Archive for October, 2009

Breaking Through The Tweet Barrier

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

TweetStats analysis for @ketan

A statistical analysis of engagement with the Twitter Community

A statistical analysis of engagement with the Twitter Community

Twitter is usually a fascination, addiction, or a complete enigma to many. Unlike Facebook whose growth and popularity seems to boil down to virtual farms, quizzes and questionnaires, the twitter model is more based around direct communication with chosen group of individual streams that you subscribe to.

On the most basic level you follow people that interest you, and their updates show in your stream, the secondary aspect is that individuals in the twitterverse can choose to follow your updates.

These 2 channels of information flow are what make up the basic use of twitter, and for many, it seems pointless. I must admit I first dipped my toe into the twitter pools after the SXSW presentation that really brought twitter to a wider audience, and I really didn’t have a clue what to do (how to make use of it)

It seemed an almost alien form of communication, my inability to grasp the simple concept behind its usage and the uphill struggle a newcomer faces, that is no-one knows you’re there. There are Twitter Directories and using search is a good way to find people to follow.

I began using SMS to send updates to my twitter account which was the first liberating aspect of using the service, something that is not easily achieved  on other systems. This freedom to send a status update anywhere with a mobile signal would form the seed of my transformation to that of a “twitter user“.

As you can see by the chart, my use of twitter fluctuated in a very constant pattern for over 16months – I had linked my twitter updates directly to my Facebook updates, which allowed me to consolidate my updates into one action, and this was the only Social Network Updates I would use. My dependency and use of Facebook had been waning for many, many months and then all of a sudden as you can see in March 2009 My updates exploded and went through what I am calling the Tweet Barrier.

What I find interesting about this is my understanding and usage of twitter exploded at this time, now there can be a number of explanations, changes in personal circumstances, major events, conferences etc .. Whatever the catalyst is, I believe there is an assimilation of knowledge and discovery associated with using twitter and this includes using the facilities that it has to offer including Hash Tags, Search, Retweeting, building a following and communicating about what you’re passionate about with others that share the same interests.

I feel that this only happens when you’ve grasped the nature of twitter and there is a roughly equal ratio of give / take which I also think is proportionate to a balanced Followers / Following Ratio.

When this happens, the benefits of Twitter are unlocked like a special bonus screen in a coin-op game (showing my age !) – and it allows you to refine your involvement and allows you to make a decision on How you want to use Twitter, rather than constantly scratching your head or immediately thinking Twitter is just there to announce your performing some daily personal routine .. thats not what Twitter is about, and if you can break through the Tweet Barrier you will find all the fruit, bonus points, extra lives and multipliers your digital avatar will ever need.

I’m fascinated with these Statistics and intend to write a more personal analysis once I can get further detailed data out from my Twitter archive. I think there are other factors that contribute to my findings, so I’d like to thank @dacort and his online Web Application which is where I created the chart above and inspired me to write this post, I also used the Skitch appliction on Mac OSX to enhance and annotate the chart.

Paddington Design

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Originally uploaded by spiritquest

I can recount the number of times I’ve travelled through Paddington Station, this bench is on the Central, District line platform.

Its a major hub and much like a lot of areas of our lives, that we have to travel through frequently we find similarities, and certain comforts to ease the passage. I also like old signs .. designers cared then I think.

The mainline station is undergoing some MAJOR renovations and there will be some overland links to key hubs in the London Network, lets hope they do a good job for us.

Freakshowcial Media Mania

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Dramatic blog post titles aside, I’ve been quite busy this weekend attempting to get an OK’ish mix of 3 tracks online for the band.

I’ve been using Cubase since buying the Saffire unit, and am very happy with the results it gives me, but still find it incredibly challenging to get the mixes done satisfactorily with limited monitoring and mixing time available to me. I tend to pop on over to the Home Recording Forum for  very down to earth advice and get your mixes bashed by other listening engineers, I would highly recommend spending some time there if you’re ever in need of audio recording help of any sort.

Brandon Drury – who set the site up from lack of good information on recording, has spent the last 2 years collating a Killer Home Recording suite of eBooks that will take beginner/amateur and working engineer through the gamut of the band recording experience, keep your eye open for that. one on his site. Forum users were treated to a preview release of his book.

Also I’ve been following @solobasssteve who put me onto Bandcamp and a bunch of other musicians, who provide good tips/advice and new sites/ resources tracks etc, from around the web, that can help you discover new technologies that will help you take your creative projects out into the digitial domain and beyond.

Ket  - Bass

I’ve branched out getting involved in the social web explosion (one benefit of being a geek) – And gone for an all out approach to promote the band  through use of the web and social media sites. Some sites offer free streaming/downloads/revenue generation/profile management etc ..

Here are the sites I’ve signed up to so far:

So for this experiment, I’m going to run through how a band that plays part time (We are all in full time jobs) and wants to gig occasionally, sets up an internet presence and uses the social media tools around you to get a digital shout/light box. Hopefully I’ll be able to show / chart the progress we make and the fruits of our labour.

Audio Overload

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Longplayer LIVE

I’m a keen follower of many twitter users, especially those that are quite embedded within the social media movement. One of the users I’ started following soon after the G20 protests was Christian going by the twitter username of @documentally. It was through his ‘tweets’ that I responded to:

Twitter is a great medium to promote technologies and events, so much so that @doumentally – as part of his promotion of the event, he had 10 tickets to offer bloggers and twitter users to cover/attend/participate in the Longplayer LIVE event.

The concept of time measured with sound and the mathematical detail required to bring a project like this to life was my main interest in Longplayer, not to mention the use of Tibetan Singing Bowls, which is an instrument I have great respect for.

Armed with my Stereo Data Maker Rig – I set out to capture some images, although I was planning on bringing more than the SDM digital rig, I got terribly paranoid about security, the event being held in the Roundhouse got me concerned that I would be refused entry fo an all day event and would miss out on it. So I opted to travel light. There was a nice surprise waiting for me in the form of a photographers wristband, courtesy of @documentally (thank you)

Longplayer is an ongoing 1000 year composition that is being played out in the UK for the past 9yrs (it was launched at the turn of the millenium) – broadcast all across the world through the power of the internet. It was conceived of by Jem Finer &  originally commissioned by Artangel

Longplayer Space in the Roundhouse

Longplayer LIVE at the Roundhouse

The image above shows you how the concentric arrangement of the bowls filled the space within the Roundhouse. What is most special about this arrangement is that it signified an instance, or a snapshot if you will of the entire 1000 year composition. The arcs where you see the musicians and tables represents the LIVE 100o minute performance exists within this epic ever changing soundscape.

Each musician had specific roles and tasks to play the bowls – to achieve a live performance, of something that was until now being controlled by a computer program (I think) required a slightly alternative approach to scoring, a very interesting notation system was developed by Jem Finer to instruct how the bowls were to be played and for how long, running through iterations, offset by time.

Longplayer Visual Score - soundwaves in a circular pattern, with waveforms

Longplayer Visual Score - soundwaves in a circular pattern, with waveforms

The tables themselves had a time line system used by the musicians so they could keep time

"The tables themselves had a time line system used by the musicians so they could keep time"

It was one of those events were you had to be there, saying that you can experience it for many years to come, I feel there will be more performances in the future. In the meantime, there are tons of resources out there on the project and ways you can explore, research and experience this.

The Longplayer Trust is set up to keep it playing until 2999!

For everything longplayer related – I would encourage you to visit the space, check the net for images / broadcasts and info.

All my flickr images from Longplayer LIVE event

Longplayers Posterous blog & the @documentally blog posts on Longplayer

Learn more about the Longplayer project from their website