Category Archives: Social Media

Cruel Britannia – a Frontline Club event

"Cruel Britannia"

Discussing Britain’s record….

Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, Nov 15 2012 15:03:58

Frontline Club Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of TortureCruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture November 15, 2012 7:00 PM From the Second World War to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland award-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain’s new book Cruel Britannia explores Britain’s role in the development and use of torture.
Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain – ‘To get to the truth I needed to keep asking questions …’
Ian Cobain, an investigative journalist with the Guardian and author of Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture. His inquiries into the UK’s involvement with torture since 9/11 have won the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism, and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.
"To get to the truth, I needed to keep asking questions…"#cruelbritannia
Chaired by Humphrey Hawksley, leading BBC foreign correspondent, author and commentator on world affairs.
Humphrey HawksleyHumphrey Hawksley Humphrey Hawksley is a leading BBC foreign correspondent, author and commentator on world affairs. For more than twenty years he has reported on key trends, events and conflicts from all over the world.
With:Clive Baldwin, the Senior Legal Advisor for the Legal and Policy office at Human Rights Watch, where he has been working on issues of international law since 2007. 

Rt Hon David Davis MP, Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden since 1997 and former Shadow Home Secretary. As a Minister in the last Conservative government he served in the Cabinet Office and the Foreign Office. 

 Dr Ruth Blakeley, a senior lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent. Her research focuses on state violence and terrorism, particularly by liberal democratic states.

I’m at the @frontlineclub for "Cruel Britannia" with @iancobain and hwhawksley; excellent panel
At the @frontlineclub talk by @IanCobain on Cruel Britannia about to start #britain #secret #history of #torture
At the @frontlineclub for Ian Cobain’s talk about #fccruelbritannia
Hawksley asks who in the room has been a victim of torture – one person puts up their hand. He asks who has been on the other side – three people put their hands up. David Davis MP holds up his hand and says “we are all complicit”
Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torturefrontlineclub
A pattern of torture suggests a policy of torture, says Ian Cobain #fccruelbritannia
Clive Baldwin from Human Rights Watch: definition of torture is serious physical or psychological harm #fccruelbritannia
Dr Ruth Blakely: we must remember the international context of torture – many countries complicit not just Britain #fccruelbritannia
The atmosphere in the room is very cold – people listening hard and concentrating on the views of the panelists. It’s, as you might expect, a very serious mood – especially when Blakeley says “British context”.
Packed room at #frontlineclub for panel discussion on torture King
David Davis MP – torture was seen to be in the greater good #fccruelbritannia
David Davis : ticking bomb scenario as seen in 24 never happens in real life #fccruelbritannia
Clive Baldwin: the Bush administration redefined torture. Claimed waterboarding not included. #fccruelbritannia
‘Did the Blair govt have a secret policy of torture?’@iancobain @frontlineclub ‘The answer’s in the book.’ @PortobelloBooks #cruelbritannia
David Davis MP surprised "level of active duplicity at the highest level" in British Government re involvement in torture. #cruelbritannia
Now looking at the historical context – did it work in Aden, did it work in WWII. Cobain says that there was experience in WWII re trying to find out about a “Fifth Column” – and the British Union of Fascists. And the use of torture with Nazi agents also in WWII. And the use of interrogation by British forces in Germany after WWII.
Baldwin says the terms get re-defined – “waterboarding is a redefinition of torture”.
How can torture have intimidating effect when done in secret asks Dr Ruth Blakely. Not secret for those being tortured #fccruelbritannia
Ruth Blakeley says that "torture is more about intimidation than intelligence gathering" #cruelbritannia @frontlineclub
Here’s Blakeley’s site: – HomeFull Profile @ruthblakeley I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent , Canterbury, UK. Current Research The Rendition Project Funded by the ESRC, The Rendition Project examines the ways in which the Bush administration developed a global system of detention sites, linked by the covert transfer of detainees across state borders.
This is Blakeley’s project:
The Rendition ProjectThe Rendition Project Welcome to The Rendition Project website. This site is the product of a collaborative research project between Dr Ruth Blakeley at the University of Kent and Dr Sam Raphael at Kingston University, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council ( ESRC), and accredited under the Global Uncertainties programme.
CIA naive in the wake of 9/11 – hadn’t interrogated anyone for 25 years – David Davis #fccruelbritannia
David Davis argues that torture is also about revenge. #cruelbritannia
British torturers of Mau Mau believed they were a subhuman race, psychotic #fccruelbritannia
Now David Davis is talking about the difference between the FBI’s approach (interrogation devoid of difficult conditions) and that it was allowable psychological pressure and short of actual torture. And that of the CIA’s – for example the use of waterboarding. Panel looking at when things have gone too far. Davis says that there are legitimate uses of questioning and a certain permitted degree of psychological pressure – especially when other people’s lives may be in danger.
Dr Ruth Blakely : US detained and interrogated tens of thousands of people in Fallujah. Practice spread around world #fccruelbritannia
Blakeley mentions the CIA Inspector General’s report says waterboarding did not work nor was it safe and that it was torture:
IG Report: Waterboarding Was Neither "Efficacious Or Medically Safe"A CIA inspector general’s report from May 2004 that is set to be declassified by the Obama White House will almost certainly disprove claims that waterboarding was only used in controlled circumstances with effective results.
Dr Ruth Blakely: harder for orgs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty to hold people to account with secret prisons #fccruelbritannia
Questioner says that the degree of secrecy and levels of corruption in the legal system mean that it can’t be changed and that the State has the power to cover it up and inhibit change.
Baldwin says that he feels that there are some things that mean there will be increasing visibility and the use of legal means to bring those in the British establishment responsible for torture to justice. 
Blakeley disagrees. Look at the Iraq enquiry she argues.  
David Davis says that the idea that this government, his government, is contemplating secret courts is "bloody disgraceful" #cruelbritannia
David Davis: secret courts "a bloody disgraceful proposal" #fccruelbritannia
Ian Cobain: I don’t think MI5 officers will be brought to account #fccruelbritannia
We’re almost getting to what needs to be done. 
 But we keep going back to the legal measures and structural issues. Need for more parliamentary oversight. 
But as Davis says, there’s not many votes in it. Actually quite the reverse if evidence from the USA is borne out in Britain.
Cobain says he told Blair that he knew of the secret torture policy and that he could prove it. That the result of Blair’s policy led to people being tortured. 
The Justice and Security Bill is very dangerous says Cobain – Davis seems to agree. There will be more secrecy and this will make the matters worse. All the panel seem to think that there is a “democratic deficit”. Blakeley argues for education of our children to think of their roles in a civil society.
Dr Ruth Blakely: no point talking about lesser cases of torture as if they had the chance would go further and further #fccruelbritannia
David Davis: people find it hard to believe that people can do this to their fellow men #fccruelbritannia
Dr Ruth Blakely: cultural imperatives like 24 set a dangerous agenda for views towards torture #fccruelbritannia
Ian Cobain: our political leaders know there are no votes in stopping terrorist suspects getting tortured #fccruelbritannia
David Davis calls present government "the current ruling elite" – with a cheeky grin #fccruelbritannia
However, the Gibson enquiry gets a mention and the “Long Grass” of public enquiries and the thought that the existing structures will resist investigation.
Here’s the Guardian’s take on it…
The Gibson inquiry: good riddanceSir Peter Gibson’s inquiry, which limped to a halt last week with the news of a fresh round of police investigations into official complicity in torture, has been decently put out of its misery.
…and the Daily Telegraph’s:
Gibson torture inquiry abandoned – Telegraph"But there now appears no prospect of the Gibson Inquiry being able to start in the foreseeable future. "So, following consultation with …
Need to put pressure on MPs to defeat the Justice and Security Bill – Baldwin says it’s very dangerous. 
“Democracy won’t save you on this” argues Davis re “being against torture”. It’s about our national honour.  He stresses the need for us to behave honourably – because that’s what we do and what we believe in.

A conversation…

Improvisation and creativity

A conversation

Storified by Brian_Condon · Sat, Oct 27 2012 14:48:17

Core of improvisation – have rules. "Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations." (Telier 2011) #designthingsTHE FISHTANK
The quote comes from Rollo May, and his book “The Courage to Create””Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.”
Psychoanalyst Rollo May being interviewed in Swedish documentary Sagolandet from 1988
. @thefishtanksays "rules" maybe to precise – I think more in terms of loosely bound constraints for good improv….Brian_Condon
@brian_condon ‘Rules’ – too authoritative perhaps? Constraints yes, but still strict to define boundaries needed to move things forward.THE FISHTANK
. @thefishtanksays agree with "boundaries" but don’t like "strict" / have a look at "Oblique Strategies" by Eno/SchmidtBrian_Condon
Brian Eno on Later, 2001.
@brian_condon Will do. It’s also a case of context, I worked with a director who had a loose idea of improv = the show descended into chaos.THE FISHTANK
. @thefishtanksays Good point! Need to talk more on this outside the constraints of 140 characters! :)Brian_Condon
@brian_condon Ahh yes. Btw – I’ll be back in London on 14 Nov so shall pop by with a laptop in hand. :-)THE FISHTANK

News:Rewired – The news stream: Lessons in live digital news reporting

Closing plenary!

In breaking or developing news situations, with audiences wanting to know the latest and most up-to-date pieces of information, many news outlets have introduced live streaming approaches to their news output, from liveblogs to more permanent pages dedicated to the streaming of the latest news snippets, images and social media content. The final panel will discuss the different approaches to this real-time reporting of news online, the decision making processes behind it and its impact on process within the newsroom.

With: Jason Mills, editor, web for ITV News; Raju Narisetti, managing editor, Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Patrick Heery, UK editor, BBC News website; Pete Clifton, executive editor, MSN; Ben Schneider, senior director and general manager for CoveritLive, Demand Media. Moderated by Kathryn Corrick, digital media consultant


News:rewired Social news: the art of storytelling using social media tools

As news become increasingly social, outlets are using social media to reach out in different ways both to tell stories and to gather videos, photos and feedback from their networks. This session will look at how to engage the title’s community and how individual journalists are building their own personal brands.

With: Luke Lewis, editor,; Faisal Islam, economics editor, Channel 4 News; Mark Coatney, media outreach director, Tumblr. Moderated by David Hayward, head of journalism programme, BBC College of Journalism.

And here’s the live Tweeting:

News:Rewired – ‘Full stream ahead’ – opening plenary

At the shiny MSN HQ in London, near Victoria, here’s the intro from the News:Rewired site:

A one-day digital journalism conference focused on the latest tools, techniques and tips on how to produce the best journalism online and make it earn its keep, with innovative case studies from the industry.

Welcome address – Pete Clifton, executive producer, MSN

Keynote – Cory Haik, executive producer for digital news at the Washington Post

Keynote panel – Engaging the digital mindset

Digital journalism experts discuss digital-first strategy, how journalism processes and structures are being adapted with digital in mind and ways to encourage others to maximise the opportunities afforded by the digital environment, even when working in legacy print or broadcast media.

With: Joanna Geary, digital development editor, the Guardian; Raju Narisetti, managing editor, Wall Street Journal Digital Network; Martin Fewell, deputy editor, Channel4 News and Alex Gubbay, director, digital platforms, Johnston Press.

Moderated by Katie King, senior product manager, Portal & Partners, MSN UK.



What’s going to happen to Twitter?

This Tweet

got me thinking.  I met @Biz (Biz Stone, one of the Founders of Twitter in November 2009, very briefly) I made a short video (which I’ve never published for reasons I’ll tell you if you ask!) of a bit of a talk he gave in answer to a question from the audience.  Here it is:

Biz Stone (@biz) talks about how to deal with ‘celebs’ from Brian Condon on Vimeo.

His attitude is interesting and his confidence in Twitter compelling.

Adrian and I had a conversation on Twitter

And there seems to be quite a lot of traffic on Twitter…..

So, what’s going to happen?

Whistling in the dark….


The Future of Newsgathering and the Changing Media Landscape

Whistling in the dark at #fng12

Storified by Brian_Condon · Sun, Jul 01 2012 15:27:06

Frontline Club – Events: THIRD PARTY EVENT: The future of newsgathering and the changing media landscape19.00 Keynote speaker: Gavin Sheppard, marketing director, Media Trust. 19.30 Panel discussion: The future of newsgathering and the changing media landscape Change in the media landscape is constant. Technology and new media has enabled both journalists and citizens on the street to actually break news themselves.
The panel is Paul Lewis (Guardian), Matthew Eltringham (BBC College of Journalism), Mark Evans (Sky News), Gavin Sheppard (Media Trust) and Ravin Sampat (Blottr) – moderated by Nikki Bedi (BBC)
#FNG12 has started. Intro with @nikkibedi Durrans
Nikki Bedi is reading out the panel’s Twitter profiles at #fng12
Gavin says he feels like “a junior Minister on Newsnight” as he’s not an esteemed journalist or a newsgatherer. He notes the fundamental shift in the production and consumption of media. He says 91% of adults use a mobile phone – lots of them smartphones.
.@gavinmediatrust giving keynote speech at #FNG12 "communities no longer prepared to sit back" and merely absorb mainstream media
Somewhat odd there’s no blogger or community reporter on the panel #fng12 @johnpopham would’ve been good.
As the news environment gets noisier people will appreciate the comment and analysis from mainstream more and more. @GavinMediaTrust #FNG12
#fng12 Decent turnout despite the football! @mediatrust @blottr Carstens
Challenges are about needing to take a view much more quickly whether you are a journalist or a politician as a story can gather pace in hours or minutes. People have more technology in their pockets than news organisations had 10 years ago.
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust says communities are no longer willing to be bystanders they can circumnavigate media to get voices heard
Playing journobuzzword bingo at #fng12 MSM, UGC, validation, citizen journalism, it’s too easy!
Opportunity for community produced media needs to be treated as ‘a contribution’ and possibly paid for. There’s lots of it out there – and some of it is high quality and very good; well linked to communities and their concerns – he argues.
RT @Media_Trust: Local news for local communities is a valid and important contribution to the mainstream. @GavinMediaTrust #FNG12
Collaboration is what’s happening now. People are recording, sharing. That’s journalistic. @PaulLewis #FNG12
#FNG12 @PaulLewis poses question, what would happen if there were no paid journalists? In riots citizen journalists filled gaps in reporting
Nikki is asking Ravin if “journalism has moved beyond the stereotype” – mentions coffee swilling reporter typing frantically typing against a deadline. Ravin says we have a 24hr news cycle and news apps, with Twitter being a new source. Consumption is changing so production must – he argues. Technology and people have changed and the combination of these new ways of generating content and news has changed how broadcasters need to behave.
#FNG12 Ravin from @blottr is questioning what the difference is between a professional and citizen journalist
Paul observes that we do more than we could and we can certainly do better. What’s happening is the symbiotic relationship Gavin mentioned – and this opens up new avenues to explore and increased transparency. But it is difficult – where might we end up? Fewer being paid to do journalism but more people doing what might be described as journalism. The riots last year showed that. Between 1 and 4 am Sky and the BBC had to pull out of the area. But the was a constant feed of information online.
#fng12 Check out Swedish Radio project Journalism 3.0 creating symbiosis between user generated content and traditional journalism
#FNG12 @nikkibedi "always the risk of disinformation" @PaulLewis "there has always been disinformation" but social media also regulates self
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust if community produced media is embraced by the mainstream media it will only ensure a wider diversity of reporting
Social media is viral media and it can be self-regulating argues Paul.
Matthew arguing that the verification of the content produced by local or citizen journalists is an important part of the BBC’s approach; such material needs to be forensically examined and verified.
#FNG12 @skymarkevans says citizen journalism isn’t new, he’s always used parish magazines etc as a news gathering source
Nikki asks Mark about Sky News’ policies and he agrees that they have changed – and Sky don’t reTweet any other news organisation’s tweets. Here’s the first google entry if you search for that! From the Guardian:
Sky News clamps down on Twitter useSky News has told its journalists not to repost information from any Twitter users who are not an employee of the broadcaster. An email to staff on Tuesday laid out new social media guidelines for Sky News employees, including a contentious ban on retweeting rival "journalists or people on Twitter".
Paul is arguing that news is also about trust – and the liveblog is an important new aspect. Some news organisations are not that trusted he argues. Mark says that analysis and brand recognition are still important.  He thinks that the power of a brand combined with the value added by verification and analysis are sufficient to deliver sustainable business.  @KatyBlotter notes:
#FNG12 @skymarkevans "not the keepers of information anymore…we have a role to play in terms of validation…analysis"
And @Stuartdhughes agrees:
. @skymarkevans quite right – verifying stories gathered via social media isn’t a new skill for journalists #fng12
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust citizen journalism and prof journalism don’t replace eachother, but they should work together to benefit public most
#FNG12 @PaulLewis "users/readers as good or better" at commenting on live football in this example
Matthew says a mixed model is where a lot of journalism is going and he says it’s challenging and interesting to the BBC.
Paul Lewis says “it’s not just trust” it’s also about the quality of writing and investigation. He mentions ‘grey news’ and the need for verification. And the propagation of material which needs to be checked. Matthew says that just the fact that the BBC and Sky are asking ‘is this true’ gives it credence.
Panel now focusing on the use of false stories to generate attention and drive traffic to websites; and the ethics of later “withdrawing” a story.
Question about the process for verifying sources of news on Twitter – “You never pay them do you?” Nikki asks Ravin.  Ravin says “No.  Never.”.  
#FNG12 debating methods of checking socmed sources. Journos need to be quick if it’s already on socmed but doesn’t mean it’s true
Paul mentions the construction of false identities online – and agrees that “We have made mistakes”.  In dealing with something new, and taking risks, mistakes are going to happen.  
Ravin says “it’s the way we’re changing and we want it now” – Nikki agrees.
What about the future asks a participant [he didn’t give his name]; he’s concerned that the ‘trusted brands’ won’t be here in the future. Mark says we are talking about the ways in which we will help journalism survive. There may be new brands that can be trusted – and young people interact with the big brands differently.
Mark arguing that the mobile device is revolutionising newsgathering and this may mean that brands we have now may not exist.  But there will be trusted brands.  
#FNG12 @seancurtisward asks whats the financial model – when will citizen journos get paid for their contributions to media
Paul arguing there’s little money about – and there will be less. But there is abundance and chaos- and the difficulty for everyone is is working out how to access and find the news they need.
#FNG12 "all journalism is going online" newspapers and tv @PaulLewis @Blottr
The event finishes with Nikki thanks the sponsors, participants and panel members, conversations begin and the panelists stand and as they do, I hear the following and immediately Tweet:
"No community panel members" says @skymarkevans wryly. The panel laughs. #fng12.
As the room clears, I have a quick look at the Storify copy, republish, and make this Audio boo:
Immediate reflections on the Future of NewsgatheringAn Audioboo by brian_condon
You might also be interested in the ‘reach’ of the event; here’s a Tweetreach report:
Twitter Reach Report Results for #fng12Activity provides details about the tweets in this report, including the total number of tweets and unique contributors, the time period covered by the report, a graphical timeline showing tweet volume during the report period, and tweet type breakdown.
Two words not mentioned at #FNG12 "blogger" and "#leveson"Brian_Condon
Since the event, there’s been some further comment on Twitter:
#FNG12 been thinking: Sometimes my job feels like media for community development, sometimes it feels like community for media developmentKim Townsend
future of Newsgathering? The likes of @_sampat and @Blottr staying one step ahead of the wires with credible grassroots journalism #fng12Stuart Hughes

“Social media is cave painting”

The Mass Observation panel at Future Everything caused a bit of a spat (polite, of course) when Pauline from the BBC in Liverpool described social media as “cave painting” and “tweeting about having a latte”.

Mass Observation

Some tweeting around the panel sessiom

Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:42:23

Conference Panel: Mass Observation | FutureEverythingFutureEverything Conference Panel: Mass Observation 2012 is the 75th Anniversary of the Mass Observation Movement. FutureEverything has been working with the current custodians of the Mass Observation archive to explore the relevance of the movement in today’s new participatory culture.
I was late to this panel as the previous session I was in overran. And live blogging @rohan_21awake’s keynote was intense – so rather than a full liveblog this is a few notes, pictures and tweets from a really interesting discussion session.
The Mass Observation panel at #futr with @fionacourage, @billt et al Bryant
Hearing about story-telling and how it can be incorporated into local archives.
Interesting start on theme of mass observation at #futr
Bill Thompson says hat cameras in domestic use were unusual in the 1930s and we now need new metaphors.
Need to ask ourselves "what is worth keeping" but we can’t know and lots of BBC’s archive is ‘incidental’ #futr @billt
Love it! @billt calling for death of spreadsheet to make it as easy as possible to mange, use & play with metadata #futr #massobservation
Social media is really just cave painting in the 21c! This is the world of an archivest #futr
Bloody hell. The bbc lady on mass observation panel is a social network hater and wants to edit online histories. #handbagsatdawn #futr
at #futr – @daveaddey listening to @brian_condonundefined
What are the implications for access if corporations own most of our online data? #futr
#futr Not mentioned so far: Video Nation was a BBC project that was based on Mass Observation and pioneered video blogging.
Pauline keeps coming back to the central importance of the function of the Editor and selector of content. I disagreed with her especially on her attitude to social media. Paulne kicked up a bit of a stir – which was good fun. Bill Thompson displayed perhaps another face of the BBC. This Storify is, of course, one aspect of social media which does not involve “Tweeting about having a latte” as Pauline described it…

Shaping the Catapult…

Shaping the Connected Digital Economy Catapult

A focus on SMEs

Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, May 10 2012 12:06:24

Here’s the briefing material for the day:

“The workshop will start with a presentation on the vision, scope and process for the establishment of the Catapult and will be a chance for participants to understand and debate the range of ways companies will be able to work with the catapult, including strategic partnerships, delivery partnerships, and participation in projects and use of resources and facilities. 

The main part of the workshop will delve into and debate the type of resources and facilities that the centre could provide that would benefit SMEs once the centre is established; note that this will not be about specific technology areas or projects, but about the nature of the gap that SMEs face and where practical support from the Catapult would make a big difference. 

The information captured from the debate will be used as part of the ongoing development phase of the CDE Catapult and will form valuable input into the initial business plan for the centre.”
#CDECatapult meeting starts with 100 people @nick_appleyard @kramix @drgeep @brian_condon @JeremyS1
In a room with windows, high ceilings, room to breathe….. must be the SME day for the #cdecatapult !
RT @marekpawlowski: Interested to hear from anyone at #cdecatapult with a view on the importance of user-centred design in digital industry
At Bristol Science Park workshop on how SMEs will engage with #CDECatapult. Essential to find ways of involving them at the heart of it.
Nick is introducing the CDEC and some of the work that has been done on the CDE Catapult. Consultations going on over several years. Over the 7 catapults there will be £250m available to invest.
@nick_appleyard presents on #cdecatapult in Bristol
The playing field is the internet #cdecatapult
#CDECatapult will be important – flagship even – at the right point in history for convergence (e.g. of tech / creative).
Good question: what is a #CDECatapult? What does it do? Hopefully finding out, we’ll let you know!
Conference underway, briefing from @nick_appleyard on connected digital economy #CDECatapult Craven
Questions:How do SMEs get involved with the #cdecatapult
7 Catapults in total – ICT-heavy – centres to help grow the economy – looking at big conversations – all interconnected #CDECatapult
Catapults take on big challenges, big conversations of very diverse sets of people #cdecatapult
Aim of #CDECatapult: UK to be a global leader – where people/companies come to innovate for digital services/media/content.
End to end visibility of media content across infrastructure – how to monetise? #IP fits nicely here #CDECatapult
@EIP_Digital Don’t you think "end-to-end visibility" of content on the Internet is an oxymoron though? #cdecatapult
@brian_condon Depends on the level – packet-level can trace vs. content-level tracking (e.g. who has/is downloading what).
@EIP_Digital but the ISPs/Telcos keep saying they don’t do Deep Packet Inspection……#cdecatapult
@brian_condon They don’t but they could (at least technically). E.g. If legal structure was in place. #CDECatapult
We, as an SME working with digital data (legal services), also need help exploiting power of the Internet for global business. #CDECatapult
Good to hear @nick_appleyard recognising central role of UX at #cdecatapult. Hope today will define how #cdecatapult most effectively helps
SMEs much less well-behaved than delegates at other sessions – asking questions before the Q&A session! #cdecatapult
Graham was right – in the other meetings I’ve been to, people waited until the Q&A to ask questions – actually these participants wanted to get into the debate.
@graham_hitchen if you want disruption, they’re the ones to provide it at #cdecatapult
That’s a new slide on the governance structure of #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult shd be funded around £20-30m per annum around 100-200 people
Advisory board include sme representation #cdecatapult
Outline business plan by June, launch by autumn #cdecatapult
150 SMEs responded to registration of interest in #cdecatapult
Strategic partner of #CDECatapult – organisation w/ resources to help centre (mainly large companies/public bodies could be co-ops of SMEs).
@JeremyS1 discussing role of SMEs in #CDECatapult: most innovation in the digital economy comes from them. Boyd
What’s the point? SMEs hv key role in this space. It’s abt innovation that comes fm SME space #cdecatapult
Internet is the lab, digital startups are researchers, SMEs the innovators #cdecatapult
Irene’s tweet above was much re-Tweeted and it seemed to capture the imagination and put the pieces together very cogently.  Others also picked up on this theme:
The Internet is the lab – from Bell Labs to connected SMEs. #CDECatapult
@JeremyS1 : ability to be flexible, innovative is inherently an SME capability #cdecatapult
SMEs key to success of Catapult; in high velocity environment they are the innovators #cdecatapult
How do we harness SME capability for UK, and how do we grow and scale that #cdecatapult
Simplest ways for SMEs to be involved in projects but there are other ways #cdecatapult
Jeremy used a quote from Albert Einstein which @kramix links to SME participation:
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research." SMEs innovate through their flexibility #cdecatapult @wmgsme
New slide on role of SMEs in #CDECatapult
Collaboration is key. But I argue, convergence is the opportunity #cdecatapult
SME capability matching seems right up your alley @jaybal #cdecatapult
Some ways for #CDECatapult to experiment – not sure how this links to what’s already out there?
#cdecatapult should model interdisciplinary working, addressing cultural issues blocking effective collaboration in the convergent landscape
Need for hack days – ideas generation as well as demonstrators- showcasing what has been done #cdecatapult
Like the idea of spare-time skunk works & themed hack days to experiment – IPR headaches abound though. #CDECatapult
@jeremyS1 singing praises of #SMEs: researchers, innovators, speed adopters, disruptors – with hotline to consumer appetites #cdecatapult
Collaboration between different entities to remove cultural boundaries & friction. E.g. Big & small companies working together. #CDECatapult
Reminder from @JeremyS1 #cdecatapult must reflect flexibility of digital industry it serves. Best achieved through dialogue with SMEs IMHO
Delighted UX is topping list of #cdecatapult proposals for year one capabilities. Hope multi-disciplinary projects will also get attention
@mcseain @nick_appleyard hopefully #cdecatapult capabilities can help facilitate some of that UX skill to make it easier for SMEs
Moving into questions now and the question of location for the CDE Catapult emerge. Needs to be maximum accessibility for the maximum number of people says Nick Appleyard. Jemy Silver argues that some things can be done virtually – not all the people at this meeting are in the room many of them are looking remotely. A questioner says that “Shoreditch and Manchester” are impossible to get to!
How does a 1-location centre help SMEs nationally? Very good question – virtual integration coupled to a physical location. #CDECatapult
Answer: one centre accessibility to everyone rather than be dispersed. Creating a singularity? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
#cdecatapult TSB putting forward the case for the Catapult. Should it be one centre or spread out across the Uk?
Need right balance between physical/virtual – virtual first. Spend time fixing physical location problem – key. #CDECatapult
Of course, many in the room (especially us SMEs) were thinking that the ‘virtual’ stuff is all very well but most of us don’t have the bandwidth for serious telepresence applications.  
Where should the Connected Digital Economy Catapult be located? Where SMEs are or where expertise is? Near strategic partner? #cdecatapult
@EIP and many SMEs collaborate from different national offices – tools and solutions exist. #CDECatapult
How do we create interactions, maintain all the conversations across the country? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng using business platforms such as our WMCCM infrastructure @jaybal #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult debate highlights the difficulty of creating operational model for Centre which purports to have micro/SME culture at its heart
I agree that it’s difficult – but it is possible.  Needs a different approach to engagement than that which works with Big Companies and some new thinking on how resources are provided.

Naturally, location kept coming up:
Location is obviously a well-trodden touchy subject! #CDECatapult
@bjh_ip yeah – a difficult one alright #cdecatapult
A few questions about how a single physical #cdecatapult can be useful to SMEs throughout country. Is network of centres needed too?
TSB ‘supervising’ is too strong a term. aspiration is that #cdecatapult is independent and collaborative with voices of many
Good question: how does public/private split work? How’s does it differ from TSB? #CDECatapult
What’s in it for SMEs? Resources, expertise to help you scale, grow and compete globally? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
@nick_appleyard about creating conditions & part of the environment leading to innovation. It’s free to make the decisions. #cdecatapult
Brokerage for microSMEs: where service-providers (attorneys, accountants, solicitors, consultants) can help w/ exposure. #CDECatapult
In Bristol and Bath SP; questioner says "Manchester and Shoreditch are impossible to get to…" I came here from Kent! Ha! #cdecatapult
Key challenges emerging: location, collaboration, resource, funding/bidding, and speed! It must be quick in this environment #cdecatapult
Lots of brainstorming and chat on the Twitter ‘backchannel’ – some of which I could only capture by tracking n=both ends of the conversation – difficult to follow without using the hashtag!
ORegan wondering what the stone is in the catapult? It is David and Goliath! #cdecatapult
Think #CDECatapult needs to be more than another incubator – lots of these already existing.
SMEs are the engine of innovation. SME asks if the #cdecatapult will offer real co-location office space and what support is up for grabs?
@ireneclng gov’t likes defining how parties have specific skills. Was at EU event where only uni’s spoke cos they had ‘ideas’ unlike SMEs.
@Acuity_Design if any group has the license to do things differently #cdecatapult shd have. Do we still remember how?
@Acuity_Design perhaps the counterbalance of large org power is the SME spring? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng metaphorical models of pivots, levers, etc may not help describe a political/financial creation #cdecatapult
Q. How do we make #CDECatapult profitable for microSMEs? Can commercial relationships help? [within EU-law]
Consensus growing that SME delegates’ disruptive potential inversely proportionate to their politesse to the hosts #cdecatapult
@creativeKTN Disruption as oligarchy meets artisans #cdecatapult
Now we are moving into workshop groups – will continue to add content to this Storify if possible.
#cdecatapult Groups asking what the Centre should provide. Be bold in vision and don’t just do what’s happening already. Make it special
My group discussing how #cdecatapult can work. 6 in the group – 4 from Universities.. Speculating about what SMEs might need 🙂
Lots of talk on how to make #CDECatapult worthwhile for SMEs – need to understand problems faced by SMEs – difficult for public bodies.
Creative thinking on #cdecatapult struggling with the need to fill in a form….
Workshop 2: why and how would a fictional SME get involved? (Designs for #CDECatapult on a postcard.)
Success for #cdecatapult will be in *how* it behaves rather than *what* it does
#cdecatapult cannot deliver incubation space or business support – but might be part of a local ecology where this is available in spades
Does #cdecatapult need operational (JV?) model combining very specific capabilities with a broader range of business incubation services?
During the feedback session for Workshop 2 we heard 2 minute feedback presentations from each of the working groups – indicating the wide-ranging ideas for scenarios for CDEC operation. A common theme of brokering relationships, building consortia, helping to take risk and coordination emerged.
Good discussion on a hypothetical SME. One thing is clear, SPEED is crucial. #cdecatapult
Tweets about #cdecatapult have reached 11,556 people via @tweetreachapp
#CDECatapult as broker – working on multiple geographic levels in UK; providing access to advisors. #brainstorming
Company has big idea – don’t have resources for design/manufacture/testing. Need project management by #CDECatapult. #brainstorming
SME based in innovation centre – recommended to #CDECatapult – put in touch with advisors & investors. Reduction in risk. #brainstorming
Need to answer what is in it for the SME? #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Bar to entry for #CDECatapult – incentive to join club & share. #CDECatapult
#cdecatapult scenarios all need "convening power", relationship building/brokering, intervention to accelerate and build scale and speed!
"We’re all into localism now." Does a national centre like #cdecatapult need local points of presence? Affiliated universities suggested.
A recurring theme for SMEs is "time". Don’t drain it: offer things that create more of it. #cdecatapult.
Service exchange. VC connections. TSB funding facilitators. #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Good day at #cdecatapult. Good recurring themes emerging- things are progressing but still work to do. Use of case studies worked well todayPeter L
Using scenarios and user journeys proved a powerful framework for generating ideas for #cdecatapult – we need more models like this.Frank Boyd
Agree case studies very useful. Thanks to all who attended. #CDECatapultBen Hoyle
Will be interesting to see how #CDECatapult progresses – broad themes emerged & there was momentum at end of day. The hard part follows…EIP Digital

Text and Electricity

Text and Electricity

Poets and Geeks

Storified by Brian_Condon · Tue, May 08 2012 11:03:42

I’ve been thinking about this for a while – the idea of bringing together poets and technical people – geeks, coders, hackers – insert whatever descriptor you feel comfortable with. Of course, similar things happen all the time at #C4CC – but generally focused on projects and usually with a specific goal in mind – such as a performer working with a coder on a piece, or a fashion artist collaborating with an electronics engineer… 

I phoned Will Montgomery of RHUL’s Poetics Research Centre and talked it through with him. He liked it; we talked about structure and approach – a conversation punctuated with short sections where participants talk about their work but with no formal presentations. A quick Eventbrite page with words mostly from Will. And a name “Text and Electricity”.
Text and ElectricityText and Electricity is an afternoon symposium designed to bring experimental poets together with those working creatively with technology: coders, circuit-benders, dorks and hackers.We plan a loosely structured and exploratory conversation, punctuated by short informal accounts from participants talking about their work and approaches.
Will and I did a bit of prep before the meeting, agreeing on our approach to facilitation and some back up themes if the conversation flagged (misplaced fears!). We decided to “let go” of the meeting as much as possible; hoping the conversation would flow naturally and that the approach would work.
popping down to Text and Electricity at the #C4CC now. may be interesting re: bringing together @OKFN coders w artists.
Beginning #textandelectricity at #c4cc . Wow. The intros are blowing my mind even before the conversations start.
As we went around the circle and people introduced themselves and mentioned their interests, I thought “This is going to work” and glancing across at my co-facilitator Will – I could see he thought so too.
John Sparrow Talks While Mark Rooke Listensbrian_condon
We started with John Sparrow, based in the USA, and talked about his work and generative text – projected on a wall outside the circle.
Itch AwayWelcome to Itch Away, which houses the poetry discussions and practical work of John Sparrow. New material will be added to this site on an ongoing basis. For now, please check out the blog. You can subscribe to it using the link in the left-hand bar.
Initially, I thought that I’d be able to facilitate, participate and Tweet. But it soon became obvious that something had to give – so I focused on the discussion and listening hard. 

 Our in-house polymath – @kat_braybrooke was active on Twitter – joining in the discussion in the room and beginning conversations with people on Twitter. What follows is Kat’s tweeting and some other material from the web.
@zeroinfluencer @stml, are your ears burning? we are discussing @weavrs & new forms of generative interactivity at #C4CC code/poetry meetup.
WeavrsStarting from interests given to them by their designers, Weavrs learn new emotions and grow to empathically reflect the interests of those around them. Social Formed from the social web, Weavrs publicly blog, checkin, comment and chat. Give them their own Twitter account and they’ll Tweet about their lives and answer everyone’s questions.
@robmyers last tweet pertains to you too. "how does one deal with language thats currently deconstructing *itself*?" cc @weavrs (via #c4cc)
@kat_braybrooke help it by growing its corpus and giving it new tools?
"the rise of blogging was a way to write ourselves into existence, but what happens when those blogging aren’t human?" @brian_condon #c4cc
Kat’s Tweet follows my reference to the work of David Weinberger and his blog – here is his post: 

 “Thursday, November 29, 2001 
The Web vs. Computers Please allow me to state the obvious: the Age of the Web is succeeding in part because it is undoing the excesses of the Age of Computers. With the introduction of the PC, we spent our days staring into a screen, manipulating data and composing words in clicking silence. With the Web, we spend our days staring into a screen looking at other people, or at least looking at how other people choose to present themselves. But the Web runs through and on computers. 

The way computers have changed us persists in our online selves. Just as we can manipulate symbols and words with computers, we can manipulate our selves on the Web, if only because Web conversations are mediated through written language and thus can be drafted and revised. Even the immediate conversations – chat, IM – occur through keyboards, allowing us to compose ourselves as we compose our words. We are writing ourselves into existence on the Web. Together.” 
You can find his blog archive here:
@zeroinfluencer @robmeyers u should come to next discussion! now talking post-post structuralism (hah), nodes, David Harvey, machines. #c4cc
David Harvey at Occupy London (12 November 2011)
"I’m trying to provoke a feminist analysis of flippancy." at #c4cc people now (inevitably) adding gender into the discussion about machines.
poet using "Internet as stimulus" to portray a march, while reading her poem from her phone at #c4cc – an interesting mesh of agency & code.
The poet Kat refers to is Prue Chamberlain and here is the poem:
Join Me on The BridgeIn an act of undeniable symbolism I have burnt my upper thigh with the iron while doing a shirt. Not a small affliction, no, but the welt…
talking more about @weavrs, avatarization, coding and ‘Self’ at #c4cc, we’re realising it’s all the same: authored, constructed poetry.
"language is now collapsing on itself… that might be horrifying." "but it’s also now dynamic and interactive. and that’s amazing." #c4cc
hahahaha, @lloyddavis. am especially amazed by the poignant nature of @LewDDavis’s most recent tweet [cough] cc @weavrs
@robmyers shared ur point re @weavrs at #c4cc discussion. really interesting fodder for intriguing conversation btwn coders & poets/writers.
KAIBRAY DOT COMKAiBRAY DESIGN: graphic/web design and online community-bulding for NGOs by kaitlyn kat braybrooke.
@therourke haha. nice to meet you. also, your glitchy avatar reminds me of those pokemon episodes that caused seizures amongst viewers 😉
@therourke ha. i like how you managed to mention ‘loops’ re: your seizure avatar. very #c4cc discussion 😉 speaking of:
Thanks @kat_braybrooke at #c4cc & @robmyers for positing @weavrs as "bots that think they’re human". I can feel a #PKD reference coming on
RT @therourke: PKD was 1st writer to posit robots that thought they were human. Do @weavrs have empathy? Some of #PKD’s did (cc @kat_bra …
Phillip K. Dick Android
@evanraskob ah, before i forget, here’s what i was talking about: #radcoco / cc @federicacocco – and yours? 🙂
WE ARE LONDON’S RADICAL CODING COLLECTIVE.Somewhat unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersections between gender and machine languages lately. An article has been making the rounds on Twitter today that raises some key points about the so-called "women in tech" boom, specifically as applied to startups and small organisations in Silicon Valley.
And here is Evan’s blog
Computational Designer In Residence at Ravensbourne | pixelpusher :: pixel performance and artI’ve recently been appointed as Computational Designer at Ravensbourne, which allows me to continue developing open source software for art and design and also teaching people how to make things using software (and programmable hardware).
There’s also other activity – during the same week even – looking at this area:
Can Artists Help Us Reboot Humanism in an Over-Connected Age? | ArtinfoThis year’s "Seven on Seven" conference seemed to represent an emerging consensus among artists and technologists that it is time to slow down. But can we?
And of course, we need to think about what happens next. Positive feedback from participants. It was an extraordinary discussion – and I’m still thinking about it. We may do it again possibly in June. Let us know – add a comment perhaps. The important thing it seems to me is to connect people who might not otherwise meet; and see what happens!
@PrueChamberlain hey lady 🙂 thanks for follow, and rad to meet you at #c4cc meetup. would like to see more of your work re poetry/feminism!
@kat_braybrooke it was great to meet you – I’d like to hear more about your work & hacking, so if you fancy a drink around #c4cc let me know