Russell Takes Over the Blogosphere

We have all noticed that Technorati has been having some problems … the pings are slow to update (if they update at all), inbound links don’t seem to aggregate and changes in personal details are often lost in the ether. Imagine my suprise when I checked Technorati to find that Russell Davies has now taken over the ownership of all my favourite blogs. Now I know he is prolific, but really!

Buyer Beware!

VW Polo Dune
Originally uploaded by 4mul8

I have always loved VWs. As a kid, some of my earliest memories are of driving around with my mum in her Beetle. There was stuffing coming out of the seats and it smelled like a cross between straw and stale beach holidays. But we loved it.

A few years ago I bought a VW Golf. It was great. Reliable. Fun to drive. And it kept going and going. At the time I lived a long way from my place of work and I was driving 110kms to the office each way. The Golf never missed a beat in four years. I would gladly have another.

So I can understand Leisa Reichhelt’s interest in buying a VW Polo. Another great car. But Leisa’s story is also about caution and about Internet scams. Take a look and see how she unravels a scammer’s communications. See how the design cues of the website and the email correspondence inspired MISTRUST and fear. And see also how a little real world investigation saved a lot of money and heartache.

Old News from an Old World

Old News
Originally uploaded by Exaussie

Stories on archaeology always catch my attention. There is something that draws me in to tales of discovery … it is the sense of wonder and the desire to be astounded.

So when I saw this article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, I was excited t learn more. The discovery of the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a wolf is no small find. It is, afterall, the founding place of Rome. But I wanted more information and Australian news sites are notoriously stingy in linking through to additional sources of content that is not of their own making.

A couple of seconds later and Google had delivered me a spectacular number of links and pictures. But what suprised me most was this article by National Geographic reporting the same story. Only, this story was published in JANUARY!

To masquerade old news as a story of current interest quite simply astounds me. Do the editors at SMH think that we can’t check? Do they think we won’t? Surely, in the midst of an election, there is plenty of current (and important) newsworthy material available.

Just goes to show that many of the Australian publishing houses have yet to realise the significance of the changes that are overtaking their industry. Australia is no longer at the other end of the world … and news shouldn’t take six months to get here? Did it come by sailing ship? That would be so old world.

Join Me at InterestingSouth this Thursday

Originally uploaded by EWURM

Well, the speaking topics are set, the organisation is in place and now we are just waiting for the people. That’s right, this Thursday, November 22, 2007, from 6:00pm – 9:30pm, Bondi Pavilion Theatre will be hosting an unusual collection of speakers for InterestingSouth.

Emily from the Open Intelligence Agency has succeeded in attracting a variety of thought provoking, challenging and even humorous presenters covering topics that span the field of human endeavour.

  • Beyond Body Language: new paradigms for listening and speaking, and for interpreting the richness of the human voice.
    Tim Noonan, Visionary Communications
  • How to Make a Zombie.
    In three minutes, Matt will bring together B-movies, Dr Karl, the plasticity of human nature, & Crypropharmacology. There will be an opportunity to put theory into practice in a follow-on session
    Matt Moore,
  • Open Arms and Open Homes: A discussion on reclaiming hope in humanity in the digital age, using social networking websites to create real world change.
    Juan Mann, (aka Free Hugs Man),,
  • The Well-Tempered Personal Environment: Chucking social software at your local energy sources, giving you a personal energy profile, which can then be aggregated to your street, your mates, your neighbourhood, your region, your city etc.
    Dan Hill,
  • Smalltown Australia: For the last 2 and a half years I’ve been traveling through smalltown Australia capturing photographically what I believe to be a mostly overlooked perspective of our regional areas. I don’t believe that Australians have comfortably settled into their environment and from this I sense a yearning for place. Along with the Author Tim Winton I am creating a photographic book and exhibition of this topic.
  • Martin Mischkulnig,
  • On Dork-bot Sydney: a diverse range of people doing strange things with electricity, from home made enthusiasts, professionals and artists, that meet regularly to celebrate the wonders of electricity
    Pia van Gelder, Dork-bot Sydney Overlord,
  • What is this thing called Happiness? Dolly Parton once said “Smile – it increases your face value”. So, what is this thing called happiness? Who gets it? And why do you want it?
    Dr Adrienne Withall Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre
  • Textile Design & Interpretive Dance (you’ll just have to see it)
    Melinda Lawrence
  • Moose dancing: Combine -30C in the wilds of Alaska, two hearty huskies, a one-way ski trail and a lonely she-moose
    John McWhorter,
  • What is Fairtrade and Why Should We Bother?
    Natasha Lewis, Chair of Fairtrade Assoc. Australia & NZ, Managing Director of Organic Trader,,
  • How To Not Feel Like A Twat When Looking at Modern Art: Based on the experience of an artist, who spends a helluva lot of time in galleries, pretending she knows what she’s talking about.
    Lauren Brown,
  • Speaking the world into being: I’m a little obsessed by the way language creates the world we experience, and shapes our thinking and actions. Yet our relationship to language is like a fish to water – we don’t know we’re in it….
    Samantha Graham
  • Taking it to the Streets: Exploring varying levels of authenticity and activism in the Australian urban environment
    Tim Longhurst,
  • It’s Not Rocket Surgery: Ideas on sustainabilty without the weasel words:
    Dr. Tim Baynes, environmental scientist
  • Looking Through the Eyes of a Child: To get a different perspective we are often advised to “look through the eyes of a child”. But what if you could? A fascinating look at my own life through the photos of my four year old daughter
    Gavin Heaton,
  • How to Learn a Language
    Katie Chatfield,
  • What is Green? Trying to explain things to people who speak your language, but live in another universe – things you learn teaching kids who can’t see. Errol Flanagan, Euro RSCG Sydney,
  • The Secret Life of Tango
    Tiffany Kenyon
  • Sex workers providing services to clients with a disability
    Rachel Wotton and Saul Isbister, Integrated Sex Industry Solutions Consultancy and Training Specialists (ISIS CATS)

While I think ALL of these will be excellent … I am hoping to finally address a particular skill gap that has plagued me for years — and will be paying special attention during "How To Not Feel Like A Twat When Looking at Modern Art".

Oh, and if you want to come, please get your tickets ASAP … there are only about 20 spots left.

Scared to Blog? Here’s Your Chance

Peeking through fingers
Originally uploaded by Mazin melanie

I have been thinking over the experiment that John Moore at Brand Autopsy has been running. While he was away, John left a masked marketer at the helm — Skyon, the master marketing pick-up artist. And while Skyons posts were great … he kept his mask firmly intact.

So, here’s what I am thinking. There must be some readers of this blog who would like to write some stuff. Maybe you just haven’t had the time to put together your own blog. Maybe you don’t want to … or maybe you just haven’t made it public yet.

What if you could post here … say once a week for a month. That’s right … four posts over a month. You can choose your name/identity or you can come out of the shadows completely. Up to you. If you are interested, send me an email and let me know. I can only take one at the moment … but if this works, I may do it again.

Go on, what have you got to lose?

Feelin’ Furry this Movember

Movember07 As you know, I am making my annual offerings to the furry lipped gods in the fight against prostate cancer. That’s right … it is the month of Movember. And this year I have recruited a number of men who are proud to wear the mark of the unshaven.

But we need your help. You see, any good team needs a sponsor, and so we are turning to you, kind folks, to support us in our most earnest of endeavours.

To sponsor me:

  1. Visit the Movember website
  2. Choose to donate or to sponsor
  3. Enter my registration number : 158914
  4. Begin to FEEL GOOD about doing good

To JOIN the team:

  1. Visit the Movember website
  2. Choose the Join a Team option
  3. Use the Captain’s registration number 158914
  4. And my email address: servant [at] servantofchaos [dot] com
  5. Begin to FEEL GOOD about participating

What You Need to Know About Your Privacy and Social Networks

It’s fun being part of a social network. It can be great to participate in movie polls, in music quizzes and to attract others of like mind through widgets, games and discussion boards. But it is important to remember that EVERY single piece of data that you share contributes to your seen and unseen profile. That’s right, your interaction, your engagement and your PREFERENCES are captured by the massive databases that power the sites that we love such as Facebook and Google.

Colin from Canuckflack shares this brilliant presentation that explains exactly what happens to your information. Now, it is fine to play and engage with these sites … it is just important to do so in full knowledge of the mechanisms that SUBSIDIZE the "free" nature of the systems. Remember, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

Information Deluge

Well, it has been a very big week. There have been lot of ideas filling my brain and, as always, there is plenty of work to do. All this means, of course, that my blog debt has been racking up. So while I normally dislike writing link-style posts, I really have no choice this week. Here goes: