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Sunday 31 October 2010

AudioBoo - Spring Forward, Fall Back.


BST, GMT & all that.

Saturday 30 October 2010

AudioBoo: Halloween - Bah Humbug


Explaining why i'm not a big fan of Halloween.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Rock Nights - The Next Event. - Hastings Rock's Myspace Blog |

Rock Nights - The Next Event. - Hastings Rock's Myspace Blog |

This is a blog post from a blog i run on the Hastings Rock MySpace page.
Hastings Rock is a local rock music radio station, of which i'm the Chairman.

I thought i would start posting some of my blog posts, from there, to here.
I realise it won't be to everyone's taste.

Not The Only Show In Town (Social Media Journeys)

Social Media Journeys: Not The Only Show In Town.: "Talking about how we now migrate between different social media/networking sites. Those older sites are not, now, the only show in town. ..."

A video made especially for my Social Media Journeys blog:

But, i thought i'd share it here, as i think it's relevant.

A sort of follow up to my recent Walking & Talking video.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Death of the Walkman.

So, the Sony Walkman is dead.

I guess this was bound to happen, in this age of the mp3 player, iPod, iPhone, smart phone etc etc.
But, it is the end of an era in some ways. If only because of the revolutionary effect the Walkman has had in personal music listening and portable entertainment generally.
After all, without the advent of the Sony Walkman, would we now have all of the new portable entertainment centres that are so prevalent these days?

Of course, it would have happened sooner, or later. But, the Sony Walkman really started the ball rolling, back in 1979 and put the idea of portable music listening into peoples minds and ears.

I'll admit that i was quite surprised to hear that the Walkman was actually still being manufactured in 2010. Reports of it's death had obviously been exaggerated.

I'm sure that many younger people, my children for example, will never understand just how revolutionary the Walkman was. For the first time ever, you could carry your own music around with you and listen to it without disturbing anyone else. Well, most of the time anyway!

Before the advent of the Walkman. I can vividly remember myself and my music loving friends, having to carry around what were effectively, portable cassette decks. A bit like a primitive ghetto blaster in some ways. But, without the better sound quality, or headphones. Something that didn't always go down well with the general public!
Although this cassette player did have a headphone socket. Before the Walkman appeared, headphones just weren't that practical, or cheap. That was another aspect that does get overlooked. In some ways, those little foam headphones were, almost, as revolutionary as the player itself.

Suddenly, everyone could walk, or run, around listening to their personal choice of music. And, if you bought the C120 cassette tapes, you had a whole 2 hours worth of music to listen to. Wow!

As an early adopter of new gadgets, even back then, i bought a Walkman quite early on and i still own one now. I can remember spending hours compiling tapes of my favourite music. Frantically struggling to make sure that i got as close to the end of the tape as i could, without cutting off the end of a song.

Of course, the Sony Walkman was just the start. And not just for me either.
From the Walkman, i progressed onto the Sony Discman, with the rise of the Compact Disc, in the mid 1980's.
Then it was the Mini-Disc, in the 1990's. Whatever happened to the Mini-Disc by the way?
And, of course, the iPod, in the 2000's.
I wonder what the next decade will bring?

Now, we think nothing of carrying around our entire music collections in one, small, portable music player. My own iPod has around 5,000 tracks on it. And then, there are the videos, photos, podcasts etc.
All of this future technology was made possible by the idea and the invention of the Sony Walkman, in 1979.

So, rest in noise the Sony Walkman, 1979-2010.
400 million sales and countless damaged eardrums, can't be wrong.

I suppose all that remains now, is that undignified scramble to snap up the last remaining items on sale, so that they can be put up for auction on eBay?
Maybe, i should dig out that big red brick of a Sony Walkman that i have myself?

Monday 25 October 2010

666 - The video of the beast.

My 666th YouTube video.

When your wife's in Rome, record a video.

Talking about travel, trust & personal space.

Playlist of my California Road Trip videos:

A beach vlog.

AudioBoo - Trains and planes. But, no boats.


Another beach Boo. It's amazing how walking there inspires me.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Social Media Journeys.: Blogging For Action.

Social Media Journeys.: Blogging For Action.: "On Friday October 15th, myself and 5,693 other bloggers, took part in this years Blog Action Day 2010. This has now become an annual event, ..."

Latest blog post from: Social Media Journeys.

(Code - N982UXP7KCWG)

Friday 15 October 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - Water

When thinking about this topic. The first aspect that came to my mind was the very real danger, in future years, of wars being fought over water.

It has often been said, that the next major war between nations, will be fought over the supply of water. The signs for this are already evident in various parts of the world.

Rain falls where it feels like and rivers are no respecters of national borders and therein lies the problem.

Some countries are lucky enough to be, at the moment anyway, self sufficient in water supply. But, many others have to rely on the water that flows into their country, via rivers, from across the national border.
So, what happens if that water supply dries up, or is diverted?

Just taking one major river, the River Nile, as an example, can show some of the potential problems.

The River Nile runs through many countries, most notably Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan & Egypt. But, it also has sources, or contributary lakes in Tanzania, Congo & Rwanda.
That's a lot of countries to be affected by one river. Albeit, one that has two parts. This situation is mirrored in many other parts of the world.

Egypt was called, by the Greek philospher Herodotus, "The gift of the Nile" and it most certainly is. Without the River Nile, that great ancient civilsation of pharoahs, tombs and magnificent monuments would never have existed. That's how important a river can be.

We tend to take our rivers and even our rainfall for example. But, the times they are a changing.

The rather large elephant in the room now, is climate change, global warming, or whatever you wish to call it.

This adds a whole new dimension to the future of water supplies to many countries.

It is already thought, that the current conflict taking place in Sudan, is at least partly caused by a dispute over water. This is something that is likely to be more common and widespread in the future.
And not just in Africa either.

The Middle East is another potential flash point.
It is thought that the Dead Sea could be extinct within 40 years. Although the Dead Sea is, obviously, not a river. One of the reasons for it shrinking, is the diversion of the water that would normally feed it.
The Dead Sea is supplied by the River Jordan. Another one of those rivers that has fed ancient civilisations.
The River Jordan is used by Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Israel. All, bar Lebanon, have diverted, dammed, or built reservoirs for use of the river for their own countries water supplies.

It doesn't take a genius to work out the potential future problems that could result between these countries. One of which is a nuclear power!

With the ever increasing rise in the worlds population, especially in the areas with the worst natural water supplies. And, with the added problem of the changing climate, which could result in reduced rainfall and river levels. The future does not look very good.

For me, the issue of future water supply, is as potentially dangerous, if not more so, that any threat from terrorism. In fact, it could even lead to future terrorism.

The time for action, is now.

But, what can we do?

Thursday 14 October 2010

Social Media Journeys.: Power To The People?

Social Media Journeys.: Power To The People?:
"I have just read an article in The Word magazine. One of my favourite magazines as it happens. In the article, the writer mentioned that he ..."

New blog post from Social Media Journeys.

Social Media Journeys.: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet.

Social Media Journeys.: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet.:
"For somebody who is a, self confessed, social media junky, i was actually quite late onto Twitter. I'm afraid that i was one of those peopl..."

New blog post from Social Media Journeys.

Thursday 7 October 2010

AudioBoo: Hastings Pier Fire - 2 Days On.


An update on the aftermath of the fire on Hastings Pier.

Hastings Pier Memories.

Yes, i know that i've been talking, Tweeting, blogging and uploading videos about the fire on Hastings Pier quite a lot over the past few days.
But, i make no apology for that.

This is one of those momentous local stories that comes around, thankfully, very infrequently. It is also the first major local story, on this scale, to have happened since the advent of the social media tools that have enabled myself and others to comment in this way.

Everybody in the town and far beyond as well,, have their own perosnal memories of Hastings Pier and now we have a new way of actually recording our thoughts. We are also now able to share those thoughts and memories with anyone who might care to read, or listen to them.

One thing that has struck me over the past few days, has been the amount of comments, messages etc that i have received from people across the UK and beyond. All those people have their own personal memories of Hastings Pier, from when they have visited it themselves. Often as a child on holiday with their family.

That is one thing that sets this story apart from most others. The sense of genuine grief is felt and shared by people who live far away from Hastings itself. That, i feel, is quite unusual.

I read a blog post by another local blogger yesterday. In it they mentioned the fact, for many locals, Hastings Pier was just.....there.
It was an ever present landmark in our lives. Every Hastonian alive today will not have known a time in their lives when the pier was not....there.
It gave us all a sense of comfort seeing it there day, after day. Even if we didn't actually realise that at the time.

Obviously, we still don't know the final outcome and future of what is left of the pier. It may have to be demolished. It may rise again from the ashes. It might just be left as it is.

Ironically, this final option might make it a tourist attraction in it's own right. A bit like the similarly burned down West Pier, in Brighton. In that scenario, Hastings Pier might attract more visitors than when it was actually open. Death can be a good career move after all.
In some ways, that has already started to happen over the past few days. There has been a constant stream of people, both local and out of towners, coming to have a look at what's left of the pier.

But, whatever the final outcome. For many, myself included, it will just not be the same structure that we all associated with. The building in which all of our personal memories were lived out, is no more.

The Hastings Pier ballroom that played host to just about every major rock band, in it's time, is a ruin.
No future building could ever bring back those days and those memories.
The stage that i stood on when i helped to host Beatles Day, has gone and can never be replaced.

The amusement arcades have now been reduced to ashes.
Those same arcades that i remember taking my, then, young son to. We would spend happy afternoons bashing crabs heads with big mallets and working our way through the, especially collected, bags of 2p pieces in the various slot machines.
Those days can never be re-created.

And, i'm sure that every person, both local and from elsewhere, has their own similar happy memories of the time they spent on Hastings Pier.

And that, i think, is why the sense of grief and loss is so great for so many people.
We have witnessed the end of an era.
A part of our lives has been destroyed. A part of our lives that can never be rebuilt, or replaced.

Hastings Pier as we knew and loved it, is now consigned to history.

But, whatever the final outcome. We will always have those fond memories.
They will always be just....there.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Well Done Everyone.

I posted a blog post, earlier today, on my Social Media Journeys blog. It was called "Citizen Journalists" and relayed my own experiences yesterday. The day that Hastings Pier burned.
In it i mentioned how i had used various social media sites to get my photos, video & audio podcasts onto the Internet and how they had been spread by others and then used by other sites.

But, i was by no means the only local person who did this and that is what i want to recognise in this blog post.
I want to say "Well done everyone", to all of those local people who helped to show the world what was happening in our town yesterday. Without us, the coverage would have been nowhere near as extensive, especially in those early hours of this major news story.

When i first got down to the seafront and the pier, at just before 6.30am yesterday. There were no media people to be seen anywhere. Not even from our local newspaper, the Hastings Observer.
One of their reporters did turn up a bit later, on his own and without a photographer. I think i even over heard him saying that he couldn't get hold of anyone on his phone!

This was a major news story, possibly the biggest the town of Hastings has had for many years and there were no local news reporters present to record it. Or, any other media outlets for that matter. Even though the pier had been burning for over 5 hours at that point.

So, what did the established local and national media have to do? They had to rely on you and me, the citizen reporters.

We were the people whose photos and videos appeared on numerous news websites and social media sites generally.
We were the people who were on the scene first and who captured the really defining images. Those powerful images of the pier burning in the darkness, or in the early morning light. Before the media cavalry arrived.

I have seen video and photo's from many local people used on various tv programmes, news websites and even national newspapers.
One local photographer, Andy Wilson, who i know via Twitter, had one of his photos used by The Guardian newspaper, as it's lead front page image
Well done Andy.

We were also ably assisted by all those other locals who passed on our images etc. Whether by Twitter, email or other means. You also helped to get this historic story "out there".

I only hope that the efforts of our local citizen reporters is appreciated when the Hastings Observer brings out it's special "Hastings Pier burns" edition this Friday.
I think it is only fitting that they are. After all, it was us who provided the world with those first dramatic images of that dreadful fire.

I could now go off into another rant and maybe i will, about how woeful the Hastings Observer were with their initial coverage of the story. About how they were comprehensively beaten to the story by the Brighton Argus, amongst others.

I was contacted, via Twitter, by the Brighton Argus asking for permission to use my material, at 09.00. My YouTube video was linked on their website by 09.20 that morning. They also had one of my photos on their site, by the same time.

By contrast, the first Tweet of the day from the Hastings Observer was at 10.30am.

It wasn't until around this time that any mention of this huge local story first appeared on the Hastings Observer website. I could go on, but.....

So, well done everyone.
You did your town proud yesterday.
You recorded a little piece of history. And it's just as well that you did. Because there was nobody else there to do it for us.
And for that, the whole town and the media world in general, should be eternally grateful.

PS: For a local poets version of events. Watch this. It's well worth it.

Hastings Pier - Picture Memories

My own pictorial memories of Hastings Pier.

All photo's were taken by myself.
I'm not sure why so many were taken in the snow!

Hastings Pier: 1872 to 2010 RIP

Tuesday 5 October 2010

AudioBoo: Hastings Pier Fire - The Aftermath


It's been one hell of a day.

AudioBoo - Hastings Pier Burns


Recorded whilst standing on the beach watching Hastings Pier burn. A sad day for everyone in the town.

The speech part of this AudioBoo only goes up to the 2 minute 10 second point. The rest is just background noise. I couldn't get the recording to stop!

Hastings Pier Burns: 5th October 2010

A very sad for Hastings. Hastings Pier played host to so many gigs, by the biggest names in music, in it's heyday.