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Monthly Archives: September 2004

Originally uploaded by Mark.

My mate took me flying this weekend in a two-seater “Robin”. It’s a small plane that he hired out. We were only up for about 20 mins but it seemed more than that. Was an unforgettable experience and hopefully I’ll get to go up again sometime (and hopefully with a better camera than my trusty but limited cameraphone).

More photos here.

MMS

I saw a news item on the BBC last night about how mobile phone companies were reporting that MMS messaging is failing to take off despite the huge subsidies of cameraphones, and most people owning them now. I saw this and couldn’t believe that the cellphone companies, or indeed the BBC felt that this was some surprise result worth reporting.

In my experience, everyone that I know who has ever bought a cameraphone with MMS won’t be able to send MMS messages once they’ve bought the phone. The reason being that MMS isn’t set up by default on the phones. So you buy your phone, turn it on, take a picture and try to send it to a friend, and “Send Message Failed” soon appears on your screen. This happened to me. It happened to my Dad. It happened to everyone at work when we got our cellphones renewed to cameraphones. So to cure it, I phone up the phone company and ask for it to be switched on. They tell me they are going to send me a text message that sets it up automatically. They text doesn’t arrive. I phone again. This time the text message arrives and sets up the phone, but I still can’t send it. I phone up a third time and they tell me that I need to turn off my phone for an hour and then turn it on again for it to activate properly. This I do and halleluja it works!

My point, as I’m sure you’ve gathered, is that MMS messaging shouldn’t be this difficult to set up. The majority of people aren’t going to be as bothered about it as I was and will just live without.

Aside:
Computer Industry to Record Industry: We’re Sorry

The important thing about blogging…

To rip or not to rip

This is a great decision-chart, helping you work out the moral dilemma on whether or not you should rip that CD.

[via ChocNVodka]

Friendster Sacks Blogger

As I’m reading about memetics and how memes are first assimilated by a host, then retained, expressed and finally transmitted, I aim to complete the circle here by linking to this story about an employee of Friendster who recently got sacked due to content in her blog.

The story has been extensively quoted throughout the blogosphere (I’ve now seen it on several blogs), and I wouldn’t be surrprised if it was reported on a few news sites too.

It leads me to wonder where or not my expression of the meme is actually useful to the “group” (i.e. bloggers and readers of blogs), since people are infinitely more likely to find the link (the meme) on another, more heavily-connected blog (a hub) than they are to see it here. In fact, even if someone does read it here, chances are that they’ve already heard it elsewhere.

So what was the thing that made me blog this in the first place? What pushed me over the threshold value from idleness to actively blogging about it? I think the answer is a mixture of relevance, importance and repetition. The article was both relevant and important to me in that it was interesting and pertinent to my research. But the thing that pushed me into blogging about it was that I have seen the meme in many places now which has moved it from the periphery of my attention to the centre. Why is this? The fact that many people, people that I respect as bloggers (since I read their blogs regularly and value the information they provide) have quoted the information suggests that it is important. Their citing it actually increases its importance.

Going back to the question of what value do I add why quoting the meme, it is the penetration of a meme in the lower part of the power law curve that is a better representation of its popularity. The heavily-linked high-end bloggers will all quickly post about a meme that is important to them, allowing the information to very rapidly spread within that tight-knit network. By measuring the diffusion of that information out into the lower echelons of the power curve, away from the well-connected hubs, we can much better guage the popularity of the meme.