Maybe because I felt like I was no longer just a photographer. My ability to take photos and document things was now just one shade on a growing multimedia palette of skills that had community in mind.
I guess things really took off with my trip into Jordan for the United Nations. This was a big job for me, the ground covered, audio interviews, photos and final editing into a podcast assembled with the assistance of people like Phil Sands and Bill Cammack. It was in Jordan I introduced an Iraqi Refugee to Seesmic. This blew his mind that he could reach out into the homes of the western world and report first hand what he was going through whilst escaping with only his life from the mess that was/is Iraq.
I felt this would be an incredibly important use for video conversation platforms. Today they seem to concentrate on conversations with celebrity and have not yet been adopted by areas of the worlds community in real need of talking about their plight. Hopefully myself and Mike Sizemore will be able to push the use of video conversational platforms in the political sphere. We have already had great success using Qik during talks with political party leaders with Thompson Reuters, thanks to people like @ilicco.
Shortly after Jordan was a meetup in Paris, then SXSW in Austin, Texas. This was made possible by more sponsorship. Jeff Pulver bought the tickets and myself and Phil Campbell’s socializing was more than covered by Seesmic. It was here that many online friendships were cemented and connections made. People who’s lives I still follow daily and think of as good friends. Some of these friendships were fortified more with my trip to New York for Podcamp NYC 2.0. Also made possible with sponsorship from Seesmic.
There are too many people to name with whom friendships were made and are still maintained. If you look at my Twitter friends and scroll back to the first 30 or so pages.. these are the people from this time. These are the people I would do most anything for. The web weaving warriors who have made sense of this digital wasteland.
After SXSW I was bridging out from mobile media making and into Consulting. Geert Van Kesteren commissioned me to fly out to Amsterdam and help him with his media mountain. Towers of hard drives containing incredible photo stories waiting to be reformatted into online portfolios, podcasts, films anything that gave them new life.
Las Vegas was another big event of the year made possible with the help of Steve Purkiss, @Kosso’s Phreadz and The Open University. In fact Phreadz and The OU have gone on to play a massive part in many more of this years adventures. Berlin Web 2.0 was made infinitely more interesting and Geeknbury really came together with the online participation from those that could not make it.
Work for me this year has been a pleasure. Which is just as well, if i’m not doing something for an assignment, I am doing more of the same for the love of it. It was great working with Carl (@FellowCreative) and the University of Creative Arts online projects. Speaking at places like the UCA and the MDDA really punctuate the year nicely and allow me to learn through talking more about what it is we do.
I finished this year by running video blogging courses. A full day of looking at kit, learning how to use it, filming editing uploading and dissemination.
If you had asked me at the beginning of 2008 what i would be doing throughout the year, I would have had no idea how fast and how far this social media wave would travel. Surf’s up and it’s 10 foot and tubing.
If you ask me now I’ll say I just want to stay on the surfboard, anything else is a bonus.
I look forward to doing more with these people in 2009. More projects with the likes of Dave @BuddhaMagnet. More experimental stuff with the OU, more teaching with the MDDA.. More with, Nick Butler, @sleepydog, Phil Campbell, Mike Sizemore.. Just more.
Of course I have the little matter of a baby arriving between March and April so my focus may alter somewhat in the first quarter of this year. If I thought 2008 was epic, 2009 it is bound to be more so.
This blog post accompanies a podcast I have rushed out in the last couple of hours of 2008. Not really a concise summery. Just a ramble whilst walking the dog on a cold December night. Trying to get my head around the year and at the same time trying not to freeze to death in the dark Northamptonshire countryside.
You can subscribe to my ever so neglected podcast in the iTunes store.
If you feel you can add to this please comment. It’s great to get feedback, thoughts and ideas.
I won’t ask any more from you other than to stay in touch. Communication got us here.. Staying connected will carry us through. A journey with friends.