Dinosaurs and Meteors

dinosaur001.jpg Cartoon by: Hugh MacLeod

Meteor: Hey look at me, I’m new and exciting and add something really useful to what we’re all trying to do here. I let you do the stuff that you’ve always wanted to do.

Dinosaur: You are a dangerous fanatic. Your “innovation” is not new. You can’t do what you’re doing without breaking what we’ve been doing since time immemorial. What you’re suggesting will lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

Meteor: No, you misunderstand, I’m here to help you. You can still do things the way you’ve always done them if you like, but really, these are problems that I’ve heard you moaning about – aren’t you pleased?

Dinosaur: Your “solution” is of no use to me. I cannot see how this helps me. I cannot see how to do your thing and keep doing my thing too. I also have a range of academic and expert evidence to prove my point. I have powerpoint slides too. You are threatening my existence. I have no choice then except to destroy you. I will survive.

Meteor: OK, but I’m still here to help you if you want. When people ask you about it next year and you don’t know what to do, give me a call. I love you Dino.

I’m at Online Information 2006.

Big Bears in Watford

Big Bear Stompers at Watford Pump HouseLast night I took my son up to the Pump House Jazz Club in Watford to hear his Grandad playing. I have been very slack in ensuring that my kids have fully appreciated their musical heritage on my side of the family.

When I was a child every Sunday meant a trip to the Shantasea (later The Jug, now no more) in Albert Street in Central Birmingham to hear Big Syd’s band, a group of local jazzers playing in a mainstream side of traditional style – it’s where I heard many of the standards over and over again, one of which is usually going around in my head. And many Saturdays, especially in the summer, were filled with fetes, marches and shopping centre openings.

Later, Tony joined the New Delta Jazzmen and then the Zenith Hot Stompers for twenty-odd years (I cut some of my first public performance teeth with occasional guest vocals). His description of his current activities is:

“I now play 3rd trumpet in the 11-piece band Harlem, 2nd trumpet in the Big Bear Stompers, 1st (and only) trumpet in Jon Penn’s All-Star Hot Five, lead a ‘Condon-style’ band called Kaminsky Connection and play in ad hoc trios or quartets, usually backing singer Judy Eames.”

and it was with the ‘Frisco style Big Bear Stompers with Judy on vocals that we saw him last night. Another treat was to hear Keith Nicholls outside of a dance band and to see him and Eve no matter how briefly.

I last went to the Pump House about 20 years ago to hear Tony with the Zenith. The club doesn’t seem to have changed at all on the inside (outside a plethora of superstores has sprung up around it) and the crowd of regulars were heartily vocal in their appreciation of the Lu Watters and Turk Murphy offerings.

[bonus: in the bar, tony spotted a rogue apostrophe]

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The Alternate…what?

SOLT launched their ‘blog’ The Alternate yesterday.

OK, I’m still trying to get my head round the strapline “An alternative view of Theatreland from http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk”; I will give it some time to find it’s feet, but honestly what is alternative about this? What does the title mean?

I’d love to see some posts on what they are trying to do here (beyond the bland about us statement) and how they are going to be different from fan sites or the gossip columns of the freesheets.

I’d like to see something a bit edgier, a bit more backstage and with more imaginative use of media – we’ve been podcasting for 2 years now people – we don’t want (censored) transcriptions of interviews – let’s hear them, or even better, get your camcorder out and let’s see the luvvies! I’d also like to know that this is a community I can be part of, not just another part of the publicity/money extraction machine.

And a full text rss feed. Don’t make me click through, you’re making me work too hard to be your friend.

Most of all – get rid of the registration in order to comment. This says “you can only be my friend if you give me 5p”. This makes me nervous and not really want to play with you or recommend you to my friends.

I can help – you only have to ask.

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Make Your Mark With A Tenner

Can’t be bothered to dig out an exact quote on the amount of cocaine that is alleged to be stuck to banknotes in the circulation, and I don’t know (naturally) how you would go about extracting it, but I think there’s at least a feasibility study to be done on how much you could make from washing out your ten pound notes and then exchanging them for others, then selling the coke.

Drugs and money-laundering (literally) – that’s the kind of stuff people have come to expect here (well at least it makes a change from semi-nudity and knob gags).

I’m sure that the young people who get involved in www.makeyourmarkwithatenner.org (which was launched yesterday by the totally brilliant Oli Barrett) will have more sense, moral fibre and honesty than to follow my hare-brained scheme (and of course kids, it harms other people and it’s illegal so is against the rules)

Oli’s premise, to encourage social entrepreneurship, is to give £10 each to 10,000 young people as a competition to see what good they can do with it, while they are also hopefully making a profit. You can see Oli and Andrew Reynolds (who’s putting up the dosh) in this clip from Working Lunch yesterday (though it will probably disappear from that location soon – grrrrrr! get it on youtube somebody!) [update:Adrian tells me it's already disappeared, but I just heard from Oli that photos of the launch are on flickr]

The money is being distributed via schools and colleges, so if you’re in that world, go along and have a look. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how *you* would use your tenner for simultaneous good and profit.

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Allowed out in public

It seems it’s my time to go conference bananas this month.

On Saturday 18th I’m doing one of my trademark open space lite sessions at Podcastcon UK which is being held quite inappropriately, I’m sure you’ll agree in an old meat market (it’s actually really nice, I have had a look).

I had hoped to go to VLOG Europe in Milan just for Sunday, but poor planning and bad cashflow management put paid to that (luckily I have alternative activities lined up…)

Then Tuesday 21st I’m speaking at The Data Show at Earls Court on “Getting into the Heads of Customers – how to understand, engage and participate in the online environment… the sphere that belongs to the customer” – personally I find the image of getting into people’s heads somewhat distasteful, but I’ll try to avoid the more unpleasant double-entendres! It’s part of a bigger direct marketing show – here’s the programme, it doesn’t look like there’ll be anyone else talking about this stuff there.

The month closes with Online Information 2006 up at Olympia where I am:

  • running a half-day open space on Monday 27th which I expect to be similar in tone to the one I did at the Blogs & Social Media Forum in May, only longer. If you think any of your clients or colleagues would benefit from talking freely and learning loads about Blogging and Social Media, get them to come along – the more the merrier!
  • moderating a panel on the Wednesday on The Risk & Reward of Social Software.
  • recording some of the sessions (audio, for release only to attendees I’m afraid)
  • running around in between doing my usual Rich Records schtick

Yay!

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Big Knob, Little Knob

little knobbig knobThis lunchtime I had to be home to greet some very nice eastern european workmen who were coming to fix up my letterbox (we’re having a whole revamp of the common areas in Dolphin Sq)

What I didn’t realise was that they were also removing the catch on my cubby-hole (where I put my rubbish to be collected, nightly) and replacing it with a little knob to match the big shiny knob on my front door. I did polish my knob a few weeks ago and it came up spiffingly (though I didn’t get any admiring comments from the neighbours) but now it looks really lacklustre compared to it’s little brother.

So which do you prefer – my big shiny knob or my little shiny knob?