Behind Digital PR » online communications Thoughts from Hill & Knowlton's Australasian Digital Practice head, Matt Overington. Mon, 16 Feb 2009 06:16:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Outgoing communications filters Wed, 08 Oct 2008 00:37:00 +0000 Matt Overington We all know that the connectedness of the modern world means it’s all too easy to communicate with others when we really shouldn’t. A late night at the pub and you suddenly decide it’s a great idea to send an SMS to a friend telling them exactly what you think of them for not returning the book you loaned them two years back. Or what you thought of your manager in your last job… Or an ex…You get the picture, but clearly the potential to wake up the following morning with e-regret is all too real. 
Google has now come up with a solution for its GMail service called Mail Goggles.
When you write an email and click “send”, Google will present a dialogue box and give you 60 seconds to solve a series of mathematical problems. Solve the problems in the allotted time, and the email will be sent. Fail and the email won’t.
The feature can be set to operate between certain hours on particular days of the week and you can set the difficulty of the problems. In other words, those that are bad at maths still have a chance of sending messages, while the boffins have less chance of outwitting the system when not firing on all mental cylinders. (Click here for a screenshot).
We’ve long had filters and aggregators to manipulate and help prioritise the information that we receive from other sources, but now we’ve got filters on our outgoing communications as well.
While this is undeniably a gimmicky feature (of potential use to some more than others), it made me wonder what might be on the horizon in terms of tools that filter our interaction with others. After all, if we’ve got to build tools to stop us sending unwanted emails at all hours of the day and night, what’s next?
Personally, I’d like to see filters that convert any SMS shorthand in an email back to real text. Or a tool that allows me to type what I want into a Twitter tweet that automatically adjusts my comment to fit the 140 character limit without losing the meaning. Or something that prevents me from selecting “Reply to All” when I mean to hit “Forward”. 
But then again, perhaps there is no substitute for common sense.
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It’s official – ICANN approves recommendation to expand top level domains Mon, 30 Jun 2008 02:21:00 +0000 Matt Overington In my previous post, I mentioned that ICANN was looking to broaden the availability of top level domains… Well, it’s official. ICANN has approved a recommendation to expand the list of top level domains beyond the current number of 21 (.net, .com, .org, .info, etc). The internet’s peak body responsible for global co-ordination of domain names is also to expand domain name registration to include non-Roman alphabets.

The next step in the process involves the body drafting up a final version of an implementation plan, which is due early in 2009. From there, the body could be ready to accept applications for new top level domains as early as the second quarter of 2009.

Marketers, watch this space.

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Web expanding… Wed, 25 Jun 2008 02:27:00 +0000 Matt Overington The web is set to get a lot bigger… if a vote at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)’s 32nd international public meeting goes as expected this week.

According to an article published on the Sydney Morning Herald site, it’s expected that the 1,500 delegates from around the globe will back a new address system, IPv6, to add billions of new internet addresses and open up the possibility of domain registration in non-Latin alphabets.

Businesses would be able to register their own top level domains… So, in a few years time, we could all be blogging from blogs.h&k.

This represents a massive change for the web and should have online communicators salivating at the possibilities in years to come.

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