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CorinaSasresearchdigital-web.jpgYou know what it is like. You change your status from in a relationship to 'it's complicated' but deep down you know it is all over. But there on your page is all the evidence of the three years you spent together before things went awry.

Well even academics think that social networking sites should enable couples who split up to erase the evidence of their relationship more easily.

Dr Corina Sas from Lancaster University and Professor Steve Whittaker of the University of California at Santa Cruz conducted interviews with 24 young people about how they handled the evidence of their broken relationship in the online world, and concluded that removing the traces of a past relationship is rather tricky. Their thoughts are included in a research document Design for forgetting; disposing of digital possessions after a breakup

The pair said...

"The greatest problems involved content on Facebook where couples could easily be reminded of their ex unless they deliberately unfriended them. Even then, there could be content about your ex on your friends' pages which you can't delete."

So they suggest that the social networking site should offer a feature which makes it easier to delete a couple's joint content following a break up. Doing it manually can to be too time consuming and in some instances way too painful.

Dr Sas said: "It can be very time consuming when digital content is spread across different devices like laptops or tablets and this would make the task much simpler. It could also enable people to deal with the break up more effectively.

"The best approach is not to act on impulse but instead try to wait. Then you can select which memories you want to keep and which you are confident you will not regret deleting."

There's more here.

obamadream.pngWhile looking for an image for a Tumblr story I stumbled across this recent image from Obama's blog.

For me it totally encapsulates the differences between the UK and the US in the way we see the world, but especially how we see politicians.

The image has Obama and Michelle looking lovingly towards some US City - I guess it is Chicago - and is accompanied by words that may be especially written for the post, or might have come from one of Obama's speeches.

I can't speak for Americans, but I guess for those of the more liberal persuasion the image personifies the American Dream. No matter who you are or what you are you can make it in this country. And this is only country in the world where this could happen.
The image is clearly designed to work the emotions too and it has clearly been Instagrammed to the max with soft filters to underscore that homely and earnest message.

Now just imagine that it is not Obama, but David Cameron with Sam gazing across the dreaming spires towards the River Cherwell saying the same thing. It would be widely lampooned by everyone not just from the left but from within his own party too.

Ok, so take a closer analogy - Margaret Thatcher. Her achievement in becoming the first woman to head up a major Western government was every bit as ground-breaking and impressive as Obama in the prejudice that she had to battle with to get to the top.

So Maggie and Dennis looking out from Alfred Roberts' grocers in Grantham across the green fields of Lincolnshire with the same words? Again, it would be utterly bizarre.

Ok, so swap Cameron/Thatcher for a possible future Labour leader Chuka Umunna (he hates being compared to Obama but there are some clear parallels that go way beyond the colour of his skin) gazing from south of the river towards the Houses of Parliament. The image posted on his Tumblr blog.

Pass the sick bucket. Even those who think Ummuna could be the next British PM (and I would love to see him with the keys to number ten) would be sniggering.

Umunna has plenty to deal with anyhow from the Tories.

Are any UK politicians on Tumblr anyhow? I couldn't find any.

For me the image says less about the Great American Dream, but more about the lack of deference Britons have for our politicians. One one hand it is that optimism and positivity that has helped create the US, an amazing success story. On the other hand though, maybe those of us who stayed in the old world are less susceptible to politicians pulling on our heart strings.

We don't need politicians, or anyone, to tell us what amazing country we live in either. We know we live in an amazing country - but then so do the French, Italians and the Russians.

What do you think?

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Are you a Tumblr fan? Do you have a blog on the world's hippest platform? Well if so you might want to spend a few minutes digesting this.

The normally very reliable All Things D is suggesting that Tumblr might just be about to be acquired by, wait for it, Yahoo.

The one time search engine now media company is said to have offered $1 billion to David Karp, the CEO of New York-based Tumblr.

Both sides are saying that nothing may come of the talks, but at least they admit that they are taking place.

Tumblr, of course, has been hugely successful and can boast over 100 million blogs that deliver an astonishing 15 billion pageviews a month. Even Obama has a blog on the platform.

It would give Yahoo a bit of cool that it desperately needs. However the big question for Yahoo is - how are they going to make money out of Tumblr and how would this impact on Tumblr users.

Tumblr is perceived as being cool as it is relatively free of any whiff of anyone making money. It has so far paid for its huge hosting bills by investment from companies looking for that big exit. It does make some money though by selling premium themes to its users and some fairly under the radar advertising.

Selling to Yahoo would raise the spectre of the company employing ads in a more aggressive way and that could be enough to scare Tumblr's creative and intelligent community elsewhere. I think part of the platform's appeal is its independence and lack of commerciality. The minute it starts to look and feel mainstream will be its death knell.

What do you think? It sounds like a a great move for Yahoo - would it also be a good one for Tumblr's users?

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We've all had a little cry about the fact Twitter is closing down Posterous at the end of April (well, the three of us that still used it), but now you're over the shock phase it's time to think about what to do with all of your Posterous content before it withers and dies.

There are lots of ways to transfer your posts, photos and videos to other blogging services, but today Lifehacker has published a post all about JustMigrate, a free and easy service to move all of your Posterous Spaces content over to Tumblr.

To get started, all you have to do is type you username into the app, allow it to access your Tumblr account and it'll sort out the rest for you. It supports everything from Posterous Spaces, including audio, image, text and posts with video too. It'll also transfer tags, titles, post dates and more, tidying everything up so it works well and looks awesome on your shiny new Tumblr blog.

Of course it doesn't pull over any comments, because Tumblr doesn't natively support them, but for everything else it's your best bet. Let's just hope no one plans to close Tumblr down anytime soon, or there'll be a lot of sad pretentious fashion bloggers and One Direction fans.

Related: Blogging service Posterous to close down

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Still hurting from the news that Twitter is going to pull the plug on blogging service Posterous?

Worried that your current blog format might do a Posterous/Vox etc and head off to that great blogging platform in the sky?

Well the team behind Posterous may have an answer. In an intriguing move Posterous co-founder Garry Tan has heard your pleas and is coming with a new blogging platform called Posthaven, that he promises will never shut down.

Tan says it will be the best blogging platform around and promises that it will do all that Posterous did and more. On the site's holding page he says

Everything you expected and liked about Posterous will eventually be in Posthaven. Things like post by email, multiple users, pages and links, full HTML theming, and the bookmarklet. We'll deploy the features and let you know as soon as they're available.

Tan's pledge to keep Posthaven going forever means that he has chosen a slightly different approach to building a user base.

Tan says

We're not going to show ads. We're not looking for investors. We're going to make money the best way we know how: charging for it.

So you'll pay $5 a month for your blog.

It sounds like it has already been a hit as the site has struggled to deal with all the attention it is getting.

Anyhow good luck to Tan and his team. There are a lot of Posterous users who will be looking to migrate their blog elsewhere and and a Posterous on steroids - which is what Posthaven are aiming for - sounds like a good option.

If the idea of paying for your blog irks you then there is always Wordpress and Tumblr. If you fancy the latter then there's Just Migrate's new service which TechCrunch has the details on here, which will transfer your posts over to Tumblr.

You can find out more about Posthaven here.

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There was a time when Posterous was the hot new thing in blogging. In 2008 thousands of hardened bloggers, and some intrigued newbies, set up an account using the service because, well, it was so easy to use.

You could create a blog post simply by email, or use the Posterous bookmarklet to grab images and links from a page and create a post. It was also great with images and set up simple galleries for you very quickly.

Sadly though other blogging services quickly caught up and Posterous had the limelight stolen by its big rival Tumblr.

It was then bought by Twitter who tried to turn it into a photo sharing service. At the time of the deal many industry watchers predicted that it would not work and that Twitter had bought Posterous to get their hands on a talented developer time.

And so it has proved to be the case for the the founder Sachin Agarwal has confirmed that the service will close in April.

He has included here details on how to save your images and words, but to be honest the easiest way to back up is just to set up a Wordpress account and use that service's import facility to grab the posts.

All I can say is that it feels like a inglorious end for a start up that once promised so much....

Here's the blog post


Posterous launched in 2008. Our mission was to make it easier to share photos and connect with your social networks. Since joining Twitter almost one year ago, we've been able to continue that journey, building features to help you discover and share what's happening in the world - on an even larger scale.

On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

Right now and over the next couple months until April 30th, you can download all of your Posterous Spaces including your photos, videos, and documents.

Here are the steps:

Go to http://posterous.com/#backup.
Click to request a backup of your Space by clicking "Request Backup" next to your Space name.
When your backup is ready, you'll receive an email.
Return to http://posterous.com/#backup to download a .zip file.

If you want to move your site to another service, WordPress and Squarespace offer importers that can move all of your content over to either service. Just remember: you need to back up your Spaces by April 30.

We'd like to thank the millions of Posterous users who have supported us on our incredible journey. We hope to provide you with as easy a transition as possible, and look forward to seeing you on Twitter. Thank you.

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Yeah we know, we know, it's really annoying to always be describing one shiny new platform in relation to a couple of old ones, but from what we can tell so far, new open-blogging site Howwwl mixes together some of the best features of both Pinterest and Tumblr into an interesting anti-blogging package.

Howwwl describes itself as being all about "open-blogging", which means you don't have to maintain a blog, write regular content or build up a readership to have your words "published" online. All you do is write about the topics that interest you and then visitors to the site browse by topics and read your snippets of text, follow topics or even follow you.

People do have their own profile pages, which feature all of the posts they've written and these admittedly look loads like Pinterest. However, you're encouraged to browse by topic much more than by people, otherwise you may as well just write a blog. Looks-wise Howwwl is quite fancy, with a grid-like Pinterest layout and the liking and following functionality of Tumblr.

Howwwl is a great option for those who want a simple way to publish content but can't be bothered with themes, building up a readership or any of that other stuff that comes with setting up a blog. However, for seasoned online geeks it's hard to see why people would want to read such random snippets of content, when the key to a successful blog often comes from the things that Howwwl's lacking, like a dedicated community, niche, regular content and a distinct voice. Having said that it's not as if any Howwwlers would expect to create a lucrative business from their posts, they're just coming together to share content, so maybe we should all be more receptive to this lazier and much more immediate style of blogging.

Obviously it's still early days for Howwwl and we're really not sure whether it'll be a success, but it's certainly one to watch in 2013. Whether we're watching it swim the channel or slowly sink among other Pinterest and Tumblr lookalikes.

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It's not often that sleazy British tabloids and tech publications all over the globe are interested in the same stories, but today the worlds of social media and crazy UK regulations have collided as a nine year old girl who blogs about food has been banned from blogging about food.

UPDATE: So it seems all of that hullabaloo this morning was over nothing, as the ban has been lifted and a big bod at Argyll and Bute Council said he didn't see why there was a ban in the first place. Hmmm, interesting Martha. Can you say MEDIA TRAINING? We're joking. We like her. Honest.

Martha Payne (known as VEG online) set up a food blog called NeverSeconds back in April to document her school dinners. She took photos of them, rated how healthy they were and commented on how they tasted. Scrolling back through Martha's photos it's clear some of the dinners were a little unhealthy and looked kinda gross, but I'm pretty sure my nine year old self would have given an organ for a diet that didn't consist of 4,557,789 potato croquettes and a jam roly poly EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Due to support from her dad and Jamie Oliver (remember when this man was reduced to tears by school food?) the blog became a big hit, she clocked up more than two million visitors and Martha's goal to share her eating habits with the world became a reality. Well this week it all came crashing down as her local council has told she can't take any photos of her gross dinners anymore. AWH.

She wrote a pretty sad goodbye post today:

"I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I'll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don't think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary's Meals either."

It seems that after the media started paying attention to Martha's efforts the dinner ladies (and... laddies?) at her school began to get a little worried. Argyll and Bute Council released an official statement about the decision and said:

"The council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the 'never seconds' blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly-held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils.

"However this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing.

"In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen."

Martha had been using the blog to raise money for the Mary's Meals charity, which helps disadvantaged kids all over the world. Although the fact she can no longer blog about her dinners is a big shame, we hope the media attention has raised even more money for Mary's Meals and that little Martha will get a job as a top food journo in the not so distant future.

[Via The Verge]

Pinterest has made us all go a little crazy for the grid-like, photo collage look when it comes to blogging. But, if you want the focus to be on your images rather than the way they look together, or you'd just like your words to stand out more, then try out one of these clean and simple Tumblr themes, for no nonsense blogging that won't make your eyes hurt.

Related: 7 Tumblr themes for photo blogs, fashion blogs and portfolios / Top 10 Tumblr themes that look like Pinterest for awesome photo blogs

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This week Jux, the dark horse of the blogging world, has rolled out a new commenting system to its users.

Big, bold blogging platform Jux may still be in its infancy, but since we first wrote about its potential last year we've seen more people using it and more awesome updates being made to the way it works, like the addition of panoramic streetview posts, faster loading times, improvements to the iPad app and much, much more.

Well this week Jux has added what we think is its most impressive feature to date, comments. If you visit a Jux post you like, you can now like it, repost it, share it on Facebook or Twitter, email it and... drum roll please... leave a comment behind too.

Granted commenting systems have always been built into the likes of Blogger and Wordpress, but Jux's biggest competitor, Tumblr, still doesn't have a default commenting system of its own (although you can add one with the likes of Disqus or Facebook comments). So, this latest feature certainly sets Jux up as a valid contender in the blogging platform arena. Here at Shiny Shiny we've always thought it fared well against Tumblr, but for those that were sceptical this should now be proof that Jus is a force to be reckoned with.

Related: The battle of the blogs: Jux vs. Tumblr

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Jux is further differentiating itself from other big blogging players by adding in StreetView posts with lovely panoramic images of our favourite locations.

Here at Shiny Shiny we've long been fans of quirky blogging platform Jux, and it seems the team are trying to make their offering stand out even more from the competition by adding in a range of new features, most recently the ability to add StreetView posts.

These new kinds of posts are unlike anything we've ever seen from the likes of Tumblr or Wordpress and allow users to type in an address and see huge, fullsize images of any location using Google Maps. You can then pan around for the perfect angle, add your own post or caption and you're done.

You've then got a blog entry on your Jux (or Jux blog, we're not sure) that gives you a huge panorama of a location and really makes the most of Jux's platform and Google's clever maps and images from around the globe. We imagine the StreetView posts could be used for ALL kinds of things, like documenting your commute, writing about places you love or just dreaming about locations you'd love to visit.

Although Jux may not be as popular as other big blogging players at the moment, quirky little additions like StreetView posts, which cleverly merge online and offline worlds and provide us with different kinds of interactive content, really make it stand out. A big thumbs up from the Shiny Shiny team.

Related: Jux updates its blogging platform: Now looks even better AND works faster

Posterous Spaces

Popular blogging and sharing platform Posterous has been unexpectedly acquired by the annoying yet highly addictive Twitter, which has caused a lot of dedicated users to freak out about what happens to their Posterous blogs/Spaces/whatevs now.

Tonight founder and CEO Sachin Agarwal revealed the news on the company's official blog and explained that he "couldn't be happier" about the merging of Posterous and Twitter minds into a big heap of micro-blogging goodness.

Although Posterous may not be the most popular blogging platform out there, it's certainly got a lot of dedicated users who are now worried about the well-being of their content. Although, it seems that this isn't an abandon ship kind of acquisition just yet, according to the blog post current Spaces/blogs "will remain up and running without disruption".

If you're concerned about your blog or just really nosey about the deal, then check out the Acquisition FAQ, a handy resource from Posterous, and it's great to see the company keeping users in the loop. Good work.

But, although we admire Posterous' transparency about the Twitter deal, we're not too sure it won't mean the end of Spaces at some point in the future. It doesn't bode too well that Agarwal said at the end of the blog post, "we'll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service".

So although you may get plenty of time to transfer content and clear stuff out of your old blog properly, you and Posterous Spaces probably won't end up living happily ever after.

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