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.
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 Broughand 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?
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?
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?
"Don't add technology to way you do things. Change the way you do things when you know what technology can do" A quote I use throughout my presentations and workshops. Its part of what I refer to as foundation thinking. Thanks go to Marcus Romer, artistic director of Pilot Theatre for this line of genius.
Way back in 2007 at the launch of the newly negotiated Equity ITC contract agreement at Hampstead Theatre I had conversation that ignited my social media journey and restructured by business. It's Marcus's fault that I joined Facebook! The conversation and consequent collaboration took me in to Second Life and entwined my life irrevocably with this social media phenomenon.
I upgrade my technology when I discover features or learn of functions my current tool set or equipment can't provide. This has driven my mobile phone upgrades and it has now inspired my upgrade from paper note book to Live Scribe.
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
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.
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."
It is always my objective with PCM creative to breakdown the huge umbrella term "social media" in to avenues of application rather than focusing on the gadgets, platforms, tools and services themselves.
"Don't add technology to the way you do things, change the way you do thinks when you know what the technology can do"
Over the past 2 years as my business, PCM creative has evolved from web design integrating social spaces, social networks, social platforms, tool and sharing services to an integrating social resources consultancy and media making service I've learnt as much from putting together the presentations, workshops and courses as the delegates I've delivered to.
It has altered the course of my business and provided me with tremendous opportunities and humbling network connections. It has enabled me to investigate the many facets and case studied business benefits social media affords hand on sharing the findings and experience of that journey with my clients as they begin there's.
This time last year I delivered a series of Breakfast Briefing for Business Link introducing the fundamentals of social media for business.
The reception was if I'm honest a little cold. I generated a murmur of
interest. I was under scrutiny and encountered a lot of sceptics.
Bottom line and ROI, metrics all of which were in their infancy. Not
all the responses were negative and closed. I did make connections and
started companies and organisations off on their own social media
adventure. In most instances it was direction, focus on existing
defined USPs and reassurance that the platforms they had stumbled upon,
the ones bubbling up in the mainstream could be applied effectively to
business. The ongoing dialogue was also important especially
discussions on how their online networks were flourishing and sharing
progress reports to develop a strategy going forward. More than
anything this support ignited the development we later work on to
emerge as projects or campaigns.
This time I aimed to expand on this further introducing the advanced such as Geo Locating mobile apps, QR codes and Flowtown. I'm finding curiosity and journeys that have begun and most encouragingly probing questions to get the most from the platforms rather than blind adoption.
MediaCamp is an "unconference". Once the date of an event is announced a wiki type collaboration web presence is created. Anyone wishing to attend, assist or present are free to update the collaborative space to declare their intentions.
MediaCampLondon3 was slightly different in that an event platform Eventbrite provided a payment system and event portal for delegates with the Venue details, sponsors, event info, directions and delegates signed up to attend in an Eventbrite event page. During sign up intention to present and a request for a session title was included in the form. Links included in the body of the event page aggregated relevant web content:
Here we are at part 2 of my MediaCampLondon post... after lunch
A suggested topic caught my eye when the event details first appeared online.
Social Media Ethics
Whether its codes of conduct, best practice or end user policy the accepted structural controls laid out relating to Social Technology are in their infancy. Protection or Oppression? Safe access or restricted boundaries? Who is the protected? Knowledge is power and with it comes responsibility. Following a consistent code of behavior and practice backing up open and honest engagement builds trust.
Since my first engagement with virtual worlds and then social media acceptable behavior in a space with faceless encounters and constructed reality, who are we? Has intriged me. Who are you?
Actors play their roles in a play, become the characters they portray but when the curtain goes down they are the character no longer. Playing roles, trying on different morals and behaviours is one of the underlying attraction to actors. Being someone else. The greatest actors draw from an inner reservoir of experiences but they slowly drown if they loose sight of who they really are. Identity is wrapped up with ethics.
I spent over 6 months playing one character in a play each performance was 60 minutes living as someone else. Playing a role and living your life. This is all very esoteric, how does this relate to social media?
Ethics at MediaCamp
Sylwia Presley presented Social Media Ethics. The session began with a 20min presentation and continued as a Q&A discussion.
Sylwia talks with great authority using case study examples to illustrate her key headlines. Real stories, of successes and failings throughout the public consciousness of social media. And not illustrated ad-nausium with statistics.
The only difference between online and offline content is the communication channel. I knew I was going to learn valuable insights when Sylwia expressed this sentiment.
It was about message not method. Delivering a consistent message across an organisation needs formalising but as her presentation illustrated, not solidifying. These formalised rules set out guidelines of best practice. While referencing Twitter Sylwia noted Twitter ettiquette with ethics evolving as behaviours change. How to behave, what is acceptible? what is not. These things do change. The use of auto-response tweeting to new followers was just one example.
The field of Ethics is notoriously difficult to define. Everyone's ethics differ by degrees.
So...How to capture without distraction?
I decided to Qik, live stream to my Qik account. (with Sylwia's permission) The thing a like about this method of capture is not having content hanging around waiting for action. Point and Shoot, the upload takes place in real time and with a player embedded in my blog I have instant blog content. Qik also provides a share facility enabling me to tweet the fact I am streaming live in case any one in my network should want to watch.
Sylwia presented for 20 minutes which I streamed. The following Q&A I did not stream. This was a conscious decision one take, no distractions or frustrations that I just missed a great phrase. I listened as a delegate while capturing the content.
Very few people in my current environment will give
virtual worlds any time. I however am passionate about them as business assets
(even if only a 3D extension of a 2D website or social space) As a result I'm
little reserved in who I offer my Virtual World service to. Cynicism and
inflexible thinking towards the social web is a tough nut to crack.
The current leap of faith is social media. Businesses
are running headlong in to a light they spent most of 2008 and 09 declaring as
an absurd waste of time but now it's becoming mainstream everyone is at it for
better or worse!
Virtual worlds are still a leap too far here and now.
I'd be happy to make my skills and experiences available to your organisation
if you require input.
… I continued.
In SecondLife I have been Custodian and Curator of
Pilot Theatre's 3D presence since 2007. It's dormant but the company feel it's
important to keep it, even mothballed as it is. I am hoping to spend a little
time updating and housekeeping in the year to come. The location is Pilot
Theatre in SL search. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Earth/210/35/27
I have curated events in SL as a host in-world and as
a coordinator facilitating chat streams across group chat windows for live
music events within SL running back channels for the event team and venue chat
for the audience/delegates and live streamed real world events in
Livestream.com. A basic event includes monitoring and engaging a multi-streamed
Twitter audience too. Most importantly I'm an approachable entity in the
off-line, virtual world or online environment.
I've been described as an Internet Fairy, Event Guide,
and Ambassador, essentially I help my client’s participants/event
delegates new to online social spaces/community or event, online or virtual,
experience the events and ultimately help them feel at ease with the
technological interface. That is the highest hurdle! Just like the magic of
theatre, virtual worlds require participants to suspend disbelieve and become
immersed. You can't dip in your toe you have to give yourself over to it for
the time the experience lasts.
Where do I come from? (This was my attempt to quantify
the circumstances throughout my career that bought me to the point I am today)
I was a theatre stagemanager before moving in to digital tech development as
the social media phenomenon exploded on to the scene. Here I found my niche as an
online and virtual event curator and network custodian.
I use the research, resource and acquisitioning skills
from my theatre days. "Attention to detail and fiscal compromising
scales" to balance budgetary restraints capitalising on freemium social
media tools, services and platforms to develop digital development strategies
for creative organisations and creative thinking businesses.
A virtual world asset is a development I offer to
clients who see beyond the 2D realm of webpages. Most frequently it is 2D web
development and enhancement I am consulted on. Clients want to bring social
media consumers to their websites to purchase goods and services.
The time of the virtual community will emerge, some
are here now. Social Media consumption is the current tidal rip.
I'd welcome digital development and virtual world
commissions and be delighted to discuss any area of interest to you (and to you
blog reader – thanks for reading this far) from my response
Aside to blog readers... "When did your conversation begin?"