Google experiments, History Pins and what Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters network tells us about fans

Kat by the Google Sketchbots

Kat submits to the Google Sketchbots

Off The Wall Post delves into some supercool web apps – Google’s Chrome browser web experiments that teleport you to bakeries and miniature parks across the globe; let you bang drums in London’s Science Museum; and, coolest of all, sends your portrait to an army of robots endlessly drawing and erasing faces in the sand.

Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

Download the MP3 version here (right click, save target as). You can also listen / subscribe to the Off The Wall Post via iTunes.

Dan by the Google Sketchbots

Dan submits to the Google Sketchbots

We also look at lovely mapping archive project History Pin and we deconstruct fandom via Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters – her own social network, which echoes some of Kat’s experiences as a fan of a pop megastar. We dig into why, with 52M fans of Facebook and 30M+ followers on Twitter, a popstar would want or need to invest in the infrastructure of her own social network.

Wanky Words

Let us know what you think: tweet us @offthewallpost; Post on our Facebook page; leave a comment below.

Posted in Crowdsourcing, Facebook, google, location, new media, Pinterest, podcast, social media, twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Samuel Pepys, Swedish Tweets and the craziest photo app yet (ft. Phil Gyford, Samuel Pepys Diary blog)

Samuel Pepys Diary Phil Gyford

Samuel Pepys

After nine years and five months, Phil Gyford finally uploaded the last entry of Samuel Pepys Diary to his epic blogging project A side project for this brilliant web developer, we talk to Phil about his labour of love: the process, the audience it built, its move to Twitter and how it feels when something this long-term comes to an end.

Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

Phil also shares the details of his current project Matter – a Kickstarter success story, long-form articles site from Guardian Tech and GigaOm writer, Bobby Johnson. AS well as discussing other projects that play with form and expectation around online: Today’s Paper and the hilarious Pretend Office (chockful of wanky words, insane roadmaps and daft organisational charts).

Other items include: the discovery of InstaCRT – crazy iOS photo filter app that eschews in-app effects for pinging your photos to a REAL old fashioned TV, taking a picture of that image on the TV and then pinging it back to you! Instagram hipsters – meet the REAL analog filter.

Off The Wall post with Phil Gyford through the InstaCRT photo app

Off The Wall post with Phil Gyford through the InstaCRT photo app

Lenddo is social banking that allows users to borrow money based on their social network vouching for them.  And we consider the unfortunate, but arguably inevitable, bump in the road for Sweden’s citizen-led @sweden Twitter account.

Wanky Words

Let us know what you think: tweet us @offthewallpost; Post on our Facebook page; leave a comment below.

Posted in Apps, blogs / blogging, Books, Crowdsourcing, mobile, Photos, podcast, social media, Special Guest, twitter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A picture can post a thousand tweets ft. Chris Floyd, Photographer, 140 Characters

Chris Floyd, Photographer, at Big Green Book Shop 140 Characters event

Chris Floyd, Photographer, at Big Green Book Shop

Photographer Chris Floyd decided to turn his relationships on Twitter into a photography exhibition (and then a book) called 140 Characters. He rounded up a group of tweeters – some famous, some not – and shot their portraits and recorded them talking about Twitter.  Dan went to meet Chris at a book signing event in The Big Green Bookshop and talked to Chris about the book, the project and his exploration of Twitter and its users.

Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

The podcast is interspersed with soundbites from Chris’ 140 Characters slideshow and we thank not only Chris, but his subjects for their contribution to this episode of Off The Wall Post.

Chris on Twitter – @chrisfloyduk

Big Green Bookshop on Twitter – @biggreenbooks

Let us know what you think: tweet us @offthewallpost; Post on our Facebook page; leave a comment below.

NB: Off The Wall Post will be back with a full episode with the full gang and special guest Phil Gyford next week.

Posted in Books, Photos, podcast, social media, Special Guest, twitter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Serendipity, Sex and Privacy with Aleks Krotoski

Aleks Krotoski

Aleks Krotoski

Off The Wall Post are joined by journalist, academic, presenter of Radio 4’s Digital Human and host of Guardian Tech Weekly podcastAleks Krotoski to discuss the topics of her forthcoming book: Untangling The Web.

Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

In the podcast Aleks suggests that the only real changes the web has brought upon humanity are those around attitudes towards Sex and Privacy – that stuff will never be the same again. The rest of the great internet show is just business as usual for mankind on a different platform. (Read more of Aleks’ work on the book on the Untangling The Web tumblr.)

But there’s a sense that serendipity is the real issue – how does it work or even survive in the digital age? So much an issue, that Aleks has built a machine – The Serendipty Engine – to illustrate the mechanics of Google’s search engine processes in the real world. Hear all about it here before you read it in Wired in September!

In other news, Kat highlights Pointer Pointer, a brilliant use of images from the web; Dan advises you to watch Between Two Ferns (from Funny or Die) and investigate the amazing PolitWoops, which publishes the deleted tweets of polititians.

All this and the latest attrocious Wanky Words from New Media and the crisis in the Eurozone…

Let us know what you think: tweet us @offthewallpost; Post on our Facebook page; leave a comment below.

NB: Barry’s gutted he missed this episode and so are we. Barry sends his love and will be back next week!

Posted in Facebook, new media, podcast, social media, Special Guest, twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Has Microsoft launched a new social network and will new cookie laws save the web or break it?

On Saturday 26 May 2012 new European Union cookie legislation demands that websites that use cookies (small data files) onto visitors’ browsers will have to declare the use of cookies and seek consent for their use. How will this effect site owners and site users? Is it practical to enforce onto sites and their visitors? What the hell are cookies anyway? Kat tells us when we should fear the cookie and when we should fear the law. Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

Other stories this week include Dan’s initial reactions to – Microsoft’s new social network that isn’t a social network, but more an enhanced search and curate tool with sharing at its heart… If you know what I mean… No, nor Barry!

Barry looks at what could be seen as Polaroid’s last roll of the dice – Polamatic – an iPhone app that kinda does what Instagram or Hipstamatic do, then let’s you share the images to Instagram! If only they could be more like Lomo

Wanky Words

Share your thoughts, comments and wanky words with us on Twitter or our website

Posted in Apps, mobile, new media, Photos, podcast, social media | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to build online audiences into big TV Entertainment brands (ft. Tom Dolan, Head of Entertainment

Lots and lots of peopleWhen it comes to big shows with big audiences, ITV has got some game: The X Factor, The Only Way Is Essex, Britain’s Got Talent, Red or Black; and they all shoot for the sweet spot between TV and the second screen participatory viewer. How do they do it? How do they plan to innovate their Entertainment online? Who better to ask than Head of Entertainment for ITV.comTom Dolan?

With a wealth of TV and online experience with BBC online, Digital Agencies (such as Cimex) and now, Tom Dolan joins Off The Wall Post to share his insights and aspirations for connecting with the connected audience, and discuss the partnership of big entertainment shows and online. What are the opportunities for TV to add value to the 2screening / online audience? And how to keep a light touch integrating the opportunities so as not to ruin the experience for the mass audience who just turned on to watch TV?

And perhaps most important of all – is the spoon mightier than the iPad…? Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

And we don’t stop there! Kat brings us Cinemagram – the superb animated gif creator for iPhone (and who doesn’t want to fill the world with more animated gifs?); Barry raises the whole question of what you actually buy and own when you ‘purchase’ an app on the App Store as EA’s RockBand App that recently shocked users by reporting Rock Band iOS would become unplayable at the end of May 2012. (UPDATE – EA GAMES have released a statement that says this decommissioning of RockBand was an error: ‘Rock Band for iOS will remain live – the in-app message users received on Tuesday, May 1 was sent in error. We apologize for the confusion this caused. We’re working to clarify the issue that caused the error and will share additional information as soon as possible.‘)

Such confusion aside, Dan offers some ridiculous stats around the success of the iPad compared to Apple’s own products’ sales equivalents over time; and Tom Dolan highlights Dan Hon’s superb and personal blog post ‘Myself – quantified’ about being diagnosed with Diabetes and the steps, measures and measurements he has taken to fight off a life of injecting insulin.

Wanky Words

  • Decisioning and Solutionising – Tom Kenyon
  • Sofalising and Chatterboxing – from Dan
  • Twintro – from Barry
  • Graycation – Shea Warnes 

Share your thoughts, comments and wanky words with us on Twitter or our website

(Image: Lots and lots of people by Roo Reynolds)

Posted in new media, podcast, social media, Special Guest, television | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Piracy and Defending The Novel in the Digital Age (ft. Lloyd Shepherd, author of The English Monster)

The English MonsterWhen novelist and author Lloyd Shepherd published his first novel The English Monster through Simon and Schuster he soon discovered his historical tale of piracy and detection had made its way onto internet file-sharing site Mobilism. Perhaps an inevitability of the modern age, Lloyd’s next steps were less predictable and his parlay with the pirates began… Lloyd joins Off The Wall Post to tell of his experience debating intellectual property and ethics with pirates, and shares his thoughts on publishing and the changes and challenges facing the novel (and novelist) in the digital age.

Listen to the podcast now – just press play:

Links of note / the need to knows:

Lloyd recommends Camper Van Beethoven’s David Lowery’s presentation on the record industry – Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss? We reference ‘Oatmealing’ – The Oatmeal Game of Thrones cartoon. And we mention Unbound – the crowdfunding site for books.

Then, having spoken about new models of funding creativity, Barry gets excited (along with the rest of the Kickstarter community), about The Pebble – a watch that’s raised $5M from public pledge. Meanwhile, more there’s more cash crowdsourcing, as Kat finds Kickstarter has rekindled the creativity of an old favourite Ze Frank to bring back his show to YouTube. We play some of the first episode Ze Frank – a show – an invocation for beginners in the podcast to encourage more people to visit and enjoy his new stuff – annoyingly it just won’t embed into this blog.

Wanky Words

Share your thoughts, comments and wanky words with us on Twitter or our website

Posted in Books, Crowdsourcing, music, new media, podcast, Special Guest, Transmedia | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments