Twitter needs a front man. @EV sends the wrong signals!

Image is everything, or so they say and that point was driven home to me after seeing Evan Williams (@ev) BBC interview posted on TechCrunch Europe today.

One thing that I’ve always been very conscious of is image, it’s one of the things about myself and this site that I’ve tried to remake as I push myself away from being a purely tech blogger, and as I see it, Evan Williams is not the image that Twitter needs.

Back when I was living in Denmark was working on the, now defunct, social network Bloomer, I quickly recognized the need to have somebody as the face of the company that gelled well with the audience we were trying to engage. The market we were targeting was the Danish 16 – 30 and I knew that from a revenue point of view we would be dealing with Danish businesses.

I was able to speak relatively fluent Danish at the time but knew that my not being Danish could be seen as a drawback as we were trying to partner with local Danish companies.

To that end I partnered with a smart, articulate, Danish guy (Kasper Schademan) to be the face of the network and present the image that we felt would best represent us and appeal to our clients, potential partners, customers and potential audience.

When I look at Evan Williams in the BBC interview, I don’t see anybody inspiring. I don’t see anybody that would make me as an investor, potential advertiser or even a potential twitter user that would make me say – “Yes, I’m going to check out twitter”.

In face the entire interview is “forgettable” at best.

Everything about the interview is wrong, from Evan’s clothes (How old is that shirt?) to the flat, boring, even timid answers he gives which aren’t very well articulated.

Evan comes across as if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and reminds me very much of a stage shy understudy, that never learned their lines, has been thrown in front of the crowd due to the untimely death of the lead, and has to bumble their way through the lines using cue cards.

I have nothing against Evan personally, he may be the nicest guy in the world in real life, but in this interview he comes across as flat and without personality.

Twitter is a young, fast growing, energetic network that enables people to communicate in exciting ways and has lots of potential.

Twitter needs someone to be doing these interviews who is engaging and represents what twitter wants to be. Someone who will draw both users, investors and partners in alike and at the very least, put a face on the company that isn’t entirely unforgettable.

Vidcast: Morning rant – privacy and social networks

I’m not supposed to be working today but while on BlogTV this morning I did manage to fire off this rant about peoples expectations of privacy when they publish pictures and information onto the web and more specifically social networks.

This rant was brought on by reading a BBC article about the British Press Complaints Commission waning to set guidelines for how the press handles information gleaned from social networking sites.

The use of material taken from personal profiles on social networks by newspapers is to be the subject of a major consultation undertaken by industry watchdog the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

This comes in the wake of increasingly numbers of newspaper stories that include images and text taken from sites like Bebo, MySpace and Facebook.

But the subjects of press reports are not always happy with the use of content they have uploaded.

Tim Toulmin, director of the PCC, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 says the organisation was getting complaints from people about material, “that is being republished when they themselves are the subject of news stories”.

Mr Toulmin says it would be useful to establish principles to guide the press in their use of social network content.

“It’s down to the PCC to set the boundaries in a common sense way about what sort of information it is acceptable to re-publish,” he says.

Here’s a direct link to the video in case you can’t see the embedded version above.

Captcha Gotcha

captcha You’ve got to hand it to spammers. They’re nothing if not imaginative and the latest scam being reported by the BBC is pure genius.

For those of you who don’t know Capthcas are supposed to prevent automatic spamming systems from leaving unwanted adverts for things like viagra on your blog and other places.

Spammers have found a way around these capthcas using sex. Or at least the promise of seeing a hot woman stripping and getting naked.

They’ve created a game with the premises that you, as the user decipher capthcas and the more you decipher the more the images of the woman you see and each progressive image has her in ever increasing states of undress.

So, every time you decipher a capthca you get the gratification of a little more nudity and the warm fuzzy feeling that you’ve allowed spammers to place another comment on yet another blog or set up a free email account on a service such as Yahoo with which to send more spam to your inbox.

It’s true sex sells, but this is a real booby-trap! Sorry for the bad pun!