Next Manchester Werewolf Chapter – Wed 28th March

Were back for another Manchester Werewolf Chapter with the guys at Larkin About again.

On Wednesday March 28th, the Manchester Werewolf Chapter and Larkin’ About will be running another Werewolf game at Barcelona Bar in the Northern Quarter. For FREE!

Werewolf is a simple game of strategy and deception, played by a large group of people.
The game is all about making accusations, lying, bluffing, second-guessing, and social engineering.

All are welcome! We have a great location with a bar because we all know lying is very thirsty work. The event is suitable for all levels of experience from absolute newbie to Werewolf expert.

The Pancakes and Cocktails are worth it alone… And its happy hour right up till 9pm…

To register your interest, please visit our Facebook event page, or send us an email to larkin.about2009@gmail.com.

The pacemaker is back baby…

Pacemaker meets Playbook

The original pacemaker team did say on a forum of pacemaker fans they were working on a mobile app but I had no idea about this…

Found via Guy West on twitter, Engadget broke the news that the pacemaker was coming back as a RIM blackberry app.

News just in this morning, however, is that the DJ tool is back as a PlayBook app thanks to an exclusive collaboration with the tablet’s maker. Details are sparse right now, as the information spilled at RIM’s event this morning at MWC, but we do know that there will be auto beatmatching, vinyl mode with scratching, digital mode, looping, loop travel, pitch control, beat skip and “pro level” effects. All we have in terms of availability is that it will be out this spring, with no word on price.

On the pacemaker teams facebook page and Pacemaker forum for more details…

Today we proudly announced a partnership with RIM / BlackBerry at a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As a result, we’re porting the technology of Pacemaker® Device onto the BlackBerry PlayBook.
After investigating a wide range of mobile platforms to make a digital transition we selected the PlayBook due to its highly responsive user interface. DJ’s requires very low latency and the PlayBook delivers very well on that aspect.

For those who don’t own a BlackBerry PlayBook please stay tuned as we have future plans for other platforms as well.

Btw, our next stop will be the South By South West festival in Austin Texas, so if you’re there, let us know :)

I’m very tempted to go down to CEX and pick up a 2nd hand Blackberry Playbook but I’m sure Android isn’t far behind…?

HTC One X coming to Orange

HTC One X and S in Orange Store confirmed

Updated, with the new orange store screenshot

I was considering switching network while I wait for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but yesterday Engadget broke the news about the HTC One X and One S and that it was coming to Orange in the UK.

Not sure how I feel about the 4.7 inch screen of the HTC One X but the HTC One S’s 4.3 inch screen is but much more pocketable. The One S also looks like my old HTC Desire but much nicer and bigger. Quad core running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) coupled with HTC’s final decision to unlock all bootloaders makes these phones very attractive and a long term investment.

Certainly glad I waited and didn’t go for the Samsung Galaxy S2 or one of Sony’s other Gingerbread phones. If the Galaxy S3 does come, I can always still switch network if its a One X beater

Google Schemer: Inspiration networking

Schemier

I like most things which are about inspiring you and people around you. I remember seeing Happiest at Thinking Digital and thinking now thats really interesting but I felt the way they were going about it was maybe not quite right. They seemed to be going the way of Facebook, which is fine if your planning to build a whole network like Path.

I am I do on the other hand is much more like twitter. Everything is public by default and it does one thing very well. What that thing is, no one can quite put there finger on as of yet (just like early twitter). I am I do has the potential to be the platform not the whole network.

Schemer is a interesting service which seems to plonk its self somewhere between Happiest and iamido.

Schemer lets you define goals and mark the things you’ve already accomplished. You can inspire other people, find people who have the same goals and join the conversation. To make it easier to find a scheme, you can add tags and locations.

Its a social goal management done really well. The by product being inspiring goals which get you thinking. And what really intrigues me is the notion that Schemer is actually a Google+ app.

Schemer is actually a Google+ app and it’s likely that you’ll be able to use it inside Google+ in the future.

Leveraging Google+ in the right way instead of the app sitting within Google+ like Facebook apps makes sense (although maybe facebook connect does this too?). Actually if I was Happiest I would suggest doing the exact same thing instead of building there own network. I am I do could do the same quite easily.

Google+ seems to have everything in place to be the pipes rather than the network, and I’m intrigued if mydreamscape could work in a similar vain?

Inspiring the next generation…

I am a geek

On Wednesday I’ve been invited to Albion High School for their World of Work as part of the BBC’s outreach programme. Its something I’ve always wanted to do more of but till now not really done anything about till now.

I’ll be talking with year 9, considering there options for GCSEs next year. I have roughly a hour with each group and they will shuffle around each hour. It was suggested if I wanted to give a presentation of what I do, that might be good. However I’m unsure what exactly I would present if I did…

This is consistent with the new economy of work and dare I say it rework. How can/do you explain what you do to people outside this new economy? I have this problem all the time when meeting new people or going on dates.

Most of the time saying I work for the BBC tends to throw up many more questions like “which TV show do you work on?” I then explain I work at BBC R&D and ask if they have an idea what R&D means? After a second or so, I chip in with its Research & Development. They usually start saying, “oh you research for which programme?” To which I tend have to try and explain I’m work on technology which underpin what the BBC does and will do into the future.

If I’m feeling a little more playful, I will say something like “I work in the grey area between legal and illegal, seeking out emerging technology/opportunities which hackers, startups, early adopters are working on to scratch their own itches.” Although stretching the truth its not far wrong.

So back to the main question… How best to communicate what I do and the opportunities available to the next generation?

Ultimately I’m really hoping to bring out the geek in each one of them (tall order in less than a hour), convince them they can follow their passion no matter what it may be, because frankly life is too short (oh good video to show).

I’m tempted to show i am i do the all new Google Schemer, and maybe some podcast videos then talk about different aspects of my work life/aspirations. Hopefully it will inspire some questions and if not I can ask the young people about their media/social habits?

If this goes well, hopefully I’ll do some more as the BBC does quite a lot of outreach.

Official apology from Fevermedia for Year of making love

Funny I missed this all together… and it wasn’t till someone left a comment on my personal OKcupid blog where I made reference to the debacle in the light a question about maths in matching people.

To everyone who attended The Year Of Making Love launch event.

First of all, thank you very much for attending. As you know, hundreds of people joined us on Saturday in Bedfordshire. Whilst the vast majority of people enjoyed their day, I am well aware that some people’s experiences were disappointing which is something I deeply regret. I and the entire team are extremely sorry for the difficulties you faced.

By way of explanation I want to say a few things about the day. We invited 1000 people to the event, all of whom had been carefully matched in advance by our experts. You held up your side of the deal by coming along on Saturday. Unfortunately, we were surprised by the high number of people who did not arrive at the venue. This was entirely unexpected, since every single person who was invited had confirmed their attendance with the production team in the days prior to the event. The contributors who did not turn up caused a large number of problems for us throughout the day, and had a serious knock on effect on the smooth running of the event.

When it became clear early on Saturday morning that some contributors had not got onto their coach, our team immediately began to call around those individuals to try to get them to the venue. As the day progressed more and more people were turning up who had not got on their original coach but had instead made their own way to the venue. This meant people’s matches were arriving throughout the day and in some cases we didn’t know for sure whether a match was on their way until rather late in the day. We also decided to delay some coaches to give people more time to get to the venue. This meant people were arriving later and in larger numbers than planned which caused queues and a delay in the registration process.

Later in the afternoon, it did become clear that for a number of you, your match was unfortunately not going to turn up. At this point we could tell by checking each individual’s number that there were many strongly compatible people in the room and we created new couples using the same scientific data from the personality tests that had been used originally. Unfortunately, a number of people who had registered on the day left the venue during the afternoon without first informing anyone on the production team. This meant many of our new matches would not be possible as one of half of the match had actually already left the event – although of course we didn’t yet have that information.

This is the first time an event like this has ever been attempted before and whilst many had a fantastic day I am aware that some people’s day was a big disappointment. If you are one of those people I hope you trust we tried to do what we could in difficult circumstances. From my point of view, having one unhappy contributor is not acceptable, so I am extremely disappointed that some of our contributors feel let down. We could not have made this event happen without our contributors and I do thank you for being there on the day.

I should also let you know that we will be contacting everyone who did not turn up on the day to try to find out why. We are also looking in to the possibility of putting people in contact with their original matches but this is entirely dependant on two way consent.

Finally, should you wish to share your thoughts with us, I would genuinely welcome your feedback. Over the next few weeks I’m asking our team to get in touch with everyone and I will ensure that each and every one of you receives a reply to your questions and concerns. We are working through the emails we have received, but if you have anything more to add the best way to reach us is at yoml-update@fevermedia.co.uk.

The Year Of Making Love launch day was an ambitious event and whilst the majority of people successfully met their match, we are fully committed to try and make amends for those that didn’t.
Thank you again for taking part and please accept our apologies.

Fever Media

Finally a better understanding of what was going on in the background. If only this was made clear during the event instead of keeping it a bloody secret. That was the biggest problem, very little very information or communication to us, the participations/contributors.

Frankly its a very poor apology, it still doesn’t address why we were so delayed getting off the coaches and never given a break, food or drink for a good 6-8 hours. Theres also no information to say if the show will go ahead in its current form or greatly changed?

Fevermedia once again blame us and not themselves. Are they really surprised people started leaving when there was no communication?

They must have known the risks, this is why they had researchers calling us up right to the last moment. One of the guys I met on the day from Manchester, received a call on the coach up from one of the researchers asking if he was on the coach or not. I guess it does explain why the coach were 50% capacity on the way up…

I never can explain to people who were not there how frustrating the whole event was… Even now a week later (8pm) its crazy to think at this time last week I had not eaten or drank for close to 8 hours. The intriguing nature of meeting my perfect match kept me at the venue and there should have been a system or solution to keep people informed if they went away, even to the toilet. The idea of matching people in front of the cameras blindsided the whole process till it became very clear it was totally impossible. Not sure when Fevermedia caught on to this fact but it was certainly hours after everyone else.

As I said previously, usually TV is created under a dictatorship. These guys (director/producer/etc) keep things so usually tight, so it was very eyeopening to see public wifi, etc available. However although I enjoyed the openness of this type of thing, they totally dropped the ball for event management. No apology for that anywhere to see…

Torrents & Magnets with dropbox

Bit torrent is changing if you hadn’t noticed already…

Torrent files are going the way of cds while magnet links are taking over.

When you download a .torrent file, you’re essentially downloading a small file that contains information on the larger files you want to download. The torrent file tells your torrent client the names of the files being shared, a URL for the tracker, and more. Your torrent client then calculates a hash code, which is a unique code that only that torrent has—kind of like an ISBN or catalog number. From there, it can use that code to find others uploading those files, so you can download from them.

A magnet link does away with the middleman. A magnet link is essentially a hyperlink containing the hash code for that torrent, which your torrent client can immediately use to start finding people sharing those files. Magnet links don’t require a tracker (since it uses DHT, which you can read more about here), nor does it require you to download a separate file before starting the download, which is convenient.

Magnet links are certainly a lot better in many cases, the piratebay demonstrated this by fitting the whole site into a 90meg file. But I have a problem which I don’t seem to be able to find a answer for…

Torrent files + Dropbox is a killer combination, it means no matter where you are as long as you got a internet connection you can fire up your torrent system without messing with firewalls, etc. As we move to Magnet links, that infrastructure just crumbles and everyone seems to suggest the hole in the firewall solution.

So if anyone knows a better way to replicate dropbox + torrents or a solution which doesn’t require punching a hole in my firewall, I’m all ears, like many people…

Wasted human effort, what’s a responsible citizen to do?

a bike that can only run on special roads.

I had to connect two things together earlier today.

Found via Brooksoid, the oatmeal comic about trying to watch game of thrones. And Torrentfreak’s A Responsible Citizen Not Only Shares Culture, But Destroys The Copyright Industries.

…sharing became a matter of being responsible as a citizen. Sharing culture was not only a good deed in humankind, it was also taking civil responsibility for preservation of our common heritage, a responsibility that neither the industry nor governments took on themselves to fulfill.

Framerate show is a good show for this type of thing, shame its very American centric.

I find the grey area which a responsible citizen inhabits, very interested. So many interests and so much money and time is spent on protecting a system which is impossible to protect. This is certainly why things like Creative Commons and micropayment systems like Flattr gives me such joy…

Funny enough

Moon Venus Mercury & Mars

Me and Simon were walking home the other day talking about the patent nightmare (as you do) and Simon said,

We could be on Mars by now but instead we’re wasting effort stopping people stealing Coldplay records!

Although Simon was slightly confusing or at least mixing up the patent problem with the copyright problem, that sentence alone is pretty elegant and sums up a lot of thinking I’ve had over the years.

The next day, I pursued him to mention it and it got re-tweeted by people like myself. He then came back with this

Everything and anything that prevents the progress of our species in the pursuit of profit.

Ant Miller followed up with…

@cubicgarden @si_lumb can I have that on a t-shirt please…

You can just imagine a brand of Tshirts with Copyright and Patent reform slogans… (remember when Google and Patent reform was hot on peoples lips).

This also drives me to once again have a UK version of Framerate… the issues are different enough. Cristiano Betta and myself have talked about a techgrumps for films, tv and media for a long while, maybe the tipping point is nearing?

So how about it people?

The Story of Me featured on Slideshare

Slideshare feature

I was featured on Slideshare.net today and Dianavcarrico left me a tweet

Hi Ian, just saw your featured slideshare presentation and I hope you’re doing fine right now! Inspiring for sure! *

Great to know its still inspiring people… Can’t wait for the TedXManchester Video, because I’ll certainly be sharing it with my family and friends. I’ve also been asked to maybe do it again at another event, so look out for the same but less tears…

Other peoples thoughts on the year of making love

Rome visit, June 2008 - 57

Now on my 4th blog entry for the year of making love… Its hard to see how it went from this to this

Others have started blogging their thoughts. So I thought it would be worth sharing them, partly to show I’m not the only one and highlight other thoughts.

Whats love got to do with it

I was number 2004, therefore expecting to be quite early on in the process, however the first few groups came and went and I was still left sat there in my seat.  This happened to Adam and one of the Richards as well.  When my number was skipped a second time, I began to wonder if Miss 1004 was even in the room.   Turns out she wasn’t, and I ended up being paired off with a different girl, who, though being nice enough, was not my type at all, and it was clearly obvious I wasn’t hers as well!  Martyn had a similar story with his match, no chemistry, and Adam decided he would rather not be matched with a random girl, not his perfect match, and dint stay to go up on the stage!

Making love on Camera

It started off fairly promising as some of the couples looked well suited, but as the process was drawn out a lot of the matches seemed completely bizarre pairings, and it didn’t take long before couples were showing obvious signs of disapproval on stage in front of the 1000 person crowd. In fact I half expected Jeremy Kyle to spring up at one point as a lad walked off about 5 paces in front of his ‘match’ to a chorus of boos.

I should point out that this went on for a good 4 hours due to the stop-start nature of calling up couples to the stage, and by this time many had lost interest. I felt faint and tired due to not eating or drinking, but just as my eyes were starting to close Adam tapped me and said ‘they’ve just called your number!’ I picked myself up and headed behind the screen to the side of the stage. Whilst the 5 of us lads waited like lambs to the slaughter, we exchanged a bit of last-minute banter, but this is where the nerves began to creep in.

Interesting to read what a gay guy also at the event thought of the whole thing

I entered this endeavour ready to tell horror stories of how we were herded like cattle (which we were), where no one got what they wanted (one guy left out of frustration of having to wait to be part of the 901st couple to be matched), and where the only people involved were just desperate to be on the telly (this happened a lot – me and the boy in question traded stories from the boys and girls sides respectively), but my personal experience was nothing like the sceptical versions we tell ourselves as an audience member: I found someone I genuinely liked, who seemed to like me back, and who I could actually see as a potential partner. Bollocks.

And now Channel4 are jumping in with there own Dating show… Geez, do I have to say anything more!?

Interestingly a breach of contract seems to be effective, so maybe I can remove the disclaimer? According to one person on FB

my sister is a lawyer and she said if i dont hear anything by the end of the week she will send a stern and threatening letter. they broke their contract by saying we will leave the venue by 6pm i left at 8:15. so i will defo get it back

And from the Facebook group Matthew Stokes said,

TV programes are made for the viewers, not for the people taking part. A few digrunteled people, however justified, are not going to be a big concern to the production company, their parent company, and certainly not to the BBC. Don’t kid yourselves. Sorry, but I wouldnt waste too much of your time ranting, complaining, and kicking up a fuss. You are best turning that into positive energy, meeting some cool and sexy people on here, making plans to meet up, and going to one of the events we have arranged ourselves. Its a great display of the human condition that in adversity, groups like this crop up and we are moving on to bigger better sexier things!

The producers clearly didnt set out to upset people, but their main aim is to make a good TV progamme, not to keep 1000 random people entertained. Yes, they will HAVE to arrange to film specific people, yes some of it will be a little contrived, and yes sadly some peoples time will have been wasted. Trust me, if Saturday could have gone any better/smoother/easier than it did, they would have been far happier too. I for-warned them of the issues they were going to face last Thursday on the phone, and I got the impression that they knew it was going to be a toughie. Sadly, it seems that some programme makers are not the best at people management, time management, or logistics! All of this being said, we were there FOR THE PROGRAM. No one paid anything to be there, no one had any guarantees, and we all knew what the concept of the show was. Anyone expecting a second event to meet matches, or payments, or compensation will be sadly disappointed. The apology that we have received is all that we will get, and I do feel bad for people that waited all day, had bad journeys getting home, and spent money to be there.

And this is where I get very twitchy and slightly on my high horse.

It is great positive things come out of adversity however I reject the fact TV programmes HAVE to be about exploitation of people. There is certainly a reason why I work for the BBC

Ubuntu on Android

Bit of a break from the year of love..

Most people felt Ubuntu was going to launch their own mobile operating system but instead…

They made Ubuntu on Android and now you can watch it work including the surprising Ubuntu TV support here on youtube.

This even more makes me consider switching my Ubuntu sessions back to Unity from Gnome Shell, it also makes AirDroid a bit of a lost project now? However I’m really looking forward to Air/Wifi syncing because USB sync is soooo Windows CE :) Although most of the time now, I’m plugged in just to keep my old HTC Desire charged up

A quick letter of complaint to Fevermedia

After the year of love self destruction, I’ve been holding off sending them exactly what I thought of them. Everytime I go to write, I get pissed off and start repeating some of the thoughts in my blog entry from earlier…

So in the end I wrote this because I needed to write something short and being 2 days later, it just needed to happen…

I’m still days later, generally peed off about what happened on Saturday… I wrote a blog entry which you may or may not be interested in.

I personally was interested in the experiment and meeting my match through science or more like alchemy. But it never happened on the day.
Someone at the end said they would match people via email, but as I wrote I doubt most will agree after such a terrible experience in the name of science… :-( Even wrote a blog to encourage people to give it a try…
So I’m still interested in carry on the experiment but wouldn’t be surprised my partner wasn’t interested and it never made the tv… Robbed is how me and many others felt, no wonder there were the signs of frustration by 7pm. As a bbc employee I was also upset to hear people say negative comments about the bbc…
I await answers…
Ian Forrester – number 2135
There’s been a number of Facebook groups/pages setup but the most active is The Year Of Making Love Contestants. Some people have gotten replies but frankly there not very apologetic about the whole event.
There’s also a number of contestant created events happening around the country, including Manchester! If Fevermedia were smart they would back some of these user created events. Something like hardship to bring people together much tighter than almost anything else.

Updated

And just when you think Fevermedia would have put their heads down.. There’s talk on Facebook that they are calling up matches and saying this…

Hi we got your e mail’s we understand you were unhappy with your match.

Can we re-match as we are are still kean on filming you and following your progress through-out the year.

Even if you don’t get on with your match think of the exposure you could get, We won’t pay you but I’m sure you guys can make money out of this.

Your new match is happy to go ahead so it just comes down to you, if you say no thats fine but just think about it as this is a great opportunity.

If this is true and honestly I wouldn’t put it pass them to do such a under-handing thing going on previous experience. I certainly won’t be involved… It goes from being a unique experiment to a freakshow, and thats not what I signed up for… As far as I can see, the contract I signed was void when I didn’t get matched first time.

So much for the science, maths or alchemy…! Once again I’d refer to my last blog

Is it possible to match people with science?

This has got to be one the eternal questions? Maths or science has solved so many of our questions but can it be used for working out compatibility of humans?

That was one of the things which really intrigued me about a year of making love. I assume you’ve seen how it turned in on its self since the production team totally screwed up the process and kept us all in the dark about it. And if you want further evidence do check out the tweets for #yearofmakinglove and #yoml

However because of the total screwup most people are saying its a total failure (maybe very true) but also science or rather maths was never going to work… I can’t disagree specially after the experience we all had yesterday. However basing any judgments off the back of yesterdays experience would be a mistake.

So do I personally think maths/science can match humans? Maybe… (yes what a cope out) but to be honest no one knows for sure. And thats the point of the experiment.

At the very start of the day (ordeal) we were introduced to the professor who devised the test/questions and the matching algorithm. I remember tweeting this

As Michael replied a far…

And he’s right…

In my own experience to date, the matching algorithm over at OkCupid.com has been pretty darn good (not perfect!) (OKCupid’s OK Trends are legendary – check out the biggest lies people tell each other on dating sites and How race effects the messages you get). But I had to train it to be good. I’ve to date answered about 700+ questions and there not just questions. There detailed, so you have to answer it, then specify how important this is to you and what answer your ideal match would pick. This makes for much more dimensions in the answer criteria and ultimately the algorithm. Aka the algorithm is only as good as the dataset its working on.

You got to put in the data/time, if you want it to be good… Otherwise your going to get crappy results.

This makes the 50 questions answered for the year of making love look like a pop quiz (hotshot), to be honest.

So back to the original question slightly modified, can a algorithm match people in the interest of love? I think so to a certain extent. But its not the complete picture. Chemistry is a big deal which is very difficult to understand. Its not found by answering questions but watching the interaction between people. Its a different type of algorithm… Situation can cause chemistry, aka the reason why everyone came together on the coaches home (or to the wrong city as some of them seemed to do) is because there was a social situation which we could all share/talk about. (cue talk about social objects/places) Chemistry was in full effect?

I hope people don’t give up on science as a way to find their ideal partner just because of the terrible experience they had at The year of making love… is I guess what I’m saying…

A year of making love and where it went wrong

Most people will remember the last blog I wrote about the BBC Three dating experiment called A year of making love

Well I went to the event and frankly it was a total shambles. So what happened (imho)?

I have to be careful because I did sign a contract with them, which if I read correctly did have clauses which seemed NDA like (yes I do read contracts but it was very rushed at the time and we never got a copy of what we signed) From memory it was more about exclusive use of footage, etc. And Fevermedia actively encouraged us to document our experiences for a year. From the paper work they gave us…

  • How was the YOML (year of making love) launch day for you – what was your experience?
  • What do you think of the science that matched you two together… has it done well or not!?

They even supplied free wifi on the day which did really surprise me, hence lots of tweeting, uploading photos, etc… So I’m just posting my own thoughts…

I got up and got myself ready for the 7am coach journey from Piccadilly Station. 4 Coaches were put on with males in two and females in the others. We were meant to leave on the dot so we would reach the secret venue by 10am. However that never happened as we left Manchester at about 8am instead (no real reason why, or at least explained)

Then when we finally got to Millbrook, we were left sitting in our seats on the coaches for almost a hour. Yes we were on location but each coach was sat in a formation waiting for what? No one knew, no communication, no one to ask. Coach driver only said he’s been told to wait. In the end, its was only my bladder and my unwillingness to go pee in the bushes near the formation of coaches. I personally think they wanted to do a shoot of everyone getting into the building but it just never happened.

Marching into the building/hanger to use the toilets, it seemed stupid to go back to the coach. I also had met some guys on the coach who followed me (more about them later). So we stuck around and waited in a queue of woman also waiting to register and get in.

Finally through registration and directed into the green zone to collect our wrist bands and sign the very light contract. We were given a a food voucher (a sandwich and a drink), information sheets and told to wait with other matches. To be correct, the green zone was mainly for males and the orange zone mainly for females. However, I was pleased to see some woman who in my terrible gaydar sense were homosexual. I was pleased mainly because I did wonder if this experiment was exclusively straight, which turned out not to be. A matching experiment should work with LGBT too, OkCupid‘s does.

Right after about a hour of waiting around, we were told to go into the main area. To be honest it was massive and very impressive at first. Orange (mainly women) on the left and Green (mainly men) on the right. Separated by a large isle in the middle, like a church wedding. Were were also explained this is a “scientific experiment” which has never been done on this scale before…

The idea was when your number is read out, go to either side/wing to get quickly sorted and get given a couple number. When your couple number is read out, emerge from the hidden wings, walk on to the stage meet your partner for the very first time say something nice and walk down the isle in front of the cameras. Basically they wanted to capture that very first moment when you met and the reaction as you walked away to learn more about each other next door

And to be frank for the first few hours it worked. There were some amazing matches and some great moments when people lept into each others arms, did a spin on the spot and carried the parter down the isle over there shoulders. The energy in the room from the 1000 people was great. However after 2-3 hours, the space started to empty from matches and the energy started to shorten.

Where it went wrong…

We were promised breaks but never told when they were. Instead there were long periods where they had called quite a few numbers and trying to sort out there partner numbers in the wings (once again no communication of what was going on).

Little Update…
Also worth mentioning there were doing in small batches starting from 2xxx and 1xxxx going upwards. So realistically I should have been matched very early with 2135. However they skipped over large batches at certain points. But still generally going up into towards 2500 and 1500. Of course they never reached 500.

Later the blame was pushed on to people leaving and their partner being left alone. In actual fact, if they had brought us into the arena in small batches, instead of random it would have speeded up the process no end.
People started using there phones, reading magazines and generally chatting away. The clapping went from loud to drips in a sink. People screamed for food as we hadn’t had food for over 5 hours! I was thinking about starting a shout out about this but decided better of it.

The event was due to come to a close at 6pm but we left the venue at about 8:30pm. Lots of people including myself, came by coaches but others drove and got connecting trains to Milton Keynes. If your coming from a long way, you want to make sure you get home safely (specially if your a single woman, friends were not allowed – you had to come alone). The coaches threaten to leave but were held back as long as possible. There was a air of people needed to go and they did.

Fevermedia tried to speed things up but with the false positives and the lack of excitement it became very telling. However, instead of changing things (after a announcement captured on youtube). They pushed on with the same format (they really wanted that moment of first meeting on camera), even my number got called and I was waiting in the wings to meet my partner.

Then they changed their minds (finally realising this will never work in the time) and pulled everyone to the back of the venue to read out the numbers and matches. This was very badly done (it was like calling for cattle) and done far far too late. Hence it pretty much exploded at the end with  a ugly stand off between production staff and the people who had not been matched (roughly 100 people).

I like many others were peed off (lack of food, drink, sitting in uncomfortable chairs for hours on end, with very little communication about what was happening) that maybe in the room was our matches but we would never find out because they wanted to hold on to that information. At one point they even suggested a speed dating session (I hope as a unhelpful joke) which would have made the whole scientific experiment a total joke. Fevermedia did say they would contact everyone who wasn’t matched and match them over email but like many expressed, the moment is gone and after such a bad handle of the situation why would anyone want to be involved again?

The cold light of the next day

They wanted to be the largest but only matched about 350 couples? (aim was 500). They could cover up some of the holes on in post but its going to need plenty of editing and they will never get the magic 500 couple number, specially now.

It wasn’t that I was pinning my hopes on meeting the one, just that I like many wanted to meet them and felt bad for this other person who you may have even rubbed shoulders with. In actual fact, I met some great people on the day and sharing stories and experiences on the coach was interesting.

After all the trouble of the day (we got back to Manchester after midnight! I even had to direct the coach driver…), a few of us went to Tai Wu for Chinese food as we were so bloody hungry. Two of the guys I met on the coach, had met there match partners but hadn’t really clicked (yet?)  so hooked up with other people. One of them came to Tai Wu with us and they seemed to be hitting it off very well. Mismatch maybe, who knows? We’ve all agreed to meet up again soon in the Northern Quarter for drinks as we swapped numbers.

For me it was a the not knowing and being in the same room with someone who might be a great match. End of the day I was more interested in seeing if it could work. One guy I spoke to on the coach home, had staked quite heavy amount of time and effort on this and was deeply upset. Some would say thats really bad but at just 18 and frankly a super shy personality, the build up and catastrophic breakdown of the show was heart breaking. I did say to him don’t confuse the show format with the actual idea of using maths to connect people. OkCupid does a excellent job (imho) but I have to date answered over 500 detailed questions. While for the show we answered roughly 50?

End of the day, I’m not that upset (some were screaming blue murder at the end)… I do fear it reflects very badly on the BBC because I heard negative comments about the show and attributing BBC Three. It was all very anticlimactic for something which started off well (even with the small problems at the start). I did feel sorry for Fevermedia specially when people were laying into them but if they had sorted out the matches and worried less about getting that on camera everyone would have been a lot happier. I’d suggest they should have done it over 2 days for such a number of people really, but I imagine that would have been a logistical nightmare too.

This further adds further weight to my thoughts about broadcast TV. There’s a sense your just cattle and don’t matter in getting the final product. Your the bi-product and thats just not right (specially felt this when they were reading out numbers like cattle). In my TedX talk earlier in the week I talked about everyone being unique and special. 500 new stories and relationships had the potential to be an amazing story but for a lot of people it was an experience they never want to be involved in again…

And with this I rip my green band off with my match number 2135. Its very unlikely I’ll be involved any further… And I’m sure my match if anything like me won’t either…

a year of making love band

A year of making love?

chocolate for perfect match

I have no idea whats going to happen tomorrow but remember that BBC Three dating show I considered going on a while back?

Well I applied and got accepted on board…

All I know so far is there are 499 other men and 500 woman also going… We’ll be matched based on maths or more like sudo-science off the back of our questionnaire which we all had to fill in. So like OkCupid its based on a matching technology to see whos the most compatible for each person. One of the 500 will be a “perfect” match for me.

Tomorrow we set off at 7am from a place in Manchester to a place in the midlands to meet quite a few of the opposite sex, then later in the day we will meet our “ideal match?”

One of the researchers called me a few days ago to check I was still going, because “you wouldn’t want to let down the other person of course.” She then asked if I was going to bring some flowers for her? To which I was like “ummm no?” Anyway later today, I decided maybe I should buy something, because goodness knows what everyone else will be doing…? Yes I bowed to peer pressure on this one, not really my style.. I know. I got a box of chocolates and will wrap them up in a bit…

Everything I do hopefully will be in my character, I won’t be acting out of turn or pushed into something.

If things work out, then great but generally I’m not expecting to find my perfect match or anything like that. I mean lets look at the maths…

I answered about 40 questions and the sample size isn’t that big. OKCupid has a much bigger sample size and I’ve answered roughly 700 questions with the ability to say how important the answer is to me and what I’d expect my ideal match to say (so much deeper)… So I would be totally amazed if something happened…

Funny enough, I watched BBC Three at work in FYG deli while they filmed Snog, Marry or Avoid today. To be honest I wasn’t that impressed, so I am more worried about this dating experiment than ever before.

My good friend Ross has warned me that, if I do this all those woman I’ve been out on dates with and worst will start selling their stories to papers, specially if it goes well. This seriously does worry me because frankly I’ve done a lot of things in my life with lots of people and not all of them are great… :( My only hope is that with 499 other people, my history won’t be that interesting to the media. But heck you never ever know…

I’m not sure how much I will be able to tweet or blog but I’ll certainly do what I can… maybe using the hashtag #yroflove?