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Begining to get the paradigm shift

16 Aug

If a week is said to be a long time in politics, imagine what twelve months means in social media.

Drew B is back with a review of what the trend spotters were saying a year ago. My comments of a year ago look cryptic; I was expressing my lack of excitement with the crop of new tools and environments. For example, I was cool on Second Life then and that’s now the tone of so much media commentary this summer.

But Drew’s question was about the social media tools we use and find invaluable. My ‘daily bread’ comprises:

  • Google Reader: for news feeds (eg blog updates)
  • Facebook: the great hidden advantage for me is that I don’t have to maintain email addresses for my ‘friends’; people can change jobs, move house, change names even and if they’re on Facebook I can still reach them)
  • Email: it’s old tech but it’s still an important social networking tool, preferable to me to tedious texting. Googlemail has a good spam filter.

Like many of us, my blogging diet is changing. I’m still reading blogs daily but posting less. This could be because of the cycle of the university year; it could be because more chatter is going elsewhere (see Facebook, above). I have a hunch that my wiki will outlive this blog – but that’s operating as a simple website, not as a social media space. As Jakob Nielsen says, we’re mostly lurkers, not participants.


15 Aug

Cipr_member PR Studies is my personal weblog about public relations. I’m a university lecturer teaching this subject at Leeds Metropolitan University, but the views and interests articulated here are personal, not those of my institution nor of my colleagues.

In the 1980s I wrote about business and technology for a magazine based in London and New York. In the 1990s I worked in PR management specialising in the technology sector. In the 2000s I’ve been focusing on PR education and training.

I read widely, but only pay out of my own pocket for two periodicals: The Economist and Private Eye. I am independent of political or commercial interests though I support free markets and view myself as a social liberal. I am a member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a contributor to Forward blog.


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Notes from a small island

31 May

Paul Holmes started it with his reflections on industry events in Europe. Then Stuart Bruce added his thoughts.

Let me stir in An American Tale – Simon English writing a first-hand account of US and UK media relations in Corp Comms magazine.

And here’s the key question. Is Britain closer to US practice or to that in continental Europe? And if we’re drifting westward (as I suspect we are for historic, economic, cultural and linguistic reasons), where does that leave Ireland, recipients of much inward investment from the US, but also good Europeans within the Eurozone?


27 Jun

I’m not on leave yet, but I’ve been busy in the offline world marking scripts for two professional qualifications. My house has also been struck by lightning, taking out the PC, TV, phone line and other equipment. Though there’s always time in a busy schedule to post, there isn’t time enough at present for me to keep up with blog browsing.

This leaves one eery thought. What happens when bloggers die? Unless we leave our passwords and simple posting instructions with someone we trust, there will simply be a prolonged silence followed by removal of the site when the subscription lapses. Is this lapsing into a silence an appropriate metaphor, or should we seek a more conclusive end. Self-written obituaries in draft format?

Sorry to be mawkish. It was only my house that was struck by lightning, not me. And things are relatively easy to replace.

Rich media

8 Aug

I’m surrounded by wireless keyboards and flat-screen PCs. Sky News is being broadcast on an even larger flat screen. Old media is represented by the shelves of daily newspapers. It’s the foyer area at buzzing PR consultancy Hill & Knowlton. I’m immersing myself in online media as a judge in BT’s Broadband Britain Challenge.