Social Technology Feed

Social Media for Stage Production

 TOP 10 platforms, tools and services essentials for your 2014-15 toolkit

previously posted on socialmediawomble blog - Aug 2014

SJPTheatreHandbook14-15frontcover

Last year I was asked to write an article for the 2014-15 publication of the Theatre Careers Handbook.
  • Discovering Digital
  • Pilot Theatre, Second Life and Live-streaming
  • Paper and Show Time 
  • Going Social - Media, Networking and associated Technology
  • Social Media
  • Social Networking
  • Social Technology

This article has been written for SJP by freelance digital projects manager and collaboration coordinator at PCMprojects, Caron Lyon. Caron has created professional social networks for Arts Council England, the Federation of Entertainment Unions and Audiences Europe. http://www.pcmcreative.com/social-media-consultation.html  
 
In 1994 I graduated as a Stage Manager from Bretton Hall gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Crafts. A year later the course had been renamed to Theatre, Design & Technology. The course hadn't changed but the predominance of specialisms (lighting design, sound engineering) and the emergence of technology (computerisation, projection and automation) was to irrevocably change the skill set and necessary knowledge foundation demanded of production and technical teams with in the entertainment industry. Twenty Years later its 2014 and it’s the Stage Managers turn to advance and profit for the shifting change.
 
As a Stagemanager I worked throughout the UK in Sub Rep (Leicester, Sheffield & Chichester), Toured to No1 touring houses, arts centres, village halls and outdoor venues nationwide, spent a season at Butlins and several years in London Fringe performance spaces gaining experience as Stagemanager, DSM, ASM and production assistant. I operated lights, sound, called cues, acquired props, paged doors, assisted with costume changes and relit shows.
 
Analog has given way to digital. Bluetooth, Wireless, Wifi and Mobile are not only common place but getting 'smart'. Production's can be operated after being intricately programmed and increasingly automated to such an extent that manual involvement is the pressing of a button. Design, Creation and Operation are distinct roles. Human decision making, timing, planning, judgement are still the realm of stage management and the digital shift has taken place around them.
 
In 2002 I found myself needing to move sound effects to MiniDisc from a computer after downloading from the Internet. This began my journey, 'phono to USB' that was to lead me to discover Social Media, in awe of how pre production and rehearsal communication was going to benefit, how staying connected after a contract ended would become a firm reality. I could see props resourcing and production promotion changing forever. 
 
Discovering Digital
Producing paper props was my first encounter with IT using photoshop and paint packages in the late 90’s. I had been using an electronic typewriter and photocopier to write up and distribute rehearsal notes and company calls. The notice board and the pigeon hole post was ‘the’ most effective and accepted method of communication.
 
It wasn't Facebook and Twitter that excited me but Email then Dropbox, Evernote and Bambuser. The ability to share notes with out printing, being able to make changed with out re-printing, recording live and have a live reactive audience. I didn't get my first email address until 1996 social was along way off. Facebook and Twitter weren't in my tool set until 2007. I hadn’t sent my first instant message until 2006.
 
Pilot Theatre, Second Life and Live-streaming
 
After several years re-training as a web designer in order pursue a creative career and to make it possible for me to live at home. My heart always lay with theatre and performance, the internet opened up a new world of resources. For a short time I worked on an R&D project with Pilot Theatre as their Virtual Stagemanager in Second-Life exploring the capabilities of virtual exhibition space and a pre-production audience engagement arena. Facebook emerged on the scene as an audience engagement location. Not many of my colleges had even heard of Facebook. I was plunged in to Twitter after being presented with this online tool as a team communication tool, it was the digital water cooler for chatter, links, notes, messages and questions. I discovered a community of digital pioneers at ease with this new teamed up social interaction making me feel at the time I had missing the party invite and was playing catch up. 
 
I now realise its like that for everyone when social media makes it on to their radar. Social Media has exploded in to society's consciousness and has quickly produces a generation with no memory of a world before the web and even more recent a generation with no memory of a world before Facebook. That has happened not in my lifetime (I’m 40) but in 20yrs, that's just half of my life time. How long before there is no generation with a living memory of a world without the internet?
 
2014 is set to be dominated by 'the Internet of Things', affordable 3D printing is on the verge of becoming the next big phenomenon yet for many in the theatre industry the age of social media is still a baffling trend many hope will disappear as a fashion fade.
 
The influence of Social Media on stage production is its use to communicate, inform, record and document. In pre and post production social media platforms, tools and services excel. Theatre is a collaborative process. Theatre people especially the production creatives including StageManagers are inherently good at 'social'. Communication is a key talent. The pre Facebook generation are at ease with the tools they need to do their job, up skilling and adapting with necessity. 
 
QUOTE - Peter Hall
"Perhaps, therefore, ideal stage managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds." 
 
Paper and Show Time 
As the Peter Hall quote eludes Stagemanagers need to be calm and meticulous professionals. This also means in this connected digital world being confident that the infrastructure is reliably operational. A clipboard and paper will never run out off power. Multiple copies can be cheaply reproduced and positioned at locations of choice. Only transfer to powered devises with the certainly you will always have access and enough battery remaining.
 
Quote - Marcus Romer
"Don’t add technology to the way you do things, Change the way you do things when you know what the technology can do"
 
Going Social - Media, Networking and associated Technology
 
Many production areas and career professionals in theatre can benefit from the application of the many social strands available online. 
 
Here are the 7 I work to develop with organisations and industry professionals. It is vital to acknowledge the bigger picture.
  1. Industry Connections and Job Seeking
  2. Company Management & Coordination
  3. Staying informed
  4. Career Development
  5. Promotions and Funding
  6. Measuring relevance and influence
  7. Production Collaboration 
The greatest hurdle to adopting digital working is the access to compatible technology, reliable internet connectivity and an accepted set of platforms with best practice procedures to gain access in place. Stagemanager, Company or Production Manager can be at the heart of this digital nexus adopting a digital toolkit, embedding process, documenting and determining accepted best practice and taking the the collaborative lead.
 
Social Media mastery is a career skill asset.
 
TOP 10 platforms, tools and services essentials for your 2014 toolkit
Social Media
Photos, Audio, Video, Text shared via links posted to media specific platforms
 
Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life and work with digital platforms through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image, tag it and post it. The team at Instagram imagine a world more connected through photos. 
 
AudioBoo - http://audioboo.fm
Audioboo is a tool for audio producers to record, upload and share audio. The Audioboo team believe in the power of the spoken word to inspire, inform and connect people across the globe.
 
A ‘boo' is made up of any clip of audio, a picture, a location, a title and a description. Broadcasters, Newspapers, Sports networks, Podcasters, Educators and Community Organisations all use ‘boos' to increase audience reach. They can easily share audio on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, embed playlists onto their sites as listen again players. Audioboo also have a highly active and engaged visually impaired community for whom the platform functions as a social network.
 
Bambuser - http://bambuser.com 
Bambuser is a simple-to-use live video streaming service that allows users to quickly and easily capture, share and watch live video broadcast from mobile phones or computers. Bambuser also enables instant sharing to the world's favorite social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many more 
 
 
Social Networking
Establishing, maintaining and developing opportunities via online platforms
 
Facebook - www.facebook.com
Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open & connected. 
 
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. Their mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do. 
 
Twitter helps you create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
 
Forums and Industry site members areas are also an excellent source of networking for sharing best practice, advise and job vacancies.
 
Social Technology
Tools and Applications available providing connectivity for the whole company to a central data resource enabling real time notifications and updating of common documents. (production schedules, rehearsal notes, setting lists, cue sheets, research, company calls etc)
 
Dropbox - www.dropbox.com
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos from anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded in 2007 by two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves while working from more than one computer. Today, more than 200 million people use Dropbox to always have their stuff at hand, share with family and friends, and work on team projects.
 
Evernote - www.evernote.com 
Evernote’s goal is to help the world remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done. From saving thoughts and ideas to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s collection of apps make it easy to stay organized and productive.
 
Google Drive - http://drive.google.com
Google Drive lets you store up to 15GB of your stuff for free, access them from anywhere, and collaborate with others. 
 
GroupMe is the best way to chat with everyone you in your company or working on your production. It's absolutely free, whether you're talking to a department, or texting with one person. Best of all, it works on nearly every phone, via push or SMS. With GroupMe, it's easy to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. 
 
For further insights into developing your toolkit and skill set register for PCM & SJP associated workshops and surgeries planned for 2014-15. http://bit.ly/sjppcm14
 
 
 

Would you Google Hangout to Network?

Stage Managers and Production Creatives, Event Professionals

GooglePlay Hangout
 
 
Google Play hosted this Hangout (above) with Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Google+ is ideal if you want to host events with an online dialogue and interact with fans its a great starting point solution. This particular event was to promote Spielberg’s upcoming film, Lincoln. Five lucky people got to actually ask questions and chat with Gordon-Levitt and Spielberg. Three used their personal computers, while two others joined from Times Square–where the Hangout was also broadcast.
 
With key industry conferences, events and networking opportunities being in major cities it is inevitable that new initiatives start here too. As an event organiser and stagemanager,  I understand the attraction of holding events in hi profile venues. As an audience developer, livestream producer and excluded audience member I also understand the frustration experienced by those who don't live so close to these prestigious hubs or would like to attend events that they aren't actually working on.
 
In October last year I was invited to create an online audience experience for the Nordic Nations's annual conference Arts and Audiences  being held in Reykjavik, Iceland by the host organisations Audiences Norway and the DCAI (Danish Centre for the Arts and Interculture. For Arts and Audiences we used many social technologies in the final event delivery, but Google Hangout holds the engagement potential I think can make attending ‘in the cloud’ worth while. 
 
Both organisations had worked with me previously as they are partner members of the Audiences Europe Network where I have been a digital audience adviser and content producer since 2011.
They wanted to engage both audiences as entities in their own right. One attending at the venue and one not able to attend the venue in person but wanted to take part. To be there or not to be there, that is the question.  
 
ArtsAA googlehangout
We held meetings prior to the event for the blogging and social media team. This is hangout (left) was attended by the bloggers.
 
Each blogger was representing one of the Nordic countries so a face to face meeting was not an option. 
 
We ran a Google Hangout as a mutual digital meeting space, "live lounge"
 
We also discussed running participatory discussions, talks and workshops using it as a digital breakout space.
 
 
Future Equity events
 
So what is this all about? I want to attend the Free 2015 Stage Management Training events via Google Hangout. I am hoping to convince Equity to actively run their Google+ profile (EquityUK's Google+ profile) and run a hangout in parallel to each event taking place in Guild House. Google's Hangout facility can host up to 10 connections at a time. With one connection used by the venue to host and one for the guest speaker we had an audience capacity of 8 connections. I say connection because one computer connection can be watched by a room of people or by a lone viewer.
 
Who else would be interested attending via an 'in the cloud' Green Room?
 
EQUITY: Free Stage Management Training
 
Equity is running a series of Equity/ SMA Brunch sessions, their free* programme of professional development for stage management members. The first event is today - Monday 16th February and I would like to have been there, Equity Organiser Paul Fleming is scheduled to be telling us all we need to know about the Sub Rep Agreement (the Pink Book and accompanying contract) and answering questions. It would have been great to have been able to attend online, but also to have met other members not able to travel to London in the hangout "digital green room". Integrating this aside technology would be no problem for multi-tasking stage managers attending the event 'on the ground'.
 
Future Events
Mon 2nd March - Tax, NI, Pensions and Welfare Benefits - Alan Lean, Equity
Mon 13th April - Accounting and Book Keeping
Mon 18th May - Touch Tours and Access - Lucinda Harvey, SOLT/UK Theatre
Mon 1st June – UK Theatre/ BECTU Get-in and Get-out Guidelines
Jul - None scheduled
Aug - None scheduled
Mon 7th September - West-End and Commercial Theatre Agreement, Equity
Mon 12th October - Risk Assessments, Touring and Site Specific - with ABTT
Mon 9th November - Employment Law (Worker vs Employee), Equity
Mon 7th Dec - TBC
 
Each session is held between 13:00 and 15:00 at Guild House, Equity, London WC2H 9EG. The training, which has been popular and widely appreciated by members, aims to inform, bring you up to date and help you in your professional lives, whilst offering a sharing experience and networking opportunities for new entrants and experienced pros alike.
 
As sessions are confirmed and more information is available Equity's SM committee will update the News page on the Stage Management Section of the Equity website - http://bit.ly/EquitySMnews
 
* Sessions are free to Equity and SMA members, £10 for non-members. All sessions are jointly run by Equity and the SMA. To book please email: admin@stagemanagementassociation.co.uk and tell us which session(s) you would like to book for.
 
Equity’s Stage Management Constitutional Register keeps Stagemanagers informed. If you want to be on this register or would like to read more about the register then please follow this link 

BassBuds - The Sound of Fashion.

I need a new set of headphones. A set came with my iPhone but they never stay in my ears. They alway feel as if they will fall out at any moment. There are 2 reasons I use headphones. One, is to privately listen to music and the other is to isolate sound while listening to playback audio during recording or for later when editing video or audio podcasts. Oh and a third, I have a 'pillow speaker' this lays beneath my pillow with my ear placed over it I can listen to late night Radio 4 and World Service without disturbing my partner who is an astonishingly light sleeper.

In the post came my BassBuds and a request to write a review. First impressions… Oooo pretty. Sapphire blue and silver with cut crystals in the backs of the ear buds. Integrated mic for hands-free but in reality I always feel a bit silly using hands free and I never seem to be able to hear the caller. Anti-tangle cable, now that has an appeal. 

I must confess I'm not a follower of fashion trends I prefer my own style. Carefully selected accessories and colour accent appeals to me though. Purple resonates with me so too do blues and teals.

Basebuds-classic-colours-range

Classic Collection BassBuds - "Your colour, your style"

2012-11-22 00.58.44Mine are blue (left) and I've grown quite fond of them. The embedded crystals are a stylish touch, the question is however as ear phones what are they like?

How does music sound using them?

I have worked with professional audio engineers and I have been instructed to listen to sound through pro standard closed can headphones and the reproduction is markedly superior to a domestic end products. 

These are in-ear and as I mentioned at the start they never stay in. The only sets I have came with devises they were intended for. The first ones for personal stereos could only sound as good as the devise was capable of producing. With a devise producing good audio I can distinguish between base and treble accents. Clear sound, rich sound, muted, dull, tinny and balanced are terms I understand.

Swoping between headphones I can identify depth of sound and reproduction quality depending of course on the quality of the output source.

Advanced Crystaltronics Sound Technology? As technical specifications go BassBuds sadly seems to follow a 'now for the science bit' advertisement.

But... I have to reiterate the products tagline,

BaseBuds - "Your colour, your style"

these are a fashion accessory a personal statement. In this approaching age of the quantified-self every element can be customised, every one can be an individual. Brand identity and affiliation are important in our tribal social society. BassBuds are part of you, reflecting your chromatic resonance.

 

IMG_3259I mentioned that in-ear head phones never stay in my ears. Included in the box are 3 sets of earbuds in 3 sizes; small, medium and large in black memory some, clear and black silicone buds. Small clear silicone are just the trick.

Are you going to check them out? - www.bassbuds.co.uk

Are you looking for a new set of in-ear phones?

Use this code BB38466 for £5 off

Disclosure: I received a set of BassBuds in exchange for publishing this post

PS! a pet hate of mine, the misuse of QR opportunity. Never send a QR code scan to a standard home page especially if it's not mobile friendly. Engagement, up sell, Facebook like, twitter follow, instruction manual or best of all a secret special offer. The options are numerous. 


Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

What is the modern equivalent of the famous visiting-star photo wall in the theatrical local drinking establishment?

It has struck me that audience development dialogue rarely mentions the personalities who visit their venues and a continuing interest of what becomes of them. Is this not the gift of social connection inherent to social media, maintaining connections. Do you think of making social connections to follow visiting companies and the company members? Actors now have a community connection opportunity with each other after companies part ways like never before.

I envy the current touring community with in the entertainment industry for this digital connectivity. Sadly I'm not sure how much they are able to make use of it to it full potential. The reality is that inside the performance world of the industry there is not a strong IT savvy community. Generally if you are successful your IT skills are weak. Unless you have a technology leaning computers are a bit of a mystery. Smart phones have opened a new world of communication. That a large proportion are excellent at, communication and reflected self expression. A world of potential. The fragmented duel personality segmentation of private and public, personal and professional, the digital world demand we negotiate is familiar ground and executed with exquisite ease by the best actors working in theatre.

This is especially true of actors who work in independant theatre. By Independant I mean organisations using the Independant Theatre Council contract or should be if they of a certain size. It includes theatre-in-education companies, rural, small and mid scale touring.

What is this opportunity for art centres with performance spaces?
What promotional opportunities does this present to the theatre companies?
What opportunities does this provide actors?

Celebrity is so remote. It is distant admiration with little possibility of reciprocation. The companies booked to fill a schedule bring with them talented performers, each has a story each is on a journey perusing their chosen career as a working actor. They have a personal and professional outlook. It may not be well defined online so be respectful. Social media is about people not marketing strategy. You need a strategy to layout objectives and establish achievements but for social media content you need stories and the development of stories to maintain engagement.

While I toured, especially to art centres and village halls the organiser often welcomed back actors who had visited on previous occasions with other theatre companies. They are your celebrities. It's not only about being on 'telly', actors emerging on broadcast media have begun a career either in theatre or low budget films. A theatre company returning to a venue with a new production may contain established cast members but many actors will move on and explore artistic avenues.

Whether you develop a rappor with returning actors or follow others as they climb their career ladders it's an opportunity that can sustain a social media community, the (your) audience. You are their connection to the stars.

Indirectly you will benefit working actors you connect with connecting them to the people they perform for. It's a link I think is lacking at present from my observation with audience development professionals.

They are your venues' flesh and blood attraction.

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement

Connecting to your stars - audience engagement


A microsite solution for your events - Twoppy

When is an app not an app? When its a mobile optimised dedicated miro-site. Twoppy sits perfectly on most web enabled mobile devises. No multi-platform designing necessary just a few more steps to install than the one click 'install' command app store users are familiar with.

twoppy® was founded in 2009 and is based in Leusden en Leiden, The Netherlands. With every event you organise the possibility to offer an easy to use and affordable mobile event guide is a reality. twoppy® can be used for festivals, exhibitions, conferences, amusement parks, zoos, sporting events and more... check out the Twoppy "Dream Team"

The New Technologies for New Audiences has a Twoppy event guide. The Audience or attending delegates use the event guides for free, to modify the branding as CultuurNet Flanders has done requires a basic upgrade at a cost of £152.27 for a year. The intention of this post is to get the New Technologies for New Audiences event guide on to your devise for you to get great added value when you attend next week's events. The method my vary from devise to devise. These screenshots are from an iPhone.

This is the event guide once installed.

ETM_ghent twoppy 1Program: Lists the programmed sessions scheduled with date and times. When multiple sessions are taking place at one time the event guide enabled you to indicate 'wanna go' and builds a personal itinerary for you. Brilliant!

Speakers: Tells you who is speaking, what session they are presenting and the 'wanna go' button adds the session to your personal itinerary.

Map: Plots on a local map of the event area the venue, hotels and near by establishment the organiser wants to hi-light.

Wanna Go: This is where your personal session schedule is created and stored for a quick glace showing only the sessions you selected to attend.

Information: Everything you need to know about the event itself.

Visitors: Who is attending which sessions and doubles as a checkin service to indicate who was there.

Tweets: All the hash-tagged tweets without having to go to twitter or even have a twitter account.

Partners: Who has made the event possible? Who has supported the project? Local organisation or businesses with special offers to delegates. This is an acknowledgements board.

Here is how.

Open your mobile devise's browser and enter the URL m.twoppy.com but don't follow the instructions immediately.

Scroll down the list without cancelling the pop up box and tap the New Technologies for New Audiences event icon before carrying out the instructions starting by tapping the button indicated and 'Add to Home Screen'

ETM_ghent twoppy 3
Next you add the text to appear beneath the icon when it appears as the app on your devise. Tap return!

ETM_ghent twoppy 6

Locate the icon on your devise. Explore the Event Guide enjoy the New Technologies for Audience event. If you are in Ghent find me, tweet. If you are unable to attend join me on the live-stream, there is direct chat on the livestream viewer and there will be a chat room running on the Audiences Europe Network.

ETM_ghent twoppy 1




QR Code Art Exhibition in Vannes

via 2d-code.co.uk

Quick Response... don't you get the urge to to pick up your phone and look for that QR scanning app you have never used?

QrArts QR Code for Paris fait son show

Even more awesome watch this video through your scanning app, I recommend RedLaser with the multiple scan option turned on you can pick up some, not all, of the QR codes in the exhibition through the video. How cool is that! With a little considered filming a more reliable scanning experience could be achieved. 

I will be running QR code masterclasses throughout November. Make and Create you own is the objective of the class.


Twitter Automation Lessons

Meet @contentasaurus...brain child of Andrew Hanelly (@hanelly on Twitter). I am engaged in a battle of the bots. Not because I'm infested and plagued by then but because social media should be, or should have, a social element. It is why this social web environment has emerged. As human beings it is in our nature to reach out and connect with the world around us. Andrew Hanely's experiment and resulting blog post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" asks the question, Can it be automated?, details the experiment and measures the results. The opening line "A robot didn’t write this post" illustrating right away that some things need a human touch.

Looking for work-arounds and time saving methodology is essential online and offline. Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't have to look after Twitter? What if it could look after its self? If you could set it up and let it run would you? Would you automate a customer facing aspect of your business? Banks offer us automated services, the "Hole in the Wall" but still we choose to visit the counter. Why is that?

A Twitter account can successfully be assigned an element of autonomy using automation with a reasonable quantifiable success but it has no soul and it has no intellegence.

Some statistics from the 43-day life of @contentasaurus:

  • The account posted more than 2,500 Tweets (about 60 Tweets per day)
  • Which generated 443 clicks
  • Which resulted in about 80 @mentions and 19 Retweets
  • And a Klout score of 43 (for whatever that’s worth)

Taken from Andrew Hanelly's post these stats demonstrate that is a short time and with well selected content it is possible to generate twitter activity. For him the down side and an touch of futility was not being able to add the human element and resond when comments and good wishes came in.

I do recommend you go and read his post "Lessons Learnt from a Twitter Bott" as the consequent comments are an interesting read also. What interested me was the foundation. I think there is room for scheduling informative content but I am hearted by the increased emphasis I see around the social web for the curation of content. It's important to understand the web around you in terms for your audience and twitter is a good resource for doing this but must be done appropriately. With automation you can get a result but with any success there has to be the satisfation of a job well done or an idea reached for. There are no quick wins or we'd all be rich! After all being social is about conversation and engagement.

 


The way I see it - part 2

Industry blogging, as a practitoner of social media it all gets a bit kalidascopic, inward looking.

I read about products, tools, services, platforms, people talking about those products, tools etc. Its the people talking about people I'm missing. I am not getting enough people stories, I'm interesting in personal practice. How do you used technology. When did technology stop being a tool to mastered but an entity to be absorbed? 'I know kunfoo' We know this brain dump matrix programimg of the brain is film fiction territory, But when did technology or items designated tech ie computers, games, phones enter your conscience and how did you assimilate that in to your world?

I found a photo recently of a time when 'tech' was not in my consciousness. I had an electric typewriter with floppy disc storage, the plastic square kind any how. Even then 'floppy 'disc' was a legacy word for a media type. There was Viynl, tape cassette, CD compact disc, dat tapes, minidisc and in the early 90's I still operated reel to reel tape! One thing in common, they are all storage mediums.

Original RM1 Holgate Road

My working life was since graduation in 1994 with a degree in Theatre, Design & Technology, full off Technology it wasn't realy thought off as tech'nology' it was technical equipment. When did that spark ignite, when was the alchemical moment when the technical equipment became tech 'nology'? Is it connected with awe?

Was it when everything became computerised? Was when switches stopped being flicked, perhaps? Button pressing, fade sliders, the triggering of a direct mechanical response or verbal actions. Noting has changed cues are stil being acted upon.

Now a computer button is so removed from the action ultimately executed metaphysically is wide, yet the digital process is tiny, so fast but for some reason that matters to me, to my brain. As a multi-tasker I think I have processing power envy!


The way I see it - part 1

l find blogging a frustrating experience.

It's a transfer mechanisms, a cross posting method. Getting the content out of my thought buffer / memory cache on to / in to a blog post in text form hurts my head.

I like my notebooks. I like writing.

Here is why.

When I type I have to think of the keys I hit, the letters, line forms, the symbols that placed together form words, those words are the code that when interpreted by you the reader will decode, translate in your brain as a representation of the content, my idea that I encoded in to the text based storage media.

The stored media becomes a collective archive. We can all reference the same meterial. How do we translate / decode the data and store / remember stuff? That cross reference with previous archived material dictates the knowledge and recall quality.

Now that was a revelation to me and fingers crossed, it is a pivotal moment for my social media practice. I don't want to struggle to express myself. It's a frustration experienced by many dyslexics.

I use Livescribe. This post was written in a digitally enabled notebook using a computerised pen. The written text was uploaded to my Mac and passed through a convert to text programme providing me with the editable text that formed the foundation of this blog post.

Livescribe is stationary when did technology depart from being stationary and office supplies in the sense of work tools?

The way my mind works the awareness of the barrier between thought and expression has to be encoded by me. Pen to paper is a form of hand coding, freeform lines and swirls revealing as the pen passes across the page like a printer head. Thoughts to expression at the tip and flip of a pen. It doesn't exhaust me.

 

IMG_2298

Mist, Rain, Zebra Print, Sharp Light,

IMG_2297

Unfiltered reality?

How do your notate your world for recall?

How do you share it with others?


Punctuating my workload - Tom's Barn - Parwich

In recent years I have tried to take a small reflective break round about this time of year. After the intensity and disruption of Christmas followed by my birthday 2 weeks after new year the year tends to unfold and unfurl more controlled with a punctuation point just before spring. I tend not to go far so the Derbyshire Peak District is a favourite retreat. So meeting Marion and John Fuller-Sessions when they approached me to ask questions and express their interest in making sense of social media for their holiday cottages business at an eBusiness talk I delivered in Chesterfield turned out to be quite fortuitous.

I don't do stuff for free anymore though on occasion the time I put in means I practically do. I like to help out friends and organisations I'm involved with out side of my business work. I'm not averse to skill exchanges but I'd never taken a part payment as time in a holiday cottage. It sounded worth considering.

Marion and John own Tom's Barn and Douglas's Barn, luxury converted barns each sleeping 2. I'd been talking to BAFA (British Arts Festival Association) about social media for festivals so I was curious to explore the potential of social media for the tourism industry and how the industry is embracing or rejecting it. Marion and John came on to the PCM 7 Roads consultation programme and the payment for phase one was partly paid for with a weekend in one of their cottages and it is from Douglas's Barn that I am writing this post.

In the 6 month I have worked with Tom's Barn www.tomsbarn.co.uk which is their website for both cottages a combination of a reworked and redeveloped website with Jeremy Brough and the social media profiling and guidence from PCM took the Tom's Barn site from this to this. Digital footprint profiling with the PCM 7 Roads analysis focused the content, social media platforms, tool and services that Marion and John use to and polish, shine and purpose to their already stunning business offering.

The guest's experience is a fundemental drive for Tom's Barn and staying here I can certainly confirm its a 5 star experience. On arrival we discovered freshly baked ginger and walnut cake, 6 fresh eggs, a pint of milk, butter, a loaf of bread and home made marmalade. We had fresh flowers, the fire was glowing, there were tea bags, ground coffee and a cupbaord of staples making us practicly self sustaining for the weekend. The page on the website "Little Extras at Tom's Barn" is a superb example of how selling your strengths in one place is essential.

Aplifying your strengths is what social media does best. Marion has been blogging, John is a keen photographer, his photos feature in a gallery on the website's homepage. Thier curiosity, passion and persiut of offering digital technology integrating into thier vistors experience is where thier jouney has bought them to. Both Tom's and Douglas's Barn has WiFi and the nice touch of a sony notebook PC. Subtle touches that make the retreat here for Dan and I complete. Oh yes their is a Jacuzzi bath too.

So what's next? A guest activity hub. The website sells the experience the vistors digital hub will provide a one stop shop for all the information, Torist Information, cottage handbook, local connections, local history, walks and much more. QR codes on Tourist brochures that have online PDF versions are going to be hunted down, Geo-location adventures and loyalty too. I have had ideas since being here for other social media connections.

I'm going to be giving a social media introduction presentation to the local Premier Cottages members and various Peak District and Derbyshire tourism associates. A case study is always valuable. One I can deliver and develop is very tangible for those attending. Social Media is about conversation, advocacy and amplification. What do you do best?

Resource:

Marion Fuller-Sessions tweets as @Tomsbarn

Brouchure in ISSUU