Friday, 11 April 2008

Qik - Part II

I left a comment on Robert's blog some months back about QIK because I could not access it in China without the aid of a proxy server and also because I couldn't get a QIK invite, which I thought was something to do with being in China. QIK got in touch with me and gave me an Alpha Tester or something, and I was off and away with live to the internet streaming from a Nokia N95. When I showed it to Nokia in China they were blown away as I demoed it in their offices but as usual with the future, too many clients are buckling under the present to be truly inspirational.

Anyhow an immediate thought was how controversial this could be if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time depending on the context (everything is after all contextual) and I think the recent spotlight in China has highlighted that.

I had a low key QIK incident of my own when making my way to the Forbidden City.
I saw a crowd gathering around the kind of vehicle that only the very rich and powerful can afford to own, as ostentatious luxury cars in Beijing are frowned upon more so than Shanghai. The police were on the scene already, and I took a glance as I walked by only to see a young Caucasian male stuck in a crowd of 20 something Chinese who were looking on intently.

I thought he seemed like he needed some help and made my way over to offer a hand. He had a cut finger, the car was scratched and he explained to me that it had knocked him off his bike. I could see that the police were at a loss for what to do because they didn't speak English and both the boy wanted to get on his way and the car owner was eager to accept the cost of a spray job and avoid bureaucracy escalation. I called our brilliant HR Manager Grace who is way more of a planner than most planners in China, to see if we could get the cops to put the pad away and save everybody a few hours. But you know how it is with those who are used to orders. Once the pad is out its not worth their job to put it away and also the Olympics mean that they are very binary about sticking to the rules. Once I'd done all I could I thought I'd whip the N95 out and do a QIK scene which was beamed straight to the web. Those of you who follow my Tweets are immediately alerted to the live streaming nature of QIK (Althought China is still waiting to go full-on 3G)

Here it is:

And without further ado here's a cut and paste from Johnnie Moore who should take you to the next level of why I am inspired by the tools that are created by the people and for the people. Way more so than Marx had in mind when pushing for the workers to acquire the means of production and why I don't have a problem calling it Socialist Media

If you get excited about where social media might take us all, you'll probably enjoy this post by Grumblemouse: San Fran torch relay is a social media extravaganza. The notion of a guy helping to organise a protest in San Francisco by watching a livestream of NBC and sending updates via Twitter, from his kitchen in London, is pretty cool, I think.

I think today is going to be the social media event of the year as I hear that the Rick Roll flash mob thing is happening in London and you can watch it live from Jamie's phone too if you can't make there. Rumour has it that a brand is involved and I'm wondering if Nokia were paying attention to the presentation Rob and I wrote back in London. We'll see later today.


  1. Thanks Charles. It was good fun although there were only around 100 people actually taking part in the flash mob but some 300 odd people there to watch it (come on people, it is not a spectator sport!). As Jonnie Moore said "you can see why England's never had a revolution" but it was fun anyway ;-)

  2. Some learnings. Flash mobs only really work when its underground right? Also I seem to remember the whiff of revolution around the poll tax riots but I get Johnnie's point. (I'm just listening to his amazing Hugh and the Rabbi podcasts) and bizarrely listened to the Stock Aitken and Waterman podcast on Speechification last night. Its not stop sometimes isn't it!

    Your QIK page got a lot of hits though :)