Archives for February 2012

Paper's out and digital's in?

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Jamillah Knowles | 16:03 UK time, Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week on the podcast we're talking about organising ourselves on paper and possibly with animals, we take a look at how we present ourselves online with when it comes to our personalities and we are encouraged to test our digital strengths while travelling on a bus.

So, how do you think you come across online? Whether it's through your updates, the links you pass on or the things that you say, can those snippets add up to something more revealing about your personality?

The Online Privacy Foundation has been collecting volunteers' profiles online to find out more about how they appear on line in comparison with how they see themselves. Chris Sumner explained how it works.

Now, not too far back in your memory, you may remember trying to fit everything into your day around Christmas and New Year. It can be hectic, lots of list making and trying to be in many places at once. So, did you turn to a paper list and your diary in a book? Or did you have everything set up digitally?

I am known for carrying notebooks and pens and scrawling barely legible notes to myself daily. But what about you lot?

I threw the question out over the weekend on Twitter and Facebook and it seems that some of you are a little bit analogue, just like me.

Jon Jacob said, "I've never successfully become wedded to an electronic diary. I am however fast becoming obsessed with handwriting notes using my Livescribe and uploading the JPGs and PDFs up to Evernote. Evernote is my dumping ground. I like that. "

A Livescribe if you haven't seen one is a sort of smart pen, that can record what you are writing and audio too so that you can store it and upload it later.

Brad McCarty says "Paper is a tool of the devil. I can more easily ignore things buried in Evernote than a pile of dead tree."

Fiona says "I frequently write my immediate to-do list on a post-it note. I've tried a ton of apps and none of them work. Online, it simply becomes *one more* thing to check. Paper has helped me focus and be more productive!"

Spencer, who you may remember designed our beautiful Outriders livery said, "I still sketch stuff out on paper before designing on screen for sure! I guess that is organizing my thoughts before I commit them to some permanent-looking."

Pip told me, "I've played video games for more than 35yrs, yet for my free thoughts, a screen is like having to get someone to write things on my behalf. It's a barrier."

I found it interesting to see your approaches, it feels a little bit as though we're half digital but still put our trust in papery notes.

Well, one online scheduling company presented us all with an amusing way to consider this further.

Tilman Eberle is the PR and marketing guy at Doodle, where groups of people can work together to find suitable times for appointments and meetings, so I asked him how to doodle on Doodle and why they might present us with a paper version.

The question of how we use our online services to keep our lives organised appears to have answers that reflect personal choice and of course the reasons behind using them, or the type of media involved.

Over on Facebook, Vinoba told us about her mini publishing empire that keeps everything together - She says, "I have 5 different calendars on my G calendar: general, personal, work, toddler and wedding (now obsolete). I maintain several blogs but those are more a record of things I have done as opposed to things I still have to do. So, Organised YES... up to date NO.
The calendars are wonderfully coloured and merged to one view so I can tell if there is work thing or personal thing that needs my immediate attention and I can prioritise easily.
The publishing is mainly to do with toddler activities and my hobbies. I am still looking for the perfect way to easily update and format my blog posts so that I am not months behind on the write up."

Nick Butler says - "Strangely the act of writing pen on paper is my daily blog routine; and yet I still photograph and post the blog entry to Posterous. For me the act of writing is a exit point from my mind but a poor mechanism for reminding myself or handling any random access mechanism."

And finally proof that there's pros and cons to both methods, Law Tech 'n' Gadget said, "Electronic is easier, although I'm always conscious of losing data and always thinking about backing up - Not something you do with paper!"
To which I asked, as someone who can be quite absent minded, "What happens when you lose your data in a paper notebook by leaving it on the train?"
Which gained the reply, "It's not possible to back up in the same way with paper, unless you photocopy entire diary-every so often and that's way too much hassle! Maybe digital is better after all"

It's fun to use digital tools, but there are many things to think about when you are choosing the right ones. It might be that you are suited to a pen and paper after all.

Now, looking ahead to the enormous technology fest known as South by South West which will take place as usual in March. if you are going to attend in Austin, how are you planning to get there? By car? By plane? Well, maybe you might consider trying to hitch a ride on a particular bus.

The Startupbus is taking it's annual journey to the conference and only the best will be able to take a seat. Entrepreneurs work and pitch to take part and the journey starts from NYC, Silicon Valley, L.A., Ohio, Las Vegas and Florida and takes the particpants to the conference. Eoin McMillan is an entrepreneur and veteran of the StartUp Bus and he explained how best to test yourself for three crazy days of work and ideas on the road.

Don't forget that you can always keep in touch, or join in our chats about upcoming editions. You can email me at Outriders at bbc dot co dot uk, you can tweet at us on Twitter where are are @BBC_Outriders or you you can add us to your Facebook and Google+ feeds by searching for Outriders.

Until next week!
- Jamillah

Sights and sounds

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Jamillah Knowles | 19:07 UK time, Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hello Outriders!

For this week's podcast, emergency fill-in host Chris Vallance was unfrozen from cryogenic storage to present this week's edition.

Photographer John Cantlie talks about how an assignment covering conflict in Libya lead him to explore the representation of war in computer games. Over at the blog of BBC picture-editor Phil Coomes you can see some of John's photographs, and versions of those images created using game software.

Production company Somethin' Else make radio programmes, and lots of other interesting stuff. Recently they've turned their ears to the world of games, producing some innovative sound-based titles like Papa Sangre. Paul Bennun told us why sound games have the best graphics. Thanks to Tom Loosemore for the idea.

Susannah Stevens reports from Digbeth in Birmingham where she attended the Network Music Festival. Download to hear what an orchestra of laptops sounds like and whether it convinced Susannah, who is more likely to be found listening to Bach! was a project to crowdsource a fan-made version of Star Wars. A directors cut is just out, and is definitely worth watching. Project creator Casey Pugh explained all.

And finally, if you *really* want to know how Chris managed to get that genuine lightsaber sound, the wonderful Ben Burtt explains it all here.

~ Until next week!

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