Archive for October, 2008


Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Shimmer, originally uploaded by eversion.

Inside the guts of The Public

urban design, web 2 and the orgasm

Friday, October 17th, 2008

*UPDATE: for those viewing in RSS, click through to the site for the video as it may not appear in your reader*

The Pecha Kucha presentations from last week’s be2camp are now available in both slide and video. The guy who wanders on screen in the eighth minute with a beer in his hand is me. I then hang around for a further 6 minutes 40 seconds (them’s the rules) and tell a story that involves Jane Jacobs, the internets and orgone accumulators.

(Warning: this video contains further abuse of the Venn diagram)

Rob Annable

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: be2camp robannable)

Show Us A Better Way

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Having just been dubbed a social media architect, I’d better keep up appearances with a post highlighting the voting going on at Show Us A Better Way. It’s a government funded initiative seeking to invest in the most worthy web2 widget. From the site:

This is a competition about information, about communication and above all about making government information more useful.

The government produces masses of information on what is happening around the UK. Infomation on crime, on health, on education. However, this information is often hidden away in obscure publications or odd corners of websites. Data tucked away like this isn’t  of use to the ultimate owner of that information YOU.

The Power of Information Taskforce want to hear your ideas on how to reuse, represent, mashup or combine the information the government holds to make it useful.

Thanks to some great advice from Simon Berry I snuck in a submission of my own on the closing day. Can I rely on your vote?


Monday, October 6th, 2008

I’ll be parachuting into the capital on Friday to take part in the first be2camp unconference. I’m really looking forward to being able to properly announce one of my latest projects: YouCanPlan Lozells.

A few weeks ago, Birmingham City Council put out an invitation to tender for an extremely innovative and ambitious proposal that would allow the residents of Lozells to comment on the plans for their community through a dedicated virtual environment. The bespoke software was required to be accessible both on and offline, allow the user to explore their neighbourhood in 3D, adjust the model themselves and make comparisons between design options then submit feedback to inform the next stage of development. It should show varying levels of detail, from the widest to the smallest and it should be ready to go in a matter of weeks.

It was a tall order, but I’ve managed to meet it with the help of the guys at Slider Studio. We’ve been collaborating on the development of their YouCanPlan software to create a model better suited to wider public consultation and aim to have the new version in the hands of the Lozells residents by December. In its original outing YouCanPlan was designed for the self-procurement market and saw its first big test during a competition featured in the AJ. The challenge for our Lozells project has been to improve usability for a more diverse user group and test the way hardware restrictions meet the breadth of parameters you need to accomodate in urban design critique.

Michael Kohn from Slider will be joining me at be2camp to talk about what we’ve achieved so far during the afternoon session of stream 2, so please come along and join in the debate about how (or if!) web 2.0 can play a part in the built environment. There’s also going to be a Pecha Kucha session in the evening and I think it still needs more participants…