Friday, May 8, 2009

And finally...

Having blogged for the past few weeks, I think I have a far better understanding about how blogging can be of benefit in PR. I was amazed at the number and diverse opinions in blogs which cover so many different subjects.

There is an infinite amount of space and an infinite amount of information on the Internet and it is difficult to comprehend how to best use it. In the future different PR campaigns, though, will have to use different PR 2.0 tools and target audiences with key messages in many different ways.

Everything is also changing so quickly with new products and ideas thrown up almost every day. This means that PRs will need to be ready to match these changes and adapt to new ways of working. Some things, though, never change. This week's data found on hard drives is depressingly familiar to the old newspaper stories about personal information being dumped in landfills or discovered on waste ground. There is now so much information so easily available that it seems it will ever harder to keep it secure.

I am frequently amazed at the personal information, including pictures, phones numbers, details about friends, etc that people willing give over on social networking sites. No one can control the amount of data out there and that is what, in many ways, defines the Internet.

Even this very limited experience of blogging has shown me the way blogging makes people confront such issues. This may be my last post here but I don't think it will be long before I reappear blogging somewhere else.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wired up to YouTube

YouTube has become such a part of our every day life that even the prime minister now thinks it is one of the best ways to deliver messages to his key audiences.

Although on reflection he will probably wish he hadn't made that one.

YouTube is an incredible resource hosting millions of videos from all corners of the globe. It also offers a space for anyone to store or share videos with their friends. There are also free tools on the Internet so that anyone, even a simple PR student can make up a video and post on YouTube or in a blog. Here is one I made earlier...It is not meant to be taken too seriously.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Now here's a new thing...

Where's the hype? The drive to be the next Google seems to be always upon us. The power of the Internet to drive change more quickly than at any time in the past is seen in the extraordinary success that is Google. Yet it is only 13 years since two students started the research which led to Google being set up. Yet now Google is so ever-present that is already been accepted as a verb; the most popular search engine is the world's leading brand, valued at more than $100m, a third more than Microsoft; anyone who has ever searched for anything on the Internet cannot imagine a life without Google. It is a dream company for a PR.

So what is the next big thing on the Internet? Well, if I knew the answer then I would taking home some of the Google billions. This week the BBC reports that the latest search tool, Wolfram Alpha, "could be as important as Google". By searching within sites it brings answer to your webpage, rather than a series of sites as in a Google search. The first thing I notice is the caution in the BBC's "could", which always makes the cynical journalist in me equate to could not.

However, what Google has also shown to all web companies is the power to innovate to remain ahead of the competition. Google has never been content to just rake in the cash; part of its huge success has been its ability to add value every time your blink. Google News, Mail, Tools, Blogger, Analytics ... the list is almost endless. If I had to put money on where the next big search engine development will be, then I would back it being led by Google. If, as in the past they have missed a trick, then they have just moved in and bought up the latest technology. So perhaps Stephen Wolfram can look forward to a bumper payday from Google.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Evening all

Having worked for the police, I was pleased to see a police officer winning the Orwell prize for his anonymous blog, NightJack. All too often police are in the news for the wrong reasons and police officers are more angry than anyone about the behviour of the tiny minority of officers who fail to keep up the very high standards we so rightly expect of them.

Police officers are not known for their great communication skills, so it is good to read in the blog what life is really like on the beat. This is the best PR the police can have...from the horse's mouth.

This also shows how Web 2.0 tools can empower ordinary men or women to speak to the majority. More power to this PC's PC.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taking the twitter

Want to know the latest on the Budget? Then Twitter was the place to be this week with Channel Four offering to keep you up to touch with the breaking news. This shows how seriously PRs need to take Twitter; everyone from journalists to the Government is now using it.

Not everyone takes it seriously, though. Here's a piece of fun I came across on YouTube. Enjoy.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Why are academics so afraid of Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is without doubt one of the modern wonders of the world. Since wikis were invented back in 1994 by Howard G. ‘Ward’ Cunningham, a US computer programmer, Wikipaedia has been an incredible success. I also think it is one of the wonders of the web that you can still go to Cunningham's original wiki.

Launched as recently as 15 January 2001, Wikipedia now has more than 2 million articles and is the largest encyclopaedia in history. It is reviewed continuously by everyone and libellous, criminal an copyright material is removed. While there will always be some arguments over its accuracy, the same can be said for many of the academic books I have read.

Wikipedia is the only book I have ever read which warns me it needs more citations to verify what is on it. It also had far more citations than any other book I have ever looked at. So why are academics so critical of it? Could it perhaps be because Wikipedia threatens their own authority?


In previous eras there were academics who refused to accept the blindingly obvious as the above picture reminded me. Or perhaps the earth is flat, after all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twittering about worms

PR clients are always quite rightly concerned first and foremost about their reputation. Twitter has taken a battering this weekend after a worm was placed in the site taking users to

This was set up a by a 17-year-old American student, Michael Mooney, who said he did it out of boredom. He has even published a web page explaining why and how he did it. Twitter has had reputation issues before and has been slow to act when pressed by people being misrepresented on its site. If a student can cause this much chaos just imagine how much trouble a real professional hacker can create.

If Twitter allows worms and such misrepresentation to infect its day-to-day working this will hugely damage Twitter's standing. This could really curtail whats seemed to be the unstoppable rise of Twitter.

If I can't trust whether a Twitter has really come from someone it claims to be, or it could infect my machine, then I for one will not want to use Twitter. I am sure I will not be the only one.