As part of my digital spring clean, I’ve been trying to kick the terrible habit I have of seeing an interesting looking article, opening it in a new tab and then never reading it. I end up with so many tabs open that the favicons are no longer visible and I have no idea what any of the tabs are. I decided to sort through the tabs I already had open and as I was doing so I read a few of them. I was surprised to find that most of them weren’t very interesting. They had click-bait titles that had drawn me in, but actually the articles themselves weren’t very substantive – they were fluff. Continue reading
I recently started following a blog called Study Hacks, from computer scientist and academic, Cal Newport. Study Hacks is about decoding patterns of success and looking at why it is that some people have successful careers and are able to lead meaningful lives, whilst others are continually seeking after their life’s passion. Newport argues against the passion hypothesis and instead believes that finding fulfilling work is about honing your craft.
I first encountered Newport’s blog via a post he wrote about why he has never joined Facebook. In fact, Cal Newport doesn’t use any social media at all (unless you count blogging as social media, which I would argue it is). In reference to Facebook, Newport asks – what problem do I have that this solves? The answer, for Newport, is that it only offers something new, it doesn’t solve a pre-existing problem. Continue reading
Working in social media, I often find myself going to company websites in order to find out about their social media presence, so it can be very frustrating when companies and organisations hide the social media icons away or make them so minute that they’re impossible to see. It seems so counter intuitive to me – surely you want people to click through to your Facebook or Twitter profile and follow your company on social media. Why hide the icons away? They should be large and placed at the top of every web page.
At least, that’s what I thought. However, I came across an interesting argument the other week that had me thinking twice about my previous stance on social media icons. The argument goes that because your website is the central focus of your online presence and you want to drive traffic to your website, not away, social media icons shouldn’t be prominently displayed because people will simply click straight through to Facebook and before they’ve even looked at your Page they’ll be distracted by the pictures of cute cats that their friends are posting. Therefore, social media icons should be placed at the bottom of your company’s web pages, not the top. Continue reading
This week, whilst searching on Google Maps, I came across a feature I hadn’t noticed before. It seems that if you have the Hootsuite bookmarklet, you can also see results for tweets sent near the location you’re looking for. You can set the radius to between 500 metres and 25 kilometres and even add it as a stream on Hootsuite.
I can imagine this feature might be useful for someone wanting to research a particular area or a company organising an event. It’s also really fun to play around with!
2. Paintings of cities superimposed on to Google Street View
Halley Docherty has created a fascinating series of collages by superimposing paintings of cities on to their modern day Street View. I love the way the original painting and the moment in time captures by Google merge into one another. It is also fascinating to see how much the cities have changed, but also how some – like Venice and Amsterdam – have remained unchanged for hundreds of years!
3. Google Faces
This project from Omformative created a face detection algorithm to find faces on Google Maps. Some of the images – like the one above – are really stunning. I was also fascinated to learn about the phenonmenon of Pareidolia!
I spend quite a lot of time reading online articles about social media. Since starting this blog I’ve also spent a lot of time looking for images to accompany my posts and it struck me recently – images for social media articles are really boring. Most of the time it’s either the Facebook or Twitter logo or a picture of a mobile or laptop screen. I’ve tried to avoid this as much as possible with my own blog posts, but it’s not easy. Continue reading
Twitter recently launched a new design. I must have been part of a group to receive the new design early, because I was already perfectly comfortable with the new look when everyone else started angrily tweeting about it. In fact, my boyfriend was on Twitter as it happened and let out a cry of dismay. From my vantage point I tried to offer comfort:
That’s not to say that I too wasn’t initially dismayed. But once I recognised this gut reaction in myself, I took a minute to step back and look at the new design objectively. Once I did that, I realised it actually wasn’t that bad. Okay, I thought, I can live with this. Continue reading
One of the things that fascinates me about social media is the way in which people use it to present a version of themselves to the world. Your social media profile is an opportunity to curate and present a particular vision of who you are. You choose the most flattering photos and untag yourself from the unflattering ones. You share only those parts of your life that you feel portray you in the right light. Even sharing everything is a choice. Continue reading