links for 2010-07-08

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 8 July 2010
  • "As you may recall, I suggested that Paul's preference for the German flag may have been due to conditioning. Presented with two pots, each containing a mussel, the octopus might be expected to choose the familiar one, simply because the flag provided a reliable indication of food. On this basis I predicted that it would continue to favour Germany. Annoyingly, I was wrong. Even more annoyingly, the octopus was right". Paul the psychic octopus has simply been the most enjoyable story of the world cup. A brilliant bit of marketing that money couldn't buy from Oberhausen aquarium.
  • Fantastic article from Whitney Hess about user interview techniques.
  • "A record television audience of 12.3 million people in the Netherlands, out of a population of 16.5 million, watched the national football team reach the World Cup final on Tuesday. Broadcaster NOS said that 10.6 million people saw the 3-2 win over Uruguay from home while another 1.7 million opted to follow the game on giant TV screens erected in public places throughout the country."
  • "Just four years ago, during the previous World Cup, practically none of these options existed. The iPhone was a figment of the nerdosphere’s imagination; Facebook was still largely a college network; the word “Twitter” probably evoked the thought of birds; and no one was streaming live sports over the Internet, even illegally. But now this is the way many people follow the Oscars, political debates and long-running news stories. In 2014, during the next World Cup, the fully augmented experience of the South Africa games will likely seem as dated as 2006 does to us today."
  • This via journalism.co.uk. Maybe a hack could do one for hackers, you know with things like 'greeking' and 'furniture' and 'desking' and 'phone tapping' and other useful jargon to know when you are hanging around journos.
  • "The media has been lasciviously describing every blood-flecked cranny of the shooting incident in Northumbria this week, while blankly ignoring the most important question – did we help to pull the trigger? Every time there is a massacre by a mentally ill person, like Derrick Bird's last month, journalists are warned by psychologists that, if we are not very careful in our reporting, we will spur copycat attacks by more mentally ill people. We ignored their warnings. We reported the case in precisely the way they said was most risky. Are we now seeing the result?". Thoughtful piece - veering into the usual media dilemma, telling advertisers that the medium influences people, whilst maintaining that the medium doesn't influence people to do bad things
  • Not for Clay's article, but for this preamble: "Inspired by Ryan Sholin I decided to download the new Guardian WordPress plugin. Brilliant! Don’t think I’ll use it every day – but when there is a great story like this interview with professional mind-blower Clay Shirky – why just link when I can republish?"

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