Archive for March, 2010

Has forums played their part in the online conversation?

Posted on: March 30th, 2010 by Fransgaard 1 Comment


I was recently invited to a Japanese Linkedin Group (in English) and it struck me at the time that I don’t really use forums outside LinkedIn anymore.

However, maybe the change is deeper than I first realised.

After joining the group there have been a few posts on the forum, but I’ve had more response via direct messages/emails and I’ve now connected with a few from the group via Skype. 

For me Skype has previously been a tool to communicate to people I know in real life, but this experience connecting with people throughout the world via the Japanese LinkedIn forum is not a stand alone incident.

More and more I find I communicate with people around the globe via all sorts of means, but less and less frequently on forums, it is like forums have become slow and cumbersome compared to a quick Skype chat.

But instant messaging seems to lack the breadth of various topics and the ability to search and capture discussions.

Maybe that is where Google Wave steps in; it has the history functionality of forums, but the speed of instant messaging…



The power of Social Media is not in the answers, it is in the questions it makes you ask

Posted on: March 16th, 2010 by Fransgaard No Comments

I grew up without the Internet and I grew up in a village of 400 people which means one of my few sources of new information was the large encyclopaedia my parents bought. 

Looking back one of the great benefits with these books was I would be looking for something specific but often I would find an unrelated item I would find equally interesting next to the entry I was initially looking for. The only relationship between two entries was they started with the same letter.

At the time I am not even sure I realised this “user journey” through unrelated entries, but I learned a lot from it.

Search engines changed all that. They only gave us results that related to what we were looking for and while it made search for information much more effective, it also put a barrier towards unrelated entries. Everything became relevant, everything became efficient.

And as I’ve become increasingly better at using search engines I have also become increasingly aware of the missing random, unrelated information.

This is where Social Media has brought random information back into our lives through friends’ feeds and updates. My Facebook stream this morning looks like this:

  • Friend 1: All aboard!
  • Friend 2: Posted a video
  • Friend 3: Needs help to kill of some mafioso
  • Friend 4: Uploaded some photos
  • Friend 5: Is doing Jiu Jitsu

…and none of the above is in any way relevant for what I am writing or to each other but all surprisingly interesting.

Now I want to watch Friend 2’s video and Friend 3’s Mafia Wars entry made me consider visiting my FarmVille, which I have neglected for a quite a while.

Most importantly Friend 5’s update (along with the good weather outside) makes me want to sign up to the martial arts Hontai Yoshin Ryu I saw at a Japanese Food and Drink festival in 2001 – I have in fact linked to it to force myself to do it!

Yes, search engines and social media serve two different purposes but it won’t continue like this as social networks will increasingly help us search and search engines will become more social.

Re-discovering the joy of Flash accidents

Posted on: March 15th, 2010 by Fransgaard No Comments

I haven’t done Flash actionscript for ages but earlier today I quickly did a test for how a scratch-card-like effect could be made with some AS2 scripting.

One thing led to another and I ended up with a funky bit of accident: If you hover the mouse for a longer period of time over the same spot, the gradient of the duplicated circle goes all crunchy in a weird way.