Svetlana

She can’t remember much of her childhood, a life spent travelling from town to provincial town, her parents picking up jobs where they could until something, as it inevitably did, went wrong. She tries not to remember the shouting and yelling, the men fighting, the women cursing, the pointing, the stares, the hasty packing of meagre belongings and the jolt of yet another train carriage. She has always been looked at, glances becoming stares. She is used to it now but it wasn’t always this way, she remembers moments of peace, childhood memories of dolls and quiet places. She knows she was loved, that her parents understood her life and how she was seen by others, she knew why they …

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TCUK10 – Social Media Models

As my slides are usually fairly sparse, I’ve written up some notes/transcript of my presentation. Probably best read in conjunction with the slides. Slides 1 to 4 This presentation is about models. By and large it came about after several conversations at TCUK09 and I found myself trying to explain why you’d want to blog, or use Twitter, or why Wikis can be useful. The thing is, there are so many tools available you can’t cover them all so, in the months after the conference, and in continued discussions by email and on Twitter, I realised there was a different way to discuss social media and how it could fit into the technical communications world. The kitten picture is simply …

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Thoughts on TCUK10

Flying back on Thursday evening I pondered the sessions I’d attended, the things I’d learned and the lessons and ideas I was taking home with me and one thing was missing. A central theme. Now, admittedly by accident, the 2009 conference appeared to be centred around “conversation”. Whether it was a direct with the users, our part in the wider conversation happening in the emerging space of social media, or in rethinking the traditional role in terms of how users were expecting to access information. I’d love to say that content strategy was the major theme but it didn’t seem to be, although I did attend two excellent presentations on that topic (thank you Roger and David), and as ever …

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Principles, Schminciples

I’ve never been the type of person who sticks hard and true to a set of internal, moral and ethically drive, rules. I don’t believe the world works that way, there is no black and white, only various shades of grey. Unless, of course, I decide that something is black, or white. Then it is, of course, a matter of life altering discourse (some of which I have covered here in the past and a particular instance has reared its head again in the form of personal mugs at work and the ‘stealing’ thereof). Over the past couple of years I’ve been rediscovering my love of live music and, whilst it’s mostly been somewhat commercial bands (as in, those that …

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Cardboard box

I have run out of cardboard boxes. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that everything is packed, nor does it mean I have to stop moving things around and contemplating how best to pack the big ornamental candle, several bottles of various types of booze and three tea towels. But it does mean that the house is starting to look like it’s being moved out of. Which is just as well as on the 5th of October I get the keys to my new flat, and by the 11th of October everything that is left will be loaded into a van (not by me, I hasten to add) and taken to said new flat. There, some of it will form my new …

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Conference bound

There are three of us travelling down to the Technical Communications conference in Oxford. We fly down tonight, back on Thursday evening and I must admit I’m really looking forward to it. And yes, I’ve still to finish my presentation (just a couple of rehearsals left though). For those of you who can’t make it, but want a quick view of what’s going on, keep an eye on Twitter. Specifically the #TCUK10 hashtag. And for those of you who CAN make it, I’ll see you there (I’ll be the loud Scottish bloke near the bar).

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Style by list

I’ve never been to Moscow, but we talk about it all the time at work and, cos I like to plan things and use lists to help me cope with stressful times, like moving from a house to a flat and the splitting up of 14 years accumulated crap, well the topic of Moscow has reared in my brain. For the most part, the furniture is the main thing that we’ll need to split up or, as is most likely, give away to charity. That’s the thing about co-owning things, they end up being to the taste of neither of you so when it comes down to it we are both of a mind to replace items so we get …

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In Space

Tentatively he walks forward, through the rolling mist that envelopes him. Here and there sparks flash, pockets of light float past, a million different shades of sparkle and dark. Unsure of where he is going he continues to move forward, an outstretched hand reaching for something he can’t see, a presence he can’t touch. She is beside him, quietly, patiently. She makes no sound and as soon as he turns she is gone, but never far. The light shifts and blooms, bubbles and swirls form in the cloud, streaks of shimmering brilliance merge into the thick mire. It is eerily beautiful, completely still and constantly churning. The colour remains but everything else shifts in regular rhythm, smooth and soft. He …

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Pressure

Pushing down on me, pushing down on you, no man ask for.. Top tune that. Greatest band in the world, don’t ya know. So, how’s yer bum for lovebites? As an Irish friend was wont to say. Remember how I said about the possibility of things getting a little mental and how the next few weeks would just be perfect if we managed to sell the house? How I’m away at a conference for three days, have one website design to finish, and two other clients asking for some new work, not to mention the usual commitments at work (although they can take a hike) and birthdays to remember (I might have to apologise right now Dad, I know you’ll …

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Maybe

There might be news tomorrow. Good news that is. I am NOT counting any chickens though. I am NOT crossing everything that can be crossed. I am NOT praying to a deity I don’t believe in. I am NOT going to follow the viewers round (on their ‘final look before deciding’) muttering “please, please, please, please, please, please, please”. So. Yeah. There might be news tomorrow.

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