Tag Archives: eightbar

Guest posting

Although this blog has been slightly quiet I’ve been posting content elsewhere lately as well:

  1. There’s a guest post on the SOMESSO blog about whether or not corporate blogs are still relevant in the world of more dispersed social media.
  2. I’ve contributed to the revived HomeCamp blog with some links to good sources of information.
  3. Talking of revivals, eightbar continues to attract some great content from my fellow Hursley folks, with more changes to come soon.

Hail to the tribal chieftan

I’ve written more about this on my internal company weblog, but suffice it to say that I’ve blogged externally about my ongoing involvement with virtual worlds etc. and I’ve mentioned my minor Internet celebrity friend Mr Hughes on many occasions. I’m not going to go as far as to call him my Yoda, but he’s been a massive influence on me for the past few years.

Fare ye well.

The blogging / online network diaspora

As my online presence thins out, I often wonder how best to tie it all together. Here’s a meta-post showing where my content has been lately.

eightbar
It has been a while, but I’ve been re-establishing a presence on the eightbar blog lately, talking about haptics, and also about social reality gaming.

Home Camp
The next Home Camp is coming up, planned for April, so the blog is coming back to life after a short hibernation. One of the big news items was yesterday’s unveiling of Google PowerMeter.

Dogear Nation
I’m not going to list every post and podcast episode over on the Dogear Nation blog, but I’ve noted before that I’m a regular host this year and have been posting entries and videos to the blog too.

Video Content
I should probably blog more of the video stuff I create, but tend to highlight the more interesting videos from time to time rather than posting everything here on the blog. My YouTube channel may be of interest. Eventually, I’ve got a grander plan for my video content, but that will have to wait.

(update) Convergence
I just thought of one other thing which I’ve not mentioned around here, but seems to fit into this post. In spite of producing content in a number of places, I’ve also been working on online identity. For a while I’ve been interested in getting the andypiper.com domain but it never seems to be available, and thus I have the .co.uk alternative, which redirects here. I also noted that I picked up pipr.me.uk as a bit of a joke recently, which currently points here as well. I have andypiper.tv too (an independent site currently hosting TwtrCtr). Finally, I have theandypiper.com and theandypiper.co.uk redirecting here too – inspired by the very awesome Geoff Smith, and also by one of the first customer engagements I went on after joining IBM, where I was asked “you’re not THE Andy Piper, are you?”.

So, in the style of Dogear Nation… my final thought for this post is, what is the collective noun for Internet domains? I’m wondering about ‘dominion’, ‘kingdom’ or ‘bailiwick’…

Haptic fantastic

Yesterday I got the opportunity to play around with a haptic device, which basically provides a force feedback / touch user interface to various 3D technologies. These included navigating a virtual world, and building 3D objects. I’ve written about it more over on eightbar, but it was so cool that I wanted to include the video over here as well.

Just to explain what is going on in the video, as it may not be entirely clear! The demos use a Novint Falcon gaming controller. To quote Anarkik, it is “like a small grounded ‘robot’ and provides the ‘force feedback’ that gives the uncanny sense of touching a virtual object. This device replaces the mouse and also provides more natural and coherent movement in 3 dimensions.” At the start, several of us have a go with the controller to drive an avatar around an OpenSim island running on the local machine, using Anarkik’s software. Around the middle of the video, we switch to using the Cre8 tool to do some simple modelling. In particular, we change the surface hardness of a sphere (where it becomes more or less soft to the touch); and then go inside the sphere and extrude the shape by pulling the controller around. Finally, there’s a brief look at some fabricated items modelled using the same software.

By the way, this was another clip edited with iMovie 09, which I’m increasingly impressed with – I need to do a screencast to show some of the nicer more advanced features that I’ve discovered! 🙂

On being part of a tribal movement

Looking back over the past few years, I find that I’ve somehow become part of a tribe: eightbar.

What is eightbar, again?

We’re a group of techie/creative people working in and around IBM’s Hursley Park Lab in the UK. We have regular technical community meetings, well more like a cup of tea and a chat really, about all kinds of cool stuff. One of the things we talked about is that although there are lots of cool people and projects going on in Hursley, we never really let anyone know about them. So, we decided to try and record some of the stuff that goes on here in an unofficial blog, EightBar.

This hasn’t been part of “a grand plan”. All that happened was that before I was even “officially” a “Hursley person”, I got to know a bunch of people with whom I share attitudes and interests, and started to explore some new spaces with them – virtual worlds like Second Life, enterprise social computing, bleeding edge technologies, collaboration that extends outside of enterprise, geographic and social boundaries.

I am very fortunate to become good friends with some inspiring people such as Ian Hughes (epredator), Roo Reynolds, Rob Smart, Darren Shaw and Andy Stanford-Clark – among many, many others – and found myself being asked to talk about some of these new areas with IBM customers and other groups. Without even realising it, I started to be viewed as an authority on many of these topics. I’m immensely grateful that people like Ian and Roo recognised my passion to communicate and gave me these opportunities to break out of my day-to-day role.

Ian has a great presentation and a blog post on how all of this has come about, by the way.

I’ve been standing on the shoulders of giants for the past couple of years and I completely recognise that. It’s awesome that this little group, loose band, motley assortment, whatever we are – this body of interested techies and thinkers has been identified by top analyst James Governor as his Team of the Year.

This idea of grassroots movements at work is summed up in a great soundbite from the Don Tapscott interview with Net@Night this past week (listen out for this one, about 41 minutes into the discussion)

… social networks are the new operating systems of business…

He’s so very, very right. I owe my successes in the past 2-3 years to my social networks – and to eightbar.

(this is Captain Slow, signing off…)