I gave a short talk last night at a Huddersfield Teachmeet event, hosted by Huddersfield New College. Given seven minutes I thought I’d do a PechaKucha, and it’s embedded above. It’s on the topic of using social media in the classroom, and was a brief overview of ways to potentially use tools including Instagram Video, Buzzfeed and Findery.
I was at Bury College today to lead a practical session with some of their Year 1 BTEC media students. The group is coming to the University of Huddersfield next week for a Taster Day and sessions on TV, radio, magazine design and PR, so I thought I’d give them something a little different, and led a workshop focusing on the internet’s near-future.
I got into Google Glass, Augmented Reality and how the race is on among media companies to produce mobile-friendly content that will work well in these areas. With even the BBC News website reporting that more than half of its page views at weekends are now from mobile and tablet devices, the decline of the desktop seems to be coming about faster than we might have predicted.
To illustrate this, I got the students to make some notes on Findery. I’ve written here before about how I’m a fan of the site, which is run by Flickr and Hunch founder Caterina Fake. These days it’s out of beta and open to the public on the desktop, mobile web and as an iPhone app. I thought it would be useful for a workshop of this kind with students, because it’s all about making content that can work on mobiles but which uses an attractive and user-friendly desktop CMS.
The session seemed to go pretty well, and you can find the notes left by the students here. Findery is also appealing because the technology works like a charm, and the number of possible uses for it – from personal stories to local history to Instagram-style here’s-what-I’m-doing-now pictures – make it flexible for a variety of different audiences. I’ll be using it again in future to make some other point about the media, I’ve no doubt.
Further to my recent blogpost about the ability to embed Findery notes in websites, it’s now possible to do it in wordpress.com blogs like this one. And here’s one of my recent notes to prove it!
There’s also a plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites. More detail is available at the Findery blog.
One of my notes on Findery, complete with embed code.
I’m a fan of Findery, a start-up which lets you create notes about anything you like, then post them at locations around the world on a big online map. Writing little tidbits and leaving them for other people to find is fun, but more fun is simply moving through different parts of the map and discovering what others have posted. The standard of notes is generally high, ranging from the deeply personal to the fascinating to the completely random. The site itself works smoothly and looks good, which makes the whole process quite satisfying.
Having spent most of the year in private beta (and going through a name change from Pinwheel for legal reasons), Findery is now open to the public. It’s steadily rolling out new features, the latest of which is the potentially very useful ability to embed notes on third-party blogs and websites.
There’s now an embed code beside each note, but seeing as it uses iFrames and this is merely a wordpress.com blog, I can’t demonstrate it here. So a screenshot will have to do instead. The note was from my trip to the Manchester Science and Industry Museum today. I aim to educate as well as entertain, clearly.
Pinwheel. As it was.
(UPDATE 28/7: Well, that was quick. Pinwheel has now become Findery. You can read the announcement in this blogpost)
I’ve written about Caterina Fake’s new start-up Pinwheel on this blog before. The location-based service for leaving notes and photos has been in beta testing for the past few months, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using it.
But the platform’s steady progress towards a public launch has hit a bump in the road, in the form of a legal ruling from a New York court. A judge issued a preliminary injunction against the use of the term Pinwheel, following a complaint from an older but lesser-known photo-sharing service called Pinweel. The full story is at Techcrunch here, and the ruling can be read in full here. Pinwheel has responded by reverting to the moniker 2bkco, which is the name of the company itself.
Although it’s just an initial injunction which could be overturned at a later hearing, Marketing Land’s Greg Sterling argues here that 2bkco would be better served just finding a new name and moving on. After all, the service hasn’t yet been launched and so the damage from a rebranding exercise would be relatively minimal.
I’m inclined to agree with that analysis. Admittedly, 2bkco/Pinwheel has the considerable reputation of Fake (of Flickr and Hunch fame) and a good deal of Silicon Valley cash at its disposal. But that personal and financial capital would be much better spent on the business of continuing to build a quality product and a community to use it, rather than on a potentially lengthy legal battle with uncertain prospects of success.
In the meantime, you can request an invite from the 2bkco/Pinwheel homepage.