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  • Paul Hurst 11:26 am on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cisco, communications, , google+, hurst, , , , phone, , twitter   

    Two ears, one mouth, one person, two mobile phones… 

    As a boy growing up, my parents often pointed out that ‘God gave us two ears and only one mouth’. We should listen twice as much as we talk and I was reminded of this when Ciso Systems today announced that 2012 will be the year where mobile phone handsets somehow outnumber people who live on this planet.

    Despite this mind boggling stat it’s strange that in a world which seems more ‘connected’ than ever, many people still feel voiceless and unheard. The irony being perhaps that as more people find their voices via social media, it becomes even harder to actually be heard over the clamour of status updates and tweets that are all around us.

    I was challenged myself by this very issue at the start of this year.

    I’m not unusual in having twitter, facebook, a blog, google+, a flickr and even a foursquare (somewhere), yet I found myself wondering what it is, exactly that I am actually contributing to those who stumble across all my social media content. As a journalist, I’m quite comfortable with the concept of creating content that connects with an ‘audience’ but how does that work out in the social media world too?

    I wonder, if we actually stop and look at what we share and comment on, are we really providing anything of value or interest, something that actually enriches the lives of our ‘audience’? Or are we merely trying to draw attention to ourselves, our own interests, opinions and in some cases egos.

    Put it to the test, Have a look at what others around you are writing and sharing, take a few moments to have a ‘listen’ before deciding what you’d like to say next.

  • Paul Hurst 5:51 pm on October 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conservative, god, griffin, homosexuality, jan, liberal, moir, , question, racism, , time, twitter   

    Bullied by the anti-bullies 

    Strange things have been happening recently in liberal circles, have you noticed?

    Yesterday, we had the Anti-Fascist’s ‘protecting democracy’ by demonstrating as an individual chose to use their right of free speech on BBC Television and a few days before that, over 22,000 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission regarding Jan Moir’s admittedly untimely comments surrounding the death of Stephen Gately.  Yes, it seems that anyone who dares to say anything that doesn’t sound like anything else being said (at the time), better watch their back…

    I’m sure the liberals won’t like this post either.  After all, it sounds like I’m anti-gay or racist (or both) just by talking about this, so what should I expect?

    Will I be heckled and hounded on social networking websites?  ‘How dare he say what he said!  What kind of uneducated ignoramus is he?’ #getridofhim.

    Will they express their insult and disgust, maybe demand an apology or arrange a protest, after all regardless of my intent, they have taken offence.

    Will any protest be violent and vandalistic on both sides of the police line?

    Strange things have been happening recently in liberal circles, have you noticed?

    Since when did we live in a country that only allows freedom of speech to those who say only what we want them to?  Since when did we live in a country that announces everybody’s equality although some are more equal than others based upon what they believe in?  And since when did we live in a country where it’s acceptable do what’s wrong to protest for what public opinion thinks may be right?

    I’m not Homophobic, I’m not racist but surely democracy is only democracy when it protects the rights of everybody, not just the ‘liberal elite’.  Some don’t agree with a homosexual lifestyle, some believe that multiculturalism has its dangers.  Does that mean they shouldn’t be afforded the same rights as those who believe otherwise?

    What’s so ‘tolerant and fair’ about a society that demands apologies from people who’s opinions differ?  Come to think about it, what’s so liberal about that either?  Aren’t we in danger of just polarising to the other extremes?

    Surely our society works best when people can say what they think and then those who listen can have their chance too.  Are we not sometimes too quick to take offence?  Aren’t we quick to start inquisitions and character assassinations for anyone who isn’t ‘liberal enough’ for our liking?

    Someone recently linked to the alpha homepage on twitter with this comment:  Don’t forget to vote ‘no’ on this poll.  The question was, ‘is there a God?’.

    I’m sick of being told what I have to think, not just to be popular but to be accepted.  And why should anyone be branded a fool or homophobic racist if they talk about sexuality and race whilst holding an opinion that differs from the left-wing, ‘do-gooders’?  Shouldn’t democracy afford everybody (regardless of sexuality, religion or race) the right to speak and be heard?

    I don’t have to believe what anybody tells me,  I can listen to liberals and conservatives alike.  I can make my own mind up without anybody protesting or complaining whether I want them to or not.  I can reason and speak for myself.

    I clicked ‘Yes’

  • Paul Hurst 9:53 pm on July 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accounts, celeb, direct, dm, , friend, message, network, online, twitter, unfollow   

    Aren’t we interesting enough for the celebs? 

    Twitter may be full of the rich and famous but most of us commoners may have noticed that few famous people bother to return the ‘follow’.

    Before I worked at the BBC I used to be a TV extra.  I remember my first day on the set of Coronation Street and despite seeing many familiar faces I suddenly realised that I didn’t know these people at all.  That led me to be kind and courteous to the cast as I would a stranger, yet it seemed that some household names almost went out of their way NOT to treat me the same and this really puzzled me.  In fact it was the first time I experienced not just a class divide but a profession divide too, something which working in the media industry, I have now grown quite accustomed to.

    I won’t name names as to who the worst offenders were although Bill Roache deserves a special mention at this point for being quite the opposite.  He is one of the nicest and most helpful people with which to work on your nervous first days treading the cobbles.  On some occasions I even noticed he answered to his screen name both on set, and on Sundays in the BBC studios where our paths crossed again.  Ken, you’re a star!

    I’ve noticed a similar kind of celeb dynamic on Twitter as well.

    Some ‘stars’ seem only too quick to follow their equal’s but much slower to follow anyone who earns less than a few grand a week.  Their follow rate is both disproportionate and disappointing.  Now I am not saying that they should follow everyone or indeed that I have any right to tell anyone who they should or shouldn’t follow but purely based on the laws of probability, there must be some people who aren’t rich or famous that still deserve to be ‘heard’ on Twitter by those who are.

    I am very non-discriminatory in who I follow.  If people seem interesting I follow them, if not then I don’t.  Sometimes I follow people based on single tweets or trends and sometimes I follow people for a while, then change my mind. I know the constraints on my time may not be quite as demanding however it seems as though the celebs don’t use Twitter the same way I do at all.  In fact, I’m just as keen to soak-up as to share and I benefit greatly from doing so yet some of the celebs seem to be the opposite way around.  So may I challenge anyone reading this to follow someone new today, even if some users remind us that although they may share the same network, they are a million miles apart in every other aspect.

  • Paul Hurst 12:56 pm on June 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3gs, @documentally, , , , twitpic, twitter, , youtube   

    Unleash the power of video via your tweets. 

    Twitter continues to grow as more users share their thoughts and photos via the micro-blogging platform but did you know its easy to add your videos too.

    There are various ways in which you can share your video footage with your followers so this isn’t going to be an exhaustive list by any means but it may still be helpful for anyone wishing to take their tweets to the next level.  Tune in and tweet out!

    1. Vidtweeter:  This website allows you to easily attach pre-uploaded web content from a number of services (like YouTube & Vimeo) to your tweets.  Its advantage is that it kind of loads the video’s over your own twitter page when clicked which means that users don’t have to navigate away from your profile to view your content.  This looks great and works well for your visitors too!

    Unfortunately, vidtweeter does not offer a mobile app.  This means  you have to use your desktop or laptop computer to post your tweet.  This can make it impractical if you want to upload video to Twitter while you are on the go.

    2.  YouTube:  The big boys of web video have finally made friends with their smaller, cooler cousins from Twitter, you can now choose to share youtube clips via your tweets in exactly the same way you can share them with facebook ‘et al’.

    Unfortunately, once again this is done via your laptop or PC so not much scope for mobile portability and unlike vidtweeter, your content will open in a traditional youtube page.  This is much more kitsch rather than cool.

    3. Finally some good news for all you iPhone 3Gs users out there too.  You obviously want to show off your new (and some may say, overpriced) toy and what better way than shooting video footage and then sharing it via twitter directly via your handset.  Well you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s an app for that.  Less pleased to hear that it isn’t free unlike the superb Tweetdeck.

    Twitelator Pro offers 3Gs users the opportunity to easily shoot, upload and share video footage to Twitter via the yfrog service.  As a twitter app, its nowhere near as classy as tweetdeck but it does get the job done, especially if you want to share your footage on the fly.  Finally if I may, a word of advice if you are using said app on the 3Gs.  You are better ‘pre-recording’ your footage before uploading via TP.  Although TP does allow capture from within the app itself, if the upload fails, your footage is lost.  You have been warned!

    So there we have it! Not content with mere tweets?  Not content with twitpic?  Not even content with audio tweets via the simply superb audioboo?  why not give video a go!

    Inkeeping with the spirit of micro-blogging, should also mention micro-videoing too over at 12secondstv.  This service limits your vids to 12 seconds but they can easily be shared via a tweet. Its used to great effect by twitter users such as @documentally so drop by for a nosey.

  • Paul Hurst 12:27 pm on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , brown, date, , , fawkes, , government, grodon, guido, mistake, , , , resigns, speaker, twitter, uk   

    What a Twittering idiot! 

    When twittering surely the only rule would be ‘don’t write something you wouldn’t say’ however one of the latest twittering MP’s may have fallen foul in one of his very first updates!

    @nickbrownmp seems to suggest that the UK could indeed be heading for an early general election, this from the ‘virtual mouth’ of he who is responsile for whipping all the Labour MP’s into place (whip harder I say).  The governments chief whip may have meant to say something different however Whitehall tongues are now wagging about the Speakers replacement and a nice shiny new Parliament to go with it.

    Either that or Mr Brown (unfortunate name for a labour MP) was careless with government information which he meant to send privately.  Instead it’s now very much in the the public domain, without the need for losing a memory stick, a CD-ROM and no laptops were needed to be left on public transport either.  Come to think about it, he’s just cutting out the middle man and saving the taxpayer some money by leaking it inadvertently via a free service with no cost to the taxpayer whatsoever!  And who says all our MP’s are on the take…

    (for more on this, visit @guidofawkes blog)

  • Paul Hurst 10:41 am on May 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bebo, education, , learning, , new, podcasting, radio, schools, , , twitter   

    Social Media and Schools 

    Just delivered a presentation to students and staff from Accrington Academy.  Its focus was the use of mobile technology within the classroom and an ever increasing aspect of this centers around the use of Social Media and Networking applications too.

    It’s well known that a large percentage of users for the social networking websites are still at school.  Bebo and Myspace are now giving way to Facebook which offers us an insight into how young people communicate and want to stay in touch.  It also shows how young people choose to consume information when presented with a variety of options but could these technologies be used in a productive way to alter how people learn and interact with their schools?

    I have been involved in promoting radio as an educational resource for a number of years.  Its immediacy and hands-on development make it ideal as an engaging way of allowing students of all ages to research, develop and deliver content which has a purpose not just for an audience but the production team behind it.  These podcasts are now delivered in classrooms alongside more traditional methods of learning and its a similar approach to new flexible technologies which will only grow in importance during the coming months and years.

    Over the next few weeks, I’m going to blog about the ways in which I’m using new media and new technology.  Breaking it out of ICT lessons and effecting how young people are learning new things by using new technolgies.

  • Paul Hurst 4:03 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ten, tips, twitter, usefulness   

    Making Twitter work for you 

    How do you squeeze the most out of Twitter and why should more people take it seriously?

    Twitters 1000% increase in membership may be impressive but with recent reports suggesting that 40% of newbies quit within weeks, it would be easy to write Twitter off as a mere flash in the pan.  But it isn’t.

    Those recent stats also tell us that lots of people who do survive those first fragile days are likely to be professional individuals who have seen past a gimmicky, hype-laden platform to see a versatile networking tool which can be used to great effect in the right hands.  Here’s my top ten countdown of why Twitter is more useful than you may initially think.

    10.  140 Characters mean updates are short and generally well thought out.

    9.  It allows users to view content irrespective of ‘friend lists’ etc meaning each individual tweet could potentially be seen by millions.

    8.  The open API means that Twitter has left the confines of the computer screen and is therefore easy to keep up with or update on the go. Check out these top Twitter apps.

    7.  Re-tweeting means that lots of useful web content is shared effectively by people who usually share similar interests.

    6. Third party integration means that photos, audio and video can be shared easily.  (check vidtweeter to get started with video).

    5.  Twitter is currently free to use.

    4.  #Hashtags allow users to tag their tweets for the benefit of search engines.

    3.  Some of the links contained within tweets are incredibly interesting!

    2.  Its one of the best networking tools available today.

    1.  Using Twitter is of benefit to both writer and reader.  It helps us to focus on what we think is important to both ourselves and to others.  It helps us to develop more effective communication skills.

    So resist the urge to become a ‘qwitter’ and simply follow the three ‘golden rules’ to get the most out of Twitter.

    A.  Follow as many people as you like!  Apps like ‘TweetDeck‘ make it easy to keep on top of updates from thousands of individuals.

    B.  Don’t just follow people you know.  Surf away and find people who share your interests.  Don’t worry if they don’t ‘follow’ you back, you will still see all their updates.

    C. When writing ask yourself:

    Am I writing this for my own benefit or the benefit of others?

    Who will find this of use?

    Can I provide an appropriate link or photo etc?

  • Paul Hurst 9:53 pm on April 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hst, hubble, massimino, mike, , , telescope, twitter   

    To boldly go… 

    Twitter’s world domination shows no sign of abating so what’s next?  Outer-space?  Well yes actually!

    Well, let’s keep this strictly accurate, its inner-space (only 200 miles or so up) and although mission STS 125 may mean little to most people its an important mission for NASA and the space shuttle for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, it will be the last mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).  Hubble has been sending incredible images from the depths of the universe since 1994 (thanks to STS-61), and although it has lasted longer than planned, it is due to be replaced, presumably when the credit-crunch has stopped causing so many problems for us earthlings.

    Secondly,  this will be the first shuttle flight which will carry a tweeting astronaut!  Yes thats right!  Twitter is boldly going where no other social networking app has gone before!  @Astro_Mike (Mike Massimino) is keeping us in the loop with updates such as ‘just got out of the motion simulator after a morning of shuttle re-entry simulations, we are 19 days from launch’ and Getting ready to put on my white spacesuit, get in the big pool, and practice my first spacewalk with my crewmate Mike Good (nickname Bueno)

    I’m quite sure that he’ll have enough buttons to press without having to tap away on his BlackBerry to keep us up to speed, however Mike’s detailed and frequent updates do allow us a real-time peak at one of the most exciting jobs in the world. Godspeed to Mike and all the crew of STS-125.

    Mike Massimino (@Astro_Mike) is a NASA astronaut who will be visiting Hubble for the second time, previously flying on board STS-109 in 2002.

  • Paul Hurst 10:43 am on April 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: catflap, cats, , followers, gus, penny, rfid, twitter   

    Cats that ‘tweet’ 

    How do you answer the critics who insist that Twitter is a waste of time?  By showing them the world’s first ‘Twitter Catflap’ of course!

    The ‘Croydonian‘ is keen to point out that much more than listing breakfast components or merely sharing your business appointments for the day, you could introduce your household pet to the delights of microblogging.

    With scematics which include ‘Joystick hardware’ and ‘servos’, the worlds first PC compatible catflap keeps you in the loop on the comings and goings via an RFid Collar on your pet and handy twitter updates which let you know wether your sofa will still be in one piece when you finally get back from all those meetings.

    Unsurprisingly, you can even follow the felines on Twitter for yourself (1,182 and counting…).  What a novel use of social networking.

    (Please note:  I have completely avoided the usual mentions of ‘mouse’ and ‘purrrfect’ for which I feel I should be congratulated)

    @gusandpenny – Twitter’s  first virtual pets

    tweetingcatdoor.com the original source for ‘Croydonian’s’ post

  • Paul Hurst 11:47 pm on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apps, deck, essential, , group, groups, , , tweet, tweetdeck, twitter,   

    Do you remember taking your first tentat… 

    Do you remember taking your first tentative steps along the ‘twittery superhighway?’

    Early adopter or latecommer to the party, you probably still encountered precicely the same steep(ish) learning curve of both shoehorning your thoughts into 140 characters and trying to get your head around all the DM@RT#ing intricacies!

    One program which helped me to get a much wider and clearer picture of what twitter is all about is TweetDeck.  It’s raved about on the forums and in millions of tweets per day but why is it so useful?

    1.  It autorefreshes – so tweets are re-ordered in order of newness.

    2. It allows you to search your contacts tweets meaning you can find old themes and buzzwords fast.

    3. Its easy to retweet (RT), reply publically (@username), or direct message (DM) people thanks to the handy graphics that appear over user avatars.

    4. You can choose the layout to include things like word clouds along with extra profile information.

    5. Integrated ‘tiny url’ will shorten most web addresses to save you precious characters for all those long words!

    Those are my personal top five reasons but there are others too including group views and photo, video and even facebook integration.  So if you are new to Twitter or if you are just looking for a more powerful way of using the Twitter service then you would do well to give it a try.

    Just before I go, and for all you seasoned ‘tweople’ out there, you may find this video useful on how TweetDeck can help you manage and interact with large numbers of followers.

    • Phil 12:34 am on April 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Uses too much screen real estate for me. I’ve always been a Twhirl user and am finding it hard to make the switch! Probably why I don’t like Seesmic Desktop either.

      • Paul Hurst 12:46 am on April 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, Its a strength and weakness at the same time. It may demand your total attention however it can throw lots of useful information your way in return.

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