A demonstration in Manchester to highlight the current situation in Gaza has been organised online this week.
Flickr phoptographers, youTube filmmakers and bloggers will be among the many expected at the protest this Saturday.
The arrangements are;
Event: Stop Gaza Slaughter – MASS PROTEST IN MANCHESTER
“Gaza Gaza don’t you cry… We will never let you die ”
Start Time: Saturday, January 3 at 12:00pm
End Time: Saturday, January 3 at 3:00pm
Where: Cavendish St. All Saints Park.
If you are attending, please tag your content gazamanchester and I’ll publish a round-up of the day at this blog.
Archive for December, 2008
A demonstration in Manchester to highlight the current situation in Gaza has been organised online this week.
Manchester blogger Sarah Irving has posted today a first hand report from a fellow city dweller who is currently in Gaza.
And at her blog, Sarah also posts that there is a demo planned in Manchester for this Saturday.Update: Full details of arrangements for the demo now in here.
Photos on this page were captured by Flickr photographer MaLaaK..x during Monday’s protest outside the BBC offices on Oxford Road.
Reporting from heart of Gaza in November, Sharyn Lock, who reportedly travelled to the country on Free Gaza Movement boats in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, reports on Sarah’s blog about an incident which happened in November when a Mosque came under fire.
Read the post here.
STUNNING images of Salford Quays have been pouring into our online photographic competition – but surprisingly few feature a gloomy day.
Maybe the sun always shines in Salford but a calendar wouldn’t be a calendar without some winter chills so photographers are being urged to wrap up and get snapping.
In conjunction with The Quays, we’re looking for the best 12 images of the area to feature in a calendar which will show all seasons.
Competition spokesman Richard Hector-Jones explains: “The range of photographs has been breathtaking as intrepid explorers of the Quays find new and interesting ways tom explore the lines and architecture of this historic region.
“As we go into the New Year, however, we are hoping that even more people sign up and perhaps sprinkle a bit of festive cheer. So if anybody fancies braving the cold with a stout pair of fingerless gloves, then please post the results. January’s calendar page won’t be the same without you.”
Capturing the Quays was launched by Manchester Evening News Online and The Quays in September to celebrate the ongoing rebirth of this historic area.
The winners – chosen in conjunction with Manchester Evening News’s picture desk – will be given an ‘all expenses paid for’ weekend at The Quays and the opportunity for their image to be used to promote The Quays around the world.
To submit your image, visit the group picture pool.
The BBC technology team’s pick of the most important products and services for the past year makes a quick and interesting read.
As you’d probably expect, there’s dongles aplenty, mobile broadband, iphone stuff plus the (now inevitable) ra-ra for Twitter but there’s also this couple of quirky ones which were new to me.
Sit or Squat a location based service to locate public toilets anywhere in the world and Hulu video service caught my eye.
Read the full list here.
A new poetry prize isn’t usually particularly big news, but when its for the benefit of the Mines Advisory Group, is run online via a lovely website, and is judged by other entries, we just had to make it our site of the week.
“It’s a knockout system in three rounds – but beware, if you don’t participate in the judging, you will be knocked out yourself! The judging will take place in the 2 months following closure of the competition. The judging mechanism ensures that entries are read by a huge number of poets”, reads the blurb on the Poetic Republic website where this all takes place.
I’ve entered so many poetry competitions over the year where the judging has been opaque at best, that this seems a great opportunity for those of us who prefer to write rhymes down rather than spout them out, to be part of our very own “poetry slam”.
Poetic Republic was born out of Poetica, a completely open writing forum based in Central Library, and so has a real grass roots feel to it. Also, they’re honest enough to admit that the competition “is experimental in nature and the outcome is therefore unpredictable.”
“Our experience, however, is that generally writers have an intuitive eye for what is good” – a sentiment with which I can only agree.
Therefore, though its a little more sophisticated than a blog, and runs up to the 2009 Manchester International Festival, of which it forms part of the “Not Part Of” fringe, it’s a more than worthy pre-Christmas site of the week.
We are always hunting around for blogs or websites to feature here, and in Saturday’s M.E.N on the e-view page so, if you’ve got one to nominate, submit a link below or contact us. The only criteria is that they have some connection with Manchester.
As Christmas and credit crunch jostle for attention, I’ve been thinking about my highlights of 2008 in digital Manchester and beyond. Because I work with a range of arts organisations, all of whom are coming to grips with Web 2.0 technology, at the same time as continuing with their artistic work, I think I’ve seen technology adoption this year as more of a “flow” than a series of jolts. I think that’s because some of the basic underpinning technologies are now stable, and ubiquitous. 2008 doesn’t seem to have been one of those breakthrough years, more one of consolidation. At Futuresonic 2008 at the Contact Theatre in the Spring, for once I had the opportunity to catch the whole event. I think its fair to say that whereas in previous years I’ve found out about things at Futuresonic that have become mainstream a year or two later (e.g. Second Life), in 2008, the subjects being discussed were already pretty much in the mainstream. For me, this let the art strand of the event stand out head and shoulders above the music and conference offerings, good as they were – in that the theme for the art commissions was reflecting social media. Adam Bartholl’s “Chat” and “Wow” in particular were fun, geeky and complex, whereas Plan B’s “shoebox” Myspaces used lo-tech to comment on hi-tech.
I don’t think there was one overriding theme to the arts in Manchester during 2008, other than consolidation of what it’s always been good at. The fallow years between international festivals could become a disaster if the festival grows on its good start last year, yet I kind of think that independent Manchester will fill the gap. After all, the Ting Tings came out of Islington Mill to become the cities first genuine breakout artist for the best part of a decade. It is facilities like Islington Mill, far more than New Media City, that will determine the city’s artistic temperature over the next few years.
In terms of how the arts uses technology, it certainly wants to, as I helped out a number of organisations looking to update their websites during the year – yet its the speed of change, if not of the technology, then certainly of the technology-hype, that creates expectations that the arts finds hard to keep up with. After all, a show or tour or an album or an exhibition may be 18 months in the making. At what point do you invest in your RSS feed and “Second Life” presence?
Look around the city though, in its cafes and bars, and whereas wi-fi was a luxury even two years ago, it – along with 3G internet – is now commonplace. My own object of desire this year might well be the Sony Reader, but having had real problems with their software in the past, I’ll hold off, I think, until the next generation.
Literature in the city seems to have finally cottoned on to the web in a big way this year, with Rainy Day Stories offering a new way of “reading the city” and a new online literary zine from the University of Manchester’s centre for new writing. If it’s interface isn’t the most user friendly in the world, having once worked on the University’s website, I’m pretty amazed they’ve managed to do it at all – and the writing, importantly, stands out. At the Manchester Blog Awards it was clear that our bloggers are now writers, and our writers are now bloggers.
So a year of consolidation, rather than revolution – after all underlying technology can sometimes take a decade or more to find its use – and if the chill winds of recession blow through the arts in 2009, I’m pretty sure that technology will be the best protection against the storm. Final point, a friend was up seeing her parents this week and suddenly realised they were still on dial-up. Horrified, she went out and got a 3G card. All I want for Christmas then is a decent internet connection.
IF you’ve come across a small pile of stones here on Oldham Road recently then you’ve just been part of a massive public art work being co-ordinated on a blog which is spanning the length of Britain.
The idea of creating a trail of stones is nothing new according to the founder of Britglyph, Alfie Dennen who says that this attempt to create the world’s largest geoglyph is just the latest activity of its kind since prehistoric times.
He’s asking people to travel, witha stone, to locations along the route he’s mapped out online, take a picture of themselves with the stone at the location and then leave the stone behind before uploading the photographic proof to this interactive map.
(Look carefully at the Manchester map and you’ll see a trio of the city’s digerati have already made it there!)
“I guess I’m doing it because it can be done, and all of the elements totally fascinate me,” said Alfie.
“The actual piece of art, a symbolic representation of John Harrison’s Marine Chronometer , was chosen because it, in my way of thinking, was the absolute lynchpin of the modern age; without it the age of empires could never have happened.”
Alfie, 32, a creative technologist from London, built the project using the mobile blogging site moblog. The aim is to create marks along the chain snaking down from Aberdeen all the way down south.
Each of the markers represents a spot somewhere in the UK which users can travel to and be a part of the art work – but hurry, the project ends on January 9.
Residents in Ancoats are turning to Web 2.0 tools in their campaign to remove a blot on their landscape.
They say the Butty Bar has been abandoned, is full of litter and broken bottles and attracts drug users and other anti-social behaviour.
So they’ve launched a campaign to put pressure on the North West Development Agency to demolish it and develop the land.
So far, an online petition has been launched and support has been drummed up using the micro-blogging platform Twitter.
Phill Healey, 32, of Munklefish Media and who lives in the nearby MM2 Apartments started the campaign.
He said: “Essentially the NWDA have abandoned the buttybar and its impossible to get anyone to accept it exists.
“The building is in a really bad state of disrepair / falling down and looks a real mess. They are spending millions on cobbling the roads etc yet this building is an absolute eyesore.
“The car park is full of dead tree matter -since it doesn’t get cleaned up more than once a year-, the car park is full of litter and broken bottles from clubbers, and you can get down a path at the side & rear of the building which is used by druggies, and scallies use it to hide their stolen goods.”
A spokesperson for the NWDA said the authority would be pursuing planning permission to demolish the building in the New Year.
She said: “The Agency is currently seeking permission to demolish the Butty Box building as part our wider plans for the regeneration of Ancoats. Our long-term vision for this site is to sell it for commerical use. During the interim we will be keeping it secure and well-maintained.”
Until that day, the campaign goes on. If you want to support the residents in their fight you can sign the petition here. I will bring you progress reports on this campaign in the New Year.
* Are you campaigning to improve your neighbourhood? In the New Year, I’ll be launching a new scheme to help community groups get their voices heard via the MEN website. Drop me a line and let me know about your campaign to email@example.com.
After just five months in position, one of the Manchester’s biggest advertising agencies has parted company with its head of digital.
Cheetham Bell JWT today confirmed that Jonathan Scott has left the agency.
His arrival had been heralded by the company as an appointment of the “skill sets we need to propel us to the next stage in our ambitious growth plan” when the appointment was announced in July. Scott, took up the position after working as marketing and new business director at video creative agency Connected Pictures, handling clients including Sony BMG, BBC and Levi’s Europe.
He was also reported to be part of the team that wrote the strategy and commercial plan for the launch of Tesco.com (then called Tescodirect.co.uk).
Stressing that the decision had nothing to do with the current economic climate, CheethamBell JWT’s CEO David Bell told me Scott had been operating under a probationary period.
He said: “We took the collective decision that, going into 2009, he wasn’t the best person for the job.”
Bell said a decision on whether to re-structure or replace the position had not yet been taken but that the agency was considering different options.
CheethamBell JWT employs about 90 staff in Manchester and has this year won some major clients including being named the sole agency for First Direct.