Open Thinkering


Weeknote 26/2023

Food and drinks at Khai Khai

Well here we are, halfway through the year! I’m composing this at lunchtime on Monday, as Hannah and I went away last night after our son’s debut for his new basketball team. They absolutely destroyed the other team in a friendly, and he scored a 3-pointer on the final buzzer, which was pretty special.

The reason we went away was ostensibly it being 21 years tomorrow since I proposed to her on Prince Edward Island in Canada. That was half a lifetime ago for both of us, and we have fond memories. It’s also two years tomorrow since her mum died, so there’s sadness mixed in there too.

The kids stayed with my parents for the first time in a year. Our son doesn’t really need babysitting as he’s 16, but it’s only fair that he goes along with our 12 year-old daughter. It seems they had a good time. Hannah and I certainly did, basically replicating what we did last time we went away: getting an upgrade at the Crowne Plaza and going for dinner and cocktails at Khai Khai.

Last week, my son started doing some work for WAO, ensuring that we have transcripts for all of our podcast episodes. He’s doing a good job so far. We’re recording another couple of episodes today for Season 7, with Laura currently releasing episodes of Season 6 we recorded over the last couple of months.

I started doing some user research for the around Member Learning group. We’re following-up on responses to a survey which asked people for their learning preferences, etc. so that we can create targeted, relevant offerings. In related news, I updated a consent form for Bonfire user research, taking into account Hannah’s feedback (she’s a user researcher for NHS England).

WEAll, one of our clients, decided against using Hylo after testing it in May. This was mainly based on our recommendation due to the lack of effective moderation tools. Now, they’re planning to test Discourse, which is a much better option. So John and I were scoping that out.

Anne’s still finishing off her dissertation and final year of uni work, but she’s rejoined us for a couple of days per week. This is good as she’s very organised (not that the rest of us aren’t!) and brings a different angle and energy to our work, particularly with Participate.

In other news, we’ve had more house viewings but no offers yet. Everyone’s expressed how lovely they think it is, but I guess the housing market is a little slow at the moment. I just hope we don’t miss out on the place we want to move to.

This week is the last one of a crazy few weeks of football trials for my daughter. She was offered a place at Sunderland’s ETC with the final trial for Newcastle’s ETC being on Friday. It’s her choice, but I’m keen for her to join the former as she’ll be mixed with girls a year up, and it’s a more established setup. She was in Newcastle’s ETC this last season, and if she’s offered a place and opts to stay there it’s no bad thing.

So this week I’ll be continuing with client work, doing a bit of business development for September, and considering whether to respond to UNESCO’s call for contributions r.e. the definition of algorithm literacy and data literacy. It’s a tight deadline, but Ian O’Byrne and Tom Salmon have expressed an interest in collaborating, so we’ll see. Ideally, I would have read Kate Crawford’s Atlas of AI this weekend, but… I didn’t.

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