Post-Biennale Blues

The Biennale’s new office…

Originally uploaded by BillT.

I’ve just finished four days in Venice for the Vernissage of the 2009 Biennale with the BBC World Service Digital Planet team of Gareth Mitchell and Colin Grant.

We had an excellent time, and it’s always hard to leave this wonderful city.

There are some photos on Flickr, including some nice pictures of our interview with John Cale whose work is in the Welsh Pavilion, and I also made some AudioBoos while we were there:

On my way

Arriving in Venice

The Wedding at Cana (Peter Greenaway)

Breakfast with Gareth and Colin


Back to Arsenale

All Done

Touching the past

I’ve just returned home after an evening at St John’s College where we had a small supper following my talk at the Computer Lab this afternoon – it will be online soon, by the way.  It was a delightful event, especially because Maurice Wilkes joined us.

Maurice Wilkes
Maurice Wilkes

And I recorded an AudioBoo on the way home..


I’ve taught someone to microblog

My good friend Solana Larsen is Managing Editor at Global Voices and one of the more imaginative, creative and simply inspiring people I know. Last week she decided to something suitably bloggy to celebrate February 14:

Valentine’s Day (February 14) is a day of love, friendship and communication. What better way to mark the occasion than to teach someone you love to blog or micro-blog?

If you are a Global Voices contributor or reader, you know that blogging brings joy, happiness and new friends to millions of people. Bloggers in our community have already pledged to teach their friends and loved ones, and will be writing about it in their own blogs on Valentines Day. You can sign it too…

We’d like to invite you to join us in this meme!

Think for a moment about the people in your life. Share this gift with your family, friends, readers and sweethearts – and tell us how it went!

It’s a lovely idea, but my partner is already extremely technologically-competent and builds websites as well as blogging.

Fortunately she hadn’t ever seen the point of Twitter, so we sat down, installed Twhirl on her MacBook Air and went through the finer points of Twitter etiquette.

The world may not need another twitterer, but it’s got one now, and you can follow her at @annerooney

Coke’s Superbowl Ad

Ok, so it’s cheesy and the idea that fizzy drinks are a bonding experience not one I entirely endorse… but well made with many grace notes (watch the avatar trying to get into the cafe walking like a SL newbie)

And, as Alice notes, good to see the WoW-style Orc is a woman 🙂

Presumably next year they’ll all be Twittering…

The Dude Abides

The boy bought me a ‘Big Lebowski’ figure for Christmas… the similarity is almost painful. And I, too, will abide.

Bill and the Dude...

The value of Chrome…

I’m writing a piece for Ariel, the BBC’s in-house newspaper, about Google Chrome, so I did some searching and was surprised just how many entries about the browser Google managed to find and how many of them were about the browser rather than the metal: if you search for ‘chrome’ on Google then the top seven hits refer to their browser


Yet a similar search in Microsoft’s live search offers a range of Google-related news articles as the top hit, followed by a lot of links about chrome-plated cars. For those who have ever believed that Google’s organic search is somehow an objective reflection of the internet’s current interests and activities, this should make the Google-centrism of its worldview clearly evident.

When you search at you are looking through rainbow-coloured glasses into a representation of the web where Google values and Google interests come first.

Later, via Twitter from mattjones

@billt Ranking algorithm at work? More queries relating to the browser, not chrome plating. So top results should be about Chrome, surely?

I’m not convinced…

Heading North

I’m in Newcastle for the weekend to do some plotting with the fine people at Tyneside Cinema and to see Nicolas Roeg introduce his new film, Puffball.  Unfortunately getting here was more of an adventure than it usually is thanks to the heavy rain, and the train was stuck outside Darlington for about an hour. When we got moving we all saw why:

Olympic Gold

I don’t really care about the Olympics, but thought I’d have a look to see how well the broadcasters were doing with their online coverage. Having spotted this interesting comment on I followed the link, installed the latest Silverlight, restarted my browser and…

Failed olympics coverage
Failed olympics coverage

So good to see the IOC understands the global importance of sport… and making money out of it.

I saw this…

Here’s what I’ve tagged on

My bookmarks for July 23rd through July 30th

Here’s what I tagged on between July 23rd and July 30th: