The third place? I think I found aspects of it in Urbandeli?

Urban Deli, Stockholm

I wrote this post while in Urban Deli but forgot to post it, till I left Stockholm…

I was looking for somewhere to have brunch in Stockholm and came across Urban Deli. When I got there for brunch I realised it was actually a Deli not what I was expecting. But I stuck with it and was super surprised when I was told anything bought in the deli shop could be consumed in large section of the bar. The shop is packed full of many things including take away meals, a mini butcher, cheesemonger and fishmonger. They have lots of fruit and healthy goods.

Ok I’m not doing it justice but imagine a mini-shop, bar, cafe and hotel? was pushed together and it opened early and closed very late. Then throw in decent wifi, nice seating for groups and individuals eating, working on their laptops, playing chess, having a business meeting or watching the world cup. There’s communal tables and little two person tables, power sockets everywhere and microwaves in case you need something heated up!

Urban Deli, Stockholm

Yes its pretty amazing and I can’t see how it can work but it really does. No idea if its profitable but for me this is as close to the 3rd place as it comes. Its slightly worrying as its super seductive but its not a public space/place. There is a security guard who wonders around making sure everyone is playing by the rules set by them.

Urban Deli, Stockholm

I could buy a load of food from the shop and have a little party with friends. Because its open late, it makes a great alternative to the usual busy bars and pubs. Most cafes don’t open late as there isn’t enough trade late at night? Only the other day did I discover Chapter One tea/book shop opens till midnight every night in Manchester; but its not exactly busy after 10pm

Maybe the Scandinavian culture suits this setup but what ever it is, its a very cool concept and works well.

Urban Deli, Stockholm

Following up I had a chat with one of the staff about the setup and they told me Urban Deli is a new concept and its been running for 2-3 years! It started with the bar, then the cafe, then the shop and the hotel joined later. The hotel is about 130 rooms below the complex and they just added a roof terrace this year. The shop stays open till 1am. He also mentioned they sit next to a bunch of big businesses which have employees who work sometimes very late, so the microwave and pre-packed good food made sense in more than one way. Think Google canteen but not just for staff.

Fascinating concept and place, urbandeli

The third place…

I saw this and thought it was very fitting with the thoughts and arguments about digital public spaces. Especially Oldenburg’s characteristics of the 3rd place.

Neutral ground

Occupants of third places have little to no obligation to be there. They are not tied down to the area financially, politically, legally, or otherwise and are free to come and go as they please.

Leveler (a leveling place)

Third places put no importance on an individual’s status in a society. Someone’s economic or social status do not matter in a third place, allowing for a sense of commonality among its occupants. There are no prerequisites or requirements that would prevent acceptance or participation in the third place.

Conversation is main activity

Playful and happy conversation is the main focus of activity in third places, although it is not required to be the only activity. The tone of conversation is usually light hearted and humorous; wit and good natured playfulness are highly valued.

Accessibility and accommodation

Third places must be open and readily accessible to those who occupy them. They must also be accommodating, meaning they provide the wants of their inhabitants, and all occupants feel their needs have been fulfilled.

The regulars

Third places harbor a number of regulars that help give the space its tone, and help set the mood and characteristics of the area. Regulars to third places also attract newcomers, and are there to help someone new to the space feel welcome and accommodated.

A low profile

Third places are characteristically wholesome. The inside of a third place is without extravagance or grandiosity, and has a homely feel. Third places are never snobby or pretentious, and are accepting of all types of individuals, from several different walks of life.

The mood is playful

The tone of conversation in third places are never marked with tension or hostility. Instead, they have a playful nature, where witty conversation and frivolous banter are not only common, but highly valued.

A home away from home

Occupants of third places will often have the same feelings of warmth, possession, and belonging as they would in their own homes. They feel a piece of themselves is rooted in the space, and gain spiritual regeneration by spending time there.

12 years at the BBC, and still a outlier

Tony Ageh

Recently Tony Ageh joined the New York Public Library as chief digital officer, as pointed out in the guardian

I had a lot of time for Tony and he was one of the people who attracted me to the BBC. I had no idea he had only joined 2 years before myself. But he was incredible and pulled no punches in what he felt was right. A lot like Tom Loosemore and others, he was public service to the bone. Something which I personally think it critical as more and more of our public services are being suffocated to death… slowly…

Frankly the BBC needs more people like Tony and he will be sadly lost. I found this part really interesting…

I would never have left the BBC but the opportunity is greater than I could have imagined,” he said. “I was good for the BBC because I was so unlike them, and didn’t want to be like them. But I told them that they have to shape this challenge, the internet, before it shapes you.

I feel the same, if I was to leave it would have to be such a great opportunity. in another public service focused company.  I also feel like I’m right for the BBC because I don’t fit the BBC mould. I would go as far as to say he has Humility, Craft and Hustle.

I’m sure I wrote or have said somewhere how I was not a fan the BBC, mainly for its lack of diversity in programmes, especially around underground music (hey I was young and a raver). It just didn’t reflect anything which spoke to me sadly. I didn’t even engage with the other (arguably much more important) aspects of diversity but it most likely played their part in forming my opinion.

The BBC is changing, not quite fast enough for me but the people make the difference. Like a recent q&a with a high-ranking person, where someone asked about more women in engineering. I was thinking in my head this is important of course but it’s about diversity not just gender. The answer, had me clapping my hand in my head. Its about diversity of people, thought and approaches. Perfect, I had to write a email afterwards thanking that person.

People like Tony and others are rare because the system filters them out. I’m sure I wouldn’t have got into r&d if it was to apply, and even now in my 12th year (yeah beleive it or not! It just happened around my birthday) I’m still not looking to fit in. Its not in my nature as a outlier… But likewise theres no hiding from the daily challenges and politics. As Tony said…

People do well that run towards the problem, not away from it.
I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”

Good luck to Tony and I look forward to hearing what he gets up to…? Sure it’s going to be great!

Its reminds me, I was listening to Gimlet’s reply all and there was a really good piece about diversity.

OpenTech 2015 leaves a lot to think about

OpenTech is a one day conference which I last attended back in 2006 I think. Now in its 10th year, its still a place for the tech focused  culture to be heavily debated.

OpenTech has 3 tracks of talks from people who put themselves forward beforehand. I had thought about doing so but missed the deadline for expression of interest. I learned that I should have done so anyway, as quite a few people dropped out.

Regardless of the drop outs, the conference talk quality was high. Here’s the ones which really spoke volumes to me.

Opentech 2015

The Open Rights Group 10 years on…

I was always looking forward to this one, especially because it was 10 years since a bunch of smart people got together to discuss the idea of why there was no EFF for the UK. In that room somebody pledged to pay 5 pounds a month to something like the EFF. Others followed suit and with  Suw Charman Anderson (whom I’ve not seen in ages) taking up the reins of what ever it was going to be. The Open rights group was born and fostered into the world.

It was great to step back through the history of the Open Rights Group and think about the next 10 years (my question). I had hoped Becky, Danny and Cory might have been there too but alas it was great to see everybody else.

Opentech 2015

Privacy: I do not think that word means what you think it means – Kat Matfield

This was enlightening talk in a string of talks about privacy. It was refreshing to have the view of everyday people on privacy. Especially the idea of peak page padlock aka security theatre, which she explained was a kind of dark pattern. She didn’t get a easy ride with the questioning afterwards about the sample size and how scientific the tests were but it didn’t matter, it was fascinating regardless.

Opentech 2015
The state of the network address – Bill Thompson

What can I say about Bills talk? Well it was great. So much was covered but I loved the idea of…

IP, therefore I connect

Human values in the technology was heavily discussed along with doing the right thing and building systems/frameworks to encourage the best of these values.

Bill outlined a couple scenarios which he uses to illustrate human values. Hearing them made it very clear whats at stake.
Use of personal data for children and young adults who are still finding there way, experimenting with their identity and learning what makes them tick. These years are hugely transformative and can be easily warped by requiring students to submit work through facebook or the rest of a religious family seeing recommendations for atheist documentary’s. Each thing is well meaning but damaging as a consequence.

I don’t know what my parents would have made of me taking out books from the library about drugs. I was curious and as a result learned so much about them that I pretty much embarrassed teachers and friends with my knowledge of drugs. I also never took them as a result of my knowledge. If this was 20yrs later and my parents were getting recommendations based on my book renting it would be a very different conversation!

Ethics and human values need to exist in the systems & algorithms we create. Its beyond a nice thing to do, its essential. Bill highlighted the conflict in the way most startups are funded. He pointed out public organisations like the BBC to develop new models for the public good.

Everything ran nicely into Gavin Starks talk which followed about the state of data and data as infrastructure.

Let’s redecentralize — Irina Bolychevski

I didn’t really recognise redecentralise till Irina started listing the sites which they had listed on there Github repo. At that moment I started thinking this sounds similar to something I blogged about a while ago... and I wasn’t wrong.

Opentech 2015
A mobile web of apps and documents – Adewale Oshineye

I think Adewale is great (no kick for the amount of times I have quoted him even). He thinks long and hard about subjects and I quite enjoy the challenging discussions we end up having when we have time. It was in the last session about decentralisation, that I even quoted him in my question to Irina.

People’s enthusiasm for federated decentralised $WHATEVER seems inversely proportional to the practicality of their plan for achieving it

It was great to hear Adewale on stage. I wasn’t quite sure where he was going at the very start of the talk, when he started asking what the web was but before long it all came clear when he revealed the slightly surprising fact that the biggest mobile user agent is Facebook. Aka people viewing the web through the Facebook app more than any other mobile device or app.

He then talked about Javascript only sites (ones which don’t even deliver a page unless you have JS enabled), apps containing URX’s, The Chrome and Safari tab feature. Pintrest got a bit of kicking for their aggressive stance to use their app over accessing by a browser or any other way.

But its the question Adewale left us which was the kicker….

Is this still the web?

A bit of a debate kicked off but unfortunately there wasn’t much time left to really get into it. However the question still remains and got me thinking, about what I hold dear about the web. Maybe I’m romanticising the history of the web? But I don’t think so… I honestly think theres something important about the open web through open platforms.

Thinking about it now, listening to Brian Chirls earlier in the week talk about WebVR starter kit and the things he did to make sure VR isn’t just for the rich elites but also for the children who might be able to afford a cheap android phone for VR viewing. But its not about consuming! They should be able to create their own VR, like when we used view source to understand how the web worked. Even on a super locked down library PC.

I know there is something essential about using accessing the web from a browser. It might be the shift from consumer to author but I haven’t quite condensed it down to a paragraph yet, I’m sure to tell Adewale when I next see him next.

Opentech 2015
dotEveryone by Paula Le Dieu

I was lucky that the order on the website stayed the same, as I left track 3 with Adewale on the top floor to catch Paula Le Dieu sitting on the stage. As I walked down to the front, she was talking about how things like the Open Rights Group and BBC Backstage were launched 10 years ago and most stood the test of time. I know Paula wasn’t singling me or anybody out (she later pointed out the BBC creative archive project was ended a few years previous to the end of BBC Backstage) I just happened to walk in right on cue. I wanted to clear things up anyway in my question. Some people later asked me what was BBC Backstage, which goes to show.

DotEveryone was a interguing talk and although not a lot was given away. Paula did mention 3 points of focus.

  1. Internet connectivity – Net neutrality?
  2. Diversity in Tech – There was a talk about being female on the internet earlier
  3. New Business models – Very fitting with Bills State of the internet address)

I’ll certainly be looking more into doteveryone.

It was a good conference and it was great having the ODI sponsoring and supporting it. Keep wondering if we could something similar in Manchester, especially with lots of people interested in the effect of tech culture.

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.

Relationship fuss

32/365 Status Update

People who have been in a relationship of what ever kind for more that 5 years are lucky. Yes they are matched with someone significant but they don’t have to go through the fuss or even hell of announcing it on fb.

Recent research suggests that the decisions people make about whether and how to represent their love lives on Facebook can often be quite telling. For example, my colleagues and I found that people who post a “Single” relationship status on Facebook have more sexual partners between relationships than those who opt out of posting “Single” on their profile. We also found that people who disclose that they are “In a Relationship” on Facebook also report being more committed to that relationship. Even among married people, we found that those whose primary Facebook photos include their spouses are less likely to split up 6 months later

With previous girlfriends, it was carefully chosen when to change fb statuses. I usually change mine to prove I was no longer dating.

The act of publicly publishing your status (even subconsciously) has a massive profound effect… going by this study a positive effect?

I believe this also applies to publishing things like your new years resolutions. Which I have done for years.

Self Confidence: How to be interesting…

Jyri Engeström quote

Simon Lumb and Aden Davies shared Russell Davis’s post about how to be interesting

He makes two assumptions…

The way to be interesting is to be interested. You’ve got to find what’s interesting in everything, you’ve got to be good at noticing things, you’ve got to be good at listening. If you find people (and things) interesting, they’ll find you interesting.

Interesting people are good at sharing. You can’t be interested in someone who won’t tell you anything. Being good at sharing is not the same as talking and talking and talking. It means you share your ideas, you let people play with them and you’re good at talking about them without having to talk about yourself.

And assuming the above… here’s his recommendations (obviously there quite computer related but they don’t have to be)…

  1. Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to flickr
  2. Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week
  3. Keep a scrapbook
  4. Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before
  5. Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, work out how to make them interesting. Podcast it
  6. Collect something
  7. Once a week sit in a coffee-shop or cafe for an hour and listen to other people’s conversations. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully)
  8. Every month write 50 words about one piece of visual art, one piece of writing, one piece of music and one piece of film or TV. Do other art forms if you can. Blog about it
  9. Make something
  10. Read
I like the list quite a lot and it really got me thinking, what would I put in this kind of a list?
So I wrote my own… (please note this is all in my own opinion, you may disagree but that’s what comments are for…)
  1. Tweet at least everyday and make sure its public
    Tweet, microblog, blog, what ever… Being open and public will improve your confidence, interface you with other peoples opinions and ultimately make you a better or more rounded person
  2. 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.
  3. Keep a note of conversations, ideas and dreams in a scrapbook, notebook or just somewhere shareable
    I personally use Evernote to document everything I find interesting. I can later on share it with people and thats been very handy for communicating a idea or whats going on in my brain.
  4. Follow and read articles/retweets from people you follow on twitter
    I only tend to follow people who say interesting things, and every once in a while I just scroll through links and retweets from people I follow. Generally I’ve found them very useful and they usually end up in my readitlater or instapaper. Once again, although not directly
  5. Start or be on a podcast/videocast
    I hate the sound of my voice but forcing myself to do a podcast, has got me use to the sound and how I sound to others. How this helps with being more interesting, I’m not quite sure but its certainly something you can talk about and share with others
  6. Talk to someone new at least every week
    What have you got to loose? Someone new may unlock a whole new lifestyle choice, a new found friend or be your next partner… You just need to hold a conversation for at least 2mins. Generally if your exploiting number 9, this will be very easy…
  7. Once in a week sit in a great tea/coffee shop and just listen without your headphones
    Nothing better than to over hear human concerns. Yes most of them will be mindless stuff to you but it doesn’t matter, listen to the metadata. Passion, tone, etc… They all give a different aspect to the human voice… I already mentioned before about how I tend not to use my lift with headphones on for a similar reason.
  8. Every month, tweet an observation about human life
    I loved Seinfeld because of its observation of human life, and in actual fact someone pointed out to me. That most comedy is a observation of life. Theres two ways you can take this…
    1. Being funny is always great
    2. Having a detailed understanding of life means you can later hack it 🙂
    And don’t just sit on that knowledge, share it!
  9. Take advantage of your understanding of social objects
    Talking of hacking life… If you don’t understand the concept of social objects and how they enrich our lives, nows the time to learn… I would start Hugh Macleod’s 101 thoughts on Social objects then check out Jyri Enstrom’s post, then more links from Hugh Macleod including Jyri’s video at London Geekdinners a while back. Don’t quite understand this relates to being more interested? A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples
  10. Learn
    Life long learning, what more is there to say? Always be learning…
The general theme is about openness, human contact, sharing and self improvement… Being more interesting isn’t a thing you just throw on, actually its about being confident in your own abilities and the way to do that is to be comfitable in your own skin. The rest will come naturally… As Nic ferrier said “get our of your comfort zone once a week…” Which I think is right but actually its more involved than just once a week, its about a change in the way you look at life.

Oversharing and living in public

I was listening to Twit networks Triangulation number 28 with Jeff Jarvis recently… Jeff Jarvis’s way of approaching the world is similar to the way I see things. Funny enough Leo Laporte also lives his life mainly in public too.

Known as an American journalist, co-host on This Week in Google, author of What Would Google Do?, and his new book Public PartsJeff Jarvis, is this week’s guest.

Most of the talk is generally about Jeff and his work on Buzz machine and other mainstream news organisations. Where it gets interesting is when he talks about blogging his cancer therapy and the series of following concerns which followed.

This certainly chimed with me because of my own experience when my ex-wife convinced my family to post updates of what was happening with me last year during mybrushwithdeath. I also experienced people who felt it was all too public and they shouldn’t be doing such a thing. They also experienced many people who were happy things were not as bad as the wild rumours suggested.

I specially liked the quote… by Jeff in response to someone who complained about Jeff oversharing…

“Really what he was doing was over listening.”

It was a excellent interview and reminds me why I do follow Jeff Jarvis on Twitter… Might have to go buy the book now

Public 2.0: The era of personal data openness

I was in London Thursday for the Public 2.0 conference, which the guys behind the Data Art  project put together. It was a nicely put together conference with a mix of speakers and topics.
I kicked off the day with my presentation titled The era of personal data openness.
When I was approached about doing a presentation for the data art conference. I wasn’t sure which angle to take. After a few thoughts, I decided to contact the data art guys and see what they were exactly after. After a brief chat, I decided to take the more interesting path in this presentation
The premise of the presentation is Open data from organisations like the government, companies is interesting and the movement around this has finally sunk in. There wasn’t a single government proposed agenda last year which didn’t include something about releasing more open data. And every startup and online business is building APIs, so they can take advantage of the overwhelming power of the rich ecosystem of developers, hackers and early adopters. But I’ve noticed a increase in tools and systems to take advantage of our own data and the data we generate everyday.
I was tracking this very much from the sidelines and had not found a decent way of explaining the topic of self documentation. That was till I had lunch with Rain Ashford.
We talked through a bunch of stuff but got talking about my presentation which I was due to give next day. And after describing the premise like I am now. She said it sounds a lot like Quantified Self
Bingo! Having never heard of the movement, it instantly made sense and further research clarified everything.
Quantified Self is the Era of personal Data Openness….
Its also worth noting Walter De Brouwer’s presentation at Thinking Digital also had some influence but I forgot to mention it. Two links from that session http://curetogether.comwww.patientslikeme.com all fit perfectly…

Know your meme public message broadcast

I love know your meme and have been catching up with the episodes I’ve missed for a while but I love this almost like a public service message episode which is attached to downfall.

In response to Constantin’s attempted takedown of these satirical videos, the Institute for Internet Studies offers this helpful public service announcement explaining how to dispute a wrongful copyright claim on the grounds of Fair Use.

Facebook for my old crusty photo collections

Me and the wowball

Most people know how much I really hate Facebook, although in the last few months I’ve slightly warmed to it for certain things.

Recently I scanned all my old negatives into jpgs, and I’m not sure what to do with them?

Normally I would upload them to Flickr.com like most of my photos but to be honest I only upload the best of my shots to flickr.com (even though I have a pro account and I have done for the last 4+ years). It just didn’t make sense to upload the old crusty scanned pictures to flickr.com. So I had a think and decided that the best place to publicly put them is on Facebook. Yes the EULA still really bugs me and It probably means Facebook now owns my photos but heck, there so old and crusty, that I don’t really care. Better online somewhere that lost in negative form forever?

On the upside, most of the photos are from when I was in school, so most of the people in the photos will be on facebook too. This means they can tag the photos to death and write stupid comments which make youtube comments look like degree essays in comparison. Oh and of course there will be the crazy (its taking over the web like crazy) "I like this" button for those who can’t be bother to say anything meaningful… (Geez I’m so snotty about facebook, I should really stop being so darn negative about it)

I also reckon theres roughly about 300 of them once you take out some of the duplicates (I did the scanning over a few days and didn’t really do a good job of splitting the done and to do piles, so shoot me). No one really wants to see my photostream full of old crusty photos for almost 300 photos… Heck not even I want to see that. So I’ll use facebook as I’ve been using it previously, a massive dumping ground for publicly available data. I’ve marked the photos as public, so it will be interesting to see what that means in the great scheme of things.

I’m aware there is some facebook event later today but I doubt its anything which will change my view on facebook or using it.

So old friends of mine, do check out the tip of the iceberg collection i’ve uploaded so far under school days (I was tempted to write skool daze but I don’t want to encourage the super lameness which comes with facebook stuff). I’ll upload the rest once Facebook stops telling me to update my flash player or I can be bothered to deal with the crappy html uploader.

Oh yeah I’m aware that this does get fed into facebook via rss. So no offense meant to my lovely facebook friends… Actually screw it. Isn’t all this so AOL 2.0???? What did you all think about me making it public instead of just my little network? Whooo the public Internet is so scary 🙂

Twitter for adults or smart people

Fail whale

The consistently talented Derek Powazek wrote a great guide for Twitter called Twitter for Adults. If you don’t know Derek, you should get to know him. For me, his book Design for Communities isn’t just the best on the subject of community, its also the reason why/how I got to know my ex-wife Sarah. So real life changing stuff, but back to twitter… here’s the outline.

Participate Publicly but Carefully

  1. Turn off New Follower Emails – I turned off the emails that tell me who started following me from the get-go. They just made me worry too much. “Who is that? Should I follow them? Why are they following me?” Instant writer’s block.
  2. Ignore your follower count – The number goes up, the number goes down. Who cares? Your follower number has no bearing on your self-worth, but when it goes down, you can’t help but feel bad. Make a conscious decision to ignore it.
  3. Interact judiciously – Follow people who seem interesting, stop following anyone who’s not. You don’t have to follow everyone you know – that’s what Facebook is for. Check your @Mentions, but remember that you don’t have to reply when someone talks at you. Block anyone who bothers you. Remember that you are solely responsible for where you point your attention. If what you see upsets you, direct your attention somewhere else.
  4. Turn off retweets when necessary – Just because you enjoy following someone’s tweets doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy everything they retweet. Unfortunately, you can’t turn retweets off altogether (aside to Twitter: please?), but you can disable retweets from individual members by going to their profile page and de-greening the retweet icon.
  5. Remember where you are – Any thought worth thinking takes more than 140 characters to write. Twitter is useful for a great many things, but nuanced discussion of important topics is not one of them. Twitter is like shouting over the band in a bar. You can do it, but you have to keep it short: “I love this song!” Don’t get baited into a back-and-forth with a stranger. The immediate, short nature of Twitter is good at amping up disagreement, and bad at reaching understanding.

Before that, there is a divide between being very hidden (Curate Your Follower List) and being public (Participate Publicly but Carefully). I personally feel like twitter is a very public place and trying to hide anything is a waste of time. If you want to be private go elsewhere, all it takes is one person to retweet what you said and your cover is blown. Its not even people being malicious, for example my Windows Mobile twitter app wouldn’t discriminate between Private and Public tweets. So when you retweet a message, there was no way of knowing.

Right with that out the way, what about the public way.

I’ve come to the realization that I’m a very public person. My blog, my tweets, my etc, etc… I don’t quite know how this happened it just did. Don’t get me wrong, I like my private time too but generally I’m not bothered who knows certain things about me. The perfect example is the caringbridge site which was setup by my family and ex-wife to inform people of what was going on with me when I had #mybrushwithdeath.

So being a public person, I would say a lot of what Derek suggests are almost no brainers.

Although I’m very public, I am careful what I write (its the internet stupid). I don’t care who follows me, hopefully they find what I write interesting but I won’t pander to popularity. In actual fact, its what I do generally in life. I almost never pander to peer pressure, I kind of lap it up and tend to do the opposite. How I got to almost 2500 followers I still don’t quite know. I also still get people moaning at me because I don’t follow them. I only follow people who have interesting things to say.

BBC issues recently

BBC TV Centre

The BBC has been getting quite a lot of attention recently. I obviously can't say anything from a BBC perpective only my own personal view. So in lawyer speak, these are the views of myself and myself alone. They are not the and should not be taken as the official view of the BBC.

So the first and most public is the announcement about the Memo of Understanding with Microsoft. Via Slashdot

Microsoft has signed a memorandum of understanding with the BBC for 'strategic partnerships' in the development of next-generation digital broadcasting techniques. They are also speaking to other companies such as Real and Linden Labs. Windows Media Centre platform, Windows Live Messenger application and the Xbox 360 console have all been suggested as potential gateways for BBC content. It is unclear how this impacts on existing BBC research projects such as Dirac, although it is understood that the BBC would face heavy criticism if its content was only available via Microsoft products.

Slashdot has lots of critism and we didn't get a glowing review in the Guardian either. Dave's been sending me updates from the Free Software foundation UK list but Miles outlays a view point which I think quite a few people have (I assumed this was ok to publish miles?).

Any technology alliance the BBC enters into with a commercial software and DRM vendor should explicitly define open standards and open content. At the present time, where DRM implementations are not interoperable because of commercial competition in the DRM market, and software vendors' desire to dominate that market, producing proprietary and DRMed content locks the partnership in, and locks consumers in. Whilst it may be legitimate for a company to do this, a broadcaster that is funded by a mandatory public subscription (the license fee), and which has, in effect, as a direct result, a quasi-monopoly, should not abuse its position, and shaft a public which has no choice.

The cynic in me believes broadcasters are doing this on purpose – because they want “IP TV” to fail so they can prolong their existing business models.

Certainly these are very strong words.

And on to the other issue… Thanks to Bahi for this heads up. There's been talk about the BBC ripping off Flickr photographs. Ripping off and Scandal are very strong words indeed but if you do actually follow the Scotland Flickr discussion. The bit which got everyones backs up, lies in this part of what the editor of BBC Scotland says.

I wondered if anyone would be willing to give me advance permission to use their pictures as and when the need arises? We'd still always send you a message telling you we'd used a picture and we'd credit you in the alt tag (and possibly the caption as well).

All I can say is this was always going to be a difficult thing to explain.

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