Week 48: Once upon a time in an office

This week has been all about Storywarp, an event my colleague and fellow writer here, Sara and I, have been organising for a while.

It was a panel Q&A thing with four representatives from different backgrounds and different ideas about stories, and it took place at our offices last night. I invited writer Naomi Alderman, producer Adam Tandy and games creator Tom Armitage, and Sara invited Jeremy Ettinghausen from BBH. Sara moderated expertly, and the crowd were wonderful. We felt it went really well, and so did a lot of people on Twitter. Loads of photos were taken and we filmed the event – so I’ll keep you posted.

I can’t stress how well everyone did. The calibre of both speakers and audience was excellent; I felt I got loads out of both the discussion and the booze-fueled chats afterwards. Really thought-provoking, and lots of sense was spoken. And in a selfish way, it was lovely to see so many people I don’t see nearly enough, especially as most of them went out of their way to come up and chat (I always feel a bit weirded out by people who accept my invitations to things, come and drink the free beer then leave without even saying hello). So yeah. All kinds of warm fuzzy good feelings this morning.

Elsewhere I have, by chance, had quite a few conversations this week about the plummeting quality of conferences… same people, same venues, same points of view. Several of us from work have been talking about the boring homogeny of speakers on the work blog after noting an overwhelming, off-putting dominance of white males at various upcoming conferences in areas that we’re otherwise conceptually quite interested in. We invited the organiser of the Immersive Writing Lab (all male) event along last night, and he apologised and said “nothing was meant by it”, and that he was “just inviting his mates”, which is of course, exactly our point. As I said on the mxm blog, these “mates first” events are a big part of the problem.

I’m too tired to go into detail on anything much, but quickly, here are some of the other things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week: Minitel hacks in the light of the news, the use of solenoids in coin payout mechanisms, Mitch Altman’s brain machine, analogue-to-digital interfaces in general, pointless wastes of high-tech stuff including using second screens to display time/weather etc, and ways to turn animal behaviour into a game dynamic with lasers, or Kinect. My Sarah Angliss WIRED UK interview is now up on the WIRED website, along with the brilliant photography. And this week I learned that Amy Winehouse loved horses, which I didn’t see coming at all. Never had her pegged as one of us.

2 thoughts on “Week 48: Once upon a time in an office

  1. Sarah

    I always feel a bit weirded out by people who accept my invitations to things, come and drink the free beer then leave without even saying hello

    Um, oops! I did try to catch you but somehow didn’t manage it. Great event though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *