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#56 September 2023 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

The ‘Welsh Not’, which usually consisted of a small piece of wood or slate inscribed with the letters ‘W.N’, was hung around the neck of a child who was caught speaking Welsh. At the end of the school day, the child wearing the ‘Welsh Not’ would be punished by the schoolteacher via People’s Collection Wales.

A bunch of things (which I tweeted) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on.

READ

95% of NFTs are Worthless: Report “…study investigated 73,257 NFT collections, 69,795 of which have a market value of zero ETH.”

Indian actor Anil Kapoor wins court battle over AI use of his likeness the start of many, many, many more.

Scientists excited to find ocean of one of Jupiter’s moons contains carbon & Nasa says distant exoplanet could have rare water ocean and possible hint of life.

Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome, the browser now directly tracks users, generates a “topic” list it shares with advertisers (stop using it as a way to communicate this is not cool!).

EU unveils ‘revolutionary’ laws to curb big tech firms’ power, “…tech companies have six months to comply with a full list of dos and don’ts under the new laws, after which they could be fined up to 10% of their turnover.” BOOM!

Rassie Erasmus: ‘Winning the World Cup is nice – but the most beautiful thing is what we have created’. Some great leadership reflections / insights in this piece for anyone interested.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Over 500+ free CSS-only loaders made using a single element.

Check out this search engine for AI platforms / services, at current time of posting: 7,678 AIs for 2,103 tasks and 4,847 jobs.

EmojiGen, an open source emoji generator.

220+ ZX Spectrum 8×8 bitmap fonts & use for free with citation. My fav is Invasion, what’s yours?

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Published

Tweetmailing No More | X’iting The Shitfire

After over 16 years, 36,600+ tweets, many connections / friends made, conversations / communities explored, good stuff curated and shared… I’m out!

For some time Twitter has been a bit of a turd.

A turd rolled in glitter.

Then Elon Musk was forced to buy it and decided to set it on fire.

So now it’s sparkly shit, in flames, stinking up the place…


I remember a time when it was an active community of humans adding value to each other (as when you tweeted people would see it, respond, share on etc).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when tweet-ups were a thing (literally tweeting out where you were going to be in a city or place or event and folks would join you from the virtual community to make themselves real).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when geo-location was available as a search criteria (as a way to connect into physical communities of practice and tracking some fun stuff).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when ‘Follow Fridays’ was a thing (celebrating people in your network for their efforts online and exposing them to your network for more follows).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when RSS feeds where available on profiles and even searches / hashtags (which allowed an opportunity to mash-up that data as research and insights or even as a way to curate clusters of people into fun groups).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when the platform had trust in its user base by showing just the tweets from people you were following (by the way if you want that, start a private list as sponsored tweets don’t appear in there when viewed and tweets are sorted by latest).

It’s not anymore.

I remember when Twitter was fun and allowed third party services like IFTTT to again curate and play with what’s being shared in interesting ways (I used to tweet quotes from Rilke and have them automatically curate to a Tumblr blog called ‘Missing Rilke‘).

It’s not anymore.


…the reason I stayed this long was due to the legacy echo of community and connection.

Alas, the algorithms, sponsors and shareholder return is all that matters now, along with a silly man in charge making sillier decisions (take your time).

My engagement (folks I talk to and who respond to my tweets) has flat lined to nearly zero these past few years. And just like with all my relationships, I need some parity of energy and effort to continue investing from my side.

Twitter will probably become one of the worst financial investment failures in modern history and all because one person thought he could do better than others for himself not the community as a whole (success in one arena does not equal mastery in another).

So I’m going back to things I can control. The stuff I used to advocate for when delivering new media training back in the day with my second company MediaSnackers. This blog (please do subscribe in the sidebra / footer or grab the RSS feed) will become the center point of future activities and my community (yes I’ve sniffed out Mastodon, Discord, BlueSky etc but I have no energy to build a new community elsewhere and dilute my offerings / energy further, plus I’m going to be busy for a while with my new job).

So thank you Twitter.

Thank you for connecting us to each other.

For allowing us to express ourselves.

To be heard in a loud world.

To be part of something, expansive.

It worked. For a while. Now it doesn’t:

My first ever tweet, see ‘I’ve Been Tweetmailing For 15 Years | How The Twittersphere Has Changed
Related posts: Flawed Social Media Engagement Tactics | A Simple Fix, Twitter Basics | Plus The Things They Never Tell You, Ulearn12 | The Rise Of The Tweetmailers, Tweriod | When Your Audience Is Online For Engagement, plus all monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.

Published

Leaving To Arrive | Way Led On To Way

After a 12 years, I’m off to take up a role with a central UK government agency where I’ll be leading a newly formed team to develop and deliver an international multi-day conference in 2025.

In 2011 I moved from the capital city of Cymru Wales, to Christchurch, four months after the February earthquake. It was a challenging place to settle and in under a year I moved again to the capital of Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, where I’ve been ever since.

I will miss this place, dearly.

I didn’t want to move and the short story is this is a career opportunity I wouldn’t get if I stayed and I’m hungry (there’s a longer story and happy to share if you ask / buy me a peppermint tea).

For anyone reading this who has emigrated you will attest to the logistical and emotional toll such a journey encompasses. The mountain of action needed to traverse from one geographical region to the next whilst also facing down multiple emotional experiences. And as shared in the wrap-up bonus episode of Creative Welly, I will miss the people the most.

Such a move makes one reflective and a retrospective of my time here will follow, but for now, I’m head down in downsizing / goodwilling / recycling / gifting all my stuff ready for the move plus catching up with people that matter, along with lining up living options on the other side of the planet.

So it’s onwards into a new chapter.

A new country to live in.

A new capital city to explore.

A new community to serve.

A new job to do (I’ve negotiated a four-day week contract to ensure I can continue my speaker coaching with leaders and some other side projects which I’ve put off for a while).

So if you’re looking for a masterclass or speaker coaching session get one in super-fast in the next two weeks. Or if you want to catch up in-person before I leave these shores then please just reach out (quickly), as who knows when I’ll be back this way again:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken, By Robert Frost

*sighs*

Published

Wrapping Up Creative Welly | A Study In Human Intimacy

The final episode of this three year journey in creating something beautiful (in podcast form).

Last week I posted episodes 49 and 50 of the unique podcast I conceived and produced, Creative Welly, where we have courageous conversations with bold humans, and today the final ‘bonus’ episode went live—watch above for the back story and insights into the whole adventure.

So why end?

Simply put, it achieved its goals plus as discussed in the episode above, I (probably) won’t be around much longer.

The first episode went live in June 2020 and after 50 episodes, 100 humans, over 80 hours worth of conversation shared, it’s time to wrap it all up in a neat bow and stand back as a gift to the community of participants, partners and watchers / listeners alike.

This was a selfish project in some ways (which I talk about above) although with a high intention of creating space for humanity to flourish (through conversation) and in doing so offer a way to deeply connect back into something ritualistic and primal.

You see, Creative Welly is a fireside.

A democratic gathering of humans through a bond of openness, curiosity and design.

Everything about it was crafted with this in mind: the circular table aiding the balance of the storytelling space for those who sat at it; the key-light which lit all participants equally and wonderfully; the black and white aesthetic to continue the attempt of harmony; moving the cameras far back into the shadows so they don’t get in the way; the visual split of everyone being on screen in the final edit which serves a further purpose to amplify intimacy in the viewers (as every nuance of non-verbal gestural cues was on display not like other podcasts or video content).

Metrics of success

As discussed, in many episodes and the one above, I never once looked at the stats relating to the project.

Having 100 of my network to say yes and share this experience with them, was reward enough.

However, other noticeable achievements was the invite to apply (under sponsorship) for a Webby Award (we didn’t win but amazing to be invited), got interviewed by the local radio station plus we were notified also that Creative Welly was in the top top 4% of content creators on Spotify as well.

Many are still surprised to find out the whole project was funded by:

  1. Sponsorship
  2. Membership
  3. Donations
  4. Affiliate links
  5. Paid participation spots
  6. Selling branded merchandise
  7. Selling tickets to live shows
  8. Our own time and money (independently produced and hosting paid for us).

…and the fact we made so many episodes is a total accomplishment (as again detailed in the above episode, the amount of work which goes into them is a lot).

Recognition

Apart from me there were three entities who made Creative Welly bloom:

ALL the videos were produced by Jono Tucker of Empire Films.

Not only that, this amazing person also aided massively the stupendous visual fidelity of the project.

Can honestly say that without this man Creative Welly wouldn’t have been the artistic success it was, thank you Jono!

Most of the episodes were hosted / shot at FlashDog Studios, thanks to proprietor David Hamilton.

David sadly passed away the day after we shot the final episodes and he will be missed by the photography and film studio community in Wellington.

The first 9 episodes were previously hosted at Xequals offices. Thanks to them and specifically Alex Matthews (who participated in Episode 14) for again believing in the project when it was just an idea.

Epilogue

So, checking against the brief, to both create something unique in the podcast genre which creates intimacy for the participants as well as the viewers and celebrate humans who are doing imaginative things in this fair city and beyond (hence the name):

Creative | adjective : imaginative / original people adding value to the world.

Welly | British informal : with dynamic energy and vigour.

…can smile when I say: we nailed it!

Last week we also held a gathering inviting all who have participated at the new Empire Films studio (like we did back in July 2021) as they were the first to know we were wrapping up the project:

And here’s the monster list of all the episodes in case you missed any:

  1. Jessica Manins & Sarb Johal
  2. Olie Body & Ged Finch
  3. Raqi Syed & Gabe Davidson
  4. Sandy Gildea & Jase Te Pu
  5. Hiria Te Rangi & Guled Mire
  6. Haritina Mogosanu & Gareth Parry
  7. Pia Steiner & Thomas van Raamsdonk
  8. Lindy Nelson & Clive Spink
  9. Janelle Fenwick & Tom Probert
  10. Bron Thomson & Paul Atkins
  11. Elizabeth McNaughton & Rohan Wakefield
  12. Melissa Clark-Reynolds & Cesar Piotto
  13. Mayu Suzuki & Trent Yeo
  14. Audrea Topps Harjo & Alex Matthews
  15. Conrad Johnston & Pat Shephard
  16. Natasha Zimmerman & Ben Preston
  17. Victoria Spackman & Mark Bradford
  18. Anne-Marie Brook & Cody Ellingham
  19. Paula Eskett & Ari Sargent
  20. Karen Fifield & John Holt
  21. Shadoe Stone & Troy Hammond
  22. Jane Guy & Brian Lucid
  23. Samantha Gadd & Phyo Thu
  24. Jo Cribb & James Partridge
  25. Isabella Cawthorn & Richard Shirtcliffe
  26. Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara & Sam Trubridge
  27. Negin Imani & Derek Bradley
  28. Janine Sudbury & Mark Gee
  29. Emilie Fetscher & James Bushell
  30. Pamela Bell & Josh Forde
  31. Victoria Crockford & James McCulloch
  32. Michelle Kitney & Rob Cousins
  33. Cynthia Hunefeld & Mark Westerby
  34. Bernadette Casey & Tan Huynh
  35. Freda Wells & Dan Neely
  36. Laurinda Thomas & Guy Marriage
  37. Kimberley Gilmour & Joseph Harawira
  38. Antonia Milkop & Dion Howard
  39. Kristen Lunman & Tim Pointer
  40. Dr Hazel Bradshaw & Derek Sivers
  41. Hollie Arnett & Joe Hopkirk
  42. Vida Christeller & Digby Scott
  43. Tania Anderson & Nick Fox
  44. Jenny Cameron & Chris Jackson
  45. Michelle Farrell & Dave Greenberg
  46. Christine Langdon & Duncan Nimmo
  47. Tui Te Hau & Mario Wynands
  48. Hannah Wignall & Craig Mildenhall
  49. Julia Capon & Jake Nash
  50. Jessica Rattray & Paul Tobin
  51. BONUS REVIEW EPISODE: Jono Tucker & DK

Keep having courageous conversations with bold humans!

Published

#55 August 2023 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

The original Wicker Man origin: an image from a set of 8 extra-illustrated volumes of A tour in Wales by Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) that chronicle the three journeys he made through Wales between 1773 and 1776 (via Wikipedia).

A bunch of things (which I tweeted) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on.

READ

Buyers of Bored Ape NFTs sue after digital apes turn out to be bad investment (insert-shocked-face-gif) -> if this is successful the floodgates will open…

…and hopefully more will follow for young people who are taking entitled boomers in leadership regarding the climate damage they continue to be the cause of to court: Judge rules in favor of Montana youths in landmark climate decision.

Meta’s Reality Labs (the metaverse tech dept) has now lost more than $21 billion since the beginning of last year: WOW & along with Musky it’s safe to say now that these ‘tech leaders’ don’t know what they are doing!

Why fidgeting is good for you, first paragraph bloody shocking as never thought this to be true, do people actually think that (asking for me as a fidgeter)?

Turning Empty Offices Into Vertical Farms (good for cities who are emptying due to working from homers and want to utilise their empty buildings but of course the great and good won’t contemplate that as that’s about doing something different and ah well sighs etc).

WATCH

EXPLORE

This podcast with Topaz Adizes on ‘Can a Single Conversation Change Your Relationship Forever?‘, good for your ears / brain.

The Text FX project (from Google Labs) for some wicked fun ways to “expand the writing process by generating creative possibilities with text and language.”

I don’t pay much attention to web3 stuff as I used to although this newsletter (from Molly White) keeps me in touch in what’s happening in the silly crypto space.

Lunar Codex is an attempt to put an archive of 30,000+ creative artists from 157 countries on the Moon in 2026 as part of NASA Artemis program.

The NYC city government public Rat Information Portal.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Published

Flawed Social Media Engagement Tactics | A Simple Fix

A snippet from a recent Creative Welly episode which sums up my thinking on why our online feeds are so ineptly corrupt these days plus a simple strategy to solve the problem.

And I meant a psychology degree in addiction.

“Trust people to be human and adults about this. Let them follow who they want to follow and just serve them that stuff, nothing else. And you’ll be surprised then the uptake of activity because you’ve trusted them.”

Clipped from Creative Welly Episode #49 | Julia Capon & Jake Nash

See also:

My idealist spirit still hopes for a time when the web works for its users and not the advertisers.

Published

#54 July 2023 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

From 2021 interview with Sinéad O’Connor: ‘I’ll always be a bit crazy, but that’s OK’

A bunch of things (which I tweeted) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on.

READ

Seems like the New Zealand rugby teams are being sponsored by a UK asbestos firm, and sponsored in previous years by a petrol company, even though this country keeps promoting it’s 100% pure brand and status (which isn’t true).

There’s a new cryptocurrency (/Ponzi scheme) offering users tokens for scanning their eyeballs (probably as a way to make money out of peoples biometric data in the future).

Actor turned journalist deconstructing the crypto space in this interview.

Have a read at how the US’s top competition watchdog opens investigation into ChatGPT as it’s causing a bunch of legal problems (making up stuff).

Better farming techniques can aid keeping our planet within the 1.5 degrees heating target.

WATCH

EXPLORE

This free and wonderfully intuitive workout routine creator.

Get your Jackson Pollock on.

Just refresh your page or click the random button for Wonders Of Street Views.

A directory of 151 interactive visual experiments with explanations.

Check out this AI music creation online interface, put in a word or phrase and it will give you lyrics that can be rendered into a real song.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Published

250,000 Views On My TEDx Talk | Celebrating Milestones

It’s with much surprise and pure delight I noticed my little TEDxNelson talk has reached over a quarter of million views in nine months of being live:

Put another way, that’s 9 years and 3months or 3298.625 days or 79,167 hours or 4,750,000 minutes of viewing time accrued.

In that time you could watch the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies 3,900 times!

During my near-long-decade TEDx licensee / producer / speaker coach, many speakers would ask what viewing number should they expect and / or aim for and my response was always the same: it’s not the amount of views but who viewed that’s important.

However, I have to be honest, reaching this number makes me feel bemusedly-giddy as it’s something as I never expected (nothing I’ve ever done has matched these figures).

The impact has been an increase in my website views, a flurry of emails saying ‘thank you’ and follow up questions related to the topic, my ebook / audiobook on the same subject making me some side-coin, as well as several agencies offering their services to boost my views further (have not taken anyone up on the offers).

So a chunky thank you for all these views up till now, to those who shared on as well as reached out directly, and here’s to the next quarter of a million!

Published

For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #11 | Time, Chess And Carbon Dioxide

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

Illustrating the 13.8 billion year time scale of our existence on a dry lakebed in the Mojave desert attenuated by wonderful graphics. Abstract notions like time need to be made real through metaphor and this video does a wonderful job at telling our cosmic story through the ages (and how little humanity has contributed to it).

What a fun video where someone is explaining chess whilst unaware that the person they are teaching is already a grandmaster. An imagination and enthusiastic verbal journey which shows how colliding people of differing literacies forces the teacher to create new narratives for understanding. So much fun.

From the clever folks at NASA Scientific Visualization Studio comes this year long illustration of carbon moving in the atmosphere during 2021. What an arresting way to show the acrid flow and provoke a reaction to the toxic human-made filth we are polluting our planet with. Full explanation and other examples here.


Check out all the ‘For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories’ posts.

Image credit.
Published

HATCH Europe 2023 | The Analogue Trust Factory

Colliding creative spirits to hatch a better world.

HATCH Europe was a three and half days of connections and conversations, performances and talks, breakout labs / workshops through to participatory and invitational expressions of creativity.

“Humanity moves at the speed of trust!”

Jurgis Didžiulis

HATCH appears in your life when you need it, pulls you up and into its swirling vortex of human kinship, then gently places you back into the world, changed, turned around, emboldened, enriched, enthusiastic.

This was my fourth time attending the twenty year initiative and the experience keeps getting better with age (see 2013, 2014, 2016 write-ups).

The curation of attendees is impressive⁠—wide ranging, audacious and folks simply doing stunning things in the world⁠—and this event had 140 attending (77 of which I have on a list to contact to follow up personally).

They and myself are now part of a larger network of over 3,000 HATCHers globally. A community of doers spanning the globe and forming a living chain of magnificent souls.

It was the first time the experience had been held in Europe and just as a brief aside, what a venue: the Caux Palace is one of the most intriguing places I’ve ever been to (from the funicular ride up from Montreux train station which weaves in and out of tunnels to deliver you neatly outside this vast property, to the vistas and superb aura / history of the place)⁠—I think HATCH has found a new (Europe-side) home!

It’s hard to summarise the time although it did include (in no particular order):

Art. Participation. Hope. Dancing. Puppets. Performance. Forgiveness. Transformation. Activism. Unity. Tears. Evolution. Discomfort. New friends. Old friends. Conversation. Integration. Confusion. Laughter. Hugs, lots of hugs.

Thank you HATCH, the organisers and volunteers, the Palace staff, the attendees, the sunrise and sunsets, those deep conversations, the silliness and delicious connections made.

I am (again) HATCHed!


A few days out was asked to get involved as the speaker coach / liaison (briefly MC). As an event professional I’m always happy to assist when attending other experiences as know how hard it is to pull off these things with so many moving parts needing attention:

Read other HATCH posts.
Published