Things I Like To Do

As I have a smidgen of time up my invisible sleeve, I have decided to catalogue the things I really enjoy doing.

1.   Gardening -not in the by-the-book, must buy the latest hybrid seeds and hatch them kind of way. Just regular weeding and pruning and mowing. I am not a fan of hedging, because it hurts my wrists.

2.  Painting – again definitely not by the book or with some grand idea to produce something amazing. Just because I like colour. LOVE colour. I don’t get to wear much now I’m a heffer but I do love painting with it. I can’t imagine what it must be like to paint those big black canvases with a streak of grey or red. How boring. I love colour but at the same time can’t handle Ken Done… how unAustralian.

3. Tweeting – I do love twitter. Or I loved Twitter. I think I have to be more selective with those I choose to follow. For a while I followed those who were talking about social media. Now everyone is talking about it, even the local restaurant. And they tweet and retweet each other, over and over. No-one wishes to be in a room full of roosters and sometimes that is what twitter is like. Not tweets, but crows and squawks and who can out link everybody else. I still love twitter but for the quiet, for the humour, for the gentle sharing that is a true “tweet”.

4. Swimming – Something I simply do not do enough of. One day I want to do an ocean swim. I think I could train to do the distance but my vivid imagination would drag me into icy shark-infested, blue-bottle stuffed waters and I might be too afraid to make 5 mtres, let alone 5km.

5. #sydneymorningphoto – ok so this is twitter related, but basically it is my very good reason to get out of bed in the morning and watch the sunrise. I have to take a photo on my phone. In order to do this properly I have walk/run (wun) down to the beach and then of course back again before the kids get up. It is usually about 40minutes all up, and if I do it every day I can cross off my 30min of exercise a day without too much hassle. I hate getting up, I hate wunning, I love the photo snapping and then I hate the trip home. Overall though it is very worth it.

6. Cooking – I like to cook. I prefer though when what I cook is eaten. I like cooking with things from our garden. I like having the children in the kitchen with me, learning learning learning. I don’t like other people in my kitchen.

7. Writing – there is a lot of junk in my head. Writing is a good way to put it in a virtual soccerball and kick it into space.

8. Nails – love having the time to do my nails. I don’t have great nails, but generally if my nails are done that means I have achieved some time to myself and I have carefully and lovingly sorted their issues out.

9. Family – spending time with them, well obviously, but time that isn’t constrained and contorted into must-be-here-by-then-or-else. Just natural stress free family time. Like Tapas Saturdays and Sydney Weekender.

10. Grass – not smoking it, lying on it. I love lying on the grass and watching the sky. Prefer the grass to any chair. I can sit, I can lie, I can roll over and I can also say “woof”.

I think I’m quite a loyal creature at heart.

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A Facebook Future

In 2010, most still assumed that it was Google who were evil. Google were the ones snapshotting the Internet’s pages, taking pictures of our streets, copying books and basically accumulating the world’s largest database about humanity. To some extent they were right, Google were doing this – but perhaps for good rather than evil.

When Facebook first overtook Google as the number one online destination, people again assumed. They praised the rise of social networking and laughed at Google, who for all of their clever thinking could not engineer the simplicty and connectivity that was Facebook. With all of this laughter and sharing came a few cautionary tales about privacy and many louder voices proclaiming that this was the new way, the future way.

So society shared, published with abandon, pushed and pulled and liked and commented. We spilt ourselves freely across the Internet, happily letting our data flow from API to API, until we craved the next enablement. Facebook delivered, over and over and over again. Rival social networks were secretly being bought out by Facebook and its blue hands played puppet to the likes of RenRen, LinkedIn and so many others. This made online networking across countries, across corporations seamless. It was only a matter of time before all communication, was falling naturally into Facebook. Brands jumped first, then banks and schools then finally the brutal sway of governments who saw in Facebook, a huge hive full of the honey, they had been trying to extract from their citizens for years.

The record of the governments involved, has been locked under Facebook’s strict security protocol. We will never know which country chose to pay Facebook for access to data travelling through its network, but we do know, that it caught on. For the first time ever, governments could verify everything about an individual using a multitude of cross-referencing tools based on an individuals social network. But what these governments failed to perceive even in the year 2020, was that Facebook had become the government. The massive online community voted, it shopped, it serviced, it provided the funds to build roads and hospitals – all through the mechanics Facebook supplied.

Curation of the Internet was done by the technically saavy and what was cool was decided by those with the greatest influence online. Houses didn’t have to pass building approval by local council. They had to pass building approvals by the online dictators. Crowd-sourcing wasn’t out of hand, it was in the hands of a new generation who had allowed themselves to be governed by their social network. The honey the governments thought they were getting their hands on, turned out to stick to everything and they could not get clean of it.

Facebook, as the unnamed government, now ruled. Nobody gave Google much thought and Google had long since relinquished any claim to the Internet. Deep in the darkness of their datacentres however something very strong remains. Pictures of our disorganised streets, copies of every piece of uncurated rubbish we wrote, things we searched for and were interested in and snips of webpages baring starfield animation backgrounds. What was that about then? Google now holds our history. A powerful way to learn, a chance to evolve beyond the
Great Open Online Social Empire
we’ve become.

———————-

Interesting Reading

  1. Report: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy | Epicenter | Wired.com | http://bit.ly/bK44Da
  2. Facebook’s New Social Plugins: 50,000+ Websites in One Week | Mashable |  http://bit.ly/dAP0eA
  3. Facebook May Not Be Skynet, But It Is Getting Smarter and That’s Bad For Google | BusinessInsider | http://bit.ly/akOYmt
  4. Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative | Epicenter | Wired.com http://bit.ly/aBAIP3

School holidays

I have survived them! I think as this is my first set of official school holidays, as a mum, I’m entitled to feel a little proud. I did not pull out my hair and nothing was set on fire.

Except perhaps for one thing.

Recently I’ve found myself not working, and it wasn’t by choice necessarily. It was very convenient for me not to work at this time, when school was finishing for the term and my husband was jetting off to Japan for 10 days. Still, I resisted the idea that I should relax, consider this long service leave and smoke a cigar or two. Probably because I don’t smoke and relaxing is something you do when your work is done.. but my work here is not done. So I argued with myself about this, not working business and spent a good proportion of the day researching the Internet for well anything that would keep my brain ticking over. Meanwhile, my heart which was not engaged with any particular project, got a little bored and spied some feathers in a shoebox on my daughters desk. Aah feathers. Aah shoeboxes. Add a little glitter and some glue and some hand drawn characters and suddenly I was playing Mum – and not too bad at it either!

Let’s make fairy pancakes, let’s visit the city, let’s plant out a garden, let’s paint a picture, let’s play in the park…

Then in all this frenzy, in the creative rub of it all and in the shiny smiles of my children, my love some how was magnified. Is that possible? And under that magnification, something was set on fire… my heart. Which when you think about it, is really not something to get cross about.

The Job Hunt

The latest feedback I’ve received during my job hunt was interesting. I’d applied for my very first agency role having held client side roles for about ten years. Yeah I know it is odd to consider jumping the fence – but I do love my social media, and many client side roles are just not there yet, sadly. Anyway simply said, the feedback was that  – digital agencies can not accommodate mothers requiring flexible working arrangements, as the hours are too horrendous.

This has sat in my stomach bubbling away for the last few hours, and now it has to come out because it doesn’t belong inside of me. I believe that the blurring of work/life has happened. I don’t think we will ever go back to 9-5 desk bound employment. For the freedom to pick up my child from school when she needs me, I acknowledge I will get calls later at night, earlier in the morning and over my weekends and holidays.

Availability reigns supreme in the digital culture.

So if the hours in an agency are horrendous – does that mean employment there means chained to the desk from 7am-10pm? Or does it mean, you need to be available at whatever hour to fulfill the task? And if the task is digital – how far away from my desk can I be? 5mtrs? 50mtrs? Could I be in another country? The reality is, I could work from anywhere. The digital and communications industry have proactively delivered this capability to me, to all of us.

For this reason I find it hard to stomach that a digital agency could not accommodate flexible working hours. Perhaps it is my definition of what that would mean, or in the recruiters. Still it was interesting to learn, and I have indeed learnt and now I am moving ever so quietly forward with the hunt.