events

A quick word on gender parity at WFC2013

by Suw on August 28, 2013

There’s been a kerfuffle over World Fantasy Con’s response to an author, Tom Pollockwho stepped down from a panel because of a lack of gender parity and was told by the organisers that he had “just excluded himself from all panels”. The tweeter, Pollock’s wife, quoted WFC’s response in a later tweet:

Actual quote: “As stated… WFC does not subscribe to that policy, so I’m afraid you have excluded yourself from any programming.”

Said Pollock himself:

In practice, in this instance, anyone who knew enough about the topic and wasn’t a dude could take my place.

Indeed, Pollock wrote about the gender parity issue himself last year, and had pledged to step down from any panel that wasn’t 50:50. This is apparently the first time he has been put in a position to have to keep his pledge.

Now, the WFC has an interesting way of scheduling speakers, according to their site:

PROGRAMME PARTICIPANTS

Not Everyone Will Be On a Panel
It’s simple arithmetic. We will have more potential programme participants than slots available for them. And because we are limited by WFC rules as to how many panels non-Guests of Honour can participate in, we will try to take a number of things into consideration. However, the most important factor will be Are You the Best Person to Speak on This Subject. It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve had out, or whether you are a New York Times best-seller or not, our top priority is putting together informative and entertaining panels with the best participants available to us.

What You Need to Do First
• First of all, unless you are a Guest of Honour, you need to be a Registered Member of the convention. You can do that here.
• You need to register earlier than later. If we know you are planning to attend, then we can begin considering you for potential programme slots.

[…]

I know this is a convention and not a conference and that things might well be different with conventions, but it seems like a rather haphazard way of organising one’s speaker roster. Usually with conferences – and I’ve organised and spoken at quite a few so I have some experience here – one thinks about what topics are currently germane, who are the best people to speak on those topics, and then you invite them.

Gender parity becomes an issue in male-dominated areas like science and tech at least in part because, as a conference organiser,  your first instinct is to ask yourself, “Who do I know that would be awesome on this topic?” The answer to that question is usually, “Someone that I already know, have already seen speak, or who has already been recommended to me by someone I know.” That is the wrong answer.

Because a lot of conferences are dominated by men, and men get more coverage in the media, the first people to come to mind will be men. That doesn’t mean that a man is the best person to speak on a particular topic, it means that a man is the first person likely to come to mind as a speaker on a particular topic. The only way to combat this tendency is for conference and convention organisers to deliberately seek speakers from outside of their existing social and professional circles. This means putting some effort into finding women speakers whom you previous did not know about.

I know some people hate gender parity policies because they feel that it’s tokenism, that the women are only chosen because of their gender and that, therefore, objectifies them and devalues their participation. And if all the organisers do play the equivalent of Blind Woman’s Buff or Pin The Tail On The Female Speaker, then it’s fair enough to protest it as tokenism. But if organisers go deeper and seek to empower those women who are expert but who have had little or no exposure or coverage, then the policy is working as it should. It’s not about getting any ol’ woman on stage, it’s about encouraging organisers to look beyond the obvious male contributors and find the slightly more obscure but equally brilliant women.

As with many things, it isn’t the what, it’s the how that is important.

WFC2013′s weird way of programming, which essentially restricts them to either Guests of Honour, who are the big, important names and currently standing at six men and two women, or people who have already paid to attend, does rather limit their choices. I suppose this allows them to have their cake and eat it, in that they can totally over-schedule the convention to make it seem busy and exciting and not lose any money because the speakers have already paid to attend.

In the conference world, if you speak you get free entry. Indeed, when I have been asked to both speak and pay for my own entrance I have always turned the offer down because, frankly, you don’t have an event at all without your speakers, and asking them to pay for the privilege of working for you is rude and greedy. I’m less au fait with conventions, so maybe WFC2013 is normal and I just think it’s weird because I come from another paradigm.

But still, there is not a shortage of great women writers in the fantasy genre, especially if it’s extended out a bit to encompass horror and SF which, the last time I want to a FantasyCon, it was. I can’t see that there would be any significant difficulty in ensuring that women are well represented. But, more than that, I cannot see how it helps WFC2013 to punish a potential speaker because he wanted to see gender parity and decided to give up his spot on a panel so that a woman could take part, which is essentially what he did.

WFC2013 has also decided to dance around the issue of having a policy on harassment. It’s FAQ says:

World Fantasy Convention 2013, as with any other predominantly adult gathering, will have a number of rules and regulations for the safety of attendees. These will be clearly stated in our Programme Guide, which will be given to each attendee when they register. In the meantime, we refer you to the UK’s Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Sadly, harassment at cons has come to light as a serious issue and many now have policies that make it very clear that harassment is not acceptable and provide the basis for action to be taken should harassment be reported. By not having an explicit harassment policy and falling back on the all too lame ‘we’re all adults and there’s a law’ position, the organisers of WFC2013 are adding to the perception, right or wrong, that they do not take gender issues seriously.

Recently, author John Scalzi stated that he would not go to a convention that did not have a clear policy on harassment. I admire Scalzi’s stance, especially as he does actually have something to lose by refusing to go to conventions. As an author, appearing at events is a key part of your job and not doing so could have a detrimental effect on your sales, so Scalzi is putting his money where his mouth is.

I wasn’t going to be going to WFC2013 this year anyway as I can’t afford it, but now I’m not going for the additional reason that I simply do not wish to support people who think that it’s OK to effectively punish someone for bringing up the subject of gender parity by banning him from appearing on other panels, and who don’t address the harassment policy issue head on and thereby demonstrate that they take the safety of their female attendees and speakers seriously.

But more to the point, I won’t go to any future WFC2013 or FantasyCon events unless the organisers take a more constructive attitude towards both parity and harassment. They won’t lose out, but I will, as cons are a great place to meet people and network, and at this stage in my career that’s something I really need to be doing, but I’ll find a different way and a different place to do it.

UPDATE: 29/10/13, 10:09. Sarah Pinborough has dropped by and left a comment in which she reassures me that WFC2013 isn’t going to be a massive sausagefest:

There are a huge amount of talented women attending WFC 2013 and having spoken to the Chair ( a woman) there will be absolutely no shortage of woman speakers. It’s the men who will have to keep up.

That’s good to hear, and deals with half my problem with the con. All they need to do now is produce a proper harassment policy and make sure that no other speaker who steps aside to let a woman take their place on a panel gets punished for doing so.

UPDATE: 30/10/13, 10:28. Looks like my upbeat response to Sarah’s insider info may have been premature after it came to light that Kameron Hurley was offered a ‘ladies panel’:

Unsurprised to be offered a “ladies” panel at WFC. About how ladies NEVER used to write fantasy(!?). Where did all these LADIES come from?

Note that this is a FANTASY panel. It’s not even a “Women never used to write SF!!” panel. But FANTASY. Oh lordy lord lord lordy my.

Cheryl Morgan posts the description of the panel:

The Next Generation: Broads with Swords. Once upon a time the heroic fantasy genre was—with a few notable exceptions such as C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett—the sole domain of male writers like Robert E. Howard, John Jakes and Michael Moorcock. Those days are long gone, and it seems that more & more women writers are having their heroines suit up in chain-mail and wield a broadsword. Who are these new writers embracing a once male-dominated field & how are their books any different from their literary predecessors?

Hurley says on twitter that she emailed WFC2013 to ask them to change the focus and language of the Broads With Swords panel, not least because it seems to ignore a vast swathe of women fantasy writers who’ve been very successful over the last few decades. She also requested that the panel not be made up solely of women. She tweets that she was told her request for a change pas been passed on to the programming committee, but that this is the only panel she’ll be offered.

Blogger A Little Briton, Pollock’s wife, gives us a handy guide to all that is wrong with these sorts of “Women In…” panels. And Jess Haines executes a particularly satisfying takedown. I couldn’t agree more*.

But wait! That’s not the end of it! Morgan also posts the description of a panel that she was asked to be a part of: 

The Next Generation We’re All Bloggers Now. Being a columnist or a critic used to be a skill, combining knowledge and the ability to write with insightful observations. These days it seems that everybody has an opinion and evolving technology has given us numerous platforms through which to make our views known. Have we degraded the true art of criticism to a point where it has lost all value?

There’s so much baggage there it’s hard to see how they’ll get that panel off the ground at all. This sort of thinking does nothing to help either writers or readers, it’s just snobby nonsense. They could have asked how the now complex relationship between traditional reviewers, publishers, writers and bloggers has changed reviewing and what impact that is having on how readers find out about new authors and books. But no, they had to make a judgement first and write the panel description once they’d decided what we should all think.

I’m left thinking that the WFC2013 programming committee really needs to listen to John Scalzi:

Dear WFC 2013: Please stop punching yourself in the face.

For fandom’s sake, please.

* I’ll note that I’m not against “Women In” panels when they provide an accurate and historically aware view of women’s contributions, or if they are focused on addressing the problems that women face in male-dominated fields, because we do need to have those conversations. But this sort of revisionist “Ooh, look at the girlies trying to do what us menz do” bollocks is not helpful in the least.

UPDATE: 30/10/13, 19:09. WFC2013 have responded to criticism via the medium of their FAQ. I’m not hugely impressed, I must say, but it’s time to go out for dinner now, so I’ll do a new blog post with further thoughts in due course.

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I have been invited to read an extract from my upcoming novella, Queen of the May, at the Brixton Book Jam, 7.30pm, 8th July, at the Hootananny in Brixton. It’s free, so there’s no excuse not to come along!

Each reading is about five minutes long, and I’m hoping to be on in the first group of readers (so that I’ve time to make the trek back to Woking afterwards!). If you do come, please do feel free to say hi!

Other readers include:

  • Irenosen Okojie
  • Harys Francke
  • Howard Cunnell
  • Rosanne Rabinowitz
  • Tom Pollock
  • Ben Johncock
  • Martin Bannister
  • Cherry Potts
  • Helen Smith
  • Salome Jones

Unfortunately I won’t have physical books available on the night, but I am aiming to get the ebook out before 8th. In fact, the book is so very nearly done that I can smell it!

Date: Monday, 8 July, 2013
Time: 7.30pm
Location: Hootananny Brixton, 95 Effra Road, SW2 1DF

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Brixton Book Jam

I’m  going to be reading an extract from Argleton for the Brixton Book Jam on Monday 1 October, if you want to come along and see my first ever book reading! Zelda Rhiando, who helps organise it, describes it as “a free quarterly literary event, where famous and not so famous authors do a five minute reading each to a highly appreciative and attentive audience.”

Some of the other authors, and their books, that I’ll be sharing the stage with are:

  • Jim Bob (Carter USM) – Driving Jarvis Ham
  • Courttia Newland – The Gospel According to Cane
  • Adam Mars-Jones – Pilcrow
  • Martin Millar – Lonely Were Wolf Girl
  • James Dawson – YA thriller Hollow Pike
  • Keith Kahn-Harris – The Best Waterskier in Luxembourg
  • Doug e. Graves – Homerton Sweet Homerton

There will also be a popup bookshop featuring Herne Hill Books, local presses and indie authors.

Date: Monday, 1st October 2012
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Hootananny Brixton, 95 Effra Road, SW2 1DF

Download the flyer.

Women in Publishing

I’m also going to be participating in Women in Publishing‘s upcoming panel discussion on the recent sockpuppet furore, which I’ve covered extensively on my Forbes blog. We’ll be looking at the scandal itself; how it has been handled by the media, the publishing industry and readers; and what we think could or should be done about the issue of sock puppets now.

Details are still forthcoming, but the panel will be on the evening of 10 October, from 7pm. I’ll update this post when I have more information.

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Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011

by Suw on March 3, 2011

Cross posted from FindingAda.

As announced on the front page of the Ada Lovelace Day site a few weeks ago, the date of this year’s Ada Lovelace Day has moved to Friday 7 October 2011. Please put it in your diary!

I didn’t take the decision to change the date lightly. We’ve had two years of ALD being in March, and it was starting to become a bit of a tradition, so the idea of moving it to later in the year has worried me a bit, as I don’t want to lose momentum. But by early January it had become clear that things just weren’t going to be ready in time.

Although I have had some fabulous help from some wonderful people, the responsibility for getting things moving still lies with me, and the last six months has seen me incredibly busy with work. We’re in the middle of a recession, so I feel grateful for having such a full diary, but the knock-on effect has been that I’ve not been able to give this year’s Ada Lovelace Day the love it deserves.

It turns out that March is a supremely bad time of year to have a recurring event. Despite trying to get things moving towards the end of last summer, I didn’t make much progress and before you know it, it’s Christmas and everyone’s really busy, and then New Year has come round and suddenly things aren’t ready and it’s all getting a bit tight. Add a trip to India in February to the mix and deadlines throughout March and it became clear to me that something had to change.

The March date was always arbitrary, picked because I was too impatient to wait any longer! The October date has been picked because it’s far enough away that it gives us a chance to get our ducks in a row, but also because (hopefully!) it doesn’t clash with school and university calendars. I’d very much like to do a bit more outreach this year, and would like to have more resources for teachers, pupils, university lecturers and students. A date that’s in term-time, but not too near Easter or in exam season is a more important consideration now than it was two years ago.

There are other changes afoot too: I’ve also shifted the mailing mailing list from Yahoo to Mailchimp, so provide us with more flexibility. Please do join up – there’s a form in the sidebar of FindingAda.com. I’ll be sending out monthly updates once we have a few people subscribed, with more updates closer to the big day. You’ll be able to manage your subscription and unsub at any time you like, so take the plunge and subscribe today!

Finally, I do need your help to spread the word about the new date, so please do blog, tell your friends, Twitter, and Facebook followers! Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011.

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Interesting North & Eyjafjallajökull

by Suw on August 17, 2010

I’m going up to Sheffield in November to speak at Interesting North, a day-long conference where people talk about their passions (rather than their work). I, for one, will be going way off piste:

Suw is a writer, collaboration strategist and lapsed geologist.

Earlier this year she followed, in considerable detail, the exploits of Eyjafjallajökull, The Little Volcano Who Could (Close Airports Around Europe On A Whim). Part of a community of vulcanologists and lay enthusiasts, she watched for earthquake swarms, monitored live webcams, and attempted to interpret interesting yellow blobs on the volcano’s infrared cam.

For your delight and delectation, Suw will be attempting to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull live on stage, as well as pointing out some of the more interesting aspects of the eruption.

Sound like fun? Then get your tickets before they sell out!

 

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Two weeks to ALD10!

by Suw on March 10, 2010

From the Ada Lovelace Day blog…

There are just two weeks to go until Ada Lovelace Day 2010, and we still have a fair few bloggers, Twitterers, podcasters, web comic artists, and videocasters to recruit. We have 1114 pledgers and need 1958 more people to sign up. That’s a challenge with only 14 days to go, but if everyone recruits just two more people, we’ll still make it!

There’s loads of stuff going on around Ada Lovelace Day this year. We have events in London and worldwide (Copenhagen, Dresden and Montreal, with the promise of others to come). The London Potluck Unconference, to be held at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in Kings Cross, 6.00pm onwards, still has some places left, so please nab yours now, whilst you can.

We have T-shirts on their way – we’re just polishing off the design and hope to get them up and ready for you to buy very soon. We also now have an Offers page which currently carries a 10% discount from the lovely people at AdaFruit Industries. Again, we hope to have more there for you soon!

If you’d like to get involved, then our main need at the moment is promotion. We need to get more people signed up, and here’s how you can help:

  • Send a Tweet, update your Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn status
  • Write a blog post about Ada Lovelace Day
  • Email your friends and/or relevant mailing lists
  • Post an item on LinkedIn or Facebook Groups
  • Encourage other people to do something to promote Ada Lovelace Day!

There’s more info on how to help, including a Tweet you can just cut and paste, on the blog!

We do have more goodies in the pipeline, so stay tuned for more news!

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Although I really enjoyed many of the talks at yesterday’s The Story event, it wasn’t really possible to take notes. One highlight was Sam Conniff from Livity talking about Jody McIntyre, a young man with cerebral palsy, a wicked sense of humuor and a desire to do stuff that is truly inspirational.

I also loved Cory Doctorow’s The Story So Far … and Beyond aka The Right Book, which you can read on The Bookseller. Neil Gaiman did a reading at last year’s WorldCon, which I include here because hell, who doesn’t love listening to Neil read Cory?

But the talk I got the most out of was Sydney Padua’s Graphic Storytelling. I know I’m biased, because Syd’s a good friend and because I love her webcomic, The Thrilling ADventures of Lovelace & Babbage, but I found her talk both interesting and useful. I will certainly be doing little diagrams of my own short stories in future to help me understand them more deeply. Hopefully Syd will put her slides online, as it really does help to see the digrams and comic frames she’s talking about, but I meantime I hope this video will do. Enjoy!

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The Story

by Suw on February 20, 2010

Yesterday I went to Matt Lock‘s event, The Story, at The Conway Hall. The day was billed thusly:

The Story is a one-day conference about stories and story-telling, to be held at The Conway Hall, London, on Friday, February 19th, 2010

The Story will be a celebration of everything that is wonderful, inspiring and awesome about stories, in whatever medium possible. We’re hoping to have stories that are written, spoken, played, described, enacted, whispered, projected, orchestrated, performed, printed – whatever form stories come in, we hope to have them here.

The Story is not about theories of stories, or making money from stories, but about the sheer visceral pleasure of telling a story. Whether it is in a game, a movie, a book, or a pub, we’ve all heard or told or been part of stories that have made us gasp, cry or just laugh.

There have never been so many stories, never so many ways to tell them. The Story will be a celebration of just a small sample of them.

Looking back at that, I should have been a lot less surprised that the day was not a day about stories, but a day of stories. The first few speakers all gave readings, which were entertaining in the main, but I was still sitting there waiting to learn something. I know I wasn’t alone in that. I’m really busy at the moment and so I wanted to have not just an entertaining day but an educational one too. I wanted to be able to very clearly justify to myself a day away from work at a time when I have deadlines screaming towards me like juggernaut with an afterburner cranked up to 11.

That isn’t what I got. (Only two talks that I saw, and I did miss two after lunch, weren’t a story of some sort.) Talking to James Bridle afterwards, he nailed it perfectly when he said that there were quite a few people there who were expecting a conference and found themselves at a spoken word event. I was certainly one of those people.

If this had been a Saturday event, I think I would have been a lot more laid back about it, but it was a Friday, a workday. I spoke to a few people who had had to persuade their bosses to give them the day to attend and were wondering what they were going to report back, how they were going to justify that day out of the office. Holding an event on a weekday does change the tenor of it, especially for people who have less sovereignty over their time than the self-employed.

I want to make clear that I still enjoyed the event. Many of the speakers were fab and there was a lot of laughter throughout the day: It really was a lot of fun. The fact that I came to the day with expectations that weren’t met is my problem, not Matt Lock’s. So none of this is a criticism of Matt or the speakers, it’s just that at about 11am I had to readjust my expectations to fit reality. That’s not an easy thing to do, but I managed it and once I’d done it I really relaxed into the rest of the day.

Because so much of the event was readings, I didn’t come away with very many notes. I did pick up two titbits though, which I shall now share with you:

  • Don’t become a one-trick pony. If the only way you have to make people laugh is the non sequitur, use it sparingly lest you wear it out.
  • When a character makes a choice, it reveals something about that character. Depth of character correlates with the number of choices they make: the more choices, the deeper the character. The way that people make choices is interesting, even if there’s no risk and no reward. When we make people make choices we make a story. When we don’t tell people the answer, we create mystery. (Not telling people the answer is also rude: It’s rude to ask people to make even a simple choice and then not pay attention to their decision.) — Stuart Nolan

James and I also talked about an underlying theme of lying-as-storytelling to the day. Tim Wright’s entire story was based on a period of his life when he was lying to a friend and perhaps also to himself as his marriage broke down. Stuart Nolan also lied when he sat on the stage with a straight razor set against his wrist, implying that if a member of the audience got the answer to a question wrong that he would top himself. Jon Spooner started off talking about storytelling and science in a way that sounded as if he was a genuine science storyteller and that we were going to be treated to the tale of the neutrino, but then took it off down a rather bonkers path that bore no resemblance to reality and which for a while there looked much more like a lie than a story.

There is of course the question about where lying ends and stories begin, but for my money, the difference is complicity. When you tell me a story I know it’s not true but I’m complicit in that untruth – I accept it for what it is because I know what it is. When you tell me a story as if it’s true and want me to believe it, that’s lying. Obviously the line is blurry and as stories can blur into lies, so lies can blur into stories, but I wonder why that theme came out in yesterday’s events.

That complicity can be a double-edged sword, when a story turns sour and yet you’re still laughing. I noticed that a couple of times, when the performers ran a story down a dark and uncomfortable hole that took the audience to places where not everyone was happy, but they laughed nonetheless. Maybe it was my imagination but the tone of the laughter changed at that point, from belly laugh to nervous laugh and I wonder how many people sat there asking themselves why they were laughing.

Fiction can take us where we don’t want to go, a point noted by Annette Mees & Tassos Stevens when they were talking about their play-without-actors, A Small Town Anywhere. They told of how one audience member (who also becomes a player in this 100% participation play) really took his role as a town bureaucrat (I think) on with gusto and wound up as a Town Mayor who collaborated with the invading army. Although he felt that he had been in charge of his own choices at every step of the way, his character had ended up somewhere that was not where he would have chosen at all.

Me, I’m not really into the edgy stuff. Never have been all that interested in using fiction to manipulate my audience so that they find themselves in places they wouldn’t otherwise willingly have gone. So whilst it was interesting to observe this once, it was not something i feel I want to emulate or explore. I’ll leave that to other people.

So no, I didn’t learn very much that will help me improve my storytelling, which is what I had hoped for, but I did get a lot of food for thought and I did enjoy myself.

(Coming shortly: Video of the best presentation of the day by Sydney Padua. I may be biased, but she was fab!)

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Time to sign up to Ada Lovelace Day 2010

by Suw on February 8, 2010

Last year, over 3500 people pledged to support Ada Lovelace Day, the international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. Over 1200 people added their link to our map mash-up and we got lots of coverage in the national press and even appeared on the BBC News Channel. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We wanted you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, and you did. Thank you!

But our work is not yet done. This year we want 3072 people to sign up to our pledge and to write their tribute to women in tech on Wednesday 24 March. We have 197 signatories so far, we just need another 2875, which is where you come in. Please sign the pledge and let all your friends know about it.

It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, if you do text, audio or video, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited to take part. All you need to do is sign up to this pledge and then publish your blog post any time on Wednesday 24th March 2010. If you’re going to be away that day, feel free to write your post in advance and set your blogging system to publish it that day.

To keep up to date with what is happening:

The Pledge: http://findingada.com/
The Blog: http://blog.findingada.com
on Twitter http://twitter.com/FindingAda
on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=253179284089

Please, join us on Ada Lovelace Day. Together we can raise the profile of women in technology around the world!

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Coming to San Francisco

by Suw on April 8, 2009

I’m going to be in San Francisco between 15th and 23rd April, although up in Sebastopol for the weekend. I have two projects running at the moment that I’d like to explore with anyone who’s interested.

The future of the social web
What might the future of the social web look like? What trends and developments in technology, demographics, etc. might influence how things could change? If you had to ask “What if…?”, which “if” would you ask?

Books and publishing
How do you write? What are the challenges to finishing a long-form piece? If you’re an agent or a publisher, what are the missing pieces in your publishing puzzle? What tasks or processes are clunky and awkward?

If you want to meet up with me to talk about either the social web or books, let me know.

And if you just want to meet up for a chinwag, then I’m holding a bit of a do on the evening of Tuesday 21st. I’ve tried to do an event thingy on Facebook, but again, ping me by email or @suw me on Twitter if you fancy coming. The location is to be decided – please leave a comment if you have any suggestions for somewhere nice and relatively quiet (big noisy venues aren’t my style; I like to be able to hold a conversation without shouting).

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Neil Gaiman & ORG, October

September 2, 2008

The Open Rights Group has organised an evening with Neil Gaiman, its Founding Patron, on Friday, 24 October (7.00 – 9.00 pm), where Neil will talk about Piracy and Obscurity: In this, the first public appearance of his Graveyard Book UK tour, he invites fans and ORG supporters to discuss piracy from the perspective of [...]

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Two more Fruitful Seminars

July 11, 2008

Here are the dates for my next two Fruitful Seminars in September: The Email Problem and How To Solve It Wednesday 3rd September 2008 As we move towards a knowledge-based economy, email is becoming an unavoidable part of business life. But not only do some people have to deal with hundreds of emails a day, [...]

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Going Solo Leeds – Registration open

July 5, 2008

I shall be reprising my talk on how to draw a healthy line between work and play at Steph Booth‘s Going Solo conference in Leeds on 12 September. Registration is now open, but don’t delay – the first 25 tickets will be going at the early bird rate of £150, and some have already gone. [...]

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Fruitful Seminars: Making Social Tools Ubiquitous

June 11, 2008

I blogged this on Strange Attractor before Kev and I went off on hols, but thought it was worth cross posting. Lloyd Davis, Leisa Reichelt and I have been spending a lot of time plotting just lately, and the result of our machinations was the creation, at midnight in a semi-derelict Gothic mansion and with [...]

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SHiFT: Ruby on Rails

September 30, 2006

Josh Sierres is giving a workshop on Ruby on Rails so I'm going to take notes more for my own benefit than for yours. So, what's the big deal about Rails? Most important point is that it gets out of your way. Lots of people refer to it as a boring framework because the people [...]

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