Mapping the Internet – 1973 to Now

Believe it or not, there was a time that the Internet was knowable.

There were defined limits. Connections. Points of reference.

When going through some of his father’s papers, David Newbury, lead developer with Carnegie Museum of Art, found a map of the Internet from 1973. Back then, it wasn’t even called “the internet” (with or without a capital “I”).

Fast forward forty-odd years and the online landscape has changed dramatically.


In this more recent map, you can see that the connections, sites and locations are wildly different. Now powered by data from Alexa, this map of the internet shows the vast majority of websites from the no 1 ranked site, Google, through to sites that barely rank a mention. But even this massive map doesn’t include all sites. Just a selection.
And that’s the most amazing aspect of all.

There’s more to the web than we know or can see. It’s like the future. We only understand it moment by moment, experience by experience.

A Date with Lindsay Lohan. Or How Celebrity Adds Punch to Your Brand

If there is one thing I love, its when people are publicly honest. Or self-deprecatingly honest. Or self-deprecatingly honest in public. But I love this even more when the person at the centre of the confession is famous. Or hyper-famous, like Lindsay Lohan.

So, imagine that you are the brand manager for eHarmony, the dating site, and you notice that your social media mentions are going through the roof. What could it be? A crisis? A catastrophe? Another cat picture?

Maybe it’s a parody by Funny or Die. Featuring Lindsay Lohan.

Hey Sexy Lady – It’s Servant of Chaos Style

It’s that time of year … projects are being finalised for the holiday rush, colleagues are moving on to new roles or new employers and everyone is about ready to let off a little steam. But what happens when a christmas party gets a little out of hand? I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing plenty of real life Gangnam Style videos emerging over the coming weeks.

But if you can’t wait to see what the Twitterverse serves up, you can go ahead and make your own. Thanks to the JibJab folks, you can star in your very own Gangnam Style video.

Of course, that video can also star your friends, your boss or even your partner. Share it around, sexy lady.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Who is your Most Valuable Follower?

mvf Here is a nice web app for Twitter built by Alexander Taub and Michael Schonfeld. It’s very simple and straight forward, asking “who’s your MVF” – most valuable follower. You login via Twitter and authorise the app to dig around in your follower list, and after a few moments it tells you which of your followers has the largest following. OK, so it’s not necessarily your most valuable, but your most popular – even still, it’s an interesting question to ask of any audience.

Mine is @ONECampaign. Who is yours? Find out here.

Vegan Pancakes – #TASTY experiment

20111106174240718 I am participating in a TASTY experiment – sharing one recipe with random people via that old social network, email. It was started by one of the original Age of Conversation participants – Bob Glaza – and guarantees me 36 new recipes in my inbox just in time for Christmas.

My recipe – Vegan Pancakes

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
(Note: 1 cup = 8 ounces)

1. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl
2. Stir in soy milk a little at a time so that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy
3. The mix should be slightly runny
4. Add the olive oil and then place the bowl into the refrigerator for 20 minutes
5. Before cooking, make sure the mixture hasn’t over thickened. Just add a little more soy milk if necessary
6. Cook quickly over a fairly high heat
7. Stack multiple pancakes on a plate in the oven (just keeping them warm)
8. Serve with your favourite toppings

I love these type of activities. They are simple, easy to join, and expose you to ideas and people from the networks of your friends. And these are often the most powerful connections within a network – they are the strength in social media’s weak ties.

If you’d like to participate, here are Bob’s instructions.

We are participating in a collective, TASTY experiment. As such, you have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange. We hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun.

1. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know him/her). It should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. The best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. One you make when you are short of time.

2. After you’ve sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy).

If you cannot do this within 5 days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do it once.

I’d add one more thing to these instructions. If you have a blog or a Tumblr or even a Facebook account, share your recipe and put #TASTY in the title so that it can be tracked.


Capturing the Mood of Your Content

Face-Recognition-on-Guardians-images-640x408 The web is a highly visual medium. It is also very text heavy, especially in the social media domain. And while there is a great deal of effort spent on delivering text and stories that resonate with audiences and help drive search results, I often wonder how much attention is paid to the imagery placed into our blog posts, articles and so on.

The Emotional Breakdown experiments with the 24 Hours in Pictures feed from the Guardian, analysing the images that are posted for emotional resonance.

More interestingly, you can also run this analysis across your own websites. Simply enter your web address and’s facial recognition API will give you a sense of the audience impact all those pearly whites will have on your readers.

And given that this “social web” phenomenon is all about people and not technology, you’d think this is a no-brainer for your web design team, right? But I wonder, will we see A/B testing on images in the near future? Will this help the web be more friendly, or just add another layer of weirdness on top?

I guess it all depends on your mood.

Retro Fun “Interactive” Website


Do you remember when people used to talk about an “interactive website”? Well, in a nice find today via Twitter we have a website with an MS-DOS command line interface –

  • Just type blog to view the StopWilson blog
  • Type help to get help

Brings back all those lovely childhood geek memories! Get your geek on.