July 21, 2008
These slides from the training session for the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce last week. Let me know if you want us to come to your event or run a bespoke event or Masterclass.
More details on our Social Media for Good course soon (looks like next date will be Oct 3 in Brighton).
Covers a bit of an introduction to social media and blogging, plus some questions to get you thinking about your own context, opportunities and challenges.
Some good thinking in the room and animated conversations. Quite a few organisations ready to get blogging and exploring integrated social media in more depth.
A few of you made pledges are you walked out the door about your goals and intentions, so let me know how you get on!
Thanks to all for your warm feedback and to those who helped make it a positive event, especially Lorraine Bell (BCP), Tania “Radiance” Fullerton (Brighton Steiner School) and Fay McDonald.
June 24, 2008
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity
When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
Added 9 July
This post has sparked some intriguing debate. Makes me want to suggest people read Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. And of course Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Manjushvara’s Wolf at the Door.
Any other recommendations?
June 2, 2008
We’re in the middle of building a new web presence/website/blog combining the best of presencelabs and authentic blogging into one great blog to inform to world.
We start with concept of what we want to be, then comes a name, and then comes new site, logo, tagline, stakeholders, new architecture for the site/blog and then the endless technical configuration of it all from feeds to email to subscription options, taxonomy of categories, tags, redirects, SEO, plugins and widgets
Typically, it is taking longer than we thought. It might voodoo the whole process, but I’ll say we should have something to show this week in its imperfect still-in-beta form. And I’m writing about the process from the technical side. I want to get a sense of what totally is involved in the new site and just what it has taken to get there.
So, more on that soon. And if presencelabs.com turns into a redirect to something else soon, you’ll know why.
May 9, 2008
Suggestion 1: Think of your blog and other social media in this way.
Suggestion 2: Always relate things back to the real world, meeting yourself and others face to face.
May 8, 2008
Some tickets are still available for the Shine Unconference for social entrepreneurs this weekend in London. Having just heard I will be running a session on Sunday, seems a good idea to let people know about it.
Do come in and contribute to the discussion if you are there, take home some new insights, find a path on which to travel. Rather an expansive and wonderful topic. Many of us touch on these core issues and opportunities – or are hit over the head with them. Now here is a chance to go deeper.
Tickets are still available and start from just £20 per day. There is much to be learnt and passionate, happening people to meet.
Authenticity in the New Online World
* Who: Libby Davy
* When: 2:00pm – 3:00pm SUNDAY
* Where: Classroom
How to be yourself and make your social media become a path for learning and becoming – for personal, team and enterprise expression.
To show your facebook page or not? How to be real without looking like a prat.
How to use your blog as a magnificant learning tool, that helps you find and travel your path, plus connects you with likeminded people along the way.
May 7, 2008
Gra and I went up to the Royal Society for the Arts recently to hear Charlie Leadbeater talk about his new book We Think. We were also keen to find out more about the RSA as they have approached me to become a Fellow.
Mum bought a copy of We Think while she was visiting… keen to get her head around the space we are in, and perfect for her ilk, among others. There are many major ommissions and doesn’t come much from deep, personal experience (Charlie doesn’t blog or facebook), but is a fine point of reference for many at this point in time. I am recommending it widely.
Highlights of the evening were…
Blogging as Gardening
Talking with Charlie and Tessy Britton afterwards about blogging. Our message that “the first audience for your blog is you” (blogging as a reflective, learning tool or private/public path on which to travel) got Charlie mentioning “zero-audience blogging” and gardening as a metaphor for why and how some people blog, ie. the cultivation of your blog is a meditative pleasure in itself, towards the cultivation (and harvesting?) of the self… plus others can stroll by and enjoy it too.
Mary Harrington (aka Seb Mary) from School of Everything has talked about this in the past and present too. Interestingly, her garden is out back and not visible to others except when invited in. Mine’s a bit like that too. Maybe I could do with a bit of improvement out front (aka let’s finish the upgrade!
What’s Happening in The RSA
Looking around the crowd afterwards, I spotted Felix Velarde from Underwired. (To be honest, I was just looking for a model to do a nice juxtaposition shot and vox pop, note: interesting facial hair and piercings). He had many positive things to say about the benefits of RSA membership, as did Tessy, who we spent an expansive evening with.
The RSA, it turns out, are making special efforts to attract new media folk, new paradigm folk to their hallowed halls. When I first got their letter, I thought it was a mass marketing effort. Turns out they are serious about engaging Fellows (erk, the feminist in me gasps) in opening up debate and moving forward a very progressive, authentic, connected vision.
There is much emphasis on education which resonates deeply Glad to see Roland Meighan and friends trying to keep them on track as outspoken agitators working from within… Ian Cunningham is also a Fellow.
They are about “removing the barriers to social progress” and state their recently revised manifesto challenges as:
- Encouraging Enterprise
- Moving Towards a Zero-Waste Society
- Developing a Capable Population
- Fostering Resilient Communities
- Advancing Global Citizenship
If we were courting each other, I would have to say the feelings are strongly reciprocal and we will be getting hitched, if for no other reason that to follow Richard Sennett’s call in The Craftsman to cultivate our skills and higher self in the company of like-minded people.
I used to think the UK was impossibly BIG. Now the multiple connections between RSA, School of Everything, Richard Birkin (Biff), Ian Cunningham, Richard Sennett, Michael Fielding, Tessy, Roland, John Grant, Andy Gibson, Seb Mary, MA in Person Centred Education, blogging, progressive education, and Everything are so rich in the potential patterns they create – it’s almost fractal in it’s beauty. Feeling very connected and safe within the spaces opening up and the paths between them. In permaculture terms, there is edge, there is diversity, the soil is rich, the system is in harmony.
Spring has sprung.
March 28, 2008
Spring has come and it’s time for even fresher writing!
Here are the dates for the next series of our Fresh Writing Classes at The Werks.
Tuesdays 10.30 – 12.30
CANCELLED DUE TO NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
Put them in your diaries now if you have a positive intention to come and learn / create / express / play.
More information about the classes here.
To celebrate the fresh new season – three top tips for improving your writing & blogging… and expanding your mind…
1. Watch your verbs
Verbs are (remember!?) “doing words”. They are the action of your sentences. If you want your writing to jump from the page, give it legs. Think about your verbs. Use new ones. Take risks, combine them in new ways with your nouns (”naming words”). Experiment. Wake people up. Surprise them.
Here is a list to play with, inspired by Spring…
Use them in unlikely ways and surprise yourself. Thaw those frozen fingers. Explode onto the page. Or just tweet a little.
2. Stay alert with new ideas
The wonders of modern tech. Register a Google Alert for a key word expression that relates to your work / passion / writing / life. One of mine is “authentic blogging”. I get sent blog posts from all around the world that use these two key words together. I am forever finding relevant, inspiring new material to write/blog about.
Give it a try. Register here and follow the prompts.
It’s easier than you think.
3. You Think, I Think, We Think (Better) Together
Last thing is… you just gotta watch this clip… if you are remotely interested in creativity and innovation. Yum.
Better still, buy the book. “We Think” by Charles Leadbetter.
Reap what you sow.
Hope to see you some Tuesday.
PS – Happy to come into organisations and do affordable bespoke sessions.
Please forward to anyone interested, with many thanks
March 26, 2008
Been reading reviews about Charles Leadbetter’s book We Think all over the place. Got to get my hands on a copy sooon (come on Rosie, hand it over).
If anyone is trying to get their heads around Web 2.0, social media, new paradigm thinking and all that claptrap – get a look at this. Lovely simple animation. I’m going to use it at the beginning of all my courses. Free event coming up soon to give people a taste of it all. Watch this space.
Guardian review here (including Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky) which also looks reeal good.
Shame The Big Issue review isn’t available online. A different and very valid take on things.
No wonder most journalist’s I meet are annoyed with blogging and What’s Going On with we-think.
No wonder I am compelled to work in and support this space.
So glad Rosie Sherry is in it with me (thanks for the video).
March 8, 2008
Reproducing an email just sent to a group of global unplug pundits, like David Levy, Mark Bittman, Peter Pruyn, Leif Hansen and Ariel Meadow.
Posting it here to open up the discussion.
Join in and help take it forward?
At a bare minimum, everyone in the world needs to read Peter’s article continuous-partial-attention-02-08.pdf.
“It is time we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship.”
Omar Bradley (1948) in Peter Pruyn (2007)
Thanks for being in touch and many thanks to Mark Bittman for bringing us together, for me anyway.
Peter Pruyn’s paper is also excellent! See attached. A must read for unpluggers. Really puts the meta-ness of it all together.
David Levy has been in touch – his paper “No Time to Think” can be found, among others, on his site here.
52 Nights Unplugged is growing thanks to Ariel and the community.
We are making the domain www.everywhereisnowhere.com available to whoever wants to move the unplug meme out into the world. Synchronously the woman who coined the phrase “Constant Partial Attention”, Linda Stone, also said “We [are] everwhere except where we actually [are] physically” – which is a direct link to the Seneca quote that the domain references. An ancient dilemma.
Also keen for one of us to present at LIFT09 and others to attend as a “movement”. Free bloggers passes available and accommodation can be provided. I guess David or Peter would need to be on the stage to come, but perhaps that will happen. The community votes on who they want to speak, and I will be approaching the organisers directly about the unplug movement. I was asked to attend as a blogger this year. Influential space.. starting to be compared to TED talks.
A book you could all read, if you haven’t already, is “In Praise of Slow”.
Considering the climate emergency and reading in Peter’s paper “It is time that we steered by the stars, not the lights of each passing ship” – I am reminded to bring ecophilosopher Joanna Macy into the discussion. Her writing made it possible for me to attend the LIFT conference without being drained by the Technology as God types.
Tessy’s site http://thrivingtoo.typepad.com/ is another place for the meme to grow, and she is friends with Sir Ken Robinson. See his TED Talk on creativity, which has enormous traction, here.
And now, I am unplugging and hitting the bath – in the garden, with my daughter. Brrr. Spring not quite sprung. But lovely.
Please reply to all if you want to move this agenda forward. In that moment, a group exists. Together we are stronger.
Other posts on unplugging here.
March 5, 2008
What a great group of people there were at the Striding Out Ethical Pitch event last night, out at the end of the bitterly cold Brighton Pier.
After a brief catch up with Thea Allison from B&H Business Community Partnerships, I was co-opted onto the panel at the last minute to help four passionate organisations sharpen their focus. Without wanting to sound too much like a beauty queen, I honestly felt I had as much to learn from everyone there as they did from me. Humbling to say the least.
Ethical Weddings – impressed with the potential of their niche politically and culturally. The environmental impact of the average wedding can be huge. The opportunity to have a couple and their friends ritualise their commitment to core human/eco values and each other is a catalyst for great things to happen. I’m a great believer in weddings, and was thoroughly chuffed by how well they are weaving their magic and owning their niche. Ranking extremely well with Google (the blog and dot com would be helping). Great to hear they will be doing more to bring their community together and help them help each other. Let’s see if Ning works for them.
Farm Fresh Express – again, great knowledge about the ethical complexity of their sector. No green wash here. Looking forward to seeing if they can develop a franchise model and start embracing the power of blogging to attract funders, customers and stimulate vibrant conversations about food miles, purity, sovereignty, community resilience, slow food and all the issues that matter. Whichever climate scenario you subscribe to, how we eat and what we eat is a core issue to be dealing with.
Magpie / Shabitat - for their anarchic, shambolic, no-compromise, co-operative cool. Let’s see if they can hang on to it, and take their octopus to the next level.
EcoEvents – Dear Sam. What a woman. Like weddings and eating together, events are another time we come together and share conversations, hopefully positive ones. Plus the consumption of energy to get people their, feed, water and entertain them is massive. Want to see EcoEvents do really well. They have everything it takes. Come the rebranding and refocus onto great events first (which they no doubt can do – can’t wait to refer people to them), green BS8901 standard stuff second – they will be flying. Another dot com ranking well for key search. Well done on that front too.
Main thing is, we can’t shop our way out of global warming. Wish I had kept my big mouth shut and let brainy young futurist Hugh Knowles from Forum for the Future talk more from the panel. Wish he had spelt out in no uncertain terms that their ain’t no time for weighing up the benefits of frilly organic knickers – bleached or unbleached right now.
Sadly, I think I agree with him.
- Raise the Alarm
Maybe the most important thing for ethical enterprises to be doing right now – other than being fully future aware in how they operate and contribute – is to raise the alarm among their sensitized stakeholders by blogging up the Code Red conversation. We wouldn’t want them to be shunned by those wanting to hide in the bunker. They need to read the signs and focus on the positives, helping us see ourselves as capable of taking on the enormous challenges we are all facing right now in coming back from the brink of destruction.
It needs to be handled sensitively. But without a livable climate, there might not be weddings or enough food to go around. We might not even be here.
Don’t shoot the messenger, bury your head in the sand or blame someone else. Got informed, and start raising the alarm.
“There is an urgent need to reconceive the issue we face as a sustainability emergency, that takes us beyond the politics of failure-inducing compromise. The feasibility of rapid transitions is well established historically.
“We now need to “think the unthinkable”, because the sustainability emergency is now not so much a radical idea as simply an indispensable course of action if we are to return to a safe-climate planet.”
Where’s Winston when we need him.