TedxManchester talk: Dating!

If you’ve missed my blogging recently… well I’ve been pretty busy, mainly writing my TedXManchester talk.

Normal blogging will resume after this weekend. Honest!

Interview about Black Culture Applied to Technology

I did a interview off the back of the Afrofutures talk I did in Manchester last year. Its part of a group of interviews on How We Get To Next. Its a good interview and thanks to Florence Okoye for the great questions which leads into my thoughts on black culture, diversity and growing up in a ever-changing world.

Ian @ BarcampLondon5 - Day 1

I was invited to do a interview off the back of the Afrofutures talk I did in Manchester last year. Its part of a group of interviews on How We Get To Next. Its a good interview and thanks to Florence Okoye for the great questions which leads into my thoughts on black culture, diversity and growing up in a ever-changing world.

Here’s some interesting parts, although I have to say the whole thing is good and worth reading in full.

A little background on what made me the person I am today.

I kind of knew I was different from other people at an early age. Yes, there was the challenge of being one of three black people in a junior school, but I also found out I might be dyslexic. Friends could tell you I didn’t quite fit in — though I wasn’t a misfit. I was popular, kind of sporty, but also geeky and fiercely independent in thought. This meant I tended to find my own way of doing things, and therefore my independence was tied to use of technology. It was only later at university that I learned once and for all that I was dyslexic, and my coping strategies existed around technology.

Remembering the first time I created a webpage for my graphic design course and the conflict I faced. I feel this is similar to the perceptive media idea; its a new medium and we should/could treat it as such.

There was a key moment I will never forget when learning about the web and creating HTML pages. I did one of my design projects as a website and my college lecturer asked me to print it out. I tried to explain and pled with her that this was a different medium and printing it out made no sense. I think it was that moment when I started to side more with the tech.

The effect of dance music/culture on my life, and the start of my distaste and distrust of popular culture… If I was answering this again, I would add something about being you’re self, not what others want you to be. This certainly speaks to my inner fire for independance.

I hate popular culture. It winds me up [to] no end! I was a geek but never got into fantasy or really into science fiction. I found it too stereotypical and formulaic for me to take seriously.

I also was massively influenced by dance/rave music, which was a very different culture. I remember hating mainstream radio for not playing rave music. The mainstream press was vilifying ravers and this new culture.

They say house music is a feeling, but it’s a whole culture which didn’t get its dues till far later, and even now it’s been watered down and packaged up into something boring and generic

A little but on how I see [I don’t see as such but my mind connects them] the world as one hyper-connected system full of interesting emergent structures and challenges. It hard for others to imagine but I’m imagining its similar to the way synesthesia feels for people who have it. Its just the reality, and it only people telling you again that you are wrong, which makes you dobht.

I see everything as connected. It’s just the way my mind thinks, being dyslexic. I see technologies which are not ready for the mainstream, technologies which break rules and change the centralized power structures. They are ignored or rejected till they get too big and the incumbents have to face up to them or outlaw them, as it breaks their fragile business models.

This is classic innovator’s dilemma stuff, to be honest.

What excites me… open collaboration with open minded people, as too much effort is wasted settling peoples egos.

There are lots of interesting trends in store for the future. I don’t like to dream about [them]; instead, I follow the Alan Kay quote, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Instead of inventing it, which makes people imagine people in basements doing funny things alone, I would change the last part to collaborate.

Now if only I could adapt this into my Linkedin profile…

7 maybe 8 cheap date ideas in Manchester

Sunday Morning in Castlefield

Lauren’s blog always tends to catch my eye (specially the #ocadoandchill one) when reading through my RSS feeds. Unfortunately the feed doesn’t quite work as it should but her cheap date ideas got me thinking instantly…

How about 7 Cheap Manchester Date ideas? (got to be one better that London)

  1. Go for coffee or tea at one of the many coffee shops in Manchester
    3:1
    The Northern Quarter is a joy and its amazing the range of coffee shops where you can just sit and chat with a date for along time with no hassle. Be sure to buy regularly as you don’t want to be a leech on their business model. Its also worth mentioning Cholton is also worth visiting and now on the tram line.
  2. Visit HOME MCR, the royal exchange, the central library, etc
    Floating Points
    I love the royal exchange and its a great date location, as I have said previously. Home use to be the Cornerhouse but recently they moved to a new venue which is almost as unique as the old venue. In Home you can visit the exhibitions, have drinks, have a complete dinner and watch a film or theatre play,  Its a great space, relaxed, social  and ever so great for a whole day of activities if your date is up for it.
  3. Go for a wonder around Manchester city centre and look up
    42nd Street
    Manchester has such a variety of different areas and styles of buildings. You can wonder around the Northern Quarter, Spinningfields, Castlefield, Oxford Road,  Victoria, etc and get a very different sense of the buildings and styles. You just need to look up… All are walking distance from each other although there is plenty of public transport.
  4. Wonder the many canals of Manchester
    Manchester - Castlefield in Spring
    You can wonder for miles around the canals and frankly find yourself in some very interesting parts of the city centre and further. Yes there are some you might want to avoid (around Piccadilly’s redlight area)  but its all generally quite safe during the daytime and its quite romantic, wouldn’t you agree?
  5. Eat cheap at one of the many Indian restaurants
    The Curry Mile, Rusholme, Manchester
    Yes you could go down to curry mile, but there are these very cheap places such as this and that in the northern quarter. I wouldn’t recommend just going there alone, but it might make a good break from wondering Manchester. I mean you can’t beat ÂŁ5 for 3 curries.
  6. Visit MOSI,  Peoples museum, Whitworth gallery or any of the many other museums and galleries
    Untitled
    Manchester has some great galleries and museums including MOSI (museum of science and industry). My favourite has to be the Whitworth gallery which simply wonderful and is always full of interesting exhibitions.  Even better if its a nice day, you can sit outside or have a picnic in Whitworth park, which is right alongside and closes very late during the summer months.
  7. Visit one of the many festivals
    Sharing Art
    Manchester loves its festivals! You only have to wait a month and you got the future everything, urban dance, food&drink, abandon normal devices, comedy, pride, etc, etc. And of course the grand daddy of them  the international festival every 2 years. Every single one has such a great number of events and for not a bad price at all. Still remember taking a date to see Marinia in the withworth gallary. That was so surreal but unforgettable.
  8. (OK one more extra) Play board games in Zifferblatt or any of the many other nerdy places
    Manchester Street Monopoly
    Not really my thing and I don’t like Ziffer for reasons already mentioned; but I will admit it could be a good place for some game playing with endless coffee and cakes. There are also many other places to play boardgames, etc which occupy Manchester city centre such as fanboy5. Also theres nerdy places like Fabcafe. holdfast and a bunch of game driven bars like 2022 (table tennis), Kosmonaught (table tennis), Marble (chess), etc… Great fun for a date along with drinking…

I didn’t mention parks, the pennies, bury market, weekend brunch, football, the underground tours, graffiti tours, shopping, cycle tours, etc… I’m sure many others have ideas, and all without mentioning netflix and chill.

Highlights of Thinking Digital Manchester

Thinking Digital Manchester

Thinking Digital is a breath taking conference which always wows and has become a stable part of the conference scene in the UK.  It was great to hear that Manchester would play host to the conference, but there was a worry that it wouldn’t live up to the dizzy highs of Newcastle?

Herb and the team set about taking the core elements of Thinking Digital and mixing it with Manchester. The results were great… It made perfect sense, rather than roll into Manchester with a exact formula, they will let it grow and mature like how Newcastle did. The conference took place in the darken space of the largest cinema at HOME, so my pictures didn’t come out too well. It certainly wasn’t the intimate feeling you get in Newcastle but I’m sure that will change and mature over time.

So enough blabbering, lets talk about the highlights…

Thinking Digital Manchester
Eddie Obeng

I missed Eddie when he talked in Newcastle, mainly as he was the first on, the 2nd day but I like his presentation style and what he had to say about counter intuitive thinking. Social media is broken, video conferencing is broken and we are digitally obese from the sugar, salt and fat of the digital era. Aka easy to use, convenience, and free. Very interesting metaphor

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Conrad Wolfram

When ever I hear Wolfram talking about what they have done recently, I always think darn they are really doing stuff I could use within BBC R&D. It certainly was big data to better intelligence. The notion of insight is always a tricky but wolfram certainly seem to be leading this emerging field. Great to see a British innovator leading the field.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Julian Treasure

Julian I wrote about before at another Thinking Digital and his TED talk is something quite special with 4+ million views and very positive comments. Excellent talk and lots to think about when talking with purpose, which to be fair should be a lot of the time really.

Thinking Digital Manchester
LJ Rich

Herb must say to LJ, you have this much time and yes to anything you want. Shes an amazing woman with some seriously amazing ideas. Her thoughts about looking at the other senses, is exactly what I’ve been thinking for a long while. Why does Media have to be visual and audible? What about media which you feel and or smell?

LJ crafted a performance which was amazing to hear and see but also tightly focused around what you feel too. This was done with popping candy. At the right moment we all put the popping candy on our tongues and were treated to a wonderful symphony of interactive glitching with audio and video, representing a meteor storm.

I can only start to express how this all connected together to create a immerse experience like nothing else I can really explain while sitting in your seat.

I had the joy of talking to LJ about maybe doing something together in the future, so watch this space… Its one of those great things about Thinking Digital

Thinking Digital Manchester

Stephen Waddington

Stephen pretty much said most of the things me and Marie talked about in our workshop the day before on increasing your personal impact. There were things which we had to cut short including lots about the Cluetrain Manifesto. I think I was nodding my head through most of his talk, amazing a lot of this hasn’t just made its way into the conciousness of most people by now.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Pam Warhurst

Pam is a force of nature and I have written about her and her incredible (pun intended) work. I also got the chance to point out her wikipedia page is using the photo I shot at a previous thinking digital. I even told her I visited Todmordern purely because of her great work.

This time she talked about her aspirations to build a network joining all the other communities working on similar projects together. She is seeking people to get involved and help with the technical side of it all. I already said I was interested and just waiting for her to get in touch.

The idea of more civic/community driven startups (if thats the right classification) is something I’ve thought about a lot. It also reminds me that I must start that Civic startup manifesto following a conversation I had in BarCampManchester6 and attributing the excellent/crowd storming work the geeks of london did with the hackday manifesto.

Maybe I could link them in some way for the benefit of everybody?

TDCMCR-08584

Tom Chatfield

Tom’s talk was like a episode of Freakonomics live. He covered so much in his talk that I struggled to keep up.

Really interesting to hear about limited mental resources we all have, or as I prefer attention. He went off into a blog post I pretty much wrote a few days ago around swipe left or right culture. Which was a result of the substitution of difficult questions with easy ones (swipe left or right). Then talked about how difficult questions make us feel stupid and somehow ended up with what are we and physical stuff is a feature not a bug.

Good talk, wish I spent some more time at the social chatting to him. I was sandwiched between Wolfram and Tom, and to be fair I thought it would be better if they were sitting next to each other.

Thinking Digital Manchester
Lemn Sissay

Another new person I have never seen or heard of, till about half way through his talk. Reminded me of Jason Silva in his poetic wording and unique style.

Like Tom, so much was said and indicated, it was hard to tie the talk down to one singular thing. But the diversity aspect was well said and had me silently clapping and grinning.

TDCMCR-08645

I wrote down uniqueness and quality on my mindmap for Lemn’s talk, very fitting. Interesting the effect of uniqueness. I recently had a lot of comments about my latest trainers (Adidas Spring blades).

TDCMCR-08330

Thinking Digital Manchester was a very good conference with lots to take away, it doesn’t quite yet touch the legendary Newcastle events but I remember the original Thinking Digital in 2008, I can imagine in a few years time, it will be another jewel in the Thinking Digital crown. Home is a excellent venue with the bar, food and plenty of social space. But the cinema layout doesn’t have a patch on the sage two’s theatre. Imagine Thinking Digital Manchester in the royal exchange…now that would be something!

Regardless, the whole event was run very well and you felt like there was just not enough time in the day. It was seamless even with the new rash of technical faults (never happens at TDC usually). The format also worked well, but I did feel the social did need more emphases, as a lot of people didn’t realise the main social was on the night before the conference. Which makes for some fuzzy mornings I can imagine.

Excellent work Herb Kim and team… Me and Marie are looking forward to coming back with a even better workshop next year

Dating in the 21st century: Free ragged uni talk this Sunday in Manchester

Save The Date

I know most of my friends have heard me rave on about the state of dating in the 21st century, but this Sunday after your Halloween parties on the 31st October. Why not grab some brunch in the Northern Quarter and then head to the Royal Exchange in Manchester, to hear a whole hour of me talking about the affect of the internet on mating and beyond.

Royal Exchange (hall)

Its a totally free event and what better place to discuss the future than the Royal Exchange theatre in central Manchester.

It starts at 2pm and if you had enough of me talking about dating, fear not theres a great talk from Amber about the Mafia and what you think we know.

Hope to see you all there on Sunday, with or without your Halloween costumes…

 

Why I moved to Manchester…

#Manchester from Craig Murfin on Vimeo.

A video project inspired by the talented people and content featured on the @wearemcr instagram group.

Music mixed and edited by me
Wait For Me (Aaron Mist) / CC BY-NC 4.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode

What a great piece of work and really shows off why I moved to Manchester over 7 years ago.

What was learned from the lets talk about sex experiment at MOSI?

Let's Talk About Sex

Its been about 6 months roughly since I was involved in the MOSI experiment around speed dating. It was the most scientific thing I have done till I took part in the Horizon dating experiment (blog is written but I can’t publish till the TV show goes out – next year)

But I was wondering what was the results of the MOSI experiment? I haven’t heard anything but to be fair I did go on the date with one of the woman I met through the speed dating. She was nice and there was quite a bit of common interest but I got the feeling it wasn’t to be when we split the bill.

Oh well…

The best parts of BarCampManchester6

BarCampManchester6

I had a blast at BarCampManchester6 last weekend. Thanks to Claire Dodd for putting on a good BarCamp, and what a great venue. The Autotrader office in First street,

It reminded me of the BarCampLondon’s where the venues were purpose build with actual meeting rooms, etc. BarCampManchester5 for example, although in a lovely venue (SpaceportX) lacked the polish of a purpose build office, so we needed to hire chairs and make spaces.

IMG_1741

However that BarCamp will go down in history for starting a number of things. Autotrader was a sponsor and I’m sure that contributed to the discussion about BarCampManchester6?

The other big one is Claire Dodd, who I will freely admit did a lot of the work on BarCampManchester5. Enough to decide to go for it herself – which to be fair is always my plan, hand it off to somebody who makes it their own. This came up in a session later, which I did with Claire about how to run a barcamp. Encouraging others to maybe consider it but also learn from two people who have some experience of doing so.

The BarCampManchester6 went smoothly and although it wasn’t a overnight barcamp, we played Werewolf till 2:30am. You can’t have a barcamp in the UK without Werewolf (I blame Simon Willson for importing werewolf into BarCampLondon1 9 years ago! Maybe I should add it to his wikipedia page?) There were 2 parallel games next to a showing of that cult classic film Hackers (1995! Yes 20years ago!)

I am gutted I didn’t have the guts to follow though on the last game. As the seer but also a lover, I should have gone for the win with my cupid lover but my lover was also the last werewolf. Somehow I convinced myself, the lover connection was too obvious and led the village to kill the werewolf.

Afterwards I skateboarded home kicking myself for not doing it (ok a little drink and skating might have been involved, but I took it carefully, avoiding the clubbers and students going to the warehouse project on store street)

BarCampManchester6

Some of the highlights for me included a few of my own talks.

After looking at the grid for a while, I decided I wanted to do a talk about a few thing, which other talks had touched on.  I came with the idea of doing a talk about neurodiversity but felt it wasn’t the right time or place, so substituted it for a talk about the richness of life, getting over rejection and how to be lucky.. Lifting out my own thoughts from blog posts I written a while ago. It was well attended and glad I picked a larger room rather than a small one. A few people commented they enjoyed it quite a bit as it was quite different from the other talks.

Over the first day quite a few people asked what happened to the diversity talk and I said it got rolled into my 2nd talk about being neurodiverse and living with dyslexia. This was much lower attended but there was a guy there who was also dyslexic and explained the coping mechanisms he uses along side my own.  It was heart felt, with me admitting maybe too much, except not the stuff I will one day talk about.

I followed up the day afterwards with a talk titled How to be interesting… Not many people came but those who did, were touched by the blogging one.

Start a blog and update it regularly!
blogging or sharing your thoughts are still very important and really helps when referring to points in arguments. Its still what I recommend to many people who ask me where to start. Like above, the interchange of ideas with other peoples thoughts will make you a more interesting person. Also make sure its regular, otherwise you will loose the momentum or build it up too big in your mind.

Katrina Patel, wrote about her view of my talk. Specially about the same point.

One of Ian’s points focused on a blog of his in particular ‘How to be Interesting.’ Now let’s focus on point 2. Start a blog and update it regularly!

I’ve dipped in an out of blogging in the past, but it seems that things didn’t work out. I asked Ian this, and it seems that it’s okay to blog about anything and everything.

Yes indeed, this blog is a mash of my own thoughts and ideas, if you can’t write what you really think about, it will always seem like a chore. Hopefully this will aid in Katrina’s personal brand by making her much more interesting. Good luck Katrina and thanks for the post, let many more flow soon.

BarCampManchester6

At some point of Sunday morning, a few of us got wrapped up in a discussion, while waiting for the BarCamp to start its 2nd day about Startup Culture (real unconference/lobbycon stuff). There was a frustration with the emphases on startup culture and its affect on Manchester’s digital scene.

I took this up into a discussion which pulled in my thoughts about needing more social and community focused startups. I felt the debate was quite balanced about the need for profit making startups but deadly against the silicon valley culture of endless profit and continuous growth. I quoted something from Paul Graham about needing to startup in Silicon Valley.

We decided at the end of the session that we should do something about it all. I remembered the Geeks of London when they wrote the hackday manifesto. Its caused a stir but the best thing was, when people got upset they said fork it if you care so much.

20150926_BarcampMcr_12

I have to give credit to Teknoteacher (Alan O’Donohoe) who did a nice little session about podcasting  in a podcast.  He encouraged all of us to record the podcast. So Teknoteacher recorded it on his phone and others like myself recorded it on our devices.

One of my favourite talk of the barcamp was Vimla‘s diversity talk (she had done what I backed out of doing). So good, I convinced Vimla to put in a session at Mozilla Festival along the same lines. Vimla’s rage for diversity was infectious and the people who asked me about my diversity session were all there with lots to say. Vimla’s main point is something I keep banging on about but few people seems to understand.

The movement of women in technology is great and has a long long way to go, but thats only a small part of the diversity problem. Or Diversity is much greater than just male and female. It sounds so obvious but I can’t tell you how many times I have met and talked to people about diversity and they instantly fall back to the women in technology movement.

BarCampManchester6

No! Diversity isn’t simply that!

I even say it myself, what a poor victory it is, if we just add to while middle class women to the existing workforce of white middle class men. Our aim should be the moon not the lower stratosphere. Yes we work backwards but the aim should always be world changing, otherwise what’s the point?

There was quite discussion in the room and some slightly heated things were said (some people should know better, trying to put a hierarchy in place for diversity!), but Vimla kept some pretty dicey discussion on the level. Great work Vimla, look forward to Mozfest.

There were other good talks by many other people including the Happiness talk, Rosie’s Pareidolia and machine learning talk and many more. But Vimla’s talk really took the top spot for me.

BarCampManchester6

The wrap of BarCampManchester6 was full of prizes, which seems to be a tradition coming from BarCampBlackpool. I won something this time instead of being a prize myself (last time a date with me was a prize!). Claire and the team around her did a great job and they got me thinking about doing another BarCamp soon????

Will it happen…? Who knows… but lets say I have retired from running BarCamps 3 times now. Maybe its just time to stay in retirement.

As Claire said in the talk about running your own Barcamp, you can’t help but look at venues and think… This would be a great venue for a BarCamp…

Lets talk about dating in the 21st century – Sunday 1st November

I have the absolute pleasure of sharing my knowledge, experiences and thoughts about online dating (or as I prefer dating generally) as a ragged university talk at one of my favourite venues, the royal exchange in central Manchester.

It on Sunday 1st November from 2pm – 5pm and its free to attend, so there is no excuse for not coming out to listen and take part in the discussion! I won’t even be using slides this time, it will be just me talking and throwing some thought out for people to discuss and fire back at me. Its going to be pretty raw or even ragged… (pun!)

I’m going to refer to quite a bit of stuff Aziz talks about in modern romance and heck might even use some of his open data source.

It won’t just be me, there will be Amber from Bristol University talking about the Mafia if you are less interested in the ways people meet and date in the 21 century.

I was introduced to Ragged talks when I attended one a while ago in the Castle Hotel. I liked the idea and instantly signed up to give a talk about something , of course I was pleased when I was given the green light to talk about dating and how much its changed from previous years gone by.

So what you waiting for…? Sign up now and I’ll see you at the Royal Exchange for a good discussion about dating. In the meanwhile, here’s my surface level talk about the same subject at the royal institution.

Delete that dating app ffs!

"Have Your Awkward Tinder Dates Here" Sign at Vaucluse Lounge - Hollywood, CA

Great piece by datingsitesreviews.

Online dating fatigue: it sounds silly, but it’s a real phenomenon. You can only spend so much time in cyberspace before your head starts to spin and arthritis sets in on your swiping hand. When burnout begins, it’s time to take a hiatus from the smartphone. Do yourself a favor and delete your dating app.

Absolutely… There is a cross over with what I saw in Tokyo, what I see when going out and read about in places. Today its dating and games tomorrow its who know what?

Its worth thinking about as technology defines the way we behave and live our lives. (Won’t even mention the issues with who is writing the software).

But back to dating for this one…

  • You’re logging in out of habit, not out of interest.
    Yes, if you are unlocking your phone just out of habit or you are bored… Find something else to do, but please not some pointless game.
  • You’ve resorted to stock messages.
    In the book Dataclysm by one of OkCupid’s founders Christian Rudder. I had to put the book down after reading that the response rate to stock messages actually works (depending on your success criteria). It might work to a degree, but it feels unhuman to me. If you are sending stock messages, its time reconsider your priorities.
  • You immediately look for what’s wrong instead of what’s right.
    Indeed, and maybe its time to take a break!
  • You’re desperate for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
    Never be desperate and enjoy your time being single.
  • You’re on there for a reason that isn’t dating.
    Enough said…!

Its worth remembering deleting the app won’t remove the account and the data is still held somewhere. Thats a whole different issue

I am going to explore stuff like this at the Manchester Royal Exchange as part of the Ragged Talks university series. Sunday 1st November, its going to be a free event and will be more of a conversation than a talk.

More details coming soon…

#MancQS What to do with all that data? Monday 6th July

BBC Dashboard

The theme for the July Quantified Self Manchester is What to do with all that QS data?

Talks are welcomed around this including.

• What do you do with the data?

• How do you import/export your data?

• What are data dashboards?

• Which data dashboard are worth using?

• What other uses of your data are there?

Be a great time to come along, meet other self trackers and discover whats possible with quantified data.

What to do with super fast broadband?

Consume Superfast fibre broadband?

I snapped this while waiting for the tram back home last night in Cholton. I read the side bits and thought to myself, they are all about consumption except maybe the the “connect more?

I don’t have a big problem with this but it does make me wonder, that super fast broadband is being sold as a quicker way to consume even more.

For me Superfast broadband (which I’m still waiting for due to the Manchester council highway authority not allowing Hyperoptic to connect it to the loop) isn’t about consumption. I’m already considering what I can do like vpn, plex, hosting, streaming radio station, etc…

Bruce James summed it up via Facebook…

Tragic waste of an opportunity since every TCP/IP based computer has (in theory) the capacity to serve data in a truly decentralised way. But we handed it all over to the commercial interests who gain by centralising and controlling what we watch, play, listen to and buy.

It is tragic and with so much bandwidth the usual excuse of asymmetricity holds far less ground. Hate seeing wasted opportunities.

When not to pay as you go…

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Ziferblat opens on Edge Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, I guess its so new that its not even on the website it seems.

I’ve heard of ziferblat from London. To be honest I’m not big fan of pay as you go services, especially when it comes to things I treat like leisure time.

So why am I not so keen?

I like to relax, I find the idea of paying for time to access a space or time a little upsetting and stressful. Life is busy enough, why put a clock against the time you want to enjoy and remember?

Having a time limit induces a state (trance) which is not consistent with relaxing and pleasure. The kind of things we associate with leisure or social time. How many times have you booked a restaurant and they have given you a set time and you thought that’s fine? To be honest the only places which I know does this and gets away with it is the all you can eat buffet places! 2hrs to stuff you’re face and then walk/roll out. Do you ever feel happy once you come out of these places? I doubt it!

How very apt to compare the all you can eat buffet places to the pay as you go model. I’m not saying ziferblat is necessary a all you can eat buffet, but I would say it could encourage overindulgence and  selfishness.

I mean you are paying by the minute, so better make sure you get what you need. Screw everybody else, where’s my coffee? What I have to wait for the toilet, don’t they know who I am?

Some things take time and time is there to be enjoyed… Some of you will say, ian’s gone off the deep end but I’ll leave you with a quote…

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
Steve Jobs

Poor Si Lumb almost got it in the neck from me… Little reminder about Phoneshop’s view on Pay as you Go!

Social Media’s Common ground

Commonground

Social media cafe Manchester was a diamond in Manchester’s tech scene for a long while. It was inspired  on Loyd Daves’ Tuttle club which was in turn inspired by my own Geekdinners. Who says you can inspire, eh?

Started in 2008 Social Media Cafe became an institution. Meeting regularly on the first Tuesday of the month, it ran for over 5 years bringing an eclectic and sometimes bizarre selection of topics to discuss. From emoji madness and a requiem for Ceefax to more grounded subjects. Through #smc_mcr, Manchester kicked off its open data journey and became a stopping off place for people passing through, who had projects and passions to share. Most importantly #smc_mcr was a place where anyone with a passion could pitch up and propose a topic that they wanted to share with others – either to inform or to find help. Because of this #smc_mcr developed an unConference format that allowed multiple subjects to be discussed at the same time.

Fast forward to November last year in the snug of the Briton’s Protection a group of ex-#smc_mcr types came together to discuss how this venerable event could be reinstated. So Common Ground was born, an event with the same #smc_mcr goodness with a more pronouncable name.

Common Ground Launch Event – On the Cluetrain

To kick off Common Ground we look at The Cluetrain and the enigmatic release of new clues after 15 years.

The Cluetrain manifesto was written in an age before social media, when user generated content was but a tiny fraction activity banded around by a tiny number of people. The Cluetrain manifesto went beyond the current day thinking of the dot com boom – 1999 and the catastrophic bust – 2001. It rewrote the rules for a hyperconnected world and it could be argued, is as relevant today as it was then.

The new clues attempt to do the same, taking our thinking into the next 10 years. The event will discuss the new clues and asks if they will have the same impact as the original clues have now. Did Doc Searls and David Weinburger, undermine or add another chapter to the brilliance of the Cluetrain?

Join us

Why the need for another event in Manchester? Its similar to the problem of why Manchester Technights started. The current selection of events are too narrow. Don’t get me wrong its great if you are really into that thing but if you want to get a variety of ideas and thoughts, then you are stuck. I bang on about diversity and how critical it is, this also starts to answer the problem of the filter bubble. You should join us and invite friends…

Event link

Welcome to the MMU Shed

The first event is Tuesday 17th February at its new home, the shed.  The Shed is a new space by MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University)  just opposite where the old BBC just off  Oxford Road on Chester Street.

Its a great space with a lot of potential for all types events and can hold between 2 and 200 people depending on the event and space you require. This does mean there are lots of spaces, so you could go back to the original unconference style of social media cafe. Theres also plenty of room, so noise won’t be a massive issue.

To be fair its a great space and just right for a barcamp, but I’m not doing those anymore (of course).

So whats the first commonground?

The first one on the 17th Feb, will centre around the Cluetrain manifesto. Julian one of the key organisers asked me for a quick summary and I sent this via my phone.

On the Cluetrain

The cluetrain manifesto was written in a age before social media, when user generated content was but a tiny fraction banded around by a tiny number of people. The cluetrain manifesto went beyond the current day thinking of the dot com boom – 1999 and the catastrophic bust – 2001. It rewrote the rules for a hyperconnected world and I would argue is as relevant as it was then as it is today.
The new clues attempts to do the same and in some case does a great job taking our thinking into the next 10 years. The event will discuss the newclues and asks if they will have the same impact as the original clues have now. Did Doc Searls and David Weinburger, undermine or add another chapter to the brilliance of the cluetrain?

A traitor to the male race?

According to some old friends, I am a traitor to the male (race)* their words not mine.

Why?

Because I actively introduce my female friends (and male friends to be fair) to the game. I explored this live in Lovegrumps 2 recently.

Yes…! Who would have thought it?!

This kind of backwards thinking deeply worries me and puts us all back in the dark ages. Traitor is a harsh word and I kept checking with them, to be clear they understand the use of the words they have chosen.

If this is true, then Neil Stratus is the biggest traitor of all once he wrote the book the game and shone a light on the seduction societies. What about the many RealSocialDynamics videos on youtube. Don’t even get me started on Mystery and the VH1’s pickup artist.

I would argue this type of flawed logic from a two pickup artists (they like think of themselves as more than that) is exactly the trick of mind they attempt to pull over women. They call it a reframe.

Its exactly this type of brainwashing nonsense which leads to wider (as Ryan mentions in the lovegrumps podcast) dumping in the sea or poisoning  the well) and even deeper routed damage. Ryan is also right its not a zero-sum game!

The fact is these pickup artists are the people holding back the mankind full stop. (I won’t even touch on the new world manifesto stuff... Yes even talked about the media, religion, Scientology and Mr lizardman) Not only that, they are the same people who claim women don’t know what they want and men only want to sleep with as many women as possible. Through-out the discussion I kept mentioning, its a spectrum and the simplistic approach they have to the complexity of relationships and peoples wants and desires.

Frankly I called bollox on their statement!

Luckily the pickup artists (remember they class themselves as something more) have agreed to one day do a discussion about it. I asked if they would come on the Lovegrumps but they said they prefer in real life. So look out for a live lovegrumps one day soon maybe? Maybe the Manchester Flirting weekend will come back in some form or another?