Archive for 2010

SOTM iPhone app

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Mockup for SOTM app homepageWORK is firmly under way on the SOTM iPhone application, and here’s a screen shot of the home page – click on it for a larger image, which you can also zoom in on.

My idea is to allow people to use the app to take SOTM photos without the need for paper, pen or conventional camera, at any time or in any place. Instead, it can all be done via this app which will take a photo of someone, then allow the user to place a white space in front of their subject’s image, mimicking the SOTM style.

Then, a relevant message can be typed onto the white space, and the image will be sent to me, for use on the SOTM website. Also, the user can post their app images to their twitter and Facebook pages.

I’m currently talking to a charity about paying the profits from the download fees to them, and hopefully that will work out to become a fruitful partnership for lots of different reasons. I’ll post more on that as things progress there.

I certainly hope that people will use the app to generate photographs for SOTM, but also I hope the downloads will mean a few people from poorer backgrounds around the world will benefit from the SOTM project. Which would be pretty cool all round.

The app will hopefully go live around the start of December, and I’d love for people to blog about it and generally spread the word when it does. And download it, of course 😀 It will only be available on the iPhone, as I can’t afford to go cross-platform, but so long as that works out as well as I hope, then I’ll be looking for sponsors to develop Blackberry and Android versions, with the same charity policy.

Hacked Off

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

YOU might have noticed how Someone Once Told Me and this blog were both blacklisted by Google, Firefox and AVG for about 10 days around the end of July/start of August.

This was because a hacker, or at least probably their software, exploited a WordPress security issue, gained access to SOTMario and placed dodgy code here. We’re not sure what sort of code it was, but it wasn’t up very long.

However, the hacking software then jumped over to the SOTM site and put the code on there too, because the passwords for both sites were the same. Those passwords have been changed now, of course, and are no longer matching.

Max, SOTM’s programmer, took the code out swiftly, but it took Google a few days to give the all-clear, so in the meantime the hits slumped. But normal service has now been resumed, so hopefully things will get back to normal now.

Apologies for the disruption, and thanks for your patience.

Refugee Week

Sunday, June 13th, 2010
Bakri Alnajeeb's SOTM

Bakri Alnajeeb, from Sudan, chose a SOTM in Arabic

I HAD a meeting a few weeks ago with those nice people from the British Refugee Council (Farida Stanikzai) and Refugee Week (Gerdy Rees). They told me about their plans for Refugee Week, in which a number of events are held to celebrate the things that refugees bring to this country, when they no longer can live in their own.

We chatted about what they were up to and SOTM and decided to combine our efforts. So Farida took six SOTMs of refugees currently in the UK, and gathered up some of their stories – you’ll see them start appearing on the site from 14 June.

The organisers of Refugee Week said: “The purpose of Refugee Week is to deliver positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees, through arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and promote understanding about the reasons why people seek sanctuary.

“Refugee Week was first held in 1998, and was created in response to the increasingly negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers held by the general public in Britain. It remains the only UK-wide event that promotes the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.

“Refugee Week is a multi-agency project, managed by the Refugee Week Team which consists of the UK Coordinator for Refugee Week, Welsh and Scottish Co-ordinators and a small number of volunteers with specific skills. Different regions, areas and towns have their own Refugee Week Steering and Operational Groups which manage and co-ordinate Refugee Week activities in their areas.”

So there you go – check out what someone once told refugees from Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan among other places.

Farewell to Emilie

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Emilie Stammers\’ SOTM

AFTER putting a shout out on twitter for volunteers, I was contacted by Emilie Stammers. So we met in Camden for a coffee – or at least I had a drink, as she refused my offer of one, stating that she had just drunk a coffee before my arrival and would “be up all night” if she had another.

We chatted for a while, during which she talked about starting university, her boyfriend, her parents and her dad in particular. Then we went around the corner to a snowy Camden Lock and I took her shot there, along with her video, before we parted.

About a month later I got an email one evening, which I read at the very moment that Ronaldinho scored against Manchester United in their Champions League game. I was shocked by what I read, so I turned away from the football and read the email again to try and make sense of it. It was from someone called Dave, who informed me that he was Emilie’s friend and that she had killed herself about three weeks after I’d taken her photo.

He said she was a big fan of SOTM and “very excited” about appearing on it. He also went on to urge me to use Emilie’s picture and has also set up a Facebook group in her memory.

Although I’d only met Emilie once, I was upset by all this. She was 18, bright, with clearly a lot to live for. But I didn’t want to use her picture if it upset her family, who already had that tragedy to deal with. So I emailed Robin, Emilie’s dad, who looked over the material and gave me his blessing. His testimony about his daughter forms a large part of the blurb beneath her photograph.

So, if you read this blog post, please do visit Emilie’s picture. I think she would have liked that.