CLSIG Web 2.0 slides and screenshots

Web 2.0 – the truth behind the hype. Evening meeting held at Hamonds LLP, Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YH. Speakers: Phil Duffy, Karen Blakeman

The slides and screenshots that I showed at yesterday’s CLSIG evening meeting as part of the Web 2.0 debate are now available in various places:

PowerPoint presentation on my own RBA web site

As usual, they are mostly screenshots so won’t make much sense unless you were there to hear the discussion.

Autumn Workshops – London

My autumn workshop and seminar schedule is now available at  I am running 6 workshops under my own “banner” in London at InTuition House, Borough High Street. (I had good feedback about the venue from those who attended sessions earlier this year).

There are the three “usual suspects” which always prove popular:

Market Research on the Web, 28th October

Advanced Internet Search Strategies, 29th October

Key Business Resources on the Web, 17th November

I am also running a workshop on Web 2.0 and Social Media in the Workplace on 4th November.

There are two new half day courses that have been requested by several people. Introduction to Mashups is being held on the morning of Thursday, 5th November and in the afternoon on the same days is Getting Started on Twitter.

Full details of the workshops and booking forms can be found via the RBA Training page.

Searching for images by colour

This is not a frequently asked question on my workshops but when it is raised by one of the participants it generates a great deal of interest amongst the rest. So far I have come across three that I would recommend trying.

The first is Exalead’s Chromatik, which is part of the Exalead Labs experimental area. This enables you to search a selection of Flickr images by colour and optionally by keyword. You first select one or more colours or hues from a palette which are added to a bar below the palette. You can adjust the proportions of  the colours in the photos by moving the separators between the colours in the bar. Luminosity can be toggled between bright and dark, and saturation between colourful and grey levels. The last option in the list is to search for specific images using keywords (I assume this searches the titles, tags and descriptions associated with the Flickr images). The implication is that once you have selected your colours you can then limit your search to particular objects. In practice, if you search for colour followed by keyword, Chromatik ignores your colour choices and searches only on your keywords. If, for example, you want to search for apples of a particular colour you must first search on apples and then pick your colours.

It pays to keep the number of colour choices to two or three, even if you require very specific colours, as this will give you a wider range of images to choose from. When the thumbnails are displayed you can hover over the best match and select “show images with same colors”. Click on an image and it is displayed full size, but in order to see further information about it you have to right click and select properties. This will give you a URL for the original image on Flickr but only for the image itself. It does not take you to the “full” Flickr page for the photo, which means that  you cannot check ownership and copyright.

The second tool is Multicolr Search Lab from Idée Inc. This uses “10 million of the most “interesting” Creative Commons images on Flickr”. As with Chromatik you select colours from a palette. You can select up to ten colours and click on the same colour several times if you wish to increase its prominence in the photo. Unfortunately there is no keyword search. On the plus side, if you find an image you like simply click on the image to go straight to its page on Flickr where you can double check the copyright situation.

And of course there is Google’s image search. Carry out a search on your keywords in Google images and above the results there is an option to select a colour. There are only twelve colours from which to choose and you can only select one but it works well enough. If you want to search only Creative Commons images then carry out the first stage of your search in the Advanced Image Search screen and select the appropriate option from the Usage Rights menu.

Brighton & Hove bus times on iPhone

Nice one Brighton & Hove, and I am not being sarcastic! According to the Local Government Chronicle Brighton & Hove City Council claims to have the first iPhone bus app. It has launched a free real time bus time information app created by one its residents, Rick Thompson, and which updates automatically to show live bus times across the area’s network.

My own local bus service, Reading Buses,  is just a couple of steps away. Most of our bus stops, even over “the river” in Caversham, have displays telling you when the next 2-3 buses are due to arrive so the data obviously exists. They just need to make that data available to someone like Rick.So how about it Reading Buses?

Google compiles industry stats for the UK – sort of

Google has launched a new page that pulls together industry stats for the UK. Google – Internet Stats, which is biased towards information on electronic and online services and products, gathers data from third party vendors many of which are priced. A list is available at the bottom of the Internet Stats page. You can, though, submit your own “killer fact”.  All submissions are vetted by Google.

There are five categories: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption and  Consumer Trends. Each section has further sub-categories.

This is not the answer to a market/industry researcher’s prayer. The number of statistics is very limited and the search option only searches within the browsable statistics on the landing page. Do not expect to be able to search for and find data on, for example, UK chocolate consumption! If your query falls within one of the listed categories you may be in luck.

Exactly where Google is going with this and why they have introduced it is not clear. This is a UK-only initiative at present and there is no link to it from either the .com or main Google search pages. Neither is it listed in Google Labs. Even the official announcement on “Google Barometer: New! Internet Stats all in one place” gives very little further information.

Getty Images wins £2,000 over unauthorised web use of photo

If  nothing else, this is a good example of what can happen if you fail to check the rights associated with photographs and images found on the web, and then use them for your own commercial purposes. Some people refuse to accept that just because an image is on the web does not mean that you can do what you want with it. If you do not want to pay for an image, there are plenty of sources of public domain and Creative Commons images but even then there may be conditions and some restrictions on their use (see my posting Free-to-use images might not be).

In this particular case, a removals firm used a Getty photograph on their web site without paying for it. Getty found out about it because it uses tracking technology to detect the unauthorised use of pictures.

You have been warned!