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Too old not to say…

When we’re young we’re brave, bold and courageous right?

Well some of us are, but most of us aren’t… It takes a while before we even realise that we have some power to exert and by that time the opportunity to use it wisely is often past.

As I arrive in my 40s (a destination that many say is the place to be), I’m hounded by thoughts of all that have been and all that could have been. I don’t have many if any regrets…. The past is the past, but on occasion when I really rack my brain I can think of a handful of incidents throughout my life where I could have been courageous and taken tighter reigns of my life.

Those situations often revolve around work situations, that time I should have said no, the time I went above and beyond and sat back and let someone else accept the credit, that moment when I should have said hello, but simply keep my head down and walked by, not pushing back hard enough…..and many more.

These situations aren’t exclusive to work but for me that’s where they often occurred.

Looking back I know that with a bit more courage I would have handled them differently.

I guess the main thing I was missing was confidence… something I’m still working on.

So in my 40s I decide that I no longer want to let life pass me by and be passive! I want, I need to be an active participant- hence this post.

It’s been a while and my thoughts (as you can probably tell) are somewhat jumbled. Writing and publishing is what I need to do; for me, not you. If you get something from it that’s great…if not, I’m ok with that too.

So here’s to many more posts, a podcast and who knows. Eyes and ears open lovely peeps!

How I use Facebook Live….

It felt like it had been there all along, but broadcasting live video on Facebook is a relatively recent addition to the life altering app that has found its way onto almost all of our tablets and smartphones. 

The idea that we no longer have to update the world about our breakfast or exotic holiday location simply using words feels like a historic moment but we’re already use to that right? After all we have Ustream, Youtube Live (Although that feels like it’s gone away) periscope and snapchat. So what does Facebook Live actually allow us (or more to the point, me) to do that’s different and moves us along the platform sharing world… 

Well I currently use it in two ways, firstly I’m overseeing the use of the app to develop a student led commentary team that covers university sports at UEL. So far we’ve covered several sports played both on and off campus. The technology has worked extremely well and as long as there’s a good internet connection I don’t see why we can’t take the stream from strength to strength and at the same time encourage other institutions to do the same. (I’ll be posting a ‘how to’/our best practice guide soon)

Bringing people to ‘the party’ is the real gem of facebook live and not just anybody, but bodies you’re actually friends with. 

But like all things tech does it detract or enhance the viewing experience..? In the case of the university commentary it definitely enhances viewing and brings in new audiences – you just have to look at the comments on the post. However in the case of the music event I run (Allsortz Open Mic) where i also use Facebook Live I’d argue that the human touch is very much needed and simply liking the post with an emoji isn’t enough – the audience needs to be there live too. I know I’ll hear shouts like, it’s all about perception not reality, but should we be happy with that status quo? I don’t think we should and especially not in the case of a live music event. It’s not to say that broadcasting live isn’t a good experience in this case, it’s just that it’s not the best… in my humble opinion.

So how else will we (i) use Facebook live, I don’t know just yet but I’msure  something will come to me as it evolves. 

Are Facebook doing another grand job at cornering the marketplace- yes.

Wow – we’re out!

This whole EU referendum has been tarnished by the leaders of both campaigns and now it’s over I’m still no clearer about what the Brexit vote really means for me. 

I do know that the world is still turning and the sun (for some strange fluke) is shining as bright as ever! 

It will be a rocky road ahead especially with Cameron throwing the towel in so soon, and not sticking around to negotiate, but we are a resilient people and we’ll find our way…eventually. 

Hopefully this doesn’t mean that Farage and Johnson will jump into his ‘grave’…. That thought is enough to make me cringe. 

What will happen now – no one really knows – Which in a strange is a way is quite refreshing. 

I do know that the world map hasn’t changed, my friends/family are still my friends/family and getting a house is still gonna be difficult. 

If you read one post before the 2015 election….

So I get an email last week asking if I’d be interested in attending a Youth Media Agency event about voting. Immediately I say yes! Why? Because I’m all about encouraging people to have their say and helping provide them with the platform to spread their messages, and there is no bigger statement you can make than to VOTE.

Despite what the likes of Russell Brand and other non-voters say, I truly believe that it’s an important right/freedom we have in this country that we are allowed to vote for our leaders. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that I always believe in what they stand for and their policies, but I am very glad I can put my X in a box.

Now some of you might be reading this thinking, what’s the point in voting if the people you’re voting for don’t represent you or understand the challenges you face, and to some extent I hear what you’re saying, but in the same breath I say that if you refuse to vote or even register then no one will EVER care about representing you or understanding your challenges! Unfortunately I don’t think any vote at this election will magically solve all of this country’s problems around housing, employment, the health service, immigration etc.. but what your vote or being registered will do is start your engagement in the political process and the journey to making the changes that will start to tackle these issues in real terms.

There’s that famous saying by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” and when it comes to politics I think this is so apt. If you imagine voting or registering to vote as the process of packing a bag and your supplies for this journey, and you haven’t even done that, then when/how exactly do you expect to get there?

So back to the Youth Media Agency event on Monday. It was held at Zero One in Soho and featured a multitude of exceptional talented young people from across the creative spectrum – magazine editors, film-makers, radio hosts, designers, digital experts and then me (I think I was the third oldest person in the room).

The launch event was for the new video campaign #xxvote. It’s primary aim is to encourage young women and young people in general to register to vote before the 20th April deadline! The very real and shocking narrative of the film depicts a world of harsh and extreme policies that marginalise young people. In the 2010 elections only 39% of young women aged 18-24 voted. If more young people don’t register (deadline is 20th April) then it’s expected that 800,000 eligible young people will not have voted. That’s 24% of the recorded 3.3million young people in the UK that could vote.. (figures from Youth Media Agency & YouGov research from British Future)

Hopefully my maths hasn’t let me down, but either way I hope this message is getting through – Register to vote, and then vote! Even if you decide to spoil your ballot paper (I’m not condoning or encouraging this) at least your discord with the system and its current policies will have to be noted and hopefully this will encourage somebody to step forward who is deserving of your political faith.

Watch the video and spread the word amongst your friends, colleagues, peers, family… The words of the video couldn’t be more true or scary, ‘If we don’t vote, we won’t matter’

You can register to vote online here 

Probably the best # on Twitter….(so far)

D.A Media

So there I am just about to switch off for the night, but like most I decided to check my social media feeds for that final night time fix… A quick glance and it’s the same type of posts, Golden Globe red carpet, words of wisdom, but then I spotted a retweet from a friend with tag #FoxNewsFacts.

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Now I’m not a Fox News follower, I prefer my news unbiased and well, researched! Over the last few months you’d be forgiven for questioning whether Fox News actually shares any of these values.

But I digress, let’s keep this about #FoxNewsFacts. This hashtag was getting a lot of traction and my newsfeed was full of tweets, retweets and favourites. The reason for the # was due to comments made by Fox News ‘Terrorism Expert’ Steve Emerson – see for yourself:
http://youtu.be/hwq8Bwr9wUg

My first thoughts after watching this were; this had to…

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Probably the best # on Twitter….(so far)

So there I am just about to switch off for the night, but like most I decided to check my social media feeds for that final night time fix… A quick glance and it’s the same type of posts, Golden Globe red carpet, words of wisdom, but then I spotted a retweet from a friend with tag #FoxNewsFacts.

2015/01/img_0292.png

Now I’m not a Fox News follower, I prefer my news unbiased and well, researched! Over the last few months you’d be forgiven for questioning whether Fox News actually shares any of these values.

But I digress, let’s keep this about #FoxNewsFacts. This hashtag was getting a lot of traction and my newsfeed was full of tweets, retweets and favourites. The reason for the # was due to comments made by Fox News ‘Terrorism Expert’ Steve Emerson – see for yourself:
http://youtu.be/hwq8Bwr9wUg

My first thoughts after watching this were; this had to be some kind of blooper showreel, but alas this was broadcast live and with no immediate retraction. (It should be noted that after the broadcast a fellow Twitter user (@pmatalack1878) apparently emailed Fox News complaining about their immense lack of knowledge regarding Birmingham and the UK. Since then Mr Emerson has sent an email apologising: https://twitter.com/pmatlack1878/status/554398263936569344)

But Mr Emerson’s apology genuine or not made no difference to the thousands of people that took to Twitter to lambaste Fox News and it’s reporting… There are some extremely creative people out there. Here’s a few tweets that put a smile of my face:

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If Twitter was only good for only one thing then this would be it – Taking a multinational news organisation to task while making everybody smile!Twitter and Tweeters I thank you! And goodnight.

Careful what you keep on your phone….

The rise in the use of social media and related technology has been phenomenal over the last 3-5 years, but despite this I think there is still a lack of education in how to use it and the repercussions it can have in our lives.

The recent hacking of celebrity iCloud accounts is just another example of the dangers that the Internet can hold and how we must try and maintain a good level of security at all times. The other lesson to learn is that once you upload something on your smart-phone or other device you really have no control over it.

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Courtesy of Cloudfuze shutterstock

When we store data on our smart-phones like, photos documents or messages, unless we change certain settings that data can be automatically uploaded to an associated computer server like, iCloud for Apple. Once on the server we hope that this is the only place they’ll stay, but realistically our info is copied again and again to numerous other servers to be stored for us to be able to access when and where we want. Because our info is copied almost instantly, it means that when we think we’ve deleted something from our device and from the cloud space, it might still be out there somewhere.

In case you’re interested in doing some further reading on this do check out the following articles that have recently been published… It’s pretty amazing what’s possible with just a little bit of money and the ability to follow some fairly simple instructions.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cloud-computing/cloud-computing.htm

http://mashable.com/2014/09/04/i-hacked-my-own-icloud-account/ 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-02/apple-says-icloud-not-breached-for-hacked-actors-photos.html

My advice is to check your upload settings and be careful what you choose to store on your device or upload. You just never know where it might end up.