WHILE SITTING AT THE kitchen table with my Stateside daughters (at left filmed while outside in video footage by Pat Phelan) hogging my laptop, I saw some of my work practises from the 90s played out in front of me. That doesn't mean my girls are caught in a time warp. It just means they revel in connecting by using techniques no longer my primary means of communicating. And that means I have to change my ways to connect with them more efficiently. Specifically, I need to return to instant messaging, check my email for trusted sources, and render at least 30 seconds of video every day. Let me explain.
Instant Messaging is Paramount. The first thing they do when booting up is connect to their team using IM. "It's just like text messaging, Dad." And why not just text? "You know, it's not reliable to text people. And with IM, you can keep a transcript." Not willing to argue the point, I just bought Agile Messenger for my Nokia E90 and now we're IM-connected and as fast as text.
Check the Mail. The second stop is e-mail, accessed by using the iPhone. "We can't do attachments." I sorta knew that so we've set up bookmarks that let them hear audio snippets and 28-minute mixfits episodes that share current favourites between the four of us. Then we set up RSS subscriptions that automatically sync our weekly mixfits episodes to our phones.
Personal Video Rocks. In the 90s, I liked the Flash player because it made dead screens move. So I watched short animations and arthouse films played with Flash. Now my daughters wacth YouTube to check out new music, entertaining cuttings, and personal channels. Knowing this, I will be back on my YouTube channel with new energy. And I will post-produce our shakycam Qik clips for playback on the iPhone.
Try as I might, I can't infect either of my 20-something daughters with Twitter so I plan to reorient my world to IM, email and video subscriptions in my pocket.