Articles tagged "Ben Barnett"

Are You Ready For The Royal Wedding … Book?

Royal Wedding Book

As you know, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is this Friday and excitement is reaching fever pitch. I just Googled “Royal Wedding” and there are over 48 million results. With all this anticipation, it may be hard to figure out how and where to get involved, but Lulu and one of our global API developers can help.

Ben Barnett, founder of before I grew up, recently launched the website Royal Wedding Book which utilizes Lulu’s Publication API. Everyone is free to commemorate the historical event by creating their own customizable Royal Wedding Book through the website http://royalweddingbook.co.uk. Users can also purchase a high quality hardcover album of the best user summited photos sent in via email, Facebook® and Twitter®.

Ben was also kind enough to chat with us over email to give Lulu authors and readers a sense of what things are like right now in London. From Champaign breakfasts, to neighbourhood street parties, to “bunting,” Ben gives us a preview of what we can expect of this highly anticipated event.

What is the atmosphere in London like right now? Do people have to work on Friday?

London is currently experiencing an early onset of Summer. I’m writing this in 75 degree heat which is already filling the parks around the Royal Wedding route with sunbathers, sightseers and some rather impressive amateur photographers already. This, combined with a just gone four day weekend for Easter, and an official bank holiday for the Royal Wedding in a couple of days has already set the mood for what looks to be an incredible day. All of us Londoners are off work on the day and will be celebrating with everything we’ve got.

I am sure that security is pretty tight. Can you get around the city easily?

The authorities are out in big numbers, which is great to see. We’re expecting at least 600,000 visitors from outside the UK alone, so it’s going to be busy. We are however experiencing a piece of history that most of us will only ever see once in our lifetime, and so the local councils in London have gone the extra mile to ensure public transport runs overtime, and there’ll also be tons of big screens all around the city so everyone gets to see what’s going on. I figure once you find a spot that gets you a good view, stay there, finding another good view won’t be easy.

Were you able to score an invite or do you know anyone personally who is going?

Personally I’m not going to be at the actual Wedding, but I’m friends with some of the officials and will be getting in to some of the areas close to all the action to get some up-close shots. I also figure that there’ll be more than enough press with access to more areas than even some of the guests will, so the idea isn’t to compete with that. What I’m trying to do is turn the camera the other way; let’s document the atmosphere, the crowds, the street parties and all the other things going on around the World to make a piece of history.

Where did you get the idea for Royal Wedding Book?

Being a Londoner and a Royalist myself, and having had some exciting discussions with you guys at Lulu, the very concept of being able to produce a stunning hardcover book with the People’s view of The Royal Wedding seemed truly unique and a fantastic way to celebrate, and more importantly, remember this momentous occasion.

Tell us a bit more about Royal neighbourhood street parties. Is that an ideal venue for collecting photos of the Royal Wedding atmosphere?

I’ve learn so much about this from speaking to people from all over the country. For those of us living in London, we’re all heading over to Green Park, near the top of The Mall to have a Champagne Breakfast and find a good spot to watch the events unfold. From reading the local newspapers, quite a few have already pitched their tents and settled in for the long haul since Monday morning. For people outside of London, I’ve heard about literally thousands of Royal Street Parties going on right up and down the country. People get dressed up and fly the flags (bunting), and follow the schedule of the day to the second … when Kate and William finally tie the knot, we throw the flowers!

What is the best way for Americans to get involved with the Royal Wedding celebrations?

I think this is one of the most exciting parts of the whole event. There’s never been a Royal Wedding with so much potential to reach such wide audiences, with so much information about what’s going on at that very moment. I want to soak up as much of that information as possible by us asking everyone out there for their photos and memories of the day. I’m pretty sure the Royal Family themselves would love to see the joy people are having right across America. I’ve also heard you guys are putting up big screens around several of the cities too and would love to see how you guys celebrate this historic “Royal British knee’s up!”

Click here for instructions on how to submit your photos to the Royal Wedding Book.

Lulu API voted a favorite at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin

Mashery’s Circus Mashimus lounge

Partnering with Mashery, the leading provider of API management services, Lulu demoed its Publication API at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) in Austin, Texas this past weekend.  Mashery’s Circus Mashimus lounge was billed as a magnet for Web application developers and designers looking to attract buzz and networking around API platforms.  Lulu used the opportunity to showcase our Publication API, which allows individuals and publishers to create web applications, powered by Lulu’s backend tools, and marketed under their own brand names. They are then free to upload and publish books in any format (paperback, hardcover, eBook) to sell on Lulu.com and other leading retail channels.

Before I Grew Up’s Ben Barnett came from the London, England to show how his site is using the Lulu API to easily publish community generated Baby photo books.  Hundreds of show attendees came through the lounge each day, enjoying free food and beverages of course, and were very impressed with the tools available and how the Lulu Publication API is further enhancing the open-publishing model.  Through Twitter, users were also able to vote for their favorite API at Circus Mashimus. We’d like to thank everyone for helping make Lulu the second highest voted API out of the 14 companies represented in the contest.

Lulu also ran its own contest for developers at SXSWi.  Developers were encouraged to publish a short eBook through our Publication API.  Despite packed conference schedules and late-night networking events, numerous developers still found the time to successfully publish through our API.  Congratulations to Samuel Yu from Austin for winning our contest, which earned him an Apple TV®.

Lulu at SXSWi in Austin, Texas

Keeping true to the light-hearted and festive atmosphere of the Circus Mashimus lounge, Lulu provided pocket mustaches for show attendees. “Pocket staches” as they were commonly referred to, quickly became a must-have item for Circus Mashimus attendees, with people trying to collect as many different varieties as possible.

Finally, Lulu would like to give a big thank you to Mashery and to all the folks who stopped by our booth. We really enjoyed meeting the Lulu authors at SXSWi who took the time to come find us and all of the developers who have taken an interest in our Publication API. It was great to meet so many interesting and remarkable people … all of which are now sporting Lulu mustaches.

Lulu at SXSW Interactive - Austin, Texas

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