Adams Geoblogging Blojsom mashup

My new Geo update for Blojsom

Adam has pimped out his blojsom blog with a Googlemap as a selectable flavor. I got to say this is awesome stuff and I look forward to what he does next. This also shows how powerful Blojsom is as a platform for advance blogging (geoblogging, semantic blogging, etc). I just don't understand why more people don't use it. I think Adam has also pushed me into finally buying Ecto after trying out Live Writer again. I really need to make putting in Microformats and other metadata into blog entries a lot easier for myself. That also reminds me I need to get my Blojsom 3.0 blog up and going.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Firefox 2.0 out now, go get it now

Firefox 2.0 start page

Just updated my Firefox from RC2 to the full 2.0 version. I'm very impressed so far… Everything seems to work as expected and most of my extensions have updated without a problem. Now's a good time to point to the fact that the Mozilla team are asking for ideas on what they should do with version 3.0 and beyond of Firefox. I personally would like to see more Microformat support and real offline reading. Identity, web feed handling, security and privicy occupy the next few slots for me. How about you?

Oh did I forget to mention IE 7 also came out a few days ago? Well don't forget you can download that from

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

London Backstage Christmas Party, Saturday 9th Dec

Smooth water

So its now no real secret. I'm planning a big christmas party for BBC Backstage. The difference is that rather than going it alone and creating a whole lot of havoc with everyone elses plans. I decided that Backstage should actually talk to the rest of the community groups in London and encourage one big party. This is core to the BBC Backstage values, rather than go it alone we're going to see whats already out there and see if we can help out, encourage more take up or parcipitation. Anyway, so after the emails went out, I started getting into conversations with different groups and got a line up to rival all line ups. And on Friday night at the geekdinner I revealed the party plans.

To make things clearer, I posted up the details on the Backstage blog and then with the advice of Rob, hit Upcoming and Eventful

Yes the rumours are true…

There is a BBC Backstage Christmas Party being planned for Saturday 9th December in London.

Rather than host it ourselves and clash with everyone else's parties. We decided that it would be very fitting to backstage if we collaborated together some of the best groups and communities in London. Then got them under one roof to share in the Christmas Party…

Seemed like a crazy idea, but I would like to introduce our fantastic partners for the Christmas Bash,

Swedish Beers
London Girl Geekdinners
London Perlmongers
London Webstandards Group
London Ruby user group
Open rights group
London 2.0
Momo Monday

We have an excellent Cuban venue (TBC) all to ourselves deep in the area of Moorgate and Citypoint.

So please keep a note in your calendar, as Saturday 9th December looks to be a fantastic night to be in London.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Why do I use and what is their business model?

I use to upload all my audio and video to the Internet Archive, but the uploading tools and general tools once the file was there, were very poor. So Tom recommended one night at BarCampLondon. I did check it out and really give it a squeeze. But it came out clean, so since then I've been pretty much using that and enjoying it. I think the feature set and general openness to download the actual high quality videos makes a hugh difference

This was pretty much confirmed in my mind today when Miles sent this entry from Joi Ito which links to the entry by Lawerence Lessig where he compares a whole host of video sites to a web 2.0 ethic.

In this context, YouTube is a “cool” poster-child of the Web 2.0 trend, but doesn't meet the basic requirement of allowing the user to download videos from the site. While it is “sharing”, it is what Larry is calling a “fake sharing site”.

Harsh but the truth, its painful to get content out of Youtube, even Google Video is a pain. And all I wanted to do was play it on my big widescreen tv via xbox media centre.

Funny enough, I was talking to Cary Marsh, CEO and Co-founder of a site called Mydeo (meant to be in Tech Crunch this week). Her take on things is that people want to be able to upload video and only show it to a small group of friends and family. They also may not want there wedding videos next to kids racing each other in supermarket trolleys. I see what she means. But what got her was when I started listing off the reasons why I use She honestly was dumb-founded and wanted to know what there business model was/is. I pointed out that there may be pro version in the future but right now you can.

  • Upload video of any length
  • Download the archived orginal
  • Use there non branded flash player anywhere you like
  • Add a creative commons licence
  • Automaticlly add content to Internet Archive
  • Add advertising to your video (start or end)
  • Add alternative formats of the same clip

And thats just for starters… So to the question of is Youtube really web 2.0? Well I agree with Larry and say nope, its more a 1.75ish type site. Maybe Google will change this in the long run, but my money is certainly at for now. But I do worry that unless they do setup pro accounts soon or start running serious advertising, they won't be substanable and a great video service will go under.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Last night’s Geekdinner with Molly was great

Geek Rampage

So once again, another highly successful geekdinner, this time with Molly. Believe it or not, but I was late for the party and as host, this is very bad form. I thought to myself, as I ran from waterloo up and down stairs till I reached City Thameslink. If I get there before Molly at least that would be a good thing. When I arrived, I was met with about 40 people drinking and enjoying themselves and Molly's great smile. Oh well I failed. But by the time I had got a drink and cooled off a little, everything was in full swing.

Its great that geekdinner's has got to such a point that people can just gather and enjoy the evening. I just wondered around looking for people who I've never met. Give them a nice introduction to others and geekdinners. In total I counted 60 people which was a great achivement. I do worry about geekdinners getting too big, but to date its still not happened quite yet. I feel the day I can't have a word with everyone, then geekdinners will have lost something. Not to say I won't do large events in the future, they just won't be geekdinners.

At the speaking part of the Geekdinner, Chris Helimann gave Molly some Lush goodies (chris i owe you one), Molly announced that she's going to live in London for a month trial in January and I announced the BBC Backstage London Christmas bash. So there is quite alot to talk about, but I may seperate my news out into another blog post.

The only down side to the night was the venue. See I had a deal with the old management that we could stay till 11pm, which is normal pub drink up time. But the bottlescrew have this thing about closing at 10pm, So last orders got called about 9:50pm and they started kicking us out by about 10:20pm. People gathered outside saying what the hell was that about and that we should find somewhere to drink. So in the hour between 10:30pm and 11:30pm we (about 20+ people) kind of slowly walked up the road towards Holborn station. It was wicked fun and there was great fun had outside some building as we tried to get everyone in for a group photo. By the time we actually got Holborn, most of the pubs were shut and people didn't want to walk all the way to Soho for one more drink. I think, me, sheila and a guy from Norway were the last to leave from the geekdinner. And that must have been just before midnight.

So seriously that was a great geekdinner, I really enjoyed it and totally forgot I was shattered and had not slept well the whole week.

Molly, when your over here for the month, we either need to do a geekdinner or have a welcome to London party for you. And for all those interested, I'm going to look into using another venue for the next geekdinner. The venue has lots of advantages when it was summer

You can find pictures here and here. Oh my god there's a crazy picture of me.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Statistics and hints for Werewolf

Werewolf at BarCamp

A Game of Deception, Paranoia, and Mob Rule

I was looking around for more information to link to on the upcoming werewolf night. And anyway found one of the best resources for Werewolf playing. But what I found very interesting was the statictics page.

one wolf)
3 players: humans win 0
4 players: humans win 0
5 players: humans win 0.334
6 players: humans win 0.250
7 players: humans win 0.466
8 players: humans win 0.374
9 players: humans win 0.544
10 players: humans win 0.453
11 players: humans win 0.593
12 players: humans win 0.508
13 players: humans win 0.630
14 players: humans win 0.548
15 players: humans win 0.659

two wolves)
5 players: humans win 0
6 players: humans win 0
7 players: humans win 0.133
8 players: humans win 0.083
9 players: humans win 0.229
10 players: humans win 0.157
11 players: humans win 0.299
12 players: humans win 0.215
13 players: humans win 0.352
14 players: humans win 0.264
15 players: humans win 0.395

On the tactics front, I was reading lots of stuff but it seems like this all makes sense to any player. Notice who supports certain people when voting and debating. Notice who doesn't say anything and who speaks a lot during the daytime. Consider who acts differently and under what conditions.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

BBC Weather feeds

BBC Weather

After all the fuss, harsh words and long wait for BBC weather feeds. They are now here for use under the BBC Backstage licence. Its been something we've been sitting on for a while because we wanted to make sure it was all correct and wouldn't get pulled after a few days. So here's the official announcement from Kathryn at BBC Weather

I am very pleased to inform you that BBC Weather's first RSS feeds are now live. Links to them can be found on all 5 day forecast pages:

The feeds are located at{world|id}/{location_id}.xml

E.g. and

All of the 7379 feeds are updated at least* twice a day (at approximately 8AM/PM *GMT*).

We are planning more feeds, and improvements to these ones as well (e.g. dynamic generation of feeds, which will allow us to offer different flavours such as Atom; additional content such as tide times and current observations (Met Office willing); additional semantic mark-up).

In the meantime we look forward to seeing your BBC Weather widgets in the Backstage Widgets Compo:

I have included geo:lat/long tags in all entries to facilitate mappy mashups. Enjoy!

I look forward to hearing your comments, concerns and ideas.


I think we're going to have to do something for the first person to map the BBC weather feeds on top of a Google map.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]



Sheila gave me and Sarah the inside scoop on this great new show from NBC called Heroes. Its on episode 4 so far, and will certainly replace watching crap like 24 and maybe Prision Break? I have only watched one episode so far but I'm impressed and can certainly see how things will evolve over the series. So I'm going to have to quickly catch up with everyone else now.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Opera Backstage London

Opera Backstage meet up was interesting. The opera crew did a reasonable job with lots of free drinks but limited food. The talks were not great but they did show off a new feature for Opera 10, page zooming. It looked good but the rest of the talks were somewhat shakey except Jeremy Keith. Jeremy although his laptop died on stage raised the roof with a great speech about browsers and the web. In my usual fashion I captured Jeremy in action and uploaded it. I don't know who's idea it was to make Fluffybunny the photographer. With a load of guys with free drinks inside of them she was being hit on left, right and centre. Who would have thought she was 24, i swear she was younger like maybe 18. I guess I'm finally getting old and the young are looking really really young.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

BarCampLondon in .Net magazine

.net magazine

Paul Annett's article on BarCampLondon made it into issue number 156 of .net Magazine (hits the newsagents tomorrow – 18th October). You can see some previews on his flickr stream. But not everything is rosey, there was a miss quote by some freelance sub-editor who rewrote a sentence by Sarah Blow, who wrote the whole lot up in a good blog post. Paul has a response…

Apologies to girls who came for the bit about “token” girl attendees – this was re-written by the mag after I submitted the article, and is not my words. It's disrespectful and goes completely against the sentiment of the paragraph, which was about encouraging more girls to attend – now it sounds unwelcoming, as if there was only one girl and her attendance was worthless.

I look forward to seeing Future Publishing's official response to this. But according to a brief chat with Sarah earlier today. .Net Magazine may be sponsoring a girl geek dinner as an apology for their mistake in the print of the last BarCampLondon female representation. Good on you Sarah…

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Events planned for Friday and the next few months

at media social

So I've been very quiet about my Backstage job on my own blog, according someone I recently spoke to (yes you who just got a new flat, you know who you are). But its not because I don't want to talk about it or because I can't. Its because I'm so damm busy! This is a good thing because everyday there is something new to deal with and on going projects which were just kick starting.

Along with my new job at, is event planning. Being the public facing developer network which backstage is, this will mean lots of events up and down the country (yes not just London). Its not a problem to give you an insight into some of the events were planning. Yes this is a good chance to get them in your diary or calendar so you don't miss them…

So first up is the Geekdinner with Molly which has nothing to do with backstage at all. This is shaping up to be a large geekdinner with at least 70 people signed up to come. I'm going to have a word with the pub manager because actually were going to take over the whole bar if it rains or is cold outside. In the past, we've been able to use the benches but in late October this may be a problem. I may also have to invest in a microphone and speaker setup because with so many people it may be a problem hearing Molly, although being from New York shes use to making herself heard.

On October 31st we got the same venue for a great game of Werewolf, and what better day to play it? If you've never played before, don't worry come along its easy to pick up and ever so much fun. Specially when everyones been drinking. Don't drink too much or you may turn into a real werewolf…

Now were heading into new waters. On Monday 6th November were going to have the first new Backstage meetup to go with the backstage widget contest. The venue is not confirmed but it looks to be somewhere in the city maybe moorgate? We were thinking Fireworks but couldn't find a venue where we could set off fireworks (kidding!).

Now were certainly in new waters. I've contacted most of the groups and communities around London like Swedish Beers, Girl Geekdinners, etc and asked if they would like to take part in a large scale Christmas Bash. The Christmas Bash looks like it will happen sometime between Wednesday 6th December and Saturday 9th December. The venue is still under lots of consideration and partly depends on the amount of london groups who agreed to take part in the bash. But honestly it looks to be a good one, so please keep that part of December free if you can.

Hummm I've missed something? Ah yes, BarCampLondon2. Yes I'm still working on it and I might know soon what date and where it will be. I'm still going for late November but I don't have any more details to give quite yet sorry. Once I know anything all those who asked if they could help with the next one will know and I'll announce it to the world soon afterwards.

So yes quite a few London events, but fear not. I might have news for other parts of the UK soon. The best way to keep up to date with my events and others is using upcoming and also now the google calendar

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Is XNA, Microsoft learning from the community?

I saw this a while ago and started thinking that XNA could be the result of this.

A lot of interesting data came out of Ars Technica's interview with Matt Lee, a Microsoft software developer in the Xbox division. The nice thing about Matt Lee was that when the interview was over, he answered some questions in the discussion. A lot of it was clarifying points he made in the main article, but then he shared this story with us:

…allow me to share a related story. A little over a year ago, one of the people in my group modded an Xbox, installed Avalaunch, and put all sorts of Xbox mod scene apps on the box, like XboxMediaCenter, RSS readers, etc, along with some “backup” games. He brought this box along to a meeting with Bill Gates. Bill saw a demo of this, was quite impressed, and asked something along the lines of “How can we engage this community?” – instead of saying something like “How can we squash this?” It's long been on the back of everyone's minds in the Xbox group – how can we get students and hobbyists involved without disrupting the console business model? The good news is that it's still on the radar, we'll see what happens in the future.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]