On Valentine's Day 1997, I left my job as a newspaper journalist to work with the small, smart team who were building a pioneering news service for the web in a squat, Leeds-look, edge-of-centre office block. "You can always come back," said my editor, "if this Internet thing doesn't work out." For a long time … Continue reading Week 790: Leaving Orange
So today is the last day of Guardian Leeds, and this pledge gets a mention in John Baron's characteristically gracious and professional signing-off post. Leeds won't let quality local news slip away without a fuss. There have been two meetings and numerous discussions about what happens next. You can find out more on two new … Continue reading Guardian Leeds: the regeneration begins
Cornelia Parker got the army to blow up a shed full of stuff and then hung the shards from an art gallery ceiling. It felt like a metaphor for almost all the talks at Matt Locke's brilliant event, The Story: everywhere narratives are fragmenting, and no one seems certain how to put them back together. … Continue reading Small pieces loosely joined: on the way home from the Story
So, narrative capital. The social scientist has it like this... ... the power [research participants] have to tell the stories of their lives. This ‘narrative capital’ is then located in the ‘field’ of social science research and Sen’s capability approach is introduced to prompt the question: What real opportunities do research participants have to tell … Continue reading Who wants to be a story millionaire? Some thoughts on the value of Patient Opinion
A desire to put some theoretical acro props under my vague unease with the determinist narrative of so much of our technology discourse has led me to the writing of the French anthropologist Bruno Latour. His work on the social construction of science, an ethnography of the R&D lab, has a special resonance for me, … Continue reading On the way to dConstruct: a social constructionist thought for the day
To my middle, most media-savvy son, the record player is the stuff of legend. Could a needle bouncing through wiggly grooves on a disc of black plastic truly recreate music as faithfully as the bits and bytes that play the part today? On a rainy July Saturday afternoon I stagger from the loft with my … Continue reading You’re in the future now, Konvergenz Boy
An article by my former colleague and TEDx Leeds speaker Norman Lewis reminds me of an ingenious device imagined by Douglas Adams in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Yes, I know you all like a good Douglas Adams quote. First, though, listen to Norman, writing about ‘Millennials’ and Enterprise2.0 on his Futures … Continue reading When too much perspective can be a bad thing
Numbers: they can be beguiling things, especially when they tell a story we really want to hear. The bigger the numbers the better, ideally so mind-bogglingly big that they totally overwhelm our critical faculties. Best of all, take a series of numbers getting ever bigger: a dynamic that makes us feel as if something significant is happening … Continue reading Fact-checking the information exa-ggeration
This is not just any newspaper. It is a signed, numbered (23/100), limited-edition copy of "Immanent in the Manifold City", crafted by James Bridle with the generous assistance of Newspaper Club, Graphics category winner in the Design Museum's Designs of the Year Awards. I left it on the sofa while I went out to work. … Continue reading A funny thing happened to my copy of a limited-edition newspaper
The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. And so I'm loving the safari around the world's largest city and capital of the British Empire, afforded by Chris Heathcote's inventive Newspaper Club debut As It Is To-Day. Chris has been feeding Newspaper Club's editing software Arthr on a diet of old London … Continue reading As It Is To-Day
Late last year I made a small prototype based on my Ignite London talk, 1794, by printing the 20 slides as Moo cards, with associated pages on this blog. Now there's a new version, using cards, stickers and an A3 sheet for you to play with the story. It's backed up with a new set of … Continue reading 1794 Redux
Be it known that at some point in the near future I plan to bloviate on the concept of the prospectus and its coming revival in new and unexpected transmedia formats. Consider this a prospectus. I'm so meta.
This post was going to be all about newspapers, but the more I thought about it the more I realised that before writing about the news I have to explain the paper, specifically the cheap, low quality paper we call newsprint. It's a fascinating story which, I think, explains why short-run, nichepaper projects such as Newspaper Club … Continue reading On newsprint: the potency of cheap paper
Ten years ago this month the Sunday Times published an article by Douglas Adams called "How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet". You can read it here. Some starting observations: It's a tragedy that Adams died, aged 49, in 2001, depriving us of more great literature in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, … Continue reading Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?
"Is Print Dead?" was the provocative title for David Parkin's Leeds Media Breakfast Briefing the other day. If the answer had been yes, I guess we'd all have had to wolf down our croissants and get back to work. Thankfully as a newspaper business editor turned online start-up entrepreneur, David treated us to a more … Continue reading Print’s not dead, it’s just evolving