What That Follower Number Actually Means

We are defined and shaped by numbers. They are ascribed to us and created by us. Age, date of birth, date of death, height, weight, income, bank balance, spouses, children: temporary or permanent, these digits are all ingredients of our identity. They affect how we are perceived by other people and how we perceive ourselves.

Today our obsession with numbers has taken on mind-bending dimensions thanks to the digital, data-driven age in which everything is measurable. If you have several digits next to the word Followers in a profile, you can be considered A Big Deal on the internet.

For as long as social media has existed, an assumption has been made that bigger digits are ‘better’. The bigger your audience, the higher your recognition from friends and peers, the more popular you are, the greater your chances of success and being discovered, the better exposed your brand, the wider your network, the more likely you can monetise content through advertisers.

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Still Doing Digital – Insights from Cardiff, March 2017

Over two days and two events last week I was given insight into future-thinking, digital integration in the arts and how new technologies will impact our lives.

On the first day I was commissioned to photograph a conference about Digital Innovation in the Arts. As a photographer you are concentrated on getting the best possible images of speakers and the environment, but you can collect nuggets of information here and there.  BBC-led afternoon sessions on VR were genuinely fascinating, and enjoyable to photograph.  While this tech might still be a considerable time away from mass market penetration, on a visceral level it remains really cool.

digital-cardiff-communications

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John Simpson – Hadyn Ellis distinguished lecture

johnsimpson-cardiffuni_mh20161124_10wmaThis year’s Hadyn Ellis distinguished lecture brought foreign correspondent veteran John Simpson to Cardiff University.

They don’t get more distinguished than Mr Simpson. For many people alive today Simpson is one of those omnipresent BBC voices of sturdy broadcasting authority. He has been on our screens and in our airwaves seemingly forever. His 50 year BBC career has seen him reporting from an unfathomable range of dangerous and volatile places, at times of major historical significance.

In journalism terms, he’s been there, done it and got the waistcoat.

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Automation For The People

A Composed Communication blog on automation technology and the new Amazon Echo device.

Voice recognition is a key part of automation technologies which many knowledgeable tech-heads believe will drive human progress through the next part of this century. It’s said that automation is the big step to intelligently streamlining how we lead our lives.

automation-technology

The new Amazon Echo device.                                                                                © Composed Images

 

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An Introduction To Edtech

Edtech – what’s this emerging technology space all about? An event in Cardiff city centre piqued my interest when it popped up in the Cardiff Start Facebook group, so I registered and went along.

What is Edtech?

Clearly the word Edtech appears to be a marriage of ed-ucation and tech-nology, but what really defines it?

Mark Hawkins / Composed Images.

© Composed Images.

Without doing any googling, it seems widely inclusive and rather vague, somewhat elastic. Couldn’t you argue that ALL technology is educational?

Is it about the organisational nuts and bolts of schools, colleges and universities? Is it about how the education itself is delivered?  Say you have an organisational solution which isn’t being applied in an educational environment currently, but could be. Hey presto, a little wiggling and that can suddenly become Edtech?

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Buying Music In 2016

How buying the new Radiohead album briefly changed my music listening experience.

I hate list questions.  You know: ‘name your top five films, top ten books’ or whatever. But if you pointed a gun to my head and forced to name a favourite band, I’d have to say Radiohead.  (You might then decide to pull the trigger. Your call).

moon-shaped-pool-radiohead

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Old Media: Time To Say Goodbye

There was a guilt-tinged sadness when I placed a bunch of books and CDs in plastic bags destined for charity shops a couple of weekends ago. 

It was like saying goodbye to old friends who’d brought me considerable pleasure during another time; a farewell to old media I was almost surgically attached to for a time.

Now though, the brutal unsentimental truth was that they held no use for me. Not even decorative, they sat neglected on a bottom shelf behind a row of DVDs, collecting dust.
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Cardiff Business Club – MacMillan Cancer Support boss Lynda Thomas

- macmillan.org.uk

– macmillan.org.uk

On the eve of International Women’s Day 2016, a talk was given by MacMillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas at the Principality Stadium for Cardiff Business Club.

A few days before I’d seen the talk advertised online. My wife is the PR Manager for a charity, so I thought she’d be interested and it would make a cheap evening out.

Lynda Thomas is originally from these parts of South Wales, and she proudly wears her Welshness. It was astute to express this at Cardiff Business Club right from the start, especially during the week of an England-Wales rugby match. Inside the iconic, recently renamed stadium, the crowd was with her immediately.

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2016 Turing Lecture – The Internet Of Me, You and Us

schukai-237As now seems to be an annual ritual, last week I headed over to the School of Engineering at Cardiff University for the annual BCS / IET Turing Lecture. This year was the turn of Robert Schukai MBE, Head of Applied Innovation at Thomson Reuters.

The 2016 Turing Lecture was entitled “The Internet of Me: It’s All About My Screens.” It promised a look at how smartphones have revolutionised life, and the information challenge of constantly processing so much data.

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We Need To Talk About Your High Volume Twitter Strategy

physVvirt1Isn’t it funny, how we don’t talk (on Twitter) anymore?.

Over in the US it is said that Twitter is struggling. It failed to add any new users for the second quarter in a row. At the end of September, Twitter had a core audience of 307 million active users, adding just 3 million worldwide during the three months since June. It seems mass market appeal is no longer there.

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