The first YouTube video ever: 23rd April, 2005

Has it really been six years since YouTube first took to the online airwaves? No, not quite. But a month from now will see that magic milestone reached, so I went in search for the first ever YouTube video…and I found it.

Uploaded at 8.27pm on Saturday 23rd of April, 2005, YouTube’s inaugural video starred company co-founder Jawed Karim. It’s not terribly exciting, and it lasts a mere eighteen seconds, but it’s a historical moment nonetheless.

The ‘Me at the zoo‘ video is Karim standing in front of a herd of elephants at San Diego Zoo. His main insight is that these elephants have “really, really, really…long trunks”.

Anyway…watch it for yourself here:

Spam scam: that’s the closest I’ve come to being duped…

I’ve never been duped by spam, and I aim to keep it that way.

But  Thursday was the closest I’ve come yet to being even remotely fooled by a digital fraudster. How? Here’s how.

I never, ever do the National Lottery. But on Wednesday I did – and I bought my ticket online. The jackpot was around the £3m mark.

So when I got this email in my inbox on Thursday, I was very excited:

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Some words just don’t translate into English

Some words just don't translate into English...The Web may have made the world a smaller place, but it hasn’t done all that much to bridge the linguistic divides that encumber businesses when doing business and travellers when, well, travelling.

That said, the internet has spawned the likes of Google Translate to help those seeking to converse with people of other linguistic persuasions. But let’s face it, online translation tools have very limited application, especially if you’re jetting off on a jungle-trekking excursion to Cambodia.

And this, of course, is where a little pocket phrase book or nifty iPhone app. may come in handy – so there are options for those wishing to venture into new territories without getting into translation tangles. But some words simply don’t translate all that well.

So I’ve done a little research. And the outcome is this compendium of phrases that apparently drive even the most tranquil of translators to despair.

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WTF? Social networking is good for language?

Text speakAnyone who’s ever run a digital advertising campaign will know all too well how tricky it is to keep texts trimmed.

With LinkedIn ads, users are restricted to 25 character headlines and 75 characters for the main body. Meanwhile, Google Ads give users a mere 70 characters to play within the text’s main body.

Reformulating an ad to fit within the pre-determined character limits can be frustrating at times, but it’s entirely necessary.

Keeping messages short, whilst still conveying the key information is an art in e-commerce. And the broader issue of how people shorten messages to friends by text, instant messaging, tweets and other social networking platforms raises the question: What impact does social media have on language?

And are textual truncations a manifestation of the net generation’s much-maligned attention span?

Read more on this in my feature piece over at The Next Web: WTF? Social Networking is good for Language?

Random Ramblings