Following on from F8 in September, Zuckerberg’s empowered speech may have left you wondering exactly what Zuckerberg meant when he claimed that he would “expand the notion of a more social web?”

The web has for some time been hailed as a global force empowering democracy and freedom of speech, with the social media being placed at the forefront of this battle. Yet the current rivalry between Facebook and Google could almost be interpreted as an archaic war for cyber control of web users. Indeed at a glance, Facebook’s challenge to Google seems like a challenge to the dominance of the worldwide web at large (after all, Google is the site that offers the most comprehensive analysis of the relationship between websites).

The decision to integrate apps into Facebook means that users may never have to venture outside the site. Zuckerberg himself recently stated that ‘Facebook is a collaborative tool’. Facebook currently has over 800 million active users who visit the site more than once a day, although this figure still isn’t as high as the 1.5 billion hits Google receives daily. Yet the ease with which Facebook membership is rising posits a potential sea change in the way in which we use the internet. With the integration of Spotify, Guardian, and even Twitter onto Facebook you may be wondering why you would ever need to open your internet explorer browser again.

Google’s attempts to encroach on Facebook’s territory in the last few years have not exactly epitomized success. Google+ is the fourth in a series of attempts by Google to enter the social networking sphere (remember Google Friend Connect, Google Buzz and Google Wave?) and membership on the site is believed to be little above 40 million members worldwide. In fact, Google has refused to comment on how many members are on the site inciting Forbes to publish an article entitled Eulogy for Google+.

However it remains to be seen whether the rise of Facebook will lead to the demise of the web at large. Facebook has, recently been in trouble for data sharing and the site is increasingly being viewed as ‘creepy’ by members.  Just like Google, Facebook stores a myriad of user’s personal information including private messages, the use of the like button and apps- but more interestingly also stores information about user’s friends, family and educational background. The site even detects subtle changes to a member’s lifestyle, enabling advertisers to target mothers-to-be for instance with baby products. This all sounds eerily similar to the decision by Google to remember your search information. So internet users might see the expansion of a more social web, but will this mean anything more than a transition of power between key magnates online?

Some of you may well have seen this research from the Guardian earlier this week, which aimed to highlight the top journalist tweeters in the UK – headed by Neil Mann, aka @fieldproducer, digital news editor at Sky News.

There just seemed to be one problem – the list was, perhaps unsurprisingly, absolutely dominated by Grauniad hacks, with half the top ten being employed by the paper running the research. The highest placed non-Guardian ‘paper scribe on the list was the FT’s Tim Bradshaw who came in a lowly eighteenth, while the Times could only muster one journalist in the top 50 – Michael Savage, in at #35.

Shurely shome mishtake?

We’ve run the findings through the tweetlevel  algorithm instead to give it some more context, and the same list appear in a very different order, with Charles Arthur the highest placed hack on the list, and afore-mentioned Tim Bradshaw rocketing up to eighth.

Check out the revised list here.

top tweeters grab

Picking a couple of other tech journos at random, there were notable exceptions in the original list: from The Times, Murad Ahmed would have been in the top fifty; the Telegraph’s digital media editor Emma Barnett would have triumphed in at #20; while arguably one of the UK’s most influential tech industry bods, Mike Butcher, would have come in joint with Tim Bradshaw.

To be clear, we’re not saying ‘our list is better than yours’, nor are we saying our methodology is better – we’re just saying that if you’re producing a list of the influential people in your industry, it might be a good idea to widen the scope to people who don’t work for you.

Let us know what you make of our version of the list originally produced by the Guardian. For more info on the algorithm used, make your brain hurt reading this.

Lets talk DERTy

Another week, another round of DERTy Talk. If you have clicked through from Google expecting a lewd and suggestive game of Chatroulette you may be disappointed. Apologies for that. We wouldn’t want you to think you’d wasted your time (it’s all traffic to us) so here is a song especially for you.

So what has been happening in the Digital Entertainment, Rights and Technology space this week? Well…

Digital Entertainment

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The Dicdataship takes hold

OK. So not technically entertainment, but a couple of useful, and beautifully stylised, data pieces. First, from the Guardian, an interactive “Europe in Numbers” to co-incide with #CMS. Secondly, from Google the first of their Think series. This one is dedicated to data – so enjoy the feast. We talk a lot about every company is a media company. Google here proves, once again, that some media companies are better than others.


clip_image004Disney like you’ve never seen it before

A couple of wonderful Disney videos this week. A day in the life of Disneyland Paris, filmed with a Tilt-shift camera, is possibly one of my favourite things ever. As I said at the time “like a Slinkachu playground of awesomeness. The second film, is almost certainly Disney as you’ve never seen it before. A satirical take on the life of a modern day Princess.

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An Epic music video:

Russ Chimes a DJ/Artist created a 3 part track called “Midnight Club” accompanied by a trilogy of music videos each telling a different part of the story. They are shot beautifully and each stands alone as a great piece of video. They are unlike most other music videos and at the same time unlike most other story telling videos online. Take a break and watch this amazing story and marvel at the production.

http://www.vimeo.com/15224524

clip_image008From an epic music video to a not so epic one:
Rebecca Black has been vilified in the press for being cheesy and having a terrible music video. Fair enough, but it was made on a £1,200 budget and she has made upwards of £15,000 so far and sold 37,000 digital copies of the song and had over 45 million YT views. In comparison the epic 3 part video above which is infinitely better, has had a paltry 2 hundred thousand views.

http://bit.ly/hAiTgH

clip_image010And a final piece of beautifulness…

It’s all gone a bit ‘entertainment’ this week, but we had to share this video made on behalf of airline network, Star Alliance. The lovely paper animations were commissioned to highlight the work they’re doing to preserve the destinations they’re flying to (by giving free tickets to scientists and field workers). The video shows 5 very impressive commissions. Lovely stuff.

Rights

IS Pleasing to see

Interesting report from Rob Andrews, following a panel at Changing Media Summit regarding ISPs bundling existing and white-labelled music services.

Technologies

WINtendo

This week the Nintendo 3DS beat all previous records to become Amazon UK’s most pre-ordered console to date. The number of pre-ordered consoles is double that of the Wii in 2006. Going on sale tomorrow (25th) the glasses-less 3D games console has had mixed reviews, with questions over whether 3D really adds anything to the experience but this clearly hasn’t put people off. The question is, once the novelty of 3D gaming has worn off, will the momentum continue.

Tweets from the team

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@AJGriffiths: Interesting on fashion brands & ‘gamification’, awful word but a hot topic – http://nyti.ms/fvkFvg via @rachel_arthur http://bit.ly/g45BZ7

@AJGriffiths: Adidas joins the 3D Projection band wagon, nice but no Ralph Lauren http://bit.ly/eAjxuo

@LukeMackay: Stylised movie posters http://bit.ly/fQoBG5 LOVE Wall-E http://bit.ly/hqWkqa Jaws http://bit.ly/fNB5HV Back 2t Futurehttp://bit.ly/gYvi93

@LukeMackay: Coca-cola and Maroon 5 and an interactive wall. I don’t really get this but I’m intrigued at least http://bzfd.it/fUA4y3

@GLeney: Amaze RT @wonky_donky: retro heaven…. RT @Matt_Muir remember Game & Watch? play every single one, ever, online: http://bit.ly/glgT2A

@GLeney: Immense #tron RT @Sally52N2W: Daft Punk/Tron music R3C0NF1GUR3D http://goo.gl/ZKyJH

You can’t have missed the furor surrounding Wikileaks’ publishing of security cables. The thing is, do we – the public – benefit from this? Yes, there may be a certain amount of justification and interest around the close relationship and extravagant gifts exchanged between Putin and Berlusconi, but how is it of benefit to publicise the fact that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran? In such a volatile environment, is transparency always preferable? For security and intelligence services, where do you draw the line between disclosure and the need for confidentiality? Do we believe that every element of government should be conducted in public view?

Wikileaks has made the cables available to the Guardian and four other news organisations: the New York Times, Der Spiegel in Germany, Le Monde in France and El País in Spain. All five plan to publish extracts from the most significant cables, but have decided neither to dump the entire dataset into the public domain, nor to “publish names that would endanger innocent individuals”. WikiLeaks also says it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities. Thing is, are any of these organizations qualified to assess what will or will not trigger reaction or endanger individuals/groups/economies? What is their basis for assessment and judgement? Will all media conform to the same restrictions?

  • The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them
  • This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
  • Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington – the country’s first President – could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today’s document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US Government has been warning governments — even the most corrupt — around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.[Wikileaks]

So the US does work behind closed-doors that contradicts public policy. Is this unique to the US or is it activity that’s mirrored by governments world-wide? The fact that this is US only means, to a certain extent, we’re listening to one side of a phone call, hearing one opinion. Would it have been safer if Wikileaks put out similar missives gleaned from UK, Chinese, French, Italian, Russian and Indian embassies? Would we have seen vastly different practices?

Personally, I don’t agree with the leak. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I still believe there’s a need for confidentiality and breaching it here has the potential to unsettle far more than US diplomatic communications processes.

You can read the Guardian splash, here, if you haven’t already.

@WillOConnor