My letter in support of the National Broadband Network

I’ve just posted a snail mail letter to our Liberal representative in the Senate, Mr Zed Seselja (Senator for Australian Capital Territory). If you have an interest in securing Australia’s future in the digital economy and ensuring that Australia gets the National Broadband Network (NBN) it deserves, then I encourage you to make your voice heard now in any and all ways possible.

I feel that snail mail – as quaint as I personally find it to be – is a good way to ensure that your representatives know how strongly you feel on an issue. You didn’t just send a quick email or tweet or wall post (though we should certainly do these as well), you actually took the time to write a letter, print it out, sign it, put it in an envelope, stick on a stamp, write the address on the envelope and drop it in a mailbox. It still may be a small gesture in the scheme of things, but I will at least know that in every reasonable way that is open to me, I’ve taken the time to make my views known to those that are supposed to be representing us. Read more...

Program or Be Programmed

Read an interesting book recommended by a friend the other day: Program or Be Programmed: 10 Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff. The main thrust of Rushkoff’s book is that all media, all forms of communication, starting at speech, moving on to the first examples of an alphabet, to the printing press and now to online communication have a bias and one needs to be aware of a medium’s bias when communicating through it. Bias in this context meaning that each medium tends to elicit particular attitudes and behaviours from it’s users.

If I can attempt to paraphrase, Rushkoff infers that this last communication revolution based upon the computer is a very important one, because now we’re actually getting to the point where the tools we are creating are taking on the characteristics of living things. They’re not quite living things yet though and at least until the hypothetical singularity manifests, the people who program these almost living tools will continue to take on an increasingly important role. Conversely, in the years to come those who do not at least have a basic idea of how programming is done will be at an acute disadvantage (politically, socially, financially, culturally) much like the illiterate following society’s adoption of the written word. Read more...

Online audience engagement and the enterprise

It seems that social media is everywhere today. Live tweet our show using the hash tag ‘#WhyJustWatchWhenYouCanCriticise’! There’s other websites as well as Facebook? But how do do your friends know about your inane comments on those ones?! One could be forgiven for thinking the read/write web is getting old hat these days. Web 2.0, how unfashionable an epithet for use by today’s modern web hipster. Read more...