World Cup – do I care?

10 June, 2010

Well, not much really.  Having watched the 1966 one in a hotel bar in Ireland nothing that 2010 can do will match that.

However, what we do have now which was not evident in 1966 is an abundance of technology surrounding the event.  You have the infamous new ‘perfect’ football developed by the sports science boffins at Loughborough University which, alas, the players do not seem to have a good word to say about it.

There is the research that has come out of Exeter University to say that the way to succeed at penalty shoot-outs is to totally ignore the goalie – easier said than done I would think.  (Did you know that the England success rate at penalties is 17% whereas the Germans’ is 83%?)

For me though, forget the football.  What has really taken my fancy is the nifty 2010 wheel of information on the marca.com site – I could play with it for hours.

Let’s just hope that, whoever wins the tournament, South Africa comes out the winner overall.

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Work Experience at EML

26 May, 2010

As a student looking at a possible future in PR, I knew that it would be a competitive industry to get into. Considering this, I thought that the best way to make myself more appealing to the PR market would be to undertake some PR work experience and thankfully I knew someone to place me in the right direction, that being with EML.

Before I started my work experience with EML I was petrified! This due to the fact that I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to undertake the tasks given to me, how well I would get on with people in the company and whether I would impress. However, I can honestly say that throughout my whole 4 weeks of being here I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt a lot about the PR industry. I was given worthwhile tasks that I found interesting and I feel like I actually learnt something from doing them. These included researching journalists through through various tools, which I was intrigued by as I didn’t have a clue as to how PR companies went about contacting the vast amount of journalists in the world. I was also given the privilege of being allowed to come along to witness a pitch given by EML to a possible client. This gave me an insight into how PR companies need to sell themselves and made me realise that I really need to brush up on my presenting skills! Going along to meet a journalist was also different and interesting, as I got to understand how EML has to maintain a keen interest from journalists.

What made it so much easier for me to find it interesting and worthwhile was the fact that I worked with such friendly, easygoing staff (not that they slack on the job!). I felt comfortable with asking questions, which is something that a lot of newcomers can struggle with.

Given the chance again, I would grab it with both hands and I would definitely recommend work experience to any student, purely to get a taster of what work life is actually like and whether they would actually enjoy their prospective career. EML has been brilliant with providing me with work experience and like I have said before, everything I have taken part in has given me a much better idea of how PR works. It’s a lot different learning about PR to actually working in it, in a good way.

I must also mention that all EML staff are immense cooks and so you can’t be afraid of eating plenty of food if you work with them!

Natalie

*Unfortunately EML is not currently in a position to accept any more work experience requests

Patience is a Virtue

25 May, 2010

Rumours surrounding Google’s forthcoming Chrome 6 suggest that this version will attempt to predict our next browsing moves, with the aim of making our web surfing even faster.

The ‘predictive pre-connections’ will apparently be based on an analysis of user browsing habits over time. For example, If you enter a search term, it will automatically pre-load in the background the pages you are most likely to visit, which then reduces the amount of time it takes to display those pages should you fulfil the destiny that the great Google has mapped out for you.

There are obvious privacy issues afoot, but am I the only one disappointed that the technological genius of some of the world’s most powerful corporations is being put to gaining a couple of nanoseconds in my web browsing? Isn’t it fast enough already? We have already seen the decline of a generation now insatiable for instant gratification, where will it end? Besides which, Google announced in February that they plan to test out ‘ultrafast’ gigabit broadband offering speeds 100 times faster than most currently available. Doesn’t this make their ‘predictive pre-connections’ a little obsolete in the speed quest?

It seems to me that Google is selling out on positive technological progress in favour of pursuing petty one-upmanship against Microsoft and its Internet Explorer with a pointless new feature. Let’s see some useful innovations please Google, you’re far more likely to find people coming around to Chrome that way.


The police are listening

13 May, 2010

Must be a slow news day at the BBC. A man from Brighton was ‘shocked’ to find out that the local police force in Brighton were following him on Twitter. That’d be Twitter, the publicly viewable site where anyone can follow your updates unless you make your profile private. The one where if you mention certain keywords you quickly acquire a whole load of extra followers trying to sell you something from that industry.

Ssshh, the police are watching

As the spokesperson for the Police in Brighton said, “We use Twitter to engage with the community in a really immediate way. It’s really helpful for us because we can allay any fears or rumours going round.
We can also engage with them and ask them what they want. It’s better than traditional media in that sense.”

Quite. It’s hardly like you’re going to pick up people tweeting “just broken into a house, ROFLMAO,” but instead you might see people in the area complaining about the noise or something relevant where you can get in touch quickly to address these concerns. Twitter isn’t just a medium for businesses and the media, there’s no reason at all why public bodies such as the Police shouldn’t get involved to speak directly to those they serve.

Of course it can go completely overboard as the ‘joke’ tweet about blowing up an airport showed in what has to be one the most ridiculous court cases and conviction in memory.


iPad – I want one of those

12 May, 2010

But only if it comes with a David Hockney.

My style!

Saw a piece in the Evening Standard yesterday of ‘paintings’ that Hockney had created using a £2.99 app on his new iPad.  He then emails them on.  Finger painting at its best.

He used to use the app on his iPhone but the size of the iPad makes it more like a sketch book.

Seriously, it made me think maybe I do want one after all.


Taking the fun out of Twitter

10 May, 2010

Reuters has reported that President Barack Obama has taken a swipe at the social media platforms that arguably catalysed his own rise to power. Addressing students at Hampton University, Virginia, yesterday, Obama criticised our 24/7 media environment for distracting and entertaining rather than empowering the masses. “This is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy”, Obama said.

Interestingly, Obama also highlighted the importance of education in sifting through the many voices “clamouring for attention on blogs, on cable, on talk radio” in order to define what is ‘true’. He said that the reduction in barriers to entry to blogging platforms, which are now relatively simple to use, means “even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction”.

Now, I have to agree with the distracting qualities of social media; ask any undergraduate how the likes of Twitter and Facebook have impacted on their education and they will no doubt report hour upon hour of detrimental procrastination at the hands of these platforms! However, I can’t help but feel it is slightly hypocritical to criticise social media tools for imposing new strains on the operation of democracy whilst simultaneously demonstrating a dislike for the masses communicating freely. Essentially then, now that international social media platforms are increasingly accessible to every Joe Bloggs, we must educate people as to who they ought to listen to and who they shouldn’t, thus effectively removing the voices of the less politically desirable.

And there was me thinking that freedom of speech was a fundamental element of democracy.

Ironically, back in the UK our social media platforms exploded throughout the course of this year’s election and created a louder, wider-reaching publicity battle than ever before as political conversation enticed previously untapped audiences. The result? No clear winner and a hung parliament declared, which has consequently taken the right of choice away from the nation and a decision is now likely to be negotiated between the powers that be themselves.

Perhaps Obama had a point.


To flop or not to flop

28 April, 2010

That was the question, but not anymore as apparently you will no longer be able to buy floppy disks.
‘Scuse me, I didn’t even realise that you could still buy one let alone that people still use them.  When were you last offered a computer with a floppy disk drive?  I know I bought an external one about six years ago with a new laptop, so that I could transfer information from a very old one, but they were removed from ‘normal’ spec before that.

In fact, there is probably a whole generation of PC users out there who don’t even know what a floppy is.