An Update of Thoughts & Activities

Tuttle Projects, EmptyShops in Medway (Kent),
Sustainable-Creativity, Open-Source & Open-Data,
PodCasts, Social-Media & HyperLocal-Activity-Streams
& Community-Spaces for future-thinking LikeMinds

Yesterday (02/06/10) I re-visited the blog post I published at the beginning of January 2010 entitled ‘A new year of opportunity for a Padawan‘ and I re-read the ‘Hopes for 2010’ bullet-point list that formed it’s sign-off – in doing so I was reminded of all the to-do-lists that I (and others) have since worked through; its been a busy few months, and a busy year thus far!

Now, less than six month into 2010, I’m encouraged to report that many of January’s bullet-point ‘hopes and aims’ are well on their way to being realised, some are even complete, and much more has happened to convince me that I’m personally (and professionally) on the right road – all I need to do now is appease my bank manager by building a sustainable business model out of what I know but I’ll still remember Steve Jobs advice: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish! ‘~)

In an attempt to mark some lines in my cognitive sand, I’ve decided to publish this update. What follows is last January’s re-prioritised bullet-point-list, accompanied by some written explanations – and just for the record, each point seems to me, to fit very neatly within the framework of Chris Messina’s latest SlideShare presentation (as embedded below). I hope the following provides some inspirational mind-fodder to you, and hopefully it delivers some mental-release and focus to me – putting such things in writing usually does ‘~)

Aim #1Afford travel & ticket to SXSW® Interactive, March 2010

I commence this update on a slightly ironic footing, my original #1 priority back in January was to “Update FellowCreative.com and define ‘What I Do’ so that I can provide my bank manager with some form of stable cashflow graph”. Today I find myself hesitantly declaring that I’m yet to achieve such stability but I’m very happy to report that I not only earned my way to SXSW Interactive 2010 in Austin Texas but whilst I was there I learned from, and met, many inspiring and forward-thinking people.

I didn’t find the time to specifically blog my SXSW experiences but I can say for certain that I benefited greatly from my trip in terms of knowledge, inspiration and connections – and I trust the content within ‘Social-Web for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups‘ (published in March) has since demonstrated this fact.

My trip state-side provided non-stop activity, when I wasn’t listening to presentations from the likes of Danah Boyd or Clay Shirky, or wrapped up in conversation, I was socialising with friends (some of whom I’d not met in person but had been talking to online for years) – in short, Austin left me speechless (quite literally horse upon my return) and I’d recommend the trip to anyone with an open-mind and a soft-spot for shiny things.

I’m also proud to note that during the SXSW Digital Mission Breakfast I found myself suggesting a bold idea to Intel (the world leader in silicon innovation, processor technologies and supporter of global initiatives to continually advance how people work) – it appears the idea has since been signed-off for implementation by Intel’s HR Vice President *~)

As a closing note on this, I’m also pleased to say that only days ago Nokia got in touch regarding LikeMinds in Helsinki – I will tweet as soon as I know more about the participatory four day trip, so far it sounds extremely interesting! *~)

Aim #2Organise a Tuttle101 Project (or bigger: BarCampKent)

I will assume that you are already familiar with the concept of BarCamp, and thus I’ll move onwards to an explanation of the lesser known Tuttle:

Lloyd Davis, the founder of The Tuttle Club, describes Tuttle as ‘a loose association of people finding a way of working better together both online and off.

As a Tuttle Club regular, I think of Tuttle as ‘a philosophy or approach’ more than a Club or Event; I perceive it less as a Noun or Event Name, and more as a Verb or Action ~ as in: ‘to Tuttle‘. I believe people are participants of Tuttle, not members or attendees. Everyone who experiences Tuttle walks away with their own unique experience and perception of its unframework, open-social-approach and value; but almost all those I’ve met describe it as ‘fun and inspiring’.

If you’re a likely friend of Harry Tuttle, I do hope to meet you soon:
YouTube Preview Image


My personal understanding of Tuttle continues to evolve daily but today I’ll pose the following definition: ‘a participatory action or moment in time, where the spaces between people (as individuals or in groups) provide an open-mind and conversational canvas for transversal lines and alternative angles of exploration, learning, perception, approach, collaboration, ideation and innovation, resulting in positive-participation and social-value‘ – or put simply, to Tuttle, is to have a great excuse for an open-minded conversation over a coffee or beer, plus its free to participate and provides a much better platform for social-interaction, education, inspiration and creative collaboration than any structured conference, speed-networking programme or lead generation event I’ve ever attended.

In September 09 I decided to introduce Tuttle to the community of Medway in Kent (UK) – Tuttle101 was born. Now, only eight months later there’s a ‘casual community’ mailing-list of 78+ and an expanding ‘core community’ of participants who actively propel things forward and encourage evolutions of the concept such as Tipple. Last month (17th May) Tuttle101 welcomed 19+ participants at 9:30am on a Monday, with a further 15+ appearing for Tipple101 on the evening of 25th May.
Click here for the latest info on Tuttle101 and Tipple101.

Such community participation was somewhat unexpected, but its been magically inspiring and welcomed; it has also presented challenges of time, resource and the eternal questions: So what’s Next? Is such a thing Sustainable? How could it be done better? Where’s the Value (social, financial, educational, transversal) ?

As it turned out, Tuttle Club founder Lloyd Davis had been asking the same questions – on 15th May 2010 I spent the day at TuttleCamp discussing such things amongst a small group of nationwide Tuttle participants – the agenda for the day ‘come talk about tuttle, lets see what happens’ – suffice to say it provided interesting and stimulating conversation between people who wouldn’t normally meet.

I left with a few nuggets of inspiration to ponder: 1) Tuttle – its not for everybody but it is for anybody. 2) Tuttle works best in a publicly social space such as a Café or Bar, partly because hosting drinks and washing-up is already catered for, but mostly because it automatically supports social inclusion and openness. 3) At least one person needs to assume the role of saying hello to new participants. 4) Twitter, more often than not, provides the social back-channel to Tuttle, and thus it automatically supports the unwritten rule of no business cards or name badges. 5) As highlighted by the principles of Activity Theory and Open-Source Community Management, Tuttle appears to develop both a ‘casual community’ and a ‘core community’, whilst removing any formal sense of hierarchy.

So, what’s next on the agenda for Tuttle101? Well, in many ways that’s up to the community but one core conversation from TuttleCamp continues to surface – the idea of Tuttle Projects. The concept of ‘core community participants’ being able to provide value to a wider community through collaborative projects – this interests me greatly and I hesitantly find myself paraphrasing Erasmus Darwin and Jenny Uglow’s book The Lunar Men: “a group of enlightened improvers abounding in charity’s deeds and everything valuable in human life, principles, ethics and social liberty”. The word ‘charity’ is perhaps a little misleading but ‘social-value’ is more my mindset – and already such projects have begun to present themselves:

A. Medway Council have expressed an interest to engage the Tuttle101 community in the redevelopment of their public service website – more information here. Such engagement is yet to be confirmed but things certainly look hopeful.

B. The result of much co-working and floor101.org related discussion and inspired by the national Empty Shops campaign, the tuttle101 community (@BecomeKnown @DavidBahia @OnMeJack & @FellowCreative – helped by Steve @KentishFella at Royal Tunbridge Wells #Twuttle) collaborated over the course of two days to Geo-Tag and Photograph 136 #EmptyShops across Medway – the result of which can be seen here as the beginnings of an Open-Source Platform ~ more information can be found under ‘Aim #3’ (below).

C. As the community grows and new faces arrive in the mix, opportunities and like-minded projects are beginning to present themselves, only last week I gave up a day of my time to help out Gary Weston @LightVessel21 – LV21 is a 40 metre steel-hulled lightship being transformed into a floating cultural facility, designed to provide a range of services promoting and supporting the creative industries in the Medway area and beyond. And please note, if you’re any good with paint-brushes, hammers or abseiling lights, Gary @LightVessel21 is happy to welcome all hands on deck! please ‘~) http://www.lv21.co.uk

LV21 Light Vessel

D. A PodCast, it seems that Steven @OnMeJack and myself @FellowCreative are in the midst of attempting such a production to help engage others in conversation and spread the word of local like-minds and unsigned musicians; as well as furthering discussion and connections towards HyperLocal-Activity-Streams and Community-Generated-NewspapersTheBridgePodCast is now available here!

E. The final Tuttle Project to mention is that of a KentBarCamp – at this stage there is nothing even planned, let alone confirmed, but I feel it worth mentioning that a collaborative group of like-minds is slowly forming that might just be able to realise such a feat in Kent ‘~)

If you’d like to participate, or have your own idea for a Tuttle Project(s), please do get in touch, and please do SignUp for Updates.
In addition I’d like to note: Tuttle101 is not owned by anyone, it merely exists because of its growing community of people – and this means that the community are free to shape it, use it, or discard it, as they please. With this in mind these assets are now available to help you, but please do let us know what you’re up to beforehand so we can help ‘~)

PS. I will also note that January’s ‘Aim #5 – Plan a 15,000ft LIVE-stream sky-dive for charity’ is now added to my Tuttle101 Project list but due to finance and time constraints, and a few technical checks awaiting completion, it is now at the very bottom of my priority list.

Aim #3Inspire an Open-Source Platform

When I set out this aim in January 2010 I thought it likely to be realised through http://deathbook.info (Facebook Privacy and Digital Legacy Issues) or other matters relating The Digital Economy Bill but today I simply point you in the direction of the #EmptyShops Flickr Gallery, the Public GeoTag data (longitude and latitude data) of 136 Shops across Medway, the National Empty Shops Network – and I suggest there is now a foundation upon which to build such a platform, so please do ‘~)

#EmptyShops locational-data and shop-front photos were collected during the 21st & 22nd of May 2010 between Strood, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham (Medway, Kent). Full details can be found here:

#EmptyShops #Medway – a Tuttle101 Project

Aim #4Update FellowCreative.com and define ‘What I Do’

Suffice to say that this is currently my #1 priority and I will be back with more details very soon! In the meantime I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who replied with an answer to my open question ‘What Do I Do?’ – as promised, below is a collection of your tweets, thank you for providing me such food for thought! ‘~)

What Do I Do?

“Sometimes you need someone else or something else to cultivate the great creative thinking. For a crucial piece of creative thinking we asked Carl to help facilitate us, and use his creative methodologies, his knowledge of our market but crucially his distance from our consultancy to improve our chances of making the mental jumps we needed. It worked! Carl was patient, thoughtful and used fun, theory and careful interventions to help us find ourselves some little gems of thought. A good man and one I’m happy to recommend”
Will McInnes, MD of NixonMcInnes

As I’ve said before, I believe we’re defined by What We Do, not by our Job Title’s. I still love my title ‘Creative Midwife & Joiner-of-Dots’ but ever since Will McInnes gave me his testimonial I’ve been pondering: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

List of Fellow Trustees

I trust these people with my brand and my personal reputation, they are Fellow Trustees.

I say this because I’ve worked with them all…

David Ince
Author, Film-maker, Intellectual, Designer & Do’er
Daniel Cudby
Strategic Thinker, Designer… eats Photoshop Retouching & Illustrator for breakfast
Jonathan Markwell
iPhone App, Ruby on Rails & Twitter Developer – co-worker & all round good egg!
Scott Evans
Designer & CMS Developer (XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL & WordPress)
Gemma Garner
Designer & Maker of Crafty Stuff (iPhone sleeves etc…), Ethical thinker
Christian Payne
Social Media Journalist, Video Blogger & Legendary Content Creator
Jack Butler
Generation Y Specialist, Inspiring Young People & Public Speaker
Benjamin Breckler
Designer for Mobile & Web – now working at Ribot!
Alan Offord
Graphic Designer (up-coming-talent) and Tea Drinker Extraordinaire
Gareth Rogers
Facebook Developer
Remy Sharp
jQuery, JavaScript & HTML 5
Steve Lawson
Social Media, Musician & Thinker
Ellen deVries
Brand Language Consultant & Copywriter
Josie Fraser
Social & Education Technologist, Digital Literacy, Identity & Citizenship
Paul Anderson
Sustainability Consultant
Tom Nixon
Social Media Consultancy (trust me, I don’t use that title lightly)
Jon Kossmann (Kosso)
Createch – Social-Web Developer Extraordinaire & Founder of Phreadz.com
Brian Noonan
LIVE-streaming & video-on-demand (Web & Mobile)



People I trust enough to work with at the next opportunity:

* those I’ve not met in person at least twice

Anthony Ribot – User Interface, Experience & Apps (anything Mobile)
Phil Campbell – Content Creator, Video Blogger, Social-Web planner
Ben Sauer – User Experience (UX) Consultant
Mike Little – WordPress Developer *
Ben Walker – Musical Legend & Early Adopter
Stef Lewandowski – Developer:
#DEbill http://debillitated.heroku.com & http://stef.io *
Paul Bradshaw – Blogger, Senior Lecturer in Online Journalism
Steve Purkiss – Drupal & Open Source Evangelist
Lloyd Davis – Social Artist, Community Builder
Antony Mayfiled -Digital Marketing Consultant
Oisin Lunny – Music & Social Technology
Ilicco Elia – Mobile, Web & iTV (high-value strategy)
Victoria Lennox – Enterprise & Academic Policy
Little Laura – Designer & Web Developer (with solid code and ethics)
Benjamin Read – Writer, Publisher & Indy Film Producer
Jof Arnold – Developer (currently iPhone App focused)
Peter O’Neill – Web Analytics
Gavin Wray – Content Manager, Information Architecture *
James Yorke – Online Marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Penny Jackson – Journalist & Audio PodCaster
Dave Goodchild – PHP (Zend, Codeigniter), Rals/Sinatra, SQL/MySQL, Y.Pipes
James Whatley – Social Media, content Creator, Blogger (anything Mobile)
Josh Russell – Product and idea development
Aral Balkan – Flash/Flex, Renaissance Geek & User Experience Advocate *
Alison Coward – Enterprise & Management for the Creative Arts
Allix Harrison-D’Arcy – Crap at mornings. Dead Amusing,  still not dead.
Matt Weston – Strategist & Planner (knowledge, design, space and people)
Dan Thompson – Empty Shops Network
Michael L Radcliffe – Artist & Plumber
Erica Grigg – Sustainability in Social Media Consultant *
Chris Dalby – Developer, HomeCamp Organiser
Leif Kendall – Technology Copywriter
Derek Mantle – Graphic Designer
Russ McVeigh – Web Developer, Flash Actionscript, XML, SOAP, JSON
Stephen Bartholomew – Ruby on Rails
Rob O’Callaghan – Developer, Connector
Neil Pepper – iPhone/Android/Mobile App development
Nicholas Butler – Developer (WordPress Back-End)
Xander Cansell – Connector and Planner (of anything) *
Dan Donald Web Dev/Design, Social-Media, PHP/MySQL, CSS, jQuery
Jenny Brown – Internal Communications and Consumer Engagement
Debbie Davies – Co-Discovery Films
Danny Hope – Interaction & User Experience (UX) Design
Premasagar Rose – Social innovation + front-end engineering
Robert McIntosh – Marketing & Wine
Peter-Paul Koch (PPK) – Front-End Development (#1 Mobile Consultant)
*
Euan Semple – Consultant, Writer
Alan Moore – Engagement/Participation *
Toby Moores – Interactive Game/TV/Online/Mobile
Daren Forsyth – Engagement Jedi
Mike Atherton – Writer for Screen

My recommended ones to watch (some are students):

* those I’ve not met in person at least twice

Merle Cordier – Podcast & Radio producer/editor – will call it as it is!
Toby Watson – Mashupr & Maker of different things and crazy tech stuff!
Richard Mackney – Early Adopter, Blogger, Content Creator – interestingly visual! *
Dave Stone
– Nomadic Business Designer
Thomas Forsyth
– Artist & Maker
*
Paul Davis – Designer, Developer – impressively self taught! *
Mark Phipps
– Microsoft & Apple Certified Support
Katie FotisBranding and Marketing Student – full of enthusiasm!
Gaurav Patel
– Blogger, a Voice with Good Tone – seeks an opportunity! *
Al-nashir Bandali – Marketing Planner & Strategist
Jon-Paul Davies
– ASP.NET, AmpliFeeder *
Will Waterman – Thinker not Do’er – in the right team this man could be gold!
Lee Gavin – Psychogeographer
Giulia Piu – Designer, UX Researcher
Nathan Parris
– Graphic Designer

William Morland
– a young man going somewhere! *

NOKIA COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED!
Sergio Silva @xrgo won an N900 trial!

Here is the LIVE Draw that Sergio Silva @Xrgo won:

Get your hands on a Nokia N900, Nokia N97 mini
or Nokia Booklet 3G !!!

Following my recent Social Media work in Budapest, I’m pleased to announce that I can provide one lucky individual with their very own chance of Nokia goodness – get your hands on your very own choice of either the Nokia N900, Nokia N97 mini or the Nokia Booklet 3G – the prize will arrive in the form of a free product trial (hopefully before the official UK release dates but sadly this I can’t guarantee).

Please note that the winning entry will be selected at random but if there’s less than ten correct entries overall then the first correct entry will be deemed the winner. The competition closing date will be Monday 2nd November 2009 10am GMT.

Simply tweet (or leave a comment below containing) the following message word-for-word (with the blank‘s replaced by the correct one-word answers) for your chance to win:

Missing blogger’s first name = blank. The boat sailed from Port number blank. A Star blank.
#Nokia #OnlineAsItHappens    http://bit.ly/3gahcC


Below are two ‘yet-to-be-released’ Nseries video’s… watch them closely because there were four bloggers in Budapest (I was one of them) but only three of them feature in both of the following video’s. You can find some additional clues in my blog posts if you need them.


Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

Google, Bing and Twitter : Real-Time Search may
provide more questions than answers! #BAD09

Blog Action Day2009

Image: Blog Action Day 2009 Original badge supplied and licensed under creative commons by Change.org

As I begin typing this post its 23:05pm and I’m in a parking bay at Gatwick Airport awaiting an imminent ‘phone-call for pick-up’ from my parents who are due to return from holiday via Gatwick’s North Terminal. I find myself accompanied only by my laptop, a stream of informative tweets and a random assortment of thoughts (some of which are my own)…


Six days ago I missed my opportunity to support the worthy ‘Blog Action Day #BAD09‘ campaign, my intention to publish a Climate Change related blog post was overpowered by my to-do list but the act of doing so has never left my consciousness. This appears to be the moment I write and publish my belated submission, and as fate would have it, its based on something I read only 5mins ago on Twitter.com.

The fact that I’ve just driven a forty minute journey to an airport to collect my parents from their incoming five hour flight is perhaps not the best start towards legitimatizing a Climate Change post but this behavior may pail in comparison to what I’m currently pondering – I’d love to hear your thoughts and extend the range of my current thinking:

Earlier today (21st October 2009) it was announced that the Microsoft search engine Bing.com had purchased the legal right to process and display real-time data from Twitter.com and Facebook.com within its own search results.

Just minutes ago, approximately five hours after I first heard of Bing’s announcement, Marissa Mayer of Google.com has just announced (via her twitter.com account and Google’s official blog) that the worlds largest and most popular search engine has also struck a deal to use twitter.com real-time data in Google search results.

In short, this means that Google.com and Bing.com (two of the worlds biggest players in internet search) could soon be providing ‘up-to-the-minute’ relevant results (and in time I’m guessing these may even encompass up-to-the-second results for key topics). In Future, the introduction of such search technologies will perhaps even replace the Days-Old-References and Paid-Adword search infrastructure we are currently used too.

On the face of it this all sounds fantastic, having access to the most up-to-date information is a positive concept with massive benefits for everyone (up-to-the minute/second data would be brilliant for academia and small business, to name but two potential users); and the ability to search for a town name or a person and be given news that happened only moments before would be amazing for citizen journalism and society as a whole.

This said, the likely carbon emissions and wider climate changing effects of cloud computing, continuous data processing and yet more digital legacy, waste and storage requirements leave me hesitant and more than a little concerned about the long-term consequences. The reason for this post however is not to tackle such hearty debates as power consumption and server efficiency, but to raise one further and perhaps more important point:

During the past year a growing number of businesses, SPAMers and so called Social Media Marketeers have been jumping on board the twitter.com bandwagon, unconscious to the global impact and clueless to the long-term destination, filling it with valueless tweets, get-rich-quick-advice and porn links in misguided attempts to increase their Audiences and Website Footfall. Now given these latest announcements from Google and Bing I feel its probable that the problem will get worse before it gets better – every Breakfast-Cereal-Entrepreneur and Zig Ziglar wannabe will perceive twitter.com as the latest ‘cost-free’ search-engine-optimization (SEO) and keyword pipeline towards Top 10 search listings on Google.

With this in mind, I think its safe to say that Google.com, Bing.com or any other real-time search organizations will already be looking beyond simple keyword algorithms and twitter trends, towards the reliability and associated networks and conversations of user accounts and tweets, and drilling down further still into the profiles, links, analytics and assets. I only wish they’d announce the complexities of their search methodologies to the mindless Breakfast-Cereal-Entrepreneur, Joe Public and Social Media Marketeer, as to put an instant stop to a large percentage of useless keyword attempts and valueless content creation.

I’ve spoken my mind enough and hopefully planted a Climate Change related seed of thought. I’ll leave you with one final ‘announcement from this week‘ that in some way relates to the above:

The American Government, specifically the CIA (already rumored to own parts of Facebook) have just invested heavily in real-time search and social media monitoring technologies – put short, this means its likely that global governments will soon be monitoring more than CCTV, Bank Statements and Credit Card Transactions (if they aren’t already doing so that is). I’m personally not paranoid about such things but I can see why people do have privacy concerns, especially if they are up to no good. With this said, I live in hope that such governments and authorities might at some point in the future be using such monitoring technologies and tools to Criminalize, Prosecute and Carbon Tax the individuals and businesses that consciously waste and SPAM our powerful digital resources – beware anyone thinking of short-term SEO and Keyword gain!

Additional notations for future pondering:
Top 10 Best Green Social Networks