Carling don’t put on conferences…

interesting2007 001A fortnight now since Interesting2007 and blogging time & opportunities have been scarce (at least on my own behalf) as I’ve just started two big projects where I’m making social media for clients (which is nice). I can’t possibly link to all the lovely people I met but most of them have blogged or flickr’d already. Slide sets are starting to appear on slideshare

I did get the feeling that something shifted, nothing world-shattering, but there was a subtle changing, we’d done something differently and as a result it all, y’know, shifted.

Look it was a one-day “conference” but it wasn’t a conference like any I’ve been to and it wasn’t an un-conference in the Bloggercon or PolicyUnplugged mould and it wasn’t a seminar, workshop, showcase, gathering, conflab or conglomeration – it was definitely not a symposium or a trade-show. It was a bit of a happening, an exhibition, a show & tell, a festival of ideas. And it held my attention all through from 11am to 6pm (I did get a bit of a numb-bum towards the end, but that might have been because I was wearing too many pairs of pants.

But it was a group of (mostly) intelligent people in a hall, sitting on chairs in rows listening to other people speak, one at a time. So what made it stand out as something different?

Nothing was ever more than 20 minutes away – actually that was a lie, because my slot was more than 20 minutes away from Rhodri and his saw (thanks Roo), but I guess no-one got bored with having lunch.

No Q&As – people seemed to accept that the majority of people were not going to speak. I have never seen a good Q&A session except at political meetings. We’ve got blogs now to have our say, or not and none of the speakers were up their own arses about talking to people afterwards – that would have been absurd.

interesting2007 009Self-service – we all helped ourselves (as Russell said “we’re all grown-ups and you’ve only paid twenty quid”) but we all helped each other too. I arrived too late to help set up, but it was set up and nobody was crying or running around with scissors – and we cleared away quickly and fairly painlessly. There was no feeling (for me anyway) of separation between “organisers” and “punters” though these two did a splendid job of co-ordination. Also Russell was not “in charge” but he was definitely “in charge”.

It was on a Saturday and few people had a surname, let alone a job-title. The few collars I spotted were all open and any ties were undoubtedly ironic or accidental.

It was actually really good for me not to have wifi. I started off in recording mode as it was (I’m realising more and more that it’s one of my coping mechanisms for being thrust into large groups of people – I’ve been doing it with my camera since about 1979) but if I (and other similarly challenged folk) had the excuse to hide behind a laptop screen, we’d have had a much poorer experience.

It was village-hall-y and Festival of Britain-y and a bit arts-and-crafty and, well, just right for people who’s early life was a mix of oil-crises and moon-landings, dreaming about amazing cities in the sky with hovercrafts and no pollution and peace and smiling children and stuff.

It was hopeful.

As an experience, what was it like? Well, a bit like listening to Radio 4 all day, but with no long programmes, it was a bit like a random walk through the best bits of wikipedia, then again it was like live current.tv for people born in the ’60s & ’70s, or peeking at the RSS reader of someone really consistently smart. Does that help?

There were things I could have done with more of. More variety in presentation style, most people plumped for what we know, which is showing pictures or lists on a big screen. More music, preferably with acoustic instruments – the electroplankton quartet was a fun concept but I wish we’d made more of an effort with ukulele’s and kazoo’s. More analog, 3D art and time to really see the Folksy folk. More fun in the goody bag – I still haven’t used the shaving oil, but it was a point of “ooooh!”.

interesting2007 022So some quick ideas for “next time” – Multiple locations – eg InterestingLondon, InterestingEdinburgh, InterestingBucharest, InterestingAmsterdam with video-linkups at set-times throughout the day. Bingo (or some other communal game) perhaps also played internationally via the video-link. Some form of backchannel – the twitter feed worked nicely before and after the day – one computer with a net connection projecting the stream might be cool.

And yeah, you *did* have to be there, really.

Do the green thing

lolgreenSo I had a message a bit like this (only by e-mail, not phone) and so went along to be part of a conversation about Green Thing this morning.

It’s still in tease mode, but I hope that you’ll soon start to hear more about it, because I think the fundamental idea is worth getting behind even if they are, as Johnnie so prettily put it, “showing their Marketing 1.0 knickers” at the moment.

I’m glad to say that this on the right is the first photo on flickr to be tagged dothegreenthing

original pic by ofcandescence licensed cc by-sa

Hallam Foe Screening Pics

june07 068I made a set of pictures I took at the second Hallam Foe screening.

Observations:

1. Looking at Jamie & Sophia in these pictures really shows you how much they were acting their socks off. Just at a physical level, for example, in the film, it is quite clear that she’s an older woman, but here they look about the same age.

2. I need a new camera, this one is fine for whipping out and taking shots of London’s rubbish, but it can’t cope with the conditions and so some of these were too crap to post. All round I’m getting a bit tired of using shit equipment. Please Father Midsummer, can I have a new MacBook, a 3-chip videocam with flash memory not tape & a Digital SLR?

3. Having said that, the grainy quality of some of them reminds me a) (nostalgically) of prints from a 110 instamatic and b) the rougher cut of the film we saw before.

Update: I see that the movie is to be shown on the opening night of the Edinburgh Festival – kewl!

You made me love you when I saw your thighs

macro 012…is the alternative rendition of this little beauty (660kb 0:42) but here is a one chorus blast of the original.

Not directed at anyone in particular (no, I haven’t been making any girls cry) just the first thing that popped into my head when I picked up my ukulele for a late afternoon recording session and dedicated to anyone whose ever had tears in their eyes.

Cartoon sticker on my computer by Hugh Macleod

Hallam Foe redux

hallamfoeI got to see Hallam Foe again last week. Obviously this was pukka film not a video projection and the soundtrack was complete and the titles and credits had been finished off (David Shrigley, omg!), but I was left wondering just how much material difference there was between this version and the one we saw in October. It definitely felt different, but I don’t know how much of that is changes in the film or changes in me. It felt a bit calmer and less raw but nonetheless still a stunning experience. I’m still not going to let on which of Hallam’s *ahem* quirks I have shared, but I can tell you I never fell in love with a girl and followed her home because she looked the spitting image of my mother.

The film is to be released at the end of August – definitely go see.

Hugh led a Q&A with David Mackenzie, Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles. The highlights were twittered Colin Kennedy was filming throughout (though the camera got variously hijacked by Jamie Bell at one point and Catherine Monahan of Orbital Wines at another) Looking forward to seeing what comes of that…

I would have stayed longer at the party afterwards, but my tummy was grumbling and the *nibbles* were just that – aaargh kill the microfood.