It's a day of many voices of protest across the web (even on the Google homepage), but I didn't want to post about anything else today. I don't believe that censoring the web is the right thing to do and I don't believe SOPA and PIPA are the right way to end piracy.
I caught up with the super-smart Richard Sedley yesterday and he pointed me at this astounding TEDx talk by Luis Von Ahn, who was one of the people that invented the CAPTCHA. Luis talks about reCAPTCHA, the project to create human gain from the 200 million CAPTCHAs that are solved by humans around the world every day and apply all those millions of tiny actions towards helping to digitise old books (apparently over 10% of humanity have so far helped digitise human knowledge).
Frederik linked to this short video of Sir Ken Robinson. It's not a new talk but a section of his session at the RSA about changing education paradigms. Specifically the bit in which he talks about divergent thinking (it's not brilliantly shot but it gets the point across and you can also watch a longer RSA animate of the talk).
A strange thing happened this year. A number of highly talented people I know were made redundant from the (typically) large companies they were working for. Good people. Capable, bright, knowledgeable people. People skilled in digital and who were willing to challenge the conventional ways of doing things in order to find a better way.
Chris Poole, the founder of 4Chan, About.me and Canvas, gave an interesting talk at Web 2.0 back in October about how one dimensional the existing ways in which services enable us to represent our identity are.
The portrait of identity online, he says, is often painted in black and white - who we are online is assumed to be a mirror of who we are offline, and anonymity is seen as something dark and chaotic.
This time last year Yahoo announced their decision to 'sunset' the Delicious social bookmarking service. At the time I bemoaned the fact that Yahoo had done nothing with the service for five years in spite of the fact that it had so much potential.
It's predictions time of year again. And like most things there's already the good and the not so good. I was rather taken with this comment from Seth Godin on a post by Fred Wilson about a talk by Forrester CEO, George Colony at last week's Le Web conference. Colony talked about the 'death of the web' and how 'social' is reaching saturation meaning the emergence of 'post-social' (le sigh).
I'm rather intrigued by the concept behind this campaign (from earlier this year). To show their versatility, IKEA in Holland made a different TV ad for every day of the year. It's a wonderfully disruptive idea.
Curation is already becoming an overused word but it's an increasingly important one. Not least because the way in which we discover content that we like or find useful, and how it gets in front of us or gets our attention, is changing radically.
A few weeks back Matt Locke wrote a rather excellent post about "The New Patterns of Culture: Slow, Fast & Spiky". He talks about nostalgia for a bygone broadcast era of limited channels that had defined a culture characterised by a broad spectrum of the niche and the marginal and a tightly defined mainstream.