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.
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).
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:
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.
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:
Paid participation spots
Selling branded merchandise
Selling tickets to live shows
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).
Apart from me there were three entities who made Creative Welly bloom:
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.
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).
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.”
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!
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.
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: