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A group distraction, presented by nige.


The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.

Candid portrait meets candid interview.

The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.

The interviewees so far









Jig along



Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri








Jane Doe



Spiderbaby / Freakdog




George w/Blue Eyes






















Strange Little Girl




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Recent visitors

Interview 52: 'Untitled.'

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1. Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.
In my study in a Victorian terrace in a Midland UK town that has more waterways than Venice. I’ve lived in lots of towns but this place makes it easier to do stuff I want to do – be a cyclist, hold an academic position and be at home a lot to see my kids.

The UK isn’t my country. I grew up in NZ. One day met a woman visiting my home town on a working holiday from the UK. She wanted a light and casual holiday romance. We’re now married, have two kids and own a house together. Best laid plans, eh Ruth?

2. Why do you Moblog? How do you use the site?
A few years ago, I thought I’d share my photos with folks back home. It turned out that Mobloggers were more active online than my 20th century friends and family. Mobloggers checked in regularly, commented, rewarded me with highlights and added me to their pool of friends. After a while I found myself logging on every day and thinking ‘that’s one for Moblog’ when I took photos. The community seduced me and co-opted my intentions. As soon as my family find a cheap deprogrammer, I’ll be free.

I use Moblog self consciously as a record of stuff that happens and an outlet for a hobby that was always been very personal. It also provides a space for idle interests like the ‘Lost Notes’ blog. Most of all, I just like the people here and enjoy looking in and commenting on their lives … like a peeping Tom using an intercom.

3. What's your favourite subject to talk about? Why?
I had worked in ‘learning’ related jobs for about 12 years without it ever occurring to me that perhaps this is really what I’m really about (I’d originally trained as a community psychologist, you see). Once I clicked that understanding learning is what really interests me, I didn’t change how I spent my time, except I started to do it with more love. Actually, that’s not quite true. I now spend large chunks of my spare time working on a PhD on the topic too.

Learning is an easy topic to talk about. I’m basically interested in how people grow to meet the challenges in their lives. Learning without teaching. I’m sure you can talk to me about that … I’ll soon be a doctor.

5. What's your most vivid memory from childhood?
The childhood memories I go back to are the ones that don’t operate according to adult logic. Peeping around the living room door on Christmas morning to see a huge sack by the tree. I thought that Santa had accidentally left all his deliveries behind and this was going to be the best Christmas ever. It was a big tent.

Skipping out of school with friends to see a kid who wasn’t allowed outside at all because he’d just been circumcised. He stuck it out the window for us to see.

Believing my brother saw a ghost in my Dad’s overall’s when they were hanging on the clothes line. I mean really ... haunted overalls?

Watching a marionette show at our local shopping centre which finished with a puppet striptease. The underwear was like something I had never seen – all clips and wires and belts and pulleys and socks that went all the way up your legs. Mum explained the complex mechanics of women’s underwear to me. I never quite understood it and concluded that women are a strange species indeed if they need all that under their clothes.

6. What is your biggest fear?
Sometimes I get myself into some real messes – stranded in Wellington, lost in Seoul, left penniless because of poor planning a few times when I was a student, capsized off the Coromandel coast, crashed my car through inattention … these I can laugh at now and think that a little adventure doesn’t go amiss in anyone’s life. Even so, it would be awful if some how I drew my children into a dangerous situation of my own dozy making simply because I wasn’t concentrating.

7. A picture or a thousand words?
Ah now, I looked into this. We do a lot of publishing at work. We pay around £300 per photo. The same place will pay £2,400 for 15,000 words knowing that it will take about 20 days work. Making the adjustments that works out at £1599.99 for a thousand words which you could write in a couple of days versus £300 for a picture. Even if you sold a picture a day, a thousand words comes out on top.

8. Tell us about the most heroic act you've ever performed.
I wonder if this counts - for ten years I volunteered for a community counselling agency in NZ. I started when the service was run by just 14 students, all volunteers, working out of a church cupboard. We built the agency up until it was 100 strong with a number of paid staff and permanent offices. My volunteer involvement was a huge priority in my life and eventually I became the director of one of the branches. That admin stuff was okay but the most important thing I suppose was being there at 3.00 in the morning to listen to someone considering ending their life. It feels funny to call that heroism because it cost me nothing but it was pretty important to some of the people I talked with.

9. Tell us about your most embarrassing moment.
Sometimes I say stupid things usually when I’m not being genuine … or when I’m being inappropriately genuine.

10. What would your biography be called, who would write it, and who would play you in the film?
Jack Kerouac wrote so lovingly of his friends and he made them seem so creative, wild and sexy. I’d like him to have a crack at my biography except that he’s dead and if he wasn’t, he’d be drunk. Even so, his books had such a huge impact on me when I was 18 that it would be like dinner with Jesus to be the subject of his writing.

I’d like a young Noah Taylor to play me. He’s got a nice energy to him. But for the life of me I don’t know what the title would be. Maybe ‘Untitled’. I always have trouble with titles.

Posted by taniwha

28th Nov 2008, 09:24  


kyoob says:

a very interesting read, thank you.

28th Nov 2008, 10:19

nige says:

I really liked this one; it drew me in the more I read, and probably the first interview which left me wanting to know more.

I'm lucky enough to have had a more detailed version of your answer to question eight (when we were on the train to London). I'd certainly say it counts as heroic. Love your clear fondness for Kerouac in number ten, too.

28th Nov 2008, 15:05

taniwha says:

Thanks Kyoob.

Thanks Nige. We had quite a chat on that trip. We MUST do it again soon.

28th Nov 2008, 16:05

Dhamaka says:

this is a lovely response taniwha

I especially like the tie-in with title (untitle?) and ending and really appreciate the candour and humour with which you've answered #5.

It has filled in a few gaps and reminded me of our last face-to-face. We really must have that chat .. especially as you might like the tie-in with some academic work about response to risk that I'm working on with another friend atm. I know.. it's me that has no time right now, but I'm hoping that will soon change.

thanks for sharing :)

28th Nov 2008, 17:38

Interesting, you are one of the mobloggers I knew the least about..

28th Nov 2008, 19:07

OCD Sprocket says:

love the photo, it's oddly Pythonesque

28th Nov 2008, 21:40

factotum says:

A really informative and very entertaining interview!

28th Nov 2008, 23:42

Viv says:

'the community seduced me' - yes it has a way of doing that :)

Loved this interview too, the stories and the attitude to living - nice to learn a bit more about you - thanks

29th Nov 2008, 12:36

JokerXL says:

"… like a peeping Tom using an intercom."


Tnx for this Taniwha and really looking forward to meeting you @ Geo's in January.

29th Nov 2008, 16:01

queserasara says:

Loved this - I agree it does seduce you in & it really is a community - in that we all seem to look out for each other. Only spent one very wet London day with you but just remember laughing for most of it! S

29th Nov 2008, 16:24

MaggieD says:

Hahaha! Love that photo, love the interview ...... Good to hear you will be at Geo's in January, looking forward to renewing our acquaintance :)

29th Nov 2008, 16:45

factotum says:

I forgot to say how much I like your photo!

29th Nov 2008, 23:56

SLG says:

have read over this several times....... thankyou for sharing.....sounds a bit twee, but I mean it. Thanks for the insight ;-)

30th Nov 2008, 00:06

taniwha says:

Thank you all. I do appreciate your comments. And this was a pretty interesting exercise.

And yes, looking forward to seeing all in January (go the events forum if you don't know what's happening).

30th Nov 2008, 17:39

taniwha says:

Dhamaka - yes, lets talk again. It's funny, I just asked a colleague to write some stuff on risk and vulnerability.

30th Nov 2008, 17:39

Cheso says:

I enjoyed so much your answers and your picture!
Interview52 is a wonderful tool that let me know a little bit about very interesting people like you.

1st Dec 2008, 12:06

jc1000000 says:

Wow, it's funny, I've always wondered "who is taniwha??" Don't take this the wrong way but I had loads of unanswered questions about you and just kept hitting my own preconceptions- man/woman, NZ/UK, what is taniwha short for... &tc; &tc; Am glad to be introduced, as it were. I could never picture you either so it's nice to see a photo too.

I like your assessment of pictures or words and you are right about Kerouac! As for haunted overalls - aren't ghosts just haunted sheets anyway? Sounds rational to me!

3rd Dec 2008, 01:29

shitake says:

I quite agree with jc1000000!And for me that interview is really surprise.. :)

3rd Dec 2008, 02:33

taniwha says:

Thanks for choosing me for this Cheso.

JC1000000 and Shitake - thanks. It's funny that on Moblog I can be aware of some people but never seem to find myself in their orbit. For others our timetables can synchronise and I find myself looking in at their photos quite a lot. Sometimes when I discover a 'new member' I'm surprised to find they have been around for yours. It all seems so random.

3rd Dec 2008, 08:35

Thanks Taniwha, an excellent read.

8th Dec 2008, 13:47

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