Sunday, October 04, 2009

Some thoughts from me to you.

So as I sit back reflecting on another weekend I notice that much of this weekend has been dominated by activities which were organised via Twitter. Yes! Believe it or not a website which gets you out of the house and doing stuff. How does it do this? Simple, it does the one thing the internet was built for; it connects you to people.

The way which I connected with most of these people is BTUB – the Brisbane Twitter Users Brigade1. As a regular attendee to BTUB functions organised via Twitter I’ve met many lovely and interesting people. Some of these people I like to think have become friends rather than merely acquaintances.

So if you’ve got this far and are still asking “what the hell is BTUB?” then here is a quote shamelessly lifted from the BTUB About page:

BTUB is a loose association of Twitter users located in Brisbane, Australia.

Similar groups exist in other Australian cities, using the *TUB format, such as STUB (Sydney) and MTUB (Melbourne).

Mostly, a BTUB occurs when several Twitter users publicly get together in Brisbane for any ol’ purpose. It’s always social and it usually includes drinking.

So as I understand it a group of Twitter users got together at a pub for a few drinks to meet people they’d spoken with online in person. They liked what happened and so more events were arranged. This became known as BTUB.


Recently I’ve seen and heard some discussion around BTUB organisation and the events via Twitter and in person. I felt that I had a few ideas to put forward about this and the best way to do that was via my blog so I can express them at length and everyone can read and comment.

I like the fact that people are questioning and discussing BTUB events. It shows there are people out there who care about the Brisbane Twitter community. It is through these questions, comments and opinions BTUB as an idea stays current and relevant to the wide range of people it is made up of.

There is no doubt in my mind that most of the people who I’ve met at BTUB activities I would never have met in an alternate course of events. Even if I did meet them some other way I doubt that we would have maintained contact without Twitter and, more specifically, BTUB. I’ve met teachers, musicians, lawyers, lecturers, students, IT professionals, librarians and so many more. I’ve re-connected with people from my past and met people who I’m sure will part of my future.

The challenge of having all these wonderfully interesting people together is that their likes and dislikes are obviously going to differ.  Some people don’t like crowds and pubs while some can’t get enough of mosh pits and loud music.  Others enjoy relaxing with a coffee while some are out playing sport.  So surely this can’t work – right?

I think it can and my reasoning for this can be summed up with a quote from The Matrix changed around a little:

Do not try to bend BTUB - that’s impossible - instead only try to realise the truth.

There is no BTUB.

There’s no constitution, no charter, no president, no clubhouse, no meeting room, no committee, no membership fees & no membership card. Sure, I’ll admit there are a few individuals who guide the group by posting contact on the BTUB Twitter account and website but that’s as organised as it gets.

What this means for you is that your idea for an event can happen. All you need to do is put the details together, ask @BTUB to put it on the calendar and tweet about it with the "#BTUB" hashtag. There are some tips you can follow on the BTUB FAQ page and plenty of other Twiter users who'd be happy to help.

I don't want to go to every BTUB event. I don't even want to want to go to every one. What I do want is for everyone to have the desire to attend at least one event. That means there's a variety of events going on to cater to this crazy variety of people who just happen to all identify themselves as #BTUB.

1: I know originally the "u" stood for "underground" however I personally feel the group is a bit big for that now. I also feel that "users" better explains what we are. YMMV

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Didn’t realise it would be about privacy…

So welcome to another Aydsblog post.  I’m not sure who out there in the big wide world actually reads this blog but since it’s also posted to Facebook automagically I’m pretty sure the numbers are larger than when I first started writing.

When this blog first started it was basically just so I could muck around and say I had a blog.  True to my character there wasn’t much of a plan and wasn’t much of a direction.  Which can be seen - even with the small number of posts I’ve made – from looking at the content and how different it is. Some posts are short, some posts are long, some are related to my work, some are related to me, some are personal, some were about events and some posted live from events.  The advantage of this lack of a plan is I can write just about anything and be fairly confident that it will fit into the grand scheme of things.

The question I’m asking myself is, should I be posting to this forum?

Currently I have a profile on Facebook and also an account on Twitter which I use frequently.  Both of these accounts have been great for interacting with both friends I had met before and also, particularly in the case of Twitter, new friends who I’m still getting to know.  An interesting thing has happened which I’ve recently started to notice and that is everyone seems to know everything.  Each group of people I know, however, has a different set of experiences and a different set of stories which make sense to them.  The only commonality in some cases is me.

In the past this wouldn’t matter because the stories were shared through experience, verbally or even in the modern world via separate websites.  However these days that separation seems to be diminishing.  While certainly this is a great thing to happen if the information is simple and of a wide interest (well, to all 3 of you guys who are actually interested in me anyway), it isn’t so great when the information is open to interpretation or requires some context to be understood.

I’ve certainly been surprised a few times at people who have made it known that they’ve seen things I’ve done or posts I’ve made.  Not that there’s been anything I didn’t necessarily want them to know but it was just not something I’d always considered before I posted.

Just like any other piece of new technology we’ve seen eventually the general etiquette, moral and social structures will be in place to guide us in the right direction.  They’ll be taught and learned just as all the other rules and guidelines of society are passed from one to another.  Software (well, good software anyway) will be written to take these conventions into account  so it will compliment how their users expect to interact.

Of course what might be most interesting is to turn that last paragraph on it’s head and ask yourself how much the websites of today such as Facebook and Twitter will change the way everyone defines acceptable communication in the future.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


I have some guardian angels who sometimes talk to me.
They've not got harps nor feathery wings nor halos I can see.
But when I'm feeling down or blue and I stumble and I fall,
They are there to catch me and set me straight and tall.

They do not carry trumpets to herald what they do.
Cause anything that's said to them is a secret they hold true.
They have the skill of listening with a sympathetic ear,
So that I can always talk things out when an angel is near.

Now I'm not much the poet, and simple is this verse.
Perhaps you would've liked me to be a bit more terse.
But I'm blessed with my angels and, if you look carefully around,
Some angels of your own my friend you may just have found.

Chance Taken

I'm not sure if you noticed, not sure if you know,
I feel inside a sadness, every time you go.

If you walk into a room, my heart flutters like a bird.
Before we've shared a single touch, or said a single word

These two facts I've said above, make it obvious and clear
I'm happier when you're around, joyful when you're near.

Perhaps you'll never see this verse, read all that it does say
For my nerves and my embarrassment may just get in the way.

But if, by chance, I've published this allowing you to read,
You need to know I offer you all the love you'll ever need.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love Buckling the Angry Birds

So it seems that I only post here once a year or so. I've been prompted to post because, as some people who know me from a band forum or two **cough** MFN **cough** Small Mercies **cough** will remember, after I go to a gig I like to write a bit of a blow-by-blow account. Usually it's a chance to spark some comment and also share the night with people who couldn't be there.

Unfortunately for me, the artists I went to see this evening don't have a forum (at least not one I'm aware of) so therefore I required an alternate outlet for this little monologue. I thought to myself "...remember that blog thingy you've never really used..." so here I am.

Well I had a busy night tonight for a "school night". It began with a quick stop back at home to change clothes. After that I jumped in my car and headed off towards The Zoo for the first performance of my evening.

After parking my wonderful vehicle safely at the Warner St carpark I got out to hear the sounds of The Love Buckles doing their sound check. I then ventured into the brisk Brisbane night air and crossed Ann St to get to The Zoo just as the doors were opened at 8pm.

For a few moments I wandered back and forth not recognising any faces. The Buckles boys were obviously chilling backstage (or whatever they do back there) so I thought I'd pull out my mobile and check Twitter...

What's this?! No mobile? **cut to image of mobile in centre console of car** DAMN!

So then there was a quick trip to retrieve my communications device. During which I greeted @NicoleJensen, @theroundup and others outside the venue. Back inside and I chatted with them for a while until @iCharlotte appeared to say hello. She introduced me to some more wonderful people who had come out to support the guys.

So The Love Buckles appeared on stage, picked up their instruments and without much ado launched into their first song. This prompted a quick shuffle of Love Buccaneers (I just made that up! Cute, huh?) towards the front of the venue. I have to say, from the very first song they sounded great!

Normally this is the part of the review where I relate half the set-list from memory. Unfortunately I'm not sufficiently familiar with these tracks to do that as yet. I certainly recognised (and sung along to) "Dave Grohl" and thought "Blues" was another stand out.

What I was familiar with was how the guys sounded at the other two gigs I'd seen. Compared to those two this evening they sounded fantastic. They were tighter, the drums were sharper and cleaner, the vocals were clearer and louder in the mix (without being too loud). A venue designed to be a music venue, rather than a pub, was partially how that was achieved. I think the other part was Frank, Brady, Aaron and Matt rising to the occasion.

All in all, a fantastic show guys! I'd love to see the boys do a few tweaks with a couple of the songs though. For one, I think Blues is a great song to end the set. However what it does need once the song breaks back down to the blues riff, rather than just ending, is to build it up again to a big finish. That way there is a bit of a flourish to wind things up. As it was I felt the end lacked a full stop.

Next I said some hasty goodbyes (apologies to any I missed) and jumped in my car to head to the Treasury Casino. Performing there was Ben Stewart along with a few special guests. I arrived late unfortunately. However I was just in time to see Ben's bass player take Ben's acoustic. He started playing a haunting and beautiful song which I believe was an Irish tune. I quickly secured a drink and settled in to watch.

After that Ben took the stage again and they did several tunes. The night, as jokingly mentioned on stage, seemed to be the "Ben Stewart Variety Hour" with several performers joining Ben on stage even in the relatively short time I was there.

The final song turned out to be "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago which Ben performed along with the help of both his bass player and three lovely ladies from the audience. No, they weren't chosen at random. They were the always fantastic Emma Dean, Jill Geurts (who I recently saw as "Miranda" in Zen Zen Zo's rendition of "The Tempest") and another friend of Ben's whom I did not have the pleasure of meeting properly.

All up I had a great evening thanks not only to the many amazing performers I saw, but also the wonderful people I shared it with.

So now, since it is the wee hours of the morning, I must sign off this post and find my blankets. If you enjoyed reading this let me know and I'll try to ramble more frequently in future. Until next time, farewell!