It almost didn't happen. 10 minutes before the first soundcheck my MacBook decided to display the spinning beachball of doom from a restart initiated over 30 min previous. I was able to make the decision to swap out my ageing Mac for MinorOaks backup for loan Chromebook. All went well. You aren't going to get studio quality from the Lunchtime Livestreams... why? All guests are invited for their relevance and not their tech provision! I have lined Casee's album below if you want to hear the studio mastered version of the playout song, Super and the Hummingbird Album embedded from Bandcamp.
Available on Desktop from a browser and it has an app for iPad.
The screenshots in this post have been captured and annotated using Skitch
Storify it - Share it - Embed it
Sign up for FREE Storify account.
Once you have signed up I recommend finding the account settings and completing your profile, adding a photo and cover banner. Storify doesn't have an internal platform community it's a platform tool, but readers can follow your account and like-wise you can follow storify publishers.
Its not compulsory but it makes you look professional in the eyes of your audience. First impressions do count. Let your content speak for you not the neglected, incomplete profile pages.
(aside... I also dislike badly cropped avatar images. There is no excuse for butchering your branch graphic or having a badly framed head-shot... check out browser based image editor Pixlr)
But if you are in a big rush to create your first Storify go ahead and click the 'New Story' button.
The Storify interface is nice and clean. Not too fussy but it does contain lots of features mainly to help you bring in content from a wide range of social media platforms.
In this post I'm just looking at finding media from one event posted on Twitter using the Hashtags #ARC15, #ARC2015 and the keyword EquityUK.
Storify Basics... title, description, Social Media source, search term, refinements, build your Storify.
Use the 'Insert' button for adding headings, text boxes and horizontal rule lines to divide sections in your narrative.
The simplicity of Storify's click, hold, drop and drag mechanic, left column to right, click and hold on media element, dragging up and down, placing items above or below one another is so easy. Do remember browser based apps can become unresponsive due to the nature of the internet connection you are using while moving graphic elements around. If the platform stops fully responding to your clicks and drags - pause, check the project has saved (that status displays beside the Publish button) and refresh your screen. Better loose a little than loose the lot.
The screenshots above show searching and adding elements from Twitter. Creating a Storify of this event in pictures was the aim. Media can be collected from lots of other sources. Even individual URL's (universal resource locators) like the .jpg graphic being inserted shown below.
Storify accommodates (and a few others)
There are lots of platforms, tools and services for media capture especially. I tend to favour ones that easily integrate with and offer sharing to the major audience focused platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and platforms such as Storify do that brilliantly while making media accessible when telling your story.
Once all the media elements / assets are dragged where you want them its time to curate the storyline of your project. Dragging further than one element up or down can get tricky as your screen scrolls by while you look for the location to slot in an element you want to relocate. The Reorder optional view makes rearranging a lot easier.
Very quickly you can have a document for publication. Look at the draft preview before publishing.
All done... you can add more elements at your leisure.
The next step and a reason why I love Storify is being able to notify via custom tweets the people who have contributed to the story you have pieces together. Storify finds all the twitter names and helps you share to those who will want to share it too.
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".
On May 19, 20, 21 around 200 Equity members gathered in Birmingham to debate, discuss and vote on the motions submitted from across the association which will shape the next 12 month of Equity's policy making, campaigning and industry contract negotiations. It was also a valuable opportunity for members representing their Branches and committees to meet each other to talk shop and drink beer!
From the arrival at Birmingham New Street Station I was 'on the ground' making media... as I do, when I can. I can't help it. Why? I'm compelled to share. No one can be every where and remote audience engagement is a fascination of mine. This event was special. One, its a direct way I can contribute to the industry closest to my heart and two, it's an opportunity to scrutinise social media adoption and application amongst its workers and practitioners.
Did this mean no social media? Not in the least, Equity selectively tweeted, posted to Facebook and the hashtag #ARC2012 was initiated, monitored and engaged enabling interested tweeters to follow the main activity of the conference. The beauty of twitter is it's function as a back channel, being able to connect with fellow representatives and those unable to attend and exchange pleasantries.
Having watched the twitter activity over the last few years it was heartening to see a mark increase of chatter before and during the conference. The interest in social media, especially twitter has increased too. The concern how ever was the development of skills with a fear of personal networks mixng with professional and fan base connection was high.
Although the FEU (Federation of Entertainment Unions) do provide web training the entry level and resulting real skills Equity members need is that of entry level, absolute beginners with access to the hardware not to mention the connectivity being voiced as the hurdles to engagement.
I'm heading to the ARC in Birmingham as an observer this weekend.
A quick intro to the ARC (Annual Representative Conference)?
EquityUK's ARC takes place every year, usually in the Spring. It is normally held in London for two years running and then in a different part of the country (the members choose), This year Birmingham plays host. It is the opportunity for the Council and Representatives from the committees and branches to come together to propose and debate policy, and move forward the work of the union. Decisions that are passed at the ARC with a two thirds majority are binding on the union and become policy. Representatives are elected and the conference usually lasts for 2 days with the agenda being broken down into debates on Recorded Media, Live Performance, Union Structure, Equality, Health and Safety, Communications and Membership Services. Members who are not involved in a committee or branch but would like to attend the ARC can come as an Observer.
You may know I sit on the Independent Theatre Committee so why am I attending as an observer? Official representatives have voting rights and for several years I have attended in this capacity on several occasions. I have one official duty this year and that is to host a fringe session taking an up close and personal look at the much derided Equity website. Love it or loathe it, it's ours. It's not so bad it needs a little community participation but I have to admit it's not straight forward. I hope I can encourage a few represenatives to give the site, especialy the membes area a second glance.
If you aren't an Equity member you can follow the tweets and Facebook posts. If you are a member you will need your Equity membership number and your password to get the inside insight.
So... this is me and this is what I'll be doing Sunday lunch time 12.30. As it's a biog for the programme its in the 3rd person. Thought I'd share it here too.
Caron worked as a stagemanager before retraining at a web designer in 2003. In 2006, As she realised she was not a designer social media emerged and slowly the realisation hit that being a stagemanager was harder to escape than she first thought! Caron is an event specialist with an unhealthy knowledge of social media! From creating social networks for Arts Council England’s Amb:IT:ion program and Pilot Theatre's Shift Happens conferences, live streaming interactive coverage for Architects Journal and Audiences Europe to Twitter 'conversation curation' (digital show calling) audience engagement and event support are the common theme. As a consultant Caron provides the knowledge and training organisations or individuals need to make media, connect and talk across the web in real time.
In 2010 Caron, along with video blogger and brand advocate Phil Campbell joined forces as collaborators and set up FibreCamp an HD community web studio and 'on the ground' real time event team. Caron is an elected member of Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee and has been an SMA (Stage Management Association) board member and chair of Equity's StageManagement committee.
Caron has two signature events she runs, MediaCampNottingham and Technology on Trial.
She is here at the the Equity ARC to put the Equity website on trial. In this session we will look at the site from the outside in and gain some insight in to:
* How we can make this site work for us as Equity members
* Master its foibles to share and promote our committee and branch activities
* Optimise our profiles to stay better informed of Equity's activities
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
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
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.
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.