Posts Tagged: ideas

NaBloPoMo Fail and Thanksgiving

Fallen hibiscus bloom

Photo taken on Nov 15th by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.

Mon 11.19.12 – I have had a NaBloPoMo fail. I have just plain had a daily blogging fail for the last year and some.
I talked about my blogging fail with Erika last week and she thought that I was putting my creative endeavors in other places (Twitter, photography, app creation, etc) and that for this season it was ok that I am not blogging as much. I responded to her that while that may be true, I am still not happy with it because I frequently refer to the archives of my blog as a way to track what I have been doing and thinking about.
My blog is not just a gallery for my photos, or a place for me to talk about ideas in and around technology and culture, it is also a way that I am able to mark my thoughts and actions in my world over time. Yes, kind of like a journal or diary, but a bit more oblique.
Much has happened since Feb 11, 2011 when I fell off the blogging wagon with a big giant thump and I would like to record it. The daily bits are gone, like the ephemera that they are/were, but the photos and major ideas are either on my computer in the Photos and To Blog folders. I would like to slowly but surely eject them out of their dusty folders and put them up here.
But first, I must finish up this year of creation sabbatical strong and get the mobile apps I have been working on off my computer and into an app store.
One of the cool things I have seen on other blogs this month is a countdown of thanks to Thanksgiving. Some bloggers are doing “30 Days of Thanks” and others are doing a 10 Day countdown to Thanksgiving.
Rather than try to back track and make a fuss, I will just simply say right here and right now that I am so very grateful for the ability to take this year off from web design & development client work to focus on creating some of the mobile apps* that have lived in my head for awhile.
I want to say thank you to family, friends all over, and the open source mobile community for encouraging me to do this year. In the last month or two or three that it takes to finish, deploy, and wrap up, I thank you in advance for your encouragement and support.
Y’all rock.
*Yes, I started with 2 apps to work on and then they bred like rabbits on my computer and I am now working on 3 or 4 depending on how one would count a module that could be plugged into another app. ;o)

Twitter, Some Recents Thoughts

Tom Hall, asked at the beginning of March,
How many Twitter follows is too many?

Not followers, but follows. The people who you are meant to be interested in.
I find myself more and more these days getting lost in Twitter trails of people I follow (a measly 361 at the time of writing), wishing I could stop, but pressing on in case I miss something. I got the junk food addiction.
So what’s the proper Twetiquette (sorry!) for ensuring you can have a life away from Twitter? ….

(more…)

That’s Heaven, That’s Not Earth

Tues 10.06.09 – Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan conducted an interview to talk about Ideas | Life | The World | Etc a week and a half ago, and since both have released video snippets on their blogs that have been very intriguing. I hope that the Atlantic will post the whole of the interview on their website – Look! They have, in pieces.
Today’s snippet, above, deals with war, innocence, gay rights, sacrifice/transcendence , Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Good stuff.
Here are a few of the other video snippets:
Touching The Void
Obama, The Tory
Almost Grateful
On another note, Sullivan does some great Dog Blogging this past week.

Mobile Camp LA Meets N97 24/7

Checking in at the Mobile Camp
Round Table Discussion: Al, Jonny, and Dan Round Table Discussion: Dan and Roger Round Table Discussion: Howard and Andrew
Round Table Discussion: Andrew and George Round Table Discussion: Matthew Group Shot, missing a few
Photos taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

Sat 07.11.09 – Today was an overly packed day with activities that ranged from West LA to Irvine and Westminster. Basically, a lot of driving, but it was well worth it.
I had the opportunity to attend the Mobile Camp LA held by the N97 24/7 challenge folk at UCLA’s Tom Bradley Int’l Hall. I have in the past been a bit fearful of Bar Camps, as what would I talk about? After thinking about it, I don’t find university teaching fearful, but instead a good joyful, challenge. I don’t have fear speaking at a conference where I have been invited, they why the mild trepidation about a Bar Camp?
While I did have some trepidation about the Mobile Camp today, we all ended up sitting around a large round table and discussing / debating a wide range of subjects in and around mobile, the internet, usage, user experience, mobile ideas, applications, etc., rather than having to present a topic or sit nicely while someone else presented on a topic.
The best part was that all people at the table who were actively participating in the discussion. Very much an iron sharpens iron, get your brain nice and tuned up type of afternoon. The Mobile Camp LA was well worth the drive and I am not the person who drove the longest, that goes to @rogerpodacter (twitter) who drove up from Temecula!
All in all, big thanks to all the attendees, their ideas & thoughts, and to Nokia & WOMWorld for hosting the event. It was like a mini Nokia Open Lab in LA.
Delightful.

Theoretical Stance

Take a stance. Even for a minute or two or a month or longer. Do it publicly.
One of the conversations, however briefly, I got into today on Twitter with Jonathan Greene was about John Gruber’s iPhone post, “Complex“.
While I agree with Gruber’s initially stated premise that starting with a simple problem or solving a problem (just one) is a great way to begin any project. Once the simple has been defined, then build on it. Gruber goes from strength to strength to Apple fanboi kool-aid drinking by the end of the post.
In one of my Tweets, I pose the question:

“Gruber is very much in the Apple fold. That is why I ask if he is making a theoretical stance rather than an accurate assessment”

I think it makes great articles to take a stance and argue from it. I think it makes great art when one decides to take a stance, even if briefly, know where one resides in that theoretical space as one creates and practices one’s art. But it is also important, whether one is writing articles or creating art to clearly acknowledge the stance and space that one is standing in, so that the reader or viewer can also know where to stand.
What do I mean by this? In Gruber’s piece, his lack of a disclaimer or acknowledgment to the audience or even to himself of his US-centric and Apple-centric position makes the ending arguments of his piece fall flat if the reader falls outside of the concentric circles that Gruber is assuming that everyone is agreeing on. Many of the ideas in his article are intriguing, such as basing a series of devices on a software/firmware platform first rather than the function of the device, but this assumes that all the readers have drunken deeply of the iPhone kool-aid and are devotees at the shrine of Jobs. But what happens to the cult when Jobs retires and the powers that be don’t carry on the same way? What happens if Gruber is looking at Apple’s strategy from a theoretical stance or from a critical (in the academic sense) 20/20 hindsight review of the last eight years of strategy rather than what may or may not have happened?
This year at SXSW, Andy Budd and I had two very fun rounds of debate about Apple, the iPhone and anything that Nokia is doing. We were to have round three but never got to it. Andy is a User Experience professional, not only does he blog about it, run a whole web firm predicated on UX (clearleft), writes books on it, and speaks on UX, but he also firmly lives it. I thoroughly enjoy engaging Andy on topics of UX as it intersects mobile, as it is a great place for my great passion of mobile to cross his of UX. Andy and I disagree on the iPhone. While I agree with him that it is the “game changer” of 2007/2008, I don’t think we can assume that it will be going forward.
I argue that Nokia and other firms cannot be discounted in the wake of the iPhone, as not every user/customer/person will be satisfied by the iPhone’s features, functions, and OS. I have a number of non-web-design LA area creative friends who tried the iPhone and returned it before the 30 days were up for an Android G-1, a Sidekick 3, or for a Crackberry. I also have a number of friends and colleagues in LA and other places, who prefer Nokia Nseries phones to the iPhone, of which I am one of them. Most of us in this category want camera phones that take great photos.
On Twitter, I summed up my statements with on Gruber’s article:

“It can be easy to forget culture & sub-cultural usage patterns as well as differing personal usage. The US is not all.”

To this end, both in Gruber’s article and in my own conversations with web colleagues who are passionate about A or B or C or X or Z device, I think we all have to remember that different mobile devices are not just fulfilling a cultural zeitgeist of the moment (like the iPhone in the US right now), or a sub-cultural niche (like the Sidekick 2 in the North American punk scene from 2005-2007), but also individual’s differing usage patterns.
I do think it is important to state, even if briefly where one stands in that moment within the frame of the discussion so that the reader/viewer knows what one’s theoretical stance is.
This is why I always encourage my friends who are excited about digital photography to write about and publicly dialogue about whether they are most interested in the act of shooting the photo or in the act of processing it later on their computer. Do you post your photos as is or do you process them? It is not an inconsequential factoid, but a record of your artistic / photographic journey that helps your viewers to know where you stand right now.
This is why I try to be clear that, for now, I like to shoot photos with camera phones, as I like the immediacy, I like the constraints, and I like to send my photos to this blog or to Flickr unprocessed, as is. And on the other side, for my friends who the great pleasure comes in the hour or two spent at their computer later processing their DSLR photos, good – many beauties upon you. Let us know about your process.
Why do I talk about theoretical stances or spaces in conjunction with John Gruber, the iPhone, Andy Budd, Twitter, Flickr, and camera phones this late in the evening after a long day? Well, in my recent post on the Nokia N95 vs. the Nokia N97, I was outright that my interest is in the camera capacity of the device and in response to some comments, I made a few comments that went deeper into the the territory of the quality of the camera being preeminent. I didn’t make these comments to inflame but to iterate that my theoretical space and concern as an individual user of mobile devices is that of a photographer first and foremost.
From what position or space are you standing in right now?

A Suggestion for External Communication

Part Two of my improve Nokia’s Communication Idea Set.
One of the frustrations in participating in projects / campaigns with WOM World can be the difficulty in communication and getting timely information. This is not news to the folks at WOM World (we had a big conversation last week about this) nor to other folks who work on campaigns/projects with them. Now let me break this down into the problem, the extenuating circumstances, and the proposed solution:
The Problem:
I love participating in projects / campaigns / whatever you want to call it with WOM World & Nokia but I find myself frustrated that much of the information that is needed to complete my side of the project right either comes late or quite a bit into the campaign. Take the example of the lack of Nokia viNe widget for the last month and a half of that campaign and then finding out about a similar widget by some other team at Nokia via another blog.
The Circumstances:
(please note that the following are not unique to WOM World or Nokia, but happen all over the world in a variety of businesses)
1) Nokia is working with at least 3 external agencies / vendors on any one campaign: Interactive ad agency, WOM World/1000 heads for the outward facing blogger interface & social media marketing, a possible pr agency, etc. This is on top of the one or two or more internal Nokia teams that may be involved in the project (the developers who are making the service, the marketing team, etc). This is a lot of cats to herd. And it is a lot of folks to be informing each other of what each member of their teams is up to, as well as what other teams at Nokia may be up to that might help the campaign/project at hand, all while on a tight deadline.
2) Almost every company on the planet has teams that are understaffed and overworked. It is a reality of the business system. ‘Nuff said.
3) WOM World’s primary mission is to follow social media and bloggers and then let the world know about what those folks have said. WOM World does not create its own content. At the same time as WOM World is blogging about what we are blogging about, they are also sending and receiving mobile devices all over for trials, and participating in / conducting Nokia campaigns with bloggers and social media folk, as well as interacting with Nokia and other agencies to make sure that WOM World’s portion is working. See #1 & #2 above and you get the point.
4) Ok, I could now talk about how different cultures view the dissemination of information or lack thereof, company cultures, and transparency v. Finnish mind reading tricks, but I won’t muddle up the subject at hand with more details or conjecture.
The Proposed Solution:
Provide a back channel for each of the projects / campaigns as a way of getting information out there and keeping folks informed, and as a way to build community.
What do I mean by a back channel? Before Nokia Open Lab in Sept. most of the participants had very little information other than initial email invite, as the website for the event was not up yet, so Roland Tanglao set up a wiki to help us communicate and share more info that folks may have gleaned.
By having this wiki, the Open Lab participants were able to share our flight times to meet up at the airport, information about the event, information about Helsinki, and most importantly – after the event – links to our blog posts, photos, tweets, etc that we created about the event.
Instead of talking less in public spaces about the Open Lab because we had our own private place to talk to each other, we talked more in public because we had more information and we felt more empowered.
So, I propose that for each campaign / project that Nokia and WOM World work on (either together or separately) with bloggers and social media folk, that a wiki or Friend Feed or an old school link portal or some other way for us to aggregate all the information we need to share with each other, as well as a listing of all the posts / tweets / etc that we have written about the campaign / project.
Arguments Against:
Since I floated this idea by WOM World’s Donna and Siobhan last week, I already have the objections to my idea. Of which the biggest objection is that if a wiki is set up, then the fear would be that the participants would just chat to each other on the wiki / forum / back channel and would not post about the project.
Counter Argument:
In the instance of the Nokia Open Lab 2008, having the wiki did not stop us from blogging and tweeting about it. In fact, we posted more and responded to each other in our blogs because we were sharing information and we had built a community.
WOM World may have posted a few links to our writings during and after the event, but by having a back channel we were able to self-aggregate all of our social media and blog links about the Open Lab and it can be viewed by the public which only increases the Long Tail effect for the event.
When we were talking last week Siobhan suggested that FriendFeed would work within the constraints of WOM World’s primary mission, as it could aggregate all the posts for all of the participants of any given project. But, unless FriendFeed has good filters for all of the incoming feeds, we would also see all of the other posts by the same folks.
A wiki or like, either on the WOM World site or external wiki like PBwiki, would also allow us to share links and information that would be helpful during the project, like my finding the Maps + Photography widget last week, it would allow not just the participants but the whole world see a complete or almost complete list of the posts on the project both during and after in one place, as well as build community.
The Conclusion:
Please help those of us without degrees in Finnish Mind Reading out. I would love to know who the other participants in the Nokia viNe project are, I know a few, but it would be great to follow all and not just thier viNe posts but also their blogs and other social media, as well as to share information that will allow all of us to better participate in the project.
Information + Links + Community = a Big Win for Nokia in the long run.

NaBloPoMo 2007 Starts Today

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Get your engines started, here we go, National Blog Posting Month!!!!!
For the next 30 days, I will be posting not just mobile blogged photos everyday, but also text / writing posts everyday. I have tons of things that I have been meaning to write for you all in a folder on my desktop, but I never seem to allow myself to actually blog it due to time restrictions and the distractions of life. Well, time restrictions and deadlines will have to line up 2nd to blogging this month.
From Nov. 16th to the 28th, it may be a challenge for me to get something here everyday on time, as I will be traveling in Ireland and Spain with spotty to no internet connection, so with the help of my trusty Nokia N95 on those days I will be blogging from my mobile.
Been having trouble posting to your blog with any regularity? Well, join us. Even if you can only post a photo a day or a few sentences, giving 10 – 30 minutes a day to blogging will make it easier to blog, you a better writer or photographer or podcaster or video-ist or artist or…. Do it!
Thanks to Mrs. Kennedy for organizing NaBloPoMo!