Paul Cunnea, CIGS Chair is introducing the day noting that this is the 10th year of these events: we don’t have one every year but we thought we’d return to our Wizard of Oz theme.
On a practical note, Paul notes that if we have a fire alarm today we’d normally assemble outside St Giles Cathedral but as they are filming The Avengers today, we’ll be assemblingÂ elsewhere!
There is also a cupcake competition today – expect many baked goods to appear on the hashtag for the day #cigsweb2. The winner takes home a copy of Managing Metadata in Web-scale Discovery Systems / edited by Louise F Spiteri. London : Facet Publishing, 2016 (list price Â£55).
Engaging the crowd: old hands, modern minds. Evolving an on-line manuscript transcription project / Steve Rigden with Ines Byrne (not here today) (National Library of Scotland)
Ines has led the development of our crowdsourcing side. My role has been on the manuscripts side. Any transcription is about discovery. For the manuscripts team we have to prioritise digitisation so that we can deliver digital surrogates that enable access, and to open up access. Transcription hugely opens up texts but it is time consuming and that time may be better spent on other digitisation tasks.
OCR has issues but works relatively well for printed texts. Manuscripts are a different matter – handwriting, ink density, paper, all vary wildly. The REED(?) project is looking at what may be possible but until something better comes along we rely on human effort. Generally the manuscript team do not undertake manual transcription, but do so for special exhibitions or very high priority items. We also have the challenge that so much of our material is still under copyright so cannot be done remotely (but can be accessed on site). The expected user community generally can be expected to have the skill to read the manuscript – so a digital surrogate replicates that experience. That being said, new possibilities shape expectations. So we need to explore possibilities for transcription – and that’s where crowd sourcing comes in.
Crowd sourcing can resolve transcription, but issues with copyright and data protection still have to be resolved. It has taken time to select suitable candidates for transcription. In developing this transcription project we looked to other projects – like Transcribe Bentham which was highly specialised, through to projects with much broader audiences. We also looked at transcription undertaken for the John Murray Archive, aimed at non specialists.
The selection criteria we decided upon was for:
Hands that are not too troublesome.
Manuscripts that have not been re-worked excessively with scoring through, corrections and additions.
Documents that are structurally simple – no tables or columns for example where more complex mark-up (tagging) would be required.
Subject areas with broad appeal: genealogies, recipe book (in the old crafts of all kinds sense), mountaineering.
Based on our previous John Murray Archive work we also want the crowd to provide us with structure text, so that it can be easily used, by tagging the text. That’s an approach that is borrowed from Transcribe Bentham, but we want our community to be self-correcting rather than doing QA of everything going through. If something is marked as finalised and completed, it will be released with the tool to a wider public – otherwise it is only available within the tool.
The approach could be summed up as keep it simple – and that requires feedback to ensure it really is simple (something we did through a survey). We did user testing on our tool, it particularly confirmed that users just want to go in, use it, and make it intuitive – that’s a problem with transcription and mark up so there are challenges in making that usable. We have a great team who are creative and have come up with solutions for us… But meanwhile other project have emerged. If the REED project is successful in getting machines to read manuscripts then perhaps these tools will become redundant. Right now there is nothing out there or in scope for transcribing manuscripts at scale.
You have to login to use the system. That’s mainly to help restrict the appeal to potential malicious or erroneous data. Once you log into the tool you can browse manuscripts, you can also filter by the completeness of the transcription, the grade of the transcription – we ummed and ahhed about including that but we though it was important to include.
Once you pick a text you click the button to begin transcribing – you can enter text, special characters, etc. You can indicate if text is above/below the line. You can mark up where the figure is. You can tag whether the text is not in English. You can mark up gaps. You can mark that an area is a table. And you can also insert special characters.Â It’s all quite straight forward.
Q1) Do you pick the transcribers, or do they pick you?
A1) Anyone can take part but they have to sign up. And they can indicate a query – which comes to our team. We do want to engage with people… As the project evolves we are looking at the resources required to monitor the tool.
Q2) It’s interesting what you were saying about copyright…
A2) The issues of copyright here is about sharing off site. A lot of our manuscripts are unpublished. We use exceptions such as the 1956 Copyright Act for old works whose authors had died. The selection process has been difficult, working out what can go in there. We’ve also cheated a wee bit
Q3) What has the uptake of this been like?
A3) The tool is not yet live. We thin it will build quite quickly – people like a challenge. Transcription is quite addictive.
Q4) Are there enough people with palaeography skills?
A4) I think that most of the content is C19th, where handwriting is the main challenge. For much older materials we’d hit that concern and would need to think about how best to do that.
Q5) You are creating these documents that people are reading. What is your plan for archiving these.
A5) We do have a colleague considering and looking at digital preservation – longer term storage being more the challenge. As part of normal digital preservation scheme.
Q6) Are you going for a Project Gutenberg model? Or have you spoken to them?
A6) It’s all very localised right now, just seeing what happens and what uptake looks like.
Q7) How will this move back into the catalogue?
A7) Totally manual for now. It has been the source of discussion. There was discussion of pushing things through automatically once transcribed to a particular level but we are quite cautious and we want to see what the results start to look like.
Q8) What about tagging with TEI? Is this tool a subset of that?
A8) There was a John Murray Archive, including mark up and tagging. There was a handbook for that. TEI is huge but there is also TEI Light – the JMA used a subset of the latter. I would say this approach – that subset of TEI Light – is essentially TEI Very Light.
Q9) Have other places used similar approaches?
A9) TRanscribe Bentham is similar in terms of tagging. The University of Iowa Civil War Archive has also had a similar transcription and tagging approach.
Q10) The metadata behind this – how significant is that work?
A10) We have basic metadata for these. We have items in our digital object database and simple metadata goes in there – we don’t replicate the catalogue record but ensure it is identifiable, log date of creation, etc. And this transcription tool is intentionally very basic at th emoment.
Coming up later…
Can web archiving the Olympics be an international team effort? Running the Rio Olympics and Paralympics project / Helena Byrne (British Library)
Managing metadata from the present will be explored by Helena Byrne from the British Library, as she describes the global co-ordination of metadata required for harvesting websites for the 2016 Olympics, as part of the International Internet Preservation Consortiumâ€™s Rio 2016 web archiving project
Statistical Accounts of Scotland / Vivienne Mayo (EDINA)
Vivienne Mayo from EDINA describes how information from the past has found a new lease of life in the recently re-launched Statistical Accounts of Scotland
Beyond bibliographic description: emotional metadata on YouTube / Diane Pennington (University of Strathclyde)
Diane Pennington of Strathclyde University will move beyond the bounds of bibliographic description as she discusses her research about emotions shared by music fans online and how they might be used as metadata for new approaches to search and retrieval
Our 5Rights: digital rights of children and young people / Dev Kornish, Dan Dickson, Bethany Wilson (5Rights Youth Commission)
Young Scot, Scottish Government and 5Rights introduce Scotland’s 5Rights Youth Commission – a diverse group of young people passionate about their digital rights. We will hear from Dan and Bethany what their ‘5Rights’ mean to them, and how children and young people can be empowered to access technology, knowledgeably, and fearlessly.
Playing with metadata / Gavin Willshaw and Scott Renton (University of Edinburgh)
Learn about Edinburgh University Libraryâ€™s metadata games platform, a crowdsourcing initiative which has improved descriptive metadata and become a vital engagement tool both within and beyond the library. Hear how they have developed their games in collaboration with Tiltfactor, a Dartmouth College-based research group which explores game design for social change, and learn what theyâ€™re doing with crowd-sourced data. There may even be time for you to set a new high scoreâ€¦
Managing your Digital Footprint : Taking control of the metadata and tracks and traces that define us online / Nicola Osborne (EDINA)
Find out how personal metadata, social media posts, and online activity make up an individual’s “Digital Footprint”, why they matter, and hear some advice on how to better manage digital tracks and traces. Nicola will draw on recent University of Edinburgh research on students’ digital footprints which is also the subject of the new #DFMOOC free online course.
Sticking with the game theme, we will be running a small competition on the day, involving cupcakes, book tokens and tweets â€“ come to the event to find out more! You may be lucky enough to win a copy of Managing Metadata in Web-scale Discovery Systems / edited by Louise F Spiteri. London : Facet Publishing, 2016 â€“ list price Â£55! What more could you ask for as a prize?
The ticket price includes refreshments and a light buffet lunch.
This summer I will be co-chairing, withÂ Stefania Manca (from The Institute of Educational Technology of the National Research Council of Italy) “Social Media in Education”, a Mini Track of the European Conference on Social Median (#ECSM17) in Vilnius, Lithuania. As theÂ call for papersÂ has been out for a while (deadline for abstracts: 12th DecemberÂ 2016) I wanted to remind and encourage you to consider submitting to the conference and, particularly, for our Mini Track, which we hope will highlight exciting social media and education research.
An expanding amount of social media content is generated every day, yet organisations are facing increasing difficulties in both collecting and analysing the content related to their operations. This mini track on Big Social Data Analytics aims to explore the models, methods and tools that help organisations in gaining actionable insight from social media content and turning that to business or other value. The mini track also welcomes papers addressing the Big Social Data Analytics challenges, such as, security, privacy and ethical issues related to social media content. The mini track is an important part of ECSM 2017 dealing with all aspects of social media and big data analytics.
Topics of the mini track include but are not limited to:
Reflective and conceptual studies of social media for teaching and scholarly purposes in higher education.
Innovative experience or research around social media and the future university.
Issues of social media identity and engagement in higher education, e.g: digital footprints of staff, students or organisations; professional and scholarly communications; and engagement with academia and wider audiences.
Social media as a facilitator of changing relationships between formal and informal learning in higher education.
The role of hidden media and backchannels (e.g. SnapChat and YikYak) in teaching, learning.
I would also encourage anyone working in social mediaÂ to consider applying for theÂ Social Media in Practice Excellence Awards, which ECSM is hosting this year. The competition will be showcasingÂ innovative social media applications in business and the public sector, and they are particularly looking for ways in which academia have been working with business around social media. You can read more – and apply to the competitionÂ (deadline for entries: 17th January 2017)- here.
TEDxYouth@Manchester is in itâ€™s 8th year, and is based at Fallibroome Academy, a secondary school with a specialism in performing arts (see, for instance, their elaborate and impressive trailer videoÂ for the school). And Fallibroome was apparently the first school in the world to host a TEDxYouth event. Like other TEDx events the schedule mixes invited talks, talks from youth speakers, and recorded items â€“ in todayâ€™s case that included a TED talk, a range of short films, music videos and a quite amazing set of videos of primary school kids responding to questions on identity (beautifully editedÂ by the FallibroomeÂ team and featuring children from schools in the area).
In my own talk â€“ the second of the day â€“ I asked the audience to consider the question of what their digital footprints say about them. And what they want them to say about them. My intention was to trigger reflection and thought, to make the audience in the room – and on the livestream – think about what they share, what they share about others and,hopefully, what else they do online â€“ their privacy settings, their choices..
My fellow invited speakers were a lovely and diverse bunch:
Kat Arney, a geneticist, science writer, musician, and author. She was there to talk about identity from a genetic perspective, drawing on her fantastic new book â€œHerding Hemingwayâ€™s Catsâ€� (my bedtime reading this week). Katâ€™s main message â€“ a really important one – is that genes donâ€™t predetermine your identity, and that any understanding of there being a â€œGene forâ€¦ xâ€�, i.e. the “Gene for Cancer”, a “Gay Gene”, a gene for whateverâ€¦ is misleading at best. Things are much more complicated and unpredictable than that. As part of her talk she spoke about gene â€œwobblesâ€� – a new concept to me –Â which describesÂ the unexpected and rule-defying behaviour of genes in the real world vs our expectations based on the theory, drawing on work on nematode worms. It was a really interesting start to the day and I highly recommend checking out both Katâ€™s book, and the The Naked Scientists’ Naked Gentics podcast.
Ben Smith, spoke about his own very personal story and how that led to the 401 Challenge, in which he ran 401 marathons in 401 days. Ben spoke brilliantly and bravely on his experience of bullying, of struggling with his sexuality, and the personal crises and suicide attempts that led to him finding his own sense of self and identity, and happiness, through his passion for running in his late 20s/early 30s. Ben’sÂ talk was even more powerful as it was preceded by an extraordinary video (see below) of the poem â€œTo This Dayâ€� by performance poet Shane Koyczan on the impact of bullying and the strength in overcoming it.
VV Brown, singer, songwriter, producer and ethical fashion entrepreneur, gave a lovely presentation on identity and black hair. She gave a personal and serious take on issues of identity and appropriation which have been explored (from another angle) inÂ Chris Rockâ€™s Good Hair (2009). As well as the rich culture of black hairdressing and hugely problematic nature of hair relaxants, weaves, and hair care regimes (including some extreme acids) that are focused on pressuring black women to meet an unobtainable and undesirable white hair ideal. She also spoke from her experience of the modelling industry and it’s incapability of dealing with black hair, whilst simultaneously happily engaging inÂ cultural appropriation, braiding corn rows into whiteÂ celebrities hair. V.V. followed up her talk with a live performance, of “Shift” (see video below), a song which she explained was inspired by the gay rights movement, and particularly black gay men in New York expressing themselves and their sexuality.
The final invited speaker was Ben Garrod, a Teaching Fellow in evolutionary biology at Anglia Ruskin University as well as aÂ science communicator and broadcaster who has worked with David Attenborough and is on the Board of Trustees for theÂ Jane Goodall Institute. Ben spoke about the power of the individual in a community, bringing in the idea of identity amongst animals, that the uniqueness of the chimps he worked with as part of Jane Goodallâ€™s team. He also had us all join in a Pant-hoot – an escalating group chimp call, to illustrate the power of both the individual and the community.
In amongst the speakers were a range of videos –Â lovely selections thatÂ I gather (and believe) aÂ student team spent months selecting from a huge amount of TED content. However, the main strand of the programme were a group of student presentations and performancesÂ which were quite extraordinary.
Highlights for me included Imogen Walsh, who spoke about the fluidity of gender and explained the importance of choice, the many forms of non-binary or genderqueer identity, the use of pronouns like they and Mx and the importance of not singling people out, or questioning them,Â for buying non gender-conforming, their choice of bathroom, etc. Because, well, why is it anyone else’s business?
Sophie Baxter talked about being a gay teen witnessing the global response to the Pulse nightclub shootingÂ and the fear and reassurance that wider public response to this had provided. She also highlighted the importance of having an LGBT community since for most LGBT young people their own immediate biological/adoptive familyÂ may not, no matter how supportive, have aÂ shared experience to draw upon, to understand challenges or concerns faced.
Maddie Travers and Nina Holland-Jones described a visit to Auschwitz (they had actually landed the night before the event) reflecting on what that experience of visiting the site hadÂ meant to them, and what it said about identity. They particularly focused onÂ the pain and horror of stripping individual identity, treating camp prisonersÂ (and victims) as a group that denied their individuality at the same time as privileging some individualsÂ for special skills and contributions that extended their life and made them useful to the Nazi regime.
Sam Amey, Nicola Smith and Ellena Wilson talked about attending the London International Youth Science Festival studentÂ science conference, of seeing inspiring new science and the excitement of that â€“ watching as a real geek and science fan it was lovely to see their enthusiasm and to hear them state that they â€œidentify as scientistsâ€� (that phrasing a recurrent theme and seems to be the 2016 way for youth to define themselves I think).
Meanwhile performances included an absolutely haunting violin piece, Nigun by Bloch, performed by Ewan Kilpatrick (see a video of his playing here). As brilliant as Ewan’s playingÂ was, musically the show was stolen by two precocious young composers, both of whom had the confidence of successful 40 year olds at the peak of their career, backed up byÂ musical skills that made that confidence seemÂ entirely appropriatelyÂ founded. Ignacio Mana Mesas described his composition process and showed some of his film score (and acting) work, before playing a piece of his own composition; Tammas Slater (you can hear his prize winning work in this BBC Radio 3 clip) meanwhile showed some unexpected comicÂ sparkle, showing off his skills before creating a composition in real time! And the eventÂ finished with a lively and charming set of tracks performed by school alumnae and up and coming band Cassia.
All ofÂ the youth contributions were incredible.Â The enthusiasm, competence and confidence of these kids – and of their peers who respectfully engaged and listened throughout the day â€“ was heartening. The future seems pretty safe ifÂ this is what the future is looking like – a very lovely thing to be reminded in these strange political times.
Preparing a TEDx talk – a rather different speaking proposition
For me the invitation to giveÂ aÂ TEDx talk was really exciting. I have mixed feelings about the brilliantly engaging but often too slick TED format, at the same time as recognising the power that the brand and reputation for the high quality speakersÂ can have.
I regularly give talks and presentations, but distilling ideas of digital identity into 14 minutes whilst keeping themÂ clear, engaging, meeting the speaker rulesÂ felt challenging.Â Doing thatÂ in a way that wouldÂ have some sort of longevity seemed like a tougher ask as things move quickly in internet research, in social media, and in social practices online, so I wanted to make sure my talk focused on those aspects of our work that areÂ solid and long-lived concepts – ideas that would have usefulness even if Facebook disappeared tomorrow (who knows, fake news may just make that a possibility), or SnapChat immediately lost all interest, or some new game-changing spaceÂ appears tomorrow. This issue of being timely but not immediately out of date is also somethingÂ we face in creating Digital Footprint MOOC content at the moment.
As an intellectual challenge developing my TEDx talkÂ was useful for finding another way to think about myÂ own presentation and writing skills, in much the same way that taking on theÂ 8 minute format of Bright Club has been, or theÂ 50 ish minute format of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, or indeedÂ teachingÂ 2+ hour seminars for the MSc in Science Communication & Public Engagement for the three years I led a module on that programme. It is alwaysÂ useful to rethink your topic, to think about fitting a totally different dynamic or house style, and to imagine a different audience and their needs and interests. In this case the audience was 16-18 year olds, who are a little younger than my usual audience,Â but who I felt sure would have lots of interest in my topic, and plenty ofÂ questions to askÂ (as there were in the separateÂ panel event later in the dayÂ at Fallibroome).
There are some particular curiosities about the TED/TEDx format versus other speaking and presentationsÂ and I thought Iâ€™d share some key things I spent time thinking about. You never know, if you find yourself invited toÂ do a TEDx (or if you are very high flying, a TED)Â these should help a wee bit:
Managing the format
Because I have mixedÂ feelings about the TED format, since it can be brilliant, but also too easy to parody (as in this brilliant faux talk), I was veryÂ aware of wanting to live up to the invitation and the expectations for this event, without giving a talk that wouldnâ€™t meet my own personal speaking style orÂ presentation tastes. I think I did manage that in the endÂ but it required some watching of former videos to get my head around what I both did and did not want to do. That included looking back at previousÂ TEDxYouth@Manchester events (to get a sense of space, scale, speaker set up and local expectations), as well as wider TED videos.
I did read the TED/TEDx speaker guidance and largely followed it although, since I do a lot of talks and know what works for me, I chose to write and create slides in parallel with the visuals helping me develop my story (rather than writing first, then doing slides as the guidance suggests). I also didn’t practice my talk nearly as often as either the TED instructions or the local organisers suggest – not out of arrogance but knowing that practicing a few times to myself works well, practising a lot gets me bored of the content and sets up unhelpful memorisations of errors, developing ideas, etc.
I do hugely appreciate that TED/TEDx insist on copyright cleared images. My slidesÂ were mostly images I had taken myself but I found a lovely image of yarn under CC-BY on Flickr which was included (and credited) too. Although as I began work on the talk I did start by thinking hard about whether or not to use slidesâ€¦ TED is a format associated with innovative slides (they were the original cheerleaders for Prezi), but at the same time the fact that talks are videoed means much of the power comes from close ups of the speaker, of capturing the connection between speaker and theÂ live audience, and of building connection with the livestream and video audience. With all of that in mind I wanted to keep my slides simple, lively, and rather stylish. I think I managed that but see what you think ofÂ my slides [PDF].
Normally when I write a talk, presentation, workshop, etc. I think about tailoring the content to the context and to my audience. I find that is a key part ofÂ ensuring IÂ meet myÂ audience’s needs, but it also makes the talk looks, well, kind of cute and clever.Â Tailoring a talk for a particular moment in time, a specific event or day, and a particular audience means youÂ can make timely and specific references, you can connect to talks and content elsewhere in the day, you can adapt and adlib to meet the interests and mood that you see, and you can show you have understood the context of your audience. Essentially all that tailoring helps you connect more immediately and builds a real bond.
But for TEDxÂ is the audience the 500+ people in the room? Our audience on WednesdayÂ were mainly between 16 and 18, but there were other audience members who had been invited or just signed up to attend (you can find all upcoming TEDx events on their website and most offer tickets for those that are interested). It was a packed venue, butÂ they are probably the smallest audience who will see myÂ performance…
The video being during the event captured goes on the TEDxYouth@Manchester 2016Â Playlist on theÂ TEDxYouthÂ YouTube channel and on theÂ TEDx YouTube channel. All of the videos are also submitted to TED so, if your video looks great to the folk Â there you could also end up featured on the core TED website, with much wider visibility. Now, I certainlyÂ wouldnâ€™t suggest I am counting on having a huge global audience, but those channels all attract a much wider audience than was sitting in the hall. So, where do you pitch the talk?
For my talk I decided to strike a balance between issues that are most pertinent to developing identity, to managing challenges that we know from our research are particularly relevant and difficultÂ for young people – ad which these students may face now or when they go to university. But I also pitched the talk to have relevanceÂ more widely, focusing less on cyber bullying, or teen dynamics, and more about changing contexts and the control one can choose to take of ones own digital footprint and social media content, something particularly pertinent to young people but relevant to us all.
When Is it for?
Just asÂ streaming distorts your sense of audience, it also challenges time. The livestream is watching on the day â€“ that’s easy. But the recorded video could stick around for years, and will have a lifespan long beyond the day. With my fast moving area that was a challenge â€“ do I make my talk timely or do I make it general? What points of connection and moments of humour are potentially missed by giving that talk a longer lifespan? I was giving a talk just after Trump’s election and in the midst of the social media bubble discussion – there are easy jokes there, things to bring my audience on board – but they might distance viewers at another time, and date rapidly. And maybe those references wouldn’t be universal enough for a wider audience beyond the UK…
In the end I tried to againÂ balance general and specific advice. But I did that knowing that many of those in the physical audience would also be attending a separate panel event later in the day which wouldÂ allow many more opportunities to talk about very contemporary questions, and to address sensitive questions that might (and did) arise. In factÂ in that panel session we took questions onÂ mental health, about how parental postings and video (including some of those made for this event) might impact on their child’sÂ digital footprint, and on whether not being on social media was a disadvantage in life. Those at the panel sessionÂ also weren’t being streamed or captured in any way, whichÂ allowed for frank discussionÂ building on an intense and complex day.
Whatâ€™s the main take away?
The thing that took me the longest time was thinking about the “take away” I wanted to leave the audience with. That was partly because I wanted my talk to have impact, to feel energising and hopefully somewhat inspiring, but also because the whole idea of TED is â€œIdeas worth sharingâ€�, which means a TED(x) talk has to have at its core a real idea, something specific and memorable to take from those 14 minutes, something that has impact.
I did have to think of a title far in advance of the event and settled on “What do you digital footprints say about you?”. I picked that as it brought together some of my #CODI16 show’s ideas, and some of the questions I knew I wanted to raise in my talk. But what would I do with that idea? I could have taken the Digital Footprint thing in a more specific direction â€“ something I might do in a longer workshop or training session – picking on particularly poor or good practices and zoning in on good or bad posts. But that isnâ€™t big picture stuff. IÂ had to think about analogy, about examples, about getting the audience to understand the longevity of impact a social media post might haveâ€¦
After a lot of thinking, testing out of ideas in conversation with my partner and some of my colleagues, I had some vague concepts and then I found my best ideas came â€“ contrary to the TED guidance – from trying to select images to help me form my narrative. An image I had taken at Edinburgh’sÂ Hidden Door Festival earlier this year of an artwork created from a web of strung yarn proved the perfect visual analogy for the complexity involved in taking back an unintended, regretted, or ill-thought-through social media post. It’s an idea I have explained before but actually trying to think about getting the idea across quickly inÂ 1 minute of my 14 minute talk really helped me identify that image as vivid effectiveÂ shorthand. And from that I found my preceding image and, from that, the flow and the look and feel of theÂ story I wanted to tell. Itâ€™s not always the obvious (or simple) things that get you to aÂ place of simplicity and clarity.
Finally I went back to my title and thought about whether my talk did speak to that idea, what else I should raise, and how I would really get my audience to feel engaged and ready to listen, and to really reflect on their own practice, quickly. In the end I settled on a single slide with that title, that question, at it’s heart. I made that the first stepping stone on my path through the talk, building in a pause that was intended to get the audience listening and thinking about their own digital identity. You’d have to ask the audience whether that worked or not but the quality of questions and comments later in the day certainly suggested they had taken in some of what I said and asked.
As a speaker there are some logistical aspects that are easy to deal with once you’ve done it a first time: travel, accommodation,Â etc. There are venue details that you either ask about – filming, photography, mics, etc. or you can find out in advance. Looking at previous years’ videos helped a lot: I would get a screen behind me for slides, there would be a set (build by students no less) and clear speaker zone on stage (the infamous red carpet/dot), I’d have a head mic (a first for me, but essentially a glamorous radio mic, which I am used to) and there would be a remote for my slides. It also looked likely I’d have a clock counting down although, in the end, that wasn’t working during my talk (a reminder, again, that I need a new watch with classic stand up comedy/speaker-friendly vibrating alarm). On the day there was a sound check (very helpful) and also an extremely professional and exceptionally helpful team of technicians – staff, students and Siemens interns – to get us wired up and recorded. The organisers also gave us plenty of advance notice of filming and photography.
IÂ have been on the periphery of TEDx eventsÂ before: Edinburgh University has held several events and I know how much work has gone into these; I attended a TEDxGlasgow hosted by STV a few years back and, again, was struck buy the organisation required. For TEDxYouth@Manchester I was invited to speak earlier in the year â€“ late August/early September – so I had several months to prepare. The organisers tellÂ me thatÂ sometimes they invite speakers as much as 6 to 12 months ahead of the event â€“ as soon as the event finishes their team beginÂ their search for next yearsâ€™s invitees…
As the organisingÂ team spend all year planningÂ a slick event â€“ and Fallibroome Academy really did do an incredibly well organised and slick job â€“ they expect slick and well organised speakers. I thinkÂ all of us invited speakers, each of us with a lot of experience of talks and performance,Â experienced more coordination, more contact and more clarity on expectation, format, etc. than at any previous speaking event.
That level of detail isÂ always useful as a a speaker but it can also be intimidating â€“ although that is useful for focusing your thoughts too. There were conference calls in September and October to share developing presentation thoughts, to finalise titles, and to hear a little about each others talks.Â That last aspect was very helpful â€“ I knew little of the detail of the other talks until the event itself, but I had a broadÂ idea of the topic and angle of each speaker which meant IÂ could ensure minimal overlap, and maximum impact as IÂ understood how my talk fitted in to the wider context.
All credit to Peter Rubery and the Fallibroome team for their workÂ here.Â They curated a brilliant selection of videos and some phenomenal live performances and short talks from students to create a coherent programme with appropriate and clever segues that added to the power of the presentations, the talks, and took us on something of a powerful emotional rollercoaster. All of us invited speakers felt it was a speaking engagement like weâ€™d never had before and it really was an intense and impactful day. And, as Ben G said, for some students the talks they gave today will be life changing, sharing something very personally on a pretty high profile stage, owning their personal experience and reflections in a really empowering way.
In conclusion then, this was really a wonderful experience and a usefully challenging format to work in. I will update this post with the videos of the talks as soon as they are available – you can then judge for yourself how I did. However, if you get the chance to take part in a TEDx event, particularly a TEDxYouth event I would recommend it. I would also encourage you to keep an eye on the TEDxYouth@Manchester YouTube channel for those exceptional student presentations!
During that University of Edinburgh-wide research and parallel awareness-raising campaign we (my colleague – and Digital Footprint research project PI – Louise Connelly of IAD/Vet School, myself, andÂ colleagues across the University)Â soughtÂ to inform students of the importance of digital tracks and traces in general, particularly around employment and “eProfessionalism”. This included best practice advice around use of social media, personal safety and information security choices, and thoughtful approaches to digital identity and online presences. Throughout the project we were approached by organisations outside of the University for similar training, advice, and consulting around social media best practices and that is how the idea for thisÂ pilot service began to take shape.
These have been really interesting opportunities and I’m excited to see how this work progresses. If you do have an interest in social media best practice, including advice for your organisation’s social media practice, developing your online profile, or managingÂ your digital footprint, please do get in touch and/or pass on my contact details. I am in the process of writing up the pilot and lookingÂ at ways myself and my colleagues can share our expertise and advice in this area.
And, moreÂ exciting news: my lovely colleague Louise Connelly (University of Edinburgh Vet School) and I have been developing a Digital Footprint MOOC which will go live later this year. The MOOC will complement our ongoing University of Edinburgh service (run by IAD) and external consultancy word (led by us in EDINA) and You can find out much more about that in this poster, presented at the European Conference on Social Media 2016, earlier this month…
Alternatively, you could join me for my Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas 2016 show….
The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas runs throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival but every performance is different! Each day academics and researchers share their work by proposing a dangerous idea, a provocative question, or a challenge, and the audience are invited to respond, discuss, ask difficult questions, etc. It’s a really fun show to see and to be part of – I’ve now been fortunate enough to be involved each year since it started in 2013. You can see a short video on #codi2016 here:
In this year’s show I’ll be talking about some of those core ideas around managing your digital footprint, understanding your online tracks and traces, and reflecting on the type of identity you want to portray online.Â You can find out more about myÂ show, If I Googled You What Would I Find, in my recent “25 Days of CODI” blog post:
You’ll also find a short promo film for the series of data, identity, and surveillance shows atÂ #codi2016 here:
So… A very busy summer of social media, digital footprints, and exciting new opportunities. Do look out for more news on the MOOC, the YikYak work and the Digital Footprint Training and Consultancy service over the coming weeks and months. And, if you are in Edinburgh this summer, I hope to see you on the 21st at the Stand in the Square!
After 6 years of being Repository Fringe‘s resident live blogger this was the first year that I haven’t been part of the organisation or amplification in any official capacity. From what I’ve seen though my colleagues from EDINA, University of Edinburgh Library, and the DCC did an awesome job of putting together a really interesting programme for the 2016 edition ofÂ RepoFringe, attracting a big and diverse audience.
Whilst I was mainly participating through reading the tweets to #rfringe16,Â I couldn’t quite keep away!
Pauline Ward at Repository Fringe 2016
This year’s chair, Pauline Ward, asked me to be part of the Unleashing Data session on Tuesday 2nd August. The session was a “World Cafe” formatÂ and I was asked to help facilitate discussion around the question:Â “How can the respository community use crowd-sourcing (e.g. Citizen Science) to engage the public in reuse of data?” – so I was along wearing my COBWEB: Citizen Observatory WebÂ andÂ social media hats. My session also benefited from what I gather was an excellent talk on “The Social Life of Data” earlier in the event from the Erinma Ochu (who, although I missed her this time, is always involved in really interesting projects including several fabÂ citizen science initiatives).
I won’t attempt to reflect onÂ all of the discussions during the Unleashing Data Session here – I know that Pauline will be reporting back from the session to Repository Fringe 2016 participants shortly – but I thought I would share a few pictures of our notes, capturing some of the ideas and discussions that came out of the various groups visiting this question throughout the session. Click the image to view a larger version.Â Questions or clarifications are welcome – just leave me a comment here on the blog.
If you are interested in finding out more about crowd sourcing and citizen science in general then there are a couple of resources that made be helpfulÂ (plus many more resources and articles if you leave a comment/drop me an email with your particular interests).
After the Unleashing Data session I was also able to stick around for Stuart Lewis’ closing keynote. Stuart has been working at Edinburgh University since 2012 but is moving on soon to the National Library of Scotland so this was a lovely chance to get some of his reflections and predictionsÂ as he prepares to make that move. And to include quite a lot of fun references to The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 Â¾. (Before his talk Stuart had also snuck some boxes of sweets under some of the tables around the room – a popularity tactic I’m noting for future talks!)
So, my liveblog notes from Stuart’s talk (slightly tidied up but corrections are, of course, welcomed) follow. Because old Repofringe live blogging habits are hard to kick!
The Secret Diary of a Repository aged 13 Â¾ – Stuart Lewis
Iâ€™m going to talk about our bread and butter â€“ the institutional repositoryâ€¦ Now my inspiration is Adrian Moleâ€¦ Why? Well we have a bunch of teenage repositoriesâ€¦ EPrints is 15 1/2; Fedora is 13 Â½; DSpace is 13 Â¾.
Now Adrian Mole is a teenager â€“ you can read about him on WikipediaÂ [note to fellow Wikipedia contributors: this, and most of the other Adrian Mole-related pages could use some major work!]. You see him quoted in two conferences to my amazement! And there are also some Scotland and Edinburgh entries in there tooâ€¦ Brought a haggisâ€¦ Goes to Glasgow at 11amâ€¦ and says he encounters 27 drunks in one hourâ€¦
Stuart Lewis illustrates the teenage birth dates of three of the major repository softwares as captured in (perhaps less well-aged) pop hits of the day.
So, I have four points to make about how repositories are like/unlike teenagersâ€¦
The thing about teenagersâ€¦ People complain about themâ€¦ They can be expensive, they can be awkward, they arenâ€™t always self awareâ€¦ Eventually though they usually become useful members of society. So, is that true of repositories? Well ERA, one of our repositories has gotten bigger and bigger â€“ over 18k itemsâ€¦ and over 10k paper thesis currently being digitizedâ€¦
Now teenagers also start to look aroundâ€¦ Pandora!
Iâ€™m going to call Pandora the CRISâ€¦ And weâ€™ve all kind of overlooked their commercial background because we are in love with themâ€¦!
Stuart Lewis captures the eternal optimism – both around Mole’s love of Pandora, and our love of the (commercial) CRIS.
Now, we have PURE at Edinburgh which also powers Edinburgh Research Explorer. When you looked at repositories a few years ago, it was a bit like Freshers Weekâ€¦ The three questions were: where are you from; what repository platform do you use; how many items do you have? But thatâ€™s moved on. We now have around 80% of our outputs in the repository within the REF compliance (3 months of Acceptance)â€¦ And thatâ€™s a huge change â€“ volumes of materials are open access very promptly.
1. We need to celebrate our success
But are our successes as positive as they could be?
Repositories continue to develop. Weâ€™ve heard good things about new developments. But how do repositories demonstrate value â€“ and how do we compare to other areas of librarianship.
Other library domains use different numbers. We can use these to give comparative figures. How do we compare to publishers for cost? Whats our CPU (Cost Per Use)? And what is a good CPU? Â£10, Â£5, Â£0.46â€¦ But how easy is it to calculate â€“ are repositories expensive? Thatâ€™s a “to do” â€“ to take the cost to run/IRUS cost. I would expect it to be lower than publishers, but Iâ€™d like to do that calculation.
The other side of this is to become more self-awareâ€¦ Can we gather new numbers? We only tend to look at deposit and use from our own repositoriesâ€¦ What about our own local consumption of OA (the reverse)?
Working within new e-resource infrastructure â€“ http://doai.io/ – lets us see where open versions are available. And we can integrate with OpenURL resolvers to see how much of our usage can be fulfilled.
2. Our repositories must continue to grow up
Do we have double standards?
Hopefully you are all aware of the UK Text and Data Mining Copyright Exception that came out from 1st June 2014. We have massive massive access to electronic resources as universities, and can text and data mine those.
Some do a good job here â€“ Gale Cengage Historic British Newspapers: additional payment to buy all the data (images + XML text) on hard drives for local use. Working with local informatics LTG staff to (geo)parse the data.
Some are not so good â€“ basic APIs allow only simple searchersâ€¦ But not complex queries (e.g. could use a search term, but not e.g. sentiment).
And many publishers do nothing at allâ€¦.
So we are working with publishers to encourage and highlight the potential.
But what about our content? Our repositories are open, with extracted full-text, data can be harvestedâ€¦ Sufficient but is it ideal? Why not do bulk download from one clickâ€¦ You can â€“ for example â€“ download all of Wikipedia (if you want to). Â We should be able to do that with our repositories.
3. We need to get our house in order for Text and Data Mining
When will we be finished though? Depends on what we do with open access? What should we be doing with OA? Where do we want to get to? Right now we have mandates so itâ€™s easy â€“ green and gold. With gold there is PURE or Hybridâ€¦ Mixed views on Hybrid. Can also publish locally for free. Then for gree there is local or disciplinary repositoriesâ€¦ For Gold â€“ Pure, Hybrid, Local we pay APCs (some local option is free)â€¦ In Hybrid we can do offsetting, discounted subscriptions, voucher schemes too. And for green we have UK Scholarly Communications License (Harvard)â€¦
But which of these forms of OA are best?! Is choice always a great thing?
We still have outstanding OA issues. Is a mixed-modal approach OK, or should we choose a single route? Which one? What role will repositories play? What is the ultimate aim of Open Access? Is it â€œjustâ€� access?
How and where do we have these conversations? We need academics, repository managers, librarians, publishers to all come together to do this.
4. Do we now what a grown-up repository look like? What part does it play?
Please remember to celebrate your repositories â€“ we are in a fantastic place, making a real difference. But they need to continue to grow up. There is work to do with text and data miningâ€¦ And we have more to doâ€¦ To be a grown up, to be in the right sort of environment, etc.
Q1) I can remember giving my first talk on repositories in 2010â€¦ When it comes to OA I think we need to think about what is cost effective, what is sustainable, why are we doing it and whatâ€™s the cost?
A1) I think in some ways thatâ€™s about what repositories are versus publishersâ€¦ Right now we are essentially replicating themâ€¦ And maybe that isnâ€™t the way to approach this.
And with that Repository Fringe 2016 drew to a close. I am sure others will have already blogged their experiences and comments on the event. Do have a look at the Repository Fringe website and atÂ #rfringe16Â for more comments, shared blog posts, and resources from the sessions.Â
I am involved in organising, and very much looking forward to,Â two events this week which I think will be of interest to Edinburgh-based readers of this blog. Both are taking place on Thursday and I’ll try to either liveblog or summarise them here.
If you are are based at Edinburgh University doÂ consider booking these events or sharing the details with your colleagues or contacts at the University. If you are based further afield you might still be interested in taking a look at these and following up some of the links etc.
Thursday, 22nd October 2015, 12 – 1.30 pm, Patersonâ€™s Land 1.21, Old Moray House, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.
“This session will be an opportunity to look at how media and communications can be used to promote a CSCS project and to engage and develop the community around a project.
The kinds of issues that we hope will be covered will include aspects such as understanding the purpose and audience for your project; gaining exposure from a project; communicating these types of projects effectively; engaging the press; expectation management;Â practical issues such as timing, use of interviewees and quotes, etc.
We will have two guest presenters, Dave Kilbey from Natural Apptitude Ltd, and Ally Tibbitt from STV, followed by plenty of time for questions and discussion. The session will be chaired by Nicola Osborne (EDINA), drawing on her experience working on the COBWEB project.”
I am really excited about this session as both Dave and Ally have really interesting backgrounds: Dave runs his own app company and has worked on a range of high profile projects so has some great insights into what makes a project appealing to the media, what makes the difference to that project’s success, etc; Ally works as STV and has a background in journalism but also in community engagement, particularly around social and environmental projects. I think the combination will make for an excellent lunchtime session.Â UoE staff and students can register for the event via Eventbright, here.
Social media, students and digital footprints (PTAS research findings)
Thursday, 22nd October 2015, 2 – 3.30pm, IAD Resources Room, 7 Bristo Square, George Square, Edinburgh.
“This short information and interactive session will present findings from the PTAS Digital Footprint research http://edin.ac/1d1qY4K
In order to understand how students are curating their digital presence, key findings from two student surveys (1457 responses) as well as data from 16 in-depth interviews with six students will be presented. This unique dataset provides an opportunity for us to critically reflect on the changing internet landscape and take stock of how students are currently using social media; how they are presenting themselves online; and what challenges they face, such as cyberbullying, viewing inappropriate content or whether they have the digital skills to successfully navigate in online spaces.
The session will also introduce the next phase of the Digital Footprint research: social media in a learning & teaching context.Â There will be an opportunity to discuss e-professionalism and social media guidelines for inclusion in handbooks/VLEs, as well as other areas.”
I am also really excited about this event, at which Louise Connelly, Sian Bayne, and I will be talking about the early findings from our Managing Your Digital Footprints project, and some of the outputs from the research and campaign (find these at:Â www.ed.ac.uk/iad/digitalfootprint).
Although this event is open to University staff and students only (register via the Online Bookings system, here), we are disseminating this work at a variety of events, publications etc. OurÂ recent ECSM 2015 paper is the best overview of the work to date but expect to see more here in the near future about how we are taking forward this work. Do also get in touch with Louise or I if you have any questions about the project or would be interested in hearing more about the project, some of the associated training, or the research findings as they emerge.
What is it like to write a show for theÂ Cabaret of Dangerous IdeasÂ (#codi15)?Â Well, as I make the final preparations for my own show,Â Back to the Statistical FutureÂ (26th August, Stand in the Square, 3pm, just Â£8 per ticket!), I thought I would share some reflections on the process of developing a show for theÂ EdinburghÂ FringeÂ that is based on academic and research areas, but is accessible to a wider audience. And also on the nerve-jangling experience that is selling real tickets to real punters – andÂ using social and other media to help with that!
So, firstly a wee bit of background.
Back in 2013Â Beltane Public Engagement NetworkÂ – of whom I am a long term fan/member/participant/event junkie – decided to create a new show for the Fringe. It was to be a light hearted academic and research led strand of one-off events for smart audiences.Â And thisÂ “Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas“, was to beÂ aÂ co-production with the lovely experienced production companyÂ Fair PleyÂ and the unstoppable ball of energy and obscure factsÂ that isÂ Susan MorrisonÂ (stand up,Â Bright ClubÂ compere and enthusiast, and Director of theÂ Previously… History festival). You can hear the original pitch, filmed outside that first venue, here:
That first year was an experiment (read more about ourÂ EDINA show at CODI13 here) that led to an amazing CODI (as it became known to insiders/Twitter) run in 2014. Having rushed through prep for our first CODI show, we were keen to be better prepared and planned for our 2014Â show, What Skeletons Are in Your Closet?. Looking across the EDINA activities we were keen to highlight and thought would be of interest to Fringe audiences we decided that the Statistical Accounts of Scotland were an ideal candidate.Â The show sold well, got some lovely comments and attention, and was great fun, and so for 2015 we are going Back to the Statistical Future, and hereâ€™s how we are doing itâ€¦
Where do you start?
The whole idea of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas is to actually have a â€œdangerous ideaâ€� â€“ something challenging or provocative. Last year we â€“ myself and my lovely co-host and Statistical Accounts of Scotland editorial board corresponding member Helen Aiton – focused a lot on the forgotten members of society, and the ways in which the Statistical Accounts capture and share their lives. This year we wanted to do something a wee bit different, but we also wanted to be able to build on the best bits of the 2014 show, things like the background to the accounts including, as Susan calls it â€œthe world longest letterâ€� â€“ our enormous physical list of all the questions that had generated the Accounts in the first place (indeed we discovered 6 additional questions last year when researching the show!).
“The World’s Longest Letter” being shown off at CODI 2014 (image copyright Edinburgh Beltane Network).
So there we were, in autumn 2014, trying to think about what might make for a good showâ€¦ because planning for a Fringe show really has to start about a year ahead to make the various deadlines. At this point we knew the Scottish Referendum result but we also knew that there would be a general election before the Fringe and that the Fringe programme deadline would pass before we knew the impact of that. Now, why would that matter for a show about 18th or 19th Century Scotland? Well, for our ideas to be dangerous and engaging they also needed to be timely and that meant making some sort of connection to the current context.
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
One of the brilliant things about CODI is that the production team have set a lot of early deadlines to make sure those terrifying Fringe form deadlines start to look easily achievable! This year pitches for show were due in person by the end of November or by video in early December. That means you need to know roughly what you want to talk about and roughly how you plan to do that 9 to 10 months ahead of your show. It means much of the hard work is done long before you officially start writing.
So, in November Helen and I started thinking about ideas and decided to take a wee risk. We decided that such was the focus on austerity and cuts that, no matter what the election outcome, there would be a great social policy angle tying the historical picture in the Accounts to modern day Scotland.
But then we needed a nameâ€¦
Thankfully all of the buzz around the upcoming anniversary of Back to the Future inspired us. The film had been interesting partly because 50s fashions and mid-80s tailoring actually has a lot in common, which meant that whilst social attitudes and pop music provided fun contrasts, a lot of what makes that film great is the familiar being re-experienced in an unfamiliar context. With what we had found in the Second Statistical Accounts on part time librarians, pressures to pay to school your children, gentrification, increasing scrutiny of those receiving poor relief and the help of the parish, we knew we had some parallels and a perfect simple title: Back to the Statistical Future!
The next stage was to get all of our expression of interest paperwork together for the CODI producers and, once our show was selected/accepted (yay!) we needed to ensure we had all our details for the Fringe programme. Because the Fringe deadlines are very early – the final deadline for totally finalized copy, images, URLs etc. for the programme and website hits as early in January – we also had to make sure we had everything finalized. That included the modest funding to cover registering our show in the guide, in key programmes, on posters in St Andrews Square, etc. The CODI producers, being fabulous, bundle this all together into a very affordable fee that doesnâ€™t even pretend to cover all their serious hard work supporting the shows and working to get potential audiences, as well as University press offices and local and national press aware of the strand.
So, we had a show title and basic ideaâ€¦ And an official listing imminently going liveâ€¦ What next?
Never mind writing the show itself, the next priority is actually writing the stuff to promote the show: news items for websites, tweets, blog posts, emailing contacts or nudging the press. Because if there is an audience all booked in, we not only need to have the show written but thereâ€™s a good chance it will go well. If there is no audience the best written show in the world wonâ€™t be nearly as fun.
Tickets for CODI have been priced this year at Â£8. That is a marker of the confidence the CODI producers have in us lot â€“ the writers and performers â€“ but it is also something of a challenge. If I can go see Bridget Christie for only a few more pounds, or something at the book festival for a similar price, my expectations as an audience member are set high. But Iâ€™m also really invested in what Iâ€™m about to see or be part of. Psychologically paying for stuff makes us value it more than free stuff. There is a whole free fringe, and there are also quite a lot of free events led by academics and researchers, which are frequently excellent.
Motivation to do a good job: a yurt full of expectant CODI attendees watching our show last year (image copyright Edinburgh Beltane Network).
There are other reasons to charge Â£8. Our venue this year and last has been a yurt in St Andrews Square, part of the Stand in the Square, one of the offshoot venues from legendary comedy club The Stand. So there are promotion costs, the venue costs (hire of space, yurt, power etc), and the costs of having an (excellent) technician keeping our mics and music working as expected â€“ and those apply to every show no matter how famous you are.
Thus, as August draws closer you find yourself logging in daily, checking ticket sales, panicking, and working out how to make your show better, how to let people know about it in a new way, how to tell all of your friends that really, they are better booking early. Every ticket sale is a victory as well as a reminder that your show really really better be goodâ€¦ And soâ€¦
Writing the show itself
So, as I post this it is mid August and our show, taking place on 26th is coming together but isnâ€™t finished yet.
Back in November, when we were preparing our pitch Helen and I both scoured the Statistical Accounts for what we call our â€œsnippitsâ€� file â€“ highlights, quotes, interesting leads, stories and statistics that we think might make a show. Once we had that clearer idea of what to focus on we started looking for more, digging deeper into some of our key topics: libraries; schools; literacy; public housing; disability and poor relief.
Notes from the writing process – snippets, leads, and nineteenth century finances…
There were also Boot Camps to help us along â€“ CODI gatherings in which all participants are encouraged to come along and share advice and in-progress show ideas. Some of these are in the Stand, which comes with the bonus of letting you tread the hallowed 4 feet of plywood that is their tiny stage. And for the last of these, in June, we were expected to give our 3 minute presentation outlining not just the topic, but also the structure of our show. Which means you have to have one. And even if that structure is only finalized late the night before the bootcamp, itâ€™s still awfully useful to have. Because with that title, description, structure and a slowly booking audience all in place you have at least a full skeleton of your show, and plenty of time to flesh it out properly.
With CODI now in itâ€™s third year there are some golden rules about what makes a CODI show too. It isnâ€™t a presentation; itâ€™s about interacting with the audience and engaging them. It isnâ€™t about being the cleverest person in the room but it is about sharing and enlightening the audience with what you know. You need to be prepared but you can also count on Susan, now the compere for all CODI shows, to manage anything really challenging for you. As a bonus sheâ€™ll also dress as a minion, or a penguin, or a hurricane, or, for our show, impersonate a judgmental 19th century Minister of the Church of Scotland.
So the final stage is writing that script down. Which doing Bright Club has taught me is always worth doing for a performance where timing and wording will matter (so this is not always the case for presentations elsewhere). And that structure will get rejigged, and new data may need gathering â€“ for instance in the last week Helen has been gathering data on average pay in 1835, whilst Iâ€™ve been scrutinizing the finances of an Edinburgh workhouse. As Helen and I are in different geographical locations emails and google docs and Skype calls have been happening to check in. And finally, as I am currently doing, it will all get into a finalized script, then read through and changed and made funnier. Then weâ€™ll need to think â€œis that clear enoughâ€� and â€œcan I back that upâ€�â€¦
And then, on 26th August, we will go into a wonderful and hopefully full yurt, and anything could happenâ€¦ we may forget half of the content, we probably will be taken in whole new directions by the audience, why not join us and find out?