I tend not to write to much really personal stuff on here, but wanted to record a certain moment and the blog seemed as good a place as any. This evening, while putting in the hours of the office, I was dumbfounded by something that came on the radio – stopped in my tracks, hairs on the back of my neck standing up, that kind of feeling… something I’ve not felt on hearing a piece of music for literally years. BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe played a retrospective John Martyn session from nearly 30 years ago. Embarrassingly, I don’t know his material anything like as well as I should, so when his  “Certain Surprise / Couldn’t Love You More” came on, I had no idea what it was, but given the effect it had on me, I feel compelled to share it. Here’s the Spotify link, it would certainly make my “play safe” list! And for those without Spotify, here’s a video:


A few months ago I wrote a piece about internet content making its way to the TV screen. Not in a Windows Media Center kind of way, but a way that is done from the point of view of the  television industry. It’s now time for the other big event of the braodcasting calendar, NAB in Las Vegas, which unfortunately, I’ll not be attending. There was however, a chance to see some of the things that will be on display there at the IPTV World Forum in London last month. Once again, for a show that is about using internet technology, there was disappointingly little about internet content to see. But here’s a run down of what some of the TV tech companies are doing (or pretending to do) with social media.

Accedo: This is more of an update from what they showed me at IBC, essentially, they’ve taken on the ‘app’ model for Facebook and Twitter so that you can view a cutdown version of these applications as a sidebar during your normal TV watching. In the same way that online applications such as thwirl and digsby recognise that some things need to be kept in the background while you’re focusing on your main task, Accedo will sit completely unassumingly until you want to share what you’re doing with your network. It also integrates with your EPG, so that just using the coloured remote buttons, you can update what you’re watching. Neat, look:


SeaChange: as a previous client of mine, I was curious to know what this middleware provider was up to in the world of web content.  They’re pimping Affinity, a social networking engine for video-on-demand, essentially a tool that allows you to make and take recommendations for stuff in a VOD library, the idea being that people will discover pay-per-view content that they might not normally find (= extra revenue for operator). The problem I have with this is that it seems that the recommendations are done via collaborative filtering (i.e. you share what you like with your friends and vice versa), which means that the solution is only good when your friends like the same stuff as you AND they happen to have an Affinity enabled TV service. If it was linked to a social network’s API, there would be a lot more value from this and it wouldn’t necessitate the latter point.

Ericcson: Yes they do TV, although apparently they don’t do web design so well. They were showing last.fm on TV – not the actual videos, but essentially, it’s an ‘app’ built for playing music through your TV when you get very bored of adverts for ringtones on VH1. I’m not entirely sure where it sits in the network because they don’t seem to be talking about it in any of their literature or website, which is a shame. I liked the demo though, it looks pretty slick and my TV has better sound quality than my PC, so I’m all for taking this particular service to the living room in another way (I currently use the last.fm app on my iPod quite frequently for that type of thing. Pic below:


CompleteTV: Now I have to say I’m more than a little disappointed with these guys. Despite having a fairly nice booth at IPTVWF, and splashing the YouTube Logo across it a couple of times, looking at their site, I fail to see how that was any more than lip service to online media making its way to the TV in any genuine form. Fear of content producers… perhaps. Now, that might sound harsh, but here’s the thing… CompleteTV makes boxes – not a great start… boxes for the consumer (even worse, since most of this stuff will migrate to the network in 3-4 years), which, with the whole wealth of social media goodness out there can do all this: “browse the internet and act as an email/instant messaging client”. Wow. I’m hugely underwhelmed, mind you, they’re way above Ericsson on the web design front.

Finally I wanted to quote a great article from the March/April issue of Future Media, in which Jonathan Webdale has interviewed Anthony Rose, one of the big cheeses behind the iPlayer, who said that “2007 was the year the BBC chose what you watched, 2008 was the year viewers chose what they watched and 2009 would be the year your friends choose what you watch.” As long as it’s not my Mistresses-watching colleagues choosing, I’m keen to see how it goes. It’s a great article (print only so far) which talks a lot more about TV going into social media (rather than what I’ve written here) so go read it now.

Saw this tweet from James Whatley and decided I needed to get writing since it’s been a while. There are a couple of posts I want to write but haven’t had time recently, so until I get round to it,  here’s a massive spike on my blog.

spike jones

Yesterday I received an email from Carrie Bishop who is working with G20 Voice to organise a post-G20 Summit get together at Bar Kick, former Shoreditch Twit venue. It’s called G20 meets We20, at which point you might be feeling lost so here’s a quick explanation…


G20 – Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. Also a model number from car manufacturer Infiniti.

G20 Summit – On 2 April 2009, world leaders from the G20 countries – representing 85% of the world’s output – will meet in London against the backdrop of the worst international banking crisis in generations.

G20Voice – 50 of the world’s most interesting and influential bloggers will be your eyes and ears at the G20 Summit. They come from 22 different countries, and between them represent a global audience of over 14 million readers. Some are ‘professional bloggers’, others are ordinary citizens who have become well known through their blogs.

G4 – successful vocal troupe made famous by ITV‘s The X Factor television programme in 2004 in which they came second. Also a type of Apple Computer.

We20 – was inspired as a public initiative to run alongside the G20, creating a bridge between the G20 leaders and you. I’m not entirely sure, but I think We20 aims to provide the platform for people like you and me to come up with plans to help save the global economy. Help.

We7 – is an ad-supported music download and streaming site launched in 2007 and supported by ex-Genesis frontman, Peter Gabriel. [disclosure: We7 used to be a Shiny Red client]

G20meetsWe20 – Post G20 Summit meetup which should be a good chance to hear what some G20Voice bloggers, including Vikki Chowney and Lloyd Davis, thought of the summit, and probably play some table football as well.

G-Wiz – electric car produced by Indian company Reva – famously beat a Mustang in a drag race once the Top Gear crew got their hands on a few extra batteries.

Right, that should be clear then?

Apparently… well, the sun has been out all week, and this picture appeared on Flickr’s “interesting” feed today… never before have I written such a twee post!


Piazza e mia!


Just when I was saying there are so many networking events to go to, turns out there’s one on the day of the next Shoreditch Twit. The LinkedInLondon meetup group has arranged the oddly named Aperitweat on 15th April… shock horror!


But…… it’s being held at Al Volo, just 100 yards from The Big Chill Bar, venue for Shoreditch Twit #7. So, after negotiations that would make Arafat and Rabin proud, the very Italian and very cool Julius has come round to the idea that people will be able to make both events, especially since you could probably play frisbee between the two venues.

The conflict resolution will see the evening beginning at Al Volo for some Italian food and drinks and then heading to The Big Chill for the true Shoreditch irregulars. Turns out this thing is going to be yet-another-monthly-social-media-event, so you’ll be glad to know it won’t be long before the Twit is retired and the idea of London tweetups becomes gradually redundant.

RSVP for Aperitweat here and Shoreditch Twit here.

Well East London’s favourite tweet-up has come a long way. Shoreditch Twit #6 on  3rd March saw over 100 people crammed into Austin Gallery for wine, beer, music and bagels, the last of which were generously supplied by Steve Kennedy. Steve didn’t get an interview before the event, so here’s some more about him for you bagel munching fiends: Steve Kennedy has been in the industry far too long (even before there was a web, let alone a web 2.0). He now consults through NetTek Ltd, invests through NetTek Ventures and works for Textic Ltd who produce accessibility software as a service. 


So what now? where next? Well the Twit was never meant to be in the same vein as one of the many social media networking events, all kitted up with sponsors and entertainment, at ever more exclusive venues, with ever more exclusive guest lists. The original Shoreditch Twit was meant to be a very informal way of making new connections and strengthening existing ones over a nice cold drink.” It was six people in a pub, all buying their own drinks and making their own entertainment. 

So, while there are certainly (well-founded) rumblings of bigger and better Twits later on this year, in April, we’re going back to our roots at The Big Chill.   

When: Wednesday 15th April, from 7.00pm
Where: The Big Chill Bar, Dray Walk off Brick Lane, London E1 6QL (they have Wi-Fi)
How: Follow @shoreditchtwit, leave a comment, or click here to RSVP (twtvite has been set to non auto-tweet)