The invitation:

Katie Smith has entered the blogosphere, take cover or run for your lives! Why am I here? Good question. People who are close to me will tell you that the most persuasive method of getting me to do anything is to dare me to do it. The use of reverse psychology with an element of danger thrown in will always get results. I am here because I have been issued a challenge and I want to win a prize! For an hour a day for 100 days I will laugh in the face of fear (and predicted technological incompetence) and embrace new technologies. I want to explore social participative media, how different spaces are used, for what and by whom. Although I am not a prolific Facebooker, this is one medium that I have already engaged with. As an exhibitionist it has represented an ideal platform to show off to my friends and family. Highlights have included a photographic account of me roller skating down a hill at high speed in shocking pink lycra followed by the much anticipated sequel where I recreated the skeleton bob in my back garden on a tea tray. I see this as a playful expression of creativity but the images are perhaps not ones that I would want to share with the world. In order to define the other spaces that exist in social media, I have decided that I need to use them.   

The Promise:

 Every day I am going to dedicate an hour to tinker, faff, explore and play with new media. I am going to allow myself the luxury of indulging in obsessional behaviour if I find something that I connect with and will use equal effort to master the stuff I find impossible. Each day I will also keep it real and send myself a snail mail tweet (postcard) to record the things that I may not wish to share with my virtual audience. I am particularly interested in how my 100 hours could impact on how I support the young people, teachers and practitioners I work with to use new technologies as a tool for documenting, reflecting and sharing their creative learning. I will do all of this with the exuberance of an excitable puppy and hope to suck friends and colleagues into my vortex of techointrigue!

The story so far:

I thought that Twitter would be an excellent place to start and amazingly I joined with ease. I felt   genuinely elated and congratulated myself at my previously undiscovered technical genius.  As I had predefined this space as a professional space for connecting with other creatives, I set about the task of ‘following’.  Interestingly, I posted a link on my Facebook page in an attempt to attract ‘followers’. It was met with three comments; ******, ****** and *******. This reaction in itself became the definition of the space; for me Facebook is the place where my friends can post abuse and it doesn’t offend me. Facebook is the banter in the pub and I am grateful to my swearing friends for their thoughtful contribution to my research.

Twitter has led to a dalliance with Tweetdeck which (amazingly again) I have sort of managed to master and have already gone beyond the realms of what I thought would be possible by posting links to interesting stuff I’ve found on the internet, photos and even films. I stumbled across a really exciting project called Fieldbroadcast http://www.projeckt.org.uk/fieldbroadcast/about.html which involved downloading some software which once installed enabled me to view live, unscheduled broadcasts from fields across the country that popped up in a window on my desktop announced by a bell ringing!! I posted a link on Twitter which fellow Creative Agent Subhadassi saw and we joined the dispersed international fieldbroadcast audience. We tweeted about what we saw; men in suits digging holes, bizarre football matches, badgers, aeroplanes and audioracket. I am an old fashioned girl and favour the cinema over watching DVDs every time because I enjoy the associated rituals and routines and collective experience of going to the flicks. What surprised me about Fieldbroadcast was that although I was viewing from home I still felt a sense of being part of something, anticipating the next fix with the same excitement I had previously felt in the queue before seeing Nanny McPhee! Inspired, I tweeted a challenge to Subhadassi to broadcast from his garden. He responded with an ephemeral wisteria moment uploaded to You Tube and I replied with my first ever film ‘The Day We Disappeared’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Riq99fbvFfU which took 3 attempts to upload! I had expected to learn about new technologies but I hadn’t expected to connect creatively and am pleasantly surprised. This week’s sub-challenge is one photo and one word per day. I have mooted the idea of a wheel cam challenge to follow after recording my second film ‘Social Networking on Skates’

The Epilogue:

I am 10 days into my challenge and will aim to update this blog once a week. Researching social media kind of relies on social interaction so I am grateful that you have taken the time to read this post, please feel free to comment/issue a challenge. I have a magnificent 11 followers on twitter if you care to join me you will find me at http://twitter.com/K8ieSmith

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