Category Archives: What I’ve Been Doing

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.

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”?

Some Hows of Timelapse

I made a little timelapse this week and put it in my flickr stream because I found, to my chagrin, that it made instagram video barf.

Robert spotted it (see? he *is* looking, watching, lurking quietly after all) and kindly mentioned it in his newsletter this morning. He asked “How did he do that?”

Well here are a few ways of answering that:

  • I shot it on my phone. It’s an “HTC One”, which accounts for the wide screen. There’s a free (with Pro version available) app called Droid Timelapse. The only real setting I use is to adjust the Frame Capture Rate – each frame here is a second apart. I did no other processing after shooting, just uploaded it.
  • I’d just tried out the new cafe in the newly extended Sainsbury’s in Garratt Lane, opposite the Southside Centre. It is nothing special, but for £1.95 I got a large mug of reasonable coffee that I enjoyed more than the sort they serve over the road in Caffe Nero for example. I came to the exit and realised it was raining (again) and saw in front of me a big window out onto the street. So I went and stood by it, propping my phone up against the glass, firing up Droid Timelapse, holding very still and pressing the button to make it start. Then I waited for the counter to reach 10 (I don’t know how long that took, I’d have to do some arithmetic with frame rates… but that makes 10 seconds of video) and I pressed the button again to make it stop. Then I went and bought some sausages in Sainsbury’s and went home.
  • While it was shooting, I was nervous. I expected at every moment to hear one of the security guards behind me say “I’m sorry sir, you can’t do that here” I couldn’t move because I was holding the camera still. I imagine that if anyone had actually paid any attention, they’d have thought I looked like I was waiting to take a picture for a very long time. While I was standing there a young (I dunno, late teens I guess) woman and a slightly older man came and stood nearby. They had a trolley full of groceries but I assumed they were either waiting for the rain to calm down or waiting for someone else to turn up. They were having that kind of conversation where you don’t get too deeply into anything because you know that you’re going to be interrupted at any moment by a change in the weather or the arrival of your friend. I zoned in and out of their conversation while wondering how the movie was going to turn out – would it be too fast? what would it look like when the traffic slowed down or stopped for the traffic lights? how many buses had gone past now? – the only thing I remember her saying was “I’ve been told by many people that they’ve had visions of me dying young.” When I turned around all I really clocked of her was that she had long hair and was wearing a light-coloured (creamy) woolen garment – I couldn’t say whether it was a cardigan or a pullover. It might have been Aran.

Does that help? Anything else you want to know?

Footnote: While I drafted this post (and the previous one) in Fargo, it’s still easier to embed media (especially moving pictures) using the wordpress.com interface. Boo! (actually that’s not true, I made it up before actually trying it out – the flickr code is just a line of text which would fit nicely on a line in Fargo. I’ll try that next time)

My first #wewillgather in Wandsworth today

We launched #wewillgather at Nesta on Tuesday.  I did the live demo – code just out of beta, interfacing with third-party software (twitter) in front of Nesta’s head of innovation and the Minister for Civil Society not to mention some of my dearest peers from the various corners of the social web. So no pressure…

But it worked!

Not as quickly as it had done in the dry-run a week before, but nonetheless, I set up an event in the system just by sending a tweet.

I was inspired at that moment to make it something close to home.  I’ve just moved to Wandsworth and Wandsworth Town railway station has just got new ticket machines and ticket barriers.  However, it doesn’t have new bins handy to deal with all the unwanted receipts and other tickets that get left behind in the mad commuter rush.  These tickets just pile up and don’t seem to be dealt with by station staff or the streetsweeper.

There’s a choice of solutions: ignore it and hope someone else will do something about it;  write to South West Trains who manage the station and Wandsworth Council to encourage them to do something about it; or use a newly minted social website to arrange to meet some people there and take  a small broom and clear it up yourself.

So I used this as my example in the demo and set up for people to come along this morning to pick up tickets.

Of course I did nothing further to organise people yesterday as I was mostly dealing with other people using the site, and so no-one else came.  Except my long-suffering girlfriend, a bit embarrassed that I’d brought the tatty dustpan brush that was supposed to have gone in the rubbish itself.  But I was undaunted – I’m used to playing Billy No-Mates when things are in their early days.

When we arrived, as luck would have it, the station staff were refilling the ticket machine.  You can see the mess around the front.  It’s clearly not their job to clear that up at the same time.

Inadvertently chose the time for #wewillgather to coincide with ticket refilling

So I waited for them to finish before I started poking around with my broom around the back and sides of the machine. They disappeared quickly (I think they might also have been collecting cash from the machine) and I couldn’t find them to talk to afterwards. My broom wasn’t long enough to get all of the tickets from behind – it’s a really awkward space, if I had brought a bigger broom then perhaps the head wouldn’t have fitted into the gap. Anyway I did what I could and photographed what was left behind

IMAG0725

as well as what I managed to collect (which then went straight in the nearest bin)

IMAG0726

Hmmm… it looks as though I picked up less than I left behind, but that’s not the case, the perspective on that Sainsbury’s bag is misleading.

Anyway, you can do better than this – go and organise something in *your* neighbourhood!

Last tenner

I just broke my last tenner buying stuff for breakfast tomorrow. Hmmm… it wasn’t supposed to still be like this but the truth is that it isn’t a sob story, it’s just the way things are for today and things can change very quickly. [UPDATE: micropatrons & postcard buyers have saved the bacon for now... thankyou! proper update later]

I was reminded of this today when I found myself telling the #tuttle2texas story again, to a bunch of people who knew very little about me or the social web. I talked, as usual, about how I learned to keep asking for help and keep trusting that the right help would turn up. They were primarily gobsmacked that I took the accomplishment of traveling the breadth of the USA, fuelled by social capital so lightly, that I didn’t talk about how proud I am of what we did or speak with more enthusiasm about how amazing it was.

It *was* amazing. Lots of you helped make it that way. I could not have done it without you. But here’s something: I don’t think I’ve acknowledged for myself yet that you might never have done it without me.

Same goes for Tuttle as a whole. It isn’t about me, it never has been, I couldn’t do it on my own. But the people who are interested in the social web in London (and Birmingham, Cornwall, Long Beach etc) probably wouldn’t have otherwise done something quite the same.

That’s one of the insights I’ve been given as a result of asking for Linked-in recommendations. There’s stuff hanging about in this world that wouldn’t be here if I had been around. Good stuff, that people like and value. Not necessarily big stuff, but stuff that’s important to those people whose lives it has touched.

To those who’ve been trying to tell me this for years, I’m sorry, I’m a bit slow to catch up.

And then there’s the invisible stuff. A common thread in some of the recommendations I’ve had this week is the idea that you might not see what it is that I do.

David Jennings says “His craft works so well… that it’s almost invisible – ditto his leadership…”

Johnnie Moore puts it like this: “… one of his finest qualities is his humility and reluctance to show off and put other people in the shadow.” and “He will help make connections and realise the potential of networks and he’ll do it so skilfully that you might not notice him doing it.”

Jo Jacobs uses the ‘c’ word: “His work… has been the catalyst for so many other collaborative ventures and meetings”.

Nathalie McDermott says: “Lloyd… provides the perfect conditions for others to meet, spark off each other and make things happen which is a rare talent.”.

But if you can’t see it (unless you get to know me and look up close), how do you know whether it’s really there? How do you distinguish this from the Emperor’s New Clothes? And if you didn’t pay for it and it went away, how would you know? Would you really miss it? What difference would it really make?

No other earth-shattering insights for now. If you can see something obvious that I can’t, please do point it out.

If you’re reading this you’ve probably dipped in your pockets or helped in some other way already. Thank you. If you’re inclined to do one more thing perhaps you could encourage others to do the same as you did for me.

If you’re just catching up you can find other posts about it here and here.

Running on fumes

Folks, I need some specific help.

I am doing well at producing stuff, writing, making art, making stuff happen. I am enjoying it and people around me are enjoying and benefiting from what I’m producing.

However, I’m running very low on fuel. In terms of physical energy, I really need a break but more urgently, monetary fuel – the income from my residency at C4CC covers about a third of my monthly spending needs and I haven’t done any other paid work in the last two months. I’m now at the serious point where important bills aren’t getting paid. I believe I need to bring some organisation to selling what I do to create stronger flows of income.

I need someone or some people to help me do the following:

Set up web-based ways of selling my art – I’ve had a couple of commissions, but I’d like to do more and sell prints of smaller works that I’ve done.

Organise and find paying participants for Social Art Field Trips – I’ve had very positive response to the content of these, but they need to be managed and have more energy put into selling them.

Manage the creation of a number of books for self-publishing – repurposing content from tuttle2texas and other projects.

Find and sign-up new MicroPatrons

Create a better web presence for Tuttle to facilitate online community participation in experiences like Tuttle2Texas

I’m trying to do all of these myself at the moment, as well as everything else and I’m open to the idea that that might not be possible at all, let alone when I’m “running on fumes”. So while I can give a great deal of guidance and direction on what needs to be done, I think it’s more about finding willing and able pairs of hands to do it than getting more advice on what else I should be doing.

I am not in a position to pay up front for this help directly but it’s all about generating revenue so would expect to work out with you a way of sharing revenue once it starts flowing and I’m over the current crisis situation.

If you’re not able to help directly with this, perhaps you could consider signing up for my Micropatronage scheme, contributing a small amount each month towards easing the flow. Or maybe you have another idea for me. Open to all.

Most Interesting…

120920091927I set this up this morning – Most Interesting

It’s a group posterous blog collecting the “most interesting” pictures that people have posted to Flickr. For those not in the know, Flickr has a measure of interestingness and I’ve been fascinated to watch how “interesting” some of my pictures are measured to be by this algorithm.

I was wondering how you might collate the most interesting pix from a group of people and get them to reflect on what comes up. Thankfully posterous.com has been developing faster and faster of late and I was able to set up a site in a few minutes to capture this. Now that it allows posting by anyone (with pre-publication moderation) and has static pages, it’s really easy to set something up for whatever it is that we now call user-generated content.

There are instructions here for how to submit something. Basically you just send a specially formatted e-mail. Kyle McRae (who knows a thing or two himself about curating UGC!) was the first to contribute, even before I thought I’d publicised it at all. But have a go. Of course you may not have a flickr account or you might not have very many pictures there – a very good reason to get one and start adding to it!

I’ve also added a Facebook page that it will be autoposted to for those of you who like to see stuff within that particular walled garden.

Let’s see how it goes.

[UPDATE] Anjali points out that it’s a similar idea to pixtories Yes – I think it’s nice though to have people’s thoughts on things that they own, but which have been picked out for them, rather than things that they think are interesting themselves.