Posts Tagged ‘Brighton & Hove’

Brightoniana: Crescent House, Brighton postcard

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

IMG_1207 A recent addition to my small but growing Brighton and Hove postcard collection is this. It says it’s the Crescent House Convalescent Home. Where was that it? Or is it there still?

Brightoniana: Beautiful Pedantry

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Beautiful Pedantry
I love this. Chortles galore. I think it’s a boyish effort at flattery, attached as it was to a fence. I salute that. A reckless, rather romantic gesture. No? Then someone comes in and goes all Truss in a most amusing manner. It’s like a Twitter row. But better. Look carefully for the biro contributions.

Brightoniana: Some links I’ve enjoyed

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The Argus is the first for news. I particularly enjoyed this picture of the Mayor last week. What IS he doing?

How to be a Retronaut is a superb compendium of old snaps and views. It’s required reading in my personal blogosphere. Last week The Retronaut people published some really rather wonderful pics from Brighton Beach in 1906 that live here. Take a look.

On the topic of Brighton past, I must also commend you to Brighton Bits. It’s a lovely little local blog with a yen for local history.

Back to the present, Brighton’s a hub for new music and up and coming bands. And local band, the Muel, released an album last week. They’ve posted some tracks on MySpace. I particularly like the second track, Roller. Incidentally, yes. That is the steel drum you hear.

Twitter Politics: Broadcast or Conversation?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

kitcatJason Kitcat is a Green councillor on Brighton and Hove city council. It’s probably worth noting that I didn’t vote for him: I’m a member of the Labour party. That said, he has responded to my communications regarding recycling when I’ve sent them. For the record, I found his replies to my emails defeatist, largely unhelpful but prompt. He has never proactively contacted me using any medium. Not even a leaflet through the door.

So when I discovered Councillor Kitcat was on Twitter, I obviously followed him. I have also read his blog for some time and also subscribed to the RSS feed. Nothing unusual there. I follow a load of people on Twitter and spend time every day keeping up with the vibrant chat and tweets of the people I follow. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. I also follow dozens of bloggers via RSS. It’s fun to read what folk say. I also try and reply to posts that provoke me to do so.

Obviously, this is relevant to the work I do but more importantly I get so much out of it. As far as I’m concerned, if you join up to Twitter, start blogging and reading blogs then you’ve joined a conversation. It shouldn’t be a chore and it isn’t compulsory.

But vitally, it isn’t about simply broadcasting. I could cite the Cluetrain Manifesto or just good old-fashioned manners. But I won’t. I’ll tell you why I’m in on it: I find it enriching. I love to find out what people are doing, enjoy the information and insight. I’m not waiting for people to come to me. I get out there and listen to what they’re saying. Different and challenging opinions are the bread and butter of social media.

I recently asked Councillor Kitcat why he only follows 21 people (those 21 are mostly Greens or the ‘usual Twitter suspects’). He is followed by more than 100 and also solicits Twitter followers on his blog.

He replied: “@wilsondan I’m trying to avoid school disco type popularity contest aspects of Twitter. Is it better to follow & ignore or not follow?”

I needless to say replied: “Idea: @jasonkitcat Why not consider & respond to the people you represent? Or are constituents just kids at a school disco, Sir? #brighton”

I though his final response was really rather telling: “@wilsondan I converse every single day by email, phone and post. Should I also subscribe to every RSS feed of residents who blog?”

To answer Kitcat’s question with another: why not? I’m following him. I read his blog posts. He is soliciting readers via his blog. And seeking followers on Flickr and YouTube. He is also seeking our votes. So why not proactively sign up to read and enjoy Brighton’s bloggers? This city is blessed with many brilliant talents, voices and characters he might enjoy. This city is home to a myriad businesses (many in his ward) who blog and tweet and converse. He may enjoy that too. I certainly do. I learn so much.

Councillor Kitcat is recompensed and required to converse with his constituents via email, phone and letter. He sought that responsibility. He is not shy about making his views known in the local newspaper. But it would be ever so classy if he also proactively listened and responded rather than just waiting for us to come to him. Why not sign up to some RSS feeds? Enjoy the tweets of the people of Brighton!

This Internet social web 2.0 thing is a conversation. It’s so much more than ‘the Kitcat Channel’. It’s about being a human and using your human voice. And if anyone doesn’t like that, don’t do it. But, alas, to Councillor Kitcat, we’re just kids at the school disco chattering inanely. Maybe he sees himself as the teacher, keeping us all in check?

Snow in Brighton

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Snow in Brighton

Snow in Brighton

Snow in Brighton

Some pictures taken last night, at about 11PM.

The Beauty of Sussex is Underrated

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Clayton ChurchWe don’t have the wilds of Scotland, the wilderness of the moors in Devon or Yorkshire, Northern Ireland’s moody mountains or deserted beaches like Wales. No brooding hills as you see near Malvern or Manchester. We lack the drama of the Lakes, the chocolate box rolls of the Cotswolds and Dorset. We don’t have a mighty river or anything close to a peak, no waterfalls to speak of, or caves or mysterious standing stones. Not for us granite or limestone. We have chalk and clay and, of course, the sea.

Sussex is an enchanting landscape. It has an underrated, understated gentle beauty of its own. I was reminded of Sussex’s hold on the imagination as I took the train from Brighton to Eastbourne last Friday. The chalk downland of Kingston Ridge, Mount Caburn and Firle Beacon looked more arresting than usual, still frosted at noon after a cold night. The Ouse and Cuckmere rivers meandered silently as they have done for thousands of years to the sea from their origins up country.

In Eastbourne, I glimpsed the start of the Seven Sisters. The sea defines Sussex. We have amazing cliffs, sandy and pebbly beaches, small but fascinating estuaries and the constant interest of the channel lapping at our shores.

It was so reaffirming to see some of our wonderful Sussex countryside that I was helpless to think anything else: in 2009 I want to see more.