Michael Wharton There Is Always A Theory: politics, anarchy, religion, atheism and science. now with poetry!

20Jul/100

I Has A Video!

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I purchased a new video camera which I have been playing around with recently, it shoots in 720p HD so I think I'm going to be using Youtube to actually host all of my videos! For starters I'm going to be recording myself reading my poetry aloud to camera using various techniques.

I now am an internet. I am hopefully going to be creating videos for both One Day On Earth and its Hollywood (RIP-OFF) counterpart Life In A Day. What bugs me is that the YouTube channel for Life In A Day says it was created 18 June 2006, which means that either the account was created for this express purpose and the concept is that old, or the account was bought from someone who created it for another purpose. Bizarre.

I'd take the side of the None Profit Organisation any day!

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2Jul/100

Your Freedom: A Forum For Internet Activism In The UK

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Your Freedom

Yesterday on the first of July Your Freedom was launched by the coalition Liberal Democrat/Conservative government. It seems that Nick Clegg is at the lead of the project, spearheading a new avenue of internet political interactivity. Over the last couple of years, there have been more and more politically charged social networking sites springing up on all bands of the political spectrum. Several of these were single policy sites, pushing a particular agenda, some were more broadly focused with a particular political slant. In the UK, the government is attempting to give all of these disparate viewpoints a forum for debate and discussion of ideas.

Although it's still a little shaky due to the fact that demand for the service is so much higher than anticipated, the functionality of the front end more than makes up for it. There's an intuitive tagging system, which allows all users to add tags to all campaigns, and all users can leave comments too. It's like we are truly entering a state of Twittocracy (well there is always a theory...), a society shaped by the majority, with their collective opinions being aggregated automatically through what I like to call Interactivism (maybe Hacktivism?) which is basically a marriage of internet and activism.

A number of campaigns are theoretically sound, but the methodology is lacking (poor spelling and grammar...). A great many campaigns are identical to others and sevceral recurring themes have sprung up; such as repealing the Digital Economy Act and the Legalization of Cannabis.

I believe that this proactive platform for public political promotion is pretty provocative. It is probably paramount to protect personal privacy and post (okay, enough alliteration...) anonymously to begin with. Compared with Petition The PM at Number 10 it is definitely an improvement in that it is much less patronising.

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2Jul/100

Your Freedom: New Government Service Down?

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There's a new service out there for interactivism in Internetland causing a stir on all ends of the political spectrum. Your Freedom is Nick Clegg's new initiative to get the public, the people, the voters, the interasctivists, more involved in the political process.

On the run up to the election I could already tell there was going to be an internet arms race for an advantage in the charm offensive. I think I even coined the hashtag #Twittocracy on @Twitter.

Anyway, I eagerly scoured the new service adding myself to various causes and concerns. It''s simpler to use and more intuitive to a social media user than the old http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ site although both have their own unique merits.

Unfortunately, before I could do more rigourous testing of the functionality: The site went down.
Screen Capture of The Error page of Our Coalition Government's new "Your Freedom" service

...more on that story later...

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