Monday, January 12, 2009

Thinking a bit more about it maybe there should just be acceptance for the fact that bandwidth in the UK is quite a lot slower than is often supposed or could be assumed by comparison with many other places. Perhaps Exeter City Council is right not to support Flash. At least they can support a lot of text. Recently I have been thinking about the ePUB format for the Sony Reader. This is mostly XHTML but there should soon be ways to move in text from most sources. The Sony Reader can import text files as well but then there is no contents page.

So rather than just raving on about how different things could be I think i will just concentrate on the text file (400k max as I remember from dial up days, not a bad target) as a project for the UK in general and Exeter in particular.
Lord Mandelson has started to blog and has an avatar in Second Life. Whatever next?

I have left a comment-

When you consider the creative industries there appears to be an expectation that Digital Britain has a chance to explore the potential of the internet. i think you should have a realistic view of UK bandwidth compared to other places in Europe and in Asia. The relative decline is now quite rapid. I write as a citizen journalist for OhmyNews based in Korea. My impression is that the UK is about 4 or five years behind. This is based on a conference they invited me to a while ago. The UK is now discussing the same sort of media topics they covered then. So I welcome your interest in bandwidth and creative industries but hope you start from some accurate info.

I doubt if he reads all the comments but you never know. Just having a comments facility is a step closer to the spirit of blogging. Who knows where this text ends up? Maybe nowhere except a Google server in a secret location.
The Western Morning News has launched a new blog feature, linking to other blogs in the region. So earlier views on a lack of connection between print and online will need to be reconsidered. Bloggers can only gain from the promotion in print. However I cannot find a comments feature so far. My plan is to continue blogging here and send an email.

The Saturday hard copy version of the Western Morning News revealed that a YouTube video about creatives in the South West had in fact been planted by the Regional Development Agency. So in recent days there has been developments in both blogs for print journalists and YouTube for local government.

What strikes me is that there is mention of Swindon, and Bristol and Plymouth as well as Cornwall but nothing on Exeter, where the RDA office is located. Maybe they think that YouTube and Exeter do not connect. I discovered last year when trying to get some interest in digital animation that Exeter City Council have no way to view YouTube as it depends on Flash. Currently there is no Flash content on the Exeter City Council website and there is no support for people who may want to view flash content in the Exeter City Council offices.

Meanwhile Adobe claim that Flash is available on most browsers. Quoted numbers seem to start at 95% and tend towards 98%. This must be a mistake surely. Could the entire 2% of not Flash browsing be somewhere in South West England? Unlikely to say the least.

During Animated Exeter or at any time of year there could be some links with blogs and online animation. I have put some suggestions on the animX blog. Ahead of next month, that is during Jan, it would be good to have some more discussion around the topics of Flash, YouTube, blogging and animation. I will send a link to this post to the RDA and Exeter City Council. Any comments are welcome, including link suggestions.