Whilst I won’t be dashing out and getting myself one of the Microsoft | Sharp Kin phones. I did like the Kin logo. The logo seems to be completely unrelated to the devices.
There is a noticeable stylistic similarity to the S|Double Studio logo from Shawn Stussy‘s new clothing label.
And the S|Double logo reminds me of Asian seal designs used to sign documents and mark the ownership of artworks.
This is roughly what my given name would look like on a seal in Chinese characters.
Reading Steve Jobs rationale for why Apple’s mobile devices don’t support Adobe Flash I was reminded of the tone-of-voice of Apple’s usual communications. They are about as sincere as the greeting you get when enter a Disney store, you feel like you are being played. If ever there was an example of the Cluetrain Manifesto truism of public relations does not relate to the public Apple’s PR team would be it.
They don’t even show much grace under fire. I discussed it with a colleague and thought that they may be shooting low in order to make the Steve Jobs key note look better. But I am not sure that is the case. They lack quality, specifically a human element and a thoughtfulness to their tone-of-voice that runs through their products and services, its like they are written by Microsoft technical support.
- Does Apple need to write press releases in the rigid format for product launches and enhancements in the usual cookie cutter press release style? No, because they are likely to be covered anyway.
- Would additional smarts in communications be wasted? No, on the contrary it would further enhance their reputation.
I am not talking about more disclosures or inclusive approach to communications, but a human, smarter, measured and analytical approach and voice.
That HP rode in as a white knight took me a little bit by surprise. I tuned into the conference call to find out more about the deal. I have bullet-pointed out my thoughts below:
- Is HP executive Todd Bradley the right person for the deal? He was CEO of the company in the early noughties when it should have been sorting out its OS issues, the Palm OS looked tired even back then
- Is HP overpaying for the company? There isn’t that many people interested in Palm and analysts had set a target share price of zero. Is this price as much about emotion as assets?
- Why is the Palm WebOS going to live up to HP’s faith in it?
- Much was made of Palm’s cloud services technology in the webcast, but how many extra servers or services will it actually sell for HP?
- SKUs. I was alarmed at the amount of proposed device variants HP was envisaging in the future on the call with possible support in differing form-factors for Micrsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Android and WebOS in personal devices. Add into this memory or colour variants and you are looking at product range bloat similar to Sony consumer electronics range
I hadn’t come across this phrase until I heard a senior policeman complain about the relaxation of the licensing laws by the Labour government. Instead of a continental European-style civilised cafe society, the laws brought a veritable Pandora’s box of social ills in the UK: binge drinking and violence. Much of this is reputed to be down to bars which are optimised for consumption and profitability. In the same way that business meetings held standing up are more efficient, the same is also true for drink consumption. According to a New Stateman article I found:
Drinkers who stand consume more than those who sit down, so take out the chairs and tables and encourage “vertical drinking”; remove all flat surfaces and ledges so that drinkers have to hold on to their drinks; those who talk drink less, so turn up the music.
The nature of standing up is the vertical and vertical drinking. The Standard (Hong Kong) has a great article on the impact of vertical drinking.
Great powerful anecdote on video from Nike CEO Mark Parker. Click to see the video at Fast Company.
Tim Pat Coogan is better known for his Irish historic biographies, but The Irish: A personal view is an interesting collection of essays from the early 1970s reminiscent of of the New Journalism style of Tom Wolfe pre-Bonfire of the Vanities or The Right Stuff.
Wolfe and other exponents of new journalism who covered low and counter culture movements. In his book, Coogan deals with the everyman: the farmer, the factory worker and the publican. He also utilises establishment figures from the clergy, businesspeople, politicians and paramilitaries to help tell his story. He unmasks their insecurities and the apparent craic of events like the Listoonvarna festival is portrayed with its angst, longing and desperation exposed. He strips Irish society of its green-tinted lacquer and shows it unadulterated, but in the process becomes part of the story.
The society crippled and protected by its deference to clergy was very different from modern Irish society rocked by child abuse scandals, discount airlines, overly ambitious property speculators and rampant political corruption.
Its a good read if you want to understand the genesis of modern Ireland before the Celtic Tiger-hype.
Saab 92 1950, originally uploaded by Stig Baumeyer.
The small efficient car started SAAB’s long association with rallying. The SAAB 92 was directly derived from SAAB’s experience as an aircraft company and the legacy can be seen in subsequent models including the 93, GT750, 95 (not the 9-5) and 96.
The more I think about it a retro-modern SAAB 92 looks more like the future of the car.
I have been playing with Mflow for a little while and made a few attempts at trying to write a blog post to explain what it does and how I felt about it. Mflow now have a video that explains really well what it does. The application is really nicely developed and relatively intuitive to use.
What I find the most interesting aspect of mflow compared to say Last.fm is the amount of celebrity recommendations available on the service; a kind of web 2.0 version of DMC’s buzz chart.
I deliberately left my post on the mark-up language for Wikipedia out of the 29 things meme because I didn’t want to encourage PR people altering their clients Wikipedia entry – if anyone thinks that as an implicit message from my previous post then they are wrong. You will be caught, there are great free tools out there which will expose you as surely as night follows day. If you do not believe me have a play with WikiScanner.
Wikipedia is based on the likes of you and me writing posts. A key part of this process is that every point or fact made is verified (links to third party sources: news articles, academic papers, company websites). In order to make sure that this works, there is a disputes procedure and a body of editors who go around fixing grammatical errors, resolving editorial disputes between contributors, locking contentious posts that are likely to be vandalised and deleting posts that don’t meet the community standards of Wikipedia.
Every Wikipedia page has four tabs at the top of the page:
- Article – the default tab
- Discussion – about the page where readers can express their opinion as to the quality of the content, the article relevance and quality of references
- Edit this page – where you can add, amend or edit content on the page
- History – a record of who has made what alterations to the page
This is the starting point. If you have a problem with a post, for instance that it is factually incorrect, I would suggest put in a concise comment of the issue in the discussion section together with links to independent content that verifies the the points that you make. If you need to escalate the process further read this page very thoroughly. Generally people want just what you want an accurate source of reference, keep it professional and neutral in tone when you are disputing content.
Posts in this series
29 things: the basics of how to record audio
29 things: how Wikipedia works and how to get involved in the process of having a post changed
29 things: how to tweet
29 Things: Understand the nature of conversations and their appropriateness for your client
29 things: how to use Google for fun and profit
29 things: how to use an RSS reader
29 things: how to organise a PR account
29 things: how to embed pictures and video
29 things: how to create a link
29 things: how to touch-type
29 things: how to manage your communications platform
29 things for PR people
This was the post that started it all: 29 not-very-technical things that every PR person should know