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Archive for the ‘announcements’ Category

New Year, New #Tuttle

tuttle club at the coach and horses, sohoIt’s back, even though it never really went away! Five years ago, a few of us were pushing around the idea of y’know getting people together on a regular basis who otherwise were hanging out in cyber-social-media-space. There were some experiments in late 2007 & early 2008 but The first regular prototype of the London Social Media Cafe at the Coach & Horses was on February 15th 2008 and before long it was known as the Tuttle Club (#tuttle on teh twitter) and it’s happened every Friday apart from Christmastime shenanigans ever since.

Going to #tuttle has been blamed for anything from hair loss, hair gain, meeting future work colleagues, meeting future partners, meeting future ex-partners, meeting users of your software, meeting heroic developers of software you love, but mostly having an excitable natter about internet’n’media’n’learning’n’stuff during work hours, drinking far too much coffee and tweeting about what a fab time you’re having.

#Tuttle has had many homes in the last five years and now it’s moving again. I’m going to pitch up on the 5th Floor at the Royal Festival Hall, from 10am to midday, this Friday, January 4th 2013 and drink coffee and chat with whomever turns up. As always the rule is that if two or more (yes, including me!) are there, then the event is a success, if any more of you come along, it’ll be just dandy! Just remember that you can get coffee on Level 2 (riverside) before you make the long slog up the stairs or in the lift.

Assuming that it works out (what could possibly go wrong?) we’ll carry on doing it here until we get bored again.

OK? See you Friday.

(photo credit: Josh Russell CC BY-NC-SA)

(Cross-posted from Perfect Path)

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If you’ve been at Tuttle over the past few weeks, you’ll have heard Lloyd talk about the new rota to make sure that the different things that have to happen to enable Tuttle to function each Friday actually get done.

We started off with a sign-up sheet – that’s right, a real piece of paper! – but we’ve now added this as a page on the wiki.

There are six different tasks, although one of those – opening up the building – is usually done by Brian (since he has the keys!). The others are

  • welcome, meet and greet – making sure that newcomers, guests and everyone else is made to feel welcome and comfortable
  • coffee and tea-maker – making sure that there is sufficient coffee and hot water for tea throughout the morning
  • tidying up – making sure that the space is kept tidy and clean
  • announcements – collecting and making the 11am community announcements
  • looking after coffee money – rattling the tin and counting any money donated

Just because you sign up for a task on a particular Friday doesn’t mean that it is your sole responsibility – there are usually lots of people to help make coffee and tidy up. We just want to make sure someone says they’ll do it so the same people don’t have to do it every week.

You can sign up to do one or more tasks on one or more Fridays on the service rota page of the wiki. Please take the time to do so if you can – it is down to us to make Tuttle happen each week!

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C4CCTuttle runs from 10am to midday. It always has, that’s always been the deal – I had people today trying to tell me it used to be different. Nope, but I understand why that belief has come about.

In all of our previous venues, apart from our beloved #sexfactory, there was some form of catering, we had the space set aside for Tuttle and at 12 o’clock those who wanted to stick around and eat and drink could do so and at both the Coach & Horses and the ICA I just asked people to move to another part of the venue.

Now that we’re at the Centre for Creative Collaboration, we have a slightly different deal – it’s not a public space and there is no catering or serving staff. In addition I personally get overwhelmed by the number and variety of conversations I have at Tuttle. It was rare in the past for me to stick around – I always need some space after Tuttle and since there’s nobody employed here to keep the place open and look after people if I want to disappear I’ve had to chuck people out.

This is particularly difficult when people turn up just before 12 with the assumption that something will be continuing. At the ICA you could do that because the place was open and none of us *had* to stay to lock up and look after the space.

You don’t like this abrupt ending and neither do I.

So I’d like to suggest a different way – a smoother transition from “loads of people” to “everybody’s gone home”. We will have tables and a space set aside for people to have lunch that they bring with them if they want to. We will also make sure that someone from the Centre with a key will be around. At different times this may be me or Brian or one of the other keyholding project people like the Accidental Festival team. I will announce at 12 o’clock something like: “Tuttle proper is over for another week, but some people like to stick around for lunch so please help us clear away the coffees and tea stuff and set up for lunch”

This maintains a boundary around Tuttle but gives some flexibility for people who want to extend their tuttle time. It restores, I hope, the vibe around Tuttle that we used to have. I would then feel able to go away for a bit and get my head back on straight or do stuff I need to do.

Does this work better? What have I missed?

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Wellington Country Park Pitch 63

I’d like to propose two (probably weekend) camps to be held at the Centre for Creative Collaboration sometime before the end of May. As always I’m canvassing general support before fixing a time – so let me know if you’d like to be involved firstly and secondly which weekend you’d like to do them on.

TuttleCamp
We talked about this a while ago, but I feel the need to have at least a day of discussion about what we’ve actually created here and what we do with it next. For me this comes down to “How do we continue to do cool stuff *and* generate enough revenue to pay basic bills” but I think it’s also about what is the whole thing for, how do we think it’s going, what sorts of things do we want to do now that we have access to the C4CC space for a while. I’m thinking this is just one day, but open to the possibility of actually camping overnight here and carrying on on Sunday morning too.

SoftFurnishingsCamp/NestFeatheringCamp
This idea came up when we were confronted with the stark white walls and floors of the Centre for Creative Collaboration. How do we make it more comfy? We also had a #tuttle before Christmas where a bunch of knitter/crochet/crafters turned up and did their thing in the corner. I think it would be lovely to spend a Saturday feathering our nest – bring fabrics and other materials and let’s make some stuff to allow the space to be used without us all getting stiff backs. Open again on whether one day or two days for this.

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It’s getting harder and harder to pay for your own coffee at Tuttle. Since we moved over there, our new hosts, LEON, in Spitalfields have been very generously giving away free first coffees until 11am for lovely Tuttle folk – and now Canon Cameras are covering the costs for the whole session (within reason!)

Sam at Canon Camera Buzz writes: “At Friday’s event Canon will be showcasing cameras from compacts to high-end Digital SLRs. If you have any questions, whether on the products being demonstrated or any Canon camera, the Canon UK team will be there and more than happy to help.”

As usual, there’ll be room for you to carry on tuttling without having anything to do with the sponsor if you really don’t want to, but I think people who come to tuttle, but who aren’t interested in shiny new camera kit are few and far between.

If you want to know more, follow @canoncamerabuzz and the hashtag #canontuttle

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TEDLive in London

[UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, this offer was almost instantly oversubscribed. Sorry to anyone who's only just heard. Yay! for those who got their places]

So this is what I squealed with excitement about yesterday on twitter (not what I swore about today – that’s something else that I’ll write about soon)

I’m going to assume that most people who’ve been to Tuttle or read this blog have heard of the TED conference. If not, I don’t mean to shame you, but really! Go here and check it out, then come back.

So normally you’d expect to have to go to California *and* pay a large amount of money to be part of this experience. OK so the one coming up is in Oxford, so you’d still have to go all the way to *Oxford* (!) but perhaps more challengingly, pay a large amount of money to be part of this experience.

Yesterday, I got a call from Alex at Wieden & Kennedy to say that they were helping Nokia put together an event in a couple of weeks, live-streaming from the TED conference in Oxford at the w+k offices in E1 for FREE and did I know any people in the kind of creative & digital space who might be interested in going along.

That’s when I squealed.

So here is the sign up page for us on Wednesday 22nd – we’ve divided the day up into four slots to maximise the number of people who can take part. You might like to take a look at the schedule to see which slot you’d like most to book. Please don’t be greedy, I know tuttlers aren’t greedy.

There are also sessions on Tuesday afternoon, which is reserved for “Women in Tech” (yes *Women* only – no “Laydees”) and Thursday which is reserved for “Youth” ie people aged 16-25 Please don’t book slots on more than one day. Again, that will help make sure that as many people can come as possible.

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Touring… a bit

As the summer gets *really* hot, I though I’d let you know that we’ve got some special Tuttle things coming up.

Firstly, our lovely hosts at the ICA have some paying guests on a couple of Fridays this month and so we’re being accommodated just down the road at Inn The Park This goes for tomorrow, 3rd July and the 24th. We did it last week and it was great.

Inevitably, the rumour mongers have started questioning our relationship with the ICA – well, move along, nothing to see here, we’re still all madly in love.

In addition, they are offering a special Tuttle membership of £30 for the year which gets you reductions on tickets, a discount in the bar and advance notice of cool stuff happening there. I think it’s a great way of saying thank you to them (remember too that they’re a charity themselves) for giving us a chunk of Central London real estate for free every week. All you have to do is go to the front desk and ask to join and say you want the Tuttle Club offer.

And.

[UPDATE: Sorry, this one didn't work out after all - we'll be at the ICA as usual on Friday 10th ] On Friday 10th July we’re going to do Tuttle over at Channel 4 with a special guest – Manuel Castells author of The Rise of the Network Society – who has been influencing thinking about the social dynamics of the web for as long as we’ve had a web. More details on that soon – I expect we’ll have to be a bit more formal about an attendance list :)

With all of this to-ing and fro-ing I’d strongly suggest keeping an eye on a twitter search for #tuttle or at least to check before coming down to see exactly where we are.

Which reminds me that I’ve still done nothing about the tuttlebot – gaah!

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I’ve been chatting to Al Robertson at Tuttle for a while now about a consulting model and process that might emerge from the network in addition to but not in competition with the small and hypernimble JFDI crowd.

Al’s a great thinker, writer and strategist, he has the interestingness of the plannerly crowd that introduce me to him and he also knows how to put a good pitch together. So he sent me the following. I was tempted to fiddle with it, but I’ve gained just enough sense to know when I can’t add anything more, so I present here unedited, for your perusal, pontification and the picking of holes. I’m starting to try this out with potential clients – ideas and introductions to more folk who might find it useful are very welcome.

The Crowd – Tribe – Team process

Tuttle consultancy is rooted in the Crowd – Tribe –Team process. Before describing what that is, we should define a Crowd, a Tribe and a Team.

The most open, freeform way of organising a group of people is as a Crowd – that is, a disparate group of people with no clearly defined internal relationships, or external goals. A Crowd is a seed. It’s full of potential, but that potential needs attention and focus to help it grow.

When Crowd members start to engage with each other, they begin to discover others who share their particular interests, or they realise that they all share a common interest set. The Crowd then begins to assemble itself into one or more, more purposeful, Tribes. A Tribe is a loosely organised group of people, united by common passions or ambitions. A football crowd, for example, isn’t really a crowd at all; it’s a football tribe.

As Tribes develop, they become more organised, and their members become more action orientated. They begin to create clearly defined aims that spring from and support their shared passions or ambitions. In order to achieve these goals, Teams are formed. Individual Teams are created with specific goals in mind, and are assembled from Tribe members with the relevant expertise or interests.

The Tuttle Club began as a Crowd, but it has now become a Tribe. Within that Tribe, individual Teams are working to complete clearly defined tasks. One Team, for example, is putting together a book on Twitter, while another has been thinking about how Tuttle can use its tribal expertise to help other groups of people. While working through that process, we’ve realised that the Crowd – Tribe – Team process can be a very useful consultancy tool.

We begin by meeting you as a Crowd of highly experienced, highly creative and highly competent people. As we engage with your business, we work with you to create a series of Tribes – groups formed around your specific business issues, made up of those most engaged by them, and with experience most relevant to them. Finally, each Tribe becomes a Team, committed to delivering clearly defined solutions to specific, carefully considered issues.

That process evolves the traditional solution-orientated consultancy model, by understanding that asking the right questions is as important as developing effective solutions. So, it brings a very broad range of expertise to bear on the process of understanding and framing those questions. This helps our clients look in new directions for highly creative, highly original and highly effective responses to their business issues, and ensures that delivery of those responses is based on an in-depth understanding of those issues.

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We’ve been asked to participate in a survey on how the current economic situation affects freelancers such as make up a goodly number of our friends and funsters. As a participant in the survey we will receive free access to the results when published so, I’d love you to contribute – of course, all data will be kept strictly confidential – only aggregate results are reported.

FreeAgentCentral is looking at how freelancers, small businesses and consultants feel about their finances. They aim to find out how freelancers in different industry, country and target-client markets are feeling the pinch, if indeed they are.

I’m just trying to tie down with them when they can sponsor the coffee one Friday soon, but as they have this survey out until 15th, I thought we might be able to help in advance.

It should only take a minute, and there’s a chance for you to win one of 3 prizes (Nintendo Wii, iPod Touch & iPod Shuffle). So go tell ‘em what you think.

Thank you, dear tuttlers, as ever, for your time and participation!

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This is the beginning of a call for developers, but I probably need some help fleshing out the spec first.

It started with the sign-up page on the wiki falling into disuse – maybe it will recover, but I think it’s served it’s purpose – most people just turn up, or they don’t.

However there’s still a need for information about who’s going. Some people want reassurance that there’s going to be *someone* else there. Others may want to know which people that they know are going. It’s also useful to know after the event who was there so that you can follow up conversations or connect in a non-spammy way with people you didn’t get to see.

The non-spammy bit is very important, I want the information to be available, but I want to maintain the trust of people who come to twitter that their data won’t be harvested by unscrupulous folk. Of course it’s been possible to snaffle data from the start using the wiki, but it doesn’t seem that anyone’s bothered yet.

So I want you to treat this post as a draft specification for a new tool, a bot for which the principal user interface is twitter. I imagine it working like an irc-bot. I send messages in a pre-specified form with certain parameters and I receive a message back which either confirms an action I’ve taken or gives me some information (where that information won’t fit into a tweet it will need to be stored somewhere readable and linked to).

The core functions I have imagined so far are:

Going – defaults to adding you to the list of people coming to the next tuttle but with optional date parameter, returns a confirmation that your message has been recieved.

WhoIsGoing – returns a list of people already signed up, records (somewhere – where?) the fact that you asked.

IsTuttleOn – returns “yes” except when it doesn’t :)

WhatTime – returns 10am except when it doesn’t

WhatIsTuttle – returns standard description. Can take username as a parameter so you can let someone know (for the scenarios where a n00b asks “dude, wtf is a tuttle?”

WhoWent – takes date parameter, returns list of people who signed up.

You get the idea.

As a user, can you think of other functions you’d like to use? Can you think through the implications of such functions and let me know if there’s something stupid in there? Let’s throw this around for a little while – I’m particularly interested in understanding ways in which it could be simplified or abstracted from for use by other meetups or else extended for us to perform other functions than Friday meetups.

As a developer, what are the holes? What else do you need to know to be able to start building a prototype? I’m language or environment agnostic at the moment and would like outputs to be available in multiple forms, not just the existing wiki. Beyond the twitter API you might consider getting this bot to talk to the pbwiki API (perhaps “Going” writes some details from your twitter profile to a wiki page) or you might look at it talking to the Eventbrite API or whatever.

I hope it goes without saying that all parts of the development process should be Open Source – you should be prepared to share your code with others for the benefit of the Tuttle community and anyone else who wishes to use it.

(also, apologies, I’m forgetting to say thankyou to @yellowpark, @evangineer and @robocallaghan for helping me get my thinking this far)

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