broadband End User social networking

New Facebook group – B4RL

B4RL – Broadband for Rural Lincolnshire

Hi all. I’ve learned from the example of B4RDS (fast broadband for Rural Devon and Somerset – ) and decided it would be a good thing to have B4RL as a focal point for people to discuss issues they may have with getting superfast broadband to their homes and businesses.

I have initially invited people to the group who I know to be involved with rural broadband issues elsewhere. They have their own issues to sort so I’m not expecting them to become active members. We need to find our own voice in Lincolnshire.

However they are there on the off chance that people living in Lincolnshire may well be able to benefit from the experience of others elsewhere in the the country.

The BT/BDUK rollout of superfast broadband is progressing but it isn’t going to cover everyone.

There is also a cohort of individuals who think that superfast or fibre broadband (as it has been dubbed by marketeers) isn’t the right solution. Fibre broadband is not fibre all the way to your home but to the green cabinet down the street. Should we be going straight for Fibre to the Premises as in the case of B4RN in Lancashire (see .

FTTP doesn’t necessarily cost out for big businesses like BT so what’s the alternative?

This group is going to be the place for people interested in high speed broadband in Lincolnshire to air their views and is open to anyone to join.

The group url is here. Feel free to sign up. The more the merrier.

PS this is not a knock the incumbent group – we want constructive useful dialogue.

Apps Business social networking

Sentiment analysis experiment ends

Sentiment analysis experiment ends

I’ve ditched sentiment analysis as a metric on the website. The idea that we might be able to rate broadband providers according to social media sentiment was a good one but in reality most people commenting on their broadband provider were slagging them off (to use the venacular).  Most positive vibes were being generated by positive marketing initiatives by the ISPs themselves, and then mostly by TalkTalk who seemed to be extensive users of Twitter. Nothing generally to do with customers unilaterally praising their ISP.

It is interesting to see sentiment analysis creeping in to more and more places in our lives (ish). During the general election it was being used to gauge how parties were doing. In fact for it to be anything other than random guesswork we found that the results needed to be 100% human generated.

In other words we couldn’t leave it to a computer to decide whether a tweet was praising or condemning an ISP. The English language has too much scope for misunderstanding. In theory this manual activity could be outsourced to somewhere with low cost labour but then that ran the risk came with a very high probability of it being done by someone whose first language was not English and who would therefore be facing some of the problems of the computer in identifying the tone of a tweet.

We bore the cost of getting this work done in the UK for some months but in the end decided the feature wasn’t worth it. It was an interesting experiment.

In the meantime we still have the Customer Service metric – how long it takes an ISP to answer the phone and where their call centres are typically based (ie UK or India). We will also no doubt introduce others but in the meantime are concentrating on pure marketing activities such as the pig racing and the bulletproof broadband videos (both also featured on this site if you’re interested).

So there ya go. The sentiment analysis experiment was an interesting toy but in the end didn’t cut it. You have to move on.

Business social networking

LinkedIn invite strategy

LinkedIn invite – do you really wanna be my friend?

I haven’t got a LinkedIn invite strategy. I don’t collect contacts as such. They just happen as and when. On occasion LinkedIn  shoves me some. Sticks em in my face and says “how about this one Tref”. Sometimes I connect.

The other day I sat looking at my list of broadband exec contacts. There were a few ISPs where I didn’t have their CEO names. I figured I’d try LinkedIn. Wasn’t that easy. Before connecting it wanted to know how I knew them. I didn’t necessarily know their email address.

So I ditched that line of enquiry. Then LinkedIn wouldn’t let me go any further without me agreeing that it could look at my email address and match up contacts on their own database. I assumed. It came up with around 700 contacts for me to choose from.

I began to manually filter through these but then gave up. Sod it. It was easier to just invite all of them to connect. I did this. Now for the last few days I’ve been inundated with notifications of accepted LinkedIn Invite requests (or whatever they are called).

Some of these are with people where I have absolutely no idea how I am hooked up with them. A very brief check has however shown that they are mostly in approximately the right space so maybe there is some method in there. There have been a couple of emails asking how I chose the individuals concerned. These have had honest replies along the same lines of this blog post with a footnote that I wouldn’t in the least bit be offended if they chose to delete my request.

I look forward to seeing what comes of this expansion in contacts. With LinkedIn I no longer care whether I’ve met the person. Mostly for me it’s about whether they are in the right space. The CTO of an ISP is likely to have far more in common with me than a sales person from the pharmaceutical industry (for example) or a social media “guru” (you do get em).

A big part of this exercise is shameless self promotion. LinkedIn is the social networking platform most used for shares on Feels like an increasingly good place to do business, or at least promote your business.

Business fun stuff social networking

Effectiveness of Facebook over YouTube for video reach

Facebook versus YouTube – best bet for video marketing?

On 2nd June we released the “bullet proof broadband” video in which we blasted some routers with a shotgun to monitor the effect. A light hearted bit of advertising for our affiliate marketing site. Thus far on Facebook it has had 2,730 views with a reach of 6,880. Compare this with 55 views on YouTube!

You do have to wonder at where YouTube is going. If we ever have a video to show on a website we always stick it on YouTube because they make it easy for you to embed and it saves on a  lot of server disk space. However it doesn’t really look as if YouTube is necessarily the place if you’re wanting to market something.

facebook versus youtubeWhen you think about it when do you ever engage with friends on YouTube? Never? It isn’t the same answer on Facebook. Videos posted to Facebook are therefore far more likely to spread virally than YouTube. Certainly in our experience.

In our case there were three factors driving the viewer count. One is the video producer, Tom Davies, has an active community on Facebook, as do I (Tref Davies). Then I posted the video, which was shot at a farm just outside Lincoln, to a Lincoln community group (Your1 probably from Lincoln if…).

Posting to the group more than doubled the number of views overnight. The group has nearly 18,000 members. You could see the number of views increasing by 20 – 30 a second simply because of the reach of this group.

Content posted to a group has to be valid. In this case the video was footage of Lincoln/Lincolnshire so it was of. You can’t post any video to any group as it will be moderated out.

This does provide food for thought in how to go about getting the most out of social media platforms for your business. Just sticking up something you might want the world to know about isn’t going to work. Put up some genuinely entertaining of interesting stuff and posting it to relevant pages and groups can clearly make a big difference.

I’ve also found this to be the case with individual blog posts. Post to the right group on LinkedIn, for example, and you get a lot more shares. These is a science behind it. If you want to get more exposure it’s really just about putting in the graft and finding the right places to place the content. Of course the content has to be good…

The one other thing you can do is get a celebrity to retweet or share. Their presumably large following has the same effect as posting to a relevant group. People blindly accept that if their heroes say something is worth looking at then they look. Fair play…

PS Happy to hear from folk with different experiences of the two platforms

1 Their grammatical error not mine

Business social networking voip

LinkedIn endorsements but no poetry

There was a young feller called…

trefor davies linkedin endorsements

It’s all coming out now, the narcissist in me:) This is a screenshot taken from my LinkedIn profile. I did it really because I liked the colours. I’m quite a simple guy tbh. I spotted it when looking to see how many LinkedIn connections I have fwiw. I’d spotted an old friend and colleague in my timeline, dropped him a note and then drilled a bit more into my connections.

Whilst I have been around the block a few times the endorsements on LinkedIn do have to be tempered by the fact that one does get endorsed as knowing about a particular subject by people you know who clearly know nothing about it themselves. Hey let’s not be ungrateful eh?

Disappointingly nobody has endorsed me for my poetry. I can understand that no one would do it for my golfing prowess. Poetry is an important part of the workings of the internet industry as attendees of RIPE meetings will know (if you don’t know about this it’s a secret and you’re not in on it). Beer is the other important bit.

Not quite sure how “Cisco Technologies” and “Strategic Partnerships” make the list as they don’t appear to have a number next to them. I should have been shouting more about my Strategic Partnerships skills obviously. I did used to have a Cisco router at home and Timico’s network was initially built around Cisco although that company has lost ground in the core.

I have started to get more out of LinkedIn over the last year or so. There seem to be more LinkedIn shares on the blog than any other social media platform. When you think about it this is a good thing as I whilst I do indulge in consumery stuff the more serious content of the site relates more to business.

VoIP tops this list of endorsements. I guess this is appropriate as I’ve been “doing” VoIP pretty much since it all started. If anyone is interested in coming along to our VoIP workshops, done jointly with ITSPA the next one on October 7th at Sandown Park Racecourse. It’s timed to coincide with Convergence Summit South. Look out for details on this blog.

Anyway got to go. I have an appointment with a therapist who says he can cure narcissism. Btw my wife, who has probably never heard of LinkedIn, should note that none of the endorsements are for plumbing, diy, painting and decorating, or a miscellany of other skills required to maintain the smooth running of the Davies household. I will acknowledge “changing light bulbs” and “mowing grass” as among my core competencies.

PS the one skillset that perhaps should be on the list but isn’t is in writing. Maybe that isn’t available on the LinkedIn list. Or maybe you are all trying to tell me something (scampers off with tail between legs). Check out the Technology Marketing services we launched last week.

Apps End User mobile apps social networking

I used Skype Out yesterday

My six monthly Skype call

I used Skype Out yesterday. I’d previously had an email from Skype telling me my Skype Out account had been frozen because I hadn’t used it recently. That’s because Skype is quite expensive compared to other VoIP services so I dropped it. Still had about £6.60 in there though and i was dischuffed to say the least to think that Skype might happily pocket this.

Unlocking the account was simple enough though and Skype told me that as long as I used it in a 6 month window the account would remain active. I find it convenient to keep that account just in case of emergencies so I rang my dear old dad in the Isle of Man. As it happens all the DECT handsets in the house needed charging so Skype was it. Not an emergency mind you but hey…

I’m now ok until sometime in December at which time I’ll do another keep alive call, maybe to me dad again.

You might ask why didn’t I just use my mobile to call dad. That’s because the rip off mobile networks categorise the Isle of Man as overseas and charge international rates. It is actually overseas but the fixed line networks treat it as an UK number.

Although I said Skype was more expensive than other voip services I still have approximately the same amount of money in the account. It’s all relative.

If anyone wants to call me my Skype address is I do have an account that is something like Trefor.Davies but I lost the password for that yonks ago and moreover can’t remember which (probably long defunct) email address I used so had to set up a new one. is good anyway.

When turned into a business I decided not to have phone numbers so my contact details are [email protected] (G+) and (Skype). In reality I also use my mobile phone number although when I recently changed mobile networks I did consider just getting a data only sim. I figure that at this stage of the game that was a step too far.

Feel free to give me a call on either of those addresses. I’m a pretty approachable guy:)

PS lots of Skype stuff on this blog – check it out here.

End User social networking surveillance & privacy webrtc

Real Time Campaigning: How will WebRTC and other tech impact elections in 10 years’ time?

What might a WebRTC enabled democracy & election process look like in 10 years’ time? (Or, technically, 12)

There’s a lot of pre-election stuff that’s the same every year. The campaigning, the squabbles, the gaffes and the villains: they’re all regular plot lines in Britain’s most depressing pantomime. As we go to the polling stations tomorrow, however, we can reflect on 2015 as the year that something did change – the first year that the parties appear keen, rather than reluctant, to embrace technology. We’re seeing as many memes and mashups as we are manifestos; not surprising really as this is, afterall, what many of the traditional media outlets have dubbed “the social media election”.

It’s true that there’s been far more activity on the social media battlefield than ever before (even if they’ve not quite got it right) and it seems that parties are even beginning to use big data – although they’ve a long way to go to replicate the success that Obama had with data in his 2012 campaign. But what role could or should technology play in the elections of the future? What might, say, the 2027 election look like? How might WebRTC play a part in that? Here’s what I imagine might happen…

Every campaign sits on a foundation of micro targeting

TargetIf there’s a question worth asking, in 2027 there’ll be some data that supports the answer. Parties will dedicate greater spend to using big data as the foundation of each campaign – whether that’s in the capture and curation of data relevant to them or analysing it.
This will allow focus of specific campaign messages on certain groups, or even at an individual level. They’ll focus on swing voters, and those within swing constituencies, targeting them with whichever marketing method suits that opportunity, at that time. Meaningful, one-to-one engagement with individual voters will be commonplace, made easier with social media. In addition, these engagements will be more memorable because they’ll use video and other real time comms via WebRTC.
Shaping campaigns in this way has obvious benefits for the parties, but could this type of targeting backfire? Will voters get creeped out and perceive the relevant party in a negative way? Will the long heralded privacy backlash make it too difficult to capture the right data in the first place? Do we rely too much on the integrity of the people to whom we give our data?

Predicting outcomes and campaign agility

With so much data available, much of it collected from social media engagements, will it be easier to predict results?

In the 2012 election in the US, analyst Nate Silver created a model that accurately predicted the winner in every state. Was his success simply due to the fact that Nate was ahead of the curve with the system he was using, and no one had time to react? In 2027, prediction models will have become even more sophisticated and we will see a greater emphasis on doing this in real time. That will then have an effect on parties’ activities and focus throughout the campaign. Each party will need to be agile and have the means to react quickly to changing predictions. Technology like WebRTC could provide another way to communicate with party members, on the ground campaigners or even swing voters in a really quick and effective way.

Real democracy in real time

Electronic systems could allow the public to vote on issues before or as decisions are taken in Parliament. The government paid lip service to using technology to help represent the public’ views with e-petitions, but will they ever be brave enough to open up decision making to registered voters on a regular, or even real time basis? Technology like WebRTC, with its low barrier to delivering enriched comms universally, could potentially be used to allow voters to watch a live debate and then vote at the end. This vote could then shape Members’ opinions or, even, make the decision outright. Would Parliament ever be that bold, and would MP’s accept their role being changed from being a voting representative of a constituency to its steward?

Some governments have already trialled this kind of approach, albeit to shape decision making in advance of its debate. DemocracyOS is an example of this: an open source solution that seeks to provide voters with the means to inform, debate and vote on bills before they are passed. According to them, it’s already been used by the Government of Mexico, the Congress of Buenos Aires, and by some congressmen in the US amongst others. Adopting this kind of approach would be an interesting way to reduce the effectiveness of large companies’ lobbying, and ensuring that airtime in front of MPs isn’t just a question of money and power.

I easily can imagine that forward-thinking councils in the UK, or even individual MPs could use this kind of democratic technology to debate local issues, gaining traction by social media sharing. It would be a welcome alternative to local, “public” consultations that are conducted so discreetly that the public are not properly represented.

Even if government, councils and elected representatives don’t themselves adopt that approach, there are other organisations that seek to make government more democratic from the outside. US startup Placeavote has an interesting model, where site members vote on bills on any range of topics and Placeavote’s candidates will represent the majority of voters. It has failed to gain much traction so far but could prove disruptive given the chance, and I imagine that by 2027 we could have seen someone try a similar approach in the UK.

Reducing expenses, humanising politics and customer service 101

keevio webrtc interfaceIn 2027, MPs will find it much easier to balance their Parliamentary duties with those in their constituency. Technology like WebRTC will mean there’s little excuse to not participate in a debate or vote because they will be able to do so remotely, and there would no longer be the possibility for bills to be passed due to poor scheduling and low turnour. Furthermore, MPs won’t need a second home in London and can spend more time in their constituency.
Internet connectivity will be ubiquitous, as will devices to access it. This means that they can use tech like WebRTC to engage with their constituents in a different way with memorable, multimedia enriched conversations with the same universal reach of the phone systems of the past. For example, elected MPs and their representatives could use this to make their “MP surgeries” more accessible for their constituents by negating the need to travel. They could even adopt a real time “ask me anything” approach during pre-election campaigns.
By 2027, local MPs will have learned lessons from the way that businesses use technology to improve their customer service. Communicating with your MP will be more efficient and timely and, as a result, people will engage with them more than ever before.

The voting process itself

DecisionAn obvious area where technology could improve elections is in the voting process itself. For example, how backwards and archaic is it that we should turn up to a physical location with just a polling card and no verification of identity, yet we already need an online government gateway ID to get a passport? And how secure is it really to leave counts of paper ballots to volunteers? Technology like WebRTC could reduce the technical barrier of providing biomechanical verification in the process.

In addition, increasing the number of people who are registered to vote, and those who actually do place a vote is an ongoing challenge. Technology could make the process of registering and voting more convenient in the hope of increasing participation. To this end, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has already proposed that all electors should have the choice to vote online in the UK by 2020. Electronic voting has already been trialled in some countries and so some level of e-voting in the UK by 2027 is not unimaginable – although the experience in Estonia hasn’t actually increased turnout in itself so its effect on this could be in question. Furthermore, whilst paper counting by humans may have its drawbacks, it is very open, auditable and therefore resilient against high level, systematic abuse. Will we ever have the same level of assurance with an electronic vote?

Whatever happens, it’s pretty safe to say that the stage has been set for much wider use of technology during the election process. The challenges will be cultural and institutional – and we’ll be interested to see which parties will be first to adopt real time technologies to make a real difference to the voting public.

Previous posts from the ipcortex WebRTC week:

Hacking together a WebRTC Pi in the sky – keevio eye

Wormholes, WebRTC and the implications of algorithmical analysis Defragmenting today’s communications

WebRTC – where are the real world applications?

Welcome to ipcortex WebRTC week on

Check out all our WebRTC posts here

Business internet social networking webrtc Defragmenting today’s communications Comms Federation

In his week as guest curator Rob Pickering of ipcortex now has a post by Amandine Le Pape who discusses WebRTC federation.

I’ve held a view for a long time that the world would be a better place if there were a widely used standard for messaging federation, so that I could for example have one universal public chat address on my business card just like I have a phone number and e-mail address. I know quite a few folks disagree with this, and think that it is a “feature” rather than a bug that they have to use a myriad of apps each with their own private chat space and no interoperability, but I think this is a big usability headache.

Like most things, there is an Internet standard for messaging interop: XMPP, but it doesn’t have the wide adoption of other standards like SMTP for e-mail, or HTTP for the web. In fact it suffered a bit of a body blow when Google dropped support for messaging interop via XMPP from its front line messaging products a couple of years ago – I wrote about this at the time. Whilst XMPP is a well documented protocol, it is over complex with many extensions to do fairly basic operations. A new initiative has emerged from the folks at Matrix which aims to produce a de-facto standard protocol for messaging interoperability – I wish them well and suspect that this is probably our last chance to sort this out. Here is what Amandine Le Pape from Matrix has to say…

Take a look at your smartphone. Chances are, among the various icons on the screen, there are quite a few messaging apps and apps with a messaging capability. Whether text, chat, calling or via video, every week brings a new app to download. We use all these different applications daily – LinkedIn for colleagues, Facebook for family, WhatsApp for the sports club, Viber for some international contacts, Skype for video and that is without even touching messages sent from within other apps.

The only point where these apps and the profiles on them converge, is on your phone. We then have to juggle what app connects me to what person, or holds the information you need. is a new open source and non-profit project aiming to fix the problem of fragmented IP-communications between devices, people and services with a very pragmatic and novel approach. Matrix defines a persistent data layer for the Web, with open federation, strong cryptographic guarantees, eventual consistency and push semantics. Like the Web, Matrix can be used for many purposes, from Instant Messaging to IoT, via VoIP and WebRTC. With it the “missing link” of interoperable calling between WebRTC silos becomes interoperable and as simple as a single HTTP PUT to invite the callee, and a single HTTP PUT for them to answer. Meanwhile, OTT messaging apps can finally federate by synchronizing their conversations into Matrix; letting users own their history and select their preferred app and service.

As an open source project, any developer can use Matrix (it’s all on Github) to easily create and host their own feature-rich real-time communication apps that openly interoperate with one another, or add such features to an existing service whilst building on the Matrix community of users. Existing communication services can also easily join in and integrate with the Matrix ecosystem, extending their reach while participating in this collaborative effort to break down the walls between communication silos.

Matrix is an open project and will stay so because for Matrix to achieve its mission of making all communications services interoperable we believe it needs to be truly open; giving people access to take all the code we produce to use and build on top of it. We need the trust and support of those who want to use Matrix in their own applications and startups and want to see an end to all walled garden applications and closed silos.

We firmly believe in doing what is right for the consumer and the internet user. As people begin to use interoperable communications tools, service providers will have to compete on the quality of their service, security and features rather than relying on locking people into their walled garden. Can you imagine using a phone network that only allowed you to call people on the same network? We genuinely hope that one day, Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM etc will all integrate with Matrix voluntarily.

Once consumers realise they can choose to use their favourite app, from their trusted app provider, and still be able to communicate with friends using competing apps and services, they will likely demand integration and interoperability.
Matrix is here to help foster innovation throughout the Internet. We are making communications safer, more ubiquitous and innovative. Generic messaging and data synchronization across the web will never be quite the same again. The project may well provide the disruption needed to change how real-time data is shared on the Internet, and usher in a new age of services which by default collaborate rather than compete. There is no doubt that a revolution of sorts has begun and Matrix intends to fan the flames.

As a company or an individual, whether you believe that today’s communications are fragmenting and need to change or not, check out the website or follow us on Twitter @Matrixdotorg. We also recently launched our ‘Matrix Console’ app which is free to download from the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Amandine Le Pape is the Co-founder and Business lead for

Previous posts from the ipcortex WebRTC week:

WebRTC – where are the real world applications?
Welcome to ipcortex WebRTC week on

Check out all WebRTC post on here.

End User social networking spam surveillance & privacy

fling flung over twitter

Fling – adult social network – I’m not supplying a link

Somewhat surprised that Twitter let this ad through. I’ve been pushed a promoted tweet by “fling” three times in the last few days. There’s nothing in the ad to tell you what fling is. Just looks like an odd way to push photos.

It’s only when you click to go to their website and are faced with a wall of nude photos that you realise what it is – an adult social network. For adult read porn. I find this quite distasteful of Twitter. I also find myself in the unusual situation of saying “Facebook would not have allowed that ad” although this is not based on any knowledge of fact.

You can see from the featured image in this post that the ad says “Send your snaps to 50 people around the world at random”. This must surely be something that the Advertising Standards Agency would want to take a look at. It’s something that kids might inadvertently click on. After all it suggests something like Instagram.

Fling must have some money to spend if they’ve pushed the ad to me three times. Unless I’m considered to be of a “certain demographic” which could be a bit worrying. Makes you wonder what data mining is being done by Twitter.

An individual is pretty helpless in this situation. We need the social networks as they have become part and parcel of our everyday lives but seem to have little control over what those networks might do with our data1. It feels to me that governments should start taking a much tougher stance with these guys.

Lots of posts on the subject of surveillance and privacy elsewhere on this blog. Check them out in the surveillance and privacy category here.

1 eg class action against Facebook for privacy breach & Facebook admits to tracking non-users

Business hosting social networking

Website seems to be down – how am I supposed to book a train ticket @VirginTrains_EC

Virgin East Coast website must be affected by the wind

You see before you the words of a disappointed man. I have some trips coming up and thought I’d just pop on the Virgin East Coast website to check out the schedules and pricing.

To my annoyance I was unable to access it. Darn I thought to myself. Then I tried from my mobile and also a few other sites – this one for example. No problemo so not after all (sorry Rob Evans).

There’s been a lot of wind today. My pal Rob was delayed because wind had blown some plastic sheeting onto the overhead electric cables somewhere near St Neots. The hazards of modern train travel eh? I thought maybe the website was similarly affected. Or maybe lots of people were trying to access the website to check if their train was running. Wouldn’t surprise me.

I knew what to do. I looked up the Virgin East Coast titter account. It goes by the handle @VirginTrains_EC. Amazingly the last tweet from this account was on February 28th:

virgin east coast twitterI insert a screenshot for your general information. Looks like they must have had a flurry of followers when they set up the account but they will all now be disappointed.

Seems a remarkable oversight on the part of @VirginTrains_EC. The old @eastcoastuk account seems to have had all it’s content removed.

I have nothing else to say really. I was motivated to write this post because I didn’t think it was a particularly well thought out social media plan on the part of Virgin East Coast.

Now that I’ve written all this the website is back up. Winds must have dropped. It’s too late though. Having gone to the effort I’m leaving the post as is. I await with interest to see what improvements Virgin have to offer. So far all they seem to have done is delay when breakfast is served on the 07.20. Instead of dishing it out as soon as we leave Lincoln I now have to wait until Newak. Also it was overcooked the last time I had it. Ah well.

I wonder if they will notice this post? It gets tweeted.

Hasta la vista baby.

Footnote. Hey…

virgin east coast website

End User social networking

@RealSirTomJones gigging in Market Rasen this summer cc @Sir_Tom_Jones @MarketRasenRace

Twitter in Lincolnshire was buzzing this morning with the announcement that singing knight Sir Tom Jones is doing a concert at Market Rasen Racecourse. Exciting eh?

What caught my attention was not the gig announcement. Unfortunately I’m having my hair done that evening so I can’t go. No it was the fact that it was the @RealSirTomJones who was going to be singing.

Not one of his alter egos @TheRealTomJ, @SirTomJones1, @SirTomOfReading, @Sir_Tom_Jones, @RealSirT0mJ0nes, @sir_tomjones1, @SIRtomsjones, @sir_tomjones, @SirThomasJones or @TheRealTomJ. Soo confusing. Good job the real one has the tick to show his account has been validated by Twitter.

It’s difficult to imagine that Tom Jones of “Delilah” and “Green Green Grass of Home” fame which let’s face it pre-date the internet let alone social networking has a personable Twitter account. A quick glance shows that indeed it’s run by a PR person. Tweets are mostly just gig announcements. Had Twitter been around in Sir Tom’s heyday his stream would probably have made for a very interesting read.

Now @RealSirTomJones has 504k followers. Understandable for a mega pop god. Probably every single woman who threw a pair of knickers on stage at one of his 60s gigs is a follower. I wondered how many followers the other Tom Jones’ had and struck gold when I looked up @Sir_Tom_Jones as a representative sample. @Sir_Tom_Jones has 5 followers and has only done one tweet which is the circumstances is totally brilliant.

I leave you to check out the other accounts. It would be funny if one of them had more followers than the real mcoy. If you do end up following @RealSirTomJones do let me know. Just for a laugh:)

Deets here if you want to go to the gig. Actually I might go if I am around but August is far too much like forward planning.

Apps End User mobile apps social networking

Working away from home & Natter

Natter Natter Natter Oy Oy Oy

The nature of the modern world is that people frequently have to travel as part of their job. In the internet plumbing game this is even more the case. I don’t think I’ve ever worked in an industry that has more conferences and meetings. In the UK alone there are 4 x 2 day LINX meetings, 3 x UKNOF meetings (that seem to extend to two days one way or another), a couple fo LONAP events, two ITSPA workshops and numerous miscellaneous other events.

Being involved with LONAP I also have other international events such as Euro-IX and RIPE meetings to attend.

The point is that wherever one goes one’s office goes with you. It wouldn’t have been so many years ago that this would not have been a simple activity. Taking this to the extreme I remember early on in my business career having to send a proposal to our New York office for onward transmission. The whole thing was faxed. I had a word processor but not email. The internet was in its infancy and applications a rarity.

I made many last minute changes to the somewhat substantial document but each change had to be made entirely within the page. I had to be able to refax a single page without having to change any of the other pages as this would have meant resending the whole document. We won the business btw 🙂

That sort of activity would have been unthinkable in our modern fast moving world. I’ve just had to fill in a new supplier form for an organisation I am doing business with. It needed a signature. I don’t do paper! I very rarely have to print anything out so this form is a bit of a nuisance.

No problemo. I scribbled my signature on a scrap of paper, took a picture, uploaded it to google drive, cropped and trimmed, inserted into the doc and downloaded as a pdf for sending. Hey presto a signed doc. Whether they accept it or not is another issue. These things are sent to try.

Today I am working from a hotel room in Liverpool – the featured image is the view from my room. Iconic. I’m not using the hotel WiFi as I have my EE MiFi which is more reliable. At least more reliable than the free WiFi. The premium service might be ok but hey…

I’m here because my dad is in hospital for an operation. Tref’s taxi service etc. As it happens both sisters had the same idea so we are having an unscheduled family get together. It’s worked out as I then didn’t have to get up at 6.30 to take dad to the hospital.

natterAnyway it’s actually just a normal working day out of my hotel room. As I was lying in bed this morning catching up on stuff on my intergalactic hand held communicator I was shoved an ad for Natter by Twitter.

Natter is “yet another social media platform”. I guess. You are only allowed three words. I signed up and had a play. My first attempt was “one two three”. Then I realised this was quite boring so I decided to see what I could get away with. I went for “supacalifragalisticexpialidocious  Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism #Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”.

Natter came back with messages:

Just Three Words, please! (You can also include one @username and a #hashtag) and

is too long (maximum is 75 characters)

I looked up the last two words btw but the first I already knew.

I can’t see Natter becoming the hit that is Twitter. Note the 3,544 followers cf the 34 Million of @Twitter. This means it’s guaranteed to be successful but hey… Other than signing on to make sure I get a decent username (tref) which I do for new things that I come across, I am unlikely to adopt it. I haven’t got any followers and follow noone. I also note that Natter was launched in Bath in 2011. It must have just got some cash to advertise but in four years I’d have thought it would have already come to my notice if it was going to take off.

I do quite like the idea of keeping it short. After all Snapchat has taken off with exactly this philosophy though others have also gone before and failed. There was a 7 second video service whose name totally escapes me but seems to have disappeared from view.

I suspect 3 words ain’t enough though. Now the Haiku is a different game. With the Haiku you have 17 syllables to play with and the result could be quite classy. Constraining people to writing only in Japanese poetic form might limit the audience but we aren’t in this game to pander to the masses are we? Eh?

I’ve rambled on enough. This self indulgent blogging is all very well but there is a business to run. From my hotel room.


PS I’m on Natter

Business social networking

Dear LinkedIn community manager

Dear LinkedIn community manager.

I realise that I signed up for the group (or at least I think I did – there are so many of them) but I don’t really want to be spammed with invitations to Webinars. I don’t do webinars. I have a short attention span and webinars want you for a lengthy period of time. I’d like to bet that the salient points of each and every webinar could be got across to me in one short paragraph. I’d read one short paragraph.

Dear linked in person. I don’t want to meet your “just visiting the UK expert” to get the benefit of a free consultation regarding agile QA processes. Your targeting is very poor and I’m unlikely to be in London for a quick coffee at the same time. I might be around if a few beers and a curry were on offer but only if I happened to be going to town anyway. Or maybe not.

The latter bit of LinkedIn spam, which seems to be on the rise, reminds me of emails I used to get at Timico from “new telecom practice managers” at recruitment consultancies suggesting they were in the North London area on Thursday and did I fancy meeting up for a coffee. More poor targeting considering my office was in Newark.

Then there was the foreign currency trader (foreign currency???!!!) who would be happy to come to my office to discuss my future currency hedging needs (or words to that effect – I didn’t get the lingo and he was another example of someone who had no idea of who I was or what I did.

Fortunately all the LinkedIn spam is filtered by gmail into the social tab that I hardly ever look at. Still slightly irks though as I have to look at the inbox when I fire up LinkedIn (usually when I want to spam people with my own stuff 🙂 ). I did leave a comment on LinkedIn this morning – participating in Steve Haworth’s post on Why 3 buying O2 matters. Read it if you want to see what I said.

The linkedin community manager seems to be a breed of person on the rise. gets most of it’s social media shares as linkedin shares so the platform does seem to be getting used. It’s also true for at the moment which I guess is a reflection of the community of people in my ecosystem. I expect that to change as gains traction.

That’s all for now. Just back from Paris and need to head in to the office:)

Business social networking

The value of Social Media in website Traffic Acquisition

Having just launched I am clearly interested in doing what it takes to build up traffic to the website. The more visitors it gets the more the likelihood of a click through and a commission payment.

We are right at the beginning. This morning I took a look at visitor patterns and it is clear that when broadbandrating gets a mention on social media the site gets a burst of visitors. The chart below shows the spikes when I share posts from the tweeterrific blog.

traffic spikes on

The big spike on Monday follows the release of the ISP Report for Q4 2014. It shows how you can begin to build traffic. It does help that I engage with lots of people on social media having been active on most platforms since early on in their development. Further spikes follow the publication of blog posts and their subsequent sharing on social media.

Some businesses wanting to promote their own products and services may not have been at it as long and therefore have a smaller network. It does serve as an indication of where to put your efforts.

The visitor acquisition sources for broadbandrating .com currently look like this: visitor acquisition sources

A substantial element of acquisition via social media plus a pleasing number of direct visitors – people going straight to the site. Compare this with, a much older site with far more visitors. visitor acquisition sources

The profile will have changed over the years but it does reveal the efforts we have put in to Search Engine Optimisation. also has a cohort of regular readers as may be seen from the proportion of directly acquired visitors.

I’m not sure what the ideal mix is for Certainly we will want the Referrals from other sites to grow together with those from Organic Search. However the good start it has had from Social Media activity s interesting to observe and again is a pointer to how other new websites might begin to engage.

Media exposure is a big factor in all this. On Tuesday night I was on the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Drivetime Show discussing with presenter William Wright. Not only did the realtime visitor numbers rise during the interview but his Tweeting also brought a few “favourites”, “mentions” and “follows”. Goes to show you have to have a mix of approaches.

The one aspect of the early marketing activity for this site that doesn’t yet seem to have borne much fruit is the press release. This was home grown and focussed on the output of the ISP Quarterly Report. With hindsight it might have better focussed on the fact that we major on the fact that we use Sentiment Analysis to rate ISPs rather than the results themselves. Time will tell. Had we used an external PR Agency the results might have been different although when we did use an agency during my time at Timico, quite often any national exposure came as a result of personal relationships I already had with the journalists involved. This time around an agency might definitely have helped with the targeting.

Broadbandrating is a fun and interesting project and is the first of a number that you should see emerge during 2015. I’ll report back every now and again on how our various marketing activities bear fruit.

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The Hump Day Five (16-July-2014)

The Hump Day Five is on Red Alert this week, getting all Google-y powerful on music in the cloud, Leftovers, and Ping Pong Mania.


Started watching a new TV show a couple of weeks back called “The Leftovers”. If you haven’t haven’t seen or heard of it, the premise is quite simple. On 14-October at a precise moment in time approximately 2% of the world’s population randomly disappears without a trace. Drivers from moving vehicles, criminals from prison cells, babies from car seats, one moment there the next moment gone. It doesn’t take much imagination to see compelling story elements in such a framework, and in fact it is easy to see how the utter chaos of such a situation could become too much of a good thing (entertainment-wise, that is). The creators, though, very smartly opt to confine the drama to a single small town somewhere in America and how “The Departure”, as it is called, has affected and continues to affect the populace three years down the line. Succulent details are offered via ancillary media — overheard radio, television news programs being watched by this-or-that character, etc., not a small amount of Internet-y stuff — and go so far as to include a list of celebrities who number among the 2%. Dark stuff riddled rich with despair, sure, and as television goes it isn’t for everyone, but if you like your diversion disturbing and in-your-face I highly recommend checking it out.


Since late June a new application for both iPhone and Android has been making its way through the zeitgeist in direct response to the once-again-heightening tensions between Israel and Palestine: Kobi Snir’s Red Alert Israel. The idea behind this new app is to alert users of incoming rockets so they can stop whatever it is they are doing and take shelter*. The alerts received (tied directly to Israel Defense Forces and Homefront Command) can be configured quite tightly — there are a great many individual areas, considering the country’s small land mass — and each alert offers allows for comments, which can include prayers and encouragement, as well as — not surprising, but enraging nonetheless — inflammatory notes full of disparagement and outright hatred. Red Alert Israel also includes streaming Israeli radio (in Hebrew) to supplement its alerts with more detailed information (I assume). All in all, it is a noble idea that falls definitively on the side of the angels (and I say this even knowing that there is no Red Alert Palestine equivalent).

So I am sensitive to the dead-serious nature of Red Alert Israel and applaud and support its above-reproach mission, but I would be fibbing BIG-time if I said the image of people running for cover from flying ordinance with their hands flailing high above their heads clutching their phones didn’t loosen a small smile. Got too many episodes of The Simpsons under my belt, I suppose. Please excuse (or feel free to flame me up but good in the Comments).

The Red Alert Israel app is free, as you would expect, though it does run shifting banner advertising, because in these times absolutely nothing should go unsponsored. I mean, think about it…is there an advertiser out there who wouldn’t want their product or service to be associated with the saving of lives? And thus a new business model is born!

*The users in Israel, that is, as it is quite evident that Red Alert Israel is being downloaded and put into use by people living elsewhere..for purposes of showing solidarity, inspiring prayer and greater empathy, to stoke flames of outrage, to feed whatever vicarious needs, perhaps to serve as the basis for gambling or drinking games, etc.


For someone who spends as much time driving keyboards and mice as I do, I really can be late to the party at times. Take cloud-hosted music (aka online music lockers, aka online music storage services). Available in various flavors for a few years now (the majors all bowed in 2011 — Apple, Amazon, Google — whereas an early achiever called AudioBox left the starting block in 2009), it was only this past weekend that I started to consider the idea of throwing some of my music up into the ether for ready access across my computers and smartphone. Naturally, I was aware of the cloud-hosted music concept, but that awareness was mostly relegated to Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud/iTunes Match service, and as I trust Apple’s software and service offerings about as much as…well, not at all, actually, I put up a willful “blind spot” to the whole idea. Of course, it also helped that my music collection far exceeded the 25,000 song limit put on the $25-per-year service by Apple, and that at the start – as is unfortunately so often the case — the service was available to U.S.-based users only.

A couple of years passed, and then along came KoryChrome. And with KoryChrome came promotions for Google services. And with the promotion in particular of Google Play Music — which I learned is now available in France and which includes the ability to load/match 20,000 songs absolutely free — came my revisiting the subject of cloud-hosted music this past weekend. 20,000 songs for uploaded/matched for free? Songs I can access from any Internet-connected computer capable of running a browser (Google Chrome need not be that browser, either), or from any Internet-connected smartphone? All without commercials or listening limitations?

Yeah, I know this party started ages ago, but as far as I am concerned there is still beer in the fridge and it’s still ice-cold.


On the subject of KoryChrome, La Famille Kessel returned to our Pays d’Auge family hovel in Blangy-le-Château this past weekend, and my keen and cool new Chromebook was thus reunited with its power source. And this time that power source made it into my computer bag for the trip back to Paris at weekend’s end. No doubt, a great many of you will now breathe easier and will stop wanting for sleep.


Got struck hard by a serious wave of irony a few hours ago when My Missus and I put The Boy on a train to summer camp. The camp he is attending is called “Ping Pong Mania” (translate from French), and it promises to be exactly that, with 90+ minutes of table tennis play and training each morning and another such session each afternoon. I blush with a certain amount of pride in saying that my kid is really quite masterful at the game, in no small measure because other than ping pong his free time these days is overwhelmingly consumed by Minecraft, Clash of Clans, SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition, youtube videos galore rooted in gameplay and game parody and what-have-you, and a bevy of other sofa-bound veg-and-play games and experiences.

My hope is the next 10 days will find The Boy matched up with other kids his age who are at or near his level. Otherwise, his hesitance to get off the couch and get out in the world (read: separate from his MacBook and iPad and Nintendo DS3) will have been justified…or so he will say and think, anyway. And this is where the irony lies as 32 years ago I remember feeling similar hesitation at heading off to summer camp, too…summer computer camp!

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Broadband – A Student Perspective on an Essential Service

Broadband is a key service students need to navigate their time at university guest contributor Zoe Redfern recently completed a Masters in Computer Information Systems at the University of Lincoln and will relocate to Cheshire in the coming months to begin a graduate job with Siemens.

Having completed my Master’s Degree at the University of Lincoln not long ago, I am quite qualified to comment on the four years I had to put up with ‘Student Broadband Packages’.

At the time I moved into Courts (the on-campus accommodation) only an Ethernet connection was supplied, one to each bedroom. WiFI was installed soon after, though.  From that point students could actually connect their laptops to the Internet from their flat’s kitchen and living areas. This WiFi was great in the flat I inhabited at Courts during my first year. Although I was in the room furthest away from the wall mounted router I could still connect to it without any issues.

By the time I moved out of Courts the issue of Internet was very close to the top of my list, so I moved into an accommodation block that provided Internet as standard. The service started off at 8Mbps connection and went up by 2Mbps’s each of my three years there, and it suited me down to the ground. It was one less thing to worry about, and with me studying for an IT degree any problems would have fallen on me to sort out.  That, and chasing others for payments was something that I would have found to be really annoying.

To be honest, the Internet connection at my second accommodation — supplied by a company called Ask4 — was really good (and no websites were blocked by the Ask4 service, unlike the BT Broadband service I used whenever I went home) I was so pleased with the service, in fact, that I did on-site promotions for the company for two years after the landlord put my name forward. I was irritated and puzzled, though, that even though we had a standard connection we could pay extra to upgrade. For instance, we could spend £80 for the year to have a 30MB connection in one room only. My boyfriend was paying just a little more than that for a 100MB connection in his student house…a connection that that would’ve cost roughly £400 in my flat!

In the end, I paid for the 30MB connection for two years, using the money I earnt from Ask4 to do so (in essence, a win-win situation). I stuck with the flat rate this last year, though, and I must admit that other than it being a little bit slower for downloads it was just fine! And I honestly cannot say that I encountered any problems with the Ask4 Internet packages, etc., though it did become a bit tedious when the company would schedule maintenance to occur close to deadlines and throughout the night (times when most students were probably pulling an all-nighter).

I would say I used the Internet primarily for work during my last year (with the odd bit of procrastination here and there), and to keep in contact with family and friends as well. I also like to game when I have the chance, download TV shows and music, and stream football and other sports. Also, I found that I was using the Internet more to keep in contact with friends outside of Uni, too, as well as to arrange things with Uni friends. And I used Social Media to both keep in touch with people and to contact companies about graduate positions. Thus, with the Internet fulfilling so much of my contact needs, I discovered that even though I get unlimited texts each month on my phone contract, I was no longer sending as many texts as I once did!

Finally, the Internet connectivity around the University campus was always great! I used to take my laptop to the library to do work, making use of the Uni WiFi each time with no problem, and the speeds were more than sufficient for what I needed and wanted to do on the Internet.

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The Hump Day Five (25-June-2014)

On Wednesday’s Editor-in-Chief serves up The Hump Day Five, a weekly collection of short (and not so short) glimpses of the life in progress.


Bolting to meet My Missus for a Pay-For-Weekend-Well-Spent swim (the value of which we will immediately negate with a hearty follow-up Mexican lunch), and just realized that my mobile phone charge is at 9%. And being that this is my still-hanging-on iPhone 4 that ‘9’ might as we’ll be a ‘2’ as over the three-something years iPhoneKory has occupied my key right-pocket space I have seen it go from 7% to black so many times…

Is seven the new zero?


Despite promising myself I wouldn’t do so, I hung until 02h00 on Sunday/Monday watching the USA-Portugal World Cup match on ESPN via SlingBox, all the way to its bittersweet 95th minute. And in spite of a poor connection and a wildly unbalanced announcer team (Ian Darke = terrific, Taylor Twellman = dead awful), and although France has been my one-and-only International association football team since I moved to Paris in 1999*, I could not help but get caught up in it all. This was helped along in no small measure by social media, as both my Facebook and Twitter feeds were crackling with excitement and the wonderful over-the-top enthusiasm borne of sports spectatorship. Every breakaway, clearance, crossover, save (Tim Howards’s remarkable double-save!), and goal, by the USA or Portugal, had my feeds flying fast. But with that insane last play, with less than 25 ticks left in Injury Time…silence.

Yes, silence. The stunned heartbreak of that gorgeous equalizer — its sheer beauty cannot be denied — led to what may very well be the loudest imaginable Internet silence I’ve ever (not) heard. I have no doubt that goal was replaying on constant loop through the minds of a great many Americans on Monday, I am just as certain it was doing so in a soundproof vacuum.

*No true lover of the “Beautiful Game” will ever forget France’s unbelievablyf*ckingamazing come-from-behind last-gasp victory against Italy in the Euro2000 final, a game…no, an experience that galvanized this transplanted American’s association football fandom.


Readers going back three months — my long-term dyed-in-the-wool fans — will remember my enthusiasm for the latest Marvel Studios film, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, and perhaps even the near-pathological (pathetic) need I had to see the film after having to wait 10 days following its release to find my way to the cinema. (And no matter if you aren’t one of those readers, because my preface sentence sets the table for where I am heading, regardless.)

With all of the build-up, all of the hype, the fact that I so thoroughly enjoyed “Captain America: First Avenger” (I expected to hate that first film as the character is an all-time favorite of mine — since I started reading super hero comic books at the age of eight — and just figured there was no way Hollywood could get it right), the scads of terrific reviews I was so careful to scan-without-spoiling, you would think that disappointment was inevitable. Not only was this not the case, though, but the film so deeply captured my imagination that I soon after found myself pondering a newed look in on the comic book itself, figuring the source material for such a great flick might be worth my time.

In days of yore (and up until actually not all that long ago), it was a lot more difficult to find and read back issues of comic books than it is today. In fact, without admitting to anything here or anywhere, I will say that despite my predilection for riding near the cusp of the Internet for lo on 20+ years now, I still find myself utterly floored by the ready digital availability of comic books new and old (and extremely old). A minimal amount of surfing revealed that “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was based on Ed Brubaker’s run on the “Captain America” title from 2004-2012, and a single google-bing turned up the following torrent:

Brubaker Cap Torrent



In less than a year I will turn 50, a number on the age scale that I know is supposed to mean…something. A greater sense of dignity? Less prone to silly excitements? Better perspective on what was and is and will be? Conversations turning ever more towards health issues? Yadda yadda yadda. To all of that, I have to call “Bunk!”, because (1) in my mind’s eye I am not balding, overly thick in the middle, saddled with mild hearing loss, or in need of glasses to read, (2) I feel no less a thirst for life than I did 10 years ago…or 20, and (3) I still get all kinds of giddy in the lead up to putting my mitts on new techy toys…such as the new KoryChrome (Samsung Chromebook 2), which I look forward to running my fingers over for the first time at some point tomorrow!


Today is the first day of summer vacation for The Boy, and he is marking it in style, sitting on the couch in front of the TV while simultaneously playing both “Minecraft” and “SimCity 4” with friends on his MacBook, and also looking in on “Clash of Clans” via the family iPad. Now if only he could get his toes engaged in some kind of input manipulation My Missus and I would have one reasonably efficient and well-entertained child! The drums, perhaps?

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Facebook is down – something went wrong

Facebook something went wrong

Something went wrong with Facebook. Facebook is down. I just got that message. Looking at Twitter it seems widespread.

Is this news? In one sense it doesn’t matter in the least. Facebook is not mission critical to anyone. If you are a business you surely don’t rely on Facebook, do you? Ok so a few photos may not get posted, a pal might need to wait a bit to see your message etc etc etc. Who cares?

In another sense it matters a lot. We have other parts of our lives that are becoming increasingly dependent on the cloud. Facebook is in the cloud. If the cloud stops working we have a problem, Houston. exists only in the cloud (parties and networking events aside – you can’t drink the cloud). It’s normally a great existence. All our important files are there, our finances are run on a cloud service, our comms, everything. So if the cloud has a problem it can be everyone’s problem.

Now this is a fairly simplistic way of putting it. Facebook is already back on line. It was only unavailable for a few minutes. We don’t know why it was down. Connectivity to a datacentre? Virtualisation problems? Looking at it everything seem to be there. Phew.

As long as the data is not lost it doesn’t matter. We can live with cloud problems as long as they don’t lose everything. That’s when you begin to have real problems.

I started this post thinking I’d come up with some profound statements regarding the need for reliability with apocalyptic visions for when things go wrong. Apocalypse is not now. My wifi still works. I have time left on my Chromebook battery. I think I’ll move on:)

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One Out of 1,874,161

Over the weekend I received a Twitter request from someone unknown to me to participate in a dm (direct message) exchange. Figuring it at first to be some kind of scam or sales come-on I was just about to use TweetDeck’s “Block” function to keep the party from contacting me again when I noticed in their Twitter handle something we have in common…a four-letter sequence beginning with ‘k’ and ending with ‘y’ (and just so you know, my Twitter handle is @kory).

Here we go again.

Since registering to use Twitter (7-March-2007) I have been approached more than a few times by other Twitter uses looking to appropriate my Twitter handle for their own use. These enquiries have nearly always been of the friendly variety — there was one guy who dealt with my “Thanks, but no.” by trying to rally his thousands…er, hundreds…well, dozens of followers into hotboxing my acquiescence (and I am happy to say that his call to action backfired, with plenty of this fella’s so-called “friends” publicly shaming him on Twitter) — and in most cases even led to mutual Twitter following for a time. Knowing what it is to grow up Kory, I understand the propensity all Korys out there seem to share in wanting to have @kory for themselves…it is simple, direct, easily remembered, somewhat unique (it isn’t ‘David’, ‘John’, ‘Steve’, ‘Alan’, or ‘Mike’, anyway), and it is short. Really short. In fact, it is that very four-letter quality that seems to stir the pot of desire more than any other, likely because the shorter your Twitter handle the more freedom with characters you can provide to those who might want to tweet to you, or retweet your tweets or your own retweets!

1,874,161. That is the number of valid four-character Twitter handles, taking into account that the valid characters for Twitter usernames include all 26 letters, the 10 digits, and underscore, and the fact that characters can repeat. 37x37x37x37. 1,874,161. One of those 1,874,161 is my @kory — yet another is’s very own Trefor Davies’s @tref — which I first used to tweet seven years, three months, and three days ago. So with so many four-letter Twitter handles to be had, why is my own proving so popular? Silly question, I say, as any self-respecting Kory on Twitter must certainly aspire be @kory! Would be and should be thrilled to be @kory!

So pea-cocking aside (maybe just a little more…being @kory really is terribly cool, but it pales in comparison to this), I need to give some credit where it is undeniably due as I didn’t just stumble into the Twitter scene early enough to be the 817,772nd registrant to the service. No, the reason I am one of the First Million Twitterers (and before you can ask whether that is a real select club I will stop you with a “Heh. You’d like to know, wouldn’t you?”) is because long ago I hitched my social media caboose to the barreling-fearlessly-into-all-things-social-on-the-Internet phenomenon that is Jeff Pulver. I won’t go into deep detail here on Jeff’s exploits, antics, and achievements in social media as just a wee bit of googling and or binging will tell his story far better than I can here. I will say unreservedly, though, that were I not attached securely to his new technology bullet train it is far more likely I would be @kory498852 on Twitter and not @kory. So kudos once again, @jeffpulver.

@Kory Stats

Getting back to my story, the tweet I received at 06h09 on 7-June-2014 simply said, “@kory hey man dm me when you get this”, from a Twitterer (Tweeter?) going by “@korycomtois”. Being a diligent type, once I had decided not to immediately block this fellow Kory I clicked over to his Twitter page to learn what I could, which honestly wasn’t much. Still, @korycomtois looked harmless enough. Also, I am almost always up for a little back and forth, and — who knows? — maybe this would be the magical Twitter exchange that would change my life, thus I tweeted back. It took another day to get our DMing ducks in a row (my fault as although @korycomtois was following me I was not yet following him), however before weekend’s end we had made contact. And sure enough, @korycomtois was keen on ending my reign and assuming the @kory crown.

Yup. Here we go again.

No doubt, there is a question lurking on the collective tongues of my readership, that being whether I have ever been offered actual cash money for the @kory handle. The simple answer is…I think so. I think so because although numbers have been bandied about — back in 2011 one seemingly determined soul went as high as $5000 — I have never encouraged or considered such offers to the point where the nuts-and-bolts of actual payment and follow-through became part of the discussion, and as such I cannot definitively say the offers were legit (and, yes, that $5000 offer did get me thinking for a short while).

@korycomtois wrote, “I am very interested in it (your handle), would you ever consider parting with it?”, and when I wrote back I mentioned that I had once turned down $5000 for it and asked whether he was prepared to offer “an amount that is worthy my giving it a re-think”. I didn’t have to wait long for a response.

“I’m sorry I cannot come close, I am a high school student that just wanted my first name as my handle.”

Young Kory went on to apologize for wasting my time (he hadn’t…I found myself delighted with our exchange, his politeness, and just the fact that he steeled himself up and asked the question as so many would not have), and we parted as fellow followers, for the time being at least. Then earlier today, seeing a tweet @korycomtois posted I found myself dwelling a bit on the connection. Here was a kid who when I first leaped onto Twitter was at most 11 years old (The Boy is a year past that), who joined the service 1,151,558,938 Twitter accounts after my own @kory was issued (not a real number as at some point Twitter skipped whole swaths of numbers…a fun one nonetheless, though), throwing a flag out into the ether hoping for a connect and a magical Twitter connect that would change his life (or, at least, his Twitter handle). Jiminy!

So I say this to @korycomtois: I am going to hold onto @kory for now and into the foreseeable future, but you have my solemn word — 140 characters of it — that when the day comes that circumstance or decision results in my vacating @kory it will be yours to carry forward.

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Me and My Pebble Steel

Steve Hodges is the Managing Director of Astro Communications, Ltd.

So I am a fully ‘out’ closet techie. Really. Having starting in comms when ADSL was a pipe dream and you could get 9.6Mbs on your Nokia phone, I suppose I joined the technology industry just after those that created it and ahead of those lucky enough to feel as though they have always had email/internet/mobile phones. In the last 20 years some interesting and useful products have come and gone — Rabbit Phones! BT Home Highway! Even the old Palm TRIO! — and about a trillion products have turned up look like technology used simply for the sake of technology.

I have an HTC One Mini for work (which I love), an iPhone 5 for personal use, a standard Lenovo Twist laptop for day-to-day, and an iPad for out-and-about. I also carry a MiFi device “just in case”, all of which keep me connected, productive, and agile.

Yesterday I took delivered of my Pebble Steel watch. Second only to Google Glass (when it turns up), I felt when I read the reviews that the Pebble Steel watch could possibly be the most exciting advancement in technology since the smartphone. A member of my management team wears a Sony SmartWatch, which is just too…‘Speak and Spell’-looking for my liking. I am sure the uber-cool can get away with it, that is if is your style guide, but for me — dressed in a suit and tie most days, normally rocking an Omega Seamaster Professional (yes, like James Bond), driveing a Volvo 4×4, life complete with chocolate Labrador — it simply wasn’t for me.

Pebble Stone 1

The Pebble Steel arrived in a beautifully crafted box, complete with leather strap, metal bracelet, and magnetic charger. Its face is just big enough to display a few lines of text (monochromatic text, which is a shame), but is not so big that it looks as though you accidentally left your diving watch on following the weekend. It has three chunky, easy-to-use but unobtrusive buttons on one side, and one on the other. In my view, the Pebble Steel has the looks of an elegant timepiece.

Out of the box, the Pebble Steel just needs to be paired with your phone via an app, and you are on your way. Box to brilliant in under three minutes. The notion of how it delivers its information is a little more complex, though, as it requires the installation of a number of apps (the watch can only take a maximum of eight at any given time, however they are quite easy to interchange), of which there are plenty to choose from on Google Play.

2014-04-05 20.58.42

The documentation that accompanies the Pebble Steel watch states that the battery will last about five days, and that the device is waterproof to a practical level. Also, the Bluetooth connection is robust, and thus far I have had no trouble maintaining my information feed upon leaving my phone on my desk and wandering around the house or office.

At the start, I loaded a calendar app, a notifier app, a weather app and a navigation app. I do want to clarify that these apps don’t have much in the way of functionality in themselves, that they take the capability from my phone which pushes notifications over Bluetooth to the Pebble Steel which then passes information back. When a notification arrives on your wrist, you can set it to subtly vibrate and let you know there is something to look at. No more reaching for the mobile every few minutes!

Aesthetically and technologically the Pebble Steel watch is exactly what I had hoped for and more. In fact, I truly believe it exceeds delivery against all my “I need one of those because….” justifications. Just last night while in the house I was receiving tweets/SMSs and email previews on my wrist. Calendar invites were turning up, too, and without as much as a glance at my desk I knew what I needed to know and could ignore the beeps and vibrations from my phone regarding the things I didn’t. And this morning I was able to leave my phone in my bag and wander through my calendar appointments, preparing myself for the day ahead without once popping open the laptop or picking up my phone.

Pebble Steel 3

Out and about, while walking to the train station, I was able to see notifications of new emails and also see when an incoming phone call was coming in, all without fumbling around in my jacket for my mobile. I rejected the call from my Pebble Steel, but had I had a headset on I could have simply answered the call and used the call control from my wrist. I went to the ticket machine at the train station and scrolled through my calendar until I found my reservation number in my diary entry for the day, with the ticket collection number and seat reservation at hand. It even gave me turn by turn instruction on my walking route by paring with google maps on my HTC via the Nav app. Of course, I could have done this all with my mobile, but now I can leave that in my bag or jacket and get instant notification of anything I need on my Pebble Steel. Oh, and it also tells the time!

Functionally the watch has already justified its cost (£151 ($279), plus the £35 import duty). I will have to change some of my day-to-day set up, improve my email filtering, and set up my “Do not disturb” notifications to ensure that I am not woken up in the middle of the night by a barrage of overnight spam, but this is a tiny price to pay for having such a useful piece of technology at hand.

Other aspects of the Pebble Steel that I have yet to investigate properly include the music and phone dialer app — I can control the music and the voice functions of my phone from my wrist while driving in the car — and the extended from-your-wrist camera operation functionality (personally, I doubt its practical benefits, but I am sure it will appeal to and find use with many).

As for criticisms, I guess it is all a matter of perspective. Would it be nice if the Pebble Steel had a touch screen? Maybe. Would it be better if it came with a colour, high resolution face? Possibly. Would it be better if it had a mic and speaker so I could talk to my wrist? Not better for me, but I am sure it would be better for someone out there. Would I prefer to be able to delete, forward and/or reply to my messages? I think so, but there might be an app for that as well.

Considering what I was hoping for — the ability to leave my phone in my bag, jacket or office and get real time notifications of emails, SMSs, tweets, phone calls and other useful information — the Pebble Steel is simply perfect, and it looks the part too. I am delighted with the new high tech addition to my PAN set up. It get five out of five for looks, five out five for build quality, five out of five for ease of use, and six out of five for practical application!

Related posts:

End User social networking

Pinterest blocking suspicious activity in your area

pinterest_blockCurious one this. I currently manually do “shares” for blog posts, one of which is with Pinterest. It’s to make sure I reach female readers.

The predominance of blokes amongst the engineering fraternity doesn’t totally do it for me.  I am all for equality of the sexes etc, or so Mrs Davies instructs me. On that basis I have to reach out to demographic communities other than just the majority of attendees of UKNOF meetings1.

So I share posts on Pinterest which apparently has more female than male users. Fair play.

This post is nothing to do with who uses Pinterest though, although in some respects it does. Just makes me wonder what the suspicious actitivity is. It’s not at all fair really. The mind is now racing wondering what they could be referring to?

Has someone been posting naughty photos? That would be naughty. I’m sure there are better places for such artefacts. I know not where, genuinely.

When mentioning “area” are they referring to my IP address, that of ISP Timico, or are they referring to Lincoln? My home town. Questions questions. Timico subscribers are in the main business customers. Surely nobody would be using their employer’s internet connection for suspicious activity! Surelement.

It’s quite disappointing really. Not knowing what the suspicious activity is/was. I have since pinned a pic (if that’s the right way of putting it) so the suspicious activity must have either gone away or determined in the end not to have been suspicious. Still makes you want to know what it was though:)

Anyone shed any light here?

1 Yes ok girls I know some of you attend UKNOF meetings

End User social networking

Early morning meanderings of an insomniac – for the other insomniacs amongst us

In the wee small hours of the morning when the whole wide world is fast asleep I get up and go and sit downstairs and listen to the cars go racing by (sung to the tune of “Wee small hours of the morning”). Who is about at 4.50am? Where are they off to? It’s a bit early for a shift to start or finish. They can’t all be bakers or milkmen – folk known to keep anti social hours.

It is Friday, one of the days the milkman comes but I’m not sure I’ve heard him yet. When he arrives you hear footsteps in on the drive and the sound of a milk crate being plonked down in the porch. You don’t usually hear his float because it is electric. Perhaps the soft whoosh of his tyres as he pulls up and then moves on.

When I was at University I knew a baker called Ray. He made great wholemeal bread. Really tasty, solid loaves. One or two slices were the equivalent of a meal. After finishing the baking, at around 11am, he would nip round to the nearby Globe pub for a couple of swift ones, before going to bed. Who’d be a baker?

The birds have just woken up. Must be starting to get light out. I can’t see because the curtains are closed. I am surrounded by books and the noise of the birds. It’s almost as if the books are reading out loud the words written on the spines of the books.

At this time of the night, or morning, there is the company of the internet to while away the hours. On my Twitter or Facebook timelines most of the posts in the night are from people in the USA. I get the odd British insomniac. One just now reads “Starting your day at 4.45am cos you’re bloody bat shit crAAAzy.#NightShiftProblems#WhyAmIAwake#SaveTheSquirrels “.

Looks like some people must schedule tweets for overnight posting. Who reads them?  Twitter is a fleeting1 medium at the best of times. You might catch a tweet but probably not. There are some events (eg #trefbash) that I promote like crazy in Twitter and other social media destinations and after weeks of doing so have still had people asking me when it’s on this year and why haven’t they been invited? Huh!

On Facebook a friend who has moved to India says “8.30 in the morning, driving to work and it’s 98 degrees outside and sunny. (36.6). Some days don’t you just wish it would be cold, wet and windy…………Nah. I love India.”

98degrees doesn’t do it for me. All I’d be able to do would be to sit in the shade in a pool, perhaps at the wet bar, drinking cool ones. I used to travel to the USA a lot and I recall sitting around a pool in Arizona in July. The water was like tepid tea and the pool surround was constantly sprayed with water mist which was supposed to keep the temperature 10 degrees lower. July is tourist low season in Arizona. The same is true for popular destinations such as Florida where Brits migrate in masses during UK summer holidays. The natives avoid the place in the summer.

I’ve been writing for just over half an hour. Not fast for me. It’s another hour before it will be time to take the tea up. The working day has started. Today must be an “early” which is good because as it happens I am playing golf this afternoon. Good timing that, insomnia.

The clock ticks away on the wall, the only noise when the road outside is quiet. That and the unseen touch-tapping of my Chromebook keyboard. The TV is switched off at the wall, powerless to communicate. All the actors have gone home or are sat in an all night bar somewhere in a place where only actors and insomniacs go.

We have had a few posts in overnight from guests contributing to next week’s VoIP themed week. Some of them need a bit of an edit, the wave of the magic wordprocessing wand. That’s ok. One or two guest posts look like blatant sales pitches. There will be changes. People should realise that a professional, authoritative post is a far better sales pitch than something that just says “buy my stuff”.

As I get older I notice that I seem to need less sleep. This is good although I do tend to go to bed earlier than most – 10 – 10.30pm. It’s a hangover from years of having small kids around the house. They aren’t small any more and the early morning antisocial demands for attention are things of the past. Even on Christmas Day, a time when kids have historically stretched the definition of “time to get up ” to a point where the parents haven’t even gone to bed yet, they now have a lie in which is a real result.

The getting up early to make a cup of tea has real advantages. Going back upstairs with the tea tray makes the lie in to a normal getting up time feel longer and more luxurious.

I’ve drawn the curtains and it is definitely light now. Time to do other things. See you in the morning Catch you later…

1 I’m even tempted to say fly by night 🙂

Business social networking Thursday Tweetup in Town venue confirmed

hoop&grapesOk troops. The terriffic venue for the tweetup in town is the Hoop and Grapes at 80 Farringdon Street, EC4A 4BL. We’re meeting here at around 6pm on Thursday 8th May.

For those of you at the ITSPA VoIP provisioning workshop there are a couple of beers on offer at the workshop venue courtesy of Danny Prieskel and we can trot off to the pub after that.

For those of you not at the ITSPA VoIP provisioning workshop (and one might ask why aren’t you coming? 🙂 ) we will see you at the pub at around 6. This is a very informal get together with the prospect of a nipping off for a curry afterwards always remembering that my train leaves Kings Cross at 21.35 so it won’t be a mega late job. We don’t have a sponsor for this Tweetup so if anyone wants to stump up a few bob then that would be great – get in touch and I’ll publicise the fact.

End User social networking

Death of a friend

I had a series of messages a couple of weeks ago from different social media contacts informing me of the death of a mutual friend. He became ill a month or so ago and whilst at one time they thought he might be recovering he went into a sudden decline and sadly passed away. This came as a shock but I guess these things happen and life moves on.

Yesterday I was trawling through my contacts database looking for people to invite to write guest posts for the VoIP week next week and I came across his name. This gave me a genuine problem. Not whether to invite him to write a post but whether to delete his contact details. It didn’t seem right that he should be wiped from my virtual hard drive like that but what was the point of keeping his email address?

Obviously everybody dies and we all hope to reach a decent old age before it happens to us. He was 58. At 75 or 80 we consider someone to have had a good innings and don’t grieve so much but when it happens to a younger person it hits us more.

A school classmate of mine went in her twenties. I last saw her in a pub in the Isle of Man where she tried to persuade me to come to a reunion. It was timed for the day after our ferry home was booked so I couldn’t go. I found out a few month later that she had died of leukaemia and the reunion was planned as her last farewell. That made me pause for reflection.

An old university friend died four years ago in tragic circumstances. She was my age, around 47/48 at the time. It was a great shock and I wrote her a poem1 which I posted on her Facebook timeline and which was read by her family and friends. The timeline began to fill with spammy trivia and invitations to play games automatically broadcast by people to all their friends. I stopped looking because I didn’t want her memory tainted by such rubbish. I’m sure social media platforms have processes for dealing with such circumstances though the notion of there being a process doesn’t quite feel appropriate here.

In the long run none of us matter.  We are all mere blips in an incomprehensibly long universal timeline.  But as people and communities in the here and now we have to recognise that we are all that matters and the fact that someone is no longer with us is deserving of some consideration.

My friend who just died was Simon Gwatkin. I first met him when I was developing VoIP chips at Mitel Semiconductor. He ran marketing at Mitel Telecom. We kept bumping into each other in exotic bars around the world. Singapore and Geneva spring to mind. When Terry Matthews2 bought back Mitel Telecom. I crossed over to work with Simon developing SIP handsets and then systems.

Our ways eventually parted. Simon ended up working for Sir Terry at his VC arm Wesley Clover but we still contrived to “bump into each other” on different occasions and he came to one of the UC Executive Dinners in London last year.  Simon also invited me to watch the Wales Open Golf at the Celtic Manor Resort – he is the guy in the cream linen jacket sat in front of me on my right in the fourth photo in this post. As I recall in the pic we are drinking Gwatkin cider at the Clytha Arms cider festival.

This is a difficult time for his family but they should take some comfort from the fact that everyone who came into contact with Simon loved him and thought him a great bloke. He will be missed by many. I’m going to leave him in my contacts list. What’s the hurry?

RIP Simon Gwatkin. A lovely bloke…

1 You can read the poem on my creative writing site here.
2 Terry together with Mike Copeland was one of the original founders of Mitel – the Terry in MIke and TErry’s Lawnmowers.

Engineer social networking voip

VoIP week on and a Tweetup in Town after the ITSPA workshop on Thursday 8th May

From time to time we have technology themed weeks on The last one was Peering Week where we published around 20 guest posts on the very niche subject of Internet Exchange Peering.  Next week is VoIP week.

VoIP is far from being a niche subject. Every man and his dog1 uses VoIP if they but knew it. It’s VoIP week because at the Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association (ITSPA) we are having a technical workshop on VoIP provisioning. VoIP provisioning is a very niche subject. Many people might also consider it to be a very boring subject.

Be assured that whilst provisioning is not every man’s kettle of fish (or words to that effect) it should be of interest to everyone involved in providing services. This is because the VoIP industry needs to coordinate how they go about providing their services so that they are not exposed to fraud.

For example if every VoIP phone was shipped with a default username and password that would be silly. It happens and people lose money when someone hacks in using said default username and password and starts running up big bills to premium rate numbers in the Philippines (or Senegal or anywhere really).

The industry needs the support of handset manufacturers in deciding how to go about methods of making their services secure that can be applied across many different brands of VoIP phone.

Details of the ITSPA workshop can be found here. The workshop and associated networking drinks will finish at 6pm. Thereafter we plan to adjourn to a nearby pub for a tweetup.

This is open to anyone so if you are a regular reader/commenter/writer/tweeter (etc) on or with you are welcome. Stick the date in your calendar and I’ll follow up with a venue when I’ve sorted one out. The Workshop is at 5 Fleet Place, London, EC4M 7RD so it will be around there somewhere.

Thursday 8th May tweetup 6pm onwards.

Check out all the Peering Week posts here.

1 Yes even the dog. Believe you me:)

Business social networking

Seeing more promoted tweets on Twitter

o2 deal promoted tweetee deal promoted tweetsage promoted tweet@katiemoffat promoted tweet
Don’t know about you but I’m seeing a lot more promoted tweets these days.

There’s a sort of mobile oriented theme but presumably that’s just on the twitter client on my dog and bone.

Interesting that Sage is pitched partly at startups. Maybe I’ve been tweeting using startup related keywords. Wouldn’t use Sage anyway. I use Freeagent.

The @katiemoffat one was interesting. A social media expert eating her own dogfood.

Fair enough. Although she and I don’t follow each other I dropped her a line asking how successful was her use of promoted tweets. She replied that it did lead to an increase in followers but that it was an experiment using some free twitter credits.

The question there is what price would you put on a follower if you actually had to pay for it? I guess the O2 and EE tweets are specifically pitching for paying customers. Businesses happily pay for leads.

One also wonders what an acceptable number of promoted tweets is in a given period of time. You typically don’t see more than 3 ads on a web page. How do you decide how many ads should go on twitter?

Business social networking travel UC

Why would you want to commute to work?


Scene around Victoria Railway Station in Laandan. Have these people not heard of Google Hangout or Lync or Skype or any number of other collaboration & voip services?

It can’t be that necessary for them to be in the office. Wtf? Lol! This isn’t a one off scene. It’s like this every time I go there for ITSPA council meetings.

Ok London has a great after work social scene but you can’t do that every day. It’s too expensive & takes its toll on the body. Would be easier to work from home and pop in occasionally to catch up with colleagues and go for that lemonade.

On the train on the way home the commuters all look tired and miserable. Most of them are heading for Peterborough. None of them take a drink off the trolley. Let’s say a coffee is £2. That would be £10 a week or knocking on £500 a year you would have to add to the cost of your rail season ticket. A lot more if a gin and tonic is what you need. That’s why they don’t do it. I imagine.

Unified Communications or whatever it’s called these days is the answer. You probably already use it. Just use it a bit more.

Other posts relating to commuting:

Ideas at the weekend – wear odd socks
Train wifi congested but 4G fine

Business End User Mobile mobile connectivity social networking UC

Air France has Me all A-Twitter

Decided to leave the cave and go mobile to do the writing thing today. And why not? Both of the pieces I hope to crank out are of a mobile ilk, the weather on this early April Paris Monday is Spring Fever inducing, and a new local wifi-enabled coffee house (Le Café Lomi) has opened its doors nearby…a perfect storm!

The battery icon says I have 2:11 before all goes dark, so let’s start clacking.

This past 21-December I packed up My Missus and The Boy for a 5-day trip to visit family in Chicago (far more accurate to say that My Missus packed me and The Boy up, but I don’t see any reason to ruin a good story with facts…except, paradoxically, I do). We left the flat early that morning, all media-delivery devices fully charged and ready for the 12+ hours we would spend in the air travel envelope (bubble?), and headed for the RER B train that would deliver us to Charles de Gaulle (the airport, not the long dead general and president). En route I decided to check our flight status, and having successfully carried that out I then thought, “Let’s see if anyone is awake at the Air France Twitter switch on this fine Saturday.” Not being the most avid Twitterer, this was actually a bit of personal evolution on my part.

First Tweet to AF

Within just moments I received a response, and a somewhat personal one at that (as evidenced by the reference to my day’s destination)! Shocked and delighted, I immediately tweeted back.

Second Tweet to AF

Then my wheels started turning…hmm…yes, I would look for ways to keep my @AirFranceFR friend apprised as we moved through the system.

End User social networking UC

Many Happy Returns of the Onslaught

According to some algorithm or other deep in its cockles, Facebook reports that 79 people of the oh-so-fine folk I am connected to via that social media behemoth posted birthday wishes to my wall on Monday (which, yes, was my birthday). On top of that, after I posted acknowledgement and thanks for all of that warm thoughtfulness quite a few others chimed in to make their good wishes known in the comments of my post. Thus, it is no April Fool’s joke to say that over 100 individuals, each with their own lives to lead and their own days to traverse end-to-end, had me in mind for at least a few moments and made the effort to let me know it. I consider this to be somewhat remarkable in itself, however when I take these well-wishers into account and realize that (a) a high percentage of them are people to whom I am not related, (b) I haven’t seen many of them in over 20 years, and (c) a little mental straining is needed to recall where we met …well, at that point it just gets me thinking.

Facebook Birthday ArtAdmittedly, I almost wiped my birthday data from Facebook a couple of days prior to the date, not because I am sensitive about getting older, but because I just didn’t feel up to dealing with what can only be considered an onslaught of contact. No doubt the majority of you reading this piece – and thank you for doing so – know exactly what I am referring to. Depending on where you live and how the time zones for your Facebook “Friends” break down, this onslaught can actually last for far long than the 24 hours it traditionally takes to move through one’s birthday. It begins with the Notifications. Each time someone writes a birthday greeting on your Facebook wall – and doing so is now so easy that a puppy can do it (and likely has…check youtube) – you receive a Notification stating such. And because we are all unabashedly self-centered, we immediately chase that Notification so we can see exactly what it was that someone wrote (more often than not, some variation of “Happy Birthday”…capitalized, not capitalized, ALL CAPS, with and without terminating punctuation, and so forth). Then, of course, because we are all inherently polite, we acknowledge the birthday greeting in some way, be it by clicking “Like” or actually using the Comment function to write something back. It is this exercise, which goes on over the course of a full rotation of the planet and then some, that had me pondering the three clicks needed to erase my Birth Date from my About|Basic Information. That said, I am truly glad I didn’t do so.

Business social networking UC

Meet Kory Kessel – an American in Paris & editor of

kory kessel editorHappy to introduce Kory Kessel as the first editor (not counting me) of . Here is his bio wot he wrote.

Kory Kessel’s 25+ years in high-tech span a remarkable roster of companies both large and small, and include such universally recognized brands as Grey Advertising, Dell, IBM, and Apple. His past successes, though, are not limited to ubiquitous commercial giants, as he has also completed government contracts for the Texas Education Agency, co-founded a London-based Internet gaming start-up (Quingo), and led the documentation effort for a first-generation mobile Internet services platform.

More recently, Kory has found himself deeply interred in Internet-based communications, serving a long stint as Jeff Pulver’s communication specialist for his various companies and ventures (e.g., Free World Dialup,, pulvermedia). He has also written (and ghost-written) a bevy of industry-specific white papers and articles on a freelance basis.

First among Kory’s achievements in information architecture is helping to develop and then subsequently documenting Apple Computer’s first PowerBook support and service program in 1993. Soon after he joined Dell, helping to lead the company’s nascent intranet initiative. His chief accomplishment at Dell, though, was serving as a key member of the IT team that conceptualized and then built the company’ first data warehouse, a project that comprised not only the construction of global financial and human resources databases, but also included the development and deployment of a proprietary suite of reporting software applications.

A proud Chicagoan by birth, a Texan by transplant, and a New Yorker by choice, Kory has made his home in Paris since 19991. He has a foodie’s soul, goes in heavily for sport, is an aficionado of jazz (pre-electric) and blues, and is constantly focused on his photography with a considered aspiration for eventual relevance in that field.

With his wide and varied background in technology Kory is going to be a great asset to the site. If was a place where suits were worn and the CEO put out encouraging messages to the troops I’d be saying to you all “join me in welcoming Kory to the business and please say hello to him if you see him in the corridor.” Well I’m not that kind of guy and this is not that kind of business.

We don’t have corridors but we do have comments sections so feel free to say something in response to his posts. Nothing too soppy now. Just a firm handshake and a look in the eye:)

1 I think I first met him in a bar in London though I’m a bit hazy on that one.