Tag Archives: london

Share Something Every Day – Coding

I pulled the coding card again today and carried on working on automating my general knowledge management workflow, basically how I take notes, organise ideas about things that I’ve read or written in the past and turn them into something new.

Today this involved fiddling again with Drafts to do something that’s basically a mail merge, taking some structured data and inserting it into text. This used to be word-processing bread and butter, but I don’t do it at scale in the same way. It’s also about re-using stuff that I’ve already written without digging into documents. The philosophy of Drafts (or the bit that appeals to me) is that you write stuff without knowing what it’s going to be and then when you do know, it will probably be more than one thing and so you can send it to different places. If you have several blogs and you want to post roughly the same thing to each of them, then you compose in Drafts and then just press a button to publish to each blog.

Talking of having several blogs, I was also pointed at sheet-posting (yes the pun is intended) which takes a set of Google Sheets and turns them into a blog. It’s ridiculous and distracting, but I did learn a bit about CSS and also about Google Fonts, which for some reason have passed me by. Here’s my effort.

It’s late and I shouldn’t really be writing, and it shows.

I also had a trip to Central London today. It’s still weird. I took this picture by County Hall, of Westminster Bridge which at 5pm on a Tuesday would normally be heaving with road traffic, office workers and tourists, but today was empty.

Untitled

Walking to Victoria Station from Westminster Abbey later on, it felt like it should be more like 11pm than 8pm. Even on the station most of the food and coffee outlets were already closed or closing. And there just aren’t as many people there. I encountered a woman who was lost over the road from the station, looking for the Coach Station (a common issue in that part of SW1) and I walked her round to Buckingham Palace Road and pointed her in the right direction. She was going to get a coach to Bristol I said I hoped she got there before midnight. She said “There are just so many people here.” And I’d just been thinking exactly the opposite.

On my way home, I realised that I’d just been to my third church service in as many days. I don’t know what that means, if anything.

Videoblog: 160624 “Independence” Day

It felt important to put another link in the chain today even though I didn’t feel like talking much.  Processing… processing… processing.

Shock is a weird thing, it will be interesting to look back on this once it’s passed.  Thanks to all who came to Tuttle this morning to share their experience of shock, grief, acceptance, tolerance and love.  More will be revealed!

Also I need to experiment more with this new camera so that I’m not all out of focus 🙂

SE1 here I come #backtowork

From Monday 20th, all being well, I’ll be starting to work from the Concrete Basement in Lower Marsh (home of Anthony Epes and some new friends) – I know I’ve been down in the basement there before sometime, perhaps one of you can own up to also being there, to help me with my failing memory…

Lower Marsh is a great little street that’s feels like it’s been on the edge of gentrification for as long as I’ve been hanging out in London.  That feeling might be accelerating a bit at the moment (key indicator: new, funky coffee shops) but isn’t that everywhere?  And it’s been remarkably resilient given that it’s slap bang next to Waterloo Station.  The other plus for me is that there are three major theatres and the Southbank Centre all in walking distance.

Anyway, that’s where I’m going to be hanging out for the time being.  I shall kick off with some self-appointed Social Artist in Residence stuff, for the space and for the street, but I shall also be focusing on getting Tuttle consulting going again and hoping to use local venues for Open Spaces looking at the human experience of work, technology, economy ‘n’that.  Other ideas for collaborative projects always welcome.

Please come and see me, bring exotic teas, stories of “one time, I was in Lower Marsh and…” and perhaps something small but inspiring to put on the wall or sit on my desk.

 

I need a place to work (and it’s more than a desk with power and wifi)

Five years ago, when I decided to go nomadic (and ended up living and working with others around the country for the next twelve months) it was largely because I’d realised that while I needed somewhere to live, the place I was in wasn’t working for me and it seemed that nothing in the market was really for me either. I didn’t want to move out of London for good, but I also didn’t want to stay. I didn’t want to live on my own and I didn’t want to move in with someone else (yet). I didn’t want to get a job and I didn’t want to work on my own. I wanted something else but I found it really difficult to articulate what it was. But I did find it over time. I found stimulation in the variety of people that I worked and lived with. I found rest on the road, knowing each time that I was moving again that new possibilities were opening up.
So now I’m settled, I like where I live, I’m married again, but I’m restless around work. I’m mostly working from the dining room table and sitting in coffee shops (or theatres!) and I’m feeling the need for a workplace that goes beyond the basic needs of desk, power, wifi. I need people and I need space to host in. I think of new invitations for open spaces and unconferences practically every day and they include working through some of the ideas around co-operative knowledge work with #tuttle that I wrote about before I went to America last month. I don’t know whether anything among the current crop of co-working spaces might be close enough – I definitely want to be part of a community rather than just another desk-renter.

I don’t know much more, but I was reminded by a wise friend yesterday that my best work comes when I express as much as I know and let others fill in the last 20% rather than trying to hide away until I have something finished.

So help me fill the gaps in this. Or y’know, put your earbuds back in and get back to what you were doing.

From The Archive: No Hunting Like Snowhunting (2006) with @debbiedavies

Once upon a time, early in 2006, I sat on the floor in Debbie Davies’s flat in Dolphin Square, cradling a cup of tea and explaining to her that I wanted to start a videoblog and that I thought she should be in it too.  I explained what it would entail, that we’d make a video and put it on the internet and then we’d see what happened.  She thought I was a bit mad but then, she’s a bit mad too so she said yes.

Well this was the first.  It hasn’t been seen for a while because it was too early for YouTube and I stopped paying for the hosting it was on.  Wait… Too early for YouTube? Yes, I think I had an account, but there was an upload limit (10MB?) and this wouldn’t fit.  So the next in the series “Desperately Seeking Harvey” ended up being my first video on YouTube.  And now the kids think they invented this kind of vlogging in 2009…

We were also too early for Twitter and Facebook, so unless you were subscribing to my blog at the time, it’s unlikely you’ve seen it either.  A lost classic…

In summary, the plot is this: Lloyd & Debbie hear that there’s snow forecast north of London and so get in Debbie’s car to drive until they find snow at which point they’ll make a snowman and go home.  Little do they know just how far away the snow is…

 

Podcast: Muki Kulhan on working with young people for #IWD2016 @mukiapproved

Download (8MB)

We bundled Muki into the back of our cab and drove her round the block, asking her about what IWD means to her and what’s good about it.  She talks about the challenges of sexism and being judged adversely at work. But her hope for the future is rooted in her recent mentoring work with younger people including London360, Apps for Good and the BBC micro:bit.

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

 

Podcast: Nathalie Richards of @edukitters & Jane van Aken of @cabapp #IWD2016

Download (15MB)

Jane started in nursing and healthcare management and then changed course to join CabApp to do business development. Nathalie worked at Accenture, KPMG and Apple before founding her social enterprise EduKit which helps school find youth service support for pupils.

You’ll hear about their journeys in their respective careers, their experience of pay inequality, Jane’s idea of #ThisWomanCan to help bring women back to work in ways they might not first think of, the barriers girls and women face in technology, how language is used to treat men and women differently in the workplace, systemic and institutional prejudice, and some top tips for women helping themselves, finding helpful peers and mentors as well as a round up of their thoughts for the future.

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

Podcast: Catherine Mulligan @API_Economics of the Future Cities Catapult @futurecitiescat #IWD2016

Download (5MB)

Cathy talks to us about the importance of including and attracting more women in building the future; the importance of support from family and teachers; actively explaining what an exciting career engineering can be; she also tells us about the work of the Future Cities Catapult

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

#IWD2016 Roundtable with @technokitten @katielips @the_anke @anjali28 @hampstead17

Download (21MB)

Helen Keegan and I spent International Women’s Day interviewing women (and some men) in tech (and other sectors!) in London about their experience of gender in the workplace and where we’re at with equality. We’re releasing the audio as podcasts over the next couple of days with minimal editing. We will produce a digest of all the conversations later in the week.

We started the day with a group in the boardroom at Z/Yen (thanks to Linda for opening up for us!)

You’ll hear about:

Income parity; Unconscious biases; Using “feminine” skills and attributes; Alternative ways of working and earning a living; Attitudes in younger generations; The importance of gender-neutral parenting; Government’s attitude to work and women; International examples of progress; Some individual thoughts on pledges for parity and what we’re going to do in future.

Theatre Blogging: it’s not what it could be

I heard recently about a director having the nasty experience of inviting a journalist into rehearsals and then having an unhelpful (I haven’t read it, it’s paywalled) preview article published just before the show opens.

Yuk.

Reading about it sent me back to look at what I wrote nearly eleven years ago (!) about using blogging in theatre.  I was surprised to see what emphasis I put on buzz and PR (that was how the original question had been framed).  And it’s that angle that all the marketing people picked up. I went to see John Berry at ENO because (see the comments on the post) they were doing something like this a couple of years later.  And a year after this first post, I did a little site about the opening of Avenue Q.  It had to be done, and I’m glad I did it, but I don’t read any of the West End theatre blogs or the mainstream journalism that has taken on our blogging form but sticks to traditional writing styles of reporting and criticism.

But I was thinking about more than marketing.

What I was thinking was of a kind of collaborative production journal, where everyone contributes…  think “The Making of…” fly-on-the-wall documentary style, only on the web, and released in chunks as they happen, day by day rather than being stitched together after the show has closed.

I think this points to something much more interesting to do – about using these tools as part of the production, as part of the artistic process, to log progress and reflect on thinking and how things are emerging, for the benefit of the team themselves much more than prospective audience members and to create something bigger and longer-lasting and more networked than traditional documentation or archiving.  It’s “sources going direct”, cutting out the dependence on news organisations (and their sodding paywalls) and making our own media.