Eyes Open

Note: This is the last of my posts written whilst on the train home on Thursday. Hotel life is odd. I don’t think i could be the travelling businessman, constantly moving from one hotel room to another, eating over-priced, rather average food, and ultimately being very very lonely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice for a time and I’m a friendly enough guy that I can, and do, strike up conversations with strangers. I’m not shy and can usually spend 20 minutes or so chatting to someone before it starts getting too awkward. But then I’d think 20 minutes is about right. If you don’t have anything in common or haven’t start to find a common ground by then it’s …

Continue reading »

Homeward Bound

The sun slinks away across the fields, the soft faded glow trailing in its wake as the hills become mountains again. He is heading home. As the train rattles and rushes onwards a solitary face stares past the reflections to the distant hills. The remnants of daylight pick out a cottage on the hillside, lights flickering inside, idyllic, remote, and surreal. Too picture perfect to exist, he must have imagined it. Past fields of livestock, sheep glow in the sunset, pools of water emit an eerie glow, now is the time of spirits and stories. He pictures the scene, farmers, warriors or travellers, huddled around the fire sharing tales of mysterious times. The wind whipping round them, ashes and sparks …

Continue reading »

Thoughts from TICAD 2007

Pre-Conference Dinner The first day of a conference is always a little awkward, introducing yourself to complete strangers is always fraught with danger. So a ‘mingle’ activity is a nice idea, particularly as the TICAD conference makes some play of the networking opportunities, and the an informal dinner beforehand certainly made the following day a little easier. As it turns out I bumped into someone who worked at a sister company of my previous employers (it’s a whole complicated one company, then two companies, then one company thing), and we traded some names and stories. Dinner was good, with many laughs and thought provoking conversation the kind of thing you get when you dine with a bunch of smart, friendly …

Continue reading »

Homeward Bound

The sun slinks away across the fields, the soft faded glow trailing in its wake as the hills become mountains again. He is heading home. As the train rattles and rushes onwards a solitary face stares past the reflections to the distant hills. The remnants of daylight pick out a cottage on the hillside, lights flickering inside, idyllic, remote, and surreal. Too picture perfect to exist, he must have imagined it. Past fields of livestock, sheep glow in the sunset, pools of water emit an eerie glow, now is the time of spirits and stories. He pictures the scene, farmers, warriors or travellers, huddled around the fire sharing tales of mysterious times. The wind whipping round them, ashes and sparks …

Continue reading »

Heading home

Almost packed, but I think I can get this flaky wireless connection to stay online for long enough to post some quick thoughts. The conference was very informative, and it was good to meet other TechPubs Managers and chat about the variety of responsibilities and “challenges” we all face. My presentation went well, although I did finish 5 minutes earlier. I had planned a short live demo but concerns over time and internet connections made me reconsidered. Next time (presuming there is one!) I’ll plan in more content. It was a buzz though, and I can understand why people enjoy doing it and why, despite the nerves, people keep doing it. I enjoyed standing on the stage and talking about …

Continue reading »

Using Wikis for Collaborative Authoring

A big hello to anyone visiting from the TICAD conference. I’m writing this post in advance of the conference itself (the joys of scheduled publishing), so hopefully my presentation went well and you found it useful. I hope the page of links I mentioned is of some use to you and anyone else who pondering whether or not a Wiki lies in the future of their organisation (yes, it does!). The very act of pulling the presentation together has been both fun and educational for me, it has helped me fully understand some things I took for granted and hopefully that is reflected in my words. My thoughts on the experience, and the rest of the conference sessions, will be …

Continue reading »

I am a star!

OK, I’m not really, I have a tendency to mumble and, being Scottish, I talk faster than most (I put this down to the speed at which Scottish women talk, you have to be fast to get a word in edgeways.. ). My mind wanders off topic quite easily and I tend to try off-the-cuff jokes. However I have given a presentation to a room full of strangers before but this time I may not be the only expert in the room… These are all things I know I need to be aware of on Wednesday when I give my presentation on “Using Wikis for Collaborative Authoring” to the TICAD conference attendees. However, I think my presentation is OK. It’s …

Continue reading »

There's a kind of hush

We will not be mentioning the football. Apart from saying well done as, to be honest, to even get to the last game with a chance of qualification and then giving the World Champions a bloody good run for their money was far more than anyone dared to hope (and this is where I DON’T mention the ball that McFadden should’ve squared across the area, nor the opportunity he missed, and I’m not even going to touch on the freekick that led to the Italian winner as it’s not even worthy of the name “freekick”…). The rest of the evening was merry, and we even managed to get a Greek waiter at our Italian restaurant. The meal was OK, although …

Continue reading »

Spaghetti blognese*

Furtling around for inspiration I ran a few standard blogging fallbacks through some mental checks. Too busy because – nope, did one of those recently. Interesting referrers – my stats are way down as it is so I’ve been avoiding looking at my stats at all. Ohhh, actually that might be a topic I could tackle, finding out reader stats across website hits and RSS feed subscriptions… but others have done that one so.. moving on… Spam comments – nope, didn’t that one recently too. What do I have in draft – “How to grab TV episodes using torrents” – yeah started that one but need to be at home to finish it. I guess all I have left is …

Continue reading »

Regress my tech

Danah Boyd has been reflecting on her long lost handwriting skills. “My ability to communicate without editing has decayed. My patience for creating text at a rate slower than I think has decayed.” Are we getting lazy? Are we too reliant on technology or are we simply adapting how we work and think to match the new capabilities we have at our disposal. Personal computers have been around for long enough now that they are a standard, obvious, piece of kit for a technical communicator. I’m 34, and those of you from my era probably won’t EVER have asked whether a PC is part of the provided tools or not, it’s just something that is presumed (asking for a particular …

Continue reading »