Saturday 21 Sep, 2019

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The MeasureCamp SwearJar 2.0

Another year, another MeasureCamp and with it another iteration of the MeasureCamp SwearJar (and another late blogpost from me).

First and foremost an update on last year’s SwearJar: a total of £90 was raised for Tommy’s (funding research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage) donated by way of Peter’s running the Royal Parks Half Marathon. The MeasureCamp SwearJar made up the largest contribution to his fundraising efforts singlehandedly ensuring he exceeded his £350 target so, for all of you that donated, give yourself a pat on the back.

This year’s chosen charity is again linked to a MeasureCamp organiser, this time Temina Moledina: WaterAid who, in their own words, are “an international non-governmental organisation. Our mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. WaterAid and its partners use practical solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people. We also seek to influence policy at national and international levels.”

I have been contributing to the awareness of this situation in my own way for years now by ensuring no-one in the immediate vicinity leaves an un-finished drink in a bar because “there are children in third world countries who can’t buy water never mind a drink…”. As well as raising eyebrows and tempers, this also raises awareness. At least it does in my mind, but I fear I’m getting off track. On to this year’s list for the MeasureCamp Swear Jar:

The MeasureCamp SwearJar list

This year I called for suggestions of what word/term attendees would like to see added to the list of forbidden phrases (and a little explanation as to why) to the MeasureCamp Google+ Community and received the following nominations:

Richard Fergie was first to put something forward: “it depends” which is in reference to people not making a decision when asked for their thoughts/opinions/advice/solution. While there are situations where the right answer will depend on certain additional factors it’s more commonplace, in my experience, for people to lead with it depends. They then rattle off a list of options without committing to any single approach, thereby avoiding the possibility of “being wrong” (but at the same time not being very helpful either).

AndrewMorris’ first nomination appeared an attempt to bleed the sponsors dry with “Out of the box solution“, in his own words “should get more money out of any vendors. On the list because it is always a lie!” In light of this nomination I will ensure there are SwearJars placed in close proximity of each vendor/sponsor display area, another reason to have a chat with the vendors without whom MeasureCamp would not be possible. Thanks again Calltracks, Tealium, iJento and of course Mozilla for use of their amazing offices.

The next nominations concern the use of metaphors in reference to job titles/function. That doesn’t really need an explanation as to why it’s on the list so any use of “Rockstar“, “Guru“, “Hacker”, “Ninja“, “Scientist” (unless you can prove you are a scientist, only original copies of qualifications will be accepted on the day) etc will result in a £1 fine. This means that all attendees of Wednesday’s London Web Analytics Meetup automatically incur a £1 fine for attending a Meetup that labels its attendees Ninja’s. Yes a SwearJar will be there tomorrow, bring change. (Thanks to Montse Cano and Alec Cochrane for contributing here)

That was the sum total of the suggestions for this year’s list but as Peter has set a target of reaching triple figures for donations I’ve decided to include a couple from last year as well:

HITS” – Beloved phrase of politicans and reporters everywhere, it is not a web analytics term. From Peter O’Neill.

Best Practice” – Partly because it’s used to end the discussion not continue it: “Well best practice is…” so that’s that. Partly because there is no “one, size fits all solution” but mostly because it will ensure at least £50 from Peter’s own pocket. From me.

low hanging fruit” – Basically, unless I’m in an orchard, I don’t want to hear this wishy washy agency speak. What does it mean? What fruit? I don’t want fruit, I want to you to deliver value and realise goals. I prefer someone to be explicit: “We are going to target quick wins initially – these include x, y & z . These will be measured by … Etc.” From James Gurd.

How will the MeasureCamp SwearJar work?

There will be swear jars littered around the venue (I promise there will be this time around) in which fines will be deposited for use, or misuse, of any of the above as well as anything you deem to be improper Analytics speak. The fine will be £1 a swear (except for “Big Data” which will cost you £2). Like the Bureau of Guardians from the Russian Novel We, we will rely on attendees to monitor their co-attendees, though in a far less sinister manner, and call out any improper verbal conduct be it in general conversation or on stage. As a concept unconferences are designed to encourage discussions & exchange of ideas and I feel this exercise is in keeping with that concept.

Please remember to bring change (and that this is meant to a fun concept with all money going to charity).

Author: Ashley Lindley
Position: SEO Manager, Starcom MediaVest