Pinterest – great site – pity about the copyright

Posted by jerry on March 25th, 2012 — Posted in New media, Photography, Technology, Writing

I have added a Pinterest blocker on this blog and here is why: Any images that are scraped from your site and put onto Pinterest become the property of Pinterest. While Pinterest asks people to ensure that they own the copyright or that the images are free of copyright, the site’s software removes all metadata from the image thus potentially absolving Pinterest on the basis that they had no way of knowing that the image was copyrighted by someone other than the poster.

Anyone who derives income from the internet – especially from the images they produce would and should be upset if their images being sold in one domain turn up being given away by another site entirely. While Pinterest has (yesterday) changed its terms of service to indicate that they no longer reserve the right to sell your images it is disturbing to say the least that it was in there in the first place.

I use a WordPress plug-in to achieve this end. Flickr has settings in the privacy component of your profile to block other sites from sharing without your permission – at least Flickr ‘gets it’ and allows users to set the copyright and share settings as befits the user’s wishes.


Visuwords – graphical dictionary and thesaurus

Posted by jerry on December 29th, 2008 — Posted in Journal, New media, Writing

Dictionaries are great, but they are linear in layout, and sometimes you just want words to collide with each other visually in interesting ways. Visuwords ™ uses the Princeton University online dictionary to display terms in graphical relationship with other words forming neural nets. It is a great tool for visualising where words fit in the context of syntactic structures.

You can pull the terms around and follow syntactic links with other words by double clicking on the other words to expand the net – if nothing else, it’s a good procrastination device while you are trying to think of a word while writing!


Sydney travel – For the bookish

Posted by jerry on August 19th, 2008 — Posted in Journal, Writing

Feeling bookish? You want coffee and wifi with that? That spells Berkelouw’s on 19 Oxford Street, Paddington. It’s open 7 days a week, 9.00AM until late (around 11.00pm or midnight) . There are three storeys of books – second hand ones on the top floor and new, rare and antiquarian books for all tastes. It caters very well to the arts and social sciences, and the fiction is massive.

Berkelouw Books

And when you’ve shopped your feet off, the coffee is great at the Berkelouw cafe upstairs. Now, I’ll let you into a secret – the free wifi at the Palace Verona – the art cinema next door – can be picked up in the coffee shop, so you can send an email or blog about your book finds to your heart’s content. And the rhubarb and apple crumble is divine.

Verona Cinema

But for us the fun was among the books – as our haul will show… because as we found, Berkelouw has a secret. As we paid for our books, we chatted briefly with the assistant, who told us about a barn. And that barn lay just outside of Berrima on our way home to Canberra. And it holds Berkelouw’s …um… overflow second hand holdings – there must be at least 100,000 of them.

Berkelouw Berrima

So we had to make a small stop to add some ballast to the car…

Berkelouw Berrima

So by the time we got home, we found all these books had somehow followed us all the way home – can we keep them? The hole in our wallets says yes 🙂

Berkelouw Books

More soon on the Powerhouse museum coming up!


Blogher08 – In the rearview mirror

Posted by jerry on July 24th, 2008 — Posted in Journal, New media, Writing

Blogher08 has come and gone and the pixels are settling, and the blogseeds are sprouting.

The weirdness of the final session has stayed with me – the exchange between Jenny the Bloggess and Dooce – which has been well blogged here and elsewhere.

But from that session was a real gem that came straight afterward in the shape of a question from the audience on how Dooce manages her time. How does a professional blogger structure her day – is it in one or two hour chunks, or is it in marathon writing sessions, or is it squeezed into the interstices of the day?

Heather: Depending on what product I have going on inside of my blog, it can reach 10-12 hours a day. I’ve worked harder at this blog than any other blog in my life. Are you dedicated to working your ass off? It is way more than a full time job.

– you can read the full transcript here

And like any conference the main game can be in the margins – and that’s where Weber Shandwick’s Screengrab interviews work really well. Check them out on YouTube. I particularly liked the one with Susan Getgood – a marketer, social media consultant and blogger.

I really liked her take on the four P’s of marketing. There’s the traditional ones of Product, Placement, Promotion and Price. But she has four more for bloggers and it works this way:

  • Prepare – read blogs, find out what the market is – and do so over time. It is not something you can pick up in five minutes, or with a google search. Remember, blogs are about people;
  • Participate – leave comments – but don’t spam. Leave comments that are relevant to what is being blogged about. Big companies love ‘mommybloggers’ because it is a good broad demographic;
  • Pitch – Identify how you fit in the community, and if you’ve done the three Ps above, then;
  • Publish – get out there and do it

This all seems like very sound advice – and is a spin-off from the biz breakout session at BlogHer08.

Here’s the Weber Shandwick interview:

Blogher is still the world’s biggest blogging conference (bigger than the blokes’ ones) with over 1000 participants in San Francisco, and a whole host in SecondLife and on the web.

I enjoyed Erin Kotecki Vest’s vlogs – she know how to interview people, and was one of the organisers of BlogHer08.

I would like to see three things next year:

  • Better bandwidth allocated to streaming video into SecondLife – along with camera on proper low light settings etc so we can see it in SL and hear it without (so much) choppiness;
  • transcripts of sessions put up online – during or soon after the conference – especially the keynotes and key points from the breakout sessions – especially those that didn’t make it into SL – that way you get a global audience; and
  • more micro vlogs – like the screenshot interviews – three to four questions across a lot of the participants.

And finally – I know it’s a political thing not to have prepared papers and it’s great to have discussion-style panels, but I would like to see the keynotes at least do a structured ten minutes on their key themes rather than just ‘riffing’ on the audience questions/comments.

But these are minor things in what is obviously an incredible, wonderful experience for those who participate – and even for those of us who participate through the smaller bandwidth version via SecondLife. Blogging is about the conversation – whether you are a Mommyblogger or a Tech blogger the great thing about it is that it is open to everyone.


Douglas Adams’ typewriter up for sale

Posted by jerry on July 18th, 2008 — Posted in Journal, Writing

It’s the typewriter Douglas Adams used to write the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and it’s been offered for sale for £12,250. The typewriter is signed by the author.

Douglas Adams' typewriter

BoingBoing’s article
notes the particular wear on the letter X and wonders about its significance. It was almost certainly used to black out deleted paragraphs. But it did prompt a commenter to provide a statistical breakdown of letter usage in that book. Some people have way too much time on their hands! But it’s a nice touch. As for the X – it’s kinda nice to know that Adams worked and reworked his manuscripts to get the phrasing just right.

The typewriter was offered along with a first edition of the Guide. Was? Yes it appears to have been sold as it is no longer on AbeBooks website. The original news was posted on The Steampunk Workshop.