Feb 16

2014 – week 7

Reading

Doing

  • I started a new job, although it’s a contract for a few months, I’m back working. :-) More about this another week.
  • Went to a evening at Ogilvy, taking a look at what they are up to in the social space.
  • Had drinks with my ex-colleagues. Slightly too much, but it was a great night! :-)
    Drinks (13th Feb 2014)
  • Ran the Dorney Half-marathon, a last minute entry at the beginning of the week. It went brilliantly and I got a new PB. I also met up with a group of people from a running forum I’m taking part in.
    Runners (15th Feb 2014)

    Training

    Overall, it was a pretty good week. The runs all went to plan, in fact were slightly easier than expected. The training is working. There were 2 key sessions, one with 5 * 800m fast intervals and the other the half-marathon, which was a test of marathon pace with a faster last 3 miles. The race went perfectly to plan and I knocked 7 mins off my personal best, at 2:07:03.

Feb 09

2014 – week 6

A bit more activity this week

Reading

Doing

  • I started mentoring for this programme Digital Mums. A good scheme to teach new skills and the support local businesses.
  • I went to a leaving do, a friend from Momentum who has moved on and caught up with a lot of ex-colleagues.
  • I went to the Zoom F1 auction, which was selling pictures taken by F1 journalists/drivers/team members. A good night – and a chance to wear my new slim styled dress :-)

Zoom Auction (7th Feb 2014)

Training

A slightly heavier week, as mileage ramps up. It’s 9 weeks until the marathon and things, in general, going well. Hopefully, this weeks issue won’t cause a long term problem. As well as the recovery runs, I managed the following sessions

  • 6 miles progressive, where I started slow and increased speed every mile, finishing with a 8:50m/m
  • 20 miles steady. My longest run to date. Went well, but needed to fuel better.
  • I started but had to abandon the 16 miles with 12 at marathon pace. A cold was the first issue, so my heart rate was all over the place, but then also had a hamstring issue that meant it was not a good idea to continue. Lots of stretching and rolling ahead.
Feb 09

2014 – week 5

Another quiet week (well, if you call some travel quiet). We’ll have to stop that soon!

Reading

  • Life as a Non-Violent Psychopath. A neuroscientist working on brain scans takes a look at his own and how similar it is to psyshopath brains. A great read, and interesting journey of self-discovery.
  • The Day we Lost Atlanta – how 2″ of snow paralysed a city of 6m because of lack of transport investment
  • Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars. I’d call myself a feminist. However, I find the fragmentation and worthiness, leading to all of these public arguments, silly and self-defeating. There are so many different ways to express, why should you fit into someone else’s definition and how do you fit into them all!
  • My Wife Doesn’t Get how it is in Advertising. I think most people don’t get how silly it can be in advertising/marketing etc. Some of the expected behaviours are just weird.
  • No chance for Stephen Glass: the long, strange downfall of the journalistic wonderkid. Should a journalist who faked and made up a lot of stories get a chance for a new life? According to the Californian Supreme Court, not if he doesn’t change.

Doing

  • I ‘watched’ the first F1 test of the season, well, watched via Twitter and reporting. The last few years I’ve travelled to a test, but not this year. They’re not going to Barcelona and I did not fancy a trip to Bahrain.
  • I went to Naples! The reports of Pompeii and Naples can be found earlier on the blog. A great long weekend, with lots of good art, architecture, history and food.

Naples

Training

A short week, I only managed a 12mile and a 5mile run before I went away. I did do about 10miles walking everyday in Italy, so I was still spending time on feet!

Jan 26

2014 – week 4

Reading

Got few a fair bit this week! I really ought to record the books I’m reading too, I only do that occasionally.

Doing

I’m guessing there’s a correlation between reading and doing, because my activities last week were limited to interviews and exercises, with a couple of catch-ups with ex-colleagues! I’m going to have to change that this week! I did manage to eat some haggis for Burns’ Night though.

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. (25th Jan 2014)

Exercise

After last week’s light week, it was back to the heavy work. So 2 recovery runs and the following work sessions:

  • 8 miles with 4 at 10k pace. HARD session I never settled into and did not manage the 5th mile at pace. too cold and breathing never settled.
  • 11 miles steady
  • 18 miles steady. This was my longest run to date, with me making sure I had the right gels to keep me going. Legs definitely sore at the end of it, but not too bad the day after.
Jan 19

2014 – Week 3

Reading

Doing

  • Had my first ever full-length sports massage. Ouch! Seriously, I had bruises. But I did notice a difference in the next run, with muscles that often give a twinge working fine. Ideally, you’d get one weekly, but every 3-4 weeks at a minimum. It all depends on finances as they’re not the cheapest!
  • I was on Russia Today, on its programme CrossTalk, directly as a result of my appearance on Al Jazeera. The topic was pretty much the same, social media and journalism. This was not in a dedicated dark studio, but on the corner of the office, so had people working around me. Weirdly, I had a screen backdrop which showed a live view of London – the camera providing the view on the screen was pointing out the window behind the screen!
  • A had a good chat with the people behind Digital Mums. I’m probably going to be doing some mentorship on their pilot project, to train at=home Mums to do community management. I think this is a really good idea!
  • I had brunch with someone I used to work with in JWT New York. He’s just started a new role and is over here for 3 months connecting with new and existing clients. Had a good meal in Chinatown and took him on a whistlestop tour of Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and the Southbank. We were going to go into Westminster Hall, but apparently at a weekend, you can only get in if you are on a paid tour!
  • Had dinner with a bunch of bloggers. David Weinberger was visiting London and there was a small dinner with some old-school bloggers.

London streets

Training

It was a lighter week in the plan, a recovery week before it all gets hard again. Two light recovery runs and the following main runs.

  • 8 miles with 8 * 100m sprints, speeding up to get the legs moving quicker.
  • 8 miles easy running, done along the river, just about getting the tide time right so I could use the tow path
  • 12 miles easy running, in Richmond Park on a sunny morning. So many runners out in the park, wonder how many of them are doing the London Marathin too?
Jan 17

2014 – Week 2

Reading

  • Things learnt from 5 years on The Story by Matt Locke. A great set of things that he has learnt running his The Story Conference, from the need of side-projects, that you have to do things many times to get things right and that things are valued more when paid for with own money (rather than expensed on employer).
  • Is the sea floor littered with dead sea animals by Deep Sea News. A factual take on the scare stories of Fukishima radiation. It’s not hitting the US!
  • The Most In-demand job skills in 2013 was Social media on Red/Write. yay, that’s good to know. Here’s to it continuing in 2014. Although, reality check, it should social media AND business knowledge, how to actually use it strategically, not just how to use Twitter.

Doing

A pretty quiet week in the main.

  • My project to have a photo for every day in 2014 is progressing well. Here’s the Flickr Set
  • Visited Shoreham-by-Sea to meet up with Adam, chat, and have coffee. A slightly shorter visit than planned as I had to come back up to London at short notice, but it was great to be by the sea!
  • Went along to a friend’s birthday party for a few drinks, a good chat and a fun catchup. Was good to myself my ensuring plenty of water was had along with the wine, so I felt pretty good the following day…unlike some! And I avoided the shots.

Training

A hard week, with a total mileage of 40 miles. Two small recovery runs, plus some hard sessions:

  • 9 miles with 5 at 10k pace
  • 10 miles steady
  • 16 miles with 10 at marathon place. This one I was dreading but it went better than expected.
Jan 05

2014 – Week 1

It’s a New Year! 2014 is here and has done its best to make its mark with the weather.

Reading

  • How to run the perfect marathon by Beer Belly Running. I’m going to be reading a lot more like this as I have no idea what to expect (pain, I know there’ll be pain, but what else? :-) ) It’s 14 weeks today. I have a lot of miles to get through.
  • Facebook reveals mobile growth by country. (TechCrunch) One thing about being a public company is Facebook has to give information to investors that it would not have normally made public. This is interesting reading about how it is spreading, especially with the rise of the messenger plus the deals it is putting in place to make Facebook use ‘free data’ with certain carriers.
  • How the content industry almost killed the Blockbuster and Netflix. (TechCrunch). A look back on the entertainment industry and its continued inability to understand the disruption that keeps hitting it.
  • LOL My Thesis. A tumblr with one line definitions of academics study. A lot of fun reading.
  • Paul Dacre – the man who hates liberal Britain. A New Statesman study of the editor of the Daily Mail

Doing

  • Visited the Bank Of England Museum. A fascinating little place in the City, showing the history of the bank and of money and banking in the UK. Shows how banknotes came to replace money, the rise of the cheque and how, in England, this bank became the only one that could issue money. Well worth a visit – especially to handle the HUGE gold bar they have.
  • Appeared on Al Jazeera TV on Inside Talk, talking about social media, viral videos, fakes and journalism. How should journalists verify video that appears on the web. Making these programme is weird as the main studio is in Doha, so you’re in a dark studio, facing lights, you can’t see the camera so hope you hope you’re looking at the right place and you can’t see the videos they are talking about. This was the first long discussion I have done, it’s normally been small slots in news programmes but this was a 30min show. Enjoyed it (and apparently did OK). Also, more telly makeup so took picture that is becoming my new avatar.
  • Did a London Treasure hunt through In the Hidden City. A brilliant idea that uses text messages to send you clues for places around London. Do it fast, you can get prizes, but the real prize is taking the opportunity to see places about London you may never have been before. This one took us from the National Gallery, through St James, Soho and up to Marylebone.
  • Updated my CV and applied for jobs. Cost cuts are work meant re-structuring and me no longer having a job :-( So after getting through the holidays, I’ve now taken stock and am busy getting my details out there! Anyone need a digital thinker/social media strategist/project manager? You can see what I have done on my About Page/LinkedIn.

Training

The training picks up hard now, with 42 miles in the plan

  • 8mile steady with 10 100m strides. These are fast sprints where you push yourself hard
  • 10miles to and from a New Year’s day parkrun, with the 5k fast in the middle. Well, not that fast. I usually do my parkruns on a flat course, this was in Richmond park and there are hills!
  • 10miles steady. It was a lovely run until 6miles in when the heaven opened, hailstones poured down and there was thunder and lightening. I got very wet and it was horrible for 2 miles. Then there were blue skies!
  • 15 miles steady, again round Richmond Park. No deer seen today

Dec 29

2013 – Week 52

Christmas Week, that weird one (which carries on into next week) where life does not follow normal pattern!

Reading

Doing

I spent almost the whole week at the parents doing family things! I was due to travel on the Monday via train, but with the bad weather that was predicted, Dad came to pick me up on the Sunday. Good job too, as many trains were disrupted. So the week was spent catching up with family,, a bit of eating, a bit of drinking and a lovely walk in the Clent Hills on Boxing day. I also got my Dad set up on Flickr so he can put his many years of holiday photos on there instead of them being stuck across a couple of machines.

Training

A combination of injury recovery and being at parents meant training was a little mixed this week.

  • Gym session with 15miles on bike, some weights then a a short 2.5mile run back home (in the pouring rain!)
  • 5.6 miles steady run around Himley Park/Baggeridge Woods on Christmas Day. It was a gorgeous bright morning and the park was filled with dog walkers
  • Park run with my sister Sarah (who’s training for a half marathon), plus my other sister’s husband Paul. It was the first park run for both. I ran round with Paul, who has not run for ages and definitely not since his accident – but running with one arm was manageable, he just needs better trainers!
  • 15miles steady around Richmond Park. I started off with the local running club group but they were going far too fast for my plan for the day, so I dropped back and completed it in just over 2.5 hours.

Dec 23

2013 – Week 51

The year is nearly done. Thoughts turn to plans for 2014, personal, professional, what ambitions will I set myself for the year?

Reading

Doing

The week before Christmas seemed to mainly involve having Christmas dinner with people! Or drinks. In total, had 3 dinners this week with various groups of friends, at a restaurant, a pub and a dinner party at home. Setting myself up well for the holidays – where I need to get out and do some more things!

Training

Not so good, another week with an injury, so planning on spending the next week focusing on stretching and strengthening before getting back out there.

Dec 16

2013 – Week 50

An interesting week, with potential for huge changes. But more on that as they crystalise!

Reading

  • Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregellis. An interesting Alt-history story, the first in a trilogy. What happens if the Germans had harnessed mental powers in WW2 and what would be the UK response.
  • The Brilliant Hack that brought Foursquare back from the dead on Wired. Story around the latest changes to Foursquare. I’ve been a consistent user of the app for years but recently it lost its way. When looking for recs, want to know what’s available in the street I’m standing in, not something a few miles away. The latest version has brought that back, so I’m happy about that. I’m also going to be more of a old fashioned user, as I like it to track my visits. If you do that, you can great maps like this! (So I rarely go NW or SE in London…)

    Foursquare Checkins - London - first half of 2012

  • Train times vs House Prices. by Anna Powell-Smith. Turning data into information. Where is the best place to buy to minimise commute and maximise value?
  • Concussions and Rugby in The Guardian. A story of rugby, a schoolboy and Second Impact Syndrome

Doing

  • Went for cocktails with friends at Purl. Lovely place!
  • Went to the launch party for The Walk, the new app from my friends at Six to Start. It’s had some great coverage!
  • Drinks with an ex-colleague who has just started a role at the National Gallery. Sounds really exciting!!!
  • Dinner and drinks with friends over from San Francisco. Had a brilliant meal at Hakkasan, had my first glass of Chateau Margaux (mmmm!) and then introduced them to a London pub the week before holidays. A trip to De Hems was spent watching people in Christmas jumpers try and hook up whislt singing along to 80′s songs mixed with Christmas songs. Can you believe they’d never heard of a Fairytale of New York?!

    Chateau Margaux

Training

It was my first official week of the marathon training, as I start the 18 week training plan. It kicks off with 8 miles with 4miles at half-marathon pace, then the rest of the week as steady runs. The knee brace is working well, I’m nursing a shin injury so being a little careful, but things going well.

Dec 08

2013 – Week 49

Reading

  • Odon Childbirth device: Car mechanic uncorks a revolution. A feature about Jorge Odon, a car mechanic from Argentine, who has invented a new device to help with childbirth.
  • What we can learn from fake tears on social media (The Kernal). Why people push their grief onto social media when a celebrity dies. (something you would rarely see me doing, I never know the person!)
  • Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett. I didn’t want to start, as it could be the last book from Pratchett. He’s an author I’ve bought all the stories,the first when he was signing books in Blackwells when I was at college. At that point, there was no queue at all, something that would never happen these days.

Doing

  • A little work dinner for a pitch team, just some wine and Italian. It was the first time I’d been to Vapiano’s, where you queue up to order your pasta or pizza. Decided I don’t like the system. Ordering at a counter and waiting for them to bring it is one thing (like GBK, or Nando’s), but don’t like the having to wait around for the order to be cooked!
  • An evening out at Fashion Fringe. The 10th year of this event had a little celebration, announcing that it was also the last year. Not my usual event, but it was a lot of fun, with wine and sushi and loads of interesting dresses to take a look at. There were apparently celebrities there, but my usual lack of recognition was there and failed to see anyone I could put a name too!
    FashionFringe London
  • It was time for the office Christmas party on Wednesday. A well put together evening at UFF Tea Merchants, where it’s all styled like the 30s. We had a band playing old time music with a lead singer aged 74, who was pretty brilliant. Overall, a very good night. I left at a reasonable time without going overboard, which meant I then had the pleasure of watching the office the following morning struggle! :-)
  • I used my last spare day on Friday. A long run, followed by a lovely lunch at the Cinnamon Club then a trip to the National Gallery. it was supposed to be wrapped up with drinks with a friend, but their work got in the way.
    Venison
  • Nelson Mandela died on Thursday night, so wandering around town on the Friday there were gatherings at the statue in Parliament Square and outside the embassy in Trafalgar Square, where people were queuing to sign a book of remembrance.
    Memorial

Training

After a week off for injury, I was back training this week.

  • 3.34 miles @ 9:57 paces. Fairly steady run
  • 3.05 miles @ avg9:46 pace. Interval runs, with fast 1k pieces (well, sort of)
  • 9.03 miles @ 10:42 pace. Steady run around Richmond Park
  • 16:04 miles @ 10:45 pace. Another run around Richmond Park, along with the hills. My farthest run yet! Felt pretty good, although last mile was painful, but I kept up the pace. There was a santa run there at the same time, but did not fins myself in the middle of them!
    Santa Run in Richmond Park
Dec 02

2013 – Week 48

Reading

Doing

  • Took a day off on Monday and used it to wander round London looking at Sir Christopher Wren Churches

    Wren's Churches

  • On the same day had lunch at the Michelin starred Club Gascon. Gorgeous!
  • On Wednesday, attended a blogger event at the May Fair Hotel, where we got to look at the Sensationails gel nail varnish system and the iPulse Smooth Skin System. Had a great talk by a professor of laser physics! Full write up to follow.
  • On Friday, I was at another brand event, this one a pop-up bar for Grey Goose. Gorgeous cocktails and a very, very slick event showcasing the brand. Very impressive dressing and service. I ended up going on to club with some people from the event, having a really good night and a very late finish :-)
  • Saturday was shopping day. Having reached target size, headed out to the Westfield stores to collate the start of the capsule wardrobe, over an above my work jeans/tops. Very successful outing with all the required pieces purchased in a couple of hours!
  • Put the tree up! Yes, it’s early, but I like the lights in an evening!

Training

There as none. A knee injury necessitated taking the week off. I rested, started added some specific strength exercises and bought a knew support. Took a light run on Sunday to test it and so far so good

Nov 26

2013 – Week 47

Winter is definitely here! it’s getting a bit cold out there. Not sure of it’s the cold but it was a very quiet week.

Reading

Not that musch this week.

Doing

The week was very, very quite! The only things of note were watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary (which I loved) and attending the Brazil BadgerBash, a gathering of F1 fans, to watch the last race of the season. A very good afternoon/evening catching up with Twitter friends.

Training

  • 3.3m at 10:36min/m. Steady lunchtime loop.
  • 4 x 1k intervals, at 8:33 min/mile pace. Did this on the treadmill, probably the best place for doing these kind of intervals
  • 8.23m at 11:06min/mile. Run from Wandsworth town
  • 14.1m at 11:06 min/mile. Got the train/tube to London Bridge, then ran back. A good idea apart from the bit around the Christmas market, which was basically gridlocked!

I’m now taking a couple of days. I’ve picked up a knee injury I think that needs to gets rested!

Nov 11

2013 – Week 45

Reading

  • The Ofsted Report on Hogwarts. This is from earlier in the year and is a lot of fun. What would the regulatory bodies make of a school of Wizardry, especially one with such a high accident rate!
  • Up in Arms (Tufts) A look back at the hstory of the US and how the different areas of settlement led to different attitudes to gun laws. The US is divided into different ‘nations’ based on their pattern of immigration
  • The Innovation of Loneliness. This looks like it is a graduate project and nothing in it appears to be original (I wish sources had been referenced) but it is a video (the equivalent of an infographic) and pulls together nicely some of the ideas around life online.
  • Out of the picture (Verge). Why even great products, such as Everpix, go out of business if they can’t gain traction and users. (via Steve Bridger)
  • Customers in Control. An Australian look at the future of retail and how experiences (rather just price) will keep us coming back. This counts for both in-store and for online, reflecting the changing social desire to get something more than just a bargain. (Via Delia Timms)
  • A farewell to Lou Reed by Laurie Anderson (Rolling Stone). short story of love, life and death. (via Matthew Gidley)

Doing

  • The London Bloggers’ Meetup was held at Google, where first we listened to Mitch Joel talk about his new book Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then we had a quick panel discussing Google enterprise and blogger products.
  • Watched some fireworks at Chiswick Business Park on the 5th. A long standing local event, there were probably a few thousand people in the park, all crowded together to watch about 15mins worth of fireworks. (there should be a video below, if not it’s on my Flickr)
  • A late planned trip to the O2 arena to watch the ATP tennis. it was a trip with a client and I was a replacement for an ill colleague. In doing so, I missed a party at work that involved a lot of karaoke and a lot of drinking ;-)
    Untitled
  • Went to see Thor at the cinema. Great Saturday afternoon movie, lots of fun.

Training

  • 5.1m at 10:39min/mile
  • 7m at average 10:24min/mile. This was a build run, with each mile supposed to be faster than the next. managed that, with the last one at 8:20. That’s the fastest mile I’ve done!
  • Park Run, at a steady 8:50min.mile
  • 12m steady. Decided to keep it interesting I’d get the train to Waterloo and run back home along the river
Mar 21

2013 Week 10

2 Mar to 8th Mar

After the quiet of last week, this week was a little more exciting.

Reading

Doing

  • Went shopping! Yes, not that much of a strange activity for most, but for me to volunteer to go shopping with friends is very, very unusual. It was all to do with getting out and trying on some new sized clothes, as I appear to have lost about 2 dress sizes so far this year. (well, at least in some stores). Bought one top, but had a great time trying things on, then drinking fizzy stuff, which is the only sensible way to finish off a shopping trip
  • Work dinner at BAFTA, A chance for the senior team to get together and let our hair down a little, even if it was a Monday night. A lovely full service dinner was pulled together plus a few drinks. A few of us even ended up in the Ritz, some place I’ve always wanted to have a cocktail in, even given the slightly large price! I was sensible and went home relatively early, others were not so and ended up not very well the next day!

    Cocktails at the Ritz

The rest of the week was the usual round of work, a bit of gym, and that’s about it! I was saving myself up for the next few buys weeks I think.

Mar 20

2013 Week 9

Sat 23rd Feb – Fri 1 Mar

You’d think i could do this, wouldn’t you. One post a week, that’s all I need. But no, I end up doing other things over the weekend and then at work time and the one post gets left behind until major catch up sessions like this one! So what did I do way back at the end of Feb?

Reading

Not a lot. I have no saved links for this period, so it must have been quiet!

Doing

  • The weekend was spent washing, tidying and sorting things out after a week away. And sorting out all my photos to organise the F1 ones into teams. One of those non-exciting housework weekends.
  • The rest of the week was fairly quiet too. Well, except for being a person down in the team,, so we were covering that work. And I was finalising a slight re-organisation of the team. And I was reviewing the interview results from the previous week, where the first round interviews for my replacement person had been taking place. We decided who to invite back and set them a brief to respond to, concious that by doing so, we probably compromised their next weekend!
  • On the Friday, I went along to ‘An Evening with Joe Saward‘ who’s an F1 journalist. It was set up as a Q&A session where the audience just threw out questions and Joe answered and told stories based on his long experience with the sport. It was interesting how different the crowd was to the other regular F1 event I go to (#badgerbash, more on this later in the year) with the audience being primarily mature men with very few women. I think that’s a result of who the journalist is.

Well, that was a quiet week (outside of work!).

Feb 26

2013 Week 8

A quick follow up to catch up the weeks.

Reading

  • Fitbit talks about tracking and privacy. I’m using a Fitbit and I love it. Just wearing it makes me think about being more active, to climb the stairs instead of the escalator. As mentioned in the article, the ecosystem is great and I hope increased competition does not restrict this.
  • A comment on whether Silicon Valley really is a meritocracy or if that’s just the white male view. The concept of privilege is not going away, nor is the vastly different perceptions of it.
  • Moshi Monsters and why kids love them. Yep, building a new kids property is hard. Moshi pretty much nails it
  • Why Americans are WEIRD. A challenge to the accepted wisdom that people’s behaviours and perceptions are fundamentally the same, based on biology, so using western (and primarily US) people for studies would apply worldwide. this research shows that is not the case and Americans are often one of the most outlying of groups

Doing

  • HOLIDAY! yes my first holiday of the year. Now, most people would not call what I did as a holiday, but I enjoyed it. It was a trip to Barcelona to watch the F1 testing. So every day, travel up to the circuit and sit and watch cars go round for 7 hours. In the freezing cold and occasional rain. Then back to the city for tapas and red wine. A lovely week and one that is planned for next year too!

    2013 Barcelona F1 Testing Day 3

  • Forgot to add this for the last week entry, but I have completed a further 2 stages of the LOOP walk. Over the two weekends, I have travelled from Bexley to West Wickham Common. Three sections done, 21 to go!

    Walk the LOOP 3  -Petts Wood to West Wickham Common

Feb 26

2013 Week 7

Nearly the end of Feb and I’ve managed to miss a week. Didn’t last too long then! That’s what going on holiday does, trying to rush to get everything sorted. So let’s catch up forstly with week 7.

Reading

  • American Express launch ‘Pay with a tweet hashtag‘. The ability for people who have linked their twitter account with their Amex card to order good with a tweet. Tweet the appropriate hashtag for one of the available products, retweet the Amex confirmation tweet and the item is yours. Hope people remember to lock phones and desktops then – to avoid helpful ‘friends’ ordering for you!
  • The ultimate in responsive design – using the camera to change how big the font is, from Marko Dugonjić
  • A lovely short story, Four Million Followers, about the life of a brand Tweeter. If there is a secret network, we’ve not been invited yet at work :-(
  • Mailbox is getting a lot of hype, with the queuing mechanism. Wired looks at whether it will make a difference. I see lots of articles about email being broken, but have not yet seen a decent idea of a replacement. And social media does not replace email in many settings!
  • Are the best days of community management behind us?. A great piece from emoderation about how community management has been taken over the suits – it’s about business more than relationships. I’m someone who, at the core, believes the best community managers are those who represent the community back to the brand and work to better the brand. It’s not always possible, but that’s my starting point.

Doing (looks back in diary to see what I did 2 weeks ago)

  • Work has been interesting. I’ve been looking at some speculative projects to see where we can grow the business – not direct pitches, but pulling together Point of View documents in a few areas around ‘Social Media and…’. With the ‘and’ being varied.
  • Had a little trip to Paris with work for a client innovation work shop. A lovely trip on the Eurostar, some good food in Paris and then a day spent working on new ideas. It was interesting that the workshop format, structured to drive the formation of ideas, is something that I rarely see in agencies but I used to do a fair bit of client side. The agency world is often in thrall to the ‘lock the creatives in a room and let them come up with something’ model. Here we had brand, legal, PR, global, local teams all working together.
  • It’s annual review time and I’m still busy doing them. We have a new model this year, competency based, and it’s taking a little longer for everyone to complete them. But seems like we’re setting good plans for the year around development and training. At the same time, one of the team decided it was time to move on this week, so CVs being gathered and interviews planned.
Jan 18

2013 Week 3

  • The week after CES means reading about CES. Not just the immediate responses, the announcements and the press releases, but the posts from those who have taken time to think about what they have seen. the Verge went through what they though was the best of CES. Of a far more reflective nature is the piece from Stephen Sinofsky, who is ex-Microsoft Windows. (via Ewan Spence)
  • Social Media Today has a list of the best social media conferences to attend in 2013. I’ve never been to any of them! Probably because the conferences I do tend to go to are slightly more on the tech side (Le Web, SXSW) or completely different things like TEDx events. However, if your after some of the beast thinking then last list is a good one. You should also look out for Social Media Week which is coming up soon.
  • This is brilliant – Nicole Cooke’s retirement speech. An insight into the chalelgnes of women’s sport, the impact of doping on the overall health of women’s cycling
  • The Friday pitch went well – at least from our side. After pitches, it’s always about the wait. It’s a rare thing that clients get back to you when they think they can get back to you. There’s always something, a person not around, a further piece of information they need. It’s a waiting game.
  • Friday night was supposed to be a birthday party – so I was expecting a wee bit of a sore head on Saturday. But an evening phone call put paid to that, with a request to go onto Sky News Sunrise show on the Saturday morning. The topic was the use of social media to promote positive activity in Belfast, supporting businesses during the current protests. I always enjoy these opportunities, and this time I got to sit on a Breakfast sofa for the first time ;-)
  • Saw Les Miserables – the film. One thing that struck me is that on a stage, all the action is constrained, you need to use imagination to paint the scenes, you can all the parties singing, you can see the whole thing. You would think that the film would take advantage of the ability to show a much wider scope. But i found that lacking – and it seemed that most of the film was close-ups of the actors, emoting, showing that they were real ‘actors’ that could sing rather than stage actors who need to project. I love the stage show, the film left me feeling a little short changed.
Jan 11

2013 Week 2

Week 2 is done. I’ve decided I don’t like the sign outside Southwark Tube station, which provides the date. It’s a reminder every morning that another day has been ticked off and it’s mutely asking me what have I done to change the world. Or something like that! So what have I wrestled out of this week?

  • Via Terrence Eden, i read this great report from Vanity fair on the making of the Blues Brothers. Fascinating insight into the minds of Aykroyd and Belushi.
  • A last minute request to go to Switzerland for a client meeting meant I was able to go early for the weekend to meet up with Geoff to discuss the social media marketing for a film being made this year in Switzerland. Called Murkwood, it’s due to start shooting in the autumn. But at the moment, the team behind it are shooting a short called True Dark. Geoff and I went up into the mountains for look at what was happening as they shot one of the key action sequences for the short. (full set of pictures here)

    True Dark Shoot

  • The meeting was with a long-standing client and focused on the partnership we are building with them over the next few years. I was there to discuss how social and digital can be used for their primarily B2B work but how it can also be used to create a pull from the end customer
  • Back in the office for the rest of the week, straight into a pitch prep. The pitch is today, for a second strand of work with a client we won in the latter part of last year. Again B2B work, my focus is on strategy and process for this one.
  • The gym visits are going well. Caroline is great at getting me to the gym and once there, I’m the one who makes us do things! We’ve created our own programme to start off with, a lot of core strength work to get us started. Next week we’ll be off to our first class!
  • I wrote about my brother-in-law and Mont Ventoux yesterday and that is going to be a focus this year. Getting him back up that mountain!

And that is that. A fairly quiet week all told, no world changing things yet.