Pentametron, my twitter poetry engine, is now online! An experiment in finding inadvertent art in the internet’s endless outpouring of language, pentametron automatically collects twitter posts that happen to be in iambic pentameter. It processes about five million tweets per day, and finds a few dozen iambic lines in that time.
A question that has cropped up a good few times over the course of the last few years is whether or not social networking sites will ultimately win out over the humble weblog. Except people often use much more extreme language for this, so perhaps I should say will social networks kill blogging. Well, no, I don’t think so. In some ways they’re probably helping blogging (in the classical sense) along its evolutionary journey. And here’s why.
As the number of native mobile applications keeps growing, it’s worth looking at how they get used. To that end, here’s a few stats about people downloading apps and what what they do with them afterward.
Here we go again… our latest list of the 100 best websites sees short attention spans, the rise of Twitter, more browser wars and celebrity gossip sites setting the news agenda
I thought I’d write something of a normal post for a change, so here it is and you’re welcome to it. Regular readers may have noticed that my posts tend to exist at the extremes (either short links or spectacularly long passages) so I thought I’d attempt something in between. I should warn you that I may include a classic new-year cliché, around about the beginning of the second paragraph.
So, 2009, eh? Phfff. Where does the time go. Even if, like me, you’re entirely sceptical about the meaning of a new year, it seems impossible not to reflect on things that have happened and things that could be approaching. If you’ve been anywhere near any kind of current-affairs broadcast in the last twelve months, you’ll be only too aware that there could be many things to be miserable about right now. But here on the web, and specifically in the wacky world of the weblog, it’s a very positive time. There are plenty of reasons why this is the case — here’s the first five that came to my mind:
- Lists are okay again now. Seriously. For a time it seemed like they weren’t, given that almost every blog post in the world had adopted a list-like format, but that’s now calmed down. It’s nice to have lists back. Yay!
- Isn’t WordPress great. For a time it seemed like it wasn’t, but the latest version’s really good. Yay!
- Hasn’t the web become a pretty place of late. For a time it seemed it never would be, but now that modern browsers are really rather good, and thanks to the tireless efforts of many thousands of talented people, it’s mostly looking rather nice. Yay!
- If RSS killed blogging, then microblogging brought it back to life. The social, personal side has returned with force, be it on Twitter or elsewhere. Even the status line on Facebook has rejuvinated personal publishing. Yay!
- Isn’t there a lot to write about, all of a sudden. For a time it seemed like there wasn’t — you could either talk about Iraq or what your cat’s been up to. But right now there are loads of things to worry about! Yay!
So that’s not so bad, is it? Exactly. Plenty of reason to be cheerful there, even for a miserable sod like me. The global economy may be skirting around the pan, the energy crisis is still looming, but at least blogging’s in good shape again. Of course, this doesn’t quite stack up, but it might help to take your mind off the more pressing issues of the day once in a while, and everyone needs a little mental space from time to time. Anyone fancy a pint?