Tag Archives: ipod

The Twitter train

20 Nov

Discovered by my no doubtly iniquitous means of surfing teh interwebs and researching blogging as a a creative outlet project, I stumbled across Twitter. I never really paid any attention to it, thought it was much a-do about only a little, but in some logical space, this so called ‘Twitter’ just seemed to keep popping up everywhere. It first started falling into my routine with my iPod touch, installing a nifty application called ‘Twinkle’.
Now, I’m not app heavy, use and keep what I need and somehow this one application just stuck around for a while.
And Twitter, incase you’ve been hiding under a rock in the general world of web 2.0, it is micro blogging that’s well… “so hot right now”…in the colloquial Gen Y-er terms.

But regardless of popularity, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was witnessing some kind of Star Trek style culture, whereby people are infact known by their clever twitter personnas and leave behind -well, everything else.

So, the point you ask?
There is something really interesting when it comes to understanding the mindset that drives some people to pursue the untested, emerging social networking platforms, when to most, the reason for doing so might be unclear and a waste of time, when you have things that already work for you.
First you need to understand the mindset of technology adapters, or bleeding edgers or tweeps and whathaveyou.
It starts with myspace, facebook and moves onto blogging, photo blogging, RSS feeds and technorati to name a few. Tied somewhere into that, you’ll find an unbridled passion for everything social, down to the search for something a little more left of center than the standard information generation.

So I had heard something was going on and it turns out, hey- it had been for quite sometime already. A whole lot of something. Better late to the party than never I say.
Since connecting to this highly addictive world of Twitter, I’ve discovered some interesting things.
Unlike the relatively static experiences on LinkedIn, facebook* or WordPress, twitter is alive and buzzing with real time conversations. It’s amazing what you can say in 140 characters or less (micro blogging needs a defining characteristic, and Twitter’s creators somehow settled on 140 characters as a limit) you’ll get everything from “I need a coffee” to “anyone seen Google’s latest acquisition with video chat?”

The second thing I discovered was that people are paying close attention to everything you say. In fact, when you ‘follow’ someone on twitter, another description could almost be stalking in the real world. But not on Twitter. The third twitter point I must share, was the process of explaining to my friends and others, exactly what twitter was and why it mattered. All they could muster was ‘that sounds pointless!’
Yeowch. The truth can hurt.

It might sound a little ethereal, but eventually you get plugged into the wavelength of Like-minded people. The revelation is that Twitter has demonstrated that social networking can be-wait for it- social.
Amazing I know.
Looking for advice on a broken mac, or even asking questions on a new business challenge, just as your twitter followers, the suggestions can come flooding in within minutes.
The real shocking thing about business is that it’s social, and that’s where it ties in. Relationships matter- relationships with customers, clients or faceless corporate entities. Regardless how positive or negative those experiences can be.

So for now, I’ll keep using it, finding ‘tweeps’, networking and socially relating in something a little new and untouched by the grubby hands of mainstream. I don’t consider myself a bleeding edger, but I’ll roll with it for now. It’s a bit like a self assured credibility you adopt because you used to watch that artist or band performing in lounges and pubs before they were mainstream.

Anyway, time for my next update.


Are you hearing what I’m hearing?

19 Aug

Writing is a talent or so they say. – But not just any old writing.

I have loaded up my iPod with four Springsteen albums that have gotten some serious continual airtime.

Music, and music writing, is like breathing to some. Music allows people to find peace when stomachs are churning and emotions are lost. It pulls everything out of your head and folds it all back into place with a disconnected understanding, a little nurture and some storytelling to follow.

I remember ‘back in the day’ when we would find two or three bands and just go through the lyrics and music over and OVER until I had each beat, word, melody memorised in my heads. Because naturally, I thought it was truly beautiful.

Now listening to the story artists tell, I don’t ever seem to want to stop searching for music that has the ability to make my jaw drop and press replay just a few more times.

The way an artist writes their lyrics is an amazing talent, when an artist tells a story, it is something else altogether. Of course I am not talking about Britney Spears and her masquerade of reverberations or what have you.

You cannot channel emotion with that.

But the true artists that write, sing and sweat through every ounce of their own soulful artistry.

Listening to artists from the past, its interesting to see where influences are from and how much music itself has evolved and how much more music can change.

What makes Springsteen unique when it comes to music is the story and life behind his lyrics. This isn’t just some 70’s era flowery string laden sound – it’s the real world with bumps and bruises as well as the power of love and experience to back it up, integrated into a song that keeps me wanting to hear more.

digital killed the radio star…

16 Aug
on air or online?

On air or online?

I have been paying a lot of attention to music the past few weeks …more actually about the source of music and what I want to hear.

My shiny, tiny ipod touch has been integrated nicely into my hectic lifestyle, with the music I want to hear selected by a touch and played when I want to hear it. No advertisements, no irritating generic house music or fluffed out promo segments. Everything I want and need, without the excessive add-ons of radio.

It’s this kind of refinement in everyday life now that has people expecting and asking for more, and I’m afraid radio, well just isn’t cutting it in the real world.

Bigger, better things are moving on in and shipping you out of my speakers… thank you very much.

Thats right I’m talking ’bout Last.fm.

The very first time I tried last.fm I thought wow, radio is actually dead.
No longer will we have to listen to what commercial networks, funded by major labels, decide is in our taste. Instead I can just simply log on to Last.fm, type in the names of some of my favourite artists and my lovely internet radio station can suggest similar music to try out. Better still, the system can learn from our picks and refine our playlists on the fly depending on how I rate or skip music.

Any system that relies on user recommendation and interaction rather than the dull drip-feed of traditional broadcasting and the simulation of repetitive ads, has to be an advantage.

Last.fm now has deals in several major labels, which will expand its catalogue significantly. Im hoping, despite these arrangements, Last.fm listeners will still be fed new tracks based on preference and taste – not on the bias of any commercial arrangement. Otherwise we might as well turn the radio back on.

While your in the mood for Digital Radio… check out ‘Creative is Not A Department’ for an insight that actually inspired my thought on this one.

And a big yellow taxi took my girl away

30 Jul

I have never been one for public transport. I use it when I have to and well I am beginning to think taxis pose a better argument for travel than that of trams.

Sure it’s something great to gloat about in a city as livable as Melbourne. Everyone seems to brag about how amazingly easy and incredibly convenient it is.

And now I hear, they (whoever they are…) are attempting to glorify the network by calling portions of the tramline ‘light rail’ whatever that means.

But as I wait for over 25 minutes in peak hour traffic, waiting… Watching the road and all the cars with their drivers contentedly driving by, I felt my temper seething. Light rail? …right …easy? …riiiiggght. Conveniently forgettable I say.

As I continually glanced at my ipod touch, which so effortlessly remembered my last web page visit, I wondered why consistency of such a commonly used tram network couldn’t provide me with the same clear experience that they talk about.

Not only was I waiting alongside a small army of Melbournians, the number continued to grow as the minutes passed by, so collectively in fact that 4 trams worth of people were waiting at my tram stop. Metlink, a note to your affable tram drivers, 1 missing tram; forgivable. 3 missing trams? Unforgettable.

Irritable and unfashionably late, commuters poured onto the tram which was quickly becoming reminiscent to that of a tin of sardines as we continued.
I’m not sure what became more unbearable, being too closely jammed onto a tram and having to listen to the affectionate couple beside me and their shameful sound effects, or maybe the Podcast of ‘marine biology and how you can make a difference’ from the gentleman behind me combined with being completely squashed together with the rest of humanity whose elbows, pokey bags and knees are in your face – everyone on their worst behavior trying to be the first on and first off the tram.

tin sardines anyone?

Nicely accompanied with standing until your feet hurt and your mind shuts down.
Again, thankyou to Apple for the ipod.

The 25 minute commute felt like eternity in real time to public transport conversion, but nonetheless to say, I did arrive at my destination with a story to tell and sigh of relief. Walking never felt so good.

I do ask this of you Metlink; please don’t keep telling me you’re such a great network and so conveniently on time.

Show me.

Prove to me that you can arrive on time and we can call it bygones.

And then, maybe then I will start to trust you again.