• Week 78

    14 April 2014

    Most of the week was taken up with a workshop at the National Maritime Museum facilitated by Caper, exploring ideas for digital interactions around their Great Map. Three days of “marker fumes and coffee”, and lots of ideas and concept to show the curators and museum staff at the end. Caper assembled a great team, and it was a fun three days; really hope the museum felt so too.

    I wrapped up a rough edit of the podcast I’d been producing on Monday, and otherwise, spent the rest of the week focusing on a few personal projects: fettling my VPS and upgrading it (finally) to Ruby 1.9.x, in preparation for fixing the ghost*-apps that are in need of maintenance following changes to Foursquare’s API. Not exciting work, but very satisfying to spend a day in the shell getting things just so.

    (The server languished on an old version of Ruby because it primarly just runs Twitter bots; most of my Ruby webapps are all on Heroku, but that’s changing for a few, and so I want to get my house in order).

  • Week 77

    06 April 2014

    I spent Monday and Tuesday in Manchester, where I was speaking at FutureEverything. The talk seemed to go well, and the rest of the conference was very good indeed: lots of great talks and great people all in one space. I got home late, and quite tired, on Tuesday, but it had been a great couple of days.

    After FutureEverything, it was a relatively quiet week.

    I spent Wednesday afternoon helping a music charity I work with a little learning how to podcast. Or rather: helping them set things up so they could. That meant running over how to capture live recordings, setting up a Dropbox workflow where I could help them edit things, how to publish to WordPress, and how we could post content to iTunes as well. I’m going to continue this as a small side-project over the next few months, helping them with production and the technical aspects of publishing, but we covered a lot of ground and they were enthusiastic.

    Friday was spent mentoring at the ODI’s Open Data in Practice course. This was my third ODIP course, and as ever, it was great to help the delegates bring some of the ideas to life on the final day, as well as to help them with their understanding of and ideas around Open Data.

    Week 77 brought a very hectic March to an end. April should be more peaceful: a couple of workshops, but time also to take some personal days, and focus on the project where I’m the client that have been neglected. I’m looking forward to those.

  • A quick reminder – I’m in Manchester for the next two days for FutureEverything. I’m speaking on Tuesday as part of a session called The New Shape of Things, along with Dan Williams and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino. It should be a great panel – and, from the looks of the rest of the conference, a great two days.

    If you want to get in touch, do say hello if you see me!

  • Week 76

    31 March 2014

    Most of the week was spent working on the talk for FutureEverything: writing, a bit of research, a bit of continuing to tinker with electronics (a project called Hutton). The electronics are part of a prototype that’s important to the talk – a demonstration of a conceit. It’s not going to be complete before the conference, but worth continuing to push on with: having at least some work to talk about in a space feels important, so I continue to hack on things. And perhaps I can hint at some work in progress.

    Otherwise, a few quick meetings, some work getting Hello Lamp Post ready for Designs of the Year, and my last few days of code on Contributoria.

    And, on Tuesday night, PAN, Gyorgyi and I all descended on the Design Museum for the Designs of the Year nominees’ party. As previously mentioned, it’s a great honour for Hello Lamp Post to be nominated. It’s on display there for the next few months, along with the rest of the nominees, so do check it out!

  • Week 75

    24 March 2014

    In one sense, a straightforward week: entirely spent on Contributoria.

    In other senses, more complex: I’m wrapping up my time on Contributoria, and thinking about what’s coming next. That’s increasingly looking like working on a few personal projects – various things have fallen over, thanks to changes in the Foursquare API; various things need pushing forward to the next phase, and dedicated time would be good.

    Adding to the complexity is dealing with clients, which is always – for good or ill – the complicated part of business. In this case, the thing I’m finding hard is working out how to say ‘yes’ and how to say ‘no’ – especially to good projects I’m interested in but can’t, currently, see a way to take on.

    This is all much harder than sitting down and writing code or sketching or building circuits, and it takes its toll from time to time. This is why downtime – be it for projects, or for rest – is important, especially if the business is to be successful and sustainable. Monday, then, was spent wrapping up a long weekend away, looking at the sea and striding over hills. A space to empty my head, consider what might be coming, work out how to do some things, and how to say others.

    And if that all sounds a bit honest: well, weeknotes tend to go better when (within reason) I say what’s in my head.

    I also spent some time on Friday on the phone to Kars. We occasionally have catch-up calls with one another. Nothing formal; just some time spent talking to one another about our practice, how work is, seeing what small business in Europe looks like from different angles. It’s always interesting to hear what Hubbub is up to, and it’s a useful perspective on my own work – and much appreciated!

    Next week: wrapping up a few things, and preparing for FutureEverything.