Previous month:
December 2020
Next month:
February 2021

Death by PowerPoint but...

Death by PowerPoint but a picture can convey a thousand words. Picture slides for presentations are most effective when used to illustrate or reinforce the points being made by the speaker. 

Tonight as TheSparkArts launched their 2021 festival for children my role was to stagemanage the Zoom bit. 

I’m able to share 7 slides that provide a distilled insight in to What, When, Why, When, Who, How of this festival as well as a QR code to enable donations to support the festival and SparkArts ongoing projects and programmes.

A 5% glimpse - Take a look at the full programme

These were all used as accent / titling slides. They sat beside the onscreen host. They punctuated the progression of the message.








While tech hosting I use the virtual background facility with my camera covered to make this possible. 

Closed Caption subtitles and live transcript were provided using Otter.

Spark Festival is GO

Do you?

Do you get enough sleep?

Last night after an angst ridden day juggling deliverables and deadlines I had a early night, exhausted after deflecting a panic attack with a few tears and a multitude of magnificent hugs.

Mindfulness... it’s the name of the game right now and I am enjoying the journey. 

I slept! 

I’m using an app called Reflectly. Is where the quotes I post come from. It’s pure mindfulness.

Simple, clean and usable.

Check it out -


Logic Dictates

I reluctantly use Zoom to host audiences. To reach an audience in Facebook or YouTube I favour StreamYard. To run a conference I wrap it in Konf or Hopin. To syndicate a podcast I use Anchor. To directly engage a crowd I go Crowdcast. It’s all about the audience experience.

Zoom has been my reluctant work horse because of It’s transcription service and closed captions application supports the foundations of access so vital for inclusion. 

Eventbrite has been the ticketing platform that I return to. Selling tickets before COVID and integrating an online component had its challenges. Only one confirmation notice. To the physical audience where I often had 2 audiences the ground and the cloud attendees. 

A current project is selling tickets on Eventbrite for events taking place on Zoom. Every show has a separate Zoom link. Every performance of that show has a separate zoom link. Issuing tickets with access for a festival across multiple online spaces. 

Sign up on Eventbrite... register on Zoom, Zapier does that bit. If someone registers on Eventbrite, Zapier triggers Zoom to create a registration to the correct performance. 

The proof it works reliably will come in the day ahead.

Spark Festival 2021 - check it out


TEDx horizons

Over Christmas a LinkedIn message was received on the TEDx events in Nottingham group

Hello. I'm just looking to connect with people involved with TED, having set up TEDxRushcliffesalon in Nottingham. Best wishes, Amy

Amy has been running a TED discussion group in Gamston, Nottingham for the past 3 years. Those taking part recently discussed making it a Nottingham-wide group and the possibility of putting on a TEDx event in the future. 

TEDx events in Nottingham is something I’d like to continue.

Tonight was the first digital TEDxRushcliffesalon of the year. Two TED talks had been proposed and links sent a few weeks ago. The 1 hr zoom tonight was then a conversation informed by the talks.

Try something new for 30 days from Matt Cutts at TED 2011

The second selected talk The best stats you've ever seen from Hans Rosling at TED2006

If you’d like to be in the loop when the next event talked place contact Amy.
Here is the post I responded too.


News - Bursting your bubble

Active mindfulness is a driving aspiration for me in 2021. I’ve had annual concept drives based on a single word to provide an anchor to my year before but this is the first year I have blogged as I carry out its meditation to make my thinking sustainable.

2020 was boundaries2016 was legacy.

I can’t recall 17, 18, or 19!

2021... mindfulness 

In my 12apps for 2021 blog post... one of those apps was GroundNews.




It’s easy to fall foul of the ‘giving you want you want to hear’ algorithm or ‘showing you what you like or what is similar’ algorithm. It’s important to get a balanced view of the world. Not the same as sitting on the fence. You must have an opinion in order to have it challenged or changed. If you have an opinion you should expect it to be challenged and be prepare to concede to change. 

It’s important not to be easily led or easily swayed. Important too is to stand your ground while entertaining the notion you could be wrong. Answer are you? Am I?

Ground News outlines bias and illustrates balance. It rates reports on a scale positioning them on a political spectrum of Far Left, Left Leaning, Centre, Right Leaning, Far Right. Familiar news sources are ranked as discs to represent the breadth of coverage.


This is then presented with a line to show left, centre and right balance in turn revealing bias. 

I’d been using the free version aware that their was a subscription. It seemed to have a very US strong leaning but I expected it was limited choice resulting from the free tier. I did feel I was seeing a wide view of the world that my own back(BBC)yard.

Today I subscribed.

I’ve had the app on my mobile devices and the chrome browser extension. Today I was reading deeper into a story reviewing perspectives of reports leaning left and those to the right. Subscribe popped up as I’d reach a boundary. 

I’ve been impressed by the lack of overt influence to subscribe. £9.99 for the year in the face of my mindfulness journey seemed a good move.

If you want to try it out and want a month free here is a GroundNews Referral Code: 758951
Here is how this code can be redeemed:

After subscribing I received this email...

“Thank you for subscribing to Ground News Pro and welcome to our community as one of our early subscribers :) We have a small team of 7 but we’re dedicated to providing you the best and most informative news experience. So, please feel free to email me with suggestions, problems, or feedback at any time.”
I love the app even more!

Thanks for reading. Please leave me a comment. I’m not writing these posts to be read by a specific target audience just to sharpen my capacity to post regularly. Lunchtime Livestream will be returning for a fourth series in February.


One day that will always be mine.

Birthday day. I tend to be quite reflective. This year has been particularly wonderful.

I had parcels and letters.


...and because I hadn’t been on Facebook I checked to see if I would get any birthday messages and its been wonderful.

I’m not one to think of myself as having close friends. I am content to spend the majority of my time with the love of my live. We have been together 26 years now and I look forward to 26 more.

The Dawn of digital has altered how we frame the notion of friend and kin ship. It’s a blend of digital consciousness and physical presence. What gives the deepest meaning. I love to see people thrive and live. I love to see discoveries and triumphs. It’s only when I encounter people that kin ship is reinforced.

Friendships are forged and online or off that connection is real. Meeting off line or 1-2-1 only at a push turn up kinship. It tangibly deeper.

I aspire to be the best me I can be. I am notoriously bad at knowing instinctively if I I liked. I certain do not attribute myself with memorability.

So I wander the world invariably being in it but unsure of the part I play in it. 

Having a Facebook Twitter Instagram break deliver to me the affection I felt when I returned to Facebook coz I didn’t want to rude by not accepting, reading and responding to messages.

I tend to be overwhelmed with awkwardness when peopling. Do they think of me in the terms I know them. I can only be me. I connect with the data the internet opens up and it delights me. It is light and easy. To know but not be known. To experience is limited to who you are. You can be brave or hidden, passionate or reserved, sublime or subdued.

I will reflect on this day and eat fudge!

Thank you to all my friends, you messages mean a lot. I am humbled at being in your thoughts and claiming just a fragment of you scrolling energies.

Mindful reflection - today


Today has been filled with SparkArts Festival prep. The opening announcement was recorded today and a selection of children’s poems by 2 amazing young siblings sparky and fresh.

The afternoon was the weekly digital production meeting which focused on the festival launch on January 20th.

It’s a 30 presentation and 15 min Q&A. There will be 2 sessions, one for the Festival’s business, civic and corporate champions and one for the family audiences of the featured companies.
I have the coming days to digest and absorb the programme and meet the teams bringing each piece to life. 

Lots of work between now and mid February. Pace and prospect.

Breathe and goodnight x


#ACMC21 - Dates in the Diary - pt2

Arts & Cultural Management Conference: Revisiting Boarders conference later this month is taking place over 3 days (28-30 January). Participants are invited to deepen the conversation through the key themes:

REsilience // REinterpret // REimagine

I am seriously missing the intellectual stimulation of conference. A presented program of speakers all top of their fields, influencers in the professional communities. I’ve organised conferences, hosted events, spoken on stage, delivered workshops, anchored live-streams, live blogged and simply attended.

The pure attendance is so very elusive. I learnt in the early social media and networking days that you can’t be in 2 places at once. Experiences are left wanting.

I guest blogged I live tweeted as an interpretive channel. Take in a talk and listen for tweet-able gems. I’ve moderated hashtags and curated feeds. Reading the flow and filling the gaps again being an I interpretive channel.

Some speakers require your full attention. Some speakers need absorbing. Some speakers demand amplification. As an attendee you can not do both. I do not enjoy doing both as neither objective is accomplished effectively.

Walking that line of being present  on the ground and engagement in the cloud has fundamentally changed with the decimation of the professional events industry following the dawn of Covid.

I have had my interests in corporate hospitality events and the entertainment industry. I have sat the audiences of both. I have served both. I have been invited to talk. And all have been rewarding.

Now is a new time and a new dawn. No one has any less to say or share. It’s all digital now.

In 2014 my biggest livestream commission took me to Reykjavik

I was trying to market the extended audience concept and had returned it to a ferocious back burner with the heat of hope turned up high.

The Arts & Audiences extended audience experience session archive is still live, is still a vibrantly connected to its 2014 content as its is to you reviewing the legacy.

I want the attendee experience. The digital experience.

I have my first conference of 2021. Speakers I want to hear speak. Fellow attendees in theory feel the same. This combination is fire.

“#ACMC21 aims to provide an engaging space for students and emerging professionals to explore, question, and discuss what borders mean in today’s world, especially within the arts and culture field.”

It is from a post by networked connection and a conference speaker John Whall I discovered the conference in my LinkedIn feed. I will be blocking out my schedule saving on travel and accommodation but hoping to connect through the hashtag and selected conference platform while staying at home.

  1. Review the programme
  2. Identify ‘must be present for’ sessions
  3. Looking for the conference corridors / break out social opportunities
  4. Booking my ticket

Will there be conference corridors? I expect so, If not I may create one. At least for friend and network colleagues to come and meet. Hey, if the conference organisers read this they might ask me to create or host one.


I’m particularly interested in QUAD's Digital Participation Curator John Whall a close to home contact who I have not seen in a really long time and is a valued contact.

The conference is a joint initiative with The European Network on Cultural Management and Policy (ENCATC), aiming to foster innovative and necessary conversations with the theme of REvisiting Borders.  

It even has an Audience Europe Network essence  with several familiar names including Steven Hadley with Audience Agency, phenomenal speakers and practitioners. Steven’s Democracy of Audiences interest is particularly close to my heart.

The press released post shared by John thrilled even further as his presentation is wandering into the realm of VR too.

“Under the conference themes of REsilience, REinterpret and REimagine, John will be delving into virtual reality (VR) to deliver a practical presentation around ‘Participant-Led Engagement and the Reimagining of Exhibitions and Collections Using Immersive Technologies’. The session will be delivered in VR and demonstrate live research in how galleries and museums can work with community groups in changing how we create, see and show exhibitions using VR and AR (augmented reality). “

Quoting John the release added: “QUAD has been part of developing some exciting VR and AR content over the past few years. From exhibiting artist to partnerships with technology companies, my role in this time has involved exploring where communities and socially engaged arts practice can not only be a part of the processes involved, but also provide new creative opportunities for participants to create new work, as well as reimagine existing ones. The 2020 lockdown showed that there is a huge interest in showing and seeing exhibitions and collections in digital spaces, but what I’m really interested in is how those that visit those spaces can have an impact on them. ” 

So exited.

Visit the ACMC website for more information on attending the conference -  


The 2021 ACMC is a joint initiative with ENCATC, aiming to foster innovative and necessary conversations with the theme of REvisiting Borders. #ACMC21 aims to provide an engaging space for students and emerging professionals to explore, question, and discuss what borders mean in today’s world, especially within the arts and culture field.

ACMC 2021 Full Schedule

From across the world selected speakers will deliver presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, poster presentations, artistic performances and networking sessions at ACMC 2021.

See the full event agenda

Source Reference links