productivity Feed

Chrome Browser Extension I used today... Eyedropper (sample any colour in a single click)

There are browser extensions I use all the time. Many of them are the reason I use Google’s Chrome Browser. Today I opened a new brand guidelines colour swatch palette with CMYK reference but no hex code values. This was no problem because I have Eyedropper. There are frequent occasions while putting graphics together or creating document and need to colour match to mirror brand colours that I need a colour code from a block of colour on the website. This is the extension for that.

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Digitise vs Digitalisation

This is profoundly relevant and routed in a guiding principle that has long been quoted by me imparted by one of my greatest influencers Marcus Romer. “Don’t add technology to the way you do things. Change the way you do things once you know what technology can do.”

This is distilled as 2021 opens in to summer rephrased like origami to Digitalise not Digitise.

What does this mean for lockdown innovations in screen and live performed online theatre? Blended and Remote attendance, digital live evaporating into on demand.
John Maeda’s medium article referees to business innovations.

“Digitizing is easy, but succeeding in digitalization these days requires care and attention to the design of an experience if you are intending to charge a premium.”

Digitizing: Taking what is an existing process or activity and making it electronic to create cost efficiencies.

Digitalizing: Realizing an entirely new digital business that can take on the likes of Amazon or Netflix to generate new topline revenue.

Michael Fisher tweeted below John’s medium in my timeline. The two synchronised tweets inspired today’s post.

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It’s easy to get light headed by the overwhelming newness of each and every day. It’s easy to allow anxiety to wash over me. The digitalised horizons are revealed the closer you approach. I want as much time as I can embrace. But the world is moving faster than I want to move. Faster than I can competently process. 

That internal metronome will orchestrate me through. We are entering exciting times.
Transformation. I like this concept.

Analogue heart and a digitalised soul.

“Uniquely work in progress” is how I feel.

Perhaps that should go on my grave stone!


Not very PC

I have not done battle with a windows PC in a while. The days of continually dancing with memory management, temporary folder emptying, defragmentation etc etc. I am not qualified to be anywhere near the run command entering regedit or sys anything! And all because the physical memory in my little windows 10 Acer laptab is running high and yet running very little.

With only 2GB of memory I suspected that might have something to do with it.

For day to day I’m an unapologetic Mac fan.

I made the transition precisely because of the above!

But for additional computing and to keep my basic Windows familiarity skills I or Windows only required services I do have a couple of windows laptops.

So what did I do and did I succeed in making my little laptab functional? Back in the day when all my computing PC tech was with Windows I wanted the most efficient running machine. Every action lowered the optimal. And it never stopped. In the end it was the noise of the cooling fans that turned the page.

I did not miss the registry hacks to force the virtual memory to extend beyond the ‘let windows know what is best for me’ settings  Did those hoops still remain?

Oh boy do they! I actually laughed out loud when I saw the first one. I considered my self a Windows novice going into this. I’d put this toe dip to optimising a Windows 10 machine off for a while. And to launched immediately into a run command to make a change in the registry is hilarious.

I ended up installing a couple of utility programmes. Uninstalling a stealth install from an antivirus company before finally watching some YouTube videos reviewing the make and model finding a vid demonstrating how to install a new memory strip to upgrade from 2GB to 8GB.

I’ll be pleased to return to work on Monday to my low maintenance iMac!

Video Playlist for the useful vids.

Search - Physical Memory high usage Windows 10

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Utilities Applications

  • CC cleaner
  • PC cleaner
  • Wise Memory

Downloading from YouTube

Moving media from A to B or collecting from A to show at C.

Frequently media is uploaded or streamed to YouTube and the request then comes, Can I extract it for use by permission. That is key here. This service I’m sharing requires responsible consent. 
Need to share a video from your desktop for events minimising up and down bandwidth traffic?

Downloading from YouTube

https://yt1s.com/

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The anatomy of the internet pt1

Yep I’m committing myself to a series! 

Lets talk about BANDWIDTH and Home Broadband. What wisdom can I impart? This is a fundamental I want to share.

Your broadband internet connects has several parts.

  • Upload speed
  • Download speed
  • Ping rate
  • Jitter

The combination of all these determines how STABLE and ROBUST your connection is.

Download is the speed always quoted and for watching and browsing Download is king.

Upload is the speed no one talks about but is equally vital in the day of immersion and participation its the speed in which you are able put information up on to the internet. Upload is necessary and the invariable overlooked.


Ping and Jitter should be low and by monitoring these figures you can judge the HEALTH of your connection.

This is my connection its extremely STABLE and HEALTHY (this is the general state of play with my connection)

I have a business connection and I pay £38.50

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This Speedtest recommendation is one of my 12apps from 2020

Uploading is as separate metric to Downloading. For live-streaming 2MB up and down is adequate. A good strong mobile signal can be just as stable, just as robust.

My current mobile signal is not great but it’s cost effective and flexible. 

This is a perfectly adequate bandwidth. A mobile unit (MiFi) is the best way to get the most from mobile internet. 

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My mobile provider is GiffGaff I pay £10 a month.

I think this is the shortest video I have uploaded to YouTube!

Do get in touch / comment if you want to know more.I better start thinking about part 2!


Livescribe - Lonely in Lockdown

Prior to Covid my most trusty and assistive piece of technology was my Livescribe Pen. I have an eBay search running looking for pens on sale I buy for colleagues and clients when compiling essential tech and media making kit boxes.

During lockdown along with my mobile power packs my livescribe pens have sat idol.

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In lockdown I have spent all my working from my desktop computer. My magic notebook has been set aside. 

Analogue pen and pen, digital transcription with audio accompanying. Searchable digital version. Handwriting to text. But it needs sound in the room to capture.

During lockdown for most of my meetings I have worn headphones. So I’d have a lot of one sided conversations! A year or so ago I discovered Otter. It was for its dictation but it really blossomed when it’s Zoom integration emerged. I was looking into closed captions and top of the list popped Otter.

The connection transcribes my Zoom calls to text as well as storing a copy of the audio without having to remember to hit record.

It’s dyslexic peace of mind. The big bonus is that is affords me the concentration of future recall without having to take full notes.

Plus Otter augments into Zoom’s CC api. I’ve been so impressed by Otters development during Covid. Accessibility has become priority with the events and productions I have supported.

Providing remote access can now be fully accessible too.

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Inviting you to a Social Media Spring Clean

My Post

You conceive the workshop, plan the workshop, secure a venue including connectivity for remote access, your settle on dates then its time to get the word out. The fear is always... and I mean always... What if no one comes? The reason these kinds of workshops get planned is that the word on the street, everyone you meet  seems to confirm that if you ran a workshop about this [insert conversation topic where pearls of wisdom although obvious to you really light up the face to the recipient] it would be well-received coz everyone want this knowledge.  From experience, this is not as easy as it seems when in the heat of that revelation of an idea for a workshop when mid conversation!  

Continue reading "Inviting you to a Social Media Spring Clean" »


The digital pen I use and swear by - Livescribe

LivescribePCM

I love a Notebook and Pen. I love stationery. I love technology. Livescribe is a nexus of gadgetry where productivity is in analogue and digital equilibrium!

Here is my LIVESCRIBE amazon list

 

If you buy from this carousel PCM will get a commission.


Tools: Email Tracking Power Tools

Streak_ident

I use Streak to track emails. Knowing an email has been opened is a great relief. Especially those crucial job or project proposal applications. Its not fool proof as it works by including a tiny pixel image which is requested from a server when the email is opened. So if images are turned off or other settings to prevent that data exchange are in place... well they don't want to be tracked! If all is well the following data is available. A notification pops up too when the email is opened. Very reassuring.

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Check it out I love it - https://www.streak.com/

Now on the surface it's quite complicated and when I was tracking down the info to blog this, the "CRM in your inbox" tagline made me grimace slightly. I realised that I only use the free bit, the inbox power tools so if you want to explore the CRM stuff go for it, but if like me you just need the email power tools. Yippee!

Install the extension, reboot Chrome, reopen Gmail and look for the orange Streak icon top right in the Gmail window. If it's there its running. Thats it. Next email you send a green eye should appear in the far right of email's data line.

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This is a Chrome browser extension

Streak_-_CRM_in_your_InboxLike it? Let me know. Comment below.

 


Social Media for Stage Production

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

previously posted on socialmediawomble blog - Aug 2014

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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