Throughout the pandemic I have worked in two spaces at home. Now that I have a permament space in what is a converted garage it is time to make it helpful.
Also during the pandemic I discovered the weekly videos of construction and home renovation work of Ashville which has inspired me. As a quick reminder I am in the camp of people who believe the flexibility of where you work is a good thing and we’re knee deep in the future of work but we’re too close to see where it is heading. More reason to turn a temp solution to a good one.
The room itself is 3.6m by 2.8m and has a window facing the neighbours wall (width enough for a wheelie bin). The space is both cold and suffers from poor lighting with just a single light bulb in the centre of the room.
Ever the one to use the minimum viable product approach I started as budget as I could. I recently purchased 2m of the cheapest LED stripes that Wilko sold to see if it may be a solution. The light from this £15 stripe LED was a massive improvement and proved the concept.
I then spent way too many pockets of time watching all kinds of youtube videos on home LED installs from both professionals and DI.Yers. In conclusion I really still didnt have much of a clue except that:
the lights generate heat so fixing them to a proper “channel” will disipate the heat
LED density should be 60 LEDs per m if possible
shallow channels aren’t as good at diffusing the light (the more diffused the less you can see each individual LED
Philips Hue lights seem to be the Rolls Royce of lights but I couldn’t justify the cost for what may end up backfiring
As luck would have it our in-house tech team had just finished installing a revamped event suite for our private hire. In that projet they used LEDs and I could actually understand what a channel was! It also gave me a supplier I could use as there are literally hundreds to choose from online.
Therefore I have just stumped up the best part of £250 (a lot I know!) to buy the channels which the lights will sit on and the fixing bits and bobs. You could skip everything and just use the stripe leds sticky tape to attach directly to the wall but I don’t like the idea of heat directly on my walls…. i may be overthinking on this!
I ordered the below on 30th May 2023 from Ultra LEDS and I’m hoping I will get the time during half term to install.
I propose that “we” make available our internal hotdesk spaces for others within the sector. We advertise where/when/how and make every effort to reduce the friction to make mi casa es su casa. The results could be to foster new connections, reduce isolation, help each other out and start to make the future of work a reality.
I want to… book a temporary space to work at for a few hours or a whole day at a time at a relateable organisation such as a museum.
So that… I don’t have to work alone at home all the time or because I happen to be out of town.
As a… regular traveler across the UK
When… i happen to be in another town or city with the need to work
Because… I can’t afford to hire a private co-working space or hover in a noisy high street cafe (at least not most of the time).
A boiler plate set of terms and conditions to cover fire evac, desktop workstation assessment and shared values to abide by would keep everyone happy. Oh and let’s have an agreed wifi host name and password.
The “we” above can be any organsiation so that we scale up a network that could be anywhere in the world.
I am part of an action research project with Culture24 looking to how we use the opportunities of hybrid for good purposes. Birmingham will be the first flag of hopefully many.
I’ve been listening to podcasts forever. Yet it took me ages to realise that all podcast players have an option to listen at different speeds. I listen to most of my podcasts at x1.2 speed and only notice the difference when the podcast episode plays music. Same great content just a little quicker equals more time for more great podcasts.
Give it a try.
I have recently tried a few audio books and x1.5 speed seems about right as they seem to read soooo slowly.
I have a pretty good handle on my email inbox. One of my best habits I have adopted is that when I’m processing my email, if the email response will only take 1-2mins to reply, then I MUST reply there and then. Simple. No need to procrastinate, flag it, or move it to a heaving folder never to be seen again.
And for a bonus habit: it helps if YOU write better emails in the first place. Make your emails as short as they can be, so that the email subject can read and reply in the same vein.
In the summer of 2020 I was interviewed by Jane Finnis as part of a commission from the Europeana Foundation about digital transformation. The report is useful for everybody interested in digital and includes a few quotes from yours truly too.
Used this self scan at @asda today to buy 50 items. Between my slowness and the software lag we counted 12 customers served in the same time it took me with roughly same or bigger trolley. Not quite the future of retail yet #retail #retailtech
According to Twitter, today marks 10 years on the platform for me @zakmensah. I remember resisting for over a year having grown tired of signing up for platforms that never gained traction beyond the early adopters. I’ve never been that interested in being first to the party. I was at Jisc at the time and traveling the UK for events and conferences was a big part of my role. I started to notice that the various unconference/meet-ups were being organised on twitter and I felt left out. I wanted to know which pub was the pub folks were gathering at. As with all new platforms I didn’t get the point for awhile but once I started to discover groups in the pub I was set ha. Fast forward 10 years and I’m glad I jumped on twitter and its evolution has been interesting to watch. From nerds to the mainstream. In the same period of time many other social platforms have risen and fallen including Google Wave, myspace, snapchat and many others I’ve long forgotten.
I have met great people on twitter, some I have yet to meet in person and others I have hollered at when in their country. I have had wonderful work opportunities, learned a bunch and its often the first port of call when I’m stuck and need advice for work. I like the little tribes such as museumhour and musetech and following the boxing or F1 for the wit and live emotion.
I like to share on twitter and also keep lots of things private. I can pick and choose as I please which is the whole point. For example I never post family photos and try to avoid tweeting much when at the pub for obvious reasons. Tweets wash over the timeline so I don’t pay too much attention to crafting messages or take myself too seriously. But I do want to live my life a bit on the web as a dry serious me online would be a dull shame.
Happy birthday to the 10 year @zakmensah version of me. Oh and the oldest tweet I can find is me saying hello to someone’s mum.
Back in 2014/15 when I was still Head of Digital we worked on a cutting edge ibeacon game called The Hidden Museum. Thanks to the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts including Nesta [Nesta is a global innovation foundation] and partners aardman, University of Bristol we had a grant funded fun time!
In a recently launched video showcasing Nesta you can see our game at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in action in this 100 second video. Come to visit us and play the game on your iPad.
Today I had the privilege of speaking at the excellent #culturegeek condference in London. Robots, Shakespeare, memes, failing, games and more was talked about. Below are my slides and thanks for all the positive feedback. Onwards.