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 🙂
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 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?
I'm the founder of the Tuttle Club and fascinated by organisation. I enjoy making social art and building communities, if you'd like some help from me feel free to e-mail me: Lloyd dot Davis at Gmail dot Com or call +44 (0)79191 82825