The Government Digital Service (GDS) turned five years old this week. As part of their birthday celebrations, the team tweeted a series of one minute videos. I love these birthday videos so much, I wanted to keep a log of them here.
I’m presenting to my local school’s Code Club next term – it’s a really diverse group and I want to talk about careers in technology and help them believe that these types of jobs are for everyone. Women and people from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are still under-represented in STEM roles. These videos will make perfect little demos.
Code Club is a brilliant way of teaching children to code, and giving them that empowering idea that they can build anything they want. But it’s also an introduction to the concept of a UK digital industry. Continue reading →
I’ve had a nice time over the past few weeks delivering not one but two #techmums programmes. The #techmums course is made up of five modules: Google Apps (Gmail, Google Drive and Google Docs), app design, web design, social media and coding (Python). The ethos and approach is simple: have a go, enjoy yourself, don’t worry if you don’t know everything (none of us do).
I first met #techmums founder Dr Sue Black (above left) ten years ago at a Google Women in Tech event – we got chatting and became friends. Since then, Sue has saved Bletchley Park, written a bestselling book and become an OBE. But she still remains the same warm, funny, down-to-earth person – now committed to doing whatever she can to share her success with others and open up technology to everyone – especially women who may lack confidence because they’ve taken time out of work to raise children. Continue reading →
Given the massive sense of frustration we can feel, sometimes it seems easier to forget the whole damn thing and go back to forming meaningful relationships through old school ties and networking dos.
But social media marketing, the ability to scale and grow through your business through amplified word of mouth (while also benefitting from heart-warming conversations), is a fabulous, life-enriching opportunity. If you do it right.
On 3 December I gave a lunchtime seminar at Royal Holloway University of London. The brief was to give an overview of social media marketing and also talk about how social tools are being used in other aspects of business, such as CRM and project management. Here are the slides: Social media – the art of digital storytelling.
Royal Holloway was originally a university for women – men weren’t admitted until 1965! The Founder’s Building – in all its Victorian gothic glory – is quite amazing. It wasn’t snowing, as in this beautiful pic, but it was cold enough. I hope to get the chance to visit again soon.
Big thanks to Alison McClintock and Sunday Publishing for asking me to write a piece on kids using social media for Vodafone Digital Parenting – my article’s on p.9 of the latest edition (download full PDF). There’s loads of other useful stuff covering everything from online bullying and stranger danger to interviews with Jamal Edwards and six digital media moguls under the age of 21. So, this guide is inspirational and practical at the same time. If you’ve any friends worried about the effects of digital media on their kids (and mainstream media does its best to hype up the issue), please help spread the word and pass this link on.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Events Northern for nominating me for a Liebster Award. The Liebster award is a peer-to-peer award passed around the blogging community. And there’s nothing like a bit of appreciation from your peers – Events Northern, you rock!
Here’s how the Liebster Award works:
Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog – Display the award “badge” on your blog – Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you – List 11 random facts about yourself – Nominate up to 11 bloggers and let them know you have nominated them – Set 11 questions for the bloggers you have nominated – Post a comment on the blog post of the person that nominated you so they can read the post
So, first off, here are my answers to Events Northern’s questions:
1. When and why did you start blogging? I started blogging in 2005 when I was commissioned to write Monkeys with Typewriters. The thought of writing 80,000 words terrified me so I had the idea of interviewing people and writing up each one in a blog post. The blog posts became the first draft of my book. Continue reading →
Like an old-fashioned dad pacing up and down outside the delivery room while my wife gives birth, I’m a bundle of nerves, anxious and excited in equal measures.
Today, after two years and 1,500 (or so) coffees, my wonderful, difficult baby is finally going to print. Those fabulous guys at Triarchy Press are just putting the finishing touches to the proof – any minute now I should get the call letting me know the book’s gone off safely.
In the meantime, it seems only right that you should get some kind of sneak preview – so here’s a detail from the fantastic cover, brilliantly drawn in pen and ink by Devon-based artist, Heather Fallows. As you can see, the monkey is smiling. You’ll just have to wait a couple of weeks to see what she’s written…