Another Social Network

Facebook has been a part of my every day life for the past 1421 days (yeah, I looked that up) and in that that time I’ve had a bit of a torrid affair with it.


Although it’s great for catching up with old School friends, looking at pictures and posting inane babble, there are a few things I’ve actually come to hate over the past year or so.

Facebook seems to attract a plethora of spammy “click this to see who stalks you” type apps. We’ve all seen them, they spread like wildfire once one or two of your friends have clicked, and if you have a lot of friends, it doesn’t take long before it’s all you see in your news feed.

Every few days I clear out my inbox which gets so full on pointless updates that it’s getting kind of tiresome. If I’m down to go to your event, you don’t need to send a message every two days in the week leading up to it begging me to come.

Likewise, I’m beginning to realise that most pages are just around for people to spam their wares all over thousands of peoples News Feeds. I bet Villa can get more fans than Blues or if I get 1 Million likes I’ll call my baby Lucifer remind me of school.

Continue reading “Another Social Network”

A New Podcast is Coming

I’m listening to more and more music recently. Mainly switching between for stuff that I already know and Spotify for stuff I know and either haven’t got, or want to try.

Admittedly I’m not listening to enough new music, either from the Midlands or beyond. I’m hoping to change that in the next couple of weeks as I start going out to gigs and asking bands to send me stuff to play on my podcast. When I started I used to get a stack of CDs each week. Bands from around the world somehow got hold of my address and sent me their new stuff ready to play on bitjobs and later, The Midsweep.

In the six months I’ve not been on Rhubarb Radio, I’ve begun to miss recording a show each week. Since 2005, I had recorded something weekly, save for a few breaks here and there. I’ve made arrangements to get my old mixer back from the company I used to do conferences for, have found my trusting Sennheiser mic and am ready to start again.

It’s likely The Midsweep will return, albeit in a different format than before. I’m even considering doing a live stream via Shoutcast at a set time each week and seeing what live listeners I can muster up from the good old days. I haven’t really got time to do it from a studio on any sort of radio station, even though I’ve been in talks with a couple since leaving Rhubarb. I don’t think it would feel right to do that, the live show in a studio has had its day for me – the show is bigger than that anyway, I hope.

The Midsweep has some new branding, and I think it’s time to put it to good use. Oh and I think I know a couple of guys who can help me design a website for it too 😉

We’re still here

So, despite the last-minute panic buying, Iceland’s volcano joining the party, thousands of jokes and a showing of Terminator 2, we’re all still here. A conversation on Friday night got me thinking; what if Harold Camping had been correct. What would’ve actually happened if at 6pm EST yesterday Jesus appeared in the sky and proclaimed that Judgement day had begun? What would that have meant for the rest of us?

I’m not an atheist by any stretch of the imagination. I believe there is something on a higher plane than us, whether that’s God or Vishnu or the Spaghetti monster is what I’m not sure about. We all choose to have faith in something, whether that’s a higher being or even those close to us.

We’re only here for a short amount of time. There is no room for regrets or missed opportunities. Live for the moment. Love those that are with you and be there for them when they need you.

Midsweep Replay: 27th March 2010

As we steam closer and closer towards an announcement regarding the future of The Midsweep, I thought it might be nice to release a select few of the old shows that were broadcast on Rhubarb Radio.

This week it’s a show from the end of March, a show where I was on my own for whatever reason. A fantastic mix of new bands and some of our favourites make for a pretty jam packed two hours.


I am actually a geek

I’ve written about using Linux before, in fact I think there are 20 odd posts dotted around from 2005 about making the switch, only for me to go crawling back to Windows a few months later. In those 4 or so years where I’ve been using Windows exclusively, yearning for enough money to buy a Mac, Linux has come on leaps and bounds.

It used to be that you’d install Linux and then hunt all over the Internet with another computer trying to find wireless support, graphics card drivers and trying to remember how to install something via the terminal. A couple of weeks ago, after Vista had decided to have the last laugh and go completely atomic (remember to back up your data, kids) I decided to make the jump (again) to Linux Mint.

I’ve always been quite curious about trying new things, especially when they mean I don’t have to run a bloated, virus prone, expensive and frankly ugly OS. When you spend 95% of your working day typing code and having to wrestle with Windows wanting to do its own thing, it gets quite annoying very quickly. When I discovered originally use Linux, it was because I was bored – probably after a late night session recording a podcast and not being able to sleep.

I was able to install it, get it to do almost the same things as I could do on Windows and then generally mess around until I missed either a) a decent MP3 player or b) some game that I wanted to play and so I’d go crawling back to Windows. Don’t get me wrong, I owe everything to Bill Gates et al, without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

Fast forward a good few years and I’m back to Linux, only this time I’m running Windows XP inside a Virtualbox (virtual machine) that runs as a programme (in a Window) or seamlessly (as if I’ve booted in to XP). Obviously this takes up a tremendous amount of processor and RAM usage, but with my beast of a Laptop I can cope quite well. Now I can hear you Mac users (and maybe some, less/more geeky than me) screaming things like “we’ve been able to do this for ages” and/or “why?”

Sadly, the main reason, is my iPhone. Although you can attempt to run Windows software within Linux using something called Wine, it’s buggy and doesn’t always work. Without iTunes I can’t backup my phone or update it to the latest software. I tied to iTunes and without buying a Mac, I sadly can’t escape that. This isn’t a moan, I just sometimes wish Apple would be a bit more open in either developing for Linux, or enabling other programs to deliver updates to iOS.

More on my trials and tribulations with Linux in the months to come. This time I’m going to aim for at least a year using it, with a little help from Windows XP to sync my iPhone.

Geek, out.


Speechfewapy at We Are Birmingham

For this months Midsweep gig at We Are Birmingham we teamed up with Speechfewapy to host a showcase featuring Ben Calvert, Young Runaways and Tom Peel.

For a gig that started at 6:30 on a Friday night, it was pretty well attended with all three acts drawing applause and getting the audience (and We Are Birmingham staff) on their feet and jumping around. I recorded a rather shaky video of Young Runaways last song, a cover of The Specials.

Young Runaways – A Message to You Rudy (Live) from Phil Coyne on Vimeo.

I came across some videos of the PodFest gigs that I used to put on with Nina Spink over the weekend. Back when Podcasting was ‘big’ I had the idea of putting on gigs that would be live streamed from the venue around the world. It wasn’t a new idea (although quite similar to what we ended up doing at Rhubarb) but the idea of recording the gigs, slotting in an interview and then releasing the video online hadn’t been done by a small (three-man) team before.

Travelling to Camden each month was at times hard, but always exciting. I used to travel with the cameraman, Rob either getting the last train back or getting stuck in traffic and barely making it in time. As a lot of the things I do are, Podfest was an experiment – mainly to see if I could pull something like that off, getting bands in each month, recording and putting out the finished material. At times it worked, but I know looking back that we all had to sacrifice a lot of time each month to keep it ticking over.

After I stopped doing it, Nina carried on for a few months working with some other UK Podcasters, Rowley from DarkCompass and I *think* GD from GreenDragon (couldn’t find a link) while I started a new job and got my life on track a bit.

Since Google Video is closing, and YouTube won’t let me post videos over 15 minutes long, I’ll be uploading to Vimeo in the next few days. I’ll warn you now, the presenting isn’t much cop, but some of the performances were pretty good. I know that if I did it now it’d be a completely different affair. And also, please excuse the haircut.

Included below is the ‘Best Of’ video, it’ll be interesting to see what people make of it.

Best of PodFest 2007 from Phil Coyne on Vimeo.

Six Months On

Since I stopped my show on Rhubarb Radio, the weeks have tumbled along without me noticing. Prepping for a show each week took about 12 hours, which included sourcing the music, writing the show notes, organising any musicians we’d have in and then actually doing the show. Time went a lot slowly because I was planning week to week, instead of completely knowing what was going to happen – if that makes sense.

When I decided to leave Rhubarb, I thought I’d get that time back to devote to something else. Stamp collecting, photography, ballet – something to replace that 12 hours I now had free by not doing a weekly radio show.

Starting a business has been an amazing ride and in the blink of an eye, we’re six months in to trading as wild ilk. In a way, that time I used to spend on the show has now become time where I’ll spend collating our 12 month projections or thinking about the best way to launch refreshed versions of our portfolio site. It’s not a hobby when you run a business, everything sort of melds in to one. I’ve definitely learnt a lot more than I ever did working in an office for a “big” company. However much those companies say you’ll better yourself by spending 12 hours a day on the phone listening to customers moan at you, don’t believe them.

This week I received an invitation to join the Institute of Directors. I know it’s not a big deal, but it’s kind of cool to think that I’m not a grunt who works at the front line of customer service any more, I’m now a full-time Web Designer/Director/Chief Financial Officer of a company. I’m not trying to sound better than those people, I’ve just come to realise that doing what I did for eight years wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

Six months in; we’re thinking about moving in to studio space, our work is being displayed at the new Spiceal Street development in Birmingham and we’re about to start a project that will hopefully bring together Creatives from the many corners of the globe together online.

When I blog it always seems to be reminiscing about something, or setting goals for the future. As things change at work, I’m going to be getting back in to regularly talking about stuff that I enjoy as well. I’ve been meaning to write a book for five years, want to play the guitar and see a lot more of the world. Oh and I think I need a haircut.