Permission to Play

Last Friday I took part in an impromptu bit of fun which arose out a discussion in the Wellington Twitter community. Thanks to a tweet by @mikeforbes and the efforts of @spanishmanners, we christened our inaugural #formalfriday.

Formal Friday

With casual clothes the norm in so many many of our workplaces these days, the concept of a Casual Friday is increasingly irrelevant. Going to work wearing formal wear, however, has become both novel and fun. Especially when followed by drinks and dinner afterward to see what the others decided to wear.

As ‘adults’, most of us are simply too shy to appear silly in front of our peers. To dress up, to slide down banisters, or to randomly break into song. I for one (I’m sad to say) tend not to step out of line unless perhaps others are doing the same.

In an organized group, I’ll run around in circles, dance in the street, or even wear a suit to work. For some reason, however, I seem to need permission to play. If I feel like I’m not alone in it, if I feel that it’s a condoned activity, then I’m in.

It’s a start, I guess. At least I’m playing at all. I figure the best way forward is to simply ensure there are more group activities awaiting me in the coming weeks, months and years. In time, maybe I’ll find myself playing without even thinking about it.

So what’s next? Firstly I intend to organize some Cryptozoo runs here in Wellington. If you’d like to get involved, just let me know.

Secondly there’s a little something a bunch of us devised today – a multi-day group gaming, reading, watching and playing binge we’re calling #schoolholidays…


Giant Sea Life Moves Into Wellington…

Residents and film crews are interested, but unperturbed:

Apparently this is the preperation for filming a television ad this coming Monday/Tuesday night (29/30th June 2009), which will include low-flying helicopters and spotlights.

[EDIT: As I understand it, Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd of July are the “rain days” – so with the weather we’ve bee having, I expect this filming will now be happening then.]

If you live in the area DO NOT BE ALARMED!

Giant Sea Life will not actually be attacking, it’s all just for the benefit of television audiences everywhere.

I’d be intrigued to pop down again to see the actual filming…

How Wellington PWNed the Multiverse…

I recently gave a talk for Wellington’s 5th Pecha Kucha Night at the (soon to be demolished) Overseas Terminal building…

I quickly realised that my chances of *explaining* what Alternate Reality Games, or even just what ‘The Lost Ring‘ was all about in 6 minutes & 40 seconds was futile. As a result, I just went for a scrapbook approach – here are a series of extraordinary experiences which came out of this game.

This means of course that if you’re not familiar with these forms of entertainment & collaboration you may be at a bit of a loss – but I hope you find it entertaining all the same…

If you’re interested in finding out more, I’d be happy to fill you in on the details over a beer, coffee or the interwebs.

An Introduction to Twitter

Seeing as there are no doubt hundreds of guides out there to help people start using Twitter, I had absolutely no desire or intention of adding my own drop to the ocean.

However, when preparing a talk for the Department of Conservation web team, I was unable to find any that I really liked. As a result, I sighed deeply and wrote my own. I had intended on it going no further, but was shortly thereafter asked if I could send it through to my wife who was assisting her workmates with starting on Twitter.

Following further discussions with friends who were in similar positions with workmates and family, I’ve figured I might as well make it available for all:

Online version

Downloadable .pdf

So there it is. You’re welcome to use it as you wish, or ignore it comepletely. If you have any feedback or suggestions for changes, they would be most welcome.

I’m certainly no expert. 😉

Published in: on 21 June 2009 at 9:48 pm  Comments (4)  

Transparency Starts at ‘Home’

I recently had an experience at work where I asked someone to go above and beyond what they normally would for a  good cause. They were able to give no promises, and I understood it was unlikely to actually happen.

In the eleventh hour, they pulled out the stops and managed to do what I had requested, and I was naturally thrilled.

When I went to give the good news to the person it was for, however, I suddenly realised my mistake. However it had happened, I had provided the wrong reference number – and all the extra effort had been expended on the wrong task.

I immediately had two options:
1) own up to the colleague who had gone the extra mile
2) not mention it, as it was possible they’d never find out anyway

I’m sad to say that my immediate instinct was to do the latter. It was only after taking a deep breath and actually thinking about the situation that I owned up right away. I don’t know about you, but for years I had issues with fearing what people would think of me if I admitted to fault. The problem was that the moment I hesitated, it suddenly became increasingly difficult to be honest about it.

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how engaging with people through “Social Media” requires honesty, openness and transparency.

I think it’s as good a time as any to remember that it’s just as important (if not more) to be transparent, open and honest in our everyday dealings with workmates, friends and family.

You might “get away with it” – but for how long, and at what cost?

Like “Fight Club”, but with fewer explosions…

So I finally built up the gumption to email a varaition on my gmail address (without a full-stop part way through), to ask if the person was actually using it and whether they’d perhaps give it to me.

A few months back I figured it made sense to see if it was available and discovered that unfortunately someone had already taken it – no doubt a common experience. So it was that two nights ago I bit the bullet and emailed them.

I introduced myself, explained that I was trying to keep my username/nom de tweet/email the same across the web, and finished up with the fact I understood if they didn’t want to give it up, but I figured it was worth asking.

After a quick proof-read, I finally clicked the send button…

…and immeidately received a message in my inbox. Which began:

(Yes, this is you.)

Turns out, as per the learn more link, that:

Once you sign up for a username, nobody else can sign up for the same username, regardless of whether it contains extra periods or capital letters; those usernames belong to you.

The person I had taken a few months to email and ask if I could use their address was myself. Naturally, I was quite responsive to the idea when finally approached.

As my brother put it:

Kind of like “Fight Club”, but with fewer explosions…

Published in: on 14 June 2009 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment