2012 in mobile phone photos

I enjoyed doing this post so much last year, I’m doing it again. 2012 was ‘a bit calmer than 2011, but a bit more exhausting’.

At Mount Maunganui, there's piles of timber people have dragged up from the water every couple hundred meters #rena

At New Year’s at the Mount, there was still Rena debris washing up.

70s era Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet as seen at Tauranga model railway club expo

Thanks to my four year old, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the wacky world of model railways.

There we have it, chips omelette

I did a lot of bad food photography – I’ve left most of it off this post, except for CHIPS OMELETTE! H/T The Kitchen Maid.

Lunch at Euro. Recommended.

Doh! #foodtweet

I baked a lot of bread this year.


I also started blogging as part of the Corporate Lunchbox team – it’s fair to say my contributions have been sporadic so far. These burgers are from Char Grill.


I did enjoy a lovely meal at Depot.

Just hangin' out reading the news and that cc @cateowen

The fantastic @cateowen let me sit in the 3 News chair. In fact, most of the cool shit I did this year is thanks to Cate. Ta 🙂


I got to be Jeremy Clarkson for a weekend.


And here is THE JUDGE!

#ladsweekend prep coming along nicely

Had yet another v. successful Lads Weekend, at ‘catching fish’ and ‘binge drinking’ levels.

Fish for tea #ladsweekend



Work-wise, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, even though it was another challenging year. Lot of issues, lot of change. I was even on the bloody telly at one point. I’m missing a lot of the folk in this picture.


The Telecom ONE unconference was another raging success, with bonus manly-disregard for safe trailer stacking practise.


My rugby team The Chiefs only went and bloody won the title. I was very happy.



Scenes from last night #aintnopartylikeahamiltonparty

The 40th birthday parties kicked right in.

Retrieved these from someone's paper recyling. Bit weirded out but mostly stoked.

Two childhood flashbacks – I fished these MAD magazine paperpacks from a paper recycling facility because HOW COULD YOU THROW THEM AWAY?!?!, and commandeered the family lego for my kids.

In other Lego news, a bad-ass spaceship.

I got on Instagram, and found it’s useful mainly for taking photos of ‘things’, or close up photos of objects. They could be it Def Leppard tapes or drawings of a man with a toilet for a hat. For proper photos, it’s still Flickr.

I met Hillary Barry. She was lovely and didn’t mind having her photo taken with Mr Arkward arm.

I had a STORMING year, tech-wise.

This photo is the remains of my beloved HTC ONE X – which I smashed, to be replaced (thanks to me bursting into tears in front of our FANTASTIC device team in a most un-manly fashion), with Samsung’s S3, which I also lurve. Both these phones are big, with bright, vivid screens and superb cameras. Fast. You name it. I rely on it / them a lot to get stuff done, whether it’s work, organising our chaotic weekends or just fecking about on the bus.

At home, I obtained an iPad 3 and the Apple TV for home. Will save the in-depth run down for a future post, but yeah, they’re all fantastic.


My wee chap and my wee girl (she’s a bit bigger now). Family is the whole point, team.

Top parenting tip: multiboxes and coaxial cable make great toys for ten month olds


This ain’t no funky follow party

In the last month or two, I’ve been on an unfollow binge.

 @richirvine ‘following’ stats July – October 2012

When starting out on Twitter, I followed my mates who had blogs, then sportspeople, then local media and online types. I was as free and easy with the follow button as I am with peanut butter on toast. I’d go through other interesting people’s follow lists and follow away with what turned out to be reckless abandon.

Like (I suspect) many professional SM-folk, I followed many people out of professional obligation. Competitors, customers, industry types – which is all well and good, but for the odd occasion they spoke up about something that may become an issue for the employer, the trade off was often a whole lot of irrelevance.

Slowly things became more and more out of control – people you thought would be fun turned out to be too noisy, too whingy, over share-prone or self obsessed. I’m loathe to begrudge anyone a decent bit of self-obsession (hey, check out the domain name of this site!) but this was *my* Twitter – I wanted it to be awesome.

I think everyone owes it to themselves to make their Twitter great. Those pithy little updates and avatars are much more personal and important to me than, say, Facebook with its ever-shifting rules, ads and stuff a mysterious, unaccountable algorithm thinks (THINKS?) I’ll like.

And so, I started unfollowing. My inspiration was this article, Why I just unfollowed everyone on Twitter. Killer quote: “It’s exhilarating.” Unfollowing *everyone* seemed a little extreme (quite tempting though!) but like eating chips, once I started, I found it hard to stop.

Many of the accounts were pure newsfeed accounts I’d long since lost interest in and had been mentally skipping over anyway. Many people were the professional-obligation crowd* and others were friends of friends I’d followed because they were friends of friends, but it struck me I was getting mentally involved with people I didn’t actually know. Which, on paper, felt weird. Unfollow.

Google has a few tools for managing Twitter followers, but I found it easier to just go through my follow list in a web browser and start unfollowing manually. It didn’t take very long, I unfollowed a 2-300 people and I’m much happier. My Twitter feels leaner, sharper and has more meaningful updates, better signal to noise ratio, all that.

Like any time I dramatically cut back on RSS subscriptions (here’s another good article) or what have you, I don’t miss it. And because I’m a recidivist offender when it comes to welcoming feeds, accounts or noise into my life that will easily distract me, no doubt I’ll have to repeat the process over at some stage, but I’m (generally) OK with it.

Yes, I’m aware this post makes me sound like a dick, but I assure you that’s not the intention – I just want my Twitter to be a nice place, and make it about what works for me rather than trying to be everyone’s mate. Or something. One of the things I love most about Twitter is that you control completely what you see and can quickly change it if it’s not working for you. Don’t put up with noise, claim back your Twitter people! For you!


* This is a valuable search tab I have saved for making sure I don’t miss mentions of the employer, with the added bonus of seeing who says what about the employer when they think you’re not seeing it, by not using the handle.

On buying followers

Here’s a very simple test you can perform at home if you suspect someone has bought their followers on Twitter.

Step one: Read your mark’s tweets. Go back a week or two if you can be arsed.

Step two: Ask yourself ‘would X thousand people REALLY be interested in that? Really?!?’

There is no step three.

PS – read Bill Rundle’s excellent blog post on follower buying for much more reasoned thinking than this.

Update: fakers.statuspeople.com can confirm any suspicions.

Hear me say ‘um’ and ‘yinnow’ a lot

Dylan and Morgan at the @discoursenz podcast were kind enough to have me on the show, to talk @telecomnz.

My bit is from about four minutes in, and goes for about ten minutes. I hang around for some of the rest of it too.

Discourse NZ Episode 3.12: Minty Fresh

I enjoyed myself – it’s quite an experience to appear on a podcast you listen to every week, you have to keep reminding yourself you’re *on*, not just listening to an episode at your computer and that you really should say something every now and again.

If you don’t listen to Discourse, you should. It’s not easy putting together an hour’s worth of interesting, funny and well produced audio every week, and the chaps are doing it for free. Get in there, rate the show, etc.


Your blog, Twitter and LinkedIn* are your shtick. My shtick is apparently a stream of unrelated stills from films with me clumsily Photo Shopped in, probably saying ‘work shy’ and ‘limited Photo Shop skills’ to any potential employer. Here goes.

Previous edition

*probably not your LinkedIn

Alien – bonus corridor related link
Billions of stupid avatar barnacles
About to blow this thing and go home
Me and Kirky with NZ’s (other) World Cup
Teen idol
Ready for lift off
Remember caring about screensavers?
“Why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam? I swear to God, one of these days, I just kick this piece of shit out the window.”
These days are on
Turn to the right
All work no play makes Richard a dull boy
Never change the default desktop
Ringo is a tremendously under-rated drummer

Social Media Club Hamilton

Being a Waikato chap, I was pleased and honoured to be guest speaker at the first Social Media Club Hamilton event.

The crowd had that friendly / awkward vibe of people who talk all day on the internet meeting each other in real life, maybe even for the first time. That vibe is a wonderful vibe, team – online communities are stronger communities when everyone gets together for a beer and a yarn face to face every one in a while. Wellington does this really well. The SMC Hamilton committee deserve a lot of credit for making the event happen – it was well attended, and the venue really worked for them. It’s off to a great start.

I did my little spiel on Telecom and social media, looking at the who, where and why of it, the importance of *listening* and what we do when it all turns to custard. Luckily, no-one obviously fell asleep and there were some great questions. I thoroughly enjoyed telling our story, chatting to some new faces, meeting legendary fishermen and having me mum along to hear wot her eldest does over on the dark side (!).

If you are a Hamilton or Waikato resident, I highly recommend making the effort to get along – like I say, I’m sure future events will be a great success. As in the rugby, Hamilton has it all over Auckland at the moment, SMC wise. Ahem.

Doing my best Mr Burns impression at SMC Hamilton. Photo credit: Innes Fisher.

“I think he’s at lunch”

A new thing – I’m contributing to corporatelunchbox.com, “an open forum for lunch suggestions in and around Auckland city”.

My first post reviews Paneton Bakery: “All rolls and baps are well sized with generous fillings and go for around $6-7, a price that makes non-Aucklanders spit out their roll-up and shout “HOW MUCH?”, but makes Aucklanders say “Mmmm, that’s pretty reasonable for a roll these days”.

Look for more coming up, over there. The site is ‘curating’ an Auckland Burger Power Rating chart, I am looking forward to rating some burgers powerfully.

So, this was lunch #foodtweet
The steak at Toto, a god among lunches

PS the Corporate Lunchbox has the best rate card in the business.

2011 in mobile phone photos

There was a lot packed in to 2011. Earthquakes, an election, a world cup. A new baby and family stuff. Work. Here’s a summary in mobile phone photos, an idea I’ve pinched.

Update – here’s even more.

Big ass yacht alert! There is a big ass yacht in the harbor!

Our office moved to Victoria Street, and I’m lucky enough to have this view – I spent a lot of time staring out the window at the bustle of the harbor. It’s beautiful. I’m lucky.

Birthday beer @ Harbourside

A beer in the sun at Tauranga’s Harbourside restaurant on my birthday.

Crisis table in action - note berocca and yesterday's chocolate muffins

This was Telecom’s ‘war room’ table on the 2nd or 3rd day after the 22 February Christchurch earthquake. Work wise, I love crisis communication. The downside, of course, that to experience and develop your crisis comms skills, there has to be a crisis.

I haven’t been to Christchurch for years, and like most people not there, can’t imagine what it’s like to live with aftershock after aftershock – I have the greatest admiration for a mate living there with his young family determined to be part of the rebuild. It’s hard enough having a young family up here in wussy stable-ground Auckland, let alone among seismic uncertainty. For what it’s worth, I hope for a better 2012 for Canterbury.

Havelock North Double Z #mediasensenz

Double Zs while in Hawke’s Bay

Souvenir cc @aklwritersfest

AA Gill

Someone tell me this isn't an EPIC Thomas layout, I frickin' DARE you

Thomas The Tank Engine gave me a new channel to express anal retentivity.

Santa makes a slow, silent and ultimately doomed bid for freedom

My fav street photo I took this year.

Lunch of champions #bacon #foodtweet

I took quite a few photos of what I was eating this year – looking through, it seems to be bacon and bread that I was moved to photograph the most, so this is representative example.

It's in my belly now #pizza #foodtweet

2011 was an excellent year for Pizza.


There was a world cup on – that’s me on the right. Extensive coverage, of course, can be found over at sportreview.net.nz. It was a great year to be a sport blogger.

The wee fella – I don’t like to share much about my kids in public online. Just know I love the crap out of them and my partner. We are very blessed.

This has been the winner on the day. The car, I mean. Ok, and the beer.

The finish line – I’ve never been so ready for a holiday / alcohol.