I wonder? Feed

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?

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.



Mist, Rain, Zebra Print, Sharp Light,


Unfiltered reality?

How do your notate your world for recall?

How do you share it with others?

Social Media in practice

As I adventure and explore the web new tools, services and web 2.0 platforms emerge, evolve and disappear. Some platforms become firm favorites while others get superseded. It may be that new services provide better features, new features or more aesthetically pleasing environments to work within. User experience is as important as an audiences. It may be the discovery of a new medium is easier to update or enhances the reach and distribution of content. Take this blog for example. I love the Typepad platform. It is contained and very stable, it is also well established. Since creating my first post back in 2007 it has had a purpose, to document my practice and journey. I want it to be about my practice, a place to share my findings and a place to evaluate my progress. This also means I intend it to be read by a certain audience, those who are interested in what I am doing or want to know what I'm up to as a practitioner. I've never wanted it to be a news feed or a revenue generator. I do however want it to reflect my activity across the entire landscape of social media. I want to aggregate my highs and lows, my challenges and celebrations. This is my showcase. But currently it is rather neglected. This is my reflection.

This blog should

  • Report my activities
  • Review my progress
  • Regale my milestones
  • Renew my thinking

This blog should aggregate my activity. As my last post was in August it is at present and resounding failure! Failure is not to be reviled but learnt from and resolved through self discovery. I know I need to formally blog more but I enjoy the adventure, I enjoy the exploration, I love to share.

Where is CJ on the web? The side columns collate some of that activity.

I love AudioBoo. Since getting my iPhone 4 this audio blogging service has released me for my terror of typing text. It has an embeddable widget and can be seen in the column on the right. I can also embed individual 'Boos' in to posts. This is my latest at the time of writing this post.

Audioboo produces excellent quality audio recordings with out having to worry about bad hair days! After recording hit the publish button, take a photo to accompany the post, add a title, some contextual tags even a twitter hashtag before finishing with the save & upload button. AudioBoo autoposts to Twitter so I can share my interviews and personal musings immediately with my Twitter followers. Adding an event hashtag pushes the media to the hashtag stream too. Brilliant. I hope you can see why I love this platform.

AudioBoo also autoposts to Posterous.

I love Posterous. Blogging with nothing more than an email address. It also has a neat iPhone app. The email subject line is the post's title, the body text in the email becomes the blog post content and audio, video and image files can be attached just as you would into an email. Hit send and hey presto you are published. I tend to post event audio and photos there. No great insights just a record of the event for friends who were unable to attend to listen to. Its quick and simple. Posterous content does not feed in to this blog.

Gregg Fraley talks to January's Second Wednesday crowd

The link above is my Posterous post of Photos, Audio captured with LiveScribe and an intoductory sentance to the Second Wednesday event I attended. Posterous has autoposting abilities but I select to cross post manually to Twitter preventing AudioBoo and Posterous making identicle posts. Social Media echos are just so annoying!

Who are you?

IdentityTheft3-KIPSANG Online this is a question of no considered consequence and an arena for contrasting hysteria.


Signing up to a new network, registering on a site or subscribing to a service we freely give away our email address. It's a currency of sorts and we often don't see it in that way. The most common example is parting with your email address to download a white paper or access a PDF promising knowledge and insight. This transaction is an arrangement where you have given permission to receive updates from the producer of the knowledge or insight. Newsletter rules and regulations exist to prevent exploitation of email address connection.

Who are you?

An email address do not identify you. A street address does not define you. It locates you. Other forms of ID often accepted include utility bills. These do not define you they assert your commitment to make and maintain a payment schedule. What constitutes provable qualified identity?

Licence_image_14 Avatar is a word that have emerged with the digital age a symbol, image, picture or photo representing you in an online space. Is this also true of the offline world too? In the UK the major accepted forms of ID are a passport and a drivers license. But what if you have never traveled or learnt to drive a car? With a drivers license the introduction of the photo license is relatively new. "Until July 1998 driving licenses outside Northern Ireland did not have photographs. Anyone who holds a license issued before this date may retain their photo-less license until expiry (normally one's seventieth birthday) or until they change address, whichever comes sooner." wikipedia What about the 'old' birth certificate? No photo, no validity?

It's only when your life journey is halted because your face doesn't appear on apiece of plastic that you realise just how limited proving offline identity is. Sadly it ends a dream. In a few weeks my partner (a traditional media and oil painter) and I are due to make a pilgrimage to his childhood summer holiday retreat. For years he has wanted to take this holiday but the cottage is very popular. Its going to be this year and recently the announcement of iPhone 4's HD video, improved camera and combined connectivity... the all in one media capture and productivity devise for a artist to create media with out a pack full of kit.

Is there a solution or is identity in the commercial world destined to dissolve. Captured reflection the only real you?

Who are you?

QR codes - in action. Your turn.

I've recently been including QR codes and their potential use within business to amplify Social Media. To connect offline media with online activity. Thought I'd share this on my blog.

The applications I use and recommend are:

Mobile BarCodes
(for code generation, I use this one)
(for code generation, I use this also)

http://qrcode.kaywa.com (for generating codes)
http://reader.kaywa.com (for QR code reader)

The code reader I have installed on my phones is UpCode

A pause for thought... when creating a QR code think about the value of the destination being accessed on a mobile devise. It should be a location directly relevant and information oriented for the user.  An article, a podcast, a video greeting an event or promotion code. For Creative Nottingham I'd suggest a QR code to the RSS feed http://www.creativenottingham.com/feed/atom or to a mobile optimised version of the Creative Nottingham site using Mippin Mobilizer http://www.mippinmaker.com

I've featured QR code potential in my presentation to BAFA (British Arts Festivals Association), E-business Club's Transitional ICT breakfast briefing around the East Midlands and for Creative Nottingham's social media introduction presentation based on the one day workshops I delivered to the FEU training (Federation of Entertainment Unions).

It's my objective to help business understand and leverage social media of all kinds. QR codes seem to has spiked great interest. For example on my business card I have to linking to a publication on ISSUU, Twitter for Beginners. 

T4B QRcode Get a code reader for your phone and try it. 

Let me know what you think? Useful?

23 June 2010 - Update... further pointers
This post was originally triggered by a presentation I delivered to Creative Nottingham and subsequently became a topic for discussion in their huddle network. I've blogged my initial pointers as thought they'd make an informative blog post. I added this to the discussion. Creative Nottingham's Susi O'neill created an optimised version of their web site as a result of the discussion.

"When including a QR on printed material I'd also consider the life span of the material. If it's going to be around for a while you might consider creating a QR code to a specific page you can edit containing links with the Mippin optimised version being top. This then becomes a mobile resource which you can update with out invalidating the QR code on the printed material.That would be solution if you add incentives at a later date as you suggested in your post.

Directing a QR code to the Mippin version would be dynamic of course as it would update when you added a post to the main site."

Nottingham Contemporary - can anyone enlighten me?

Guest blogger - Daniel Rose - www.danielroseart.co.uk

@DanielRoseArt on Twitter

Danroseart-AVATAR As an artist living and working in Nottingham I've been pretty excited about the prospect of having a decent contemporary art venue on my doorstep since I first heard news of the development of the 'Nottingham Contemporary' art space.

I've shamefully had my head stuck in the sand doing commercial artwork until recently and have not been involved or even much aware of the planning or development of this project over the past few years, but I do know that it involves a lot of public money both locally and nationally so I presume as a tax contributor and artist that I do have a stake in this space. I've been excited to find all the online tools being used to promote Nottingham Contemporary - a well presented website with RSS feed, a Facebook presence etc. This all looks so promising.

But a few concerns have begun to trouble me about NC as we approach the venue's official opening date on 14th November 2009. I am aware of the local controversy regarding costs, but I have also recently been involved in conversations with a few city based artists and interested residents who were around at the very start of the project and attended public meetings about the plans and mission for this space, as well as attempting to engage the Director and board with their concerns. They sadly report a much more worrying outlook for the role of this venue with regard to its relationship (or lack of) with artists and creatives in Nottingham, as opposed to those being brought in from the wider national and international art scenes to exhibit.Being a project heavily funded with public money (a large percentage coming from Nottingham City Council Tax), I would expect at least a partial role of this major new institution to be with the promotion of artists actually living in Nottingham, alongside artists from the wider contemporary scene. But my associates report that this may not necessarily be the case.

We know that the building development for NC is excessively over it's initial budget, naturally raising concerns as to the appropriateness of how public money has been spent. It's all too easy (and remember I'm an artist who is excited about this) to suspect that certain individuals and companies involved in the development will have already profited quite handsomely before it even opens. If, then, it isn't really going to establish and nurture creative links with local artists alongside their international contemporaries then I have to question what the project is really about and how Nottingham is really going to benefit from it.

But I'm a concerned individual without very much information at this time, and this is my real reason for raising this discussion. I am essentially looking to gather as many facts and views as I can about NC, what it is intended to be and how it has been conceived. Some of this I can infer from those associated with the project and my various web searches, but some appears to be somewhat sketchy in nature. I will be making enquiries to the Board and Director directly, but before I do this I really want to hear information and views (both positive and dissenting).

So please, help me understand more about this venue and what it's really all about.


Dan has created a Facebook group for the debate to take place.

"Nottingham Contempory" free discussion group

Why blog?

I Twitter a lot. @pcmcreative The easy 140 characters where I can find out what my friends are up to. 140 characters where links can be posted to articles to inform and educate whether its for business insight or artistic engagement. 140 characters for quick updates and information from conferences I could never afford to attend or have the time to go to. 140 characters to pass on these things I discover to my network.

Twitter is the lazy man's blogging? Twitter is effortless engagement, instant gratification. But for something more than a fleeting connection? Something which defines my business and demonstrates my passion and understanding it has to be a blog.

Exploring the web for resources in order to share the benefits is my mission. Doing this without being stuck behind a desk. Especially useful if your work does not revolve around an office environment.

I have discovered so much. I have shared my findings at workshops and delivered presentations to ignite curiosity for the web adventure. Now is the time to unlock my toy box and share it with you.

So why blog? To publish findings, share resources and network knowledge.

Must try harder to blog!

Community Broadband - We all stand together

I get asked "How do you build an online community?" often in my line of work. I reply... Well...it takes time. Its a bit like gardening actually you need the right conditions for growth and you need good seeds. A community will only ever be as good as the people who take part. It has to be nurtured and cared for. You hope the seeds germinate, the seedlings thrive and flowers bloom. Can the garden be sustained without the Gardener?

But there can be no online activity with out a reliable Internet connection.

At a recent web meet up and chat-fest called Amplified09 I sat in on a discussion about a report published in January 2009 called The Digital Britain - interim report. In the morning before the event I was attending there had been a press conference by DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) the keynote speech from Lord Carter.

As a business owner, web designer and digital practitioner hearing talk of a Digital Britain, importance of the creative industries to the UK economy, nation wide broadband and how to deliver this I listened intently wondering why I hadn't got a clue what they were talking about. The report itself is dense reading and I confess too much for me, so I scoured the web for a crib notes version to help me put some context to this report so I could read it with a little understanding. My searches bought up Not-Spots, High speed fibre broadband and the importance of community access. Two sites gave me the foundations I looked for, NESTA with their video archive of the press briefing I mentioned earlier and CBN (Community Broadband Network). On the CBN site I discovered the Next Gen Access road shows with one being held in Nottingham. I wanted to find out more. I was beginning to realise I wanted my networks and clients to know about this too. I'm still not sure what its all about and how its going to be implemented but I can see how important it is for the future of effective and efficient communication for business, our economy and community in the UK.