Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Sony Wins The iPhone 7 Content War

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

I’m not sure if Sony’s decision to reveal the new PlayStation hardware today and force a head-to-head with Apple’s reveal of the iPhone 7 family is a suicidal marketing move or a tactical masterstroke, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

Although the iPhone is going to dominate the digital pages (and is likely to make the main evening news bulletins on television and radio around the world) there’s always going to be a hunger for the story that isn’t about Tim Cook showing off a new iPhone that looks and acts remarkably like last year’s iPhone. With the reveal of the PlayStation Slim, the PlayStation Neo, and details on a new DualShock controller and the PlayStation VR headset Sony has put together everything a technology reporter needs for a solid piece of counter-programming.

To take one practical example, I’ve written extensively about the iPhone 7 in the run up to today’s launch. I’ve got a number of angles that I want to explore after the launch, about the ebb and flow of Apple and its iPhones taking on Google and the Samsung Galaxy family, the slowing speed of progress, and the practicality of the iPhone design and the missing headphone jack.

But not today.

Every tech site has lined up iPhone coverage, every second stringer has an opinion hoping to strike it lucky today, every mainstream media publication will become an expert on all things Cupertino, and the fabric of online news will get gummed up. Today is the day to forget about the page views, to have some fun, and let others chase for a single gold medal. I picked up my medals last week and I know there’s a better chance of picking up more next week.

If I really must file some copy, I’m not going near the news from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Thanks, Sony.

The modern day grind of a blog writer

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

TechCrunch’s John Biggs on what he has learned after writing 11,00 blog posts. There’s a lot here that I can relate to:

Nobody cares. Nobody will read you. The only way to make them care is to keep doing it, day after day. Write 1,000 words a day. Don’t stop. This holds true in everything. Can you write more words per day? You can, but start at 1,000. Once you do that, day after day, people will notice. Then people will read. Then people will come back. Then you’ll gain a following. You probably won’t make any money but you will have a marketable skill that you can sell.

If anyone wants an idea of what I do for my job, BIggs has pretty much summed up what I call ‘the grind’.

Living Like An Online Swan

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Paul Jarvis raises a point on Medium that is always worth repeating:

What I share online only represents a tiny portion of my life. Sure, I live a pretty decent life, and really don’t have anything tocomplain about, but still?—?it’s not nearly as interesting as a lot of folks assume. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of folks I assume have an amazingly awesome, super interesting life are exactly the same.

I always say that life, especially online life, is like a swan. Everyone looking at someone else sees the graceful moves, the supple neck, the effortless gliding from one shore to another. Underneath the waterline is another story… it’s ugly, it’s splashy, it’s frantic, and it’s a heck of a lot of effort (much of it wasted) to get any sort of traction.

Never forget that I’m a swan in every respect:

So when I think about what I’m doing, I have to remember I’m not comparing like with like. The failures and knock-backs that I receive, the moments where getting the words out of my head and onto the screen are like detention with Umbridge, the struggle to get a work-life balance… everyone I am talking to have these moments as well.

I have to remember when I tell people some of the things I have been up to in the last year, they only see the top of my iceberg, so they are comparing my success with their struggles. We’re all human, we’re all putting on the best show for everyone else, and we’re all paddling furiously under the water thinking we are going nowhere fast.

I appreciate every day just how hard everyone is paddling.

I posted this on January the 2nd.

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Not posting on January 1st means I don;t have to worry about any sort of ‘try and post every day on your blog’… so I wrote this on the second of the month, but I backdated it because much as I know I’m not going to write on this blog every day, I do write every day, and want to show that.

Or it’s OCD, go figure.

Content farms, old school journalism, and Formula One

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Joe Saward, a decidedly old school journalist who has strong views on the modern web and sports reporting

The secret of the F1 media is that it is like a pond. If you drop a stone in the middle, the waves will radiate outwards. The middle is made up the relatively small group of reporters, most of them English. The vast majority of F1 websites have no access at all to the F1 paddock and they are simply part of the ripples on the F1 pond, taking the story from the centre and spreading it.

I should flag up at this point that one of Saward’s income streams is a subscription based PDF magazine/newsletter that he publishes a few hours after each F1 Grand Prix, and his blog is his shop window. When people talk about weird and wonderful methods of blogging, sometimes the old-fashioned methods, such as Saward’s, are far more appealing… and profitable.

#Back2Blog and my current thinking around this blog

Monday, June 24th, 2013

An interesting post from Stephanie Tara caught my eye last week – she was ‘rebooting’ her blog with the #Back2Blog hashtag, and committing to ten blog posts over ten days.

For the next ten days [starting Monday 24th June, today], I’m going to write a post a day. I’ll keep it short: blogging used to be quick and dirty, and somewhere between the arrival of Facebook and Twitter, posts have started growing into long essays that take hours to write…

How short is short? Roughly a screenful. Not more. I have a ton of ideas to blog about, and view this as an exercise in concision, as well as a way to get myself blogging again — which I seem to periodically need to do.

Neither would it be a solo effort, she was inviting many of ‘the old guard’ to join in. So for the ten days, I’m going to blog not as the links and snap thoughts of the last six months, but with some extended thoughts and ideas from across the landscape – Steph’s ‘roughly a screenful’ feels about right.

This should be interesting… let’s start with a blog about this blog.

Strictly speaking, I don’t think that the blog needs a ‘reboot’ because I sat down last year to decide what I wanted from this blog and implemented the plan on January 1st.

That plan was a bit of a back to basics, focusing on ‘web logging’. Living on the internet means coming across lots of articles, points of interests, and almost all of them create an emotion, be it a joke, a profound thought, or a connection to something else. So that was point number one… I wanted to link out to all of those discoveries online, add in my thoughts, and share them with the small community that passes through here.

Technically that’s something that can easily be done on Twitter or Facebook – but I’d rather people end up here than on Mark Zuckerberg’s site. Point number two was to have this blog as the home for all my links and thoughts. Yes, they would be syndicated out to Facebook and Twitter, and many discussions would happen there, but ultimately my record of things that were interesting to me would be under my control.

That’s not a perfect solution, as it does create the situation where someone intrigued by a post on a social network clicks through to here, and then readers need to make one more click to reach the original story (tip of the hat to @Documentally and others for this observation). I’ll be brutal here, this is my blog and if I can set the rules anywhere on the internet, it’s here.

Finally, there was the schedule. Blogging through 2012 had been sporadic, which had been one of the reasons to sit down and decide “what next”. Point three was to set a timetable for posting, and given the short and sharp nature of posts I decided that I would aim to publish at least one item per day, and more if I felt the urge. Since the year started, I’ve only missed two days… One day in the middle of May (when I was knee-deep in covering the Eurovision Song Contest) and yesterday (while some DNS issues sorted themselves. I’m pretty happy with that strike rate.

One knock-on effect is that the blog is helping me pick up and remember story ideas, because I’m making far more connections as I read online, and my inner voice is coming out a bit more. By collecting more links and more thoughts, it’s easier to skim the best thoughts off the top and work them into longer posts, articles, and reviews on other sites where i write. Which of course I can then link to from here.

And that’s my #Back2blog on how I went #Back2Weblog at the start of 2013.

A consistent podcast is a flexible podcast

Monday, September 19th, 2011

One of the initial attractions to podcasting is the ability to listen to a show whenever you want to – be it in the car, the daily jog along the boardwalk, or on a long flight across the Atlantic.  I think this freedom for the listener has been one of the strengths that has made podcasting what it is today.

More thoughts on staying regular over on the Blog World Expo blog.

Rangers, Tax, Blogs, and the Scottish Media

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

And this is where multimedia journalism stakes its claim for recognition – in dogged, single-issue pursuit.  It’s hard for newspapers and the mainstream media to focus in on just one story and dissect it forensically for months on end, whereas sites such as Rangers Tax Case, Sheridan Trial Blog and so forth can expend their time and energy on just the one subject.

When the Press Award nominations are announced next year, I wouldn’t be shocked to find Rangers Tax Case failing to make the list, largely because their presence would make for an uncomfortable night for many of the Scottish sportswriting community.

I’m still not sure if Iain Hepburn is poacher turned gamekeeper for the online media, or simply calling it without having to keep half an eye on his next pay cheque. Either way, if one of the roles of blogs in the landscape is to highlight and direct people to information, Hepburn has that bit nailed.

Will the News of the World bring down blogging?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

David Cameron has unveiled the final terms of reference of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into phone hacking, announcing his remit will extend beyond newspapers to include broadcasters and social media (my emphasis).

Should we be worried or run up the "stop panicking" flag?

Do you still need a blog to blog?

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Not generally, but for people like me? We communicate our lives, by necessity not choice, in phrases, pictures, soundbites. We narrate our days in imagery and our exploits in links. Maybe it’s time to try a new approach, to move Feastcraft to Posterous or Tumblr, retain the URL, and move from once-a-week long-form to twice-daily curation of images, links, videos, and the occasional rant.

There’s been changes around these parts as well (more on that after a month of numbers and stats, then I’ll talk about it), but Jonas Luster lays out the thinking that many of us have had.

Here’s what I will say just now… In eight years time my blog will still be here, just as it was eight years ago. Let’s see if the same is true of Posterous, Tumblr, MySpace or Friendster.

Vanessa Camones on Michal Arrington’s rules of engagement

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

This isn’t “process journalism,” it’s bullying. It’s also unethical. That’s why I tell clients to skip TechCrunch and reach the same influential audience with a story on a site like Business Insider, GigaOm, VentureBeat or AllThingsD. If it’s a big story, you can go to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s almost like Techcrunch became the de facto Valleywag, post Valleywag.

Let’s meet up at BlogWorld New York

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

At least I got a little break from the travelling.

With the Eurovision Song Contest now over for another year (you can find a list of all the Eurovision coverage I contributed to here) it’s time to hit the road again and seek out some new challenges and ideas. And the best place for that sort of recharge, frankly, is in the company of lots of creative bloggers, writers, podcasters and entrepreneurs.

Thankfully just such an even is happening next week, albeit in New York. Yes, it’s the first BlogWorld to take place on the East Coast, and I’ll be over there, kilt in flow, filofax in hand, and brain fully engaged to listen and talk!

If you want to get in touch with me, in the first instance use SMS! I cannot guarantee instant access to email, Twitter DM’s, Facebook messages or similar ideas while travelling. If you want to meet up or get in touch text me on +44 7966 152772. I may reply from that number, or a temporary US number, but I will reply.

That told, what am I on the lookout for?

I’d really like to get to grips on another strong project which involves a mix of blogging, media production, and some "social web outreach" (see what I avoided there?). Whether that’s implementing the whole thing (and my Eurovision website is a great portfolio there, it launched in Oct 2010), or as part of a team to deliver content (various examples on request).

Or if there’s something crazy that needs someone on point, that’ll do nicely as well. Mailing in advance would be a smart idea.

Oh and right now, this is what I look like. Find me in the halls and say hi!

A recent picture of me

(Disclosure: I’m writing a number of podcast articles over on the BlogWorld website, and as part of that deal, my expenses for attending the conference are being covered by the organisers).

Windows Live Writer lives again

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

There was a fair bit of coverage of Microsoft’s move to Windows Live Spaces from their service to WordPress, as part of the rationalisation of the Windows Live suite, but the good news (which has just been pointed out to me) is in a ZDNet update:

For those worried about the future of Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer blogging tool/app, Microsoft officials say there is no plan to phase it out and it will remain part of the Windows Live family.

Good, because for me it’s the perfect blogging client.

Akoha and Fighting For The Personal Touch Online

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Have we lost the Human factor online (and no I’m not talking about the Evil of the Daleks, but if anyone in Zimbabwe would care to look for the tapes…)? Two discrete data points today and an experience from my time in the US leads me to think that the next big change online could not be in how we relate to data, but how we relate to people.

The first point, and one I can link to, is CC Chapman asking where all the personal blog posts have gone:

I’ve had to change how I blog a little bit. As more people began reading my ramblings I couldn’t be AS honest as I had always been because I realized the reach of a simple post was greater then before so I had to at least think about what I was saying a bit before writing it.

And it’s true. I always joke about the rant I had over Le Web 2006 – the biggest thing to come out of that was my Mum phoning me on realising just how angry I was. My only thought was “my Mum is reading my blog,” and we can all recall that moment in our lives. By living so much online, and knowing that prospective employees and partners (both business and personal) can read everything people post , this means that we become a little more clinical in our blog posts.

To be honest that’s where sites like LiveJournal and the pay-wall wrapped social network sites provide a relief valve to many of us, including myself. To a certain extent Twitter allows emotional leakage, but those of us who work online have taken a slight step backwards from putting everything on show.

It also means there’s less spontaneity in a group of friends – partly because we are all so distributed around the world and that means there’s an increased barrier to actually doing something physical rather than say send an e-gift of flowers over Facebook.

Conversely, as someone pointed out to me via IM today, that means when someone does do something, it’s seen as being extra special because we’ve got out of the habit of using this thing called snail mail for parcels.

So if you’re looking for some ideas to take forward into 2009 and perhaps make a start-up out of them, may I suggest that you look at the human side of the internet and try to magnify that area of our lives.

Oh and that experience from America that could be one such company? Akoha. More on that tomorrow (just subscribe to the RSS Feed and you won’t miss it).

Introducing The Mid Moves Tour

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

During today, and over the next few days, I’m doing some blogging for Intel over on the Mid Moves site. They’ve supplied me with two devices (the Compal MID, and the BenQ S6) straight from the CES floor in Las Vegas, and I’ll be trying them out around Scotland.

You can follow what I get up to, and my thoughts on the two Linux powered box, over on the site. Here are the articles from today, the first day…