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Week links

Ghent noses, by James

James has had the most exciting week of any of us, but that’s probably true most weeks. He’d no sooner arrived in London from speaking at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York, than he was off to Ghent, Belgium, to talk at Phare, from where he sends this report:

“The people behind Phare are a group of web companies trying to promote Ghent Web Valley, in a not dissimilar thing to good old Silicon Roundabout.

Also of interest: Ghent’s specialities include fruit jenevers (lethal) and framboise noses (delicious, pictured above, made from fresh strawberries and raspberries encased in gum arabic).”

We’re hoping he’s brought some back for the rest of us.

Talking of Silicon Roundabout, there’s going to be a magazine called Silicon Roundabout Insider. Is that a good thing? We should probably have a big chart and be ticking off all the possible things that could be branded with “Silicon Roundabout”.

Some other things that have wafted past our internet nostrils this week…

Our friend Chris pointed at the inPulse programmable watch. There’s no touch screen but there might be some interesting things you could do with it in terms of status updates and displays. If nothing else, I’d like a digital watch that had a more beautiful font than the standard, square, seven-part numbers.

I bet every time you enter your kitchen you’re wondering where the screen on your fridge has gone. I know I am. We’ve been promised fridges with internet-connected screens for years and yet I don’t have one. Like every modern anxiety, there’s now a Tumblrbloglog to scratch your itch: Fuck Yeah Internet Fridge! Full of all those broken historical white-goods promises.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been thinking about archiving digital things, and I certainly would have liked to be at the second Personal Digital Archiving conference in San Francisco. Hopefully the session videos will be online, as those from last year are. I’ve been working my way through those and will post my notes up if I finish…

One of those speaking at the conference is Jason Scott of the increasingly impressive Archive Team. They’ve been saving web pages threatened with destruction for some time, including a huge chunk of Geocities. This week we noticed One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age, a blog chronicling an exploration of all this ageing Geocities data. There are some lovely examples of an aesthetic that’s almost lost entirely from the web today.

That’s all for this week. But don’t forget, if you need to transport several non-digital, annoyingly bulky artefacts, Alex has just released her historical Shoreditch map tote bag on the RIG shop. Always be selling! And carrying things.

weeknotes – third week of May

quick trip to falmouth

On Monday I took the train to Falmouth to talk to the advertising MA students and others. It was a slightly rambly talk but seemed to go OK. It was especially nice to get my feet in the sea on a work day.

18:25

We handed the AGMConsumerCam over to Innocent on Tuesday. As you can see the construction is fairly basic. We originally intended to make the final version more solid, perhaps using a hinge, some bolts and some sugru. But it was obvious that was going to be get very heavy and we wanted something instantly repairable – assuming a very high likelihood of some sort of damage. So it’s just lego, cardboard and a gogo. So, if necessary it’s entirely user-repairable.

consumercam prototyping

Obviously the clever bit is the App, Tom’ll write more about that next week. You can watch things unfold tomorrow here.

Other than that, Ben’s been doing stuff for The Guardian, Tom and I have done a project on archives and audio for the BBC that we’re not sure if we’re allowed to talk about and Tom’s been to a print industry trade-show for Newspaper Club which he’ll blog about here.

weeknotes – second week of May

What have we done? Hmm.

Russell talked at Lift at the end of last week, look, here’s the video:

As part of that he asked our friends at Tinker to build a Big Red Button for the advancement of PowerPoint slides. It seemed to be quite popular so we’re going to partner with Tinker to make some and put some on sale. If you’d like one you can declare your interest here.

battery testing apparatus

And Russell and Tom have been working on the ConsumerCam for the Innocent AGM. Well, Tom’s been writing all sorts of clever code to make iPhone Apps and websites, Russell’s been sellotaping phones to hats. You can see our various tests here.

We’ve been doing a lot of Newspaper Club stuff. We’ve met with logistics suppliers and talked a lot about business plans. We’ve had a record week for revenue and Ben’s done a smart new homepage design which should be up soon.

And, on Wednesday, we shared small plastic glasses of champagne with our friends BERG, next door, who released Schooloscope which is awesome.

weeknotes – the story so far

This is the new Really Interesting Group blog. We’re going to start doing weeknotes from now on but we thought we’d better start with the big events up to date and some general scene-setting.

Events:

We started Newspaper Club about a year ago. That seems to be going well. More of that later.

We did DataDecs at Christmas. That seemed to go well too but we’ve not done anything with the idea since. We need to get on with that. Similarly we made S3FM a while ago and while there’s definitely something in it we need to work out exactly what it is. We’ve been rather consumed with Newspaper Club.

We’ve also done a ton of client projects:

We did some thinking about objects for Radio 4 and about events for BBC 4. We’ve done work for Nike, Nokia and The Guardian via Wieden+Kennedy. We’ve done strategic and design work for Innocent, Penguin and Umbro. And we’ve done something for Apple but we’re not allowed to talk about it.

Friends:

When we started RIG one of our plans was to find a place where we could bring interesting people together (other than us) and we seem to have managed that too.

BERG and Ruby Pseudo are formal tenants. Chris Heathcote, Phil Gyford and James Bridle are renters of desks and Tinker are in an office upstairs. It’s nice.

Us:

We are Ben, a designer, Tom, a developer and Russell, who does a lot of PowerPoint.