Archives for the month of: May, 2012

On 12th May, in the most beautiful, most central venue in London, a female-centered blogging conference was ready to kick off. Welcome to Cybher!
Once just an idea of Sian To (aka geekisnewchic/mummy-tips), now a reality – and I was very proud to be a part of it. Conferences are difficult to get the balance right, especially for bloggers, trying to please hundreds of people – all with strong opinions – who then write about it. But to me Cybher was different. All of the panels, sessions and sponsors were relevant, inspiring and informative.

Before it all kicked off, we blew off some steam at Top of the Town, as pictured with Melaina25 and BumpWearClaire.

The night before

And after a tense morning of organising badges, Cybher was finally underway.

And so it begins...Cybher 12

It was a pleasure to be announcing some very interesting panels, such as Jo Gifford’s innovative session for blog design. She could not be in attendance due to illness, but still presented via a video and Twitter Q&A.

Pass the mic

The subject of kids and online security is something that is important to me, so the session with Jill Hunley from AVG discussing the Digital Diaries programme was very interesting. The key message I took from this one was that parents need to be educated in online security/awareness just as much as the children do to keep them safe.

AVG Digital Diaries

I’ve been photographing to some extent for 32 years. I’m not great, I haven’t retained everything I’ve learned over the years, but I do love it. So given the opportunity, I will always participate in a photography session, no matter how basic or advanced as there is always something to learn. I started out shooting 35mm film with a no frills SLR. I still use an SLR when I can. Digital photography is something I am still trying to get my head around. I have a great bridge camera, but probably do not use it to its full capability. Anyway… Back to Cybher… Mario Cacciottolo (yes, I had to practice saying that and still got it wrong when I introduced his sesssion!) has a photography based blog/website called ‘Someone Once Told Me’ where he captures a subject holding a quote of something memorable someone once told them. During this session, he focused on how to capture interesting portrait photography no matter where you are. The key things are lighting, background and a prop. If you don’t have a prop use the hands… hands are very expressive and can add personality to a seemingly static (or boring, even) situation.

Mario photography session

I personally like more candid ‘portrait’ shots, so here’s one I took of Tara in action.

Tara photography session

After a long day of introducing sessions, chatting with other bloggers and generally running around. Cybher was over and it was a success! If you were there, do you agree?

Here’s to Cybher and to Sian and to new friends and most of all… here’s to next year! Bring on Cybher 13


Silent Sunday 6 May

I haven’t blogged in a while due to life, well you know, being life… busy, what not.
But tonight, I feel compelled to put some words down and broadcast them to the world.

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys passed away today after a battle with cancer. In my musical travels, I unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting him. Even though I never met him/knew him, his death has hit me a bit harder than the average celebrity.

I grew up with the Beastie Boys and nearly every formative year has a Beastie Boys reference and memory associated with it.

I remember when Licensed to Ill came out in 1986. We had it on cassette tape. ‘Fight For Your Right’ was all over MTV. ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’s’ guitar riff was played via air guitar. Many a night in 7th grade, I would stay up listening to it on my pink Walkman rewinding and re-playing ‘Paul Revere’ until I knew every single word. I remember lunchtime at Eich Junior High the beats of ‘Brass Monkey’ blaring out of the hi-fi across the quad.
Paul’s Boutique’s ‘Hey Ladies’ was a favourite with the cowbell and disco video. When Check Your Head came out my senior year in high school, I remember Jeremy pulling his hat down and imitating ‘Whatcha, whatcha whatcha want…’ outside of Marshall’s house.

I met Brian at Lollapalooza ’94 watching the Beastie Boys at Shoreline Ampitheatre. He would later become a serious boyfriend and we would go see them again with Bad Brains at Cal Expo in ’95. I remember driving down 2nd Avenue in Seattle with Stacey in 1998, listening to Ill Communication singing along with Q-Tip in ‘Get It Together’. Having joint listening parties for Lo-Fidelity Allstars ‘How to Operate With A Blown Mind’ and Beastie Boys ‘Hello Nasty’ at a lounge (that I can’t remember the name of) in Seattle when I was Sony College Rep. And even last year in 2011, eagerly anticipating the release of ‘Hot Sauce Committee, part 2’ then going to buy it at Rock a Boom in Leicester.

I can’t think of a band who has seen me through 26 years and is still relevant to my life. And even though I never personally knew Adam Yauch, I will still mourn the loss of someone who has played such an important role of creating a lifetime of memories.

Thank you MCA from downtown Brooklyn, for being part of my life.

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