Do you have humility, a sense of craft and can you hustle?

I was listening to the Oreilly Radar podcast with Katie Dill from Airbnb. Half way through the interview she talks about what she looks for in people joining their user experience team.

Humility, Craft and Hustle

Humility is certainly hot on my radar, so no real need to go back over that, except to say the user experiences we craft/create/enable need a human/ethical dimension.

Craft goes without saying really. But I would say a level of attention, care and slight obsession fits in here. Dare I say a level of geekiness?

Hustle, is essential and without the hustle, the opportunities go missing or never happen. From

An enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.

A hustler can make opportunities happen by working hard but never forgetting their goal. They are entrepreneurial in nature.

People have asked me, how on earth Visual Perceptive Media and Perceptive Media generally got the pick up it did? Well thats the hustler side of me. It sounds slightly seedy but in actual fact its the ability to create opportunities and capitalise on them; to the best of your ability. Its hard work but super rewarding when things work out.

Katie Dill has some good points and talking to others, these are characteristics which make up most of the User Experience team in BBC R&D.

Firestarting Oreilly’s Tools of change

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at Oreilly’s Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt last week.

Tools of change or TOC for me has become the place for interesting innovations centred around publishing. Of course it makes sense because Oreilly themselves are mainly a publisher and are leading the field.

The sessions I mainly attended were around innovation in the publishing space. However a bulk of the talks centred around DRM (restrictions and rights) and moving digital workflow through-out. There was a feeling that something wasn’t being talked about and that thing was Amazon. In the same way Apple came into the music market with the savour, there was a feeling the same might be coming true.

I attended quite a few sessions but I didn’t speak up till I attended a session titled… Innovators Track: Innovative Business Models. I started tweeting some things which I thought were fair. And then I thought, well I’m going to make my feelings known rather than stay silent. The crux of my complaint was I felt like we were at a sales pitch and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. A guy I was standing next to turned to me and said, “never send your sales staff to a conference…” And you know what he was darn right… Anyway I asked my question, which was something like “Ummmmm, wheres the innovation and creativity in what you guys are doing?” That didn’t go down too well but Sophie Rochester who was due to chair the panel I would be on later, skillfully asked the question and also make it clear this wasn’t really about creativity and innovations and our session later would be the place for that. She also suggested that from a outsiders perspective it may not look like much but it was. I say nothing more, but people at lunch kept saying agreeing with me…

After lunch I went to the Outsmarting Piracy session with Ruediger Wischenbart; Jens Klingelhöfer; Sergey Anuriev; Richard Mollet; Joe Wikert. It was very interesting… At one point I was shaking my head thinking goodness this is more head in the sand stuff but then they spoke to Sergey who was russian and gave a good talk about the fact 90% of all ebooks are traded over the dark/under net. They actually work with the pirates to advertise and learn more about there audience.

Some people scoffed, but its the best they can/could do… This was followed up with Joe Wikert from Oreilly who gave the non-DRM rational. Richard Mollet piped up and said how he was advising the UK government against relaxing DRM and the like. Some lady asked the question of the panel, are any of you guys pirates? Everyone was a little startled. Then one by one, they said yes I have done something in the past which could be classed as piracy. Everyone except Richard Mollet. He refused the notion that he may have engaged in any level of piracy. I think that was when I lost it and asked/told the question saying.

“I am ashamed to be British and have you and people like you advising the UK government without any knowledge or understanding of the hardship and pain the average person has to endure with the likes of DRM!!!”

He used the crappy excuse that he’s never killed anyone but can still have a view on the punishment.

Anyway this DRM discussion carried on in the main hall as the DRM Debate with Joe Wikert and Bill McCoy.
Clearly the Book/Publishing industry is trying to grapple with DRM and those who get rid earlier will thrive at the expense of those who are too late to change.

The reason why I was speaking is because my panel session was centred around the concept of Perceptive Media or more specifically Perceptive publishing. Slides are of course on Slideshare. I shared the panel which was titled Innovations in Storytelling with Dan Franklin from Random House; Justin Keenan and Jennifer Lee from Plympton. It was moderated by Sophie Rochester again.

Sophie Rochester gathers together an incredibly talented group of creators in a panel devoted to innovations in storytelling! From the futuristic personalization taking place at the BBC’s Perceptive Media, to the masterfully interactive work of RH’s Dan Franklin, to the engagingly addictive genre fiction serialization of Plympton – this session will give you a glimpse at how some of our best technologists and storytellers are working together to craft ever richer “reading” experiences.

The session was genuinely full of interesting ideas and innovations from all around. I think I tweeted I would really like to work with the rest of panel one day.

Oreilly conferences are so well put together and I felt well looked after but not smothered. Oh have I missed them… Look forward to attending another one with more innovation from BBC R&D.

What would Perceptive publishing look like?

TOC in Frankfurt

Perceptive Media was titled that because there was always a feeling the same concept could be applied to many more things than just broadcast. Although the BBC doesn’t really have a deep history in publishing, we do have a very deep history in narrative…

What would Perceptive Publishing look like?

My interview is actually worthy of a quick read

We have only scratched the surface and do not know what else it can be adapted toward. In BBC R&D, we watch trends by looking at early innovators. It’s clear as day that ebook reading is taking off finally, and as it moves into the digital domain, why does the concept of a book have to be static? Skeuomorphism is tragic and feels like a massive step back. But Perceptive Media is undoing the limitations of broadcast. It certainly feels like we can overcome the limitations of publishing, too.
Tools of Change for Publishing (

As the readership starts to involve more electronic devices such as ereaders like the Kindle. Why limit the scope of the story to a single narrative? Why not have the narrative play out with local references? Change and morph depending on the time of the day? How about a story which truly challenges the way you think or see the world?

These are the type of questions I’ll be exploring at Oreilly’s Tools of Change Conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

Innovators Track: Innovations in Storytelling

Innovators Track curator, Sophie Rochester gathers together an incredibly talented group of creators in a panel devoted to innovations in storytelling! From the futuristic personalization taking place at the BBC’s Perceptive Media, to the masterfully interactive work of RH’s Dan Franklin, to the engagingly addictive genre fiction serialization of Plympton – this session will give you a glimpse at how some of our best technologists and storytellers are working together to craft ever richer “reading” experiences.

Ian Forrester, BBC
Dan Franklin, Random House UK
Justin Keenan, Plympton
Jennifer 8 Lee, Plympton
Moderated by Sophie Rochester, The Literary Platform

I look forward to joining Tools of Change Germany later today…

Perceptive publishing?

The reader

There was a reason why I decided to use Media oppose to TV or Radio.

The core concept of Perceptive Media can be applied at many different levels and different outputs.

How would Perceptive publishing work? Well if you imagine you have a ebook which can be read on a system which is also connected to the web and/or has sensors of its own. Imagine if that ebook reader has API’s which can exposes certain data to the ebook its self.

The way you hold the ereader, landscape, portrait, ambient temperature, time, geolocation, ambient noise, etc, etc. I have a feeling Perceptive Publishing may actually be a lot easier than Perceptive Broadcast…

You get the picture… and so do Oreilly who have put Perceptive Media into their Tools of Change conference in October.

I was interviewed about Perceptive Media and how it could work in publishing…

In the early days, Perceptive Media is being applied to broadcast technology. What potential applications for Perceptive Media do you envision in the publishing industry?

Ian Forrester: We have only scratched the surface and do not know what else it can be adapted toward. In BBC R&D, we watch trends by looking at early innovators. It’s clear as day that ebook reading is taking off finally, and as it moves into the digital domain, why does the concept of a book have to be static? Skeuomorphism is tragic and feels like a massive step back. But Perceptive Media is undoing the limitations of broadcast. It certainly feels like we can overcome the limitations of publishing, too.
Tools of Change for Publishing (

Perceptive Media talks next quarter

I’m really happy to announce I’ll be talking at a few places in autumn (q3).

I have the pleasure of talking about Making your TV more engaging for TedXBristol. Pleasure because its great to have the opportunity to spend some time in my home city and learn about whats moving and shaking? If you look online, it seems like Bath (the lower rival to Bristol) is where things are happening in the south west of England. And frankly that worries me.

TEDxBristol takes place Saturday 20th September but there is a lottery system in place for those who want to go along. Its weird because its something we considered for BarCampLondon in the later days but never went through with.

I also have the pleasure of talking at the Oreilly Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt in October. I have a lot of respect for Oreilly conferences because there very well run and tend to attract the right people along but don’t cost the earth to go to. Its a shame Emerging Tech conference ended because I would have liked to have spoken there however, TOC (tools of change) is sounds like its filling in the space Etech left nicely.

I will be talking about Perceptive Media (still need to get my bio up, but you can see my picture) and should have some of the results from our breaking out audioplay.


I will also be taking over from Tony and talking at the NEM summit in Istanbul, Turkey (which will also be the furthest east I have ever been) in October 16-18th.

And another update

I will also be talking at Canvas Conf in Birmingham on the 7th September which is mainly a web developers event but I’ll hopefully stretch their imagination and single out the client side revolution which is starting to take hold. With a look at Perceptive Media. Maybe we’ll even be able to launch something there?

So its… now

We’ve had quite a few offers to talk but its important we pick the right ones even if they are offering to pay for everything, as it takes me away from doing more research and development. We can’t have that, can we!

Teresa Valdez Klein – The Art of Subvertising on Facebook

Teresa Valdez Klein is simply amazing for what she did with subverting advertising to tell people actually they are great and don’t need to conform to be great. In this Seattle ignite talk, she outlines her story and what drove her to do it. This is a must watch…

All of us have been conditioned from birth by our families, our friends, and marketers to want (or not want) certain things. And while I’m a big fan of Facebook, I have this theory that it reinforces social conditioning in some pretty insidious ways.
In this talk, I’ll explain how I used Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform to combat the social pressure cooker.

Inspirational… and bloody marvellous…!

Shes so right, being previously on the path to the dream family setup. Its hard for people to understand why you wouldn’t want what they have. Each person puts a tiny piece of social pressure on you, without even knowing it. But what really hurts is the constant hammering that your not this, your not that which advertising can deliver with sometimes devastating effects.

It take a very strong person to reject all this… But even better is when you can inspire others that actually they are great and will become amazing in there own right.

This is also why I love

Makerfaire 2010

On my way back from Makerfaire 2010 and thankfully I can decompress on the train back. The event was a hit with plenty more makers that last time. Surprisingly the event took place inside the science centre instead of millennium square which the science centre circles and was the venue of the last one. One of the downsides of the move to the science centre is the cost which was about 4 pounds per person. There was the question would

Some very cool things I saw….

Lasers! Some of the guys from the spraycan project had built a multi-colour laser out of a standard green laser, a red dvd laser and blu-r laser. Using special mounting mirrors between them all, You can see the whole lot on this forum specially setup for laser makers. Some of the others are equally impressive and dotted all over the forum. Will I make my own laser? who knows maybe some day in the future. Maybe I’ll start by strip down my toy red laser and add a couple other Red DVD lasers to a baseplate and then try adding a controller. Hummmm one for a rainy day me thinks.

Sonodrome create bespoke audio hardware and software which fit into small pocket size tins. What I like about them is the size and ability to add it to my pacemaker output. So I could live mix on my pacemaker and plug into one of these pocket size tins for some crazy filtering. Heck I can even chain them for some real fun. Talking to the guys behind Sonodrome its possible to do some stuff with wiimotes as a controller, so look out for some hacking in that area by me soon.

Sugru is interesting shame the guys can’t seem to make enough to make it into the shops.

Lastly Steampunk magazine. I’ve never really engaged with steampunk culture or anything like that. I’m more a futuristic kind of a guy in these departments, hi-tech trainers, hi-tech fabrics all dark colours. Anyway it was interesting to think about and the woman’s dresses and corsets are well something else!

Of course there was tons and tons of other things at Makerfaire but theres really caught my attention. The whole event was amazing and I look forward to 2011.

Finally got my conference proposal notification for Etech 2007

So I finally recieved what I suspected already…

Dear Ian,

On behalf of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2007 program committee, I want to thank you for your recent proposal:

Web 2.0 down the spout (or how web 2.5 will be about plumbing)” and
“The community inside and outside your firewall”

We were very pleased with the uniformly high quality submissions we received. Thank you for your interest in sharing your work with the technical community. While your proposal was considered closely, we are not able to include it in the program this year.

In most cases proposals are declined because the topic of the talk or tutorial was already covered in another presentation, or the subject matter was too narrow or vendor specific. This year we also had far too many great talks to fit into the number of slots available.

Ben made a good point a while ago. I should be asking why they didn't make the cut. Get some feedback so I can take all this into account when submitting to Xtech 2007.

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Web 2.0 Summit coverage

Quick heads up on where to get really iindepth information on the O'reilly Web 2.0 Summit which just finished recently. Richard MacManus from the Read/Write Web has tons of posts which seem to cover pretty much everything. His wrap up post links to everything he's written in notes.

I also have to point to Ben Metcalfe's post about his ignoyance about the people attending the web 2.0 summit. Richard also picks up on this.

Some folks, like Ben Metcalfe, think the conference has lost its edge. Maybe it has, but the Web 2.0 Summit is a different beast now than it was last year – and that's a sign of the times.

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Switching to Linux again…

Tim O'Reilly is on the money, there's trouble in Apple land. Jason Kottke and Cory Doctorow have made the switch to the Linux flavor Ubuntu for there operating system. This follows Mark Pilgrim and there seems to be more leading lights switching too.

Sarah really hates it when I say about switching to Linux, because she knows how outraged I get about some of the most simple things. But this really makes me want to switch even quicker. I've almost pledged never to run Windows Vista on my desktop or laptop machine. I'm not going to switch to OSX because I simply love the PC architecture and freedom it brings (Although I was tempted with the dodgy copies of running OSX on a AMD PC). So I'm going to move to Linux again. This time, I'm going to take it seriously and give it time. I already had OpenSuse 10.1 with XGL running on a spare machine. But now I'm talking about slowly switching everything including my Laptop.

I have already got a small list of some problems I'll have, such as my mobile phone which runnings on Windows Mobile 2005. My PIM syncing using Plaxo, and Hardware support such as my new Camcorder and weird motherboard. But with a year to get it all going, I'm sure to come up with the answers or another way to the same thing.

Ubuntu looks the way to go, specially if I can get xgl running too.

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Go Digital Special Tim O’Reilly Podcast

Tim describes his joy of being at the BBC

Quoted from a internal email sent to quite a few people in the BBC World Service after Tim's invite to the BBC and his interview on Go Digital

Last week we delivered an extra edition of Go Digital through it's podcast stream, and the email response it's generated has been huge! In our last programme we featured an interview with CEO of O'Reilly Publishing and Open Source guru Tim O'Reilly and we decided to put out a tidied up 'full length' interview (17 mins) in addition to the main programme.

The response has been overwhelming, and over the weekend the programme has received around 10 times it's normal weekly email bag, without exception every response in favour of the extra content.

This demonstrates one of the real benefits of the podcast medium, that instead of simply regurgitating radio programmes for Podcast, being able to deliver something different that adds value to our regular broadcasts is something I think our audience will really appreciate.

Well this pretty amazing would you not say? I knew Tim Oreilly was a great speaker but 10x the usual response asking for the longer version or saying how great the interview was. This strikes me as a really compeling reason why podcasts work. There simply not bound to the time limits of radio and they can be super niche or serve the longtail. Actually a few of the emails outlines this perfectly.

Cameron Walker wrote,

Instead of setting the shows up to a set time, like in what your used to on Radio and TV. Podcasts can be from half an hour to an hour to 1.5hrs

Jean-Pierre Morissette from Montreal wrote,

Thank you so much for this idea. The content of this interview was so good that it was a real gift to be able to listen to it all. I call these significant moments.I opens new perspectives, new ways of looking at the world around us to listen to comments like these.

Comment from John Barton in the UK,

Just listened to the exteneded session with Tim O'Reilly.Great use of the technology. The ability to allow the speaker to extend beyond the normal programme time boundary and really get into his topic was well worth the effort. As I use a podcast agregator I got the feed automatically and was able to enjoy this bonus session without any additional work on my part. Looking forward to other extended sessions

Jim Puls from Chicago wrote

Well, I very much enjoyed your interview with Tim OReilly. I found myself stopping the podcast from time to time and backing it up to take some notes. A few months ago I didnt know what a podcast was, and now I find it enriches my life greatly. Its Saturday afternoon in Chicago, and Ive done my chores, and its time to listen to some radio … what I want when I want it. Just before Go Digital I listened to Ockhams Razor from Australia

and added in a email to myself.

As I noted in my email, you and your colleagues are carrying on in the long tradition of informing us all, and deserve our thanks for doing that.

Edwin Boatswain sums the podcast up nicely with,

Thanks for the extra content. It was a nice surpise when this turned up in the feed. I think the edited version of the interview captured his thoughts well, but it was good to hear the whole piece.

NerdTV from PBS do a simlar thing already. They produce 3 different cuts of the same interview. I download the entire show and listen to it while working but now and then glance over at the video running on my laptop. But I have never downloaded the nerdy or juicy parts cuts, i guess its not a big deal when I can simply jump around with the slider myself. Obviously the entire show isnt for everyone and a juicy cut would make a lot more sense if your only generally interested. I wonder how many people listen/watch each version?

Like one of the emails said,

While it's understandable that you have to edit down a given interview to fit into a time slot, it seems like a real shame to have whatever was left on the (virtual) cutting room floor to disappear forever. Personally, I'd very much like to see such material made available in the future (where it's deemed to be of sufficient interest/quality, of course).

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Geek Dinner is back with a bang

So yeah I hear Robert Scoble is back for another Geek Dinner on the 10th December via Ben's Blog. But I've got an announcement to say that I'm currently arranging with Tim O'reilly a geekdinner for thursday 13th October. I'm sure Tim will say yes and hopefully by the time I blog this, he would have agreed already. Lee Wilkins is fully aware of this and is stand by waiting for the final go from myself (just sent him the email).

Obviously he will also be doing some presentations and interviews around the BBC before. So if your a BBC member of staff working on the 13th October, try and keep your calendar clear on that day, so you can either attend a session in White City or Bush House with Tim. If your interested but have never heard Tim talk before, please check out this recommended podcast by Paul

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