Category Archives: social media

social media

The Bonzo Dog Band on Do Not Adjust Your Set
When will Google+ allow people to add their own feeds?
Google+ for Mobile
Understanding the latest Facebook scam
Yusuf Islam on ‘My People’
Blog Action Day 2010 – #BAD2010
The Critics and Social Media

The Bonzo Dog Band on Do Not Adjust Your Set

YouTube allows the rediscovery of highlights from very distant memory, in this case the seminal TV series ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set” featuring the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

Here they are performing “Hunting Tigers Out In Indiah”:

“I really did see them in black and white!”

Somebody called ‘Dormouse’ in the newsgroup put me onto these videos, but with YouTube it takes no time at all to browse around and find more rare gems. The live concert in Belgium, extracts from films, interviews, alternative performances and outakes – they are all there.

Incidentally, was the first online group I ever founded, in February/March 1998 the the process of which I learned a lot. Here is the original charter:

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 20:46:11 -0000  Organization: ESBI  Lines: 54  Sender:  Approved:  Message-ID:   NNTP-Posting-Host:  Summary: Newgroup message  X-Newsreader: Anawave Gravity v2.00  Xref: control.newgroup:17319    For your newsgroups file: The Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) Band: Neil Innes, Viv  Stanshall etc    DISCUSSED IN alt.config:  proposal for posted by on   19th March 1998. reply from Sysop 20th Mar. Justification posted,   various contributions demonstrated strong international interest   and traffic in newsgroups. Name finalised without -band.Richard   Bryant suggested posting a Charter, charter posted No further   objections.    JUSTIFICATION:    A dejanews search on bonzo+dog indicated 2100 matches. There is a   mailing list with 65 subscribers which is intended strictly for low    volume informative posts. It is envisaged that this would continue   and the ng will attract wider ranging discussion, probably medium    volume traffic.    References to the Bonzo's regularly crop up in,, alt.comedy.british,   newsgroups. Also in,,


A forum for fans of the ‘The Bonzo Dog Band’ previously known as

‘The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Topics might include the recorded output of the Bonzo’s, TV shows and
videos and the careers of former band members. No commercial
advertising allowed unless for goods or services related to the
subject of the group. Private individuals may advertise their Website
or business in their signature files . Binary postings are forbidden.
All Binary files should be posted onto the relevant group with a pointer
to them in this group Format: Text files only, HTML , graphics and
sound files should be placed on the Web with a pointer to them in
this group


The newsgroup will not be moderated. We are an anarcho-syndicalist
collective with a rotating chair.

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When will Google+ allow people to add their own feeds?

When if at all, will Google+ allow people to add their own RSS feeds?

Friendfeed took off when rooms were added, harnessing the power of the so-called social interest graph, but it started to lose appeal again when they allowed the automated inclusion of rss feeds into those rooms by the room owners, slowly drowning out the interesting and genuine conversations.

Facebook allows the automated inclusion of feeds via 3rd party apps, but between the Facebook users and Facebook themselves, they have managed to deprecate content from feeds so that original content and human shares take priority over feeds.

Now some Google+ users are clamouring for the ability to be able to add their own streams from elsewhere directly into their own circles, which would amount to the same mistake as Friendfeed made. But Google+ hasn’t even enabled some kind of groups, rooms or interests yet, either because they still don’t understand the dynamics of social networks, or because they are rolling out such features in waves, and this one hasn’t arrived yet.

Google’s record with groups isn’t a good one. They bought Dejanews, the web interface for usenet newsgroups, one of the original computer facilitated social networks, and did nothing much with it for nearly a decade.

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Google+ for Mobile

I’m liking what I’ve seen so far of Google+ or Google plus, particularly the mobile version  which seems like a good place to quickly catch up on a lot of stuff all in one place. roll on the iPad app for it. The “nearby” feature should be really interesting on occasion, but not until a few more people are on there in my local area, which ought to be teeming really.

The big questions are who what and why

Who is going to settle in at Google+ not just to take a look around but to make it a home page that is checked often? Just the early adopter drive-by users or a more stable community of normal people?

What are we going to do or talk about on Google+ that’s innovative and original?

Why would anybody try to migrate all of their friends over to Google+ if they are already ensconced at other social networks?

The thing is, it’s all going to change anyway.

Add me as or possibly “+Andy Roberts

Photos - Google+

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Yusuf Islam on ‘My People’

Yusuf Islam talks about the production and crowd sourcing of his new song ‘My People’ inspired by the revolution in Egypt and the Arab world.

Yusuf used facebook to gather peoples voices and mixed them into the production.

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Blog Action Day 2010 – #BAD2010

The topic for Blog Action Day 2010 is water, and I’m just going to link out to some other entries from here, this time.

In 2009 I wrote blog-action-day-when-the-waters-rise

In 2007, the first blog action day, I explained that individual-action-is-not-enough

So this year I entered another song, Mondura Dam which according to the composer, myself, is bang on topic. It’s over on the Andy Roberts Podcast blog: Mondura Dam – as long as we have water and a piece about how to make cider using much less water to make cider than beer

This has been a post for blog action day 2010 tagged #BAD10

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The Critics and Social Media

In the creative world, the views of critics have traditionally been held to be of some significant influence. A few bad reviews could kill off a promising new project.

Theatre Critics

It was also possible for the public to ignore the critics and vote with their money, or build a reputation through word of mouth, but for everybody involved it’s like paddling against the stream when the critics are against you.

Social media such as blog comments, forums and comment-enabled media sharing sites would appear to hold promise to have the effect of bringing the critics opinions under the active scrutiny of the masses. But is it happening yet?

Take the Guardian for example. They have a series of blogs with comments enabled and many of the main writers do indeed engage there to some extent. There’s even a dedicated theatre blog which covers regional and international theatre but the main West End Reviews are published on the news site without comments.


The other newspaper websites are the same.

It’s interesting because Linda wrote a roundup of Imagine This Reviews on our own London Theatre Breaks blog. Imagine This is a new musical which had it’s preview press night in London’s West End last week. The critics reviews were nearly all bad, but the blog garnered a series of positive and well written “user generated” reviews that seem to urge others to defy the bad reviews and go and enjoy the show.

Imagine This - critics reviews | London Theatre Breaks

So I’m just kind of brainstorming what’s going on here:

  1. Why is there such a gulf between the opinions of the journalist professional critics and the public?
  2. I’ve seen comments before which accuse the critics of perhaps being jaded through reviewing so many pieces that they can’t really appreciate them in the same way as the public any more, and that’s a process which makes sense.
  3. Critics have also retorted, somewhat snobbishly, that the appreciative audiences are merely victims of not very subtle propaganda or marketing manipulation.
  4. It’s also perfectly possible that the blog commenters are not all rank and file theatre goers themselves but could be relatives of the cast or even financial backers with a vested interest in talking up the show.
  5. Who reads newspaper critics anyway! Google provides the instant answers these days, in the form of an assortment of reviews from which we have to decide for ourselves which is relevant, but how do we make that decision?

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about social media on the DARnet Blog