Tag Archives: TED talks

Death and status updates: Your social presence after you’ve died

I remember feeling humbled at the posthumous ‘Last Post’ blog written by the dead journalist Derek K Miller and admiring his courage in writing the post after his death, sort of like a final ‘Status update’.  It seems that I’m not the only one who had been musing about it.  Adam Ostrow spoke at TED in July and mused about the possibilities of your digital updates after your death…

His talk pointed me to a few websites too, such as If I die, which allows you to post a Facebook message to your nearest and dearest – which will be played to your Facebook friends – after you’re gone.  It had an innovative social awareness campaign too, using location based updates and other freely sharable pieces of information to connect with it’s intended audience and encourage them to record messages.  See the video below for how they did it:

I’ve always looked at this from a more technical point of view.  When my friend was in hospital last year with a broken back (she came out of hospital after 6 months) , I focused on passwords and PC related issues.  I didn’t think about what sort of status updates she might have left for the world to reflect on.  Would they be suitable as a memoriam?  I’m sure that at any one time, my last Twitter update might not be the one that I’d want on my status update – forever…

But what sort of app could do that ‘final status update’ for you.  Does it exist yet?

And more importantly, should it…?

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.



The pulse in your virtual living room

This is an amazing video from TED  Deb Roy talks about how his son learns to speak words and the evolution of the words. For example, he’s recorded every instance of his son learning to say ‘water’ from a very basic Ga Ga.

Deb takes us on a virtual tour of his home – capturing huge amounts of data, capturing infant development.  But he discovers things that show you how online social interaction actually works – and WHY it works.. He looks at social hotspots occur and how the development of words occurs in these hotspots.

What is really fascinating about the video however is how closely it matches social media trends.  As each word is used it is mapped onto a distinct time and place (aka Location based services).   It is tagged and mapped with activities (folksonomies).   In certain locations like the kitchen area, the term water is used more often than in other places (aka hashtags).  Popular words and phrases are used in different locations of the house.  The social communications landscape starts to occur.

This huge amount of data gathered, then allows predictions where new words are lively to be used and will occur.  Think of this as the social media experts – the trendsetters and the hubs who drive our thinking in the way that social media works and is used in our interaction with others.  The language that connects events to words, can then be translated into the world of social interaction e.g TV signals, serials and shows.  You can easily get comments about TV shows on Twitter as folks discuss what is happening.

Suddenly you have huge amounts of data to play with about what people think about TV shows.  This relationships between seemingly random data on the Internet can actually be correlated with the data collected from the TV show. Commentary is linked to content on TV. The landscape of words used in the hashtags can drive the context of what’s actually being used to describe what is being watched.  This allows you to work out engagement measurements and create the social graph to connect them on seemingly unrelated sources.  All linked to content.  Links can be made from the social graph and content on TV.  Paths can be traced, comments made and the relationship between the content originator and its place in the entire social graph.  You can then get, as Deb says, a virtual living room.

How many times do you see people using twitter to talk about what’s on TV with their virtual friends.  Each comment made on Twitter connects the mass media to social media and connect with the connections in your virtual living room.  Capturing these conversations gives you a real pulse of what is happening in real time and the trends of these social structures.  The way that our language is constructed and the way that we interact in the social world.  A really amazing video from the guys at TED…

The Sound of the Universe

Off topic – but this is an amazing video from TED.  Janna Levin talks about the sound of the universe

I love the way she describes the universe as having a soundtrack, ringing out a recording onto the universe. The evocative image of black holes banging on the drum of space, squeezing and stretching space and slowing down clocks and time.

Mind boggling…but her talk totally captures the imagination