On ReInventLaw – London – Oxford – Glasgow and meeting friends!

On ReInventLaw – London – Oxford – Glasgow and meeting friends!

Last month, I had the chance to speak at ReInvent Law in London and to travel to Oxford and Glasgow. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time and not just because of the conference. This trip would give me the opportunity to spend time with people I met on Twitter.

Ian Rivers & Alice de Sturler at the Tower of London, 2013

Ian Rivers & Alice
de Sturler at the Tower
of London, 2013

In London, Ian Rivers took us sightseeing for an entire day. We walked quite a few miles around town visiting Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the bridge that features in one of the Harry Potter movies, the Big Ben, and the British Museum. We had lunch at the South Bank before heading to The Tower of London.

We were right in time for the guided tour and visited the Bloody Tower where supposedly the Princes Edward V and Richard of York were murdered. Their cases of course, regained media attention after the remains of King Richard III were found.

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The Votes by AdS

There was an opinion board in the tower where after reading about the case, you could leave your vote whether Richard did or did not kill his nephews. The third option was that they disappeared. Unfortunately, the text available in the tower was one-sides and relied heavily on the works of Sir Thomas More. No modern work was mentioned or even cited. Not surprisingly, the majority of the visitors voted that Richard was guilty of murdering his nephews. In light of the recent discoveries and the wealth of works written about this case after Sir Thomas More, the Tower management should really update this texts. After the Bloody Tower, we went to see the Crown Jewels.

On June 14, I headed to ReInvent Law London 2013. ReInvent Law London has been brilliantly summarized and reviewed by Brian Inkster so I refer you to his blog. I also liked the review by Richard Parnham.

Not only did I get a chance to present my (cold) case(s), I finally met up with Sue Carney. Sue has been nothing but supportive and motivating since we met on Twitter. It was very good to be able to say “thank you” to her in person. Aside from Sue, I saw Gavin Ward. We met again later in Glasgow. Geoff Searle also came to the conference to support me. Thank you so much!

Thanks to all the votes (Michall Holmes had a big hand in that) I had the chance to explain how you can get renewed media attention for cold cases. The reactions to the talk were all very positive. My main point was that you do not need anything new or expensive to start working on these unsolved murders. That point was well received. Nothing that I use is a technical novelty but I do use the existing technology in a different manner. Spreadsheets are not just for accounting. You can use them for time-lines and to recap chats on Twitter. Lengthy blog posts such as a cold case analysis can be divided in shorter pieces. You can of course post them on your own blog as a series however, you can also try to attract new readers by going on a blog tour. Get in touch with other bloggers, agree on a publishing schedule for all the posts, make a general announcement on all blogs involved, and encourage all separate readerships to hop from blog to blog to read about the case. Those readers discover new blogs, you may get new permanent readers, and who knows what else might come from this. At the very least, it is extra exposure for the unsolved homicide and that is exactly what will ultimately help the victim’s case.

Two cases were highlighted: Teresa Sue Hilt and Richard Lee Waggoner. With almost no costs involved, these two cases without previous Internet presence were placed at “the front page” again.

The preparation for ReInventLaw London took some time. When I knew that I had enough votes to present my talk I enthusiastically started scribbling. Sue had already warned me. Pick and choose. I thought that I had done that but ended up with about 20 pages of text and an 18 pages long Power Point Presentation. Sigh … Lucky for me, Christa M. Miller came to the rescue. With her red pen, Christa turned my draft into a presentable talk that would fit into the allotted time. Thank you, Christa. You too have been nothing but supportive and I cannot thank you enough.

Of course, everyone with tech questions about the blog was referred to Jacques Soudan. For his latest post about SEO results, Jacques was assisted by London SEO-expert Patri Hernandez! Thank you, Patri, for helping Jacques.

After the talks, Victoria Moffatt and I had a drink at the reception. We spoke about her company and chatted for quite a while. She too has generously offered her time and assistance!

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Nicholson Pub – AdS

In Oxford, we had an excellent meal in Nicholson’s Pub on Cornmarket Street. I promised the waitress Celeste to fill in the survey and of course, I forgot. Celeste, this shout-out is for you and the pub!  Sorry that I forgot the survey!!!

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Shaking vins with our new friend – Natasha Phillips

One of the trip’s highlights was of course, spending quality time with Buki a.k.a. Natasha Phillips and keeping up with her while she chased the piranhas and crocodiles in the London Aquarium. The stingrays in particular seemed to like our company so we took a hand-shot with one of our new friends!

In Oxford, we were welcomed by Andy Wathen who had organized a wonderful garden dinner. Thank you, Andy & Jill!

After Oxford, our last stop in the UK was Glasgow. In Glasgow, we met with Brian Inkster & Nicola Walls and Gavin Ward & Gill McCrea in Café Gandolfi. When in Rome … so we asked Brian for the Scottish menu recommendations. I can now say that I ate Cullen Skink and loved it! If you have your own recipe of this soup, feel free to contact me!

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Brian Inkster by AdS

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Gavin & Alice by Brian Inkster

Brian had the scoop of being the first on Twitter to tweet my real name. He had his tablet ready during ReInventLaw and captured the first pictures of me presenting Tess’ case. In the restaurant, he tried to get another scoop while we waiting for our dinner. He brought out the camera. Deb Dobson had asked for pictures.

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Nicola, Brian, DD, Alice, Gavin, Gill by EdS

Brian tried his best to get me on film but unfortunately for him, I had an answer for that! Gavin valiantly joined the rebuttal. After some mediation that would have made Thomas Valenti proud, we settled!

At CitizenM we got great service and I must say that I like their concept. The rooms all have the necessities and luxuries that you want such as individual climate control, free movies, free WiFi, 24-hour access to drinks and food, and centrally located in town but for a much smaller price tag than most hotels.

In their Imax Center, Gavin spent time with me going over my blog. He gave me ample tips and advice. You will see the changes coming bit by bit. I have already followed up on some tips (uncluttered the right side margin, improved titles on my meta pages for SEO, a Google Plus author page and a G+ page for my blog) but other tips will have to wait until I switch to a new theme. The new theme will be responsive and will update my blog’s look. As I mentioned before here on DCC, talking with Gavin leaves you with a ton of information and tips how you can advance your work, your profile, and your Internet presence. Thank you, Gavin, for always being so generous with your time.

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EdS

Our last dinner in Glasgow was at Café Rogano before Brian & Nicola took us to a reception before the Comann na Mara Grand Concert to celebrate the winners of the piping composition competition that was sponsored by the Comann na Mara (Society of the Sea), North Uist, in association with the College of Piping. My favourite composition was awarded the “Oran Mor” Quaich.  Derek Boyce wrote and performed his composition for hornpipe himself. During the evening, we enjoyed the performances of Marie Therese Gilfedder, Samantha Pake & Alasdair Turner. The Gaelic singer Linda MacLeod was phenomenal.

But all fun comes to an end. The next day we started our trip back to the USA. There is much more to write and there is much more that we should have seen, could have done so … we’ll be back one day! In the meantime, please bear with me while my blog undergoes some changes this summer.

Cheers!

Comments

  1. Alice,

    It was brilliant to meet you in London and I’m only sorry we couldn’t have spent more time together. That said, I’m so glad you enjoyed such a fabulous welcome in the UK, and hopefully next time you’re here you’ll have time to come to Manchester.

    Looking forward to future collaborations.

    Sue.

  2. What a wonderful time you had! Thanks for sharing. The daughter of a friend – one who is considering a career in the law – made her way to the conference and indicated it was quite well attended. I also heard your presentation was very well received. Thank you so much for everything you do to help us bring justice for Tess. It is almost 40 years now… we’re so close… so very close.

    Kindest regards,

    M. Holmes

  3. Deb Dobson says:

    Hi Alice. Great post and you know how much I love the pictures. So glad you got to go meet twitter friends!

  4. Alice, I’m so pleased that I was able to contribute to your effort. Thank you for the shout-out and do let me know if I can help in any other way. It sounds like you really had an amazing time and met some wonderful people — huge kudos to you for taking the leap!

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Christa. I look forward to our #crimechat!

  6. Pictures for Deb. It made Brian laugh!

  7. Hi Michall,

    I got great reviews and compliments by email later as well with people asking for more details about Tess. All were referred to your sites. We are not giving up.

    Cheers!

  8. Hi Sue,

    Manchester is on the list for future UK trips. There is so much to see. It was fantastic to see you and yes, next time we need more time together!

    Cheers!

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  1. […] so to this day, and I thank him for that. Where did I end up with Brain’s encouragement? At ReInvent Law in London and […]

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