I wonder? Feed

#69unbox - tagging nostalgia

image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
This time last week (written 6th Aug 2016) Dan and I were building bookcases, the weekend prior constructing desks. As I write this, I have a bookcase filling with books and a small step closer to unpacking the many boxes not just those from the old house but boxes already filled and in some cases never unpacked when I moved into the last house. It's brought me to a place where I can tackle head on the sometimes crippling sentimental attachment to the palpable nostalgia and memories evoked when in the presence of the items. In a world where we define ourselves by experiences, keeping these things reminds me of who I am, where I have been, and the evidence is the contents of the boxes. In themselves, they were selectively retained well at least not thrown away at the time, and now my active cache is full! There has to be room for 'now' life.
 
In recent years the accumulation of physical items has been reduced by the collections of files, documents, photos, videos, spoken audio and music in digital form. Some sit on the Internet my AudioBoo, my Instagram accounts, my Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud. Then there are the offline digital archives on external hard drives and old media storage, cassettes, floppy discs, CD-ROM (read only memory) and as the final bastion of the analogue legacy, paper.
 
I realised this wasn't about choosing what memories to keep it was about optimising the storage. What space can I afford this sentiment, this record? Can the resonant importance assigned to the physical stuff be digitised? It's only relevant to me. When I am gone, the objects will become just things. Without 'my context', they are inconsequential unless they have a cultural importance. That is a rare thing and not what any of my ephemera has. 
 
image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
(pic above) My ‘Small Things’ collection - TIMEHOP 6th May 2015
 
#69unbox is about reducing items to digital files and occupying less physical space. Initially taking photos and on occasion with a collection of related bits, recording video. I can not capture the sentiment, that is within me, the recollection of moments, the knowledge gained, the lesson learnt they are me. I guess I feel the experience in a fresher way returning to the objects and have greater clarity than relying on the continued perception that my memory is inadequate. It's my source material!
 
Using the hashtag started a dialogue between myself and the innate desire to keep everything for fear of it's not yet realised necessity. This is, I know is untrue of a lot of what I have.
 
The first task is to identify the genuinely intangible, ephemera (my small things collection) and photograph them (some I am keeping) and if not retained, disposed of, or prepared for digitisation.
 
Round One!
 
I think Round One will occupy me throughout August.
 
(first posted to Social Media Womble postach.io blog 6/8/16)

Hootsuite and Tweetdeck just don't cut it.

This is massively overdue post but with the assistance of screen clipping tool Skitch I think I'm ready.

Ok, context first

I have been live tweeting at events since 2008 and its always been a conversation and connecting tool. Who is in the room and who is not, is important. If you are not its quite nice to see photos of the speakers but all the 'hey look at me, don't you wish you were here too' photos and who's up next tweets... STOP! 

Thats a bit hash...  what I mean is they are great for 'your' networked audience but the audience following the hashtag IMHO want what all the 'on the ground' audience want, to learn from the wisdom of the programmed speakers, draw insights from discussions and panel plenaries. Oh and network.

OK So photos are welcomed to put the 'in the cloud' audience in the picture. For us in the digital audience its a common frame of reference to be able to empathise with the activities you are participating in at a distance online. If I'm commissioned to tweet my objective is to visualise the audience as a whole within the twittersphere and communicate with them. Present or remote isn't important. My challenge is always to generate a coherent stream of activity, a stand alone stream containing all reverent content, chatter, user generated media and the official event voice. I am not necessarily the 'official voice' but the conversation laser's focus operator!

Now... I'm getting to the point I promise! Networking conversations 1-2-1 are part of the experience at any conference but most of the time it's dialogue between groups or one person introducing two people to one another and is rarely binary back and forth ie @name to @name. 

There is a dialoging feature which was present in the pre twitter ownership days of Tweetdeck that made my role as connector and stream curator easier. It disappeared and never came back. 

Here's how it works - I have found a little known Tweetdeck alternative, Janetter that has the feature.

Its about responding to multiple people in one tweet in the click of a mouse, logically compiled as I, the curator reads the activity in real-time. I hope these screen shots illustrate my point.

First the tweets and colleagues I wanted to engage.

Mozilla Twitter Column
Tweets from my Firefox side panel column displaying Twitter

 

It was responding to them that helped me break down the long felt frustration of the missing feature in to a blog. So thanks Kate and Jen if you read this. Do let me know how your trips to Edinburgh turned out.

Anyway...

Kate @BustingFree and Jen @jennifermjones are not in the same networks as far as I know. I met Jen several times after she attended MediaCampNottingham and, forgive me if I'm wrong Jen also as part of the Amb:IT:ion program roadshows. Kate on the other hand sat on Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee with me for several years and I follow because she had the awesome idea of building a theatre in a bus. Both are always interesting reads and following their activities on twitter over the years gives me a sense of where they are at professionally always wanting to find time in my calendar to coincide locations to meet up. I remember a time when everyone I knew were numbers in my mobile phone now in the social media age they are status updates in a constantly moving stream of activity, my home twitter feed. Better but thats another post. I digress! This is about illustrating this lost feature.

Bare with me! It is a long lost feature and you are probably nonplussed by my indignation. I want to communicate when d0ing this dynamic dialoging at events and not have to faff with the interface.

Best way I could think to illustrate my point was with screenshots.

Original Tweets in Tweetdeck

TweetDeck
Tweetdeck
TweetDeck Reply
Hitting Reply to Kate

 

Clicking the Reply icon creates a message to either Kate (above)

 

TweetDeck relying to Jen
Hitting Reply to Jen

OR Clicking the Reply icon on Jen's tweet
I can send send a reply to Jen (above)

It never used to be this way you could build replies.

Yes I can Reply by typing/pasting both @names into a new tweet or hope the autocorrect offers them up to me. But on the fly, in an event thats not really an option. I did explore Hootsuite for this 'reply building' feature and I had resigned myself to its absence. It changed the way I tweet. So what happens in Hootsuite? (it was this reply building feature that led me to favour Tweetdeck over Hootsuite back then)

Original Tweets in Hootsuite

Hootsuite
Tweets displayed in Hootsuite
 
Hootsuite
Hitting Reply to Kate on Hootsuite

 

Hootsuite screen shot
Hitting Reply to Jen on Hootsuite


Just as before with Tweetdeck I'm forced to reply to one person at a time. As I'm writing this it seems so minor but it fundamentally changed the way I interact with Twitter. I like Twitter less since the change happened and I have bemoaned its loss ever since. I kept an old install of Tweekdeck to keep this feature but finally it was closed down and the browser based version we have today superseded it. 

OK... THE FEATURE

I discovered a little know, or so it seems twitter client called Janetter.

Original Tweets in Janetter

Janetter screenshot
Tweets displayed in Janetter 
 
Janetter reply building screenshot
Hitting Reply on Kate and Jen's tweets


With Janetter clicking a reply icon builds on the tweet being composed, it included all the other @names in the tweets and the hashtags. These replies can be from different columns or accessed by scrolling further down the stream. Once all the @named people are included you can tidy up the hashtags, remove any @names you don't need in this tweet and write the tweet... of course then SEND.

And thats it the missing feature.

Another unique (a word to use with caution but I haven't seen else where) is the ability to change the font used in the app. This means the OpenDyslexia font can be used making it super stable visually for me to read.

So... What do you think?

Do you use Janetter too? 

Have I missed another platform, tool or service you think I should look at?

 Apps

image from cdn.appstorm.net
Janetter
image from screenshots.en.sftcdn.net
Tweetdeck
image from hootsuite.com
Hootsuite





What do I do?

Equity Hangout Banner

#OneOfMyHats

If I was employed in a traditional sense the job I did would come with a job title. It would be on my contract. I have been an Assistant Stagemanager, Deputy Stagemamager, Stagemanager, Technical Manager, Assistant Technical Producer. But now I'm not walking the path of traditional employment I find my roles being influenced more and more by emerging technologies. I still work with in teams who produce, but don't work on nearly enough theatre but using the skills and knowledge I learnt during my time in all my named job roles I offer my services.

Recently I have had to produce work evidence that I am eligible to stand as a candidate in the 2015 Equity elections. I'm wanting to retain my seat on the Stage Management Specialist Committee. I enjoy the unconventional approach I have to my work with adaptive work processes being key to providing services to each of my clients and employers. I don't have as many as I'd like so I'm always open to offers of a more traditional nature but here I am.... being asked "What do I do?"

I'm currently 'working' in a voluntary capacity on Equity's Online Branch. Since February I have been the Online Branch's Moderator and it has fallen to me to project manage the final beta phase of the development of the platform being labelled The Equity Online Branch. Its been quite a journey and has quite a legacy. I am using my stagemanager communication skills to tackle this project.

The best example of What I do, What I want to do, How do I make my living was the Oct 2014 Arts and Audiences' Digital Audience Experience (its a live-stream continuity studio event-team plugin) So that I used as the evidence of professional paid work.

I provided a picture montage, the invoice and the job spec. I was asked, Which bit was stagemanagement?" All of it I responded. When even my professional trade body doesn't understand the scope of the role stagemanagers get involved in as technology evolves in support terms I do despair. But I do get asked all the time.

#OneOfMyHats is as an activist / advocate for the industry trade union I have supported since joining in 1995. Equity. I am not paid for this but it does shape "What I do" and "How I make a living".

Fingers crossed I get re-elected... do check out my election campaign page if you are an Equity member.

Definitely get in touch if you'd like to know more about the Digital Audience Experience  live-stream continuity studio event-team plugin

 


Clean up the Twitter Fake Bots

New attention has be drawn to the numerous fake or spam twitter accounts that follow us. Yes they boost numbers but but they provide no value. Isn't it better to know everyone is listening or potentially listening? It was back in June 2011 that I wrote "Twitter Fly Swatter - TwitBlock" after I was looking in to ridding my followers of spam bots. It was TwitBlock by @TimWhitlock that identified and enabled me to block the culprits. This week Status people came on the scene, a tool to identify fakers with the headlines Quite some press coverage but lets get a little perspective. Bots boost your follow count, this is true. The relationships on Twitter of most importance are those with 'friends'. The ones you follow back. They read your Tweets and you read thier's. We don't control who follows us the only option if you want these bots to disappear is to block them. A twitter count inflated by fake, purchased followers and bots kids no one but your self. Running @pcmcreative through StatusPeople reveals I have 90% Good, 9% Inactive, 1% Fake. StatusPeople only analyses 1000 accounts, just a sample of your total following. Information is all well and good but what about the clean up. This is why I write this post. Social Media evolves all the time with new platforms, tools and services emerging suite of complimentary apps come together. Three apps I now have to verify the effectiveness of the Twitter accounts I own, run and maintain.
  • TwitBlock - Finds Bots in fiends and followers - @pcmcreative 14 of 2543
  • SocialBro - Excellent Twitter management tool including providing statistics about inactive followers - @pcmcreative has 112 inactive friends and 526 inactive followers.
  • StatusPeople - New analytic tool to identify fake or bot accounts in your followers
The greater issue for me is my inactive friends. Many of them are Tweeters with the greatest of intentions but with no twitter passion. Some do ignite some just wait and watch. But I do know who many of them are. The other peeve is accounts with no custom avatar. What about your account? For more Twitter thoughts take a look at Twitterati, FibreCamp.tv's new twitter show with me and Phil Campbell.

Beyond the Barricades... I'm in here somewhere.

IMG_0792Dark times and dark skies. There has been quite a lot of rain recently and last night I lay in bed and listened as the rain began to fall. We all appreciate silence and I don't know about you but falling rain widens the silence in a way I find meditatively pleasing.

I'm not sure though I would have heard it that clearly of late as my internal dialogue has been screaming like a banshee and not in the most constructive of ways. My mind is not kind! It took a change of energy to realise just how out of control this had become and just how detrimental it been on my outlook.

Moving forward 'production like' is a kind of auto-pilot for me. Its only when I stop and look that I realise the wilderness I have consuming the world around me. I am extremely fortunate to have Dan, the heart of my world and a great friend living with us, Phil who together are the best friends ever. So I hide and withdraw ignoring the world and consequently friends beyond my barriers.

It's nothing new. Yet I come full circle eventually. I'm sure everyone has these cycles but the distress I inflict on myself reflecting on what the world around me thinks, if they even care is made all the worse my the inner insecurity I have dealt with my whole life.

So here I am again waking from a slumber, who knows the blurring of the seasons may have a part to play I do need light to thrive and the recent glorious bright spell when my straw hat came out rapidly desended in to the damp, dull, wet and unreliable spell we are experiences currently.

I don't intend to hide away and I guess me hiding away makes the external me seen even harsher and bossier than normal. Its important to reflect and remembers what being me is all about. I need to reach out and connect with the amazing people I meet so very regularly. Social media is the constant I felt I always lacked when I was on tour but now I see it in action I wonder if I'm an old dog that can't learn new tricks or maybe my state of being just stays the same. Its a great connector this World Wide Web but as I frequently nurse my workshops with... if you are good at something off line you'll master online too. Howerer struggle off line and on line is no easier. Many people find social media much easier than me. My strength is that I understand the landscape and its value when applied contextually and appropriately.

More and more I'm being drawn in to online audience engagement. The Arts where pay is low and funding is sparce. Did I not learn this working as a Stage Manager?

Corner of the desk.

So people... friends, romans, counrtrymen! Why did I pick the arts in which to make a living? I enjoy working with creative spirits and innovating talents, which are often fragile and I seem to think that strength is a resource I have to provide. This leaves me so vunerable when I need support and I find it so hard to to ask. Why this post?

I have to re-establish an equilibrium. Show Time good... hunting for new new jobs dull. My independance is important I have always been self employed for tax purposed I'm not a natural business developer I am a natural freelancer.

I must pursue opportunies. These are not  unknown to me I just find it hard to do everything. Am I supose to be contacting you? Please get in touch. Events teams, do you need digital audience enegagement, on the ground, real time coverage posting to your website or online community presence? This is what I do. I get to know an audience. I'm just rubbish at telling people that! I never approach two projects the same. The fundementals are inhehent... digital coverage, but the audience and the client are alway fresh and unique in my approach and treatment of them. There may be cross overs from previous audiences too. I try to be a real part of who they are. So to end, returning to my dark skies I give alot of myself to my projects and finding like minded clients is key. There is a danger I get lost in digital so bring off line and on line together are important in my projects, but the rewards in the results for project success is worth it. I'm off to pursue those opportunities. Blogging is quite cathartic. Thanks for reading. Should I be working with you? 

 


Jubilee round up and reflection

IMG_1874Activities at PCM & FibreCamp seem to have been punctuated by the UK's Jubilee festivities. So I got out my little boat to join in the festivities. I had hoped to follow along on Twitter but although the tweets tumbled down my screen there was no officially curated stream. There was little engagement from the mainstream stream media in the wider social digital consciousness.

I was wondering if my twitter spiddy sense was a miss but it seems it wasn't only me who experienced this frustration. 

Why is there a need for a curated stream? I finally ended up tracking Jubilee, DiamondJubilee, Jubilee Nottingham, Jubilee Sneinton across Twitter and dipping in to ZeeBox on my iPad.

There was lots of shouting but no coherent conversation or chat.

I've returned from Audiences Europe's final "Extending the Margins" program event which was the international element of Rotterdam Festivals' Performing Arts Congress. FibreCamp's Phil Campbell has headed to the US taking a road trip from Tampa Florida to New York for Blog World Expo 2012.

'On the ground' is a phrase we both use when working on projects out of the Lace Market House office and studio. The aim and objective of these outings is to share an experience, offer a perspective to an event, capture it's essence and reflect on the content presented to stimulate engagement and generate interest. This is for both those who attend and those who did not. The collected media consequently provides a picture and record of the moments, people and presentations that took place 'On the Ground'

Why didn't people attend?

There are multiple reasons.

  • Previous work commitments
  • Lack of finances
  • Alternative priorities
  • Geographic or physical access ability
  • Employment position
  • Family

Social technologies and its resulting media published in real-time across digital channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or niche social network is relatively inexpensive and 'Extends the margin' of engagement exponentially, reaching an audience unprecedented prior to the emergence Of Social Media.

Mass media is lazy, passive with ease of access leading to consumer apathy. (ZeeBox is a great antidote to this with its related content links and twitter filter but there is no voice.) It is also expensive and it's production mechanism expensive. Comprehensive coverage be it mainstream production or our 'on the ground' insights require planning and preparation before the delivery of the experience.

That's what I'm thinking on.

Back to work tomorrow.


Who am I? - Let's get Following with Audiences Europe

STENCILLOGO1 200px Audiences Europe have recently taken me on team to provide social media and associated technologies support and advise. I always like to start by helping network members connect up existing tools and services with Twitter being one of the most accessible in terms of kicking of conversation and 'making new friends in the playground'. Audiences Europe have a Ning network where I have focused much of my time to date helping tweak and shape it in to platform project administrator Rich Hadley can be proud of, and in turn create content for. It's hugely important to feel proud of the network environment, blog look or website layout. Its a great motivator for creating content.

In the AEN discussion forum we exclaimed...Let's Get Following, inviting exisiting network members to post a little intro or just their Twitter name so others could follow them. This was my offering and a bit about my Twitter journey. As folk often ask me what I do this is alittle about who I am, which I think is what matters.

Hello, I'm @pcmcreative on Twitter

I have been a tweeter since late 2007 when I discovered I could maintain and develop connections beyond an event and project. The notion of a continued conversation day to day with like-minded people appealed to me. As a source of information it took a further 18 months before I thought to ask my Twitter network to answer a question I would normaly have 'googled' "What is the traditional gift for a 10th aniversary?" ie Cotton, Lace, Ruby etc. I got several responses infoming me it was aluminium. one suggesting a macbook coz its shell is milled aluminium and one declaring with a emoticon wink "Decree Nisi ;)" From here I knew Twitter was only going to get better.

I have been referred for work thought this 140 character mass messaging platform. Built audiences for online live theatre streams then spent the evening chatting though massaging to complete strangers who then become digital friends as they follow me on Twitter and begin to read my blog. I love it when months and in some cases now, years later I bump in to folk like seeing old friends yet quickly realising we have never met in the flesh before today.

Twitter is special.

This is my Twitter biog.

Social Media starlet, practitioner & consultant. @EquityUK campaigner for independent theatre artists. Slight nut. I love a good cuppa. @PCMprojects coordinator.

Sums me up professionally I guess as much as you can in 160 characters! As I recently discovered writing the Twitter biog for @audienceseurope it is quite an art, one I quite enjoy. Distilling the essence of an identity to create an impression in a single phrase. It's a great exercise.

What are your 160 characters?

What's your story?


Eye's on the prize? Notttuesday, Sept 2011

The presenatation from Oliver Emberton was live streamed to bambuser. Thank you to those who watched live, there were 25 of you and engaged in chat room banter. Thanks also to @PhilCampbell for curating and responding to chatter. Not bad for an iPhone4 with no external mic.

Posted pre-event...

I've initiated numerous hashtags in Twitter for events. They work very well for streamlining conversation and filtering participating twitter peeps. It is possible to track the reach of a hashtag using services like TweetReach but it is near impossible to determine how the twitter stream from an event is being engaged with by the active participants.

Are they picking up tweets as they whizz by in thier 'All friends" stream

There are so many application to access twitter with a mind bending array of different features how can I possible know if a stream is being watch in the way I am in good faith curating it?

I am heading off to a networking/meet up event tonight called NottTuesday and it has a tag which I check in to as the event approaches to get a feel for who is going to be attending. Are they also watching the tag or are they simply using it.

I created this poll to try and find out.

Posted this on Twitter and with the PollDaddy app on the ipad I'll poll the peeps tonight at the event. I'm leaving the poll open. As of the 15 Septmber only 4 had voted; a No, 2 Yes other and 1 Yes Tweetdeck collumn. I also created a saved search on Twitter for Notttuesday.

 


Integrity & Ethics pay off - I still believe.

IMG_2412
From shopkeeper to B2B business – flowing motion

I don’t know too many small entrepreneurs who have a plan of action let alone show any solidarity with others.  @pcmcreative of Nottingham is an exception.

via flowingmotion.jojordan.org

When I first met Jo we talked about a Ning based social network for her village, Olney. Her policy research and her flowingmotion blog are for me highly informative if a little intellectual for my creative 'doing' brain and I learn so much about thought process from her. Yet another inspirational connection I made at MediaCamp Bucks and London. To read a comment in conclusion to a well thought out and considered blog post I am humbled to receive such praise. Thank you Jo.


Twitter Fly Swatter - TwitBlock

TwitBlock is a junk filter and bulk blocking tool for Twitter. It scans your followers for nuisance accounts and makes it easy to block them all in one place. You can also see who you're already blocking; something you can't do on twitter.com.

via twitblock.org

How many people follow you on Twitter? How many do you listen to? Friends and Followers, mutual friends, for so many it seems to be a numbers game. I have far more Twitter accounts than is healthy! Admittedly these are for business, clients or pet projects but yesterday I received a lot of what looked to be spam followers. Now my thinking in the past has been, well they won't be listening to anything I say but it's a follower. I had no intention of following these back but then I realised it dilutes the quality of my following. I have always been very proud that I can flick through my followers with a pretty good idea why I picked most of them up. Some I know, some I admire, some I want to meet, some I want to work with, many have attended events I have twitter curated and followed me from there and there are many good friends who I don't see half as much as I would like.

So... after manually reporting spammers last night I asked Google "who is a bot in my followers" and @timwhitlock's TwitBlock came top. 

It found 35 bots in 850+ followers and to my delight only 1 in my friends and that was one of my own pet project which was dormant! So... How about you?