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Google launches Pages and LinkedIn has launched a way of publishing a simple home page ‘advertising’ yourself from a commercial point of view. Whilst the tools have become much simplier to use the move is counter to where new web applications and services have been going.

Click on the image for a larger view of LinkedIn’s tool for creating a web profile. Google Pages has been covered extensively elsewhere online.

Dangerous Minds

Over at Edge.org, they ask some 110 scientists and other thinkers a new question each year and collate the answers.This year the question was What is your dangerous idea?

There was the usual cyber punk / Terminator SkyNet stuff about the internet becoming self aware and science becoming a new religion or that the age of reason may hit a brick wall.

I found that one of the posts by MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle about the decline of authenticity that I read at random, thought-provoking as it meant that much we look for in good public relations practice: credible, believable and authenticity will no longer be valued.

The lines will be blurred and the ethics of the PR profession will be challenged by this new world view.

 

Around the Web

Famous former Apple employee Guy Kawasaki has a couple of great blog entries that are great use for PR professionals.

Presentation Zen collates and provides great advice on presentation from that the Keynote deck to media interviews.PatternHunter outlines what they’ve called Jobs’ Law based on an informed observation posted on Slashdot.org.

He really is personally involved in the 5% of the most important decisions at Apple at any given time. That amounts to tremendous personal attention to the details of what is going on – and it also sets the tone for the other 95% of the decisions that get made when he isn’t around.

 

 

The Week

Work has been busy, but Danny Rampling’s farewell compilation album has been keeping me company.Leaving work and getting along very late to the These4Walls social allowed me to catch up with some people that I hadn’t seen in a good while and one person that I knew but had never met.

I have spoken on-and-off with Edmund Kellman of PR Newswire on and off for the past six years or more but never had the chance to meet with him until this week.

Friday saw Hannah Marriott of PR Week call for input into a blogging feature that PR Week will be running, we’ll see if I get coverage under my work persona.

 

New Media Finds

I came across Valleywag.com, a kind of Defamer for Silicon Valley, it makes for the most compelling reading about the valley since Robert X. Cringely‘s Accidential Empires.There was gossip on company execs that had not made it over this side of the pond and adds a bit of life to the droll Notes from the Field column in InfoWorld (written a Robert X Cringely, but not the Robert X Cringely) and the mangy attempt at gossip by Spencer F. Katt of eWeek – note to the editor, the feline puns aren’t funny any more give them up – you couldn’t get a gig at a Salvation Army hostel let alone Vegas with them.

Doing for the vulture capitalist community what belle de jour did for prostitution Sandhill Slave is a blog that provides an insight into the daily grind of trashing Joe Six-Packs savings and pension fund.

BMW have some free audio books available here, following on from their series of short films that used cinematic art to pimp their cars BMW have teamed up with Random House.

The audio books feature a BMW as a main character obviously.

Kudos to Treonauts for flagging up the BMW audio books and SiliconValleyWatcher for the heads up on Sandhill Slave.

 

Brain Food

Now that IT Conversations has had to move to a more sound commercial model as part of the Conversation Network, Google’s Tech Talks have topped up my requirement for new ideas and viewpoints. Google has invited an interesting range of spokespeople to talk about subjects from meteorites in Antarctica to high-end computing and visualisation by NASA. Lauren Weinstein recently gave a talk on Internet & Empires which will make its way on there soon.More information here.

Mad scientist picture courtesy of the House of Vamp.

Hot Stuff

InfoWorld‘s daily podcast claimed that Wi-Fi hotspots had passed 100,000; 2,000 of which are in Seoul (South Korea). The US had the most Wi-Fi hotspots, with the UK in second place.Talking of hotspots, Simon Willison pointed me in the direction of Memeorandum.com which highlights what’s the heat online in terms of blogs and news articles. At the moment it has two sections: technology and news.

The folks that write the WWNK newsletter look at the likelihood of a hot war with Iran and indicated that the next edition of their thought provoking emails will be their last:

Dear Subscribers, After more than two years and 114 issues of What We Now Know, it’s time to say goodbye.

The reason why we are calling it quits is trivial but significant: Money. Call it filthy lucre, but as our investor-readers know, ultimately it’s the substance that makes the world go around… and that keeps newsletters get published.

What We Now Know initially started out as a pet project of Casey Research’s Managing Editor, David Galland–soon after being fed and cared for by Senior Editor Shannara Johnson and a small but excellent team of freelancers.

WWNK was controversial and funny, scientific and flamboyant at the same time. Not everybody always agreed with its contents… in fact, it managed to step onto various toes with precious regularity. But it also amused, informed, entertained, and touched many people.

Like all proud parents, your editors had high aspirations and goals for our brainchild, and we frequently talked and dreamed about what it might become when it grew up.

Destiny had planned differently, though. The big brothers and sisters of What We Now Know grew and blossomed far more quickly and soon overshadowed their little brother, taking precedence in daily business. Sadly, we had to admit that although WWNK was receiving raving reviews from its readers, it failed to pull its own weight.

So, in the same way as we buy stocks low and sell them high, we feel it’s important to give up a good thing while it’s still good. It was a great ride, and we don’t regret a minute of it.

Next week’s What We Now Know (1/31/06) will be the last.

Meanwhile the folks at IG Trendcentral had a couple of interesting links:

  • Gabriel Urist makes jewellery based on classic trainer designs for a touch of bling. It reminds me of the adidas superstar pendants that Oki-Ni had when adidas did the big celebration of the the superstar last year.
  • Worn Piece make clothes that look like Maharishi raiding a thrift store. They customise surplus fatigues and have clothing designs that make political statements a bit more clever than your red Che t-shirt.

Viral Craicers

Whack your Boss is the encyclopedia jihad for cube-rage warriors. Sort that pesky company man in double-quick time here. Kudos to Stephen. The chain letter used to be the bane of your email box before people realised that email could be used to run 419 scams and market pharmaceutical drugs such as Viagra or ‘replica’ luxury watches.

Thanks to

Lawrence for this amusing chain-mail letter.
Subject: FW: Thanks

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 20:53:25 -0000My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me “forwards” over the past 12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed and healthy.

* Extra thanks to whoever sent me the email about rat crap in the glue on envelopes – because I now have to go get a wet towel every time I need to seal an envelope.

* Also, I scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason. Because of your genuine concern, I no longer drink Coca Cola because I know it can remove toilet stains, which is not exactly an appealing characteristic.

* I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

* I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

* I no longer go to shopping centres because someone might drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

* I no longer eat KFC because their “chickens” are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

* I no longer worry about my soul because at last count, I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

* Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

* I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl on the internet who is about to die in the hospital

* I no longer have any money at all in fact – but that will change once I receive the £15,000 that Microsoft are sending me for participating in their special on-line email program. Yes, I want to thank you all so much for looking out for me that I will now return the favour!

If you don’t send this email to at least 144,000 people in the next 7 minutes, a large pigeon with a wicked case of diarrhoea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbour’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician. DO IT NOW OR ELSE.

Have a nice day… OH and Merry Christmas :0)

clair donaldson

That was 2005

January
Bez won Celebrity Big Brother, London creative team Lee and Dan made an Al Qeada inspired calling card for Volkswagen that managed to leak out on to the web. Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston won the monthly award for stating the bleeding obvious. We did a bit of homegrown analysis with the help of information from Popbitch to work out just how much News International made from the Prince Harry Nazi pictures. We also found that the Watchman character that the rc personality most resembled was The Comedian, more details on testing your Watchman Personality Inventory here.February
Words of the month were Mum Truck and KAGOY (kids get older, younger). Hunter S Thompson killed himself and half the media world pretended that they were avid readers of his work. The books of the month were Michael Collins by Tim Pat Coogan and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (another pioneer of the gonzo school of journalism). The US Army released details around its successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign to attract recruits. America’s Army a realistic 3D game garnered interest in soldiering as a career and was far more fruitful than their television advertising campaigns. Bob Cringely highlighted how 25 billion USD needed to be invested by VC funds in the next 18 months or else they would lose their management fees. This of course wouldn’t have anything to do with the bubbling up of Web 2.0 would it? Carly Fiorina was finally ousted from H-P much to the relief of its employees. Sci-Fi London hosted a fantastic all-nighter of Shaw Brothers classics including Super Infra Man and Monkey Goes West.

March
renaissance chambara turned 1 years-old. Forrester mapped out trends in consumer electronics for 2005. March’s word was Search Arbitrage. Seymour Hersh highlighted the Pentagon’s plans for axis-of-evil club member Iran. Hersh’s pioneering journalistic approach contrasted with general media malaise. The Sony PSP picked up a lot of interest on the web with some hailing it as the new iPod, I don’t think so…. And most importantly the rc towers local pub got recognised as Pub of the Year by the Evening Standard.

April
PR gossip blog Spin Bunny was shut down for the first time as an unnamed PR agency called in the lawyers. Red Bull’s Art of Can exhibition brought a bit of culture to the Truman brewery. Word of the month is Kronenbourg. H-P manages to launch survey results that make them look foolish. There was less content overall as we were burning the midnight candle at work.

May
Flying Records, one of the UK’s foremost dance record shops finally closed its shutters after ten years at the forefront of the scene, however its spirit lives on as Andrew Baker now champions new tracks online working for distributor Goya Music. Palm launched the LifeDrive and it didn’t look that impressive compared to an iPod, retail therapy was thus avoided. Michelle Delio was found to have made up some of her stories that she contributed to Wired News. The word of the month was Sachet Marketing.

June
Country Music Television appoints a vice president of Dukes of Hazzard in a brilliantly executed PR campaign to promotes its re-runs of the original series. Omega releases its Planet Ocean watch – the watch that the Seamaster should be. WTF Apple goes Intel! Web 2.0 starts looking bubblicious. It was a few months since the Miami Winter Music festival and the Ibiza season was just starting to kick-off so a bumper month was had in the vinyl stakes. Michael Jackson is found not guilty, but the court of public opinion isn’t so sure. The word of the month is Mommy Consultant, Burson-Marsteller’s phrase e-fluential missed out because it was too close to effluent and we wouldn’t want you to be under the opinion that we thought all bloggers were full of sh!t now would we?

July
Cracks start to show in the eBay edifice. Fatigue for consumerism starts to set in. Coke rolls out their Love poster campaign, arguably the best piece of creative this year. The ongoing rising price of oil gives Hubbert’s Peak a mainstream audience as consumers wake up to the fact that oil isn’t going to get any cheaper or more plentiful. The New York Times celebrated the tenth birthday of e-commerce.

August
Wired issues its ten-year netrospective ‘celebrating’ the original of the bubble with the Netscape IPO. Citizen journalism sees its first cynical cash in with the launch of Scoopt, a picture agency for the general public and their camera phone. Paparazzi sleep easy though. Music industry bodies blame everybody but themselves for the continued under-performance of their industry. Bob Cringely launches his NerdTV series of interviews and Stussy’s 25th (XXV) anniversary collection is full swing. Towards the end of the month I managed to survive Silicon Valley. In Utah, the heavy mob is used to deal with kids listening to repetitive beats in an incident rather like the infamous police raid in Nelson near Blackburn back in the day. I am sure American’s everywhere feel safer already. The harvest of quality dance music on an acid house tip.

September
Chigger is the word. Nick Love’s film The Business reminds us why the 1980s were so good and so crap at the same time. Palm previews a Windows device, Dell stumbles and I try hard not to snigger, its especially hard when some bright spark calls Dell’s answer to the iPod Shuffle the Dell Ditty and styles it like a Ronson lighter. Apple launches the iPod Nano and gadgeteers recoil in horror from the Motorola ROKR. Nestle re-releases the Texan bar. Geek-in-chief at Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz, appeals to the troops to stop leaking confidential news via their blogs; via a blog!

October
Designers Burro shut up shop, while Criminal opens a Covent Garden boutique and Matmos see sense and re-release the Telstar lamp. Disgraced analyst Harry Blodgett starts his own blog. Super Southerner is the phrase of the moment. Spin Bunny gets shut down for the second time, this time it looks like its permanent as the entire site is removed from Typepad, speculation is that a South Bank based agency was responsible for letting loose the dogs of law. The tune of the moment is Tiger Stripes – Spirited Away. In a pre-Halloween push Burger King’s clumsy viral marketing efforts get unmasked by Slate.

November
Lynx launches a bespoke perfume in conjunction with Oki-Ni, research shows that music downloads have plateaued proving the proving the point that you can only buy so much crap. Talking of crap, Hypercolour looks like it may be making a come back. AOL makes its first interesting move in years by taking TV to the web and my even have a good business model. The word is Shorty (at least according to DJ Tim Westwood).

December
Christmas comes in with a whimper and Sony messes up a street marketing campaign for the PSP. rc floats the concept of a media bond and futures market to capitalise on the digitisation of content, the long tail and too much sloshing around waiting to be invested. Bootlegs mixes of Aretha Franklin and Pink Floyd move the feet so that the mind will follow. The word of the month is Uncanny Valley. Designers Terratag have some awesome gear in their latest fashion collection. Amazon take a Hermann Goring approach to email marketing in the final run-up to Christmas. A brief trip to Ireland left me with a number of contradictory observations about the state of the Celtic Tiger.

Image courtesy of Sanrio.

Aunty Gonzo

The BBC tries out some gonzo journalism online. Nicky Taylor played the role of Raoul Duke admirably as she investigated the perils of binge drinking. Nicky managed to consume a chav-tastic 519 units of alcohol. More details in Through a Glass Very Darkly. Good to see that the TV licence money is being well spent….The picture? Well we just loved Meat Beat Manifesto borrowing the essence of the IBM logo design. Let the revolution commence.

 

Seasons greetings

Merry Christmas President of Ireland’s Christmas message (thanks to Liam and the team at the Irish Emigrant) Teachtaireacht na Nollag o Uachtaran na hEireann Ag am seo na Nollag cuirim beannacht om’ chroi chugaibh as Aras an Uachtarain. Spreagann spiorad na Nollag muid chun ceiliuradh a dheanamh ar gach rud ata maith agus fonta inar saol, go hairithe sa bhaile, sa phobal agus sa chomharsanacht ina maireann muid. Cuireann daoine stro orthu fein chun teacht le cheile i ngrupai teaghlaigh agus cairde ag an am seo den bhliain, ach is ann doibh siud nach feidir leo. Is mor an togail croi e an oiread sin daoine a fheiceail ag obair go deonach chun solas agus sochas a thabhairt do dhaoine ar an ghannchuid no ar bheagan misnigh. Tharla tubaisti go leor ar fud an domhain i rith na bliana ata direach caite, agus idir iad agus chogadh agus anachain fagadh moran daoine briste bocht. Ach ni raibh muintir na hEireann ar chul lena gcuidiu i gcas ar bith. Ba mhor an chuis mhortais agus mhisnigh e flaithiulacht na nGael i ndiaidh achan tragoide, ba chuma ce chomh mor no ce chomh beag. Smaoinimid anois ar na daoine bochta sin a raibh ar gcuidiu chomh mor sin de dhith orthu i rith na bliana; agus smaoinimid fosta orthu siud a thainig i gcabhair orthu ar bhForsai Cosanta agus ar n-oibrithe deonacha ina measc. Murab ionann agus go leor aiteanna eile ar chlar na cruinne, ta Oilean na hEireann ag eiri nios rathula agus nios suaimhni i rith an ama. Ba mhor an cuidiu e fogra dichoimisiunaithe an IRA Mean Fomhair seo caite chun sochai siochana a chruthu agus a chothu. Mo mhile buiochas le gach uile dhuine agaibh a d’oibrigh ar son na siochana. Go mbaine sibh uilig sult agus su as a bhfuil cruthaithe agaibh. Anois agus muid ag cur smear mhullaigh ar a bhfuil le reiteach againn fa choinne na Nollag, iarraim oraibh a bheith curamach agus tuisceanach ar na boithre agus ar na sraideanna, chun go mbeidh seans ag gach duine sult a bhaint as seasur na siochana. Guim Nollaig mhor mhaith ar gach uile dhuine agaibh, agus bliain ur faoi rath agus faoi bhlath. Maire Mhic Ghiolla Iosa Uachtaran na hEireann _________________ Christmas Greetings from the President of Ireland

At this Christmas time, I send you warmest greetings and good wishes from Aras an Uachtarain. The spirit of this Yuletide season inspires us to celebrate everything that is good in our lives and in particular in our homes, communities and neighbourhoods. Families and friends make a special effort to gather together to show their care for one another and it is very heartening to see that there are many who make it their business to bring hope and comfort to the poor and the vulnerable for whom this can be a particularly difficult time. In the past year we witnessed the awful suffering caused by natural disasters, conflict and poverty in many parts of the world and we saw how generously Irish people of all ages responded to the suffering of strangers. Their greatness of heart and their solidarity with those in need are a source of considerable pride and reassurance. The people of those tragic countries are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas time, as are all those working courageously on their behalf, among them our own Defence Forces and aid workers. If peace and prosperity are elusive dreams for too many people across the globe, they are now, at last, a precious reality for those who share this island. Last September’s historic announcement of IRA decommissioning was a crucial step towards creating a climate in which trust and friendship can flourish and grow as never before. I thank everyone who has worked for peace and I pray that your work will be rewarded by the fullest use of the hard-earned opportunities that now exist to build a future for all to be part of and proud of. As the wrapping goes around the last of the presents and the countdown starts to Santa’s arrival, please keep each other safe on the roads and on our streets so that this Christmas will bring only happiness and joy into every home. I wish each one of you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful, contented and prosperous New Year. Mary McAleese President of Ireland Finally, spare a thought for those that aren’t able to enjoy Christmas this year, such as the hard-pressed lawyers of east coast law firm Burns & Levinson who will be chained to their desk via a BorgBerry device. More details of their inhumane treatment courtesy of the Boston Globe. You can send your bah humbug emails to managing partner and modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge David Rosenblatt.

Some links for y’all

Chicano rap group Delinquent Habits have a great website here with some choice cuts with some of the best DJ and production skills I have heard in years.Their album Here Come the Horns is a staple on my iPod.

Poke London’s creative director Iain Tait has his blog here, it makes interesting reading on the whole web shiznitz.Picture courtesy of Pit Bull Rescue Central.

 

Brief set of Links

I have been away in Ireland on family business and haven’t had time to really digest these, but thought I would share some interesting links that had been kicking around my inbox. The New York Times

has an interesting story Military’s information war is vast and often secretive by Jeff Gerth (December 11th, 2005) that talks about the complex Pentagon/private contractor efforts to wage the hearts and minds war on terror. The article covers a wide range of activity by companies including the Rendon Group and the Lincoln Group. ZDNet

claims that Apple is going to kill the FireWire standard that it created and worked so hard with consumer electronics companies to implement on video equipment and being used in pro-music circles. Whilst I can understand why Apple wants to use open standards and have the likes of Intel foot the development costs, the company also needs to maintain its innovative edge in hardware design and implementation.

UK PR Blog List

 This site has made it on to a list of UK PR blogs. I don’t know whether to be happy about the recognition and the improvement it will have on my page ranking in search engines, or whether it is a sign of how untrustworthy or dubious the content is?


I have always thought of this as a blog that happens to be written by a PR person, rather than a blog about PR….. If that’s what your expecting you may be disappointed, but feel free to stay and have a poke around, and make yourself at home anyway.