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MeBooks and Pocketfolios

June 8th, 2010 by gileslane

Over the past few weeks we’ve been imagining more uses of Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes, partly inspired by the family and personal eBooks created by our two Future Jobs Fund placements, Karine and Shalene, and partly with the help of Niharika Hariharan, a designer from Delhi (and former intern at Proboscis) who’s been in London recently. Last year Niharika designed a series of bilingual eBooks for a schools workshop in Delhi, Articulating Futures, which Proboscis co-designed and supported.

Earlier this year, in a Pitch Up & Publish event with We Are Words + Pictures, the eBooks were used by a couple of writers to create simple portfolios of their work to show prospective clients/commissioners. Over the years Proboscis has also used both the eBook and StoryCubes formats to create publications that present our work in a similar way. We’ve now come up with two ideas for using bookleteer to create highly personal eBooks about who people are and what they do, Pocketfolios and MeBooks.

Pocketfolios
We began by thinking about how we remember work by art, design and architecture students at graduate shows (often by collecting business or postcards) and how, looking back, sometimes it can be hard recalling why we might have collected someone’s details without a connection to what caught our interest in the first place. But what if there was a way for the students to give away something like a mini portfolio of their work? What if they could use bookleteer to create simple, yet beautiful, ‘pocketfolios’ with more details about them and their work?

Niharika has designed posters which we’re sending out to colleges to invite students to test out bookleteer for creating highly personal ‘pocketfolios’ – we’re also offering a 10% discount (using the discount codes on the physical posters) for students who want their pocketfolio(s) printed via our PPOD service. We have also developed another set of posters which we’ll be sending out to studios to invite makers of all descriptions to explore bookleteer and the Diffusion eBooks as a way to create personal or product-based pocketfolios.

MeBooks
A couple of weeks ago I took part in a meeting at Islington Council for employers participating in the Future Jobs Fund where there was very positive feedback about the young participants gaining in skills and confidence. However the mentoring and follow-on advice being offered seemed to lack inspiration for much else beyond CV writing skills.

It occurred to me that bookleteer could offer something quite different – an adaptation of the Pocketfolio idea that could be made relevant to people from all walks of life and in different job types and sectors than the arts or design. A personal narrative about them – their story, or MeBook – that could act as a portfolio of their skills, experiences, ambitions, hobbies and interests, what they’ve achieved and what inspires them. Something that helps them describe and share what they feel is the best of themselves that a CV simply couldn’t cover.

We’ve been brainstorming how we might do this (also with input from Karen Martin, resident bookleteer and Proboscis associate) and hope to have a workshop piloted in the next few weeks. I’ve recently met with staff from Islington Council as well as Judith Hunt and her team from Get More Local to hear their feedback on how this could benefit other young people on the Future Jobs Fund and other schemes. Watch this space for further announcements!

We would love to hear from anyone else involved in similar schemes who’d like to offer the MeBook idea to their placements/interns/trainees. Please get in touch to find out more.

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