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Fiddling, while Byrne roams… December 11, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, pr, work.

So the boss got promoted to be head of the whole of Europe – which is very cool and totally deserved because he’s, well, <brownnosing>inspirationally brilliant</brownnosing>.  On a far less grand scale, today it’s been announced that I’m taking on a global role, overseeing Weber Shandwick’s global digital excellence in association with the very awesome Chris Perry from the city of angels.  So I’ll now be fiddling with digital problems from all over, not just Europe.  Which is pretty much what I did before anyway, but it’s nice to get recognition, right?  Sorry if this post comes across as self-absorbed.  Truth be told I just wanted to use the pun in the title.  It tickled me.

Scandisco November 6, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, funny.

In the absence of anything properly professional (genuine professional properness will be along soon, blogfans), here is something nonsensical.  It is, I think, the finest thing ever to come out of Finland (and that includes herring, mobile phones and Kati and Piia, Bite’s twin Finnish receptionists, circa 1999).

Hat tip to Robert Anderson, my awesome sidekick at WS Towers.

Quite simply September 29, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, marketing.
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This is very cool.

Laugh September 26, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, funny.

Two things this morning have made me laugh out loud.  You’ve probably already seen the video…

Truly ‘special’.  The other is the Daily Mash.  The following bit of this article really made me giggle.

Top five foreign secretaries you least want invading your sexual fantasies
(Last year’s position in brackets)

1: Margaret Beckett (1)
2: Malcolm Rifkind (2)
3: David Miliband (-)
4: Lord Carrington (8)
5: Douglas Hurd (3)

Sorry.  Am ever-so-slightly hungover which may explain a lot.  Memo to self: blog about work next time.

Here comes tout-le-monde (a plea for ‘elp) April 24, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing.
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Anyone fancy driving a van to St Emilion (that’s in France, not Essex) over the coming May bank holiday weekend?  Some very good friends are doing a charity bike ride from London to Bordeaux and I was going to help out by doing some driving of the support vehicle.  Due to unforeseen circumstances I have had to pull out – much to my shame and the distress of the cyclists.  So, let’s see if the interweb can help (in a Here Comes Everybody kind of a way) – anyone available for a few days over (and after) the bank holiday weekend and fancy a leisurely drive through France (and back)?  All expenses paid etc etc.  Let me know.  I can guarantee it’ll be a whole load of fun.

Something for the weekend – afreakymassiverobotdog March 20, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing.

Wow.  Check this out.  Scares the living poop out of me.

Courtesy of Holy Moly.

Woe is meme January 4, 2008

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, media.

I’ve been tagged.  I hate it when that happens.  But seeing as on this occasion it’s El Pincenzo and he had the good grace to put me and the family up (and show us a magnificent time, to boot) over New Year, I feel I ought to respond.  So here goes: FYI, it’s all part of the Seventy Seven My Month In The Media gubbins.

What I’ve read.
I’m reading Shantaram at the moment – recommended to me by Darren who runs our Shanghai office and is Australian, while walking past a Delhi shanty town at night (the significance of which will be lost on you unless you’ve read it).  It’s fantastic, beautifully written and an amazing story.  I can’t put it down – which makes typing a chore, frankly.  I also read Alex James’s autobiography which was just wonderful.  The man is a national treasure.  Am also reading a book about Winston Churchill’s witicisms.  Very fine.

What I’ve watched.
Sweet Fanny Adams on TV, to be honest.  The Christmas special of Extras was on while I was cooking and the little of it I did see was very good (the George Michael monologue tickled me in particular “It was bloody Stewart Copeland’s skip – before we knew it the Police had turned up…”).  Some football (top of the league, ithangyo).  That was about it though.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang enthralled the kids.  Cars too.  Away from TV, I’ve been mucking about with the BBC iPlayer – although seven hours to download The Best of Top Gear last night was a little steep, I thought.  Oh and I can highly recommend Ratatouille at the cinema – the best Disney film for years.

What I’ve listened to.
Again, very little.  As a whole 2007 was a bad, bad year for music.  December just awful.  High School Musical 2 was on most in our house, which tells you all you need to know.  The first Harry Potter book, read by the excellent Mr Fry, accompanied the family on our drive down and then back up France.  On the eve of my birthday I tried listening to The (eponymous) Stone Roses and, as my Twitter followers will have discovered, didn’t enjoy it – for the first time evah.  A sad, sad day.   The beloved bought me a portable DAB for said birthday, but I can’t get no reception (no, no, no) at home and it doesn’t work on the train, so it’s going back.  Shame.  I really must listen to more music in 2008.  In fact, I think I’ll review an album a week here – there, I’ve said it in front of both of you, so I’ll have to do it now.  Quick caveat, for the bank manager: the albums may not necessarily be new ones.

Where I’ve surfed.
I hugely enjoyed not opening my laptop for almost two weeks over Chrimbo.  I’ve realised I don’t really surf anymore – in fact, I appear to have disappeared up my own RSS.  Which may or may not be a good thing.  However, I dearly hope that someone somewhere works out how to better aggregate the news I want to read and presents it to me in a more convenient format than is currently the case.  By the way, I seem to ‘surf’ more on my mobile than on my PC.  The mobile internet is becoming almost bearable, and is, as any fule kno, the future of everything.

Merry new year.

Radiodead? October 8, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, marketing, music.
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I can’t work out whether this is the future of the music industry or just the deliberately disruptive strategy of a band that already has more money than it knows what to do with.  The proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the eating.  I’d love them to show live downloads vs revenue – ie show the average price paid.  In that way the audience really would set the price as a community, rather than individually (as they (by which I mean we) would all follow the consensus, like sheep).

Amazong October 5, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, books, web 2.0.
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It’s been a while since my last post.  It’s also been a while since I visited the Amazon web site.  So I was taken aback by some of the great stuff that has cropped up there, without my knowing.  To cut an already very short story even shorter, I was thinking of buying this book.  On the product page I was able to watch a video of the author talking about the book in a ‘related videos’ section.  Needless to say, it was great and made me want to buy the book even more.  Great example of providing additional product information to potential customers in a convenient and engaging way.  I like.

It struck me that although much has been made in some quarters about the danger of the internet to publishers of text, in fact it is book publishers who are some of the most innovative users of online marketing gubbins.

Only a few books seem to have the amazon video service, and most are American – but I wonder how long it’ll take for other product types/regions to catch up.  I noticed there’s also a new ‘customer discussions’ function too, which (incredibly) allows customers to not just write a review of the book, but have an interactive discussion about it.

In other news, yesterday I saw a man in a bowler hat, which pleased me greatly.  I also saw an (apparently fully loaded) Apache helicopter hovering over the Thames, which pleased me slightly less but was still pretty cool.  And on Monday I saw a man in a three piece suit with ‘Diana, I love you’ written on his face in permanent marker.  He had a very high-pitched voice.

Ssssh, don’t tell anyone July 17, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, travel.

I lied.  I’m not here all week – I’m in the US.  LA, to be exact.  Arrived late last night and even the cab ride into town from the airport was like driving through a movie set… police helicopters, nodding donkey pumps, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood hills…  Despite being a fairly seasoned traveller, I couldn’t help but feel a real frisson of excitement at being here.  It’s weird – I’ve been to San Francisco more times than I can remember, but there’s something about the sites here… or maybe it’s the light – the sky here is extraordinary, genuinely awesome…  I am hoping to find an hour or so today to do some walking around.

Sorry – I digress.  This post is to share with you a wonderful site a US colleague shared with me.  Apologies to those already in the know, but for the rest of us here it is: Seat Guru.  This amazing web site tells you the best seats to book, by plane type and airline.  So when you check in online (and really, you should) you can choose the finest seats available in your class.  This trip, being a little last minute, left me in cattle class.  But thanks to Seat Guru, I had loads of legroom, was in the second row to get served etc etc.  Absolutely brilliant – check it out next time you’re checking in.  But clearly we don’t want everyone knowing about it – so just keep it to yourself, okay?