GE15 gets a kickstart

We’ve just passed 100-day day on the election countdown, and while once again we’ll find voices calling it as the “social media election” (despite previous elections making the same claims) the thing that’s caught my eye is that it seems to be the crowd funding election.

First it was the Greens, crowd funding a candidate for every constituency in Brum, and now Labour’s PPC for Yardley has a campaign to build a war chest to help her fight against John Hemming.

Micro funding was always held up as being an important part of Obama’s success in the US, but a crowd funding campaign moves that idea to new territory: it heightens the sense of collective action, by rallying folk around the funding target. Crowd funding, so tightly wound into a discourse of innovation and disruption, also chimes with the rhetoric of UKIP earthquakes and Green surges, to the idea that we’re all activists now and everything is up for grabs.

We live in interesting times.

Night running (deserves a quiet night)

Sometimes I think “I need a head torch” but then the road opens out from the woods and I’m running across the top of Blackroot Pool. The thin slither of new moon, the stars, and I’m a mile or more from traffic in any direction. It’s just me and the road through Sutton Park, and the water and the stars and I don’t need a head torch.

No coding necessary — for your free audiobook download

I’ve just started listening to the podcast Criminal, having heard about it when it joined the Radiotopia collective. It’s good, you’d like it, especially if you’re jonesing for Serial. But that’s not what I’m talking about right now.

I’ve listened through the first couple of episodes, when the show was boxfresh, and the latest one, after it joined Radiotopia, and whilst the programme itself hasn’t changed there’s one big thing that’s new: the ads. Continue reading No coding necessary — for your free audiobook download

Getting in on the ground floor

I’m a terribly safe reader. I stick to authors I know until I have a solid recommendation for a new one. Last week though I got to the end of the book I was reading and saw a tweet about The Girl on the Train that got my interest. My book had ended on a real downer so I grabbed a sample of The Girl on the Train, just after midnight, and gave it a go. I’d bought the book before I turned the light out. Continue reading Getting in on the ground floor

Mockingbird Cinema, Custard Factory

I hadn’t realised that the theatre space at Custard Factory had opened again and is poised to do lots of interesting things (because basically, I don’t get out much so I don’t find out things).

A friend had his birthday party there last night (he rented the screen, we watched Top Secret, it was a great night) and that gave me a chance to get reacquainted with the joint. Continue reading Mockingbird Cinema, Custard Factory

Glengarry, Glen Cars

I didn’t quite get into Serial hipster-early, but I just got the jump on the popular rush after a few people who really like podcasts tipped me off. Inevitably when they did they all said “…from the guys at This American Life.” And I wasn’t hip to that either.

Well, today it was time to find out what I’d been missing. Everyone suggested the same gateway episode: 129 Cars.

It’s Glengarry, Glenn Ross with cars as a sales team try to make their monthly target: it’s fascinating, emotional, funny and dramatic and it’s a super tight piece of radio production. Go listen, now.

Highs & lows street

Today I had to do a lot of business with various companies on “the high street” and was struck by just how far we’ve come with remediating the Internet back into physical shops.

Beyond all the obvious stuff about unexpected items in bagging areas, and outside of the economic discussion about cost cutting that leads to all of this, high street shopping feels to me more and more like clicks than bricks. All those automated systems, all that lack of human agency, reduces much of the process to the same user experience as online shopping (but with the hassle of leaving the house). Continue reading Highs & lows street

Pull the pull-quotes on mobile

Today I was reading a very long read on my mobile and I kept on getting my flow broken by pull-quotes that had no right to be there.

What’s a pull-quote? Well, here’s a useful definition and description from Magazine Designing:

(A) Pull-quote is a display element which is used to attract the reader and to break up long blocks of text. The effect of pull-quotes depend on their attractiveness, both visual and textual. […]As a visual element they have to be instantly recognizable and different from the rest of the text on the page. The size, color and texture of the pull-quotes has to be different from the surrounding text. Depending on the style and look of your publication, pull-quotes can have a calm, traditional design or you can create some extravagant looking pull-quotes

Continue reading Pull the pull-quotes on mobile

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