The View from the Street

Google Street View

For all those worried about the impact of Google Street View on privacy in the UK should try this little exercise.

  1. Bring up Google Maps.
  2. Zoom out so all of the UK is in view.
  3. Pick up the orange ‘human’ icon and hover it near the Sceptred Isle.
  4. Take in all of the country that is highlighted in blue; that’s the parts of the UK available through Street View.
  5. Now do the same for the USA…

Puts things in perspective doesn’t it.

Three Things Twitter

Been so busy this week and last that I’ve not had the time to write even 140 characters. But today Twitter caught my attention in three ways…

1. The Central Office of Information or the COI as it’s know on da street (the department I work for) began using its Twitter account. It was set up by our Interactive Services division and taken on by our Corporate Communications team. You can follow at

2. eConsultancy has reviewed whether the UK’s top 50 digital agencies are using the micro-blogging platform, and found just a 25% adoption rate. It’s sparked a debate on whether agencies should bother or not. I am surprised at the low adoption; I would have expected more agencies to have signed up to see what was going down or at least to claim the username. Thanks to Steph for the tip.

3. kills me, so Twattering is right up my alley. Cutting, but probably deserved. Cheers to Nadeem for the tip.

Mid-course breather, not mid-life crisis

Tough Guy Assualt Course (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Tough Guy Assualt Course (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Interesting analysis of the Obama-Biden Administration’s problems in using the web in way they had envisaged now that they are in government, that picks up on an earlier article in the Washington Post.

Familiar problems for us in the UK, I’m sure you’ll agree (not the ‘uncharted territory’ Macon Phillips laments).

The more and more of these articles I read, the more it convinces me that the UK government is as far into this as our trans-Atlantic colleagues (from some vantages we are further ahead).

Truth is, this is just the middle of the course and we have probably been taking a breather to build up the energy before tackling some of the bigger obstacles toward the finish-line.

To Macon Philips and team, I say ‘welcome, let’s confer and see if we can team up’.

Stuff what I has been reading… 02/03 – 08/03

The ‘Dunbar number’ in the age of social networking

An intriguing article that explores whether given the technical opportunity an individual’s stable social network can push beyond Robert Dunbar’s 148.

The transformative potential of the ‘Fifth Estate’

Professor Bill Dutton, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, persuasively defines an emergent ‘Fifth Estate’ enabled by digital media and explores its transformative potential. Dutton’s article is strengthened by his linking of the transformative influence of the ‘Fifth Estate’ on politics with its effect on education, work and other areas of society.

Helpless or hapless?

This stood out for Jeff Jarvis‘ pithy summary of all the different financial ‘rescue options’ open to newspapers facing uncertain digital futures, and why he believes none of them are any use.