I have an irrational (or maybe not) hatred of Spotify. I find it useful for researching single tracks, but I don’t ever use it for listening to music on. My heart sinks every time I click on a link to find it’s a Spotify link (maybe people should flag them up, with “Spot” or something!).
These are the reasons I hate it:
I can’t use it at work, which is where I listen to music most.
I mainly listen to new music that isn’t on there yet.
I’m not convinced of its usefulness to me enough to buy it yet, so I’m stuck with the ads. Some say they are not that intrusive, but I’ve never listened to music interrupted by ads in my life, I’m not going to start now.
I don’t like having to open yet another app, I’d rather be able to listen to stuff in my browser/iTunes.
I like to “own” music, I don’t trust my music library/playlists etc. in the hands of a third party. Also I don’t trust myself to ‘remember’ all the music I like. At least I know that I like all the music I own (I’m not a completist: if I own it, I like it).
The UI is fugly
In its defense, several friends have raved about its sharing capabilities, but I can’t see me making use of this unless I used it a lot.
Convince me. If you want.
Update: this post was a result of a comment I made over here. For sharing purposes, what I need is some kind of browser-based thing that I can add my online streaming finds to (e.g. Soundcloud, Hype Machine), that could play the streaming audio through a common interface. Failing that, I could just use a tumblr to share stuff.
Update 2: After a lengthy Twitter convo with @craigfots, I want to add some more thoughts:
I want to listen to brand new tracks as soon as they are available (if not sooner!). I don’t want to have to wait for them to go through the aggregation procedure to get onto Spotify. And not all the tracks I’m interested in will appear on Spotify. That’s because Spotify are in control, not me.
Spotify feels too much like a walled garden. I want to be able to add any track I find online: one-off tracks/experiments/mashups/white labels/DIY cool stuff that finds its way onto YouTube or SoundCloud etc. Spotify kind of goes against one of the things I love most about the web, that anyone can create content. I basically want the same control as I have with my iTunes. It’s just a player, I can put any track in it. Need that for streaming. Even better, I’m looking for a generic tool that can combine these (mp3 player + stream from anywhere + my control) and am happy to pay for that tool when I find it!
I want one place/tool to go to for all my audio. I don’t want to use Spotify for established artists and something else for an experimental DIY track I just found online. Want it all in the same place, see above.
I felt I had to write this blog post, because I consider myself to be very IT literate, however I am utterly confused by email responses from Birmingham City Council (BCC) to my Fix My Street (FMS) reports.
I recently reported a lot of litter near my place of work. Today I received an email about it from BCC.
Problem 1: unintelligible email ‘from’ name:
What on earth does CCRMFORWARDMAIL mean? If it wasn’t for the subject line, I might have assumed this was spam.
Surely it can be changed to something like “Council FixMyStreet response” or even just Birmingham City Council or the relevant department name.
It’s not just council employees who work in the Communications department who need to know about Plain English, this was presumably set up by someone in IT. I would make a Plain English course part of every council employee’s (including outscourced employees) induction training.
Problem 2: email content
Below is a screenshot of the whole lengthy email I received with my comments in red (sorry about the inaccessibility of this method, I was struggling to work out how to best comment on it while keeping the original layout as well as the text).
Pretty confusing I think you’ll agree. The council need to make things as easy as possible to understand. Someone could be prompted to use a computer for the first time to be able to use an excellent service like Fix My Street, this is sure to put them off.
Council communications need to be made as easy as possible to understand. We shouldn’t have to decode them. They should be written with the least literate and IT literate people in mind, because those with higher levels of literacy can still understand them. It doesn’t work the other way around.
What do I write in my reply, just “no” (in response to “Can you please confirm whether this area has now been cleared.”)
At a minimum, some futher instructions should be given:
Even though I am not replying to the individual whose name is on the email, should I mention their name?
Do I need to describe the whole problem again if I’m sending a new email to a different address?
Do I need to extract the report number from the URL quoted in the metadata of the original report included at the bottom of the email?
Do I need to include the URL of the report?
Even thought I’m not supposed to reply to individuals, perhaps it should recommend that I forward the email to the address given for replies so that all the information is there?
I should just be able to hit reply. I believe it’s quite quick and easy to change the ‘reply to’ address for an email. After finishing a draft of this post I have noticed the line “Replies to this email will go to the user who submitted the
problem.” in the email from FMS to the council. Perhaps that is the reason I can’t reply straight to the council, and does the ‘from’ address actually originate from FMS? Perhaps more of this is down to Fix My Street than I first realised.
These things are just so obvious. There seem to be so many communication issues with the council that could be solved by a bit of empathy – council staff just need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the average person. Surely it’s not that difficult to use their imagination. Just imagine you know nothing of internal council jargon and systems (why should you know or even care), you could be a new computer user, what would you make of receiving that email?
Update: After finishing a draft of this post I have noticed the line “Replies to this email will go to the user who submitted the problem.” in the email report from FixMyStreet to the council. Is that the method BCC used to contact me? Perhaps that is the reason I can’t reply straight to the council, and does the ‘from’ address actually originate from FMS? Perhaps more of this is down to FixMyStreet than I first realised. Is it their system that includes the original report or the council’s? Perhaps councils should not be encouraged to reply to the Fix My Street report if they can’t see a draft of the email that the user will receive. Either way, a lot of this stuff could be resolved by BCC working more closely with FMS. It shouldn’t be down to the public to have to work out what is going on.
As an intelligent human being, I am, quite frankly, horrified by the idea of Ada Lovelace Day. I also wonder whether Ada Lovelace herself would be too.
Why do we need a special day “to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science”. To me, that’s a caveat that screams “women are not good enough”. The only way to equality is to stop treating women differently. That means we don’t need separate days, groups, awards, events and so on, just for women. We need to make sure women are part of the existing days, groups, awards and events in the name of technology and science, not in the name of gender.
I read with similar horror recently of Geek Girl Dinners, as there is talk of setting them up in Birmingham. This is what they are about:
The Girl Geek Dinners were founded on the 16th August 2005 as a result of one girl geek who got annoyed and frustrated about being one of the only females attending technical events. She was tired of being assumed to be marketing, tired of constantly having to prove herself and decided that she just wanted a change and to be treated just the same as any other geek out there, gender and age aside.
Couldn’t her experience of technology events simply be the one that the vast majority of people feel when attending events, regardless of gender or subject? It’s quite nerve-wracking for everyone going to an event on their own, perhaps she just needs someone to go with (male or female). I have plenty of male friends who are equally terrified turning up to technology events.
We all judge people on their appearance whether we like it or not. I’m sure my brain subconsciously tries to distinguish the males that were are in marketing or whatever at such an event. Your brain naturally tries to categorise things to cope with the volume of information it receives. It’s only by talking to people that you can find out who they really are.
And all humans feel the need to ‘prove themselves’ among their peers, don’t they?
If I’m at a technology event and I feel that someone is not taking me seriously, I just dismiss their opinion as not valid and go and talk to someone else.
What does it say about us if we feel we always have to be surrounded by our own kind?!
The answer to discrimination (or perceived discrimination) is not segregation. Organising events by any criteria other than interest is a bit old fashioned isn’t it?
As for there not being many women at technology events, could this just be that women are naturally less inclined to be interested (I’m sure someone has done some research into this). If it is the case that women do want to get involved in science and technology, but are afraid to, then this probably needs to be tackled at school age.
Let’s stop obsessing about what gender people are and, like Ada, just get on with it. I really hope there is no need for an Ada Lovelace day next year, and if there is, that it is a celebration of her life and work as a scientist, not a female scientist.
I have noticed the huge number of potholes appearing near where I live due to the recent bad weather. Birmingham council apparently want us to tweet them (although they didn’t say who to) with our pothole reports, but as @bounderpointedout, it would be much more efficient to use the Fix My Street website (or even better the iPhone app as you can photograph and geotag on the scene) because reports are properly logged.
I didn’t much fancy stopping at every pothole on my drive to work as I would never get there, but then I had the idea of a dedicated pothole spotting (and reporting) walk. I need to get out regularly in daylight anyway because I have SAD, but I find walking on my own a bit boring. It’s nice to have a purpose and some company.
So if you fancy joining me on my pothole hunt, meet me at 12.30pm this Sunday at the King’s Heath Superloo (where Vicarage Rd meets the High Street). Armed with my Fix My Street iPhone app, we’ll then wend our way to Moseley around the houses reporting as many potholes as we can, ending up in a pub natch (prob the Fighting Cocks) for some slurps and noms.
I’ve drafted a map of the main spine of my proposed walk (am open to alternative suggestions). I know for sure that there are loads on Oxford Rd, but it might be just as bad down the roads I haven’t been down recently? If there are enough of us and we fancy it, we can split off and do some of the side roads off the main spine route.
View Pothole hunt in a larger map
The fact that the route looks like cat ears is entirely coincidental I promise!
Update: Dan Davies informs me that HashBrum has a map showing all the potholes in Brum reported on Fix My Street so far.
I have collected together all the Tweets from my #catnipplinth Plinth hour. These are tweets from @catnip, to @catnip and/or tagged #catnipplinth. It’s great to be able to read back over these altogether, as I missed most of them at the time. Really chuffed that so many people got involved. Some hilarious Pictionary guesses! Was hoping to do something pretty with avatars and everything, but too longwinded (if anyone knows a quick and easy way, let me know!)
The first of probably a few post-Plinth posts. I also want to collect and display all the #catnipplinth tweets and sort through various bits of video and pics that Jon took of me from the ground.
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to transcribe what I said on the Plinth (you can see the official recording of my hour on my One and Other profile page). As well as what I actually said myself, I’ve included some descriptive things in square brackets, added links where appropriate, and put notes in italics.
Is it really almost 3 mins in before I speak? I think I was waiting for the JCB to disappear completely and it does take quite a long time to go up and down.
[Heckler: Jump, jump, jump]
OK, it’s just gone 6 o’clock. I’m on the Plinth!
Hello #thatlondon OK, I didn’t say the hash, but I was thinking it!
Right, I have lots of things planned. I don’t know if they’re all going to work.
[Heckler: Sing a song!]
[To heckler] No, i’m not going to sing
[Points to t-shirt] @catnip is my Twitter name.
Contact me with @catnip and you can talk to me while I’m on the Plinth. You can share my experience.
I’m hoping to play a game of Twitter Pictionary. Don’t know if that’s gonna work, but we’ll give it a go.
But before I set that up, I just want to take a panoramic photo. Just bear with me a second.
[Here I start taking the panoramic photo using the Pano app on my iPhone.]
Hehe, this is trickier than you might imagine, ’cause there’s so many windows that all look the same on the National Gallery, but I’ll give it a go.
It takes a little while, but when I’ve finished this, you should be able to see a 360 degree view of what I can see, and I’ll post it straight to Twitter as well.
There we go. Just matching up the edges.
[Wind blows across microphone.]
It had started to spit, but I think, thankfully, touch wood [touches head], it’s stopped. Which is good because it would ruin all my technology.
Okaaay. Yep, that’s that bit. [Refering to matching up the edges of the pano photos]
[More wind across microphone]
[Confused mutterings] Ah right, there we go. [laughs] Couldn’t find out which bit that was, found it now.
Ooo, which bit’s that? I think… argh… right, there’s a fuzzy bit of the tr… ah, there we go.
It’s quite tricky, this is.
Hehe, I’ve got lots of people tweeting me already, I haven’t even started the game yet.
Er, nearly there.
Oh, which bit is that? ah, that’s that bit there.
I think this might be the last one. We shall see.
Oh no, one more.
And another one, blimey. Thought I’d been all the way around.
In hindsight, the pano took a lot longer than I’d expected, perhaps I should have just done a couple of Twitpics instead.
OK, that’s merging all of those shots, I don’t know how many there were, probably about 12, perhaps more, into a 360 degree panorama. And as soon as that’s finished merging, I’ll post that straight to Twitter so that you can see exactly what I’m seeing.
Right, something else I want to do is… You can tweet me @catnip, but it you want your tweets to appear on this laptop, if you use the hashtag #catnipplinth ( I shall show you on this sign shortly). I’ll just set this up. It’s a bit wet so I’ll stick it on there [a clear plastic bag that the One and Other team gave me in case of rain].
Argh, ripped it. Fiddly. Fiddly thing. Okaay.
I’ll just check that, yep.
When I set this up, if you include #catnipplinth in your tweet, your tweets will be on here [the laptop]. Hopefully, fingers crossed. And you can share the Plinth with me, your tweets can share the Plinth with me. If I can get it sorted out. With the aid of a 3G dongle.
It might take a few minutes to set up, in the meantime I will set up my whiteboard.
[checks iPhone] Panorama nearly finished merging.
Haha. That’s @bounder down there, the other half, Mr Jon Bounds, hehe, who many if you know I’m sure.
There’s actually more room up here than I thought there would be. It’s not too bad. I don’t think I’m going to go down that end much [points to the highest end], I’ll stick up that end [points to lower end].
Oo, right, my panorama is made… OK.
[Heckler: 'scuse me]
[Heckler: 'scuse me, why're you up there?]
Hehe [to heckler] why am I up here?
[To hecklers] Why not? Wouldn’t you like to be up here?
I didn’t imagine there would be anyone in the Square at this time actually, it’s quite strange. There are quite a few people, well a handful of people.
OK… To send my panorama… camera roll… email photo… email to “Flickr 2 Twitter”
[Heckler: 'scuse me. Why are you up there?]
[To heckler] Sorry?
[Heckler: Why're you up there?]
[To heckler] Why am I up here?
[To heckler] Because I had the chance to be up here.
[Heckler: It's raining]
[To heckler] It’s not raining. It’s not raining up here! [laughs]
[Looks back to iPhone screen] Oo, I wasn’t watching that, hopefully it’s gone.
If I check my Twitter, it should be on there.
Right… quite a few tweets to catch up on.
Just want to make sure my panorama photo has gone to Twitter.
I was a bit disappointed with my resulting panorama, it’s much smaller than I thought it would be and only seems to have done 180 degrees, oh well. Here it is:
Update: The version above is the version I uploaded live from the Plinth via email to Flickr to Twitter. I found the original on my iPhone later, it’s the full 360 degrees and pretty good quality:
So, even if you’re not on Twitter, if you go to twitter.com/catnip, you can see what I’m saying. You can see any photos that I take, that kind of thing, so… You don’t have to be on Twitter, you can still see the conversation. The conversation happens in public.
Right, time to mantle the whiteboard stand thingy. Might need to tape it down actually, if it gets windy.
Oo, no, Duck tape does not stick to Plinth, good grief! Thought it stuck to everything. Oh it does if you stamp it down.
Observations of the Square: the fountains are not on. I don’t know what time they turn them on, whether they turn them off to save water or what the reason is, I don’t know. Er, n’yeah, that’s quite strange.
And, even though it’s quite light, the floodlights [on the Plinth] are still on. I don’t know if they’re automatic or whether the man in the box [One and Other portakabin office] turns them on and off.
Must remember to take my litter away with me.
OK, right, see if I can remember how to put this up. Oo, it’s quite windyyy. Yeah, I think I may have to tape it down.
Oops, anticlockwise [to undo the screws on the whiteboard].
I’ve been advised to be aware of my position when writing on the whiteboard, otherwise it could look like I’m humping it! [laughs] Very sound advice I thought.
Get some more tape. I don’t want it falling over.
This looks ready to set up.
Bit windy. Glad I put my leggings on under my skirt in case it blows over my head!
Goddamn Vista, so slow! Right, I’ll leave that warming up.
Tape this down, if I can find my tape, here it is.
Ahh, what’s a good position?
I think… well if kind of do it like that, hopefully that camera will be able to pick it up. Actually if I do it a bit squarer, people might be able to see it down there as well.
Wonderful Duck tape, work for me please. That’s good.
It’s twenty past already! I knew my hour would go really quickly. I’d better get a move on then, hadn’t I?
Right, multi-tasking, over here again.
OK, oo, right I need to press this.
Aargh, oh dear.
It’s all in the preparation.
Not having a lot of luck with this piece, there we go.
Right [wobbles whiteboard] ah, quite sturdy, good.
[Bounder: got the laptop working?]
[To Bounder] yep, eventually. What?
[Bounder: are you playing now?]
[To Bounder] wha? I’ve gotta, you know, they can wait! Gotta get it all prepared. It’s worth the wait.
Just need to blow my nose live on the Plinth.
Oo, sorry, should have done that away from the microphone!
Aanyway, oh that’s not loading. “Loading some tweets”. Well go on then, load them!
Anyway, I will turn that round and leave it running and hopefully, it will load some tweets.
[laughs] No, it’s not a condom. Bit of a strange condom! [points at picture 2]
Er, the answer to that one [points at picture 1] was a balti. It comes from Birmingham, where I’m from.
No-one’s got this one yet [points at picture 2]
Right, I’m just gonna… on the instruction of One and Other… I’m just gonna try moving this around there. Not that it’s actually showing any tweets I don’t think. No, it still says that it’s loading, I don’t know if any will load.
Hehe, no, it’s not the Gherkin. But you’re in the right area. Well not in the right area, in the right kind of [laughs] right kind of direction. The right field maybe.
Yes! We have a winner, @MyJQ (my Jewellery Quarter), it is the Rotunda (in Birmingham), well done!
Right, the next one, I’m going to try and do something else as well. I’m gonna try and stream from Qik, if I can get this thing to work.
This may or may not work.
OK, I’ll rub these out. I’ve been told to draw bigger so I’ll try and fill the whole thing.
OK, right. Okey dokey.
Right, I’m going to attempt to stream my own video live to the web, via an N95. Thank you to Nick Booth, @Podnosh, for lending me this. And, it’s his old one, he’s going to sell it later, so if you want to buy it, get in touch with him.
I don’t think the Qik stream worked live, but it did eventually upload:
Get the timer ready [sets timer]
Right, this one is gonna be a bit more difficult I think.
Oo, I need to not get my hand in the way as well.
Right, one-handed drawing. All my drawing was one-handed, doh!
Right, this one was suggested by my Twitter friend @brendadada, who was the one who actually told me about this project. She mentioned it on Twitter and that’s how I cam to apply for it, so thank you to her.
Er, I don’t know if anyone’s going to get this one actually. I deliberately chose one that’s quite difficult.
Anyone who listens to my radio show, The Big Paws, on Rhubarb Radio might get this. Because it’s to do with one of the features we have on there.
Oh nooo! That went really quickly! No-one’s going to get that. It looks rude, but it’s not.
Oh yeah, let me show you cameras watching cameras.
That is Camera Two I think.
That is Camera Three up there.
That’s the One and Other offices. There’s another camera in there, the long shot camera.
If you’re interested in the cameras, go and watch Mike Figgis’s Plinth hour. If you go to oneandother.co.uk/participants/Mike_F. He’s actually a film director and he’s done a brilliant Plinth hour explaining how all the cameras work and he also plays a mean trumpet as well.
[To Bounder] Has anyone got this one, Jon? [points to picture 2]
[Bounder: no-one's got it, have they?]
[To Bounder] Has anyone got it, no?
[Bounder: I don't know what it is!]
[To Bounder] Do you know what it is?
[laughs] I’ll leave that one on there then and try another one.
[Bounder shouts something]
[To Bounder] What?
[Bounder: Spongebob Squarepants]
[To Bounder] [laughs] No it’s not Spongebob Squarepants!
You’ll never get it actually, but I’ll leave it up just in case. The clue is – if you listen to The Big Paws radio show on Rhubarb Radio (that’s the radio show that me and Jon do, Saturday mornings 8am), it’s to do with one of the features we have on the radio show.
Oh gosh, I actually can’t keep up with the tweets, I’ve got another 84.
[Turns to laptop] I’m a bit annoyed that this hasn’t worked, it’s a shame. Oh well, if you put #catnipplinth on your tweets, I will gather them all up later and put them somewhere and tell you where it is so you can see what everyone’s been saying.
I kind of wanted to demonstrate the power of Twitter because I’ve got a lot of benefit from it. It’s how I heard about this project. I’ve made a hcck of a lot of new friends in Birmingham since using Twitter. True, proper, good friends that I meet in real life, and I met them thanks to Twitter. So I can’t say a bad word about it really.
I also… Oo, there’s a pigeon sharing my Plinth! I don’t mind sharing my Plinth with a pigeon [laughs]
I also find out loads of stuff that’s going on in Birmingham and anywhere, loads of interesting stuff on the web, all from Twitter.
People who say it’s banal, they obviously haven’t got the imagination to use it in a way that’s interesting and useful to them. Little bit of a rant about Twitter there.
[laughs]@benjibrum wants me to name the pigeon. I’ll name him Ben.
Actually I misread the tweet, @benjibrum had retweeted @citizensheep’s tweet, so the pigeon should really have been called Michael!
We’ve got someone… Oh it’s @cataspanglish listening from Spain, well watching from Spain, from Lleida. Hola!
I can’t… I literally can’t keep up.
Thank you to everyone who’s tweeting me and helping me show how great Twitter is. ‘Cause all of you are sharing my experience on here.
I’m gonna do one more Pictionary I think.
So little time left!
Okaay, I’ve done one of Shona’s… I must mention Shona, because she’s a very talented artist. Go to graphiquillan.wordpress.com to see some of her wonderful work. I’ve got some of it hanging in my house. She’s not very well at the moment, so hope you get better soon, Shona.
Yes, so I did one of Shona’s, I did one of Brenda’s, I haven’t done one of Nicky Getgood’s. Where have I put them? At the back. Did one of @bounder‘s.
Right, OK [laughs]. This one might be tricky ’cause it’s a phrase.
No-one’s gonna get that [points at picture 3]. It was “Northern Soul”. Didn’t have time to finish drawing it. That was the dancefloor, that was the talc. Ask @bounder about Northern Soul, it’s very strange. And listen to The Big Paws on rhubarbradio.com, Saturdays 8 til 10 (am) where we have a little Northern Soul feature.
[Picks up timer]
Oops, where’s me pen gone [laughs]… I’ve packed it away… I’ve buried it… OK.
Right, this one [starts timer]… this is a phrase, suggested by @getgood.
[Starts drawing] It’s quite tricky this one, I should have thought about this before I started the timer.
Right, I’ve got to draw big, or I’ll get told off.
Oops, that’s not very good is it.
Haha, ignore that bit. This is the bit.
What is this phrase?
What’s that phrase? Tell me what that phrase is.
Right, I’m gonna attempt to look at my tweets, but there’s so many. 93 new ones and I hadn’t even finished looking at the last ones.
So, loads of people engaging via Twitter on the Plinth, so I’d recommend anyone else use it as well.
See if I can… see if there’s any new people that I haven’t spoken to before.
Hello @brendadada! Thank you for telling me about the project. Hope to get to meet you one day.
I’ve said… yeah, I think I’ve done the other ones.
Is the pigeon still there? yeah, he is still there, sweeet. I’ll try and take a photo of him. I’ll do a little Twitpic, if I can.
Gonna have to pack up soon.
Has anyone got the phrase yet?
[To Bounder] Has anyone got the phrase, Jon?
[To Bounder] Has anyone got the phrase?
Right, hopefully winging its way across the Web, is… oh, has he gone? Oh no, he’s there now… is a Twitpic of the pigeon. Oh no, it wouldn’t do it. Oh I don’t think that’s worked. Ah, bugger.
The Twitpic didn’t work at the time, but luckily I still had it on my phone so uploaded it later:
There’s loads of cool things happening in Birmingham. You might be surprised to hear, but there is. And I wanted to mention them, but there’s loads of them, and I’m bound to miss one out if I start mentioning them. But, tune in to rhubarbradio.com, where we cover all the cool stuff that’s happening in Birmingham, including… I’ll quickly mention BARG, because the’re into this sort of thing, playing games, so search for BARG Birmingham (B-A-R-G) and on Twitter they’re @BARGBARG, if you like your games. They do some fun stuff.
Oo, right, what time is it? I’m gonna have to think about packing up soon. This [the laptop], I don’t think has worked, so… oo, I’ve lost my plastic bag… no, that hasn’t worked, so I shall pack it up now.
Oh dear, I’m littering the Square with plastic bags.
Shame that didn’t work [the laptop], but I’ll still collect the tweets and I’ll put them online so you can see what everyone else has been saying.
[Bounder: Uh oh, here comes the truck]
[To Bounder] What, the bag?
Oh no! Oh no, I’d better hurry up and pack up. They’re coming to get me. Right, everything in there. I need to untape my board, put it down. Oh dear.
That hour has flown by! I don’t know about people saying that they get bored, or whatever, but I certainly didn’t. I could stay up here all day. Yeah, I would have taken a load more pictures, do some more video…
Right, lets put this down.
Go and have a look at my website as well, catnipmusic.co.uk, and have a look at my blogroll for some other cool stuff that’s happening in Birmingham and further afield.
They’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming! Quick, quick, quick! I can’t believe how fast that’s gone, unbelievable.
Oo, that, by the way [picture 5] , thanks to Nicky Getgood, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. One of her favourite phrases, and I think one of mine as well. That was supposed to be a gun, and a knife.
Thank you, Twitter friends, for sharing my Plinth time. It’s made it a lot more fun, and probably made me a bit less nervous knowing that there’s other people sharing it with me.
[To next Plinther] Hello!
Fantastic time! I want to stay here all day. Sorry about the litter. Bye Ben, Ben the pigeon. Gather my stuff…
Oh, stay tuned for the next guy, sounds really interesting. He’s doing some kind of lecture, but not a boring lecture, a really interesting lecture.
At this point I remembered a few people I’d forgotten to say hello to, rattled through a few. They got cut off my recorded stream, so are probably at the start of the next guy’s! Soz to him. From what I recall, I said “hello to mum and Richard, dad and Rose, Dan and Beccy, Christina and Steve, Stephen Dallas, all my friends in Buckley and all my friends in Birmingham”.
This will probably be my last post before I go on the Fourth Plinth on Tuesday (4th August) at 6am for an hour.
This is what I’m hoping to do, weather and technology permitting!:
I am hoping to play a simplified version of Pictionary on the Plinth. I am taking a small whiteboard on a stand and will draw pictures for Twitter users to guess. Please send me ideas of what to draw in advance. You will be able to guess by sending me a tweet to @catnip, the first to guess correctly wins kudos.
I think there may be a delay on the live stream at oneandother.co.uk, so my plan is to broadcast my own live video stream via Qik or Bambuser. I have borrowed an N95 to do this (thanks @podnosh), but my tests have not worked very well on 3G. If there is wifi available in the Square, I think it should work well, if not I might not be able to get it to work.
If my own mobile web stream doesn’t work, I will try doing Pictionary just over the normal stream. If there is a long delay it might cause problems.
If the Pictionary idea doesn’t work, I will just try and talk to people via Twitter, type @catnip at the start of your tweet and I will see it, you can also include #catnipplinth in your tweet. I am hoping to display all tweets containing the hashtag #catnipplinth on a laptop screen, I’m not sure how well the cameras will pick up this up, but you can see the same thing yourself at http://visibletweets.com/#query=%23catnipplinth
Whatever happens, I will be live tweeting my hour. I hope to tweet a few pictures too. Even if you are not a Twitter user, you can still see what I am saying by going to twitter.com/catnip. If you do want to set up a Twitter account, here is a beginners’ guide to Twitter.
You can now comment on profile pages and pledge to watch, if you so desire. What would be pretty cool, actually, is if you could put your Twitter names in the comments/pledge comments, as I am trying to encourage new people to use Twitter.
I’m also looking for ideas about what to take in my ‘Plinth Toolkit’. These are props that I can use to complete people’s Twitter requests and hence demonstrate the Power of Twitter, woo! So far I’m thinking paper, fat marker pens, scissors. I have also ordered a flip chart :) What else could I take up there with me?
So I’m thinking vaguely along the lines of promoting Brum and digital inclusion. I’m pretty sure I first heard about the event via Twitter (@brendadada if I remember correctly) and in fact I’ve not really noticed it covered by any other media, so I probably wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t for Twitter.
I’m thinking about live tweeting using a hashtag, say #catnipplinth or even a separate Twitter account. It’s a great way to share my experience with my Twitter friends. I could possibly rig up a laptop to display tweets at the bottom of the plinth (Jon would have to be on guard!), hopefully there would be enough battery to last an hour.
So, what do you clever people think? Is my idea too vague? Can you think a better way of doing it or any other ideas?
I need to let them know what I’m planning on doing when I accept the invitation, which I only have 2 more days left to do, so if you have any ideas, let me know asap.
Update: I have now confirmed my place, but keep the ideas coming as nothing is set in stone!