Digital Communications

Privacy: Google's #bigtentuk debate [live blog]

A big tent meeting is one that attracts diverse views says (my former boss) Peter Barron of Google at the beginning of their big privacy debate held in a huge margquee in the grounds of posh country hotel outside Watford.  Not sure if it was a big enough tent to include Burson-Marsteller or Facebook.

May 18th, 2011|Journalism|1 Comment|

Embracing Uncertainty: diplomacy and disruption

Authority hates uncertainty. Big business and government feel safest when life is predictable and stable. Change implies a risk that your grip on power will be weakened. And unexpected change is the worst kind of all. But if uncertainty is permanent, can systems adapt? That is one of the underlying challenges to American diplomacy in the Digital Age according to […]


Who Are We Fighting The Information War With?

This is the first of a couple of blogs stimulated by a visit to POLIS/LSE by members of Hillary Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft team, the digital diplomats from the State Department. Hillary Clinton’s internet advisor Alec Ross gave a compelling speech at POLIS LSE in which he set out a positive but realistic agenda for global digital democracy. But there […]


After Tunisia and Egypt: towards a new typology of media and networked political change

Social media did not ’cause’ the revolutions in Tunisia or Egypt. But if I want to find out where the next uprising in the Middle East might occur, that is certainly where I would look. Social media is now a useful indicator, if not predictor, of political change. And regardless of the causal relationship, social media does seem to be […]


Nokia and Microsoft: Creativity is still cultural

As Nokia and Microsoft line up a partnership that they hope will revive both their fortunes  in the mobile market, I am reminded of a trip to Nokia a couple of years ago. Visiting their Helsinki HQ to talk to a senior scientist made me aware of what a remarkable enterprise Nokia is. This globally-important mobile phone is based in […]

February 11th, 2011|International, Media|0 Comments|

Egypt: A Case for Net Neutrality? (guest blog)

Amidst the coverage of Egypt’s Internet shutdown, a question frequently raised during last term’s POLIS Media Dialogues series seems increasingly relevant: how can Information & Communications Technology companies (ICTs) uphold their commitment to protect customers’ freedom of expression when this right conflicts with the legal restrictions of their foreign licenses? POLIS Intern Beth Lowell reports. When asked this question during his POLIS […]


Data Visualisation in Davos: it’s beautiful but what’s it for?

The combination of a new flood of open data combined with cheap, clever, open source tools means that we can visualise information in beautiful and compelling ways that was not possible before. But what’s it for and where is it going? Adam Blyof Seed Media gave a great presentation at a session on designing a new reality at the World Economic Forum […]

January 26th, 2011|Journalism, Media|0 Comments|

What is an informed society? From Dubai to Davos

One of the positive things to have emerged from the whole Wikileaks story is a fresh debate about the idea of an Informed Society. The President of the World Economic Forum has said he won’t invite Julian Assange to Davos because of the criminal process facing the Wikileaks founder. But Klaus Schwab certainly recognises the significance of the whistle-blower website: […]


Surreal Media Is The Real Media: From C**t to Wikileaks

Is it me or is news getting more surreal? Today we have fake Lib Dem MPs resigning on live radio, BBC presenters mangling ministers names into obscenities, and the US government telling its workers not to read Wikileaks because the information is still confidential. Suddenly, the French philosopher who argued that the Gulf War never happened seems to be on […]

December 6th, 2010|Journalism|3 Comments|

Wikileaks: now that's what I call an informed society…

The timing could not have been better. I am in Dubai to lead a global council discussion on Informed Societies with some top people from journalism, public relations, social media and universities. The Wikileaks revelations of how international diplomacy really works are a live experiment in how to inform the world through networked journalism, the combination of new media technologies […]