Broadsheet was a multi-visited place for me daily in 2012. I really expected them to do well at the Web Awards but hey, I only run them and (badly at that according to the accounts).
Jim Carroll had his hand in many pies in 2012 and again sent me on wondrous journeys from his links and the music he played on Phantom.
General Assembly was my favourite new learning model for 2012. Handy stuff that you pay for and respect.
Internationally Daring Fireball and Kottke were about the only feeds I subscribed to. But worth it.
Music. I went back to radio. Maybe it was because I wasn’t at any main computer but many but streaming 2FM, Lyric and Phantom was my 2012 music. With Jim and Pearl gone from Phantom, I stopped listening to them though. And the breakfast show turned into some kind of smashy and nicey post-ironic mess too.
Twitter has become the front and back channel. While media didn’t want to cover stories for monetary (fear of being sued to death) or editorial reasons, Twitter became a distributor of “alternative” content and even when there was self censorship, the DM backchannel was used well to distribute news. Like that of the over-the-top cease and desists from … oh you know who
Using the Google Keyword Tool that shows you search trends it seems that when it comes to searching for party names in Ireland Fine Gael romps home with Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail joint second, Labour Party and Green Party joint third. This data is a few weeks out of sync so will change again right before the election.
Of course if we use the more general Labour and Greens searches, this changes the table but that brings in everything from child birth searches to labour court type searches:
Enda Kenny, then Gerry Adams, John Gormley and Eamon Gilmore at same level, then Micheal Martin.
David Maybury tweeted one morning (and I was awake for some reason) about a cement truck parking at the gates of the Dáil as some kind of protest. The “pics or it didn’t happen” brigade including myself kicked in. They took his tweets and retweeted them, sent his pics all around the world and even demanded from news outlets like Morning Ireland and Newstalk what they were doing about the incident. I think it was Morning Ireland that started calling it #truckgate and the crowd told them it was #cementgate, we the public found this news and this is how we are calling it. Do keep up. “We” the masses found the news via David, named it and sent it out and they could be part of it like the rest of us. And the news spread around the world, pushed by the scattered Irish. BBC, CNN and the New York Times all covering it eventually. And calling it #cementgate.
In the next few hours the Internet pointed out it was the same truck that was around Galway. That the Gardai had impounded the truck before and they also caught out the liars who said that Gardai had to jump out of the way when the truck rammed the gates. A YouTube video showed the truck slowly drove to the gates and stopped with no cops there to get out of the way.
A couple of days later I bumped into Mark Little in Dublin and chatted about what happened that morning. Mark mentioned that maybe David might never report a story like this again but someone like him will. We all have the tools now to do the same, we have a device with a connection to the Internet. The way I see it, we have a connection to people who are more experienced than us who can direct us to do the right/best thing. Take a picture, do a video, this is how you change a tyre, this is how you address a wasp sting. Give us the raw feed and we can do the rest including fact checking while you point or if you have the experience, you can report. Share group memory, shared experience and someone tapping into it.
As I started writing this post I read JP’s post on social objects and how we are documenting all these things now with phones and web apps. Maybe the positive with these tools is we are becoming more observational of our surroundings at times, because of these tools. That would make a nice photo. Let me check in to this location. Let me ask people on Twitter is there anything to do around here, oooh there’s an amazing hidden café here. Yet there is also the fact that these tools disconnect us, as per this bang on description from William Gibson:
He was elsewhere, the way people were before their screens, his expression that of someone piloting something, looking into a middle distance that had nothing to do with geography
To me David Maybury was being there but he was also being with the elsewhere. He saw the truck, heard the sounds, the background noise, the smell of the ozone from the truck post shut-off perhaps and he was on Twitter responding to people, sharing the imagery and being asked about the event. Twitter for me can add another layer of data and insight into an event I’m at. It can lead me down different paths instead of the regular worn ones. So by describing things, like diarying did years ago but in the new multimedia way and connecting people to it, an event or a building can become more colourful and maybe I become a better observer as a result. So does being digitally connected elsewhere make us appreciate here?
€40 for Limerick City Enterprise Board members. €150 for everyone else. You can book it here.
Limerick City Enterprise Board asked me to give you a heads up on the above course that’s on next week. As a member you get the course at a massive discount. Check out the other courses (not done by me) on SEO and LinkedIn too which also come with a big discount.
Mediabox have booked me to do a “social media” seminar in Donegal on Thursday. And it’ll be with a castle in the backdrop. Glenveagh National Park’s Visitor Centre is where it takes places. Well done to Joanne and crew for putting together the seminar and charging people sfa for it too. Seminar and lunch is €65 and a tour of the castle.
She watched as he sank instantly into whatever it was he that he did on the Net, like a stone into water. He was elsewhere, the way people were before their screens, his expression that of someone piloting something, looking into a middle distance that had nothing to do with geography
Instead of doing a traditional brochure for the dayjob I decided to have a bit of fun, at my expense mostly and commissioned Tommie Kelly to make a comic for Mulley Communications. The result is pretty damned good. (Biased) I posted it out to a few people and yesterday there were a good number of tweets about it giving good feedback. I fired some ideas to Tommie, he took them and created the comic. It was a quick and painless process. He’s taking commissions too if you want him to do something as fun for your company.
It gets in my penchant for trains, use of colourful language and that red shirt that so many dislike. Me as Willy Wonka was his idea, really. The cover image comes from this photo by Phil. What I like is that in the digital world where I do most of my business it is very rewarding to create something physical as well that will age, fade, tear, stain and crumple.
The full comic is below but the print version is better. I may have a few left and maybe volume 2 is on the way.
Annie sent me a picture of a dead deer the other day. Such a flirt. Here it is:
She’s got a new book out. It has nothing to do with cooking and roadkill.
She’s got a new book out. It has to do with her trip through America.
The official blurb says:
“To the Left of the Midwest’ is an exhibition of photography from award-winning blogger Annie Atkins’s first book. Compiled on the railroads from California to Texas, this travelogue chronicles a personal journey through the small towns and backwaters of the United States during Obama’s election in late 2008.”
The launch of it is tomorrow evening from 6pm at the Joinery in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7. Why not go? It’ll be worth it.
Delighted to see Annie do this, she’s a wonderful photographer and an inspiring blogger. Sending that native American to collect her award at the Blog Awards that time was a bit precious though. But she still rocks. Turns out that native American wasn’t even genuine. Still, as I said, she rocks. Bought pigtails in the poundshop, could have made an effort, like. And a plastic axe. Honestly. Twenty has nice things to say too.