2008 a journey with friends

The Documentally podcast in it’s iTunes form started in 2006, i started video blogging and using twitter in 2007 but it was 2008 that felt like social media really took off for me.

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.

Girl Looks

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.

Me by GeertThere 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.

Don’t forget you can support this blog here and a review on my podcast in Itunes may do more good than bad.

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.


  1. says

    Happy New Year Man. I’m glad that being social with your media has worked out for you. But i always knew it would. When your a human being that has a lot to give and share the world will listen. Raising a virtual cup (coffee) to 2009.

    Cheers for being a mate in 2008 and i’ll be here for you in 2009 when needed! :)

  2. says

    Cheers Phil, SXSW may be off the menu this year but keep me posted on anything else that is going on where a mobile media maker may be needed to make up the team.

    Cheers for the roadtrips.. the strange drinks on rooftops.. the nights without sleep… The good times.

  3. says


    So glad to have met you. Your work sounds incredible. Wish I could come along for the ride in person. Barring that, I look forward to you sharing your fun, your insights, and your experiences here, on Twitter, Seesmic and more.

    All the best to you in 2009. PS, if you need someone to get payed to go along and help blog… :)
    Todd aka Tojosan

  4. Dave Goodchild says

    Great stuff man, I really started to feel part of a cultural rush in 2008, the kind of radical people-powered surge I never thought I would be part of. My coding skills and dreams of being a writer all seem to be converging into a vibrant reality, and that reality has been made possible by connecting with upbeat, engaging souls such as yourself.

    2009 is going to be a blast – see you real soon!

  5. says

    Happy new year to you Christian!

    I have known you since the beginning of time and I have always had a respect for you(even when building bugs in matchboxes!), even more so now – You have the ability to inject enthusiasm into people because you believe in what you do.
    I must admit(if were honest) I am somewhat envious of the way you conduct yourself and the way you can brilliantly extract the guts from your mind and present it perfectly on a blog. I hope to one day have the pleasure of your company on my blog! (I have a long way to go!)

    Once again, Congratulations on the baby – it will be interesting to see how things change for you in 2009 – we will be watching.

    Very best regards m8..

  6. says

    What form of madness is this?? From what i have read here, you have managed to add tons of CO2 to the environment, polluted the internet with a bunch of sh*t musings and propagated the illusion of creativity whilst partying around the world! As a stills photographer myself i often wonder why venture into the moving image? I think I now know…surfing and the chance to f*ck the world!!! well, so long as you make your pile dude!! I can only imagine the joy on the faces of the people of Jordan as you (western, white n well heeled) rolled into town full of good intentions but, like many before you, leaving them behind to ‘file your report.’ In essence, I get the feeling you have ‘moved to moving’ to re discover your creativity and found a humanitarian tragedy to flex with. Sheesh!

  7. says

    Hi John,
    I am sorry you feel this way. “Polluted the internet with a bunch of shit musings..” is particularly harsh.

    I have more than offset my carbon use for this last couple of years and not just with credits and internet offers. I can sleep easy there.

    The ‘pile’ i have made this year is a small one allowing me to break even once again. These are experimental times and I prefer to focus on all forms of communication.

    I still talk to the people in Jordan, and other places less fortunate than ours. I don’t see how my exercising my right to ‘party’ should be put on hold because the world is a mess. I am fully aware of the political climate.


  8. butterbeep says

    I feel I must step up to defend my friend here:

    What form of madness is this?? From what i have read here, you have managed to add tons of CO2 to the environment:

    …along with millions of other people with far more nefarious motives. Am I to believe that anyone with good intentions has to stay in their armchair? Or become and Jainist and sweep the floor before them to avoid killing bugs. It’s a dirty world and sometimes to make a change you have to get dirty with it to make it cleaner (or at least try).

    polluted the internet with a bunch of sh*t musings:

    …very insulting, and highly objective. What’s wrong with musing – muse enough and you get wisdom. And if not, well, stop listening. Have a look at the comment trail at the bottom of any youtube video. Racism, hatred and lies pollute the internet. Transparency and free exchange can only make it healthier, whether you find the content irrelevant or self-indulgent is a function of what pushes your own buttons. Find content you like.

    and propagated the illusion of creativity:

    Illusion? You are either creatiev or not, and the value of what you create will of course vary. You have to create a LOT to create anything of lasting value and work hard to do so. From now on, shall we ask social networks to screen new users and only allow people through whose every utterance and creation is a work of unadulterated genius? The communities would be very small indeed.

    whilst partying around the world!:

    Are we not allowed to party AND care?

    As a stills photographer myself i often wonder why venture into the moving image? I think I now know…surfing and the chance to f*ck the world!!!:

    well, so long as you make your pile dude!!:

    Hardly. If money was the sole motivation Mr Payne would be working in an investment bank, not social media.

    I can only imagine the joy on the faces of the people of Jordan as you (western, white n well heeled) rolled into town full of good intentions but, like many before you, leaving them behind to ‘file your report.’ In essence, I get the feeling you have ‘moved to moving’ to re discover your creativity and found a humanitarian tragedy to flex with. Sheesh!

    : journalism is in a state of flux, and I trust the picture I get from the mainstream less than I did a year ago (and I didn’t trust it much then). I would much rather get information from people on the ground, and from what I’ve seen and heard Mr Payne has forged bonds of trust and friendship over there. He is still allowed to be happy and party – we don’t need martyrs, they are a negative influence and prone to sanctification.

    I am happy there are people like Christian in the world, there should be more like him.

  9. Amanda says

    I really enjoyed reading that ;o). Thanks for sharing,
    Am so happy things have worked out so well for you. Exciting stuff. I hope the new year brings many more.
    *Kicks John McLean for his jealousy*

  10. says

    Great to hear you again. Good to know I’m not alone having pod casts laying around waiting to be edited. I would think someone is going to make it easy to do. Congrats on your eminent fatherhoodness. Wow.

  11. says

    I first stumbled upon ‘The Doc’ in July 2008 when I first joined twitter. I first listened to his podcast episode 43 and subscribed to the feed on my PSP (it’s not all about Apple and iTunes) Since then I have tried to keep up with Christian and he has opened my eyes simply through his honest and transparent day to day media frenzy.

    I had become bored with the internet! – since 1996 it has been my daily grind, first building communities through start-up enthusiast forums and also embracing my love of amateur photography through the flickr community. Christian seems to be at the forefront of all that is new and happening on the net and he is at the top of my feed list with some of the biggest US internet personalities.

    I hope you keep it up Christian, you have many strings to your bow.

    Richard Mackney

  12. Jason says

    It’s always good to hear your voice coming out of my iPod earbuds, friend… may ’09 be bigger and better and erm, baby-er!