For the past three weeks I’ve been on Black Ops, a better term than ‘digital hiatus’ to describe my being digitally incommunicado. It’s felt like longer, to be honest. I managed to stay off Twitter completely – the occasional, accidental, and hastily-deleted autopost from Amplify notwithstanding.
Email was a different story: although I had a ‘Black Ops’ autoresponder on my Gmail account, I had to use email for some of the following activities.
Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to:
Collated and published Best of Belshaw 2010 (freely downloadable or available for purchase in physical form at cost price)
Waited patiently for Hannah to give birth to our second child. She was due on the 28th December 2010, but still no sign. It’s the reason I’m not at the Learning Without Frontiers Conference today/tomorrow.
Bought a fair bit of new technological kit and sold older stuff on eBay.
Took my son, Ben, to the beach (to burn off excess sugar) almost every day.
Experimented with Quora and Licorizer, re-joined Facebook, and unfollowed 90% of people I was following on Twitter.
Lost all my iPhone contacts on Boxing Day whilst unjailbreaking my iPhone so I could upgrade to iOS 4.2.1 (text me your phone number if I had it before!)
Kicked off a stealth project with Andy Stewart which will culminate in a manifesto and small events this year, building (hopefully!) to a large event in 2015.
Wrote my first-ever journal article (it’s entitled Seven Types of Ambiguity and Digital Literacy)
Engaged in some consultancy which I may develop a bit more in 2011. I’ve come up with a Hierarchy of Understanding which I’m going to work on (and may even turn into a journal article) before sharing.
Played a whole lot on my Playstation 3, especially Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (the Vietnam expansion pack came out on my 30th birthday!)
More on the above over the next week or so. I may be sporadic given I’m both getting back into my digital routine and having to deal with the imminent arrival of a new baby. :-p
Well, typing, but we tend to look at the future through the rearview mirror (to slightly misquote Marshall McLuhan). I’m almost finished the draft of my JISC Mobile & Wireless Technologies Review. I’ll share it, of course, when it’s finished! (16,500 words and counting…)
Spending time with my Dad
He goes back to the UAE today, but it’s been good to have my Dad around for a week due to Second Eid.
Buying a Sony Vaio P Series
You know that stuff I sold via #twebay? I used it to fund an 8″ Sony Vaio P Series ultraportable. I found one for £350 on eBay with the extended battery and in immaculate condition. I love the fact that it’s got 3G and it’s lighter than an iPad yet has a keyboard that’s almost full-size. Tip: when deleting things ready for sale, remember to remove your media player history.:-p
Starting some consultancy work
Those who have read my blog for a while – certainly when I was working in schools – will know how I’ve railed against consultants in the past. The trouble was that I’d only come across the shiny-suited types, those that are parachuted in, say nothing much and then you never see again.
Working with consultants on JISC projects couldn’t be more different. They’re often the most dedicated, hard-working and passionate people you’ll ever meet. Which is why I’ve started doing some consulting for a consultant. If you think I might be able to help you in #uppingyourgame (in a productivity-related way or otherwise) click on the Work with Doug link.
Top 10 links I’ve shared this week
The following links were those most clicked on (according to bit.ly Pro‘s stats) when I shared them via Twitter this week. I don’t include links back to this blog and the numbers this week show that I haven’t been as active on there as usual due to writing #jiscmobilereview!
Links given with number of clicks given in brackets:
Having sold individual things sporadically via Twitter (usually after mentioning I was about to put them on eBay) and finding myself needing to raise funds for a rather magnificent Sony Vaio P series, I thought it was about time I developed a system. Enter #twebay.
(I hate the elision of ‘Twitter’ and ‘eBay’ as much as you, but it’s a convenient hypocrisy…)
Here’s what I did:
1. Set up and published a Google Doc and passed it through Bit.ly Pro to get http://dajb.eu/twebay. This includes my details (including avatar and photo), a rationale for selling, and details of the items.
2. Configured and tested a Google Form (via Google Docs) to collect information from those interested. I figured the important information was the person’s name, email address, bid amount and a box for any other details they wanted to give me.
3. Publicised it and asked for retweets.
4. Checked the spreadsheet attached to the Google Form at regular intervals and replied to those making bids.
I managed to sell 3 items within an hour with an additional one that I’d forgotten later in the week. These were all to people who I’ve known a while on Twitter but I’ve never met in person.
The advantages of this method?
No eBay/Paypal fees
Buyer knows it’s going to a good home, seller knows where it’s come from
Time spent listing items for sale is massively reduced
You need a fair number of followers to gain traction/interest
There’s no formal feedback system
There’s potential to damage existing relationships when money becomes involved