2008 in pix

Seesmic London Dinner
January: The Seesmic gang came to town and we had dinner and a little snooze in a room that was to become much more familiar over the year.

Social Media Café 4
February: The Tuttle Club/Social Media Cafe starts meeting regularly at The Coach & Horses in Greek Street.

South East Berlin Walking
March: Took a trip to Berlin to cover a conference and sample the local political graffiti.

April: Flickr started hosting video, but as yet they and wordpress.com haven’t worked out a way of embedding them :(

teh boris - i didn't vote for him
May: I didn’t vote for Boris

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June: was interesting, again.

Steve opens day 2 at 2gether08
July: We got 2gether in Shoreditch and put the world to rights.

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August: I finally made it down to the Bude Jazz Festival.

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September: Dead mouse at Tuttle strengthens our resolve to shimmy down to the ICA

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October: Back to Berlin for a bonanza barcamp and a more human-sized Web2.0Expo.

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November: I got to meet my newest nephew Sethan (seen here with his Granny)

qype flushed
December: At LeWeb in Paris, not everything was going down the toilet.

We Die

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Nipped into Woolworths in Epsom today. This corner was part of my Saturday morning ritual for quite a while. Every week, the small Davises and I would go to McDonalds for lunch and then into Woolies to spend their pocket money. This corner was the Barbie corner – every week, we’d decide whether R wanted to save her money for something bigger next week, or have another Barbie. Pretty much all of the time it was another Barbie, but it took a lot of thinking and a lot of walking around that corner, looking at everything that was on offer. Now it’s gone.

Worth re-reading the first bit of Cluetrain. The first words (the title of this post) were ringing in my ears while I walked around.

As a bonus, my feed reader had this christmas cracker from Nick Booth. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes! (and like all the best posts it’s gotten richer with the range of comments – read ‘em all)

Yet Another Year

Lloyd DavisOh blimey, I seem to have turned fourty-four. It just makes me laugh again. My practice today is to see deeply that the numbers mean nothing – not that I’m unaffected by it, but that it carries no meaning, no weight.

I had fun today. I tried to keep up with all the Happy Birthdays that came my way by mail, twitter, facebook, plaxo (!) but was unable to say thank you directly. So thank you all again, indirectly for making the effort to say hello, it means a lot to me. I had a slow-starting day, then lunch with Katherine in Soho, then I went and took part in #twitpanto – so much to be written about that, it was an anthropological treasure trove. Then I went shopping and came home with enough wii-related goodies (yes inc. wii-fit) to keep me chortling over the next few days. Spent the evening with the kids – ribs and chops (no wings today) telly and present wrapping stuff.

I have a wonderful life. I’ve found something to enjoy in every day this year and I have so many lovely people to be grateful for.

So thank(s for) you.

Photo: cc-by Annie Mole on Flickr

A little bit of politics for you

Lovely to see the JFDI crew heading for Thomson Reuters again yesterday for #askDC a little talk by David Cameron and then a Q&A that promised to include some questions from Tweeters. It was a re-run with extra manpower and sparkly bits of the Gordon Brown do in the same room at Canary Wharf a little while ago, when Christian qikked the PM thus getting a 2 or 3 second scoop on the “live” internet feed and the BBC.

I love it – I’m a news junkie – I can’t get enough of this stuff and these guys supply it very well. It also fits very well with some work that I’ve been doing within Government that I *still* can’t talk about properly, but hopefully will very soon.

So what next?

In following the pattern of traditional news media with live coverage they show two things: firstly that there’s so much more that mainstream media could do, if they could be bothered to learn and let go of their ideas of how things have to work. I think this is the main reason Reuters are doing it, but (yes there’s a but) what it also reminds me is that there’s a whole lot more to news than instant live coverage and, even more importantly that there’s a whole lot more to social media than getting a few seconds scoop on the big boys.

There’s a limit on how live you can get. So in certain circumstances we can get a scoop pretty easily just by happening to be in the right place at the right time or to be witness to something that otherwise would not get any coverage because the benefit from the story doesn’t outweigh the cost of sending a 5-person camera crew. However, when it comes to set pieces like yesterday, the marginal speed gain from live-streaming from qik is wiped out by the drop in quality – the added value is in the contextual stuff that together the guys were creating while running around and pulling together stuff from twitter, flickr and qik.

What the social stuff is best for is the slower, longer-term story-telling, the relating. The repeated application of this kind of reporting is what really wows people, one-offs are fun, but ultimately unsatisfying, because we don’t, we can’t get under the skin of a story in one morning. Yesterday we got a very very broad look at a very shallow event – I’m interested now in how we get depth as well as breadth.

Once Cameron had finished speaking, BBC News fell back to the studio and analysis from a specialist political correspondent. I think we need now to be looking at how we provide that sort of added value, of contextualising stories, breaking them down and looking at them from a range of perspectives. And we get our context by writing and creating other content tangentially to the story that the subjects want to tell. The social reporter interviews the bit-players, junior officials and also-rans because what they think and say tells us as much about the main story as what the official speech-writer managed to squeeze into a time and space designed specifically for conveying a precise message to a relatively small group of hacks. Then by making all the content available, not just the annointed bits that push “the message”, we, the reader/viewers get to filter and re-mix to help make sense of it all.

Things are getting really cool.

Photo: Sizemore

Le Web now with more social richness

09122008681The smallest conversations bring great insight.

I was just talking to Alex (ledretch) about the conference, the sessions, the people etc and he made a remark about all the tools we use to connect.

And it hit me that 3 years ago when I was here at Les Blogs the *only* thing we had that we could connect through was our blogs, and flickr I suppose, but mostly the blogs, and there was this feeling of tension of social unease that we didn’t know each other very well and that that mattered (apart from among the old-timers of course who regularly met at conferences) – and now we have so many other ways of getting together and in fact the communities that have formed around twitter and seesmic and facebook et al *as well as* our blogs are now just way, way richer and when we come together offline, it’s just that we’re operating in a different mode, it’s not so awkward or anything.

And anyway lots of people just come and sit down here and chat and crack open their laptops.

Of course I could just be an old social media tart or something.

LeWeb commences

The Seesmic Clique

This morning at LeWeb:
We are on the western side of this time zone, so it was still dark at 8am.
Early birds include Dean Whitbread who marched past me as I exited the metro & @whitscott & @ledretch etc.
W00t! blogger tables at the front with wired internet and power (but no power)
Heartwarming smoochycoochy welcome from the Le Meurs
Spotted @fred2baro in the crowd.
Steve Gillmor straight into Silly Valley insider gossip fest with some MS dude
More of the same from Google fella
DAVID WEINBERGER!! FUCK YEAH!
MySpace drone drove me downstairs to the comfy sofas, the better wifi
On the way caught JP to muse on internet fame and self-organisation viz Stansted invaders, but more scarily for us all with teenage children, organized crime around facebook parties.
Sophie Cox dropped by, no doubt hoping to try and straighten my badges, but ended up modelling the giveaway beanie from the goodiebag.
Hugh McLeod sauntered in, shared some off the record bits of his evil plan, which had be giggling and ready for anything at which point he pulled out some hot wet pussy.
Out into the hall for lunch – not quite attack of the microlunches, but close run, given that as Stephanie noted there seemed to be lunch for 150 whereas we have about 1500 people.
Realised that Hermione Way really hadn’t thought through the name of her new startup techfluff.tv when I called her techfluffer in chief – seems she didn’t know till recently what a fluffer was. I nearly ended up drenched in red wine.
Nipped out and got some turkey kabanos from the jewish mom & pop store down the road and met Hugh again in the snow, so we had a bitch about London, Paris and the like.
Came in and chatted with David Langer about social media consulting, me, tuttle, self-organising and other interesting stuff about err… me

It’s the people, people. We come for the people. Think I’ll go sample Paulo Coelho in the main hall.