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.

Putting all your vids in one basket?

Is it ‘risky’ to put all your video content on one site? Particularly if you are ‘government’?

See –

Other decent options?

In doubt? Check:

– Audience size and type
– Cost
– Copyright
– Commenting
– Statistics

Being in more places, means more eyeballs. But it also means more management and tracking. The ol’ cost:benefit analysis.

Spending less, yet spending more

Ofcom has released its 2008 Communications Market Review.

Haven’t had the chance to plough through it yet, but the main headline seems to be that Brits are spending more time communicating, yet spending less money to do so.

These reports are fantastic data sources, so it’s worth spending some time and bandwidth downloading it.

Interestingly Ofcom are running a trial of an ‘experimental, interactive version’ of the report’s key points. In essence, it’s a ‘social text’ allowing users to place comments against each point in the document (like the one that DIUS are running).

I think it’s a good idea but they seem a little too cautious about the whole thing.

Have a look at

Speak you’re branes

Before I go into this… there are more good contributions posted to forums than there are bad. Hands down.

But… one of my favourite blogs is based on cutting through that good stuff, and going right to the crap.

Speak you’re branes is based around bona fide comments posted on the ‘have your say’ discussion boards run by our broadcasters and newspapers. The stuff is so fantastic and so inane that you’d think that Speak you’re branes must have faked them. But no.

The author is an excellent editor, a cutting critic and clearly a great social media rapporteur. And I love the domain –

These days people have started sending stuff in they find on their midday surfs. So, if find a gem, send it their way. Hell, send it my way too.