A big week

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This week, I have:

Moved Perfect Path Consulting Ltd into a new office in Chapter St, SW1, a couple of doors down from Stormhoek, so we’ll be seeing plenty of Hugh I expect.

Got closer to taking on Perfect Path’s full-time employee #2

Did some video reportage and podcasting at one event…and another.

Ran the open space session at Blogs & Social Media

Moved into my new flat in Dolphin Square, SW1 (so I’m now able to walk to work though I may find a more direct route than this one – yay!)

I’m knackered.

Upcoming: Blogs & Social Media Forum

light at the end of the tunnelNext Wednesday sees the Blogs & Social Media Forum, organised by VNU, at the London Hilton Metropole in Edgware Road. (eeek! scarily it’s the same date and location as this) I’ve been on the advisory panel for the forum and am running one of the sessions. I’m also really pleased that VNU have commissioned us to podcast the conference and to do some pre-conference interviews – more of this below….

While accepting that people come for clear information and practical examples of how this technology is actually working, we are also pushing the networking element of the day and trying to get away from the chalk and talk, death by powerpoint approach. The trouble is, that although many have tried, no-one seems to have found a format that works for everyone, so again, I don’t think we’ve cracked it yet, but we’re trying out some new ideas to see how they work. For example, in the middle of the day Johnnie Moore and I will be running an Open Space session to give people the chance to mix up and talk to the speakers on a more egalitarian level.

Naturally, there’s a conference blog and wiki. We’ve tried to soften up the format a little – so comfy armchairs for the panel, rather than a tressle table for them to hide behind, pictures and video from the day (and more informal stuff about speakers) projected in the breaks and hopefully some funky sounds – perhaps some podsafe music and other podcast samples. Participants will be sitting cafe-style but hopefully we’ll manage to make it a bit more Starbucks than Politburo Canteen (I suggested beanbags at the last on-site meeting we had, but I’m not sure whether that one will be taken up!).

The first pre-conference podcast is over on the conference blog. I went and had a chat with Lee Bryant of Headshift. What I love about their work is the way that they’re bringing the tools together in packages that make sense to users – which Lee touches on in our short conversation.

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1-man media empire meets media empire’s #1 man

Yesterday, Debbie and I went along to EMI Music with Al Tickell of Creative & Cultural Skills to talk to their head honcho Tony Wadsworth.

We made the first of a series of podcast interviews with industry people to support the consultation process being facilitated by Policy Unplugged on the proposed Creative & Media 14-19 Diploma.

As well as letting us know what he thinks the music business needs from young people, Tony also gave us an insight into how he got into the business himself. Though he didn’t go into this much detail.

[There will be pics and video from this meeting too, but sadly my laptop didn't make it all the way home with me last night. Lost or stolen is not quite clear yet, but either way it's put a slight delay on processing the video while I procure a 4-pin/6-pin firewire cable. grrr....]

Creative & Cultural Skills Lunch

Yesterday, policyunplugged organised a lunch on behalf of Creative and Cultural Skills for a dozen or so people from the creative industries to come together in preparation for a series of consultation events in early June. The consultation is on the 14-19 Creative & Media diploma, one of the new specialised diplomas being developed as part of the Government’s curriculum reforms.

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The hope is that the diploma will blend together classroom based education and applied learning in project-based, realistic situations providing a more relevant qualification for students of all abilities.

We’re helping with the consultation process to try to bring young people, educators, industry representatives and parents together in conversation. Having done my share of consultation response analysis, I think this is a great opportunity to do something different, richer and probably more meaningful than just asking people for written submissions.

To support this, policyunplugged are providing a group blog (to which I’ll be contributing – will link here once it’s up) to get started and then some social conferences in early June to see what a broader range of people think.

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A tale of two geek dinners

On 24th April the London Girl Geeks got together in the Pitcher and Piano, Broadgate. Usual rules, no boys allowed without an invite from a girl geek. Helen Duguid spoke about Women in Technology – I didn’t get to hear any of it because of the packedness of the room and the poor acoustic. Free entry, free drinks.

On May 1st, Marc Canter regaled a Geek Dinner downstairs at the Polar Bear in Lisle Street with his vision for digital lifestyle aggregators, interconnected social networks and microformats. I did get to hear what Marc said and I heartily applaud his initiative. £5 entry, cash bar.

I shot video at both gigs. Looking back at them I was struck by the contrast and so instead of boring you with separate efforts I mashed them together.

See what you think the similarities and differences are.

Btw, using YouTube to host this one – let me know if you like it better this way (mac users might even be able to see this one!)

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