#Social Media

Photograph of a wooden bench in Kob, Japan with cool bench written in wood behind it

Tuesday Dispatch #1: 6 year old hard disks, Amazon’s home robot and a skateboarding octogenarian

October 12, 2021

Japanese bank Mizuho has been in the news for multiple systems failures this year. Things got so bad the FSA (Japan's financial regulator) is now supervising their IT. If reports are to be believed, it could be 6 year old hard disks are to blame.

An expressway cut through the centre of Seoul, bringing traffic and pollution to the heart of the city. A few years ago city officials ripped the road out and replaced it with parks and walkways. Turns out it was better for everyone.

Graphic showing squares of an image of a boy by a sales bin in a supermarket

A Walmart candy bin, a meme and a big lie

August 27, 2021

"A lady took her son to the supermarket..." starts the post. I'm sure you've seen it, and variations of it, as it does the rounds. It explains how the son organised a messy candy bin, and how better companies could be if they hired people with "Asperger's Syndrome".

A noble cause. Perhaps. Only there is a small problem.

Constructivism inspired illustration about unfollowing inactive Twitter accounts

Lessons from unfollowing inactive Twitter accounts

July 27, 2021

Over the past few days I’ve been cleaning up my Twitter profile. One change is a clear-out of the people I follow: I’ve been unfollowing accounts that are no longer active. What’s the point of following someone who said nothing in the past 3 months? Or five years?

Long ago Twitter blocked tools that would automatically unfollow, so I’ve been going through the 700+ inactive accounts by hand. Thankfully there’s Circleboom to do the heavy lifting for me and pick out the potentially dead accounts. This is what I found.

White hydrangea plant

Hydrangea in Japan

June 24, 2021

It's a special time of year in Japan. The hydrangea are out, signalling the arrival of the rainy season. Parks are full of pinks and blues and whites. People are gathering (in a socially distanced way), enjoying the sights and taking photos.

Social media is awash with these photographs and everyone enjoys the shared experience of admiring the flowers for second time. I count myself amongst these onlookers.

MacBeth written in large black letters against a red background

Copycat design: sometimes a copy is just a coincidence

April 18, 2021

Another row has broken out over "copycat" designs from What We Wear. Danielle Bernstein is accused of stealing a dress design from London based designer Ngoni Chikwenengere. While Chikwenengere cries foul, Epstein argues the design is so generic as to be meaningless. With a certain inevitability, lawyers are called and death threats issued.

I have sympathy with both points of view. No doubt, Chikwenengere poured her heart and soul into her design. Certainly the design from What We Wear is remarkably similar. Yet I've seen similar dresses and tops for as long as I can remember.

Dockside cranes in front of a commercial dock with a Japanese Self Defence Force submarine in the foreground

When social news isn’t news any more

April 17, 2021

A tweet drifted past earlier in the week that got the photographer-radar buzzing. Japan's first Hydrogen Transporting Ship was being launched in Kobe, and I figured I'd pop down the docks and snap a photo. After all, I'd already managed to bag a submarine or two.

Small problem:

When influencers steal your content

April 16, 2021

"Sarah" was surprised to see her tweet go viral. It was gathering likes, comments and reshares from thousands of fans. New connections and opportunities should have come her way – had her name been attached to it.

She was a victim of an increasingly common occurrence: copyright theft. An influencer had copied her words and passed them off as her own. Now the influencer was claiming credit and boosting their profile for their "insight". When challenged, Sarah was blocked. It could have been worse had the thief turned their fans against her.