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Death to 20th Century thinking October 3, 2008

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, marketing, media, pr, social media, work.
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This is excellent.  It’s about IT, but it might as well be about the media.  Or anything else for that matter.  Cracking post.  A sample:

Assumption: We (IT) must control what users do with computers and technology. Zzzzttt! Wrong! Thanks for playing though. We (IT) need to learn how to coordinate what people do with technology, not control it. Control is an illusion. IT did not pick PCs. IT did not pick IM. IT did not pick GMail. IT did not pick Facebook. IT did not pick the iPhone. IT did not pick the Web. In fact, IT fought against much of this. Sure, we need to try to keep people safe in their use of technology. But, we need to be negotiators and coordinators and trusted advisors to decisions people will make about technology, not dictators.

Hat tip to the Gartner Tweet.  Disclosure: my wife consults for Gartner.

The Goggle Box January 9, 2008

Posted by James Warren in blue sky, geeky stuff, media.

For the past couple of years I’ve been banging on to anyone that will listen that Google will own the future of TV.  Not from a content point of view, but a ‘programme search’ and tailored advertising point of view.  Well, they’ve made the first move here it would appear.  It’s interesting that the assumption is that Google wants to shove ‘internet content’ into our sitting rooms.  I think this is fundamentally wrong – I believe they’ll make it easier to find stuff that’s already on TV (and of course elsewhere too).  Don’t think internet, think content and advertising – then I think it begins to make a great deal of sense.

I anticipate seeing the Google interface when I switch on my TV, so that I can search for stuff I want to watch.  It will check what related programmes are on now, in the future (so I can tell the box to record them), what’s available on-demand (free or paid), what I’ve Sky+ed, what I have in my digital/DVD/video collection… even user-generated content.  Sponsored content – which would be contextual, dayparted, connected to the rest of my life and even linked to searches I’d made earlier in the day via Google at work – would be clearly differentiated from real content.  And the ads in between programmes would be similarly tailored to my life/needs etc…

I can’t see anyway that this wouldn’t be absolutely brilliant – for me, for broadcasters and for advertisers.  I can see Apple edging ever closer to a similar solution – but the advertising-funded model that Google can provide will beat any iTunes-based solution, I think (although iTunes content will be among the search results spat back, of course).

Perhaps I need to get out more?

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.

BetaBC December 14, 2007

Posted by James Warren in media, pr, web 2.0.

Been looking at the beta of the new BBC home page.  As you’d expect, it’s all leaning towards greater personalisation, allowing each user to specify the news that’s relevant to them.  And this ‘MyNews’ aspect will only get more sophisticated, I opine.  Which begs the question – does that make a splash for a client on the BBC web site more or less valuable…?  Discuss.

Blog Brother May 30, 2007

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, media.

It’s that time of year again, when I try (and generally fail) not to get hooked on Channel 4’s Big Brother.  This year they’re making it more difficult, as all the house updates (24 hrs a day) will be available via RSS.  Plus, each week the nominated evictees will be recording a ten minute podcast (The Housemates Radio Show) every Friday morning.  And the evicted housemate will then be encouraged to blog about their experiences once they’ve left the house.  Sigh…. I’m hooked already, and it’s not even begun.

Quite right November 15, 2006

Posted by James Warren in media, social media.
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Crumbs.  Somebody, somewhere, within the Conservative Party gets it.  This is actually a great read.  Thanks to JR for the link.

Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins November 10, 2006

Posted by James Warren in books, marketing, media, pr, social media.
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Although I’m only a short way into it, I am already fairly certain this is the finest (work-related) book I have ever read.   I can’t stop feverishly scribbling notes in the margins and highlighting sections and sentences (something I *never* normally do to books).  I bought it following a recommendation on the ball-bouncingly excellent Apophenia.  And now I recommend it to you (look, genuine word of mouse in action).  Henry Jenkins’s blog is also required reading for anyone with even half an interest in media, culture and marketing.

Hang the DJ September 27, 2006

Posted by James Warren in media, pr.
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Panic on the streets of London.  Panic on the streets of Birmingham…  Nowhere is the disruption being felt by the media more apparent than the streets of the UK’s major conurbations.  In an attempt to stifle the decline in circulations – and also in direct response to the challenge laid down by the original freesheet Metro – publishing giants News International and Associated Newspapers have begun giving away newspapers.  It seems to me extraordinary that these canny, profit-obsessed and hard-nosed businesses should resort to giving away content just so they have somewhere (anywhere!) to sell advertising.  Of course it presents further opportunities for us in PR and so for that I guess we should be thankful.  Clearly there must be a financial case for it, but I just can’t help thinking that overall this is going to drive down the perceived value of print news and analysis.  Aren’t these newspaper publishers guilty of cutting off their nose to spite their face…?  Or, as Time would have it, is printing newspaper actually an archaic and generally cost-ineffective practice?  By the way, I love the local community element to the Time piece – the most switched-on analysis of the future of media I’ve read in a long while.  Hey ho.  Good to be back.

2 3 4 August 7, 2006

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, media, web 2.0.
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This week’s Channel 4 Three Minute Wonders are to be shown simultaneously on TV and in Second Life – each will be a kind of parallel documentary about Second Lifers and their in-game characters.  What a great idea.  What’s also cool is that the filmmakers submitted their treatment for the films via Channel 4’s IdeasFactory initiative.  Consumer-generated TV, anyone?  Hat tip: PSFK

Newsatrolysis (a.k.a. Factgasm) June 26, 2006

Posted by James Warren in cool, geeky stuff, media, social media, web 2.0.
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Check out Map of the News (was catching up on my feeds and found this via Andy Lark's blog).  Although I've only been playing with it for a few minutes, I already think it is fantastic.  For full effect, maximise your browser.  If I could get an RSS reader to display my feeds in a similar way (different colours for different categories, the larger the headline the more 'dugg' the story…) keeping up to date with what's important would be a breeze – or at least more of a breeze than it is at the moment (a gust, perhaps?).

Also, its name reminds me of The Day Today, which can only be a good thing.  Anyway, my first impressions of Map of the News are such that I'm considering making it my homepage – which probably says more about Google's current travails more than anything else I could type on the matter…  But that topic will have to wait for a separate post.