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May 27, 2012

Like Minds Exeter 2012 Liveblogs - day two

Links to my liveblogs of day two of Like Minds Exeter 2012



Continue reading Like Minds Exeter 2012 Liveblogs - day two.

May 25, 2012

Like Minds Exeter 2012 Liveblogs - day one

Like Minds 2012 Exeter audience
Links to my liveblogs of day one of Like Minds Exeter 2012

Morning session:

Afternoon Session:

Continue reading Like Minds Exeter 2012 Liveblogs - day one.

February 13, 2012

Like Minds at Social Media Week London

LeSanto letweets

I've got a busy week ahead of me, liveblogging the Like Minds events at Social Media Week London. Above you can see the spectacular Like Minds social media hub, where Le Santo and I are hard at work; he's busy livetweeting the events and owning the hashtag.
I'm doing the blogging on the Like Minds site, so I'll link the posts here:

October 27, 2011

Liveblogging Like Minds: a post-mortem

So, what did I learn at this year's Like Minds, other than lying around doing absolutely nothing on a Sunday (other than a trip to the tip. Oh, and to Waitrose...) is a good and necessary thing sometimes?

Well, this was, as previously noted, the first time I've liveblogged a three day conference and the first time I've done that blogging on the conference organiser's site. Here's what I learned about that experience:

  • The statue on Cathedral GreenDoing three days of liveblogging and seeing your own site's traffic drop slightly is an odd experience
  • Being isolated from the traffic stats of the blog you're writing for feels like blundering around in the dark. I had no idea if my work was having any resonance with the audience whatsoever. This makes me even more determined to make sure our journalists have easy access to blog stats as soon as we can.
  • Being an "official" liveblogger as opposed to a guest one changes your mindset. I felt obligated to blog every speaker session that came up, when normally I'd pick and choose to give myself a break. Instead, I ended up skipping an immersive one day and a lunch the next for a little RnR and a battery charge.
  • Not having power to the seat for liveblogging is a major handicap
  • I was pretty much dead to the world each evening, hiding in the hotel and hitting the sack early to prepare myself for the next day.
  • This was my longest continuous period working with WordPress, and I'd nearly convinced myself to switch this blog over when database errors started cropping up intermittently. That scared me off...
  • It's interesting to not the differences between what live tweeters pick up, and what my liveblogging tends to emphasise. 
Still, three days of continuous liveblogging is possible, and I'm reasonably pleased with the results, which you can find on the Like Minds site. There's also a compilation of links to other bloggers' coverage, too. Onwards to Le Web...

October 20, 2011

Like Minds Liveblogging Day 1 linkage

Here's what I liveblogged yesterday:

And there's a whole bunch of Like Minds photos on Flickr.

More liveblogging about to begin, and probably some more analytical posts a bit later on. 

October 19, 2011

Like Minds ready to go...

All set-up and ready to go for three days (three...!) of liveblogging at Like Minds. Just a reminder: all my session liveblog posts will be on the Like Minds site, not here. I will be linking them later on, though. 

October 18, 2011

Liveblogging for Like Minded Folks...

Like Minds pre-conference dinner
It's Tuesday night, it's late and I'm catching up on admin in a hotel room. I'm here for the Like Minds conference, which runs for the next three days. And, predictably enough, I'll be live-blogging it. But this live-blogging will be a little bit different. I'm here as a guest of the Live Minds team, and I am the live-blogger for the conference - and that means that I'll be liveblogging on the Like Minds blog, not here. It's not something I've done before, so it should be an interesting experiment.

And that's not the only reason it'll be different. It's also the first time I've attempted to liveblog for three days straight. I'm normally absolutely whacked after two days, so goodness only knows what state I'll be in by Friday PM. But that's a long time away. The pre-conference dinner (which was particularly lovely, and at a hotel with special memories for me) is over, my liveblogging kit packed, and I'm ready to hit the sack. See you tomorrow, both here and there...

October 9, 2011

Like Minds and Le Web: Liveblogging ahead

The end of the year always seems to end up as conference season for me - which is no bad thing. A good conference sends you away full of ideas and enthusiasm for the coming months, and hopefully the current crop will see me intellectually kitted up for the challenges of 2012. 

And I'm delighted to say I've been invited to be an official blogger for two forthcoming conferences.

Like Minds

The last few Like Minds events have been some of my most enjoyable and useful times at conferences in the last few years. The Exeter conference, which kicks off next week, has expanded to three days. Scott Gould has invited me to join the conference as an official blogger - I'll be liveblogging sessions on the Like Minds site - so I'll be there for all three days. 

If you can conceivably get to Exeter for those three days (19 to 21st October), I really recommend that you do. 

Le Web

LeWeb - Register Now!I can't quite believe that this will be the sixth Le Web I've attended. I know many people who attended the predecessor conferences Les Blogs find that it has grown out of the range they feel comfortable with, but I think I enjoyed the 2010 Le Web at least as much as any other. I'll be heading to Paris in December as an official blogger once more.

I don't think there's any other event where the European and US tech scene meet and mingle quite so much, and I'm really interested to see how the extension of the conference to three days will change how it feels. Let's hope it's not bedevilled by snow like it was last year, though... 
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September 5, 2011

RIP Trey Pennington

There's been a general sense of shock in the community that gathers around Like Minds, with the news that Trey Pennington took his own life yesterday.

I only met him once, briefly, at a Like Minds event early last year, where I took the photo above. Scott Gold and Christian Payne, who knew him better, have both posted movingly about Trey. 

But I'd particularly like to highlight Bridget Pilloud's post, which addresses the issue of mental illness - depression in this case - head on. I've seen friends and family battle with mental illness of various stripes, and it made me realised how ill-informed I was on the subject. We don't talk, share and discuss these issues nearly as much as we should, and end up stigmatising those who suffer as much by omission as anything else.

Rest in peace, Trey. We all lost when you lost your own battle. 

July 22, 2011

#likeminds Business Book Club: Making Ideas Happen

Like Minds Book Club Scott Belsky

Those who know me are aware that, on the whole, I prefer the arrive late/ leave late approach to work. I skip the worst of the commuting, get more done befoe I leave home, and generally feel better about life. In my world, the early bird might catch the worm, but it gets grumpy and doesn't eat it because he feels a little sick.

But some things are worth getting up early for. I'm a big fan of the Like Minds events, and the idea of a business book club from them could just be tailor-made for me. And so, I dragged myself out of bed early enough to join them at The Hospital Club this morning to hear Scott Belsky talk about his book Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality.

After a rather scrummy bacon buttie and some pain au chocolat (which are pretty much worth getting out bed for, frankly), we settled down to hear him explain how the hell to get creative people to actually buckle down and deliver.

Scott Belsky

Most ideas never happen, suggested Belsky. He wishes for an idea meritocracy, where only the best survive... Don't we all? And he, like the rest of us has become convinced that ideas don't happen because they're great. That takes away the romantic notion that a great idea will come to fruition.. Most ideas never happen because of the double-edged sword of creativity. When an idea strikes, energy and excitement is high. But it subsides as you get into execution, eroded by the drudgery of project management. How do you escape the drudgery and return to the excitement? To many of us just come up with a new idea and get excited by that instead, so things never get completed.

One shouldn't understimate the gravitational force of operations, suggested Belsky. The demands of the grind take over, and the ideas never get executed. A strategic offsite gets overwhelmed by daily life. Creative people tend to be disorganised. So, getting ideas in all about defying the odds. Some teams are able to do that again and agaimn - how?


You have to overcome reactionary workflow, the endless stream of communication that can blight our lives. We're in the era of reactionary workflow, pecking away at the inboxes of our lives and trying to stay afloat. Belsky gives the example of a friend who commuted by car, and found himself a deep thinking/sacred space while driving. Then he got a new car with iPhone linkage. Goodbye non-stimulation time. Creating windows of non-stimulation where you ignore social media and e-mail inputs and focus down on the things you want to achieve can be incredibly helpful.

And you should spend time on organisation. The equation:

Creativity x Organisation = Impact

It doesn't matter how much creativity you have, if you don't invest time in organisation, you will have zero impact. For the last three years Apple, a company reknowned for creativity, has won an award for the best supply chain management. Many have speculated that COO Tim Cook is as important to the company as CEO Steve Jobs.

Other ideas:

  • Organise with a bias to action
  • Go into creativity workshops and focus on the action steps
  • If meetings lead to nothing actionable - replace them with an e-mail? A stand-up?
  • Culture of capturing action steps.
  • Surround yourself with evidence of progress

Communal forces

Three base types of people:

  1. Dreamer - something new all the time. Goes to bed happy when there are new things in the pepline
  2. Doer - says "no", extinguishes ideas. Goes to bed happy with nothing new in the pipeline
  3. Incrementalist - rotates between the two. They create too much and never scale them.

Value the team's immune system. Doers can extinguish distractions. Dreamers bring new things. Empower different people at different times based on which of these three groups they fall into.

Share your ideas liberally and allow others to comment on them. Those which garner the most reaction are probably the ones you should focus on.  Chris Anderson just pushes all his ideas on his blog (both internal and external.) Is there a risk of premature sharing, and your ideas being nicked? The benefits outweigh the costs.

Fights force people to explore each other's opinion. However don't let these fights push people into apathy. When you stop exploring opinions, you stop performing.

Other ideas:

  • Don't be burdened by consensus.
  • Overcome the stigma of self-marketing
  • Curate because it attracts attention, and then people will listen when you have something new to say.


And he finshed on a note that I found particularly compelling: gain confidence from doubt.

"If 99% of people think you're crazy, you're either crazy or onto something. We shun people before we celebrate them. Status quo is the grease on the wheels of society."

But sometimes, status quo is another word for terminal decline...

It was a good talk, and I'm now throughly lookiong forward to diving into the book. Scott Gould has already reviewed it, and comments from the other book clubbers should start flowing over the week. Ve Interactive blogged the event, too. 

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October 29, 2010

#likeminds - Robin Wight says the future's bright, the future's social

Robin White

How do you fuse the best of the old media and the best of the new? A communication coalition, if you will.

Brands only exist because they help consumers make buying decisions without too much brainpower. The are useful, so they work. The brain runs on a cognitive miser system, it uses more energy per ounce than any other part of your body. It wants to be spending that energy on things like who to fall in love with...

At some stage the brain needs more help than a TV ad can help with. That's where new media starts to come it. And that's fine until the biggest problem of marketing - once the brain has made up its mind, it doesn't like changing it... Learning something is much more energy expensive than practiced behaviour. Cognitive dissonance - anything that doesn't fit in to our existing belief system is reprocessed until it does.

The famous yuppie car ad?

People reprocessed it so that 2/3 didn't think he drove a BMW - the car targeted.

The mouse can be a game changer - by managing a flow of pages on a website, the brain might start changing its mind. We're researching that now, says White. People have found that being attacked online reprogrammed them - but you can retaliate by engaging. Virals are almost old media now - they're a hybrid of both.

This was spread at no cost to the advertiser, rewatched to check for cheating, and cut road deaths in London. Win.

Marketing is moving from telling people where to go, to coming along with them on the journey.

But - we've always been social. Robin Dunbar - the larger the group around you, the better your chance of survival, if you're an ape.  Evolutionary speaking, Facebook is grooming. We have the evolution of mobile grooming; "scratching each other's back" - endorphins are released, and the system responds to low level repetitive actions. Joggers are addicted to those endorphins. From brain size, you can predict an animal's social grooming group; 150 for humans.  Villages were around 150 people, but in cities our groups shrank to 25. Technology responded, first with soap operas for virtual friends, and then mobile phones and Facebook for real ones.

What's Mine is Yours - an amazing book. The Big New Idea: collaborative consumption. It's going to transform our lives. The Big Society is as much about Collaborative consumption as volunteering. - aimed at 16 to 19 years old, gathering ideas, paid for by Nokia. Like between schools, business and mentors.

If you're a creative person, and you're not doing creative mentoring, it's going to look pretty bad on your CV...

View his presentation

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#likeminds - Feedback on Steve Moore and Andrew Dubber

IMG_4990 - Version 2.jpg

Combined into one as it was done in one go:

  • Radiohead, Arcade Fire and OKGo are releasing the creativity into the wild and letting their fans curate it
  • Private enterprise needs to become more of a social enterprise, and thus be more sustainable
  • Sally doesn't envy the archeologists of the future, given the amount of data we're creating
  • Information overload is the problems - but it's not buried. It's there.
  • The Eden Project is going to start gathering people's creations around the project
  • In order for curation to be strong in the future, we're going to need a strong community around our brand, so they create material to curate.
  • The Big Society - it is doable, and it needs to be sold in as achievable.
  • Where are the quick wins? There are life hurdles to get over. What one thing could you do?
  • Gary said that the + in Creativity +Curation hasn't been talked about…



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Like Minds category.

Le Web is the previous category.

Media140 is the next category.

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