I SPEND A LOT OF TIME working in remote locations so I'm grateful for the ease of use I get with my durable Brydge keyboard. It connects to my Note 9 the moment I switch it on with no requirement to push a button or select a setting.
ANOTHER BLOGGER APPEARS to be rebooting original work and offers lovely prints to complement his writing. It's Ian Bertram from the UK, an artist I also follow on Etsy. You should click the image and see more of his prints.
ONE OF THE MOST insightful conversations I enjoyed in 2018 came inside 1784, a Third Space of Michelle Gallen. Michelle shared a wide assortment of ideas with me about community, book recommendations, and the status of her stealth project. It's all part of the 15 minute audio recording I shared on Spreaker.
I'VE WATCHED PETER DONEGAN and listened to his Sodshow for eight years so I know his clever public spaces always work as places where people enjoy meeting and sharing. Peter discusses the essence of gardening as a community dynamic in Congversation #4 on the lead-in to #cong19 in County Mayo.
THE BEST UNCONFERENCE in Ireland offers first-hand proof that small huddles of people who use social venues engender meaningful conversations. This happens every year in the little village of Cong, County Mayo, Ireland.
Rather than predictable SlideShare presentations from a well-lighted podium, the congregation offers a structured schedule that avoids the chaos found in conferences organised around Post-its on whiteboards. But for people like me who enjoy flexibility, every meet-up I attend in Cong rewards me with lots of flexibility. I meet experts in huddles, on the street, and in pub conversation throughout the weekend. The entire experience recharges me.
THE MOST POWERFUL community dynamic I have enjoyed in Ireland stemmed from monthly Open Coffee Meetups in Limerick. I want to rekindle that energy by layering the Open Coffee dynamic inside the Grow Remote movement and I think I will try to do this in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland in 2019.
EVERY TIME WE MEET the grandparents, the sniping starts against touchscreen devices. Whenever I hear the sniping start--and it does every time we meet--I simply bite my tongue and then let the kids tap and explore. But I limit their online forays to specific periods of the day.
Every time I skim through my newsfeeds, I spot chatter about pre-teens and screens  but I think most of the noise I hear comes from privileged technologists who seek retro activities for their families. I also hear from physicians and education experts. But you know what? I have far more time for experts who have studied the sociology of our online world or psychologists who can document exactly what happens when people behave as though they cannot live without primary contact with electronic devices. I need to seek out more of those sorts of learned voices because I want to face down touchscreen abolitionists.