AmbITion North East Roadshow – Tyneside Cinema – Participation Workshop – Christian Payne

This post forms part of a series live blogged from the AmbITion North East Roadshow of 5th March.

Here’s the introduction by AmbITion project facilitator Dave Moutrey and keynote by Bill Thompson BBC and Guardian freelance journalist.

Read about a real AmbITion case study as Jamie Wooldridge from Ludus Dance presents the dance company’s digital journey before and after joining the AmbITion pilot.

The Participation workshop by popular digital maverick Christian Payne is liveblogged as is Caron Lyon’s well-attended Social Media workshop.

After the workshops, the AmbITion Approach was presented by project director, Hannah Rudman and the day ended with a plenary session featuring a question and answer session with the workshop presenters.

Dave Moutrey now introducing the Masterclass and Workshop session at the AmbITion North East Roadshow.


I will be live blogging the Participation Masterclass with OurManInside aka Christian Payne

Just introduced him and we’re off!

He’s just asked us to make sure mobile phones are on and Twitterers tweeting.  Excellent!

Did lots of media, travelled 65 countries but wanted to get into photography.  Got to work on his local paper when photographer was injured.

Chose an iconic image and chose the photograph of Che Guevera taken by Alberto Korda “to hide behind”.

Pointed us to and is talking about using WordPress as a platform for aggregating blogs, video and other social media.  Mentioned using free Revolution Theme by Brian Gardner.

Started out travelling to Iraq to cover the war as he didn’t believe the news.

Now sharing about a  ‘Crash!’, a blog post that started life when he twittered a video after a car crash.

Within minutes of the crash, was approached with a crane to help remove car, offers for a fund to help replace car.

Learnt from that about the importance of sharing about his life on life – there are people out there willing to help you.

Now passing round a Kodak ZI6 camera which he uses to grab, engage and promote content.  Also using the Nokia N95 as his main work tool. (yes he would like a free one please!)

You can do everything from a mobile phone, you don’t need to edit…

Top tip:

He doesn’t do Facebook though.  “Not Google-searchable and you need to go on a course to learn how to use the Privacy controls!”

@Documentally‘s Tool Kit: Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, 12 seconds, Qik, Viddler, YouTube, Phreadz, Bambuser.

Really likes Twitter because you can check out people’s credibility – eg he can check out a plumber and find out how good he is.

Quite happy to put stuff on Flickr, it grows his network and he can use a tool to find out wherever his pictures are being used in the world.  Not concerned about people ‘stealing his pictures’, uses Creative Commons licences.

Was able to invoice a newspaper when he discover that they were using his picture!

Talking about Qik and Bambuser whilst interviewing the Prime Minster.

Costs =

£20 for WordPress theme because he wanted to give credit to the theme designer

£20/year for Flickr

Seesmic, so many different applications, sign up and try them…

Question from the floor: What about Vimeo?  Likes Viddler because he met the founders, agrees Vimeo is very nice too.

Is able to get jobs like going out to the Middle East to do work on refugee crisis just from “throwing stuff online”.

Phreadz – drag videos from the web and have conversations around it.  Link to, have discussions around, embed…

Universities now using it to allow students and lecturers to share video, incredibly popular.  Still in private beta however.

12 – ‘record a 12 second update’

‘How to do a 12’ lesson – Don’t ever speak over 12 seconds!

If you want to talk about what you’re doing… try to get involved in conversations.

Restaurant in London using 12 seconds to film their special of the day.  Also film the making of it, really doing well from it!

Discovered that if he spent life with a hood over his head he wouldn’t be able to make as much out of his life.

Now has two monitors, one for work and one for friends.  Can communicate with friends and switch on and off when he wants to (and they want to).  Has a vastly improved social life from becoming a video blogger.

Tokbox – online mini video telephone conferences with automatic updates to Twitter.  Think about how you can save money, it’s all about having personal connections rather than just Googling things….

Shops with Twitter now, gets incredible discounts.  “You are not just shopping on your own, you are shopping with a thousand friends!”

Open University get him to make videos – want immediate contact, production values not so important.  Sound is more important than video.  Mobile phones are great for video.

On tools – iMovie and Apple Macs

Macs come with computers that have all the software to make video.

@documentally’s compression tip:


(640×405 -16:9)

(640×512 – 4:3)

Quicktime H.624

Visual Hub – – use this to compress video and publish to iTunes, PSP, WMV etc.

Now looking for a new editor as he has to fly out to film stuff from a vineyard of a friend. I think it was in Spain, might be Italy.

For filming, use TubeMogul to share to different video platforms – YouTube, Viddler,, vimeo.

Lifestreaming –, filmed rehearsals of theatre and sold out the event.

Never miss an opportunity, you never know what is happening.   ‘A moment with Tony Benn.’

Now works with Open University, showed great clip on Mars meteorite.

It’s all about sharing, anyone can do it.  Just find anyone who is interested in technology, let them do it.

Mentions @GranumentallyCanadian Radio picked this up.

Share. You’ll get so much out of this.


Q: Aren’t you scared of losing your anonymity.

A: It’s not that big a deal.  They only know what you tell them.

Q: It looks like addictive behaviour…

A: No, I am passionate… A lot of people don’t value each moment. Can tread carefully, did so for years whilst podcasting.

It’s like walking round at a swimming pool worrying that you won’t like it.

You get so much out of it.  It’s about finding the right tool in the tool box.

Technology is not something to be scared about.  Campaigned against CCTV.  It’s about sharing information.

Q: I have a music industry background.  Still thinks it is scary for me.

Solo Bass Steve, has just done a world tour through Twitter – everywhere he has gone there have been way more than 30 people.

The more I am aware of technology, the more I can protect myself against the bad uses of technology.

“I am such a conspiracy theorist that it is so amazing I’m on Twitter”.

People feel like they know a fair amount just because they have 12 second videos of you.  But attention spans are really short, they move on to the next thing.

Felt like he had known Bill Thompson for years when he met him for the first time today.  All down to that online interaction.

Q: Where do you see it going in the next few years?

A: The recession will empower people to use social networking to enable social good.  Much better tools, much better user interfaces.  At the moment, lots of marketing but the real value exchange is in ‘time banking’ experiences like the Crash.

The value exchange:

A video editor announces to the world that he is a video editor by offering to help you on Twitter.

Those who help get pleasure out of helping.

Q: Isn’t there a danger of you being overwhelmed with followers?

A: The future will be filtered.  Can always unfollow.

“I asked Twitter what my job description was.  The answer:  social technologist. ”

“I am a social media maker.”

End of a fascinating session.  Can’t wait to see the videos, I didn’t do it justice.

On to the next….  Caron Lyon’s session on Social Media and Mobile Media Sharing.


2 responses to “AmbITion North East Roadshow – Tyneside Cinema – Participation Workshop – Christian Payne

  1. is anybody else disappointed by the focus on platforms and networks today? surely what we’re supposed to be talking about is beyond the specific tools and frameworks used (which will change constantly), and about why and how what we do fundamentally changes in response to and with the technology available?? whether it’s twitter or jaiku or facebook is surely irrelevant…discuss?!

  2. @Tom:

    Thanks for your comment, apologies for the delay in responding.

    I see where you’re coming from but would argue that much of Bill Thompson’s keynote was about looking forward to an increasingly digital world in which the lessons learnt about today’s prevailing platforms would be crucial.

    Having attended some of the workshops yesterday and heard other attendees’ opinions, I think pitching things at the introductory level kept the day manageable for most.

    Quite a few people at the event are still getting to grips with Twitter/Jaiku/Facebook.

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