May 28, 2010

How I Won a Digital Radio

I am fairly chuffed about this. I own a Digital Radio!

As of May this year, I received a promotion at work into a newly created position which centres around Digital Radio broadcasting. As long and as hard I have worked for this (5+ years), and as the excitement escalated once an official launch date for Digital Radio in the city where I live, I quickly realised that I had a hurdle to overcome. I needed a Digital Radio, and because these things are new, they're expensive! So I resigned myself to talking with the wife to start a savings goal to buy one. No longer.

As an avid user of social media, one day I found myself putting the final touches on a Facebook page for one of our radio stations, set to launch the day I moved into my new position. I needed to provide a link to the online stream, and after creating a static page, I thought I might use a picture of a Digital Radio as the "player" instead of using the old Windows Media Player look.

So off to look for a good clean picture. Straight to the manufacturers websites, for product shots. Pure, OXX, Philips, TEAC, Revo, Arcam and the others... I was really impressed by the look of the Pure Sensia but decided against it, as it seemed to be "of its own distraction", meaning the radio would be more interesting than the stream page I created. I just wanted a radio that had a good balance between familiar - but different. The Sensia is WAY too unfamiliar as well, and then I saw the OXX Digital Vantage. While obtaining the images, I found that OXX had a presence on Facebook and Twitter, so I followed them.

A few days later on their Twitter stream, OXX announced a competition to "Win a Digital Radio". All I needed to do to enter is "like" them on Facebook (tick), and re-tweet the competition (tick). A few days later I checked their Facebook page for updates. A few people were also keen. I posted a message on my Facebook page saying "fingers crossed I win this Digital Radio on Wednesday". On that Wednesday I checked their page and to my surprise, they announced me as their winner! I jumped with excitement by shouting out "AWEEEEEEEESOME!" Nearly woke up my 1y/o son!

Two days later, it arrived!

Now I'm just waiting for the launch in about a month

May 5, 2010

Blackbird Pie

Tweets are fast becoming "quotes" by those who choose to comment on various things. Now, these quotes can be delivered - in complete context - around the web.

Twitter presents Blackbird Pie. (Still trying to figure the name out). And to show you how it works, here's a Tweet I prepared earlier. To stretch the analogy further, here's a slice of my Blackbird Pie about Blackbird Pie

You can now embed tweets with code, thanks to Twitters "Blackbird Pie". Ahh, I get it. than a minute ago via HootSuite

It's clunky and already a lot of comments around Mashable and Techcrunch are saying the same thing - why not a javascript "embed this" button?

This... is Big Brother

So then. How are you finding the internet?

I've been feeling a bit befuddled lately, with the new wave of services that are available - more notably, location services like Gowalla and the big one - Foursquare.
2008 was "the year of Facebook", 2009 saw the "rise of Twitter" and 2010 so far, seems to belong to Foursquare. And i've done pretty well by steering clear, but more on that later.

As you leave a trail of breadcrumbs about where you go, and integrating this information for those that care over at Facebook and OCD's on Twitter, Foursquare is probably the most promising startup on the web next to Google that really seems to have found a way of making profit out of the social revolution, but more importantly - its providing marketers a wealth of data about the habits of these early adopting "superusers" - or trendsetters. The previously un-reachable, un-marketable upper end.

Turning habits into opportunities, by tracking their movements as they leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind, when someone "checks in" on Foursquare or Gowalla (or the others), their habits are graphed and sent to marketers - and the user is rewarded with a discount or some offer, on occasion.

Sounds good? Free stuff just by doing what you usually do. Everyone wins.

There is another group who wins. Future Criminals. We all know that data on the web is for all intensive purposes - permanent, and can serve to backfire on you if you're not careful. So whilst I haven't yet read the headline "House owner burgled after inviting burglars", or "(name) Assasinated with the aid of Foursquare" - the scary-as-fuck possibilities are indisputable.

And what of privacy concerns for the future?

Big Brother watching you was light entertainment (at best) in the past, but if this thing takes off - your privacy could be of real world consideration - and in real danger one day, especially if say, your bank, or maybe the tax dept gets a wiff of odd spending habits and escapades.

I'm staying clear of this one. It helps that I do not own an iPhone or iAnything for that matter, so the temptation to use it is greatly reduced. I also value my privacy. Yes, I am on Facebook and play in Twitter-land - however I am very careful what I share.

I simply do not feel that my whereabouts, or where I go on a regular basis would be of interest to you, nor should it have any affect on you as an able, independent and intelligent human who can think for oneself, let alone sharing this information with complete strangers in a marketing office who would use the information to make a dollar I'll never see.

Yes, there are great things people can share with each other online, but i'm off the grid on this one.

Is sharing your whereabouts for a free coffee worth the security risk?

> Followup: Foursquare 1 year later