Thursday, 24 July 2008

Semantic web?

First time I heard a bit more about this is in the Radio 4 interview with Tim Bernard Lee. Couldn't get my head round it. But then Tom from Stop Climate Chaos explained how it all works (it did take him 30 mins + an email to get there).

And now - I am completely hooked.

This is how I understand it - semantic web adds another dimension to information that is on the web - it links up with applications you have on your computer as well as with any other type of relevant content (photos, audio, video, maps, etc..) which is available of the web. So for example at the moment when you right-click on a link, you can 'Save a link As' or a 'Photo As' or 'copy link', 'copy link location'. What semantic web enables you to do on a right-click is to find youtube video with same tags, if the link you are clicking on is a contact - it will add it to your calendar.

The best way to understand it is to install the Operator add-on for Firefox. In IE8 and allegedly soon within Firefox there will be native support, i.e. even if the user doesn't know what they're doing, the browser will present them with options based on having read the microformats in a page.

Once the Add-on is installed, you need to go to pages that are coded using these microformats (at the moment most of the website does not have them, but in few years time this will be the standard).
Pages to look at:

or contacts, tagspaces and bookmarks:
or the geo location:

Thanks Tom!

New Media for Campaigners

These are the two presentations I gave at the "New Media for Campaigning" days organised by BOND.


This presentation gives different views on what e-campaigning is and what the results and benefits are.

Tools and strategies

This presentation describes how WEB 2.0 tools have been used by charities. Includes tips on how to use this tools as well as stats that illustrate the impact/results.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Creature discomforts

I saw the new set of Ads by Leonard Cheshire...

Done by Aardman the ads have kept all of the humour of the original Creature comforts while very clearly describing the issue.

I am really impressed by Leonard Cheshire for going ahead with this ad campaign. I would be surprised if there wasn't a lot of fear of and resistance to this ad campaign in the organisation because people thought that the characters and the name will be seen as insulting and politically incorrect by disabled people.

And have you seen what they did to their logo - very clever branding I think. Again, some organisations would never allow that, fearing that it confuses the brand. While I think that it refreshes it - I never took notice of this organisation/brand before...

But the website shows that people got the message and love the characters - even the people who did the voices ('Making the Ads' section on the website). Since the launch of the new stage of the campaign on 3rd July (I think TV ads only went out in the past few days) they had 15 comments about the campaign. The forum had few discussions since November. The Creature dicomforts Facebook group attracted 338 members, while Leonard Cheshire has only 23 friends (although this might be because the organisation is represented as an individual profile rather than a group or a fan of page)

By using Aardman characters people are drawn into the issue that is not necessarily at the forefront of their minds. And once you are drawn in, the story is told in a simple way, by disabled people themselves. Not by policy wonks ;)
And it seems that there are badges and some other bits or merchandise featuring these characters which are I am sure very popular.

Unfortunately, the Get involved section of the website doesn't ask people to take a political action - the first stage of the campaign asked people to email their MP. However, the actions people can take (send and e-card/spread the word, sign up to e-updates or take the quiz) encourage people to sign up to their e-news. So once the organisation has an action they will have a list of 'warm' people to email and ask to take the action.