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MediaCampBucks & Equity's ARC in one weekend - Part two

Equity's ARC (Annual Representatives Conference) took place on the 18 and 19 May 2008 in London. I was overwhelmed by the interest in my work with social media and in particular on line forums and communities.

I attended this years ARC representing Equity members who are stagemanagers. The Stagemanagement Committee's motion to the ARC about implementing Skype, was accepted by a majority vote as a viable communication method which once instigated will lead to members of committees attending meetings from outside London or whilst away on tour with greater ease and regularity. The Equity website was a hot topic throughout the weekend. People's fear and uncertainty of the Internet is so prolific I took great enjoyment calming fears and quelling anxiety. I think many went home with a little more confidence in technology ready to start exploring the benefits of social media.

It may be hard to believe for some that Equity does not have any form of conference calling available or that applications such as a forum discussions on the website are not yet available. What you have to remember is that this is a work force who do not have a PC on their desk, or a desk for that matter and for the majority who have a PC at home they spend much of their working lives on tour or living in digs with no Internet access. These are the IT curious its just not part of their world. For them the journey is just beginning and for a community so geographically remote from each other the Internet is a gift beneath the Christmas tree that has yet to be unwrapped. Mobile phone web access will be a revelation when they own devises capable and web sites optimized to look at.

It was with the magic of wi-fi and with my trusty laptop I had the opportunity to introduce the IT curious to Second Life giving them a guided tour around Pilot Theatre's Second Life presence. The set designers especially saw the potential of Second Life and 3D environments. I often struggle with business people to convey the power and potential of the 3D web or virtual worlds but here they all got it immediately it was a breath of fresh air.

It was directly in response to the conversations about social media, social networks and Internet security fears during the ARC and their desire to see a functioning social networking application that I came home and created one to give an opportunity to experience first hand a private social network and participate in its growth.

Screenshot01 I'd been considering setting one up using the Ning.com platform model ever since joining the Association of Virtual Worlds. Now I saw it as a way to demonstrate what services I could offer to Equity and other clients by inviting them to take part in one. I could also unite my diverse networks in to one place.

During my career I have collected and recorded my contacts in indexed books and business card files. I have used many time and again and passed names on too. My Indexed books are invaluable as they contain all the businesses I have done business with and the items or services they provided me, and for which production through out my time in stagemanagement and props acquisitions all around the UK. Since turning my eye to the business world I have received business cards like never before. What do I do with them all?

I am a great believer in the purposeful expansion of a business network.

Screenshot02 I have groups for the events or organisations I wish to network with and share with others. I do not wish to take traffic from anyones web site so I encourage members to use my network as a hub. I will also be introducing members to other web 2 platforms with short tutorials written specifically with the community's needs in mind. I'll also be looking at helping them unify their online presence and promote them selves online building a profile to harness the social media channels they develop as their confidence in the Internet grows.

Feedback to me, Is this going to be useful place?
So for my blog readers I would like to invite you to join too. Sign up today.

Does your heart or your head rule your wallet? - Internet World

At the beginning of May the Axis Community battle bus trundled down to Earl's Court in London for the Internet World expo. The whole saga was documented on camera, debriefed over a curry, edited speedily and uploaded to YouTube so I'll spare you the day's commentary. The player appears embedded below if your want to see how it all turned out. I'd like to draw your attention to the first video sin the player, 4 minute in which will give a foundation to this blog posting.

Since attending Internet World, after talking to many exhibition stand holders, collecting enough glossy leaflets and brochures to fill a recycling box not to mention the hungry glee in which my bar coded entry badge was scanned after 2 minutes of conversation I got home to find my inbox filling up with... Hey, Hope you enjoyed Internet World emails. I found my self with the heart, head, wallet dilemma.

After receiving several polite yet marketing type emails from one company I had to send this reply.

Firstly my title is Miss not Mr!
I did discuss your services with your representatives at Internet World and you provide a great sounding service. But…
There is always a but!
I am reluctant to outsource beyond the UK as I feel it has commerce implication for my local economy.
As a firm trade unionist I have campaigned for a living wage for workers in the UK (my field being the performance arts industry) which is appallingly low, for many years and ethically I am unable to take up your offers.
As a result I did realise I need additional web development assistance with in my business but I have looked for skills within my local area. I have a very hands on approach and projects I take forward with a team are done in collaboration with the additional digital artists. Web design and web social media presences on the Internet have to have soul, passion, vision and creativity. My close working relationship with my clients and collaborators is essential.
Thank you for your emails but I am not sure I am the best person to target with your services.
Please find this email wishing you the best in your enterprise but PCM creative will be using UK based practitioners and the occasional online collaboration, as geography is not a boundary for harnessing talent, for the foreseeable future.

Kind Regards

CJ Lyon (Miss)

As I write this post I received an email from Internet World asking for feedback on the event. I'll be sending them a link to this posting! I did have a great day... again I won't bore you with the details you can watch the videos when you have the time.

What rules your world? Your heart, Your head or Your wallet?


MediaCampBucks & Equity's ARC in one weekend - Part one

Bucks-banner Armed with a camcorder courtesy of Axis Community I stepped up to document in moving images my MediaCamp trip and my ARC extravaganza. On Saturday 17 May at Buckingham New University MediaCampBucks exploded in to life at 9.30am and rocked on until midnight.

I began with Carmen Boscolo and Julius Solaris Speed Networking. Captured a Seesmic coup causing Nik Butler, Phil Campbell and Christian Payne much excitement when Harrison Ford logged on and was answering question live, caught a session led by Dan Thornton and Michael Clarke talking about evangelising using social media and corporate blogging. Participated in a usability test for Julia Gaimster's social media platform for artists called SketchBook before running my own session taking mediacampers on a whirlwind tour of Pilot Theatre's Second Life presence. Next I attended Nik Butlers "Fishing in the Social Media Stream" extolling the uses and giving practical tips and tricks for anyone interested in Twitter. I got that on audio. It was a good session. Next came Pete Cooper retrospective of a past venture "the dirty little secrets of teaandpodcasts.com" and I finished the day discussing the virtues and longevity of the good old Email with Chris Hambly. Somewhere in there we plotted, streamed and giggle heartily when with the aid of only a laptop and mobile phone we created our very own homage to the Rick Roll which I expect is still on Bambuser even now! If this weren't enough to exhaust my tiny little mind we had an evening of live entertainment from Mike O'hara and the bands who have played The Acoustic Fishbowl.

What a day! Next mediacamp is in London on July 5.

I'll post footage and pics and audio when my life slows down a bit!

I'll tell you about the rest of that weekend in another post soon.

Second Life was made for this.

Live streaming across the Atlantic from The Chelsea Hotel, New York. Catcher in their Eye, Pilot Theatre's Spring 2009 production looks destined to be a delight of technology at its most artistically innovating. For those not lucky enough to experience this in the UK a treat may be in store for those with second Life residency. This is what Pilot Theatre's Second Life hub exists for. Stay tuned to PCM creative for news and updates.

Richard Hurford writes with Marcus Romer directing a new production.

A man obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the fictional protagonist of J.D. Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye... This is the story of Mark Chapman - the man who shot John Lennon - on his last night of anonymity.



PCM's Second Life confession

This media player has 5 edited segments from the footage taken throughout the evening.

  1. Welcome to Axis Community - The opening Story
  2. The Second Life world.
  3. Stepping in to Second Life, Interactivity - continuing the tour Pilot Theatre, PCM creative, Media City - Macanix
  4. Questions and Inquiries
  5. Summary - Virtual futures

I was invited to present at a monthly Axis Community gathering several months ago not long after my first Axis Community encounter. The Axis Community is the social network emerging from courses and workshops run at the Axis Centre based within the Chilwell campus of Beeston College and accredited by DeMontfort University focusing of the practical application of IT for business.

Its members range from the Uber geek to the IT curious. We all have one thing in common. We like an excuse to get together and have a drink in the name of business!

I presented, it was recorded, it was edited and Uploaded to YouTube in its hi-lighted glory. Anyone having read "I, Avatar. The Culture and Consequences of having a Second Life" will recognise Mark Stephen Meadows "The strange Migration", his opening to a fascinating read looking at the cultural landscape of Second Life. The first story I chose to open this presentation with.

This Second Life presentation is a first look and introduction to the concept of virtual worlds, it's application for business and an opportunity to ask question about this new phenomenon. It was a show and tell! A commentary and illustration of how I am using Second Life and advising clients about the value of a virtual world presence along side a traditional web site embracing the evolution of social networking communities. Focusing on how business can benefit.

Many people who came had not heard of Second Life or if they had it was through a negative news stories. Some had given it a go but not got very far. There were academics viewing Second Life with great interest leaving with a great understanding of what Second Life can offer. Business people inquiring about this new online world of opportunity. Anyone deeply involved with second Life will see this presentation looks at absolute basics. Re watching it myself I know it's gloriously simplified but for me thats what I needed to know when I first started. Its also tries to give a bit of background to give it a business foundation. The brief I was set was to make in fun and informative.

I answered the questions asked an the end of the session as best I could. If anyone thinks there is a better answer please add your comments after reading and watching. So please correct me if I am wrong.