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Working for the BBC….

Working for the BBC….

means a few surprises from time to time. Like telling people that it’s not a place where they shower you with money while you hang out backstage with Matt Smith or even Huw Edwards, for instance. Although there are a few fantastic non-financial bonuses, of course – like working on election night. Really must blog about that one day.

Anyway, it also makes for the occasional surprise in the rest of your life – like this ad I spotted on my Facebook page, basically begging for a job.

Suffice to say that most of the people that I know who are in a position to hire someone at the BBC don’t have Facebook accounts, as far as I know. Although I dare say the person who placed that advert would find such non-social-media people to be freaks of the highest order…

No buzz with Buzz…

No buzz with Buzz…

So Google Buzz has launched, and I’ve had a quick play with it.

Unfortunately, it’s done the same thing as many recent Google product launches – it hasn’t brought anything new to the table, aside from the sheer gargantuan amount of data it stores about me. And the only reason it has so much data about me is because I’m pretty much wedded to Google, thanks to their still-superlative Gmail service (tabs instead of categories for email! It’s the future, I tell you!) and consequently, me adopting every other Google service there is, including their mobile phone system.

Which of course has its consequences. Within an hour of using Buzz, I found 10 people following me who were total strangers, who I’d never heard from before. This happens a lot more on Twitter (and to a certain extent on Facebook), but because those services don’t touch my email, it doesn’t seem so sinister. But with Buzz integrating with my email account, it does. There is a suggestion that these strangers found me via Google Profiles and that I ought to switch it off – but I’m quasi-reluctant to do that since otherwise, I could disappear off Google search results. (Then again, my name isn’t exactly my brand these days)

The huge flaw, of course, with integrating social networking so tightly with email, is that everyone’s email boxes are already groaning under the strain of spam, newsletters and the other ways people are trying to reach us via email. Adding another system to your email just adds to the risk of people declaring Inbox Surrender and leaving email alone entirely.

Ultimately, it’s hard to see why Google made another attempt into social networking, after the days of Orkut. They’ve built a new private members club opposite the most popular pub in town, spied upon everyone going into the pub to try and connect everyone, and then … just opened the front door – only letting in people who are members of the club. No special offers, no enticements, no new jukebox in the corner, nothing. There’s nothing in Buzz that isn’t already on other social networking sites – and of course, nothing that beats their main enemies, Facebook or Twitter. and ironically, they seem to be quite swamped – picking up blog posts and Twitter feeds from other areas of my digital life seems to take a day.

But like the famed Hotel California, once I’ve checked in, I can’t seem to leave…

How not to run an online competition

How not to run an online competition


There are many ways to run a competition on Facebook. Perhaps the way that the Orange Film Club did, isn’t the best one.

They posed a surprisingly difficult question (see a screengrab below the cut), but asked competition entrants to make their answers in the comments below. Being the mug I am, I did some fairly intense Googling, and thus became the first person to post the answer.

What did everyone else do? They quite sensibly copied my answer and thus within the hour you had 18 entries, who probably didn’t do the same intensive Googling that I did.

The kicker comes when they allocated the ticket – randomly, fair and square and within the stated terms of the competition – to someone else. When I’d done all the hard work! Bah!

It’s not just me with sour grapes – two random people who also entered have also said I should have gotten something!

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