Archive for January, 2008

Jan 30 2008

Quantum of What?

Published by under Media,Music

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“And I wish I was James Bond, just for the day.
Kissing all the girls, blow the bad guys away.”

I’m very into Scouting for Girls at the moment (the band, not the activity).

Given their admiration for all things Bond, I hope they’d agree with me when I suggest that Quantum of Solace is a silly title.

Roger and Shaun and Timmy and George and Daniel and Pierce and maybe one day me


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Jan 28 2008

So, how’ve you been?

Published by under Comms,Digital

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I promised on Friday that I’d be catching up with a few old friends. So, taking a look through my blogroll as it stood a year ago, how is everybody?

Sadly, a few have fallen by the wayside. One of my old favourites, …TheWorld’sLeading…, is on a seemingly-permanent hiatus, although Richard points out that at least part of TWL now works at Edelman. Blog@bilities vanished completely after a comparatively short lifespan, and Jeff has gone very quiet indeed. Perhaps no surprise, either, that Charles Dunstone‘s blog is now nothing more than a 404 error on the TalkTalk website.

From my former ‘Collective Conversations’ colleagues, Leo Bottary’s excellent Client Service Insights blog has sadly disappeared. So has Tim Fallon’s. Phil Turner hasn’t blogged since July and has now left H&K, but I hope he starts writing again soon. David, though, remains as insightful las ever and has even written a book, and I look forward to resuming dialogue with Bruno.

Of the PR students I’d been following (as in reading their blogs, not stalking them), Lydia went AWOL for several months but was back in December, Chloe tailed off in April, while Kate disappeared in May, popped up briefly in October and has gone quiet again. But on the up-side, Richard, Owen and Alex are all no longer students, and are forging ahead with both blogs and careers.

Plenty of others, too, are still going strong. Stuart, Simon and Stephen are still doing their respective PR things, while Guido and Bloggerheads are just like East Enders – you can tune back in after six months and feel like you’ve never been away. And on a personal note, Gecko3, Paul and Dom are still there too.

Now, as well as catching up, I want to expand my horizons. There are already a couple of new entries in my Blogroll, hopefully to be added to as I go along. All suggestions welcome.

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Jan 28 2008

Word of Mouth

Published by under Comms

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A bright undergraduate from Moscow State University asked me the other day to elaborate on the definition of marketing, and various related concepts. Which I duly did, and it got me thinking.

A couple of days later I find this cartoon on xkcd.com. Inspired.

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Jan 25 2008

Links of the week

Published by under Misc

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  • Mile High – trashy drama on Sky at the moment – one of the worst / best I’ve seen since El Dorado
  • xkcd – incisive, insightful and sometimes downright painful cartoon commentary on everyday life, with a tech slant
  • Virgin Galactic – new spacecraft designs launched this week. Check out some of the mock-ups in the press pack.
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Jan 24 2008

It’s the content, stupid!

Published by under Digital,Misc

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“So what are you going to put on it?”, I was asked today. Good question. Blogs are, fundamentally, content and discussion, and you don’t get much of the latter without the former.

The H&K blog started off talking about bird flu, and finished up with celebrity behaviour and corporate sponsorship. In between we had environmental issues, politics, social media, technology, music, punctuation …

As you may have seen from the ‘about’ page, my employment circumstances have moved on somewhat, hence my blogging cessation a year ago. And whilst I’m dipping my toe back in the water in a personal capacity, forgive me if I’m slightly more circumspect where political posts are concerned – in much the same way as, whilst at H&K, you didn’t find me blogging about my current or prospective clients.

Some of the best content, though, comes in the form of dialogue. And for that I’ll be dropping in on a few old friends – and hoping they swing by here on occasion.

So that’s quality taken care of, what about quantity? Let’s wait and see, but don’t be disappointed if my posts here are slightly less frequent than they used to be. I’m doing this in my spare time, after all, whereas at H&K, blogging under a company umbrella, I could devote a certain amount of company time to the blog. But let’s see how we get on.

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Jan 22 2008

Cloverfield: worthy of the hype?

Published by under Digital,Media

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A clover field

Just back from seeing Cloverfield at the Oktyabr cinema. I wanted to like it, I really really did.

Sorry, though, but it was very nearly as bad as Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds ‘epic’.

It starts off pretty well, but before long it descends into a combination of monster-cliché and special effects. Pretty much anything resembling a plot goes out the window, and in the end the monster wins.  Raincoaster will definitely like the monster.

The zeitgeist-laden tag line, the idea of a monster movie for the YouTube generation, sounded great.  But in the end, I’d rather see Dave Lee Travis play Macbeth.

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Jan 21 2008

Second blog, second web, second life?

Published by under Digital,Russia,Tech

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A lot can happen in a year, especially in the world of technology. I may not have been blogging, or even working in the tech sphere, but I’ve still been doing my best to keep up.

My personal tech has moved on; the BlackBerry has been replaced by an N95, and I’ve added a Mac Mini to my collection – allied to an EyeTV 250+ it makes a great PVR. But this post is more about the changes in the world of social media over the past 12 months.

A year ago Time Magazine had just named ‘You’ as Person of the Year, Steve Jobs had just unveiled the iPhone, and we were all trotting out the likes of Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Second Life as the next big thing.

And now?

The latest Person of the Year is one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The iPhone (now on v1.1.3) has been hacked, cracked and, in the case of one of my friends, broken. I’d quite like one, but I’m waiting for version 2.

Facebook looks pretty unstoppable, at least for now. My Dad uses it, my daughter wants to. I succumbed and joined up a few months ago – aside from getting the occasional sheep thrown at me, it’s proven quite handy for sharing photos and playing Scrabble clones of debatable legality. Flickr and YouTube are maturing, developing and becoming more mainstream.

But I’m not quite sure where Second Life’s got to. I get the impression it’s not quite yet delivered on its Gibsonesque promises, though. Does anyone out there use it, apart from PR firms and marketeers? Has it become a geek-clique, the opposite of Facebook’s growing ubiquity? Or am I just more out of touch than I thought? Care to enlighten me?

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Jan 19 2008

Welcome back.

Published by under Music

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Tell me baby, do you recognise me?
Well, it’s been a year, it doesn’t surprise me.

What better way to start a new blog than with a Wham! lyric? My last blog post was exactly one year ago today – it’s high time I got myself back into things.

But I share George Michael‘s concern over being recognised. Over the coming weeks I’m going to have to work pretty hard to try to regain some of the regular readership I had built up over at the old blog.

More of that later. In the meantime, thanks for dropping by.

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Jan 13 2008

Watch this space …

Published by under Misc

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More soon.

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