Saturday, August 8

You have 1 new PhD in text messaging...

Another one in the annals of improbable research…how language is evolving…quite an interesting research topic, if you ask me…


Some of us worry that degrees are getting dumbed down - but now we have a PhD that has been thumbed down. A postgraduate has been awarded what is thought to be the country's first doctorate in text messaging.

Dr Caroline Tagg spent three-and-a-half years tapping out an 80,000-word thesis about SMS texts and their language. She asked friends and family to send her their messages and ended up poring over 11,000 texts, containing 190,000 words, sent by 235 people. And she came to a surprising conclusion. 'Actually, not many people use abbreviations,' said the Birmingham University academic, 33.

In fact, many texts are 'pointless and waffly', such as the enlightening: 'Hi. I know you are at work but I just wanted you to know I found my pen lid.' And fears that 'text speak' is harming our ability to use language are unfounded, she insisted.

'People use playful manipulation and metaphors. It is a playful language. Not only are they quite creative, it is also quite expressive,' she added. Tutor Prof Sue Hunston - who admits she cannot text - said: 'Every stage of the English language has been studied. Now Caroline has studied its use in texts.'

Dr Tagg is now going through teacher training at Birmingham University and will be starting an academic post with the Open University in September. But it seems she is hooked on her subject and hopes to continue by studying texts sent by children.

Thursday, August 6

Will Anyone Pay for Anything?

No, they wont. I quote:

  • They hardly pay for anything. One panelist doesn’t even pay for Internet service but grabs it from an unsuspecting neighbor.
  • They are not loyal to Facebook in the sense that if Facebook started charging, they would just use another service.
  • The only service that the boys are willing to pay for is Xbox Live; this means that all companies have to do is create another Halo. How hard could that be? :-)
  • They are remarkably enamored with Gmail and the services that comes with it. Can it be that email is the killer app of social media?
  • They seldom intentionally click on any kind of advertising, and they never buy anything because of the advertising.
  • They feel little obligation or guilt about getting everything for free, so if someone tells that that unless they start paying, a company/service/site will go away, it’s not going to work.

Where is the money? still bewildered as to where the damn money or value addition is going to come from?

Also see what Rupert Murdoch wants to see in terms of web content…, but will there be sufficient funds available to pay for the entire news gathering, editing and distribution infrastructure? No way.

The billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch suffered the indignity of seeing his global empire make a huge financial loss yesterday and promptly pledged to shake up the newspaper industry by introducing charges for access to all his news websites, including the Times, the Sun and the News of the World, by next summer.

Stung by a collapse in advertising revenue as the recession shredded Fleet Street's traditional business model, Murdoch declared that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over.

"Quality journalism is not cheap," said Murdoch. "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites."