Look at all these beautiful faces!
I’ve not really done a big update for a while so this is likely to be long. If you can’t face the wall of text and who can right? Here’s the tl:dr version.
TL;DR I've been meeting people on the internet because of time and distance and money. This is a cheat but I'm framing it as Phase 3 and recording all of them so I can do something cool. I'm going to stop the project at 150. Also, I'm doing a show.
Man, even the TL;DR is TL;DR. Brevity is my enemy.
Okay, now the kids are away let’s luxuriate and indulge in my self indulgence.
Firstly, the photos. Some of them are of course the classic double selfie but I can tell you're suspicious of the others. Those ones that look like I've just pulled up somebodies profile pic and pretended they were talking to me like some delusional psycho.
I haven’t. All of those meetings are for real, albeit on Skype or Google Hangout. The reason is that I've gone international. As well as a handful of folk I missed on my tour, I have met people from America and Finland and France in the past month.
It is a cheat, and it does make for a slightly less pleasing photo montage but there is a benefit. Aside from the fact that when meeting people in person you rarely get the opening gambit of 'I think I might be naked, is that OK?' There is a reason I can justifiably call this PHASE 3 and act like this was my plan all along. VIDEO.
Whilst in London I met up with a number of fine people, many of whom were professioanlly involved in social media in various capacities. They understand the potential. When we talked about the project they got very excited and animated and said, 'Oh cool, so are you asking everyone a bunch of questions and comparing the answers? Have you asked them about how they use social media? How are you tracking the stats?' I had no answer other than a shrug and 'Not really, I've just been going out for drinks with people and talking.' They nodded and said, 'Oh OK, well that's cool too.'
They were being polite, I could tell they were disappointed, but I really hadn't thought it through that much. I just thought it'd be fun to meet everyone. I had no plan or agenda when I started this. Now that I'm at PHASE 3 though I have a chance to do all of those things. I can ask everyone the same questions and compare the answers, not just on paper, but in some kind of neat video montage.
I'm not showing any of that yet. I know, I know. First I write an update about my trip around the UK but don't go into detail of all the fun things, then I talk about video but don't actually post any video. Here is why: I’m doing a show.
As I reflected on my journey around the country I thought a lot about why I was doing this and what the outcome might be. I was hoping for some kind of epiphany but so far nothing has come. Unless the epiphany was that evening I sat in Leicester Square close to tears questioning my choices in life. Let’s hope not eh?
I have all this stuff though, all these people. What should I do with it beyond sporadic blog updates? Since I'm in the business of writing movies & TV it seemed like the obvious route to go, but I don't think the narrative would hold up. There's no real drama to it. Nevertheless it's a great story to tell and meander through and go off on tangents so I’m just going to tell it. A slide show, a presentation. You mean like Dave Gorman? YES I DO LETS FIGHT ABOUT IT.
And yes, I'll be stopping at 150 people. WTF? You have 264 followers!
OK OK, this bit is trickier. I’ve already said that 264 followers doesn’t equal 264 people. Cut out spam and businesses and shows and you’re immediately down to about 200. Then you cut out people who haven’t been active and you’re down to about 185. Then cut out people who are into the idea but don’t really want to take part, and people that I've messaged a few times but I've never received a response from, and the number dwindles even further.
I'm continually chasing folk, but it means that the finishing goal is always fluctuating, and I want a hard edit point so I can tell the story and 150 seems about right. Plus it's the Dunbar number (a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships) which is quite poetic.
This project has already rapidly become one of the grandest and delightful pieces of procrastination ever. I need an end goal. It's in sight.
If you’ve come this far you’re beautiful. If you like it, please do share it around, tell your friends. Pretty soon I'm going to have some rooms I need to fill with people.
Special thanks to: @martinpierre, @arfurrabbits, @w_muffinstuffer, @electricleo, @claudette_bp, @appetiteofdest, @ParkerFlowWow, @jamiemchale, @littleredrhino, @jameslawrenson, @steishere, @stiff, @timfountain, @sorrell, @ukdazs