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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Back from Italy… Finland-bound..!

September 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Back from Italy… Finland-bound..!

grapes, selva capuzza, italyGot back from Italy yesterday, having had a fantastic time. Check out the photos on Flickr or my latest video on Qik for more on that – a lot of the photos were uploaded direct from my N95 phone, via wifi, and the Qik post was streamed direct to the site from the phone, leaving me feeling like I really don’t need to take a laptop with me on trips like that anymore – I was checking my email where possible (wifi access is pretty sporadic in Italy – next time, I think I’ll buy a local sim card), updating twitter and collecting lots of groovy photos and videos. Lobelia took LOADS of great video, which hopefully she’ll get uploaded soon (rather than streaming the lo-res versions to Qik, she recorded at hi-res, so hopefully she’ll put them up on Vimeo or some other service like that v. soon).

And tomorrow I’m off to Helsinki, to The Nokia Open Lab organised by Nokia/WomWorld all about this mobile social media stuff. I got back to find a Nokia E71 waiting for me. I’ve been using the Nokia N95 8gb since Greenbelt, and
LOVE it. It really is the ‘laptop killer’ for most daily use. Email, photos, video, even short-form blogging on it is a treat. The screen is big enough for reading long emails, blog posts, news etc, and with the TV-out you could even carry ripped films with you to watch on a TV wherever you were going… I’m a big fan of T9 predictive text, so have little problem typing about as fast on a T9-enabled numeric phone keypad as I can with one hand on a normal keyboard (I can touch type, so the ideal for me would be a bluetooth portable keyboard, but we’ll get to that eventually).

So to the E71 – first impressions aren’t great. It’s a ‘blackberry-style’ device, with a mini-qwerty keyboard, designed for lots of writing, emailing etc. I’ve never been a fan of that kind of interface, and while the design of this is better than any other that I’ve tried thus far (the raised keys and layout mean it’s fairly quick, but still WAAAAY too small for my bass-playing fists). The camera is not up to the N96/N82 standard, and so far, the web-browsing experience doesn’t match up. It’ll be great to get to talk it over with some of the other geeks out in Helsinki. I’m REALLY looking forward to checking out the N85 too – sounds like the business.

At least as interesting as the hardware stuff will be the conversations about the future of mobile, both social media applications and what it means for musicians (I’m not sure if this is built into the program, but I’ll be talking about it, blogging about it, streaming video about it, and generally making a noise about it 🙂 ) – there are some great people going, including James Whatley and Phil Campbell.

So, there’ll be lots of mobile chat here over the next few days, hopefully some fun stuff to look at and listen to for those of you who couldn’t give a shit about the geekness of it all, and THEN some new music… (I am SO overdue getting the Lawson/Dodds/Wood album up online for sale – the thought that it would get lost in a flurry of geeky-stuff is terrible, given that it’s such a fantastic album… Will focus on that lots ASAP, I promise!!)

Tags: Geek · Random Catchup

Video, Greenbelt, blogging and being yourself

September 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Video, Greenbelt, blogging and being yourself

OK, I promised a greenbelt round-up, and that’s still on the way, but first (this is backwards, I know) some thoughts on how video worked for us at Greenbelt. By ‘us’, I mean the social media monkeys that were trying to get Greenbelt’s web-presence away from just being a static website into something a little more granular, diffuse, community based and embeddable as conversation-starters…

Greenbelters have been using Flickr in a co-ordinated way for years – there are over 15,000 photos tagged at Greenbelt2006, Greenbelt2007 or Greenbelt2008! But the festival presence hadn’t really gone beyond that. So I, along with JennyBee, James Stewart, Lobelia and Mike Radcliffe set about building a video presence for the festival.

Jenny was already involved in a more structured, formal process of collecting video interviews and whatnot for promotional usage, but we were all looking for a much more guerilla feel to our social media footage: lots of chatting to camera, unedited interviews, fun stuff from around the site. And, crucially, we wanted a fair bit of it to be watchable live.

After about a month of trying, we finally found a contact at WomWorld – a Nokia promo blog, who would lend us the hardware we needed to do the project – namely, 4 Nokia N82s and one Nokia N95. Yay for Nokia and their lovely bloggers! It all happened so late in the day that the phones were sent direct to the festival site, and we had very little time to trail what we were doing, or to get conversant with everything that the phones could do. Still, we’ve managed, so far, to rack up well over 8000 views on the Greenbelt Group at Qik.com and Mike opted to record video at higher quality and post it to his YouTube Channel – he produced some great video.

Here’s my Qik Channel – the first 50 vids on here are from the festival:

So I did all the interviews you’ve seen embedded here over the last 10 days, and a whole load more footage, had some great feedback to it all, and it’s already cropped up being embedded and linked to on a range of sites, providing a talking point for those who were and those who weren’t at the festival.

It was a fantastic validation of two things – firstly, the importance of embeddable, linkable social media for starting conversations about any event. And secondly, the importance of video in getting the ‘feel‘ of any event across. blogging, texting, tweeting, even audio recordings go some way to creating a ‘buzz’, but nothing has the impact that video has… if Greenbelt are bright, they’ll get behind this nexy year, resource it, promote it, and they could have a virtual attendance bigger than that actual attendance…

I’ve just written a post about the honesty of video for Creative-Choices.co.uk, and started a discussion about it at Phreadz. Sadly you can’t embed video on the Creative Choices blog, but here’s the Phreadz conversation about it –

The question at the end of the Creative Choices blog is ‘how is video working for you?’ – feel free to drop by over there and answer it

Tags: Geek · Managing Information Streams · Random Catchup

Post-greenbelt. How Was It For You?

August 27th, 2008 · Comments Off on Post-greenbelt. How Was It For You?

We’re home from Greenbelt. Will do a proper blow by blow account soon, but for now, a few thoughts on a Qik video (I am as tired as I look in the vid 🙂 )

Please post links to your own Greenbelt blogs, videos & photos in the comments below…

Tags: Geek · Musing on Music · Random Catchup

Interview with Jon Birch of Asbojesus…

August 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Interview with Jon Birch of Asbojesus…

Here’s a lil’ interview with the marvellous and lovely Jon Birch of Asbojesus.wordpress.com – he’s fab, his blog’s fab, and the interview’s pretty cool too…

Tags: Geek · Rant - Politics, Spirituality, etc.

What Is Greenbelt?

August 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on What Is Greenbelt?

Here’s my attempt to answer the question, ‘What Is Greenbelt?’, for those of you that have been wondering. 🙂

Tags: Geek · Random Catchup

A new blog post and another QIK vid…

August 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on A new blog post and another QIK vid…

It’s only friday afternoon, the Greenbelt site isn’t even open yet, and I’m already working like crazy.

I’ve been posting loads of videos at www.qik.com/solobasssteve (damn, I’m going to HAVE to get myself a Nokia N95 after I give this trial one back. It’s WAY to useful!) and have just written another post for Creative Choices, entitled Creative Copying – have a read, and feel free to comment there.

If you follow my twitter feed, whenever a link appears that says I’m Qiking, you can log in and chat with me on the live stream… please drop in and say hi!

Here’s another qik post from this morning –

Tags: Geek · Random Catchup

A weekend at Greenbelt – watch this space…

August 21st, 2008 · Comments Off on A weekend at Greenbelt – watch this space…

I’m down at the Greenbelt festival this weekend, and will be streaming a lot of video, thanks to those lovely people at Wom World lending me, Lobelia, James Stewart, JennyBee and Mike Radcliffe a pile of video-compatible phones to stream from! Hurrah.

So head to www.qik.com/solobasssteve to follow the videos, and keep an eye on www.moblog.net/greenbelt for other blogged and aggregated content from all of us!

Here’s my first QIK from the festival…

Tags: Uncategorized