Making something Really Mobile

I mean, really mobile…

About six or seven weeks ago now, I said a sad goodbye and a fond farewell to Mobile Industry Review (MIR). My weekly column ‘Whatley Wednesday’ was at an end and the team’s online video counterpart, The MIR Show, was no more.

But this much I’ve covered already. It’s what happened next I want to talk about.

Post closure, Ewan kindly gave me an export of all my prior MIR work, which you can now find in the newly created Whatley Wednesday category on the right hand side of this page. Please feel free to browse at your leisure, there are some pieces in there that I am deeply proud of and I’m really happy that I’ve been able to preserve them.

Even still, I was left wondering where my mobile content was supposed to go. I’ve long maintained that I have three main streams of blogging output:

  • Anything SpinVox goes the SpinVox Blog, Big Talk
  • Mobile-focused musings went to Mobile Industry Review
  • Everything else, stays right here in My Happy Place

With one of those streams now closed, I wasn’t sure what to do. I could’ve started putting the content here, but I didn’t want to alienate any of my readers. I wasn’t sure you’d appreciate it to be honest. This blog isn’t about mobile news, views and opinion. It’s about – for me at least – starting interesting conversations.

The real question was; ‘what to do next?’ and, well ‘start something new’ was the immediate answer.

When it came to restarting Whatley Wednesday, I took up Rafe Blandford on his offer to write a piece for leading mobile site All About Symbian (AAS). Entitled ‘Should Gravity come down?’ the piece questioned the price of a particular Nokia Symbian app and on top of that, Nokia apps in general.

Hand on heart there were a few opportunities like the one above from Rafe, and originally I had planned to accept them all. Not out of greed or ego; I merely felt a certain sense of displacement or maybe homelessness. I figured that Whatley Wednesday could become  a travelling road show of sorts (for want of a better comparison), each week resurfacing on a different publication and taking on a different subject matter.

That was the plan anyway.

However, in the furore surrounding my debut on AAS (seriously, check out the comments – all 67 of them), I questioned the validity of this idea and, when it came to writing up some thoughts about the incoming Nokia N97, I went against my instincts and published them here.

It was at this point that I realised that I needed my own mobile channel, something that I had (at least in part) ownership of and somewhere that I wouldn’t have to apologise for my own opinion. It turned out that I wouldn’t have to wait for long, as in the background, work had already begun on what was at that time only referred to as: ‘Secret Project X’.

So it was, the day after MIR announced its closure, and under the cover of darkness, three men met somewhere along London’s South Bank.

In a coffee shop not far from Hungerford Bridge – EAT I think it was, to be precise – Ben Smith, Dan Lane and I sat down to work out what our next steps were.
What I initially had pencilled in as a rather macabre and somewhat gruesome post-mortem turned very quickly into the conception of a new idea.
The general consensus was that we could rant and rave about how annoyed we all were, or, spend what little time we had planning our next moves.
It was unanimous.

We were going to build something new, really soon.

In the days and weeks that followed that fateful night, emails were exchanged, further meetings were had and plans were made. Further to that, a rough go-live schedule was put in place.

Potential additional contributors from the old team; Samantha Kidd, Ricky Chotai and Jonathan Jensen were asked along too – all of whom were immensely forthcoming with their support and immediately signed on.

On a late night conference call with the rest of the team, the members of Secret Project X finally agreed on a name.
That name was…

The Really Mobile Project

Interestingly, with a new moniker came too a new sense of direction and purpose.

Dan Lane pulled together some of our old MIR footage and excelled himself by putting together a rather awesome trailer. This short video (embedded above), which we made live one week after launching The Really Mobile Project (TRMP) holding page, was shared with the sole purpose of letting people know that no, this wasn’t the end and yes, we would be back.

Even more meetings followed, yet more emails were exchanged and TRMP was coming. By the time we put the trailer out, we’d pretty much made a promise that we intended to keep. Thing is, it turned out to be a lot harder than we first thought.

Building a site?
Gaining access to high quality equipment?
Finding the time to get all members of the team together to film content?

All of these things proved to be less than easy.

Two days before filming was due to kick off, the whole project was put on hold. The equipment wasn’t good enough, the site wasn’t right and on top of that, we had no content.
From the off we had all agreed that whatever it was that we ended up producing, it would be high quality. Our work at MIR had set the bar high and we knew that at the very minimum, we had to match it.

As any decent advisor will tell you; if you over promise and under deliver, failure will greet you with open arms.

So we took a step back and regrouped. What would we REALLY need to do to make this as good as we wanted it?

The project plan was re-written, a wiki was created, and tangible steps were taken to ensure that creating a quality site with even better output would be a nigh-on guarantee.

After all of this, on April 28th at approximately 3.00am, seven weeks since that initial coffee, The Really Mobile Project launched onto the (un)suspecting world.

Now, at long last, we finally have our own place on the web to talk mobile.

One of the things we noticed during our time in the wilderness was just how strong, passionate and caring the mobile community is. Keeping that firmly in mind, we established that from day one ‘Really Mobile’ would be about the conversation.

It’s the community that makes a site, so we want our readers and viewers to feel a part of something. 2009 is the year of conversation after all, right?

I’ve talked long enough and if you’ve made it this far, you have my thanks.
All I have left to say is this; if you follow me because you’re mad about mobile then please, get yourself over to The Really Mobile Project today.

It’s new, we’re still making changes and fixing bugs, but it’s out there.

And it needs you.

Chocolate Chilli? Yum!

Cooking, believe it or not, is a big passion of mine.
I’m surprised I don’t blog about it more often actually, maybe I should change that.
The fact of the matter is: I love it.

About a week ago I made this dark chocolate chilli con carne and tonight, I’m doing it again.
This time round, I’m going to share the recipe 🙂

So, you will need:

Main Ingredients

  • 900g of good quality braising beef
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red chillies
  • Olive oil (for frying)

Seasonings

  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano

Cupboardy Stuff

  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 20g dark chocolate
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 2 x 400g red kidney beans
  • Beef/Vegetable Stock

So first get yourself large oven proof pan of some kind; I used a massive metal saucepan. It needs to be biggish with a tight-fitting lid. Got that? Good.
Next, preheat the oven to 150C/130C with a fan/300F/Gas 2.

Cut the beef into 1cm-2cm chunks. Peel and chop your onion and garlic; deseed and chop the chillies.
In the pan, brown off your beef on the hob in a little olive oil in batches of for 2-3minutes and put it to one side. Add a little more oil to the pan and then gently cook the onion, garlic and chillies for a few minutes, then stir in your chilli powder and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Remember your beef? You should do, you only put it down five minutes ago. Put that back in the pan and coat with the rest of your seasonings. Stir in both tins of chopped tomatoes and your two tablespoons of tomato purée and then heat through. At this point, we come to the part you’ve been waiting for:

Now stir in your chocolate :)

Season to taste; salt, pepper etc, put the lid on your pan and place in the oven for 1 hour. Yep. ONE HOUR.
Hungry yet? I know I am. Right, while that’s cooking nicely, rinse and drain your kidney beans. You need to stir these into your pan after the hour is up (adding stock if you think the consistency is too dry).
Whack it all back into the over for a further hour, yes – another hour – or until the beef is tender.

Once finished, serve on a bed of rice and enjoy!

Can you believe it?

This time last year I was on my plane setting off for Thailand.
I just had a quick squizz back at my blogs from last year..

Here’s today’s entry: (2006 style)

“The time has come – tonight ladies and gents I will be disembarking to Thailand!
I can’t wait!
Woooo..

At 21:35 this evening my flight will be departing Heathrow Airport and heading for Bangkok International!
Yay me!
I have shaved my head in preparation of my finding my inner Buddha and fingers crossed I’ll come back a changed man!

And well…
Those of you who knew me before I left for Thailand know how much this journey meant to me. You know how much good the trip did me.
You know how much has changed over the past 12mths.

It truly is astonishing.

Those of you who didn’t know me before I left for Thailand?

March 2nd 2006 –
I came home from work (at my mind-numbing and soul-destroying accounts job at the Daily Mail) to my clearly very distraught Wife….
She told me that night that we weren’t working.
That our marriage wasn’t working..
And that worst of all.. she wasn’t in love with me anymore.

It killed me…it tore me to shreds. I hit rock bottom harder than I’d ever known.
And oh my God it hurt.

But…
Looking back – it was without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me.

Two months later I’d booked myself into a detox spa in Koh Samui, Thailand for ten days of mind, body and soul cleansing…

I’m going to spend the next ten days or so re-reading my diaries from Thailand and re-gurgitating the choice parts on here again.
So much has changed.
So much…

More soon.

PS – I know that some of you never knew about my marriage.
I never mentioned it on here.
Ever. Not even in my private diaries.
So I don’t really know why I am now..
I just feel I can.
I’ve always felt I could. But I just chose not to.

Apologies to those who I kept it from.
When I arrived in Thailand I didn’t want people to judge me. I was afraid of what people might say… I blamed myself.
“A 26yr old divorcee!” I thought.. “I don’t want them to know that.. know how I’d failed at something like that at such a young age…”

Silly huh?
Sounds silly now. But that was the place I was in when I first arrived there almost exactly a year ago now..

The good news is I’m not in that place anymore.
I haven’t been there for a very long time.

I’m gonna hit the sack now.
As I said. More to come over the next ten days or so…
I’ve missed blogging.
Haven’t had too much to write about (blatant lie) and well y’know…
I’m looking forward to re-reading my memories.

See you there.

J.

Liver Flush Drinks: A Guide

Morning all –

A quick blog for ya – I’ll update real soon I promise – been UBER busy!

Anywhoo – as you those of you who have just seen my new profile will have noticed…
I’ve just discovered the wonder thatis YouTube!

So.. I’ve been posting vids left right and centre – lol

Now – remember my trip to Thailand?
Well – I had to pre-cleanse for two weeks leading up to it…
and THEN, on top of that!
I had to drink these things called “Liver Flush Drinks”.

They ming. Like Ming The Merciless.

BUT!
In case you ever want to try it – here’s a quick guide:

Liver Flush – Part 1

Liver Flush – Part 2

Liver Flush – Part 3

Liver Flush – Part 4

Please bear in mind that this was filmed way back at the end of April.

Back when I had hair.

…and a beard.

And an extra 28lbs or so!
So yeah – I look slightly different these days!

Enjoy!

:o)

….more to come soon.

PS – I’m in the final stretch of my notice period of my current job.
I’m finding it REALLY difficult to care about my work..
Hence me posting this when I should really be busy doing something else eh?

lol

..’til next time true believers.

So Tired

So I’ve just spent the best part of two hours catching up on emails and stuff..

I’m knackered – had an interview at my agency today – that went well

Refresh Mobile tomorrow..

We’ll see how it goes..

*yawn*

Just here to post some pics really..

Hopefully they wont be TOO big..

This is Bophut – where I spent my last night in Koh Samui..

Here’s me and a Ladyboy..

Yes. That is a Man.

So’s the one on the left.

Yeah – thats all I can be arsed to post..

I’m shattered..

NEED BED.

More to come sooon..

Oh.. ok – one more..

Me. In a small room. At work.

Yesterday:

Bed Now PLEASE.

Kensington – 2pm in the Afternoon

Afternoon all..

I don’t know why but ever since Thailand I’ve got into the habit of putting my place of typage in the subject heading of my posts.. What do we think about that? Anyone?

Answers on a postcard… (or just click ‘add comment’ – either or)

Anywhoo – remember how I was saying how much I disliked my job?

Well I’m doing something about it. I called my old job agency yesterday and emailed them a new and updated version of my CV.. they called me back this morning and have asked to see me next week. So thats all good.

And also, I emailed that mobile phone software company that I had a chat with a while back, (those of you who know me know about this – if you dont – sorry, cant be bothered to explain – mail me about it if you’re THAT interested – hehehe), to see if they were still interested in me etc.. I just wanted to let them know that I was still available and I hadnt forgotten about them etc… they came back to me almost straight away telling me they were still keen to generate a role for me and they too have asked to see me next week!

So the wheels are in motion!

All I want to do is get a decent job where the stress and pressure is minimal so I can crack on with clearing my debt, sorting my life out, getting my TEFL and then buggering off to see the world. It’s gonna take time but I’ve never had long term goals before.. bout time I started eh?!

Keep smiling all –

J.

Bored at work

So yeah..

I’m BORED with a capital ‘B’.

I’m dreaming of Thailand.

Work doesnt really seem important anymore. Its kind of wasting away into the ether. In the greater scheme of things, work really doesnt matter at all.

I’ve got SO much to do this week and its just not happening for me really.. cant bring myself to care about it y’know?

Its difficult.

I think I’m gonna start looking for another job. Something that I dont have to commit so much time to mentally y’know? Something that doesnt put so many demands on my time and my effort. I know work keeps the brain ticking over and stuff but there are plenty of other things I could be doing right now instead of this. I’m not enjoying the pressure. I want to walk away from it.

I’m only realising this as I’m typing it… Jeez. Thailand’s really changed me. Wow.

Watch this space I guess. I need to sit down and work things out tonight. Sort out what I’m going to do with my life and stuff. Heavy man.

I think a TEFL will be the way forward. I need to sort myself out money wise.. a second job might not be a bad idea. Just for the summer. Get some cash behind me.. Then I can think about buggering off somewhere else.

Hmm.. *ponders*

… … …

In other news – I got my Gurpa back! Well.. I havent got it back yet – but I will have! I didnt have time to pick it up when I landed at Heathrow the other day so I just left it.. Then yesterday I called them to see what the score was and they didnt have it.. GREAT I thought.. and THEN they called me back today to say they’d found it and they’d put it in the post for me asap. Brilliant! I cant take it on the plane but they’ll send it through the post! Hahahah..

Excellent.

So yeah – thats me updating my blog.

One more thing – I ate some chocolate today.

Only three tiny pieces. But now I have guilt..

(it did taste good though – YUMMO!)

Speak soon folks..