Finding Space

I write this from the place I do most of my writing, the Starbucks on Baker Street (up by the station), just a few blocks away from church (St Marys). I usually would be sat here with Holly but in her own words "ditched me" to escort her mum and god daughter home. It was that phrase - ditched, that got me thinking. To Holly and to many others the idea of giving someone two hours to do nothing in particular can be a negative, but not for me. I think we could all do with ditching ourselves once in a while, partiulaly if you are like me a coffee junkie city type with a schedule that has a mind of it's own. It's somethig that I have been thinking about for a while, the fact that we have gradually let a subtle form of consumerism creep into our lives that makes us feel that if we don't allot a task to a empty spot of time that somehow, we are not living life to it's fullness.

Maybe we aren't individually to blame for this, in fact I am not sure that blame lies at anyone's doorstep, but collectively many of us seem to have duped ourselves into a busyness that consumes so much of our time that we rarely get a moment to realise just how busy we have become.

Workplaces, family life and sadly the church has not helped in this. The 9-5 is a myth, extra curricular activities for many occupy more time than the curricular, and we in the church have got our meetings down to a fine art, so much so that it just seems wrong not to cram ever evening of a week with another one.

We seem to as a society become so good and developing, editing, polishing and delivering content that we have lost sight of the reason we developed it in the first place - that reason, I think, is connection.

We saught to create courses, classes and creativity thinking that by giving people something to do, connection and community would just burst out, but somehow there is still so much disconnection, isolation and busyness. Maybe our content got in the way of that connection ever forming in the first place?

So what can we do? How do we get back to a place where we can connect at a truely human level? Well I think it's by opening up some space, in our spirits and in our diaries to just... be. Because how will we ever hear the footsteps of God walking with us if the sound of our own thundering to the next meeting drown his out?

So may you next time you get ditched, dumped or deserted, allow yourself, give yourself permission, to have some space, to reconnect with the one whose diary is always free for a chat, and who set the rhythms of the universe in motion.

The Value Of A Blog

So I have finally succumbed to the idea of setting up my blog in a little more personalised state. So if you head over to http://jamespoulter.co.uk you will find "Sunday Latte Lamentations" in a somewhat under construction phase.

I am setting up on WordPress (hosted by lovely fellow @leesmallwood - a thoroughly decent chap) . Which obviously means a overhall of themes and widgets, but also a re-evaluation of why I blog, what I blog and how I blog.

After a lovely morning spent down in Kent @ Huggies HQ (Client: Kimberley Clarke) meeting some of the UK's finest Mum bloggers (@glowstars @YoungMummyUk @Kellyfairy to be precise) really made me think.

I started out blogging as a way of documenting my thoughts and poetry that I began writing in a more serious fashion about 3 years ago (hence the title of this blog - spurred by a poem I wrote by the same name). It really was just the thoughts, ideas and melody that roll out of the life rhythm that is being a Londoner. However over time that changed and moulded into what my blog is today, an amalgamation of social communication-marketing-culture thing, with a quasi-Christian slant on the world. Which interestingly is never what I set out to be about, it just kind of happened that way.

After chatting to the Mums this morning it appear that my experience is not to dissimilar to a lot of bloggers out there, we all start with a passion, a realisation that others might give 2pence about our thoughts, and a desire for a connection with those who share that passion, but over time things get in the way that dilute that (SEO, Google Analytics, #tags).

By no means am I saying that this dilution is a bad thing, I think is just inevitable, however I do wonder what it is that keeps people like you coming back to read these musings.

So that leads me back (kind of) to where I began, as I re-evaluate the way I blog I would love to know why it is you read what I write. What topics interest you, what would you like more of or less of? Or do you honestly just end up clicking inanely on whatever tweetdeck serves you up? (I know I am guilty of that).

I am not out just to please the crowd, but if writing, blogging, journeying, or whatever you call it is truly about passions, and a desire for connection, then it's always nice to know what you connect with, what you are passionate about, what makes you tick.

So please - let me know.

Monday Musings: The Gutenberg Effect

Morning All. Welcome to your Monday. Here are some digital nuggets to sink your little nashers into for the week of March 8th. Kicking off with a video spotlight: How The Interenet is Changing Advertising.

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This cracking little "epipheo" presents captures very succinctley something which as been nagging at my brain for a while. Something I like to call "The Gutenberg Effect". For me the technological shifts that have truely rocked the world have always brought about a new way of thinking and with that new way, an outburst of creativity has spread like wildfire.

Looking back to creation of the printing press, what Gutenberg achieved was not only a technological shift, but a cultural one that allowed people for the first time to hold the printed word in their hands and read it for themselves. A technology that was a key driver in the cultural shift that ultimately ended up becoming The Reformation.

We have seen this process repeat throughout recent history with the creation of commercial radio springing up from the creativity of HAM radio set users in the early 20th century, and then far more recently in the boom of satellite television. Each has created a shift in the way we communicate with one another. Each has demanded something new of the sender and recipient of communication. With print it was undivided attention. With radio it became a background medium, with TV a shared collective experience.

The internet in general, but increasingly the social web provides a different form of communication. A new kind of shared experience, that is not media specific, time specific or geography specific. An experience that is neither broadcast nor narrowcast. Yet is still a shared experience, but that experience is fundamentally different, as for the first time the way in which that experience is consumed lies in the hands of the recipient, NOT the sender.

This means big things for the advertising and marketing industries. It means a change of mindset, a different thinking is required, as we can no longer control or stipulate that a communication has to be consumer OUR way. But be open to the fact that our communication will be consumed, when, where and how the recipient wants. The sooner that marketers get that this shared experience is a movable typing twittering tubing experience, not a media experience, the better.

More on that in the coming weeks...

in other news...

A fantastic dissection of HootSuite for the unitiated from my chum Gemma Went

10 Great Newbie Twitter Mistakes Made By Businesses from Mike Johansson on Social Media Today

And a great presentation from Coca-Cola on Social Media care of Robin Grant @ wearesocial