Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Notes on How To Organize BarCamp[London4] – Ross Bruniges

You have to get your business involved.
It’s all about being keen and up to it. If you are excited it’s easier to convince them to do it.
You have to keep up with your everyday work.
Make sure you have a team. If you’re the only one you want to do it within your organization, bring in other people that are as enthusiastic as you.
BarCamps are “not commercial”. They are run in commercial organization because they have large offices.
Of about 150 people, ~120 showed up.
Ticketing is quite important, since it gives first impressions.
There is really no good ticketing management tool for BarCamps.
BarCamp people are very professional and so it’s not that much a problem.
It’s easy underestimate the amount of water. What would be really good to have “water” machine.
Don’t forget the vegetarian food.
If you get people to sponsor, make sure they come down and mingle.
When you give out ticket, make sure there is more than one chance.
Don’t be afraid to ask for sponsorship.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Phillie Casablanca

Excerpt of Greg Dyke interviewed by Andy Allan [Thinking digital session notes]

Milwaukee Art Museum (interior with people)

Image from Flickr

> Hillary Clinton or Obama?


> Why?

Because it’s exciting, interesting, new and exciting. But Clinton is not that.

> So what does that mean regarding you? Are you also revolutionary or you just fancy him?

I’m not sure politician are leaders. Last year was good for HArding, because Bush took the position of “worse president”.

America as a country looks strange from outside, because we elected Bush twice. We live in times where american are unnerved and then Obama comes.

> Gordon Brown or Tony Blair?

Gordon Brown is at least honest. I know what he is, he’s a doer, whereas Tony Blair was just an actor.

> You loved him thou? You gave him 50 grand.

Yes, I did. I’ve been in a Labour party for many many years. We wanted to win, and he looked like the person who will win. And we discovered that that winning was not enough.

> Tony was a master of media, but Gordon failed in that. So you have to have a master of the media now?

Probably, probably.

Al Gore’s book about broadcasting where he talks about the fact that it’s a two-way way and it’s too powerful for politics now.

Most the traditional media is getting last important.

> More people voted in BB than in last election ..

Yes, but it’s a bit skewed. My kids voted for that lots of time.

But the fact that you need to get Sun on your side, it’s not that important anymore. Sun is selling one million less copies.

> You tried to buy ITV ..

Yes I did.

> And the price is right.

Right, we tried to buy it for 1.50 .. But the board refused, and now its 50p.


> Would you still like to buy ITV?

I think it still can be turned around, but the decline is very fast now.

> How fed up were you when your governors at the BBC did not support you over the Gilligang business?

Avoid them like a plague, because they were afraid.

> Information superhighway. Does it concern you as a trained journalist? It doesn’t necessarily reason to believe that it’s factual or truthful.

One, I’m not sure who pays for good journalism, and in our lifetimes it was by advertising and government and stuff, but I’m not sure who pays in the future.
And in terms of television, I’m also not sure who pays in the future.

They asked me what’s my definition of public service broadcasting, as opposed to american programming and we’ve managed to sustain it by giving large license fee’s to BBC. So what happens when we don’t have that anymore and commercial television gives everything to sport, as opposed to HBO who funds some incredible dramas.


> BBC should not use the license money to intervene in the commercial market..

It’s a complicated job. “Looks easy to me, someone gives me 3 million pounds and I get to spend it”.

> BBC is not involved in the commercial market .. Should it be PBS for Britain?

The commercial market has failed. ITV digital, one of the dire decisions to destroy the station and the brand.

Freeview worked because we had enough money and market. “More telly, less money”.

> Do you see BBC more involved in the commercial market? This seems unfair.

We were very careful what we do. We’ve gone to freeview because commercial market have failed. The digital world was left to Murdock and I’ve though he should dominate the digital world, and it doesn’t.

> So BBC is a player now in this market.

Yes, and it survived and it work.

> Vast majority can still receive 4 and half channel

Not true. 80% of people can receive multi-channel. Largely because of the freeview.

> Do you believe they have more choice?

You’re coming back to 67 channels and nothing on. The question is going to be, who pays for it. A lot of channels are just repeating other stuff. The question is, who can afford to produce original channel. ITV is producing twice as much, and they can’t afford it.


Sorry, the discussion is too lively for a good transcript. I’ll update with podcast link when it’s available.

Jeremy Silver – The Future of Music industry [Thinking digital session notes]

Courting Dulcimer Love

Image by killermonkeys via Flickr

Music industry, and what’s going on around there. The general perception is that this is the industry in the flames. Internet has impacted music industry in the earliest stage. This is industry that believes that Sex, drugs and rock and roll is not going out of style. But they maybe missed on the style. They also don’t believe in disruptive technology.
But music is unique. Oliver Sacks – Musicophilia. His book talks about the fact that music is in the different part of our brain than language and reason. There is something ancient about it.

Music is always about the technology. Musical devices are basic technological artifacts that change the way music is created and also received.

CD’s are not selling anymore, but digital downloads are growing at 35% pa. But they’re not growing fast enough to compensate for CD’s. They are not caching up, because P2P is much more convenient to get your music.

This is a fundamental change that happened, that is undermining the institutions that music industry has created. Usual example is the notion of copyright in the mashable world.

The worst possible PR campaign: RIAA suing downloaders.

But .. at the end of the day, the music industry is still funding the artists. The net affect of all this is that the industry is in flux.

Yet it’s not all bad:

  • Mobile music is growing and all the operators are launching mobile music distribution services.
  • Live scene/shows are selling out. People want to go, and have that live experinece. They value increasingly the value of the moment.
  • People want to engage in the music themselves. Huge shift in the selling of music instruments. (3 millions guitars bought in ‘07 in US; source: music trades). The sells of different equipment correlates with the currently popular style of music.
  • Music making in school. 75% of UK secondary school is using Sibelius 5, software for music composing.

We are not the edge of disaster, but we are the edge of incredible change. It’s an explosion of all the good new things.

The new environment music industry is working:

  • New talent approaching (slicethepie, sell’a’band). Both companies are leveraging punter leverages. It’s like fantasy football but with real band. You can invest 20 quid into the band and as they raise money they can get more famous and do better stuff.
  • Topspin.com – it’s a cottage industry. Every artist just needs some online tools to promote yourself and they’re creating a platform for that.
  • Piracy – interact and consume. Piratebay/torrents, napster as a streaming service and what Radiohead is doing in the download space.
  • Discovery tools – last.fm, Pandora, AOL music etc. One llama – plasma view/their own point of view on how music connect to each other.
  • Blogging – MySpace, imeem, The Hype Machine, Music Bloggers United, Digital meltdown, Dr. Schluss’s Garage of Psychedelic Obscurities

The bottom line is: there lots of new business models. This is a classical long tail market and there are plenty “Web 2.0” opportunities in music space.

While the superstars are still important, the general trend is showing that national/regional artists are growing in relative to big guys. But they are big brands, and they can talk to old media. They also work with brick & mortar stores.

There is a new interesting place: “Cutting edge obscurity”.

5 Web events in London worth visiting


One of the perks of living in such a big city as London are all the interesting events a Web developer/entrepreneur can easily visit. Even if you do not live there, it is still worth timing your visit so you can visit them.

MiniBar occurs monthly where a number of startups pitch their ideas to the visiting public, with general theme towards Web entrepreneurs. Every presenting company gets asked the hardest question: how do you make money?

Event is free, but registration is required at their homepage. 

Wiki Wednesdays are also monthly event, this time, as you might have guessed, oriented towards people who use and are passionate about Wiki’s. Even though a lot of participants are involved with Wikipedia, there is also a lot of buzz around usage of wikis in corporations and in other projects.
Event is free, but registration is required in their wiki, that can be found through their portal.

London OpenCoffee Meetup, is a weekly event for anyone more interested in entrepreneurial side of Online and Web business. There are all kinds of visitors there, from VC’s to developers or just people who are interested in breaking into this field or looking for someone to help them. Drinking coffee on top of Waterstones, Londons biggest book store and chatting with like minded people is also a great way to start a Thursday morning.
Event is free, with no registration required. They also have a homepage and a general page of OpenCoffee Club movement.

Dorkbot London is a monthly meeting of people who do interesting things with electricity, but more precisely electronic. It involves artists, engineers, designers and just about everyone who is passionate about all things electric.
Event is free, but sometimes registration is required, so check their dorkbot wiki.

Mashup* event is a monthly, a bit more commercially oriented event where startups once again present their creations to interested public. Since it is not free, there is a bit smaller crowd there so it might be easier to actually discuss your big idea.
Entry is 35£, with required registration at the event homepage.