#IDForum | International Digital Forum talks

I spent the morning at the International Digital Forum at the IAB and here some of my notes from the talk.
Fujistu on their social media programme
Pernille Rudlin talked about how Fujitsu used social media around the world. The most interesting takeaways for me was that a B2B brand was making better use of Facebook than it was getting out of LinkedIn and employee engagement was a major part of the return on investment.
Oban SEO on international social media
Dan Bloomfield of Oban Multilingual gave a brief overview of the Brazilian, Indian and Chinese online eco-systems.

Out and about: Britannia Hotel

I stayed a couple of nights at the Britannia Hotel in Manchester, my stay was a mixed bag.
Brittania Hotel
This is what my room looked like.


  • Location – the hotel is in a fantastic building that was originally built as a warehouse for a wholesale drapery business. At the time Manchester was at the centre of the global textile industry and the buildings were designed to reflect this stature. The hotel was put in the 1980s and the original cast iron staircase is the centrepiece of the hotel
  • Location – you can’t get much more central than its position on Portland Street, walking distance from many of the main attractions from Piccadilly station and the Canal Street gay quarter to Deansgate shopping area
  • Price – if you look online you can get competitive room prices from the Britannia Hotel.
  • I found the staff to be polite and professional
  • Free wi-fi: well nothing is free but it was night to see that you didn’t get gouged for internet access. However I wasn’t impressed by the performance


  • If you want something shipshape and shine, the Britannia isn’t the hotel for you. They are making their assets sweat to give competitively priced rooms, so you have to put up with old carpet and fittings and tired decorations
  • The TV seems to have a random selection of stations available. I have no idea why
  • The wi-fi is absolutely abysmal see my test results for yourself. I was staying for business purposes and couldn’t get anything meaningful done and on the second night I couldn’t get on the internet at all


Britannia Hotel
30 Portland Street
Manchester M1 3LA
+44 161 228 2288

Jargon Watch: BYOD

The phenomena of BYOD (bring your own devices) is where employees bring their own computing devices into work. It is not something radical or particularly new despite what trends blogs may have you believe. I have with one exception at Pirate Communications had a company phone and never had a company smartphone. Much of the reason was that my cell phone number is as much my identity as my email address.

Students of the history of personal computing know that the first generations; usually Apple II’s were introduced into businesses to run VisiCalc spreadsheet software and subvert the IT’s grip on business information and modelling. The tradition of ‘pirate’ IT systems is still carried on in different departments of merchant banks (its why trading models are often built in a complex Excel spreadsheet rather than as a dedicated application). Increased computing power in smartphones, tablets and laptops leave consumers better equipped than the IT departments who were previously in charge of outfitting technology to employees.

More information
Left to Your Own Devices – EuroRSCG

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Conflict of interest forces Open Standards consultation extension – The H

Data point: For Gen Z, digital connections trump money, music, more | JWT Intelligence

Jing Daily: Mandarin Ogilvy Hong Kong launches artistic food from around the world photo contest

Pivoting’ Pays Off for Tech Entrepreneurs – WSJ.com – changing direction and fast failure

Millionaires More Bearish Than Their Advisors – WSJ

S.&P. Cuts Nokia Rating to Junk – NYTimes.com

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote | Techdirt

In UK, Time Spent Reading Newspapers Online Vastly Varies by Household Income

I, Cringely » Blog Archive By 2015 IBM will look like Oracle – more in IBM’s business. Moving from services and consultancy to self-service and the cloud

TNS | Mobile Life

Research: 13% of social networkers use Foursquare, Facebook Places check-in services – michelle goodall’s posterous

Text message prompts ‘improve medicines adherence’ | InPharm

Revealed: How Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram made Facebook pay $1B | VentureBeat

Samsung Behind Apple Store Protest Telling People to ‘Wake Up’? – makes no sense to me

Hollywood Goes to China with bad results

RIM turnaround could take up to 5 years, Watsa says | Reuters

McClureMusic.com | Japan music sales stay steady in first quarter

bboy tracks home – download now – cool independent online music store for B-Boy breaks

The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture – The Atlantic Cities

Throwback gadget: Sony Vaio PCG C1 series

I’ve only had PC envy with a couple of devices during my twenty something years at a Mac user:

  • The IBM ThinkPad 701 series with its butterfly keyboard
  • The Sony Vaio PCG C1 series of notebooks

In common with the 701, Sony’s C1 impressed me with its product design. In a pioneering design for 1998, the C1 included a built in web camera above the screen that could be rotated to try and ensure an optimum camera position.
Picturebook PCG C1-VN

Sony made a small modular computer. What was important was what they had left out in their device case and instead relied on a set of outboard peripherals so the user could bring or configure their computer set-up to suit their needs.  The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) slot was equivalent of the USB socket today and used to connect a wide range of devices including both fixed-line and GSM wireless modems.
Sony Vaio C1 VE

The beauty extended on to the inside of the devices with some of the range using a Transmeta Crusoe processor. The Crusoe was the Intel Atom almost a decade before the Atom; it used a combination of software techniques and hardware innovations to reduce heat output and improve power consumption. This had some benefit in terms of battery improvement, but battery life relies on a combination factors such as screen power, hard drive power and other parts on the circuit board.

This device is even more remarkable when you  realise that the Sony Vaio C1 was launched some seven years before Steve Jobs went on stage at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference in 2005 to announce the move to Intel processors because of a new focus on computer power per Watt. You could consider the MacBook Air that I am typing this post out on as a spiritual successor to the Vaio C1.

More information
More about the C1 and one man’s adventures trying to install Linux on it