I'm spending January in London for work. But my Fridays are free for random work, meetings and hopefully a bit of Friday School. So today, on Stef's recommendation, I tried out Google Campus and met with Andy Bull, author of Multimedia Journalism to chat about brand journalism training.
My one line review of the free basement cafe of Google Campus as a coworking space is: busy Shoreditch hipsterish beardy semi-friendly MacBook hangout with good coffee, lack of food (only two ham croissants left at noon) and superfast wifi but crap phone reception.
It looks like I've reached that moment in a blogger's life when you log into your poor neglected blog(s), make apologies to folks for the lack of posting, explain why and then make a new promise to report back a bit more often in future.
Except… as Neil Gaiman once said (not sure who actually coined this): 'Never apologise, never explain.'
Sooo, suffice it to say, that I have spent the last year in transition in many, many ways. One of the biggest changes has been going permanent on digital 'stuff' from a 20-year background in print journalism. How did this happen?
Well, in February 2008, I started a blog in my spare time (What to wear where), a good idea but ill-carried out by me while I got to grips with Web 2.0 changes.
Then I started Subs' Standards in August 2008 – all about sub-editing and its changing nature in the digital world – and started to get the hang of things a bit more, thanks in the main to Pete Ashton's free social media surgeries. I'm well overdue to post on that blog, too, as I'm now only very occasionally subbing, and it's digital subbing at that – which is quite a different type of 'quality control' beast.
Anyways… updating my digital chops late into the night after a hard day in print was exhausting – and salary-free. I did it for three months almost solidly but it got me into Seven Squared's digital team, which was in need of a web editor, back in January 2009. And now I'm busier than ever, corporate blogging for clients and producing a variety of digital work from ezines to SEO features.
Going to SXSWi back in March 2009 also gave me a load of context for working purely online, as well as a whole load of new ideas for playing with online content plus a contact book full of innerestin' webby types from all over the world. I recommend it for anyone working online and trying to get their head around the bigger picture. (And yes, before you ask, it's also a big festival with lots of bands and parties in the rather cool uni city of Austin, Texas.)
Unfortunately, working long hours in Seven's digital bunker means I have little time to 'rawk SXSW' and so change has come again.
From October, I'll be living and working in Birmingham, with my blog mentor Pete Ashton, as it happens. Turns out romance can blossom in the blurry gaps between online and offline.
I'll still be corporate blogging for Seven Squared's digital team, I hope, and maybe writing an SEO feature or two. And before I leave London I'll also be joining a great new event (and site) for brand managers and those who represent a brand online, courtesy of Jo Geary – and maybe even guest-blogging on there if she'll let me.
But for now I just want to say that I'm looking forward to the next era – to meet new people in Brum, and give myself some headspace to decide which projects to start/play with/experiment with in the West Mids, which seems to be something of a hot bed of 'social media' goings-on, if the SXSW rival WXWM, the new FAILcamp and other such events are anything to go by.
I'll also be looking for blogging or other content creation work, probably in the commercial sector, or quality control work for corporate clients. If you think you might want something like this, please do get in touch.
So, life has switched and instead of working in London and visiting Brum at weekends, I'll be working and thinking in Birmingham instead and visiting London for work days here and there, and sociables at the weekends. So if you're in either vicinity, find me online (@fionacullinan if you're on Twitter) and come say hi.
As they say, change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.
PS. (I'm a serial PS blogger.) Apologies if you get this 10 times in your feed, my WordPress preview appears to have karked it.