Kio was kind enough to send me a copy of her new book. I love her writing, I'm looking forward to this. She reproduces a conversation we once had via dymotape and flickr (ah! the twenty-tens!)
But she left out the punch line!
It started when Tom and his pals at 4ip funded Newspaper Club (for which I'll always be grateful).
He forced us to go and get investment advice from some people on Great Portland Street. It was probably great advice but in my arrogance at the time I dismissed it as 'old rope' and was forced to protest in the only way I knew - I wrote a description of their business on Gowalla but disguised it as a write-up of an imaginary business from a parallel world. It was a tiny, tiny joke.
Here it is:
But, I liked the idea of people checking into these silly things (and, as you can see, at least 10 people did) so I began to write more, when I had an idle minute somewhere. I tagged it all Utherly.
And, having started with an Old Roperie I ended up with a String District and fairly soon I had the beginnings of an alternative psychogeography of London. I'm not sure it worked very well to be honest, those kinds of thing have to handled really well to be any good and I'm not sure I paid it enough attention. Too many puns and nostalgerie.
And then Gowalla died and my tiny jokes became a set of screen-grabs in a folder.
And then along came Hi - Craig's splendid tool for writing about and in the world and I wanted to do something with that. So I started writing more Utherly, beginning with the Low Trees of Store Street.
Utherly on Hi did much of the same silliness:
But it also ventured out of London (writing on trains and motorways). I quite enjoyed Sketchley Park's invention of Cleaning Action at a Distance.
I like doing this kind of thing, writing in corners of the internet, places that are public but quiet. Where people might stumble across things without much expectation and might quite enjoy them. I especially like, for some reason, when it's connected to geography.
The problem with the quiet corners though is that they don't last for long and now Hi is going the way of Gowalla. Though it's closing down with a lot of class.
Should you be interested there's an Utherly archive. It's only screengrabs but it's a little souvenir.
I'm off to find another place-based story-telling tool and to doom it with my writing.
August 25, 2016 | Permalink
There are some reasons to call something MyWhatever or YourThingy - mostly 'engagement' reasons, marketingy reasons. I tried to stop it wherever I could in government but it still happened, people find it irresistible. And then inevitably you end up with this kind of thing:
Do you think the MyAccount team members have accounts on the MyAccount system?
"Could you log into your MyAccount account?"
"My MyAccount account?"
August 24, 2016 | Permalink
The high quality of the commentary in the Olympics has reminded me how hard it often is to say anything more than this about sport. Malcolm Gladwell has another example:
"I am reminded of what the famously laconic San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich often says, in answer to post-game questions about what his team needs to do to play better: “Make more shots.” We are basically at the point where the only productive advice we can give Farah’s opponents is to run faster than him."
August 19, 2016 | Permalink