Update on being turned away from home sweet home

I did a little update since being turned away from home sweet home nq last year…

Here’s the update…

Since I wrote the blog last year, a lot has happened. Someone in the social media team picked up on this blog post and got in touch with the owner. The owner (Marie) then got in touch with me and we met one morning in the Home Sweet Home at the great northern. We talked through things and she explained the Northern Quarter kitchen is a lot smaller, the chief may not have felt comfortable with cooking for me; but none of that was an excuse for being turned away. Especially since I was happy to take the risk after everything was explained to me by the manager on the day.

She brought along the current allergy menu (as things change every few months) and I went through it with her and a couple chief’s (I wasn’t quite sure if one of them was from each restaurant or not) to see what I could and couldn’t have. After the exchange, I dashed off to work with a copy of the allergy menu. We then kept in touch over email and we double checked different foods for allergies. I was very confident about what would be fine.

I had always planned to revisit home sweet home after our exchange but with the winter holidays, etc, didn’t quite make it. I also got into the habit of making a big salad from bits from the supermarket on the way to werewolf at Madlab. However this month I arrived back from Liverpool early and decided I’ll finally test Home sweet home again.

This time I was shown to a single table and I asked for the allergy menu. I was asked about my allergies and I produced the allergy card. This was passed on to the manager who took my order and warned me about cross contamination. I said it was fine and she went away. She came back pretty soon afterwards and told me the beans are obviously a problem but what would I like instead? I laughed I would love halloumi instead, she said not a problem and went away.

It took a while, which is fine as I had time on my side. The Wifi was a little bit of a pain as I had to register for it. But generally I sat and drank my cocktail. Then the moment came, chicken fajitas with halloumi. It was very nice and came with dips which I wasn’t sure about, so left them as it was great without them

I paid when I finished and gave quite a big tip for a cocktail and main, but I was impressed not to be turned away again and was happy with the service.

The blog post had certainly helped and I’ll be back at Home Sweet Home more often now. Thanks Marie and the team!

The endless pursuit for happiness

Had a great lunch conversation with Laura about her change of career

It’s scary as hell to not have a model of what that looks like yet but it begins with following the truth in my heart and my intuition.

I’ve given in my notice. Just 1 month left until, well to be quite honest I have no idea what will follow. Only that it’s the right time for me to look deep within and embrace the fear, and do my best to transform it into excited energy that will fuel my unknown future.

We got talking about following her heart and there were a number of things I wanted to throw into the mix while we were talking. Luckily Laura’s new medium blog has enough pointers.

Surely life is about the journey?

I sense a deep amount of dissatisfaction in people in respect to their lives and jobs. Most of us are focused on building an awesome career, getting bigger houses and nicer cars. But it’s never ending and often unfulfilling. We are as a culture focused on living for this awesome happy future but when we get there we have no idea we are there or how to appreciate it as we already focused on the next goal.

Absolutely!

I can’t tell you how many people I know who just work to get money. I’m not saying its wrong, just not really what I want my life to be about. I have to admit I’m one of those lucky people who is doing what they love. Don’t get me wrong its not always sugar and sunshine but I can’t really imagine doing something else. If I wasn’t getting paid to do this, I would do it anyway somehow.

I don’t agree with Laura on this point…

So as I think you can tell, I ’ve decided to give up a great job and a career with lovely people and company.

You can still have a great job and ultimately career. But also follow your own path, thats where the risk comes. Somebody once said to me I was a bit of entrepreneur within the BBC. I usually rejected that, only because it conjures up visions of  solo activity working to make the most money. But when thinking about it again in the light of social  entrepreneurship, it makes more sense. I guess the senior firestarter job reflects this a little.

I got use to the idea that I will have to carve out my own career a long time ago. That career is full of collaborations and passionate people with similar goals and aspirations. I didn’t want to make a choose between the two, so I combined them.

Laura’s aspirations, (Happiness Documentary Series,  School of Life style Social Enterprise and Wilderness retreat) could be a collaboration and a career in themselves. She’s going about it the right way but its a easy mistake to think of them in a exclusive way.

Unfortunately there’s no manual for this kind of personal quest but I’m hoping sharing my story will connect me with others who have or are in the process of changing their lives.

Following your own path is the key here and I think there is something big about documenting the experiences. I started blogging 12 years ago and I still do it, not just because of the halo effect but its useful to rationalise my own very busy connected thoughts to myself and sometimes to others.

The journey and the experiences/stories I collected along the way, really form my personality and  its important to never waste your life living someone elses life.

Si Lumb always says something like… “If there’s an opportunity to experience something which will make a great story and it won’t put you or somebody else in danger… you should do it

This drive to live life for the opportunities is powerful and transforming. I look forward to hearing how things progress Laura.

Why blogging is still good for your career

You Don't Understand Blogging Unless You Blog

Tim Bray explains why blogging is still good for your career

Refound via Boingboing

1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.
2. You have to get noticed to get hired.
3. It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that, just google for XXX and I’m on the top page” or “Oh, just google my name.”
4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.
5. Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.
6. Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.
7. Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.
8. If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.
9. If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
10. It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.

Beware the flying mistletoe drone strikes

TGI drone attackTom Morris drops me a message on Facebook.

Ian Forrester’s mission if he chooses to accept it.

1. Find a lady friend.

2. Go to this: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/love-air-manchester-restaurant-launches-8130613

3. Blog about it.

Although its tempting, the idea of going to TGI Friday for a date fills me with rage. As somebody said… Their food is death and sadness.

Flying mistletoe from a mini indoor drone strike seems more likely than any kind of love interest on a date. Then again you could have fun with it I guess, but its certainly not the kind of thing I would do on a first date.

Tell you what, if anyone wants to do it for a laugh and are female, I maybe interested for the sake of blogging. This always feels like the start of an adventure… Who’s up for it?

Amateurs not killed the professionals, Andrew!

Andrew Keen Interviews

I was in the bar after Primeconf with Chris Dymond and Hwayoung.  Discussing something and somehow me and Chris mentioned Andrew Keen. If you don’t know Andrew Keen, he’s basically the man who’s been shouting about how the professional sector is going to be swallowed alive by the amateur sector. From Wikipedia…

He is particularly known for his view that the current Internet culture and the Web 2.0 trend may be debasing culture

Well 8 years later, his book The cult of the amateur seems as silly as it then. In actual fact we were discussing how the amateurs have moved across to pro-amateurs. An example is blogging! The number of blogs like mine has certainly dropped and most are now “professional.”

Not kept up with what Andrew’s point is now but frankly he was wrong then and I called him out at multiple events for this view. I have also called out a few people for a similar and embarrassing point of view (no names, but they know who and should know better!)

Why I still blog?

Its been over 10 years since I started blogging… I actually started in 2003 after I started working for Ravensbourne College. Here’s my first post (as such). I forgot to celebrate 10 years but I forgot, plus I originally started blogging offline then uploaded posts from the past about 2004ish. I’ll celebrate when I hit 25000 posts maybe?

I saw Suw’s piece on blogging in 2014., which is reply to David Weinberger’s (yes one of the writers of the Cluetrain) blog titled slightly sad elegy for blogging. Suw was one of the early bloggers in London. Chocolate & Vodka was famous in a small early community and hit the mainstream quite a few times. It also elevated her into circles only available to the elite, and happily Suw kept it real and called bollox when it really was (who could forget WeMedia!)

I owe my current career to blogging. Without it, I would never have developed an interest in how people connect through technology, and never would have met all the people who helped me turn that interest into a job. It is not an overstatement to say that without blogging — and without #joiito on Freenode — I would not have founded ORG, would not have met my husband, would not have started Ada Lovelace Day, and so on. I am incredibly grateful to blogging for all that.

I also owe a hell of a lot to blogging. My jobs, promotion into BBC Backstage, BarCamp, lifestyle, reputation, confidence, etc… I didn’t meet my ex-wife through blogging but as a side effect of reading a book (design for communities) recommended by bloggers. Things like the Cluetrain only came on my radar due to the act of reflecting back via my blog aka in a public permanent way. Heck I met Suw through her blogging, united with Kevin (Suw’s husband) through blogging values and spoke at their wedding years later!

You only have to look at the different New Years Resolutions which I’ve been doing since 2008 to get a glance of the act of being public has had on me personally.

But as both have noted, there has been a massive decline in long form blogging. I say long form because remember Twitter is meant to be microblogging but to me and many others it feels like its leaving the world of blogging long behind. You could also say the amount of bloggers (in the traditional sense of a person who writes a blog, or weblog) has exploded. But then also has the community of blogging?

The decision between tweeting and blogging are distinct in my mind. But the lack of time is also a issue. However the big issue is the lack of reading I’m doing now I’m on the scooter again. I actually look forward to the times when I’m on the tram, as I can read some RSS again.

I wonder too if my lack of blog writing is related to a lack of blog reading. My RSS reader became so clogged that I feared it, wouldn’t open it, and ultimately, abandoned it. And then Twitter and now Zite arrived to provide me with random rewards for clicking and swiping, showing me stuff that I had no idea I wanted to read. Instead of following the writings of a small cadre of smart, lovely people whom I am proud to call my friends, I read random crap off the internet that some algorithm thinks I might be interested in, or that is recommended by the people I follow on Twitter.

To be honest, I never really heard of Zite till recently. That and Quartz all seem interesting but I never use them. I do use Feedly but only as a place to sync my own RSS feeds since Google reader shutdown. I know there is the filter bubble effect but frankly I’m not too bothered at this moment. The people I want to read and follow are much more interesting that what some algorithm (which thinks it knows me) throws up.

I personally use feedly in chrome on the rare occasion that I’m reading from my laptop otherwise I’m using gRSSreader on my tablet for straight up RSS reading. Instapaper has come into its own for me over the last few years with me being able to just stack interesting things together in a queue for later consumption and further thought. So much so, that I feel like I lost a big part of the experience when my kindle broke. Now I’m scanning ebay looking to pick up a basic Wifi Kindle paperwhite, so I can read instapaper on the go. Amazon’s free email service is unbeatable and I can’t imagine having a ereader without it now.

I do wish I had more time to read and write back in my own blog. So in my new years resolution

Surround myself in higher thinking…

Is a direct plan to tackle that.

Ultimately I’m going to keep blogging for years to come, maybe heck I’ll celebrate 20 or 25 years of blogging. My views online for anyone to read is still something which kind of blows my mind. Jon covers most of the points in the early part of his blog.

Presence, Community, Disruption.

Blogging was just one of mechanisms for delivering the promise of the Net that had us so excited in the first place. The revolution is incomplete.

28 days of over blogging

For the last 28 days I’ve been blogging every day. I did accept the challenge Tim Dobson pushed me. But I did break it by blogging more than once a day. Heck I like blogging and I couldn’t help myself…

I don’t know if being able to write coherently, quite happened? Never really felt lonely while blogging and to be honest I’ve not really checked out many peoples blogs also doing it too. I did have quite a increase in the amount of traffic to my blog has received. Maybe a good time to move the blog to Bytemark?

Challenge accepted…

Tim Dobson challenged me to this

Therefore, I want to post a blog post, everyday, for the month of February. What’s more, I want to challenge my friends, my colleagues … neighbours … pets etc to join me.

Rules:

  • Your blog must be public
  • Virals/Images/Videos posts are allowed, but only if you comment somehow on the content.
  • 1 post per day, for 28 days of February, by the same person

Questions:

Q: Why?

A: Why not? Being able to write coherently, repeatedly is a valuable skill. Doing it on your own can be boring/lonely. Knowing other people are also having to rush for the 23:59 deadline is somewhat warming.

Well I guess this is your challenge accepted…. Although I might double post once in a while…

It still amazes me that I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years… Although I do need to alter my archived posts as they all point to blojsom/blog still…

Microblogging dataportability at last?

Twitter data dump

Finally got the ability to download my tweets… Over 6 years of tweets in 6.8 meg of files.

It comes in a zip file not a tar file which is interesting because Facebook uses Tars for its data dumps. Structures interesting because its less of a dump and more a formal backup of your data complete with HTML file bring it all together. Theres a README.txt file which reads…

# How to use your Twitter archive data
The simplest way to use your Twitter archive data is through the archive browser interface provided in this file. Just double-click `index.html` from the root folder and you can browse your entire history of Tweets from inside your browser.

In the `data` folder, your Twitter archive is present in two formats: JSON and CSV exports by month and year.

  • CSV is a generic format that can be imported into many data tools, spreadsheet applications, or consumed simply using a programming language.
  • ## JSON for Developers
  • The JSON export contains a full representation of your Tweets as returned by v1.1 of the Twitter API. See https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api/1.1 for more information.
  • The JSON export is also used to power the archive browser interface (index.html).
  • To consume the export in a generic JSON parser in any language, strip the first and last lines of each file.

To provide feedback, ask questions, or share ideas with other Twitter developers, join the discussion forums on https://dev.twitter.com.

Most of the data is JSON which bugs me a little only because I would personally have to transform it all to XML but alas I’m sure everyone loves it. The CSV spreadsheets are odd and could do with being XML instead of CSV but once again sure its useful to someone out there. The nice thing is there is tons of meta around each microblog/tweet including the geo-location, time and device/client. Even the URLs have some interesting things around it, because I was wondering how they were going to deal with shorten urls, retweets and mentions…

 “urls” : [ {
“indices” : [ 69, 89 ],
“url” : “http://t.co/GSzy55vc”,
“expanded_url” : “http://epicwerewolf.eventbrite.com/”,
“display_url” : “epicwerewolf.eventbrite.com”
} ]

Doesn’t always work… specially when using urls shortener which don’t keep the url after a certain time period. Interesting internally twitter always uses its own t.co for everything…

Right now I’m just interested in the period around my brush with death… Real shame theres no references to mentions you’ve had, as I would have loved to have seen some of those. Guess Twitter were not going to delve into that can of worms…

I want to know why theres no status.net inporter?

Cnet have a overview of how and what to do with the archive. Thanks Matt

Is federated microblogging this easy?

everything you need for decentralised Twitter?

I’m wondering if I should bite the bullet and install these alpha and beta plugins under Cubicgarden.com? In my mind it seems what you need for a federated/distributed blogging system is just a few plugins away?

OStatus for WordPress turns your blog into a federated social network. This means you can share and talk to everyone using the OStatus protocol, including users of Status.net/Identi.ca and WordPress.com

WhisperFollow turns your wordpress blog into a federated social web client.
In it’s current form it aggregates RSS feeds in a page on your blog called “following” which it creates.
The links it aggregates are the ones from your blogroll with rss feed data.

And many more…

These would be a good time to have a duplicate setup of cubicgarden.com to test these and many more plug-ins out on..

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Jon Udell asks, where have all the bloggers gone?

Good question… I do tweet more than I blog, thats very true.

I have Published 2,559 blogs (not including this one) and Tweeted29,087 (not including this one) but there not really comparable in my mind. Not simply because of the length but the detail and thought which goes into them plus its MINE. Of course you can crosspost which I do sometimes, and like Jon I’m choosy when I do.

It’s not just about short-form versus long-form, though. Facebook and Google+ are now hosting conversations that would formerly have happened on — or across — blogs. Keystrokes that would have been routed to our personal clouds are instead landing in those other clouds.

I’d rather route all my output through my personal cloud and then, if/when/as appropriate, syndicate pieces of it to other clouds including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. A few weeks back, WordPress’s Stephane Daury reminded me that I can:

@judell: since your blog is on (our very own) @wordpressdotcom, you can setup the publicize option to push your posts: http://wp.me/PEmnE-1ff.

I replied that I knew about that but preferred to crosspost manually.

More interestingly is Jon’s thoughts on how to make our own space/cloud better and more central.

  • Different messages to each foreign cloud. Because headlines often need to be audience-specific.
  • Private to my personal cloud, public to foreign clouds. Because the public persona I shape on my blog serves different purposes than the ones I project to foreign clouds. Much of what I say in those other places doesn’t rise to the level of a public blog entry, but I’d still like to route that stuff through my personal cloud so I can centrally control/monitor/archive it.
  • Federate the interaction siloes. Because now I can’t easily follow or respond to commentary directed to my blog echoes in foreign clouds. Or, again, centrally control/monitor/archive that stuff.

I’m currently using Disqus to mix twitter and facebook comments in with my blog but it feels very clunky. Ideally you want something more distributed like I’ve been banging on about for a while.

So busy and tired recently…

I have not blogged for quite a while. This is down to a few things.

  1. Ecto is simply doing my head in, as it keeps loosing draft entries and screwing up on the spellchecker. I paid for the software and I'm back to using W.blogger again.
  2. I have been out and about across the England and Scotland recently. I have actually been to more places up north that ever before. My Flickr account is full of pictures from different places. I also need to find the time to sort out all my pictures.
  3. Wireless has been patchy in some places and after a day of working and night of socialising, I actually do need to grab some sleep.
  4. When I'm at home, i've been preparing to go somewhere else the next day or so and the broadband has simply been a nightmare due to Demon's restrictions (more about this later).
  5. Last of all, when I do find the time to blog, the blog is down because Resin has shut its self down on the server. I then spend a little bit of time trying to work out what the problem is instead of blogging. This has been a real pain and I know your as pissed off as myself about this. I'm totally lost why after months of perfect service, why this has just started happening.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

MT? you might as well be dead to me

From Fowa, do you trust these people?

I've heard about the problems but have not publiclly said much. But I'm sorry as far as I'm concerned, I stopped recommending Movable Type a long time ago and can't understand why people still use it. Suw's post on strange attractor is simply awesome and well worth reading if you also recieved the email from Sixapart. But generally it doesn't scale effectively, and I'm not saying many blogging servers do. But I wonder why everyone seems to think there are only 2 blogging application servers out there?

What about Blojsom, Community Server, Dasblog, B2, Roller, etc. Theres much more to blogging servers that MT and WordPress. Go Explorer, don't be constrained by whats the norm. Thom Shannon recommended http://asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]