You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.
It’s just ridiculous, I come back to it every year, this numbering, this ever increasing number that is attached to me. This morning it was suddenly 47. What does it mean? Everything and nothing it appears.
It does *feel* like a shift, I suppose it means “late forties” rather than “mid-forties” but still. Anyway.
I’m just going to get on and enjoy another day, occasionally liking the lovely Wall posts on Facebook that remind me how wide and amazing my network of friends is; hanging out with a beautiful woman; watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, because it is…
Here’s something. I wrote this last month when making the transition to settling in London for a couple of months. In fact, writing it helped confirm the transition for me, it seemed to mark the end of something.
Enjoy. Pass it on to anyone who you think might get something from it. Let me know what you think. etc. I’ve made it available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence so you can redistribute it, remix it, produce it in new formats, sample from it, whatever as long as you say where you got it from.
I’d like to make it available in other formats. I need some collaborators to help me understand this self-publishing lark a bit better and to actually get it out of the door. If e-books and paper self-publishing is something you’ve done, and you’d like to help, give me a shout.
I’ve been hanging around this place called the Centre for Creative Collaboration for a couple of years now. I think I’m just about getting the message: you can dig deeper, bigger (and depending on your definition, more interesting) holes in the sand if you do it with other people. Doh!
The two big projects I’ve worked on while here: Tuttle2Texas and Please Look After This Englishman have been looking at generating a new kind of narrative, blurring the distinctions between audience, funders and participants and presenting the results in a variety of formats and media.
I want to take this a bit further, applying the general methodology that I’ve aspired to follow:
- come up with something interesting to do with interesting people;
- blog about it as you go taking some direction from people on the internet;
- create content in various media as you go;
- present what happened in some summary form or forms (a play, a book, a film, an e-book etc.)
So far, I’ve defaulted to doing things myself, although I’ve had some great collaborators, my tendency has been to keep it small and only ask for help when it was really really needed. Now I want to open them up much wider and make collaboration the norm.
I’ve at least three projects that have been bumbling around in my brain for a while that I want to apply this to. I want to get going on them, but I don’t want to do them just by myself. So I’m going to write up briefs for all of them and then ask for volunteers to help in the following areas (there may be more!):
- talking things through, open up hypotheses, react to the idea, tell us where it’s wrong, where it’s right, what you’d do with it if you were able to give it time;
- looking at the themes that emerge, identify new audiences, funding streams, participants and other interested parties;
- work on creating content, writing things up, shooting video, recording audio, taking pics, curating outside content relevant to the themes and writing about it on the blog;
- editing and producing said content;
- recruiting participants and building relationships with them;
- designing and producing “end content” ie taking what we have and productizing it;
- desiging ways of rewarding contributions in financial and other terms;
- managing all the bits and bobs: documenting decisions, managing cashflows, keeping track of contributors and remuneration; and
- reviewing and improving the process and overall methodology
My intention is to publish “Calls for Collaborators” (an important principle is that collaborators needn’t necessarily be based in London or even the UK) and that we’ll refine this approach as we learn how it works. In the meantime, your thoughts on all of this (ie your collaboration on the final bullet point of this last list) would be most welcome. Talk to me, people.
I applied for a job a week or so ago (I know!) As part of that I had to update my CV. I’ve become a bit stupid about that, thinking I somehow didn’t need a CV, that my Linked-in profile was good enough, given I’m a forward-thinking social web geezer. Stupid, not only because you can never have good enough well-targeted, easy-to-read marketing materials, but also because the process of updating one’s CV is a valuable exercise in thinking about one’s experience and how to frame it, how it makes sense now that one is a little bit further down the road.
Anyway, I included the following under “Key Skills and Knowledge”. They’re all important bits of what I can do, what I like to do, what I’m really good and well-practiced at. And they’re all things that I shrug off because they’re easy and straightforward for me. What I forget is that the things that are probably most valuable in my portfolio of talents are those things that I find easy but lots of otther people find very hard – duhh!
Breaking New Ground – comfortable at the edge of innovation and the dealing with the uncertainty of commercial and not-for-profit startup environments by iterative prototyping. Happiest doing those things that “everyone knows” can’t be done.
Facilitating Collaborative Work – a prodigious networker, relationship-builder and subtle facilitator. Creating, managing and developing highly effective inter-disciplinary teams. Coaching and mentoring individuals in personal productivity and effectiveness.
Building Inclusive Community – proactively managing relationships within an organisation as well as with customers, collaborators, service-users and wider stakeholders.
I’m going to be settled in SW17 at least until the end of January. Let’s see how things are by then. It’s a bit odd, I haven’t quite got my head round the idea that I’m not going anywhere else for 8 weeks or so. I’m looking forward to continuing to have adventures even though I’m going back to the same bed every night.
I need your help with making sure that settling doesn’t fall into stagnation. I need to continue to generate cashflow, my costs are relatively low, but my income is even lower :)
You’ll have seen I’m working on a little book about my #llobo travels so far
I’m doing shows at #c4cc about Please Look After This Englishman which was a pre-cursor to #llobo
I have some community-minded documentary film-projects in mind to get going on. Still at the waffly half-baked stage but watch this space.
I’m working on a bunch of slidedecks. I’ve realised that I’m no longer in the habit of having presentations ready to take out and talk about what I do. I’ve been doing some cool and fascinating, inspiring stuff in the last couple of years, but effectively I’ve been doing it all very very quietly – I want to get out and talk about #c4cc, #tuttle, #llobo and generally what I’ve learned more widely. Let me know if you have a captive bunch of folk you’d like me to whip up into a frenzy, or something.
I’m looking at short-term artists residencies like the one I’ve done at #c4cc.
I’m available for shortish pieces of work in London and the South East (and I suppose anywhere you like really) – if you don’t know what I do, then you haven’t been laughing hard enough at me struggling to explain it. Have a look at my about page and my CV
Let me know if any of that makes you go “oh, hello, come and work with me”
I’m creating a little e-book (will probably put it on lulu.com so you can get hard copy too!) of reflections based on my travels since the end of June. This is the prologue I’ve written to explain what it’s about, I hope it whets your appetite for the whole thing!
“This is a self-portrait – it is all about me, although I hope you get to learn something of yourself by looking at it. It’s a series of reflections based on the people that I have met, stayed with, worked with, played with over the last four months on the road. I left my flat at the end of its lease in June 2011. I then wandered wherever I was needed or wanted, using my online social network to get word out that I was moving on or in need of something else to do. I tried to relinquish as much as possible any control over the choice of where to go, but sometimes you just have to choose.
The process I went through to write this piece was to make a list of all the people and then to reflect on what it was that I saw in them of myself. Then I mixed them all up to avoid people playing the tempting game of trying to identify which reflection belongs to which person. It’s sounds like a good game, but would be fruitless even if you could do it. It would be to mistake the reflection for the reality, the map for the terrain, the finger that points to the moon for the moon itself.
If you think you have identified someone from their reflection, have a little think before you start shouting about it. What does this connection you’ve made say about you?
Why do you want to probe in and analyse and find some hidden truth. There is no hidden truth, it is all here in plain sight. This is not about them. At all. It’s all about me.
This particularly applies if you’re one of the people that I’ve spent time with lately. This really isn’t about you. It’s about me. Please forgive me for bringing it up. Thank you for helping me to see it. I love you.
I can’t pretend that it’s a comprehensive catalogue of who I am, I have my share of blind-spots. Perhaps there will be another volume. That depends on who else I meet and what I see as a result.
All of them are true. And some contradict others. That’s life, in my humble opinion. The contradictions may never be fully resolved, but the attempt to do so is delicious.”