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Had an interview with a London Social Media firm, think it went okay. I decided to come clean about not using RSS much, in part because of habit/usability, in part because my current machine is an increasingly fragile, benzine-smelling, juice-stained paving slab-in-waiting. I probably should have talked a little less, and probably should have been a little less concerned with IP rights. Ah well.

Reading around for it took me to some interesting places; returning to Rageboy for the first time in months led me to Twitter critiquer the certifiable Marcus Brown:

(Blacked out in deference to Stephen Fry: the normal format is Brown talking to camera while sitting on the toilet in his tiny Munich bathroom.)

One of the most interesting things about the process of making a Twitter feed for the publication I work for is that I have to document and codify the grammar, conventions, courtesies and allusions of Twitter. Brown may sound mad as a stoat but his manic-laconic approach is enlightening and wonderfully well read. “I beg you. I plead. Follow him.”

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I’ve had the recent Kanye West singles on YouTube loop, thinking about how his singles and Flight of the Conchords got me through my final exams. It got me to thinking about the sort of role model Kanye so well represents: Sensitive and unabashedly talented; relishing his position in an economy where women benefit briefly and peripherally from his attention; yet like Jay-Z overridingly obsessed with his fulfilment of the Provider role. Tribal; caught schizotically between bandit chief and aging chieftan.

I don’t see why I need a stylist

When I shop so much I can speak Italian

What kind of person does he sell to?

Me, apparently. Sometimes his schtick is too much, sometimes his indulgences are truly charming, like the glossy but hardly focus-grouped video for Champion.

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Also, started writing notes for a project, currently called Hock, for a simple lock-screensaver which allows limited access for self-naming users to cue up elements like songs, videos or photo albums selected with a limited browser; an integrated MC program essentially, designed for passive-display participatory entertainment at parties/events of all size. Skin your party, and allow users to show off their stuff and post publicly. Needs to be written as a pitch.

p

Also, this:

Now there’s a sex symbol for you. Compare Blogosphere and Radio 4 sex symbol Gail Trimble, the one-woman “intellectual blitzkrieg” who brought in more than two thirds of the total points for Corpus Christi, Oxford’s victorious University Challenge team in the final last night:

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Trimble, who has already turned down an offer to appear in a “tasteful shoot for NUTS magazine“, rightly observes that people wouldn’t make so much fuss about her appearance if she was male. All the same, my Starter for Ten.

Concomitant to my post about Professionals having to step carefully when engaging with non-pros using Social Networking (Or in fact any brand for whom ‘we’re creepy so you don’t have to be’ isn’t a core motive).

“Would you believe it, my brother received a Facebook message from Nuts yesterday morning saying ‘can we have your sister’s email address, we want her to do a tasteful shoot’,” the 26-year-old told BBC Breakfast.

“So of course he sent them an answer saying: ‘Seriously mate, would you give your sister’s contact details to Nuts?'”          -Guardian

how could you be so Doctor Evil

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phillipeTea ceremony practice yesterday morning, then scripting and magazine work and avoidance work. I bought some chalk and started using my windows as blackboards for Iland plotting, A Beautiful Mind-style, and now I can’t really see out. Not that there’s much to see in my dim construction-aesthetic zoned residential. Then to school to practice my new kanji regime and supervise an hour of child madness in the gym. Back for a dinner that can only be described as gelatinous, then economy-drinking with the fellows before we headed out for an electronica gig. We really don’t do that enough: talked about the odd frictionless art and storytelling of what will one day be known as The Simpsons’ Late Period. And movies, nerd pursuits of one kind or another, superheroes, tabletop gaming: even Todd revealed an in-depth knowledge of the Baldur’s Gate and KOTOR series.

Then out to Momochi to the site of one of my first reviews, Zepp!, for the Capsule gig. Back when I was there to review the childsafe, Hard Rock Cafe-sponsored Japan Tour of Motley Crue, the gig began promptly at the advertised hour and ended in time for the coiffed, pointy-booted crowd to catch the train home, like the least rock n’ roll thing since Brideshead Revisited. This time, however, it turned out that there was a huge grab-bag of anodyne, wall-of-sound DJs and Vjs on first, and the main event weren’t even on till one AM. Our pathetically lazy pre-drinking looked like superb planning, especially since the venue’s standing only.

Our opinion was unanimous: the singer from Capsule is ludicrously hot, though we couldn’t work out exactly why, any more than we could decide whether or not it was a wig.

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Maybe it’s just that she was obviously having a great time on stage: maybe it was her teeny frou-frou skirt or her bike lock gold chain, or the fact that she couldn’t really dance but really wanted to. All we knew was: Yes

Home at about six, then up in the morning to clear my email and then get to an entrepreneurship seminar at the Nishinippon Shimbun building, run by the City council and The Indus Entrepreneurs, which turned out to be the largest nonprofit entrepreneurs’ association in the world, started in the nineties to collect the India/Pakistani Silicon Valley heads together.

I had dressed like how I imagined Venture Capitalists dressed in an attempt to blend in, new-gonzo style: I was infiltrating the world of the high-flyer through my publication, even though I have little to no understanding of how markets work! Though, as my friend Emiko later pointed out, I immediately identified myself as one of The Enemy by my habit of playing ominously with a biro then absently inserting the pen behind my ear, and wearing it for the rest of the day. The pen like a gun, in the words of Seamus Heaney: careful what you say, he might make it public!

It all proved pretty pointless in any case: I was lucky enough to have ten minutes On Record with an Indian American self-made millionaire entrepreneur, web pioneer and philanthropist who looked exactly like your Dad: velcro shoes, tweed jacket, classic ’93 Casio calculator watch, ring of fans and meishi-holders hoping to catch a droplet of wisdom. In the late eighties his company developed and popularised TCP/IP, and hence he had a pretty pivotal part in the invention of the internet, but as a millionaire dork he still dressed pretty much like he would if he was just a regular dork. Sharp as a whip, and didn’t pull any punches on Japan’s failing to incentivise and mentorially stroke its potential entrepreneurs.

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Networked helplessly for a while: even if, with my suit as disguise, I was going to pass for a potential investor or other no-name confidant, I would invariably bring up the publication eventually in a vain attempt to make conversation or see a flicker of recognition in my opposite number.

Plus, let’s face it, everyone has heard of the magazine round here, and to those who haven’t it’s possible to make it sound more important than it is. And these days I can say with a straight face that I’m responsible for a large part of it. The Gay feature about The Gays (which had taken A LOT of work) headed the latest issue, and I had a text from K saying that he was surprised and pleased by it. I was already proud, if apprehensive, about how it turned out, but his endorsement was all the positive feed I needed. Hard to believe that I first interviewed him for the article, which turned into a two-hour office-closer, which turned into a drink, was probably only December. I’d have to look it up.

Then back to the office to start stallingly writing up the interview (tomorrow). My boss had talked me into coming, and left the questions and the byline largely to me, which I’m immensely grateful for. I’ve become very fond him, as I do of any of the few people who I’ve spent long periods of time trying to convince of something. I’ve taken to calling the poor man “chief”, in personal homage to Superman comics. Our Social Networking developments are taking off: next stop, podcast. “Can we pay you in laptops?” “I don’t see why not.”

Then a pint in the Half Penny, reading Zola, and dinner with Emiko to talk American literature and Japanese Cinema. I promised Emiko I’d go home and sleep: I have a lot to do tomorrow even before I meet her for a comics convention or soemthing.

Instead I started in on the beer and Wikipedia, and now I’m reading about the Irish diaspora and Shane McGowan’s dental problems, and watching the legendary 1987 Bones Brigade skate video The Search for Animal Chin (feat. haunted, anaemic 17-year-old vert ramp beanpole Tony Hawk), and listening to Flogging Molly, the latter two of which I think would mix up really well.

I have an idea for an experiment with Wikipedia, where you get five strangers and put them each in a room with a computer tuned to some innocuous control Wikipedia page with a lot of links, like say Photography or Superman, and you leave them alone for fifteen minutes and see where each one gets to within Wikipedia’s halls of madness. And how many of them are rapidly closing windows or looking faintly shamed when you walk  back in without knocking.

I don’t see why not

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