#Digital Culture

Commentary, observations and discussions on different aspects of digital culture, and how it is affecting our everyday lives.

Please stop sharing fake news for “likes”

Monday, November 13th, 2023

Photograph of a blonde woman with a comment about fake news.

If you’re going to share an inspiring quote from a celeb, or a wonderful feel-good story, a couple of words of advice…

  • Attribute it. Tell people where you got it from.
  • Don’t change it to suit your narrative. If the quote was about oranges it was about oranges, not your consulting services.
  • Fact check it. So many fake stories running around, from an autistic kid sorting bins to Steve Jobs composing an essay on his death bed.

You can go for a quick hit and a few likes by sharing the essay Steve Jobs didn’t write on his deathbed. Problem with that is the fact checkers are on your case. Sooner or later the SEO bots and social media algorithms will catch up.

At which point all your quick hit fake shares will work against you.

I hope you’re ready.

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I now write notes on my iPhone. Lots of them…

Saturday, October 14th, 2023

Black and white photograph of a Landscape. In the foreground are white apartment blocks partly obscured by trees

Half a dozen alone this morning while I sat in a park. All typed with my thumbs in Apple Notes. They were curated when I got home to a bigger screen and a keyboard. A couple merged, one discarded. This is my new normal based on the past month.

I haven’t decided whether this is a consequence of setting aside “work” for a while to focus on creative writing or the iPhone connecting me directly to my usual repository of ideas (aka Apple Notes).

I shall continue to observeā€¦

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Imma: a virtual influencer encourages us to invest

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

Photograph of virtual influencer Imma in an advert for Nomura bank encouraging people to invest in a NISA 20 year duration product

The people of Japan like to save money. Problem is they usually put it in “safe”, low interest bank accounts. That ties money up and means over the long term, savings fall in value. Not great for a country facing the pressures from an aging population.

NISA is a tax-free investment product that turns savings into stocks. It’s meant to appeal to younger people who might be more willing to take a risk with their money, but don’t need the drama of trading. However, take up has been low.

Bringing Imma into the picture might attract the attention of the instagram savvy youth of Japan. However, whether the message “let’s invest for 20 years” works with a piece of software that might not be around in 10 remains to be seen.

Then again, could the same be said of any celebrity used for an endorsement? At least Imma will vanish because of a software retirement rather than being cancelled after another scandal.

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The digital tourist

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

Illustration of two people stood side by side. One is looking intently at a guidebook, the other is pointing at a tourist attraction. Both seem happy.

In my experience there are two approaches to visiting another country or city as a tourist.

In the first the trip is meticulously planned. Countless websites are visited, brochures bought and influencers inspected. The trip becomes a confirmation that what we saw in our research was “true”. Variation risks us feeling cheated.

In the second, basic information is gathered. We arrive with nothing but a phrasebook and a mental blank canvas. What happens does so by accident, not by plan. It is all but impossible to be disappointed because we have no expectations.

I suspect my approach to travel is closer to the second. Much to the occasional annoyance of Mrs H.

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