Newsletter No. 9

Well I did say these newsletters were going to be occasional .... 

Sorry for the delay and no excuse other than time passing faster than I realised!

Volcanic Ash

Firstly I would like to say a big thanks to the folks at Kongress Media with whom I was working in Koëln last week for their very kind efforts to get me home in the face of the volcanic ash flight ban. Thanks guys. Sadly the lack of flights has meant that I am writing this newsletter rather than being in New York speaking at Social Business Edge

One interesting thing to come out of the ban is discovering flightradar24 which shows the live positions of planes relative to airports around the world. As of writing, there's still a big gap around Europe.


I am very pleased to announce that I have become a director of a startup agency called Voice whose aim is to help charities and other not for profit organisations become more effective at using social media. My colleagues David Dixon, Vanessa Blake and Sylwia Presley have a wealth of knowledge and experience of working in the charity sector. In addition Sylwia has been incredibly active working in social media including writing for Global Voices. Our aim is to provide support that helps organisations tap the enthusiasm and loyalty of their contributors in ways that will be more in keeping with their aims than might be provided by more conventional marketing and PR based social media agencies. We are in the very early stages and keen to grow gradually through doing good work rather than making a big splash but if you know of any third sector organisations who might need our help do, please, get in touch with us.

MI5, the BBC and social media.

MI5 and my former employers the BBC getting all macho about people who don't use Twitter and Facebook. I am not sure such a Management 1.0 approach is the way to get people involved but it is interesting that they are both taking it seriously enough to justify this approach.

Community management 

Many of you will know I am wary of the overuse, and misuse, of the word community but Howard Rheingold, who knows a thing or two about this stuff, has collated a wealth of resource on the subject on and you can benefit from his efforts here.

Productivity Tip

In my continuing efforts to improve signal to noise from all of the social networks and tools that I follow I have been experimenting with Gist and Nutshellmail

Gist allows you to determine the most important contacts in your address book and to then be updated with their online activity. Gist can also prioritise automatically if you let it calculate the frequency of your email contact with people by giving it access to your inbox. While there is something slightly big brotherish about this ability I have found it useful to keep up with people in a way that I don't always manage by trying to keep across everyone's blogs and Twitter feeds.

Nutshellmail pulls together alerts from various tools and sends you emails with the collated information I am finding that this more useful than I expected as it has reduced the amount of time I spend "just checking" Twitter and Facebook.

Recommended Reading

There is much wrong with the UK government's Digital Economy Bill, most significantly the powers to remove people's access to the internet without the need to go through the courts. I believe it is one of many examples of those in legislative positions really not grasping the net and the context in which they are being required to legislate. For those of you interested in the issues this raises, and possible ways around them I can thoroughly recommend The Laws Of Disruption by Larry Downes.

Best recent blog posts.

I try to highlight blog posts that have attracted the most interest since my last newsletter for those who don't read my blog or may have missed the particular post. My Being Human post kicked of a wonderful conversation in the comments so do have a read and add your own!

Thanks again for reading and as ever let me know what you think of this newsletter and do pass it on to friends or people you think might enjoy it.