Good Sunday reads

myflipboard4It’s a nice change to simply enjoy the start of Sunday morning for the sake of it, spending an hour or so reading about interesting things for no other reason than, well, they’re interesting.

The Bank Holiday weekend virtual papers via Flipboard and FeedDemon have a huge amount worth giving some time to. So pour yourself a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and catch up on five stories you may also find interesting:

Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap for mankind’ changed human history – “When man first harnessed fire, no one recorded it. When the Wright Brothers showed man could fly, only a handful of people witnessed it. But when Neil Armstrong took that first small step on the moon in July 1969, an entire globe watched in grainy black-and-white from a quarter million miles away. We saw it. We were part of it. He took that “giant leap for mankind” for us…” I remember it, a kid staying up all night to watch that grainy black-and-white broadcast live, as it happened. Still mesmerising every time I think of it. And friend Tom Murphy had the privilege of meeting Neil Armstrong.

Prince Harry and the toxic gloss of celebrity – “For much of the monarchy’s recent good health, we are invited to thank the smoothly lubricated workings of the palace PR machine. But under the bright lights of Sin City, some of the moving parts are losing their shine. The Windsors have invested heavily in corporate-style communications, though it is debatable whether they are getting good value for money.” A pretty good analysis in a Telegraph op-ed by Patrick Jephson, equerry and private secretary to Princess Diana, 1988-96.

New road for a macho brand – the FT looks at how Harley Davidson is on a drive to revamp the company’s image and extend the brand to women: “The 109-year-old Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer has been reaching out to women as well as ethnic minorities and younger riders, as its core constituency of male baby boomers declines through old age.” I’d better get into gear, as it were, if I want more than just a picture of a Fat Boy.

How news websites handled graphic images of Empire State Building shooting – “News organizations scrambled to curate these images, and then had to make difficult decisions about how to verify and handle them. Should they run them prominently on the home page or submerge them in an article? Link to them instead? And how to warn readers? Reuters and the New York Daily News both showed bodies on their homepage. The New York Times initially had a very subdued homepage, then made a bolder choice with blood flowing…”

And your 20-second wrap-up story:

Does your phone need a charge but you don’t have time to wait? Leave your device with our Charging Valet. Yep, a San Francisco conference centre has a ‘charging valet’ who will charge up your mobile device for you. He’s at #VMworld, a tech conference of course.

Have a great Sunday and, in the UK, Bank Holiday Monday!

Five stories for the holiday weekend


Ever since I started blogging back in 2002, I have always found RSS to be one of the most useful tech tools ever invented.

RSS enables me, you, anyone, to automatically receive new or updated content from anywhere on the web, right on your desktop, laptop or mobile device without having to lift a finger to go and find it. All you need is a feed reader and you’re set. I recommend FeedDemon for Windows and Google Reader on the web (and the mobile version for mobile devices).

So here are five stories from the news, commentaries and opinion that I get in the the RSS feeds I subscribe to, shared via my link blog, that especially stand out to me at the start of this holiday weekend:

PostRank Brings Real-Time Social Monitoring to Your Blog
PostRank Analytics, a service that captures social engagement and traditional metrics in one dashboard, in launching a new beta feature called PostRank Activity Streams. PostRank describes Activity Streams as “FriendFeed for content.” In other words, an ever-changing overview of what is happening… /continue… [I use PostRank: you can see an example of one of its services in the ‘Top Posts’ list in the blog sidebar.]

Non-Profit Uses Foursquare to Raise Environmental Awareness
Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law firm, has blanketed San Francisco BART trains with posters that instruct riders to check in to the “Earthjustice ad” on Foursquare to help the firm raise money to support its wildlife protection initiatives. The posters take a critical look at e… /continue…

YouTube’s Must-See CSR Picks
Cause marketing isn’t new to YouTube. But some are doing it better than others. Here’s a look at five videos YouTube says companies should watch before launching a corporate social responsibility campaign on the website. /continue…

World Cup Soccer Players Stopped From Using Social Media
In the age of transparency, one workers’ union leader has already ruffled feathers by tweeting updates from negotiations with employers. Now, some soccer sides participating in this summer’s upcoming World Cup 2010 don’t want their tactics s… /continue…

Beyond Beta: Microsoft Tag Takes Off
It has been 18 months since we launched Microsoft Tag, Microsoft’s mobile barcode technology. In that time, more than one billion Tags have been printed by people and businesses all over the world. In the month of April alone, more than 20 million magazines with Tags were in the hands of U…. /continue… [Think also about how mobile barcodes like this can be useful in other areas, eg, business cards.]

[Google Reader icons by super-structure, used under CC.]

Five stories for Friday

greader Content that arrived in my RSS reader this morning presents many interesting things that are going on in business, communication and technology. And so little time to comment on them today other than in passing.

While I share links to content I find interesting in my Google Reader account (aka my link blog which you can subscribe to), I wanted to note some of that content here, as much a marker for my own reference as it might be of interest to you.

So here are five stories for Friday, each with a link to the full content on the originating website. Enjoy.

50,000 Websites Have Already Integrated Facebook’s New Social Plugins
There’s no question that Facebook’s new social plugins — which include a ‘Like’ button for the web and an array of other widgets — have been adopted at a pretty amazing rate (we had our ‘Like’ buttons live the day they were announced). /continue… [I’ve also added a Facebook ‘like’ button to this blog, which appears at the end of each post. It’s produced by the fbLikeButton plugin for WordPress, the easiest way I found to implement the button without having to do any coding in the blog templates.]

Why Does LinkedIn Keep Doing Things That Don’t Make Sense?
LinkedIn launched a new feature today that has tons of promise: the ability to follow new hires, departures, job postings and more at particular companies. […] Unfortunately, the implementation is a big disappointment. The condescending, pageview hungry attitude that colors so much of what LinkedIn does is all over this new feature as well. I’ve recorded a short screencast tour of the feature below. Let me know if this drives you as nuts as it does me. /continue…

New Report Details the State of Twitter [STATS]
A recent report on Twitter usage in the U.S. by Edison Research concludes that 87% of all Americans are now aware of Twitter — up from 5% in 2008 — but only 7% of the population actually use it. […] Edison also finds that mobile usage is a key component of Twitter’s value proposition and that users are more likely to update and access Twitter via mobile devices than other social networking sites. One in five Twitter users update Twitter via their mobile devices several times per day; one in three do so at least once daily. /continue…

Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters
Dealing with negativity online can be tough, which was why we were all ears when Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week, took the stage at The Next Web ‘10 event in Amsterdam to discuss how to learn to love haters. […] 1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do. “It’s critical in social media, as in life, to have a clear objective and not to lose sight of that,” Ferriss says. He argues that if your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.” /continue…

Another Hotel Fails To Support Skype – Here’s Why Skype’s P2P Connection Model Breaks Their System
Summary: Hotels restricting the number of simultaneous network connections per user may wind up blocking legitimate usage of Skype. Skype’s peer-to-peer network model uses a high number of network connections to synchronize multi-party group chats. /continue…

[Google Reader icons by super-structure, used under CC.]

Stories for starting the weekend

rss-sm When I’m desk bound early in the mornings, my habit is tea with RSS. Today is no exception, and a quiet perusal through my 100 or so subscriptions in FeedDemon produced quite a few gems, all of which I share in my link blog.

Here’s a dozen of the best for starting the weekend:

Google’s App Store for Business to Launch Next Week. Google is set to launch an app store for business next week, Mashable has learned from sources close to the company. It will be focused around creating software for Google Apps and could launch as soon as Tuesday.

Do People Tweet About Brands More Out of Hate Than Love? The presence of two media brands – the BBC and BET – on this week’s Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart raises some interesting questions about why people tend to tweet about brands

New York City police to issue press passes to bloggers. This week New York City Law Department issued press passes to bloggers for the first time. In its new rules, to be adopted by the New York police department, will “expressly incorporate online-only media such as blogs”. The changes follow a lawsuit filed in November of 2008 that challen…

Apple Confirms iPad Arrival In April. Despite fears over possible delays, Apple has today confirmed that the Wi-Fi-only model of its iPad tablet will go on sale in the United States from 3 April, while British users will have to wait until late April for the Wi-Fi and 3G version of the device. Apple also took the opportunity to conf…

#BeMyGuest – a call to guest bloggers. is taking part in #BeMyGuest – a month-long initiative to encourage bloggers to swap posts. Set up by PRs Adam Vincenzini and Emily Cagle, the criteria for participating are simple. You must: Write at least one post for someone else’s blog; Feature at least one guest… [I’m interested, too, in taking part.]

Toyota’s reputation slowly recovers, YouGov perception tracker reveals. Toyota’s long-term brand damage may not as bad as initially feared, according to polling data from YouGov.

Steep Rise Predicted For Touchscreen Mobile Devices. More and more users are likely to opt for touchscreen mobile devices, after Gartner predicted that sales of touchscreen mobile devices in 2010 will grow 96.8 percent over 2009 sales. The IT resarch firm expects the worldwide touchscreen mobile device market to top 362.7 million units in 2010, a…

iPhone apps compared – how do news publishers shape up? The news industry buzzword of the year so far is just three letters long: “app”. Newspapers, magazines and broadcasters are falling over themselves to grab a slice of the burgeoning mobile app economy, led to a huge degree by Apple’s iPhone. But how developed is the news and publishing ..

Location-based services on mobile phones: Follow me. Adverts that know where you are could be lucrative—not to mention controversial. The initiative was designed to draw attention to a serious issue and it achieved its goal. is a simple website that publishes a live feed of posts that appear on Twitter, a microblogging service, showi…

India’s Twitter SMS GupShup Gets An App Store. Fresh off a $12 million investment, SMS GupShup, a Twitter-like service in India that is primarily accessed via SMS, is launching an App Store. The store aims to expand SMS GupShup’s ecosystem by allowing developers to create SMS-based mobile applications based off of the microblogging service…

FT plans PayPal option for online news. The Financial Times is to begin trialling PayPal, the electronic payments service owned by Ebay, for daily or weekly access to, which at present charges an annual subscription…

Rise of social networking killing off loyalty to news brands. The increasingly large role that social networks are playing in how people get their news is killing off loyalty to individual news organisations, according to a major US study.

Headlines 4 Feb 09

Headlines that caught my eye in FeedDemon, my RSS reader, and posted to my Linkblog (subscribe).

Biz-Tech-News: Headlines 18-July-07

(Via RSS feeds)