Archive for June, 2010

My use of Twitter is changing

June 26th, 2010

I have been a user of Twitter for way over 3 years and it has changed many ways in that time. What started out for me as something I did not really understand, then became a friendly tool for knowing what friends around the world were up to, to a tool for meeting new and interesting friends with similar interests, to today where we are to day.

In the past I have applied my “pub rule” to my use of most social networking, including Twitter. I will allow someone to become “friends” / follow me if I would go for a drink down the pub with them in real life and feel I can speak freely. Following the same logic I will only post things that are visible to my friends / followers that I would say down the pub (before drinking and everyone is my best mate :-) ). I don’t just post anything mind, and consider that anything I post or say is not really secret, but it did allow me to be a little more open about my opinions and revile my current and future locations.

On the whole this has been successful but sadly there has been an incident in recent months when someone used the Newcastle City Counsel Twitter account to read my tweets, and then attempt to respond to them in a less than professional way on my personal blog. This has shaken me a little and the reason why I have been sharing less and why the official NCC twitter account has been unused recently.

After this incident I have decided to share less, and because of that I don’t see any reason to keep my tweets secure so only people I trust can follow them. So, as of some time next week I will be opening up my Twitter stream so anyone can see what I post. The down side of this is that I will be a little less open in what I post.

As a side issue I have also had the problem of Twitter overload with so much information coming in I can not keep up. To cope with this I have also decided to “unfollow” a lot of accounts in order to filter it down a little. Please don’t take it personally if I do. More often than not I will have done it because you have said to much I am just not interested in and if you are not a business you should probably NOT change anything. If you are a business and I am your target audience then perhaps you should change, so please get in touch and I will help where I can.

Finally because of the way Twitter works you will not be able to “DM” me if I do not follow you, or even “at” me if your updates are protected. In order to give everyone a way to contact me via Twitter I have set up @contactalistair that, if you follow, will follow you back so we can communicate through it.

Charity Hack 2010 Logo

June 19th, 2010

The dates for Charity Hack 2010 have been announced as the 18th and 19th of September. This is a hacking event held at the PayPal London HQ that is, as the name would suggest, for the benefit of charities.

The organisers have asked for someone to design a logo so this is my suggested design. There is a full colour design, a 4 colour design that is more realistically going to be the final logo, and a monochrome design. It has been produced in Inkscape so is vector based, the colour design can have the number of colours reduced without overly impacting on the design if required, and an outlive version can be rendered if required.

The heart idea came from the temporary icon idea that is currently being used and the plaster has much the same significance as Pudsey’s eye patch. The font used is Red Hat’s Liberation Sans to be compatible with the current web site, but I am considering changing it.

This is the first draft and subject to change, so any input is welcomed.

Dorkbot Newcastle – June 29th 2010

June 15th, 2010

A quick heads up that I am showing off some of my geographic mashups at this month’s Dorkbot. I will be showing off the good old PHP flight simulator, various travel data mashups, my recent virtualisation of the Metro system, and some new Google earth mashups using open streetmap and recently released OS data.

Shaun will also be there showing off there Second Life work including the virtual quayside, and there will be an introduction to reusing the regions museums collections data.

Doors open at 6.30pm on Tuesday 29th June. Entry if free. Please use the Lifelab entrance on Central Parkway

Yes, I am still a BarCamp Addict

June 2nd, 2010

Last year I blogged about my addiction to BarCamps and I decided it was time to update the list of the BarCamps that I have attended.

I have also attended several BarCamp spin-offs including PhotoCampLeeds (28th February 2009), UnSheffield (19th, 20th, and 21st June 2009) talking about “Are people clever and/or stupid?”, Barcamp Transparency UK (26th July) where we discussed “should everything be open?”, and WarbleCamp (8th and 9th May) where we had a twitter show and tell.

So, by my quick count I have attended 29 to date but am still looking forward to the next one. I must need some kind of treatment. Sadly BarCampLondon8 has been indefinitely postponed because of a problem with the venue, and I suspect I will not make BarCampOxford, but BarCampBlackpool was a great event last year with a real party atmosphere so I hope to see you there.