attention-seeking

I spotted this out of the window yesterday. Crepuscular[1] rays of sun on the Town Hall in Leeds.

town hall

Grabbed camera, took the shot. Quick tweak and upload to Flickr.

Cross-post to Twitter, bounce it up to Facebook, schedule a couple more tweets across the evening. Watch as the likes and favourites ping up. Retweets happen. People like it.

Woke up this morning a flood of emails from Flickr as the photo hits Explore. Tweet about it again. More interaction, more people like it.

Then ask myself the question. Why?

I took the photo because I like taking photos. The light was spot on[2] (and indeed was gone thirty seconds later) and I could tell it’d make a nice photo.

Why share it on Flickr?

Well, I’ve got a lot of friends on there, and I thought they’d like to see it. I like taking sunset photos, and the Town Hall looks ace.

Why Twitter? Someone commented that they’d seen the photo a *lot* on there.

Again, I’ve got friends on Twitter, some of whom live in America. They might like it too, so I’d post at different times, to give them a chance to see it.

Facebook?

Friends and family who live on Facebook. Surely they’d like it?

It becomes clear. It’s all about the attention. And here I am, blogging about the attention, drawing further attention to it.

So, why crave the attention? Would I go up to someone in the street and show them the photo? Pester someone in the supermarket or coffee shop?

No, of course not. But here I am, sharing it to the world at large.

It also raises the question of why blog? I’m sure we do it to amuse, entertain or even educate, but ultimately isn’t it all about showing off, even just a little? Here’s what *I* think of stuff. Here’s a nice photo *I* took.

Look at me, look at me, look at me now. Listen to what I have to say.

I’m not like that in real life, so why am I so garrulous online? There’s an advert on television at the moment which shows a guy in real life versus his online counterpart. His online self is slimmer, fitter, a better dancer. Online, we can be who we want to be, rather than who we are. I’ve written about this before.

Or are we just two sides of the same person?

Thoughts, comments, questions are, as ever, welcomed.

Are you the same online as offline? Do you blog, tweet, share photos? Why?

 

[1] and isn’t that a brilliant word?
[2] no pun intended

Three Good Things

Liz at Margot & Barbara has started a new series of blog posts called Three Good Things. Her first week’s post is here. She says:

Each week, I shall choose three things to share. Things that have made me happy, made me smile, brought me a bit of joy or peace and made me grateful for the life that I have.

Various other bloggers have taken up the challenge (Kirsty at Hello Kirsty and Isobel at Leeds & Me for example) and I thought it sounded like a splendid idea. Here then, are my three things.

One

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Coffee. A good cup of coffee is a wonderful thing, and we’re blessed in Leeds with a fabulous range of indie coffee places. My mornings just wouldn’t be the same without a quick pick-me-up from the lovely folks at Bottega Milanese, or a delicious filter coffee from Luca & the boys at Brewbar Espresso. If I’m feeling slightly more energetic, a walk down to see Dave at Laynes Espresso is always rewarded with quite simply the best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s got to the point where now I just ask what he recommends and go with that. Never been disappointed.

Two

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My bike. I don’t get out on it enough, but when I do it’s like medicine. Worldly worries fade away as you zoom through the beautiful countryside on my doorstep in Wakefield. The word ‘zoom’ may not be entirely accurate, especially on the up bits, but zooming definitely happens on the descents, after which you’ll find me grinning like a loon.

Three

Learning Chinese. I was recently introduced to Memrise, a website to help you learn languages. I picked their Learn basic Chinese: read a menu course and was soon hooked. It’s a brilliant system, introducing the chinese characters via flashcards to help you remember, and it gets you to ‘water your memories’ to help them grow by going back over earlier concepts again at regular intervals. Both kids picked it up immediately and really enjoyed it. I was in the Chinese supermarket in Leeds the other day and picked up this packet of noodles:

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Which both myself and the kids were able to translate! How cool is that?

So, there are my three things for this week. I’m not sure it’ll end up being a weekly thing, but it’s a great way of looking at the good bits of your life.

What are your three things?

The Perfect Coffee Stop

Another great post by Ian on intotheorchard.com. Reminds me that I must dust off my plans to visit as many coffee places in Leeds as possible…

Into The Orchard

barecoffee2

I’ve recently noticed a new addition on my cycle commute into work which is a mobile coffee shop, housed within a fab little Piaggio Ape 3 wheel van, situated in Park Square.  I’ve whizzed around the square saying to myself that I must stop there and give it a go.  Today was the perfect storm, nice early ride in, no first thing meetings, fantastically warm weather so I rolled into the park unclipped and ordered a morning pick me up.

Now both street food and coffee have been slowly picking up over the last couple of years in Leeds, we may not be in Portland’s class but there are now several very good coffee shops and some great things happening on the quality street food scene, exemplified in my view by No Fishy Business showing that you can understand and sell a high quality product from a mobile kitchen.  It’s no…

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le Tour is almost here…

Tour De France route 2013
Tour De France route 2013

One more week until le Tour kicks off in Corsica (and a year until we get it here in Leeds!). Very excited. I’m not usually a huge sports fan, but when it comes to July, I’m hooked on le Tour. Three weeks of hurtling past fields of sunflowers, dragging themselves up the Cols and Alps (Alpe d’Huez and Mount Ventoux amongst them this year, it seems) and whizzing back down them at ridiculous speeds.

It’s a shame Wiggo isn’t there to defend his title from last year, but it’ll be an exciting race anyway. Can Froome pick up where Sir Wiggo left off? And will we see the Manx Missile make it five out of five on the Champs-Élysées?

Over three weeks they’ll cover just over 3,400km, with:

  • 7 flat stages
  • 5 hilly stages
  • 6 mountain stages with 4 summit finishes
  • 2 individual time trial stages
  • 1 team time trial stage

and a couple of rest days thrown in for good measure.

Brilliant. Can’t wait!