All posts by Lloyd Davis

Hitched

Oh My!  I imagine that most of the people who read here will have seen the news last weekend or known anyway, but I got married to Laura Musgrave on 5th September.  And I’m chuffed to bits.

I first got married in 1990 just before I turned 26. I thought it was all about us – which means that primarily I thought the day was about me, but then I suppose that at the time I thought my life was all about me anyway.

Life has changed me.  Nearly 25 years later, I’ve done it again.  I’m privileged to come at it this time with that experience of what marriage is really about and what life is really for.  I’m very grateful for the first time round, and in particular, the two beautiful children that came from it – two young people of whom I’m immensely proud today.

Nick Holder was my best man and we went on a walk in the woods a few weeks ago as part of my “stag”.  He asked me while we walked, why I was getting married.  I said that I liked it, as a state of being.  I prefer it, as an idea, to living together without a public declaration and ritual and even all the legal stuff.  I like us being a unit – two and one.  I like introducing “my wife”.

It’s taken me ten years to come back to this position.  When I first moved out in 2005, I was quite sure that I’d spend the rest of my life alone, or in long-term relationships that didn’t involve public commitment and children.  But that has changed very very slowly, over the years.

I’ve done a lot of growing up since then and so a couple of years ago, after Laura and I had been together for a year or so, and despite me being on the road at the time, I felt ready to say that, although I didn’t know how it might work out, I would very much like to spend the rest of my life with her and have another family.

A year later I asked her formally, in the Starbucks in the King’s Road which was the place she claimed she first took a shine to me.  And now here we are, sitting in San Francisco on the first day of our honeymoon.

Lots was said at the wedding about love and marriage, what it means  to us and to all the people who were there.  Expect more details in the in-between blogging time I get while I’m away, but my wife has just arrived in the coffee shop!

And thank you, and much love to all those who helped me get here.

Blog like nobody’s reading

I’ve been trying to do this of late – I named my fargo blog with the phrase as a strapline. The idea is to just write freely instead of thinking about who’s reading and what they’re thinking. New bloggers often worry about who’s going to read what they write. We remind them that actually it’s much more likely that nobody will read it.

What matters much more is that I do write it.

I’ve been seduced a little this week by the new Twitter analytics, but really it’s just another set of bar charts for me to worry about. I tweeted out an insight though, earlier. I have 5k followers, more than many, fewer than many. There’s a metric that shows up in the analytics which is “impressions” it’s the number of times your tweet was seen by someone else – regardless of whether it was retweeted or not. For me, so far it seems that between 200 and 300 people are seeing each tweet. Obviously that’s not the same 2 or 3 hundred people each time, but it showed me what Twitter’s really like and so in a way it’s reassuring to see so few, because it puts the “engagement” into context. Engagement is when someone clicks on a link or looks at an image or looks at your profile or something, it’s also retweeting and favouriting. So if I tweet something and 5 people “engage” with it, if I’m counting that as 5 out of 5000 followers, it’s pretty shit, but if it’s 5 out of the 250 people who have interacted with it, it feels a lot better. I’m still being ignored by 4995 people, but being not engaged with by 245 people feels much better.

It’s insane. What a crazy thing to be sitting around thinking and writing about, when look, look at it outside, look where I am, look in the fridge at the lovely stuff I’m having for tea, remember the fun conversation I had with Dan this morning that’s going to be podcast tomorrow, remember the love in her eyes when she came back from the gym, go get some iced water and sit on the balcony and watch the river go by.

04/07/14 – Today at #tuttle

Some notes I made from today’s conversations which included @tonyhall @freecloud & @tibocut with a fortunate postscript one-to-one for me with @mistergough

The RFH was being used today for a graduation ceremony.  That chimed with my recognition that some people have “graduated” from Tuttle and that’s worth celebrating.

On the other side of the glass #tuttle
MayDay Rooms is a safe haven for historical material linked to social movements, experimental culture and the radical expression of marginalised figures and groups. It offers communal spaces to activate archives’ potential in relation to current struggles and informal research, challenging the widespread assault on collective memory and historical continuity. MDR is located in Fleet Street, Central London, but is informally linked in inspiration, collaboration and practice with an international network of common and concurrent initiatives.”

Thinking about archives as a way of seeing oneself through media but also recontextualising yourself – which I take to mean seeing what different things in you are reflected by your contact with archive materials.

Personal stories are much more interesting than the facts, which can be discovered for oneself – if you’re telling me a story about a stone that you picked up on a beach, the geology of the stone is the least interesting part (unless within that there is some personal connection).

There are always lots of little social things going on that no-one knows about.

What alternatives are there in the space between mesh networks and the “legacy” Internet?

Instagram and Twitter as a treasure hunt.  We leave trails of where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, what we’re doing for others to pick up and enjoy and follow the path.

What’s this #tuttle reboot all about? What is it that needs to be revived, what’s it for, what’s it supposed to do, has it done it already?

Watson at IBM – looks amazing, looks like magic – do those explaining how it works really understand it themselves?  What is the complexity under the surface?  How much do you get to know once you’ve “signed on the line that is dotted”?

Help me reboot #tuttle

The most frequently asked question about #tuttle is: “Is it still going?”  To which the answer is “Yes, still Fridays, still 10am-noon, still no agenda, currently on Level 5 at RFH”

And.  We operate on a much smaller pool of people, which means the possibility of more intimate conversation (I’ve had some doozies!), but also the risk of stagnation that lack of diversity brings.

I am often reassured that “it’s not about you, Lloyd, it’s about me:  I have work to do; I don’t manage my time well enough; I’d love to come but it’s just too far if I haven’t anything else in town; I’m always thinking about coming, it’s just that…”

I’m also reminded regularly that people do still long for space to be themselves, where no-one tells them what to do and they can talk about what they want to talk about without an expected outcome/output/powerpoint/post-its on the wall.  A thing that’s not about the thing but about the relationships and potential for things to happen that builds over time.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but talking to Jon Hickman for his article on Social Capital has helped me remember what a good thing this can be and how I don’t believe the time for it has passed.  Stories about online social networks spying on us and manipulating our streams to study our emotional responses as well as the constant drip, drip of acquisitions that lead either to sunsetting or unscrupulous use of personal data – these are the things we’ve talked about and organised against in places like #tuttle but my experience of the current crop of events is that these conversations are still squeezed into the breaks and space after the main speaker rather than the focus of getting together in the first place.

So how can you help?

Firstly, you can just come along.  No need to register or submit your details anywhere, just turn up at the Royal Festival Hall sometime between 10 and noon and chat (and bring someone with you if you want).

Secondly you can  help me develop a sustainable model for me keeping this thing going and making it better over time.  The main issue has always been that while others have built working relationships and created opportunities, I’ve had a massive injection of Social Capital which is hard to pay the rent with.  I also don’t really want to take money from outside the community while understanding that some people in the community don’t have a lot of money to give.

I’m looking at Patreon as a micro-patronage platform for subscriptions toward developing and rebooting the event.  Some of you have kindly “micro-patronised” me before – the difference this time is that I’d want to tie levels of support to some pretty specific goals and to allow for much lower donations per person.  Patreon offers both these functions.

In connection with that, you can help me by suggesting what those goals might be.  So far I’ve got:

  • Working with new venue(s);
  • Creating an online presence more worthy of 2014 than 2007;
  • Reviving Tuttle Consulting;
  • Setting up a marketplace for #tuttlers to sell their wares;
  • Doing other themed events for the community.

But I need to know what else?  What did you always wish would happen either at  or between  #tuttles if only somebody could take the time to?

So let me know what you think about any of that: Yes? No? Yes. but do it another way? No, but have you ever thought of?

Thankyou!

Podcast: @jonhickman asked me about social capital

Jon Hickman is writing an article on the crowdsourced journalism site, Contributoria on whether or not you can live on social capital.   He kindly thought that my experiences wandering around the United States of America might provide some insight, so we had a chat.   Even if you’ve heard me talk about it before, you might find it interesting to hear it from this perspective.  I’ll certainly be fascinated to compare this conversation with how Jon’s article turns out.

Download (66MB)

It coincides nicely with the fact that I finally got round to releasing Version 0.1 of the Please Look After This Englishman e-book – this one contains all the blog posts before, during and after the trip. I intend to refine and develop this product (hence the Version 0.1 tag) so if you do download it, I’d love to hear your ideas for other ways to present the story or particular parts that you’d like to hear more about.

Update: The e-book is now also available on Amazon if that makes it easier for you.  Although it costs you more plus Big A  take a greater percentage and take longer to pay me than Gumroad.  Of course, it’s not about the money! :)

Podcast: Hello Dave! with @davebriggs

Download (69MB)

We recorded this early last week, but I’ve been holding it back because I didn’t have time to listen to it in order to come up with the usually obsessively and irrelevantly detailed show-notes.  But that’s stupid.   So for this episode, if there’s anything in there that you want to know more about and but can’t Google, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can explain.

The gist of it all is this: Lloyd’s just been to the osteopath and so is feeling a bit groggy.  Fans of the chronic self-deprecating chunter about tech(ish), social(ish), community(ish) matters are unlikely to be disappointed.

If you want to hear Dave on a proper podcast, talking to a proper person, you can find the relevant RSS here.

May 14

Pete Seeger visiting steel drum makers and players in Trinidad

Moving Doctors

  • I just got round to registering with a local doctor, five years after I left the area where I was previously registered. I know this is bad. I mean it’s good to put it right, but it’s bad that it’s taken me this long. About a year of that time I was on the road, but still.
  • I think I made a move towards it when I was living in Chesson Road, but I think that move was “pick up the forms from the surgery”. I don’t think it went any further.
  • I’m not ill. I feel good, but clearly something has shifted, since today was the fifth day in a row that I walked more than five miles and now I’m willing to register and probably go in for a check-up. I am fortunate, I have not had any serious illnesses or injuries, I have never spent a night in hospital. I’ve had a couple of visits to A&E after carelessness on the stairs, oh and the times I dislocated my shoulders at college. I’m not a heavy user of the NHS.
  • And so the medical questionnaire was straightforward. I needed to disclose that my dad had an aortic valve replacement a couple of years ago at age 74. Given the heritability of that condition, I suppose it would be sensible to have my heart checked and as I approach 50, I think they encourage you to have a range of checks regularly. Part of me says “well if you go looking for stuff, you’re likely to find it”. But I think it’s better self-care to have checks rather than self-diagnosing every twinge and soreness, every bit of life that could be a symptom of something horrible.
  • It did help that I could do it all by filling in two online forms (although I rolled my eyes a bit when I had to repeat information in the second one).

“Steven Melendez asserted that monegraph could “eradicate fake digital art”, when this is exactly backwards. In fact monegraph makes it possible to have “fake digital art”, because prior to this we had no consistent way of defining an “original”.” – Anil Dash