Sam Michel's blog

Sam Michel

Sam Michel is the founder of Chinwag and blogs here for work, and more randomly at Toodlepip. He runs Chinwag Jobs, Digital Mission and tends to focus on murky place where technology, community and marketing collide. You'll find him on twitter @toodlepip.

Lessons in Open Metadata

the tube by realSMILEY

The recipe? A large public(ish) organisation (TfL) opens its data kimono to developers. Six days later, a group of geeks gather for a hack-day and a thing of beauty is born, the live tube map.

Have a look. It's rather addictive, like watching the download bar on a browser slowly creep across the screen (just me?). Congratulations to Matthew Somerville (@dracos) for hacking this together so quickly.

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Facebook's Zuck Live from London

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 21: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote address at the f8 Developer Conference April 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Zuckerberg kicked off the the one day conference for developers that features breakout sessions on the future of social technologies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

London does seem to be very much on the radar of the US-based tech heavyweights, seeing visits from both Zuckerberg and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joins the line-up for The Guardian's Activate summit later this month (10% discount for Chinwaggers).

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£18m Collaborative R&D, Partnering for Innovation Tour Visits Bristol and London

Sian Brereton, Technology Strategy BoardUPDATE: If you're not able to make it along, follow on Twitter #tsbcollab. Presentations will be available as videos in next couple of days.

This week we're off to The Watershed in Bristol on Wednesday (2nd June) and the Internet Advertising Bureau in London on Thursday (3rd June).

These events are part of the Partnering for Innovation tour Chinwag is helping to organise, to support the launch of the £18m Collaboration Across Digital Industries competition.

There's still a few spaces left for the Bristol event, don't forget to RSVP to secure one.

If you're after more background about this competition, don't forget to check out the videos we blogged last week with Alex Stanhope from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

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Webinar to Launch New Metadata R&D Competition

Metadata Has Wings by Gideon Burton

At midday today (1st June), we're delighted to welcome Alex Stanhope and Jeremy Silver from the Technology Strategy Board to Chinwag Towers for a live webinar.

They'll join me to chat about an exciting new R&D competition that focuses on metadata and how developers or rights holders can obtain grant funding to explore new business models and ways to increase revenues from their content.

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Win Tickets for London Startup Weekend, 4-6th June

Startup Weekend

UPDATE: Win £1,500 worth of shared office space rental.

Summer's here, although saying that alone has probably jinxed the bank holiday weekend to three days of drizzle.

For budding entrepreneurs, the weekend offers some time free of distractions to focus on developing their startups, which is why the London Startup Weekend, sounds intriguing.

The team at Startup Weekend have very kindly offered Chinwag readers a chance to win two tickets to the event (enter here), and if you can't wait there's also a special 25% discount (use code chinwag00).

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Video Interview: Alex Stanhope from TSB on £18m Collaborative R&D Fund

Partnering for Innovation BrochureAs anyone whose tried knows, getting grant funding from the government can be an arduous task with forms that sap your will to live.

Fortunately, the process for securing a slice of the £18m Collaboration Across Digital Industries fund recently announced by the Technology Strategy Board is much less painful.

I caught up with Alex Stanhope, who is leading this project to get the background on the TSB's work and the Digital Testbeds that led to this £18m competition.

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The Great Google Job Experiment, Pay Per Career Keyword Advertising

The Great Google Job ExperimentGetting that dream job, sometimes requires more than a straight-forward job hunt, application and nailing the interview.

As an extension of a marketing discipline, it's all about understanding your audience and targeting them with an effective campaign. That's exactly what Alec Brownstein did using ingenuity and the grand total of $6 on Google Adwords.

The result? A gig at Y&R New York. Here's how he did it...

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Win Tickets for The Guardian Activate Summit 2010

Guardian Activate 2010

UPDATE: 10% discount, use code 'Chinwag' when registering.

Don't say we don't spoil you!

On 1st July, The Guardian's Activate Summit is back, and we've hooked up with the lovely folks at Guardian Towers for a competition to win two tickets to this high-profile conference, worth over £600.

After an incredible first year, this powerful gathering of global visionaries returns for a day of ideas and inspiration, providing insight into how the web and associated technologies are reshaping our world.

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2 Tickets for SMX Advanced London Up for Grabs

SMX Advanced London

Search Marketing Expo Advanced hits London next week, and the lovely folks at SMX Advanced have offered up free tickets for two lucky Chinwag readers.

The program put together by search gurus Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman from SearchEngineLand, this conference lifts the lids on all aspects of advanced search marketing with a packed agenda.

Barak Berkowitz, Managing Director of Wolfram|AlphaThe opening keynote features Barak Berkowitz, Managing Director of Wolfram|Alpha, the UK's very own computational knowledge engine examining the future of search.

To win the tickets worth hundreds of pounds, simply fill out the form below and we'll let you know on Thursday (13th) whether you're one of the lucky recipients.

Can't Wait? Grab your tickets now, save £200 by registering in advance. For more info and to register, check out the SMX Advanced London website.

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Win 2 Tickets for Social Media in Business Conference

Social Media in BusinessThe lovely folks at the Social Media in Business conference (SMiB10) have offered up two free tickets to their next conference taking place on May 21st in London. 

The conference examines how social media culture and social networking platforms are having a major impact on business communication, practices and processes.

Enter the competition now, just fill out the simple form below and we'll let you know next Fri (30th Apr) if you're the lucky winner, getting your hands on two tickets worth £345 each!

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One Small £50k Step Startup Competition

a wheelbarrow of cash by racy3000The One Small Step competition from Barclays Business will see ten businesses collar £50,000 in funding for their startup.

With funding hard to come by, this looks like a good opportunity to secure that crucial initial cash to get the ball rolling. The competition has a broad remit:

"The brief is open - it could be a lifelong ambition or a recent brainwave. It could be a personal experience or a distant dream. Even a revolutionary concept that changes the world. It’s an open invitation and anyone with a great business idea and the drive to make it happen could win."

In an X-Factor meets Dragon's Den move, the One Small Step competition will sees the public vote on a shortlist of three companies from each region drawn up by the judges. Expect to see plenty of Twitter and Facebook canvassing for your vote over the next few weeks.

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Help Wanted: Chinwag Needs an Office Administrator

Chinwag Door SignChinwag's street cred has just taken a dip, with the news that the lovely Juliet is leaving our ranks to concentrate on her totally wicked music blog/A&R project, (see earlier street cred reference)

We're going to miss her lots, especially her exasperated look, when I try and make a convincing argument that The Thompson Twins were the hipsters of their time, or cite the artistic merits of Girls Aloud. 

This also means we're on the hunt for a new member of the Chinwag team. It's a part-time role, that requires that special blend of organisation, efficiency, unflappability, brain power and occasional banter.

Working with our little gang, this person will be a critical part of keeping our multitudinous projects including, Chinwag Jobs, Digital Missions and lots more running smoothly.

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Channel 4 Launches Paid Internships

Channel 4 by James CridlandHot on the heels of our recent summary of juicy intern roles, news reaches Chinwag Towers from Channel 4 of their Generation Next Programme.

Focusing on potential rather than age, skills or qualifications, seven lucky interns will get an in-depth ten week placement,

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Digital Internships & Work Placements Summer Round-up

Daffodils in Nowton Park by Andrew StawarzSpring has sprung. Even the plant life inside Chinwag Towers is showing signs of life despite its usual mistreatment.

It's also the time of the year when soon-to-be graduates, and those about to embark on their gap year start the hunt for a worthwhile pursuit to fill the coming months.

Following our call for internships and work placements a few weeks back, here's a round-up of the response we got. For enterprising souls, there's certainly plenty of experience to be gained at some great digital companies, check out the list of available placements: 

This list was put together purely as a rough'n'ready trial, it's a list of internships and work placements only. If you're looking for a full-time or freelance role, check out the full listings on our sister site, Chinwag Jobs (hint: there's a list of the latest and greatest to your right-hand side).

We'd also love to hear from employers and interns on their experiences, so do leave a comment or drop us a line. It's always good to get a steer on the state of the industry, both good and bad.

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BBC Digital Planet's Bill Thompson Talks SXSW

Bill Thompson at SXSW 2010A highlight of SXSW is the enormous opportunity for networking. And it's not just catching up with the Americans, with such a large British contingent making the trip to Austin, it's a great chance to catch-up with people from the UK, too.

BBC World Service Digital PlanetBill Thompson, Gareth Mitchell and the crew from BBC World Service's Digital Planet show were in town to record a special live session at SXSW interactive (listen here). Bill swung by the Digital Mission stand where I pounced on him with my flip and asked him about his first SXSW...

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