Damn, I thought I’d written about this already, but I can’t see it.
I’m really pleased and grateful to have been asked to be an official blogger again at Le Web this year. I’m very much looking forward to spending some time in Paris and to meeting up with the unique mix of European and US people who gather there.
If you’re thinking about coming and haven’t made up your mind yet, you can book here.
This year, I’m more explicitly interested in Creative Collaboration and Social Art. I’m going to be looking at what kinds of collaboration this sort of mega conference actually encourages and I’ll be talking to as many people as possible about what they think of the concept of social art.
I doubt that I’ll be live-blogging sessions, but I’ll be at least doing a round up of interesting things I’ve seen. Of course, twitter will be buzzing and I’ll be taking as many pics as I can. Last year I had a Canon 7d on loan – it was lovely. Anyone want to supply me with something this year in return for much shameless pimping?
I’ll also be trying to understand from my fellow official bloggers how their online lives are maturing. There are a few of us who’ve been playing and working in this space for a long time now. What’s changed? What’s still fundamentally the same? Is there anything new happening or are we all getting a bit stale?
Oh and I might get to a party or two :)
I 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.
I caught up with Steve Bowbrick at the BBC a few weeks ago to have a chat about something I’d seen him doing on a site called Common Platform – describing himself as “blogger in residence” at the BBC looking at the theme of openness in that august institution.
It’s over now, and Steve’s moved on to run the BBC Radio 4 blog but it’s fascinating for to hear the who, the how, the why and the what the jiminy he was up to.
Needless to say, if you work for the type of institution we were chatting about here and you fancy a blogger in residence to explore a theme for your organisation, we can discuss terms. You know where I am :)
Podcast: Steve Bowbrick on Openness at the BBC
Download MP3 (25MB)
Todd was one of my fellow bloggers with G20 Voice. He’s a passionate Canadian nominated to be in London for climatecafe.org and he explains here just why it was so important that a bunch of bloggers were given accreditation to come along to the summit.
I only found out during the day that Todd is also a fellow seesmic-er. If I’d known and thought about it beforehand perhaps we could have done something together to get people talking on seesmic. I’m writing a post about the lessons we learned – one of them is how to get the bloggers to know each other better and ready to work together better before going into the event. It’s hard.
The video may need some fiddling with – I’ve not been used to using such a flash camera of late and the HD from the Canon HG10 I was loaned might still need compressing down a bit.
I’m very grateful to be asked to report from the London Summit on Thursday as part of the G20Voice team. I’m one of 50 international bloggers invited to take part. As usual with events involving high profile government figures, the details of what will happen, when and where are still sketchy but basically we have the same accreditation as mainstream journalists.
So what will we be doing? Well there’s a briefing day on Wednesday when we’ll be getting to know each other better. I think the main value we can add as bloggers is that we can work together, riff off each other, help each other to fact-check and amplify each other’s posts.
There’s a limit to how much value there is in live blogging & tweeting everything that happens. You can only get so immediate. Beating everyone else by a matter of seconds isn’t going to be much use. We’re also not clear the level of internet access we’ll have either through the mobile networks or wifi so although I should be able in theory to qik and audioboo (thanks to bestbeforetv who are loaning me an iphone for the summit) I won’t know until the day the extent to which I’ll be able to do that in real-time and interact with people on the outside quickly and easily.
I’ll have my laptop, N95, iPhone, Edirol for audio, Flip for video.
But there will likely also be lots of people writing about the same stuff. Any press, TV and radio people are likely to be going for the same stories, although perhaps with slightly different angles. So the challenge is to find the stories that are interesting but not likely to be reported elsewhere. I shall also be looking at the events from the perspective of “leadership 2.0″ – are there any signs that the attitudes of these leaders has changed, to what extent are they really talking about issues from the viewpoint of ordinary people?
Anything else you’d like to see me doing? (oi! keep it clean.)
I did some work today with some people who make football kit. I haven’t worn any football kit since 1981 when my Games lessons stopped being compulsory. But when I went into their archive room and saw some of the stuff they had there, I was transported back to the mid-seventies. In 1975, Birmingham City Football Club celebrated its centenary and a year later they replaced the early-seventies penguin strip with a plain royal blue jersey with white collar adding a two-globe centenary badge – I can still see Trevor Francis in that kit, before he betrayed us all to become the first million-pound footballer for that bugger Brian Clough.
Why did I support the Blues? You had to. No, really at the junior school I went to, you really had to. A teacher was spat at once for coming to school wearing a Villa scarf. A teacher. In 1975. Y’know, before Grange Hill, in the days when teachers commanded respect and could give you a good hiding if you didn’t buckle down. You can imagine what would have happened to any mere boy who dared even consider anything claret and sky blue.
Football shirts – social objects, pulling a trivial little story out of me, reminding us how we felt, creating the opportunity for connection. And that’s just for me, I don’t even care very much for football any more, what about the real fans? And then there’s the programmes and the magazines, and the boots and the letters and the photographs. These people have a delicious slice of our popular culture in their care, I hope they get to start blogging about it soon.
I’m talking to some lovely folk at a top-secret location somewhere in the North-West of England.
We’re talking about the social web and how they might use it. This blogpost is an example. While I’m writing this they are all sitting quietly and I’m also uploading some pictures to flickr.
I’m showing them how I write a post – and forgetting half the time that I’m doing that and that I should explain more what I’m doing at the time.
I was going to write something long and thoughtful about PR & Bloggers last week but got caught up in the Underground Busking debacle instead.
Meanwhile Véro kicked something off that James and Jonathan are running with. So there’s less I want to say that hasn’t already been said. And now it comes down to this thing about PR’s thinking that bloggers are just like print journalists – we’re not – well in some ways we are, but in many others we’re not, particularly for the reason stated above – I don’t have to ever write anything at all again on this blog if I don’t want to – I write to please myself and my friends, I don’t *have* any deadlines or quotas (of course sometimes I’m paid for a quota of stuff, but that’s different) and nobody sits between me and pressing (or not pressing) the button marked publish.
I’m not sitting here, thinking “I wonder what I can write by the end of today to fill that quarter page” I’m actually thinking “How can I find enough time to write about all the things I’m excited about”. So rather than helping me out – these PR e-mails always have the air that we should be grateful to get this “scoop” – you’re actually making my life more difficult by using up my time working out whether there’s something interesting in what your saying or not.
Note – and this may also be a sticking point – that we are not all the same. At times, I blog for different reasons and have different needs from someone like Ewan but I agree and understand entirely where he’s coming from here. And… I am not averse to being approached to talk about stuff that I find interesting – it’s the assumption that if we talk and you give me something then I’ll be your dog that I find a turn-off in a Coatesian sort of way.
Y’see it’s complicated.
(*ahem* – just going to tweet that I’d written this and saw @darika wanting less PR bashing – so I’d like to point out that funnily enough, not all PR’s are the same either – there are one’s that get it quite well and those that don’t – this post is directed to those that don’t…)
[the title by the way will probably only mean something to travellers on the Great Western Railway]
Suw just commented on my tuttle post on open spaces that we might have a book-reading session, which reminds me that I was talking to Laura North the other day who is working on the National Year of Reading – yes, it’s now, it’s happening.
My first idea was to get people together to do some play reading – a comedy, preferably, probably something intellectually stimulating too. And short. The Real Inspector Hound for example, or maybe some Orton. I don’t know, anyway, I thought it would be fun and easy to do and eminently bloggable. Anyone?