party application (I use a combination of Hahlo, Twhirl and Twinkle on my computers and iPod). A tweet is text based only (although it can contain links) and is 140 characters long (so just a bit shorter than a text message)

I’ve been using Twitter since 2007 – 24th January to be exact. At first, I didn’t really use it very much, but as I began to follow more people, and as more of my “real life” friends signed up, I tweet much more regularly. I think that being jobless and moving to a new city also helped – I reached 1000 tweets on 9th May, 2008 which was just before I moved down to Bristol, and reached 2000th tweets on 5th August 2008.

Twitter is a great way to just scribble things down, random little notes throughout the day that when you read over them (I use LoudTwitter to post a days worth of tweets to my Livejournal) remind you of funny little things. Its also quite a nice way to get an idea of what your friends are doing in their normal day. People are more likely to tweet seemingly small, insignificant things than actually phone you or send you a text/IM telling you the same thing.

Its also a great way to promote something – I find that quite a lot of visits to my blog are from the automated tweet that is sent out telling people when I have written a new blog. Unfortuntaly the spammers have quickly caught on to this, which is why I have been followed in the past week by porn_website20, porn_website21 and porn_website22. I’m not sure why the previous 19 porn_website twitters didn’t follow me. Should I really be that upset? Luckily, Twitter seems to be quite quick at deleting these spam accounts, but its not much of a problem anyway.

The things I think could be improved about Twitter is mainly to do with their stability and missing features. Inevitably, as more and more people are signing up and using it as much as I do, the system had some issues which was frustrating to Twitter addicts (ahem). To keep the site up, they have removed some functionality that I had gotten quite used to, such as the IM notifications which I preferred when I was at my desk.
I think it would be great if Twitter had a similar function for your following list as Livejournal does. By this I mean having custom groups to separate people – I have things like Cult of Mac (twitter/cultofmac), Dr Horrible (twitter/drhorrible) and Channel 4 News (twitter/channel4news) on my Twitter list, but I would prefer to be able to read these separately.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite Twitters (Tweeters?) [and yes, its taken from my Twitter friends bit on the sidebar! Much easier!]
Neil CrosbyTim BeadleDanPhil HhobbsyGavin Strangeben arnoldJonty WareingGala DarlingSimon HembraMademoiselle RobotcutieaiBryn SalisburyMark GloverpaparattialicejtBeccaPhil SumnersparkleynicolePixie_LeuettaclaireyrocksPhil Crookskathleen_joyLily10389Christina McDermottlouloulovesyoupeterhillnetgildaAndy Yu

Facebook and the Targetted Advertising

OK, so on t’Internet, because websites are able to record what sorts of things you like, or what you’re reading, we have more targetted advertisements that in theory are something that you will want to see. If you’re reading an article about summer holidays, then a good advert link would be to a site like Expedia.com. If you’re Googling about a printer, then links to where you can buy the printer and accessories is going to get your attention more than an advert about fountain pens.
(Or, if you’re googling about targetted advertising, then the sponsored link at the top being for Facebook is a pretty good guess)

However, sometimes the websites are just too specific. One website that is likely to have quite a bit of information on you is Facebook. Think that when you write what sort of music you like or whether you’re single or not is just going on your profile to let your friends know whats happening? Sorry, but no. You’re giving this information to Facebook and they are going to use it to sell more advertising space.
Interestingly, it seems this topic is quite popular at the moment – as I wrote this, an article from the Economist popped up in my feed reader; “Watching While You Surf

Here are some good examples of good targeted advertisements

I have said quite a few times on my FB status that I love my new dress. So its a good guess to assume I want more. MORE I SAY (ahem)

Yep, my music preferences do include Elliott Smith.

Yep, I am 24, I am single. But there are times that this kind of advertising can be rubbish

This was taken from the Facebook Ad Page, and this is exactly how it appeared on the page. Because I want to be reminded that I’m still single apparently.


The above two ads can be linked together. Facebook asks if you are interested in men and/or women and what sex you are. I’ve marked that I like blokes and I am a girl, so I’m not sure why I’m getting ads for meeting girls and gay dating.

I’m all for targetted advertising (because I’ll be more likely to want to follow the link) but sometimes its just not quite right!

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