Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Social Media - some nice examples

In the past I have posted on the good and also the bad influences and uses of Social Media. This follow up focuses on some really great “good” uses of Social Media I’ve come across recently. If you have any examples, perhaps you could add a comment to point them out?

Twitter – Tim Burton and storytelling

The Hollywood director, producer and write Tim Burton ran a story telling experiment on Twitter between November 22 and December 6 2010. He posted the first part of a story and invited Twitter users to add their contributions to the story. Each day’s contributions were read and the best was chosen to add to the final product. You can read the result on his Cadavre Exquis web site.

YouTube – The digital nativity

YouTube seems so full of commercial stuff these days (TV episodes, film clips, adverts) that it can be easy to forget it’s origins in allowing genuine amateur creativity to blossom. Although not strictly speaking an amateur effort, for me the recent Digital Nativity video re-captures much of this early ethic. Here is something that is both uniquely creative and genuinely interesting.

Web of Trust

There is so much on the Web these days that can be offensive or dangerous – how do you know which sites to trust or not? Do a Google search for something and which of the results are genuine? Web of Trust is a tool that plugs in to your browser and allows you (i.e. members of the web community at large) to vote on the trustworthiness of websites. The results of these votes then appear in your browser, e.g. in search listings.


Another problem with the web and social media is keeping track of it all. Do you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc? It starts to get tedious to access each of these separately. Enter Yoono: a browser plugin (also available as a desktop and an iPhone app) that aggregates feeds from several such sites all in one place. Very useful.

Google labs

The founders of Google famously go by the ethic of “do no evil”, and although Google has had its fair share of adverse publicity (e.g. site filtering in China, accidental collection of personal data for Up My Street), it generally seems to have lived by that. One of Google’s lesser known, but most exciting, ventures is the Google labs research area. Here you can find a wide range of applications that Google is testing out – some pretty mature, others in their early stages of development. Examples include body browser (detailed 3D model of the human body), earth engine (Global-scale analysis for global-scale problems) and image swirl (a way of arranging the results of an image search in intuitive groups).

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