Archive | Web/Tech RSS feed for this section

You only spin when you’re winning

12 Jun

It's a potent criticism of public relations. That we shout loud when there's good news to tell, but go very quiet when there's nothing new to say. Kevin Moloney calls it 'hemispheric communications' because the PR sun only shines on one side of the globe.

There are new updates to Behind the Spin, focused around the themes of consultancy and technology (as well as the usual advice for students and graduates).

Consultancyissue Our cover picture illustrates a PR consultancy in Second Life.

That was something worth shouting about in 2006; but what's happening now?

I can't blame the consultants for treating Second Life (and other social spaces) as a playground – nor even for shouting about this – since how else can they attract and advise clients?

But I'm left wondering what happened next.

A guide to Twitter for PR

30 Jan

Much of the current chatter about Twitter lacks persective: it's like a running commentary on a child's first steps. But Drew B's Guide to Twitter is practical and intellectual too – it's started a discussion about whether this is primarily a broadcast or a messaging system. Useful and interesting.

The shock of the new

5 Sep

LeedsmetMy first impression of the new design for our university website was negative. I thought it looked like a sports news channel. (Thanks to Wayback Machine, here’s a snapshot of how the home page looked five years ago.)

My second impression (I’ve been living with it for a week now) is much more positive. I think it’s a brilliant innovation to turn a university in the direction of YouTube. Not just sports, but news and teaching can be delivered by video, and it’s a medium designed to appeal to young people.

I’ve also taken a look at the Quarkbase results to view a dashboard of data on this website. Unfortunately, Quarkbase will only search for top level domains (eg, not subsidiary sites (such as so it’s not best suited for blog monitoring.

Shiny new Chrome

3 Sep

Chrome_screenThis is a test post using Google’s new browser, Chrome. I like the integration of search with the address bar and find multiple tabs essential (as poineered in Firefox and now used in Internet Explorer), but have spotted one minor glitch while using Typepad.

Wiki wars

14 Mar

This is fun. On one side are the bloggers and social media advocates; on the other side are the academics. The question is whether students should cite Wikipedia. Guess where I stand.

Note on netiquette

14 Mar

The conference is called EuroBlog, so it’s not surprising we’re encouraged to blog live during the event (as it happened the WiFi connection wasn’t consistent enough to allow me to do this.).

So it’s OK to concentrate on screen and keyboard and ignore the speakers. Does this give me a licence to check emails, RSS feeds, blogs and Facebook? What about phone and text messages? What about talking to my neighbour?

I should put myself in my students’ seats more often. It’s not such a comfortable place to be.

From walkie talkies to the mobile internet

11 Feb

In my childhood, the dream present was a pair of ‘walkie talkies’. In their absence, we were quite proud that a string held taught between two empty tin cans created a workable low-tech alternative.

Today, everyone has a much more powerful communications device in their pocket. And it’s not limited to phone calls and texts; you can have web browsing in the palm of your hand, too.

I, too, was trying a 3 Skype phone before Christmas. I found the mobile Skype function a disappointment, so chose not to blog about it. Yet the revelation to me was just how much web browsing is possible with a 3G phone. Those of us who remember WAP and recall the huge prices paid at auction for 3G spectrum had every right to be suspicious of the functionality and the likely cost to us of embracing this new technology. Yet for some, the ability to update your Facebook status at any time and to view a YouTube video will certainly be worth the cost. For some applications, the phone is now a realistic alternative to a PC or laptop.

For me, I’m not ready to abandon my familiar phone or laptop yet. But I have acquired an iPod Touch because I love the interface and Wi-Fi web browsing in the palm of my hand – without the need to pay for a phone contract (or without the distraction of phone calls). So these are my chosen mobile devices: a 2G Motorola phone for the necessary evil of phone calls and texts; and an iPod Touch for the fun of browsing when out and about.

Gail also uses two devices: a standard Nokia phone and a Blackberry (used for emails only).

I know it’s possible to have one device providing phone calls, music, photography, web browsing and emails – but I’m not yet ready to pay for it. What’s your favourite mobile device?