Multiplatform design for The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning

The pre-trial process of Bradley Manning has started in the United States, with the 24 year old army private accused of the biggest leak of classified information in military history. National Theatre Wales is creating a new play written by Tim Price about the alleged wikileaker and the time he spend in Haverfordwest in Wales.

Tim has blogged on the Guardian about why he is writing the play and I have been commissioned by NTW to design the multiplatform element of the show. There is a group on NTW’s community site (built by NativeHQ) where the show and the issues around it are being discussed.

More will be revealed as we develop the show, which will open in Bradley Manning’s own Haverfordwest school in April, but for the moment, all I will say is that I’ve been thinking about how a live theatre performance can interact with a global audience through the internet, and how it can move beyond the broadcast thinking of the approach taken by National Theatre Live  🙂

Protecting an area of rainforest the size of Wales

We are helping the Size of Wales with their environmental campaign. Check out the video to find out more. Our work is focused on using social media to raise awareness and money.

Please leave a comment on the YouTube vid which will help to boost its ranking. You can also like the Facebook page to follow the latest news. For each Like, Size of Wales’ partners will contribute £1 to the fund.

More info on this project to follow shortly.

Presentation at the Social Enterprise Wales conference 2011

I couple of weeks ago I was invited to give a presentation to a group of Social Entrepreneurs at a great conference organised by the Wales Co-Operative Centre and the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition in Swansea. Wales has a long tradition of Social Enterprise going back to the 19th Century, from Robert Owen to Aneurin Bevan.

The presentation was livestreamed, and the video is available online here. If you’re interested, the software I used for the slideshow is Prezi.

Think Digital Cardiff: some notes about Platforms & Practices

Here are my slides from my talk entitled Platforms & Practices at the first Think Digital Cardiff event.

This was a bit of a freeform talk about social media. There are no bullet points! Its purpose was to inspire people to think about creative use of digital media. Some quick notes follow.

Platforms & Practices: the general point was that it’s not enough to say you’re using tool X, a platform such as YouTube or Twitter or the web itself. I want to highlight the question of practices – what are you doing and how is it benefitting your work? If there is no practice then you are just playing with the platform, which is fine as long as you’re aware of that. The two need to be there together if you have a hope of any work-related strategy.

Collaboration: I deliberately began with Google Docs as a suggested improvement over email attachments for some situations. It’s an example of online collaboration with colleagues on documents, an easy thing that gives us a hint of what could be possible with bolder forms of collaboration. (At the bar afterwards someone mentioned that true collaboration is about working with people from different disciplines which was a good point. I could have added here that it’s about the practice as well as the platform of Google Docs. But we had to start somewhere.)

The cloud: it just means servers. I’m personally uncomfortable with the term ‘cloud computing‘.

Wikipedia: another glimpse of what is possible when people use social software to collaborate. Also available in Welsh, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.

Ravelry: a social network for knitting enthusiasts. But we know that hobbies are big on the web.

Here Comes Everybody: recommended book by Clay Shirky, about easier group formation

giffgaff: just one example of a business which nurtures an online ‘community’ to fix problems and cut customer service and marketing costs. Some of the community members know more than the staff about aspects of real world use. I really wanted to emphasise that this is not merely Social Media Marketing. Mobile phone networks are an interesting area – they play to the network, including friends and family deals. The network effects keep people using the system and give value to people according to their connections/friends/etc.

National Theatre Wales Community: we worked on the strategy and trained the team. A very interesting project, with some unexpected outcomes in terms of how people participated.

1 / 9 / 90 guideline: there are wisdoms around online communities and participation. You can gather metrics on many things that are important to you, much more than just member count.

OnePeople documentary: commissioned to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. A superb example of remix and social video. Maybe the fact they’ve booked Kevin MacDonald to edit the DIY videos is the most conventional

Remix by Lawrence Lessig, another recommended book

YouTube: there is a culture of YouTube. It can be about you and your DIY video, made on a phone camera or Flipcam. It can be a mistake to hire an expensive crew with professional editing. It doesn’t have to be about broadcast quality or production values.

It’s all about your second video: just a thought that you should probably go through the process of making a short video (maybe just a conversation about your subject or industry, forget about overt marketing pitches) and uploading it. Then you have gone through the ‘initiation process’. It’s the beginning. You might get a comment, etc.

Platforms & Practices is also about play. You can experiment on a personal account. This informs your practices as a company.

There it is, there wasn’t much time to elaborate further but a lot of hints that people will have found useful – I hope.

Talking about digital media at Think Digital Cardiff @tdcardiff

Next week I’m doing a talk about digital media.

I thought I’d put the emphasis on what I think of as ‘all the other important applications’ of digital media like collaboration, online communities, forming groups, user-generated content and so on. If you want an accessible introduction to some of these things then you should consider coming along.

It seems to me that sometimes people automatically associate digital media and social media with publicity, PR and marketing. I think marketing is a legitimate use of digital media, depending on how you do it, but it would be limiting to think of it exclusively as that wouldn’t it? What about all the other useful stuff people are doing online?

So hopefully the talk which I’m working on now will complement the talks by the other speakers. And I think I have a way to tie it all together.

The event is primarily aimed at business owners in south Wales who want to know more about online. It’s called Think Digital Cardiff and is organised by Big Eye Deers who specialise in creating ecommerce sites and web stores for people. Now, there are probably loads of companies who claim to offer these services. Big Eye Deers, while well established, are new to me and would be the Highest New Entry on my chart of favourite companies – if there were such a thing. What I like about them is their eye for detail and their use of open source software.

At the time of writing there are still spaces at Think Digital Cardiff for small business owners and all proceeds from the event go to charity.

The Business of Social Media – a short course with Cyfle

Cyfle have invited us to run our 2-day course, The Business of Social Media again in Caernarfon and Cardiff.

Individuals working in marketing, promotion or development of small and large businesses and organisations.

Caernarfon (Welsh medium) 17/18 October
Cardiff (English medium) 20/21 October
Cardiff (Welsh medium) 14/15 November

Many businesses are now using social media to create engaging relationships with people and markets, communicate about products, offer special deals, develop customer loyalty and respond to enquiries and conversations about their brand.

  • How can you use digital media tools to achieve these business aims?
  • How can digital media be used to bring out creativity, tackle problems, enable collaboration, develop audiences and tell stories?
  • Which tools are appropriate for your work and what can they do?
  • How do you go from registering an account with an online tool to using it well on a real project?

Participants will have an opportunity to explore these questions and gain practical experience on the platforms which have people’s attention.

Book a place
To book a place or ask questions please contact or 01286 668003.

Photos from the development of The Passion by Michael Sheen

Here are some photos I took during the development stage of the Passion project, while we were exploring the Port Talbot dunes and beach with Michael Sheen, Bill Mitchell, the cast and some of the crew.

Event: #senedd2011 in the Pierhead, Cardiff

We’re co-organising this event with the National Assembly. Entry is free but don’t forget your RSVP:

National Theatre Wales programme launch today

Our friends (and client!) National Theatre Wales are launching their 2010 programme today.

More info from director John McGrath on the community site.

Join the online chat and watch the live video stream, see Catherine Paskell’s blog post for info on that.

Web2.0 and Bilingualism discussion starter

Localisation fans take note, Daniel Cunliffe of University of Glamorgan has written a report on web2.0 and bilingualism, meant as a “discussion starter”.

If you’re unsure of the term “web2.0”, I would say Cunliffe has used it here as a synonym for social media. The report was commissioned by the Welsh Language Board and should be of interest to anyone running websites, blogs or any kind of other web presence intended for Welsh users. It would also be of interest in any other country or situation where bilingualism is important.

I haven’t read it in full yet but if you know me you’ll be aware that this report lives at a crossroads where two of my main interests intersect! Just don’t hold me to any of the recommendations just yet.