Weekly Wrap 146: Just a photo, Ma’am

Blue sky at Katoomba: click for original image on FlickrThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 March 2013 was bereft of newly-published media objects, so here’s a photograph of the sky.

The Week Ahead

On Monday (today) I’ll head into Sydney to deliver my guest lecture at UTS in Ultimo and then go to meeting in Alexandria. The rest of the week is full of writing (exact order TBA) until it all stops early for Good Friday and I become annoyed.

[Photo: Blue sky at Katoomba, photographed on 24 March 2013.]

Weekly Wrap 142: Queensland, rain, alcohol and suchlike

Approaching the colony planet: click to embiggenThe week of Monday 18 to Sunday 24 February 2013 began in Queensland, of course, because I told you that last week. It then went to Sydney, Wentworth Falls, Sydney, and Wentworth Falls again.

The latter part of the week included far too much alcohol, but we won’t talk about that.

More importantly, the week was full of rain. Rain in Queensland. Rain in the Blue Mountains. Rain in Sydney. Too much rain.

Articles

Podcasts

None. There was going to be one, for TechRepublic, but my recorder died. I am jinxed.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • I attended Kickstart Forum 2013, the annual get-together of many of Australia’s technology journalists with a bunch of vendors who pay to be there. There was plenty of largesse. Event organisers: return flights from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast and two nights accommodation at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort including breakfast. AVG ANZ: Information drinks on Sunday evening. Emerson Network Power: a 4GB USB drive containing their media pack. Intel: Sunday night’s superhero-themed dinner (although I didn’t go). KANA Software: a “personal survival kit” containing a Berocca Twist & Go, Panadol (12 tablets), Mentos mints (4) and a branded water bottle. LogMeIn: a spiral-bound paper notebook, a pen and a Berocca Twist & Go. Motorola Solutions: a 4GB USB drive containing their media pack. NEC: audio earbuds in a sensible little plastic case, and an iDual combined stylus and writing pen. NetSuite: Sunday night’s 1980s-themed dinner. Rackspace: Tuesday’s lunch. Symantec: Monday’s lunch, a branded water bottle (not taken) and a blank 8GB car-shaped USB drive. Truphone: a 2GB USB drive containing their media pack.
  • On Wednesday I attended the launch of VMware’s new end-user computing platform, which took the form of a lunch at Altitude Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. There was food and wine and a view.

The Week Ahead

Monday is a day of writing, with articles for CSO Online and Technology Spectator. On Tuesday I’ll pop down to Sydney for the lunchtime launch of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The rest of the week has yet to be arranged, but it’s looking like a steady few days of writing and planning. The weekend is completely unplanned.

[Photo: Approaching the colony planet, actually a photograph of the pumpkin and ginger soup at The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba.]

Weekly Wrap 124: Dirty dog, dirty martini

My week Monday 15 to Sunday 21 October 2012 was marred by the black dog, who decided to visit in strength with his friend back pain. Productivity was very low.

It’s a shame. I have the workings of several quite good articles in various stages of assembly on the computer, and invitations to take part in a variety of interesting unpaid projects. At least half of them will progress no further.

Podcasts

Articles

None.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Monday I had lunch at a North Sydney cafe with Marc Brown, managing consultant of Trustwave SpiderLabs in Australia, along with members of their external PR team. They paid. I believe I had smoked salmon salad.

The Week Ahead

It’s a busy week of writing ahead, after the usual Monday scramble to complete the Patch Monday podcast. At this stage it looks like I’ll be in Sydney on Wednesday and overnight into Thursday. The weekend is currently unplanned, but that will be fixed later today.

[Photo: Manhattan at the Carrington, an essential part of yesterday’s return to normality. For some value of “normal”.]

Talking about freelancing and globalisation in Katoomba

Monday night’s discussion about freelancing in a globalised marketplace went rather well, I think, so I’ve decided to post the full audio.

The event was organised by Publish! Blue Mountains, and as I said previously the title was “Surviving and thriving as a freelancer in a globalised market”.

Radical changes will hit a freelancer’s world over the next two years or so as we move to a globalised marketplace. Firstly there is the rapid rise of internet-enabled outsourcing through sites like Freelancer.com, allowing projects to be advertised globally and often awarded to the lowest bidder who may be in a country where $10 is a decent day’s wage.

Secondly, increasingly sophisticated and intelligent automated systems are now taking over many tasks that historically required human creative input. Just in the writing field alone, we already have US college sports coverage written completely by computer.

Where will this technology (and the marketplace driving it) take us? And what can we creatives do to ensure we’re not replaced by cut-price doppelgangers and robo-scribes?

Naturally things like Freelancer.com and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (named after the original chess-playing robot hoax) and even 99designs came up.

We also drifted into the idea that Australians are the most spoiled people on the planet and we’re too used to our expensive lifestyles. Yet we also recognised that the Australian character provides something that’s worth paying for. And I threw in the idea that we shouldn’t try to imitate Silicon Valley because that was a unique collision of US defence money with Californian counterculture.

Other things mentioned were Seth Godin’s book Linchpin (others recommended him, but truth be told I’m not a fan myself), and my rant about crowdsourcing.

While some of it sounded a tad depressing, I think it ended up being quite positive. Either way, it was fun.

Here’s the full audio, starting off with the voice of Publish! Blue Mountains chairman Steve Krinks.

Play

If you notice anything particularly fascinating while listening, do feel free to add it into the comments.

This audio is ©2012 Stilgherrian, since I recorded it and, heck, I led the discussion. But if you want to use this anywhere do feel free to ask because I’m usually quite generous in such matters.

On Monday evening you can listen to me in Katoomba

This coming Monday 4 June, I’m leading a discussion entitled Surviving and thriving as a freelancer in a globalised market for Publish! Blue Mountains, “a non-profit association of the region’s top creative and publishing professionals”.

The event is subtitled “How to avoid being outsourced to the lowest bidder (or worse still, a robot!)”

Radical changes will hit a freelancer’s world over the next two years or so as we move to a globalised marketplace. Firstly there is the rapid rise of internet-enabled outsourcing through sites like Freelancer.com, allowing projects to be advertised globally and often awarded to the lowest bidder who may be in a country where $10 is a decent day’s wage.

Secondly, increasingly sophisticated and intelligent automated systems are now taking over many tasks that historically required human creative input. Just in the writing field alone, we already have US college sports coverage written completely by computer.

Where will this technology (and the marketplace driving it) take us? And what can we creatives do to ensure we’re not replaced by cut-price doppelgangers and robo-scribes?

The discussion will be held at Clarendon Guesthouse, 68 Lurline St, Katoomba from 5.30 to 7.00pm. My guest speaker slot and the open discussion runs from from 5.45 to 6.30pm, with drinks and networking to follow. It’s free, but you should RSVP to connect@publishbluemountains.com.au. The bar will be open.

Weekly Wrap 88: Mist, media and the joys of Optus

My usual weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 6 to Sunday 12 February 2012 — and yes, it’s being posted very late.

No excuses, no explanations. I hope to find the time for a more reflective post soon.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 124, “Society 5: our democratic digital future”. With two billion people now online, we should probably start thinking about the kind of world we want to create. Enter the Society 5 project. Co-founder Will Grant explains while his colleague Pia Waugh recuperates silently.
  • The 9pm Edict episode 17A, which covers the depressingly tight-sphinctered Melbourne suburb of Prahran and its inhabitants’ predilection to torture their dogs. Plus other stuff.

Articles

  • Sport has to think outside the box, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 2012. It’s an opinion piece about the Federal Court’s ruling that the Optus TV Now service is a legal form of time-shifting a television program.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None. This will certainly change for the current week.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Katoomba in the mist. It’s hard to believe that this photo was taken in late summer, but this was Katoomba’s main street just a week ago. Mind you, this strange weather does lead to glorious views like this morning’s view from my bed.]