Guardian Shorts

Facebook: The rise and rise of a social media giant (Guardian Shorts)

Facebook: The rise and rise of a social media giant coverIn February 2004, whilst at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg and friends created “The Facebook”. What started as just a website for one university spread through academic institutions, developed into an application platform, and then became an entire web ecosystem. It has become one of the dominant forces on the internet in the early 21st century. This is the story of the rise and rise of Facebook, as told in six years of original journalism, writing and comment in the pages of the Guardian and the Observer.

Keeping the Torch Burning: Terror, Protest and the Games (Guardian Shorts)

Keeping the torch burning: Terror, protest and the GamesThe Olympics and politics have never been far apart from one another. At the very first edition of the modern games, held in Athens in 1896, there was a protest at the exclusion of women from competition; during the Cold War era, every contest between the USA and the USSR was a metaphor for the geopolitical struggle; the build up to the 2012 games in London was soundtracked by politicians making hay while budgets overran and security issues reared their head. A global event of unique proportions, the Olympics has long been used as a platform for protestors, propagandists and, on occasion, terrorists. However, the Olympics have enabled others to strike a message of hope or defiance in the face of adversity.

“Keeping the Torch Burning” is an alternative history of the Olympic Games, one that focuses on the social and political events that have defined each competition. Nationalism, separatism, feminism, racial equality and human rights ring loud in this Guardian Short, written by Martin Belam and uniquely told through first-hand reporting from the Guardian and Observer.

Who’s Who? The resurrection of the Doctor (Guardian Shorts)

Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor ebook coverThis ebook collection charts how the Guardian and Observer have covered Doctor Who, Britain’s most popular Saturday tea-time drama, since it was revived by the BBC in 2005. ‘Who’s Who? The Resurrection of the Doctor’ features interviews with the three men to tackle the leading role — Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith — and the two men who have been in charge of the show’s fortunes: Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat.

The book also includes interviews with a host of other Doctor Who actors who have played companions, allies and villains, including Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, and writers including Neil Gaiman and Mark Gatiss. There are contributions from legendary author Michael Moorcock, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy, and specially commissioned illustrations from Jamie Lenman.

Battle for the Internet: An open democracy or a walled garden? (Guardian Shorts)

The Battle for the Internet book coverThe internet has the potential to help society build the greatest global democracy with lofty ideals of freedom, and the capacity to facilitate the most authoritarian of surveillance states. One of the defining philosophical clashes of our age will be whether the original open model of the web prevails against a whole stack of challenges lining up against it.

This ebook gathers together a series of articles and essays published by the Guardian in April 2012 looking at the battle for the internet. You’ll find comment from lauded digital thinkers like Cory Doctorow, Aleks Krotosky and Clay Shirky, and passionate advocates for software and computer freedom like Richard Stallmann and Jonathan Zittrain. There are pieces exploring the perspective in Tallinn, Moscow and Beijing, and Guardian journalists Charles Arthur and James Ball unravelling the complex arguments around software patents and the storage of personal data by web giants like Google and Facebook. And no book on the topic of the internet would be complete without the thoughts of Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Conference notes

Confab 2013

Confab 2013 ebookYou can download a compilation of all my blog posts from the 2013 Confab content strategy conference in London as a PDF, ePub or for Kindle, featuring talks by Kristina Halvorson, Leisa Reichelt, Erin Kissane, Karen McGrane, Sarah Richards, Ann Handley and more