Interview: Charles Olive, Tipped

03Mar09

In the run up to today’s Shoreditch Twit, we’ve already interviewed one of our lovely sponsors, so it’s time to hear from someone who was present at the first ever Twit, and has frequently been involved in my most disorganised of meetups – Charles Olive (@grumblemouse) from Tipped.co.uk

Shoreditch Twit

LW: What’s the idea behind Tipped?

CO: Well we’re a community site that allows people to write reviews of places they’ve been, art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants etc. Unlike a lot of other sites out there we’re not funded by some massive VC so we’re free to cultivate an awesome community of people that are passionate about what they do, where they go or what they consume rather than focussing on numbers. We’d rather have a smaller community of awesome people than a massive community of people that think a mocha frappe latte from Starbucks is good coffee or that Pizza Hut is an acceptable way of consuming pizza!

You guys are big in Shoreditch right?

Well I’ve been based in Shoreditch for about 9 years now and our office was based in Spitalfields until recently (we’ve moved to Islington briefly so that Joel (@joelbrazil), who has recently had a baby, can be closer to home). But yeah Shoreditch is where it’s at, it’s like the second heart of London.

And the Austin Gallery in particular – what else have you been doing there?

Yeah the guys at Austin Gallery are awesome – we met Ben a while ago as he was the only place in the area serving Square Mile coffee (awesome Bethnal Green based coffee roasters) and we got chatting. The first event we had was the Tipped Winter Barbeque where we had like 5 barbeques going out the back in December – it obviously pissed down with rain but we still had over 100 people and most of them were hanging out in the rain with the barbeques. Then last Thursday we had the private view for an exhibition we curated called Zeitgeist. Basically our friends Brew Dog are launching this new beer called Zeitgeist so we worked with the artist who created the labels and produced this show.

So what’s the occasion today?

Well Tuesday is Shoreditch Twit! The Zeitgeist exhibition is on for a whole week so we figured it would be cool to do more than just one event and Shoreditch Twit is one of our favorite Twitter / Tech meet-ups so we thought it would be cool to host it.

How do you use Twitter?

Well we’re only a team of 3 at Tipped so at the moment we all use our personal accounts for business and pleasure as it were. We use it to keep in touch with the Tipped community, make new friends and keep up to date with stuff that’s going on. I think our whole thing at Tipped is about using digital technology to better organise our real world lives so in terms of being able to ask questions and get support from your network it’s awesome – personally though I’m a massive twitpic fan, I’d love to get to a point where every tweet came with a photo.

Where does the grumblemouse name come from?

Haha, well for some reason my nickname, from when I was a kid up until now, has been mouse. Who knows where it came from but then when I was at Uni I became pretty cynical about stuff, I blame No Logo – but whatever, someone probably once called me grumblemouse and it stuck – I like it, it’s pretty unique and certainly apt

I hear you like awesome things, what’s the awesomest thing you’ve Tipped recently?

Awesomeness is key – it’s what makes the world go round – if people don’t strive for awesomeness then you end up with mediocrity and life’s just too short for that. Jones Dairy Café have super awesome home-made fish pate on Sunday mornings; Pearl Liang is some of the most awesome dim sum in London; New Tayyabs is probably the most awesome lamb chops in London – but pretty much my favorite place is The Rake in Borough Market – they have the best selection of imported beers in London if not the country

How’s your leg holding up?

Ugh, well my girlfriend is doing this 100km walk to raise money for charity so we went to the countryside with a bunch of her friends – we did a 30km walk in about 5 hours and everything was sweet. The next day we decided to stroll down to the pub for some lunch and a beer and on the way I slipped and fell like, like, well kinda like Mr Bean might fall – anyway I tore a bunch of ligaments in my foot and the force of them snapping fractured the bone in my leg! Fucking awesome right! The funny thing now is that as the leg starts to heal and I get better on my crutches I end up walking further and now I’m getting mad pain in my hands and wrists; plus ca change grumble grumble…

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