WordPress introduces WordAds

I’ve just submitted this blog to be considered for the new WordAds for WordPress.com blogs.

We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense.

My blog may get too little traffic or not be focused enough to easily pair the content up with appropriate ads (or the reviewers (hello there!) may simply not appreciate my post about the bad ads on WordPress.com), but I have my fingers crossed.

If you run a WP.com blog with a custom domain, you can apply for WordAds too.

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The Telegraph thought councillor thought cloud computing depended on rainy weather

Telegraph fail Today The Telegraph reported that a (non-existent) ‘Councillor thought cloud computing depended on rainy weather‘ (dead link). A quick Google search reveals a forum post on this same ‘story’ from 2009, and blog post from four days ago. Both of these places found the story and quickly identified it to be a hoax. Neither of these places are a national news source.

Making this kind of mistake is embarrassing, but I find it unconscionable that any organisation that even pretends to have any journalistic integrity considers it acceptable practice to simply remove stories from their website, with no retraction, as though the mistake never happened.

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WordPress Users Wales

WordPress Users Wales logo The first WordPress Users Wales meet-up is on Monday 28th November (6.30pm – 8.30pm) at The Atrium in Cardiff. The evening is free, and you can sign-up on Eventbrite.

Thanks to Pippa and Chris for organising this user group. I think it will become a useful companion to the Cardiff Blogs events for those bloggers who want to get a bit more technical and tinker with the nuts-and-bolts of blogging.

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Jambox

If you’re trying to find a great Christmas present for a gadget-loving somebody (or just thinking of something to ask for in your letter to Santa), I’d just like to throw in a timely reminder for the Jambox.

They’re not cheap (around £150), but I’ve never regretted buying mine. The audio is good, and they’re fantastic pieces of industrial design. I have the black one above, and use it every day. It’s one of my favourite gadgets.

Road accidents in Cardiff over 10 years, mapped and visualised

Ten years of road accidents in Cardiff:

Road traffic accidents, Cardiff, 2000-2010

This is a screenshot from an interactive map on The Guardian, which covers the entire UK:

The numbers are horrific: 32,955 killed, nearly 3m injured between 2000 and 2010. This is 10 years of deaths and injuries on Britain’s roads. But how do you visualise that level of disaster? Transport data mapping experts ITO World have taken a little-known but forensically detailed police dataset called Stats19 – published by the Economic and Social Data Service – and produced this powerful map ahead of Sunday’s world day of remembrance for road traffic victims. You can zoom around the map using the controls on the left or search for your town. Each dot represents a life

via Road casualty UK: 10 years of deaths mapped and visualised – guardian.co.uk

Note: The final sentence ‘Each dot represents a life’ is disingenuous inaccurate at this scale*. Each dot represents an effect on a life, but only the big squares represent a fatality.

The Internet is a belief system

Brad Burnham explains how the Internet is designed to empower individuals, not control them:

The Internet is not just a series of pipes. It’s core architecture embeds an assumption about human nature. The Internet is designed to empower individuals not control them. It assumes that the if individuals are empowered, they will do the right thing the vast majority of the time. Services like eBay, Craigslist, Etsy and AirBnB are built on the assumption that most people are honest. Other services like Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and Soundcloud assume people will be generous with their ideas, insights and creations. Wikipedia has proven that people will share their knowledge. Companies like Kickstarter show that people will even be generous with their money. This does not mean that there are not bad people out there. All of these companies spend a lot of time and money to battle spam and fraud. The companies are simply betting that there are many more good people than bad. The architecture of the Internet shares this assumption. It could have been designed to prevent bad behavior. Instead its design empowers good behavior.

The entertainment industry does not share this view of human nature. […]

I Believe In The Internet – The Content Industry Doesn’t – bradburnham.tumblr.com

Well said.

Rosa

Video

ROSA is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared. From the destruction awakes Rosa, a cyborg deployed from the Kernel project, mankind’s last attempt to restore the earth’s ecosystem. Rosa will soon learn that she is not the only entity that has awakened and must fight for her survival.

Rosa by Jesús Orellana
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Occupy Cardiff in print: A paper for the 99%

Occupy Cardiff I’d like to offer my design services to the Occupy Cardiff movement for the purpose of creating a one-shot newspaper for the protest. This would be a great way to connect with people outside of Cardiff, and those not wired in to Twitter and Facebook.

With some creative guerrilla distribution tactics, this could get a lot of information into a lot of hands.

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Twinklebox

Video

The first chapter of the Music Box Chronicles is a glimpse into the timeless life of Twinklebox, a music box caught in an infinite world, set to his own melody.

Twinklebox is a short film about the mechanics and music of time. The third film from Luniere brings yet another lost toy back to life in an animation that plays with scale, sound, and timelessness. The Music Box Chronicles is an ongoing collaboration into the parallel development of image and sound, inspired by a ‘Write Your Own Melody’ Music Box.

Twinklebox by Aaron Bradbury
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Four fantastic WordPress logos

WoodPress logo For my recent post about the terrible quality adverts appearing on WordPress.com sites I created a nice high resolution blue glossy version of the WordPress logo. Then I was inspired to make a few variations.

They’re made avaliable here as 1000x1000px PNGs, with transparency, under a CC BY-NC-SA licence. Feel free to share and enjoy, but please remember to give credit (to Foomandoonian), ideally with a link back to this page.

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Icon Project

Buyer beware: A recent iOS update seems to have broken the shortcuts this app produces. I haven’t investigated any fixes/alternatives yet. I probably won’t bother.

Icon Project (Home Screen Icon) Icon Project (£0.69) is an iPhone app for designing iOS style icons to use as shortcuts on the homescreen.

These icons can be used as shortcuts for making calls and sending SMS or email messages to specific contacts. You can also create shortcuts to web pages or web apps, just like you can from within Safari, but with your own icon. This is where things get interesting…

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Low quality advertisements are damaging WordPress.com

A shiny WordPress logo, ruined by obnoxious ads. It’s been nearly two months since I switched halfblog.net from Posterous over to WordPress, and I’ve been generally very positive about the change, with some reservations. The truth is, I don’t think I will be recommending it so strongly to potential new bloggers any longer (as I have done at Social Media Surgeries).

The various reasons probably justify a separate blog post, but one concern is looming particularly large right now…

The low-quality on-site advertising WordPress uses to support free blogs.

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A rising tide raises all boats. Nice, if you can afford a boat.

Chart showing how in The US the average salary rose as production rose, until the 1980's. The charts below are from a September 2011 New York Times article, The Limping Middle Class. I moan a lot about shoddy infographics on this blog, but this isn’t one of those – this takes some complicated information and turns it into a story to make a very powerful point.

An informational graphic. See how it’s supposed to work?

I wonder if a similar presentation of UK data would be equally eye-opening?

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Occupy Cardiff

Occupy Cardiff. Click through for link to source... Today Occupy Cardiff protestors set up camp in the pouring rain outside Cardiff Castle, before being forcibly removed by the police in the evening. Meanwhile, from the comfort of my flat, I aggregated all the information I could gather on Storify.

This curation was later embedded in a Wales Online / yourCardiff story.

Below, I’ve published a freeze-frame of the curation as it stands at the end of the day.

For further updates, be sure to read the Occupy Cardiff Storify page itself.

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Amazing! Its genuinely awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.

Spam comments word cloud I had a typical spam comment on my logo design post from yesterday:

thank you for the wonderful posts its my glad to see such a nice resource…

Deleted now, of course.

I had a second comment (on my post about an orb weaver spider I saw, which actually gets pretty good search traffic), only this time the spammer dumped his entire spammy payload in a single comment.

I’ve deleted the original comment, but am reproducing it here for, um, posterity?

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Logo design for a conference: Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds

Last year I designed a logo for a conference to be held at the University of Birmingham called Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds [PDF], with a variety of talks and workshops on the subject of ‘developing personal and institutional narratives in support of LGBTQ students’.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds conference logo

I was pretty happy with the metaphor behind the final logo, and I think the conference put it to good use. You can see my exploration and development process below.

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